By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises
Today, I went for a visit back in time to the hillside town of Silves, a relatively untouched piece of Moorish culture in Portugal’s stunning Algarve region.
We were greeted first by storks, who serve as the modern lookouts, perched atop chimneys and parapets and anywhere else they can plant a nest.
And then we went up the hill, in the unusually hot September that has been visited upon Portugal to see first the small Catholic cathedral, from about the year 1050, and then behind it the Almohad Citadel, erected by the Moors in the 8th century.
The cathedral mixes a bit of Roman columns with Moorish arches.
MILES OF TILES
The local art scene includes some fine paintings, carvings, and architecture.
But the specialties of this part of the world have to include azulejos, blue-and-white painted tiles, dishes, and other ceramics. They’re not all blue, either.
Many older examples illustrate scenes from the bibles or the stories of saints. There are also landscapes, geometric patterns, and floral designs.
You’ll find them almost anywhere you go. In Portugal, you can find azulejos inside and outside of churches, palaces, ordinary houses and even train stations.
The technique came from Spain, which learned it from the Persians in the early 15th century. The word azulejos comes from the Arabic al zulayj, meaning “polished stone”.
Portimão is a small city, about 45,000 inhabitants, located on the estuary of the Arade River.
Since pre-Roman times, Portimão has made its living from fishing.
Today it is a major center for the sardine-canning industry, and also luring its shares of tourists.
VISIONS OF PORTIMÃO
Azulejo tiles in Portimão
Ponta da Piedade, near Portimão
Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.
SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS
Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”
Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery: