The origin of this city dates back to 1000 BC. Sumptuous palaces, a castle and a huge underground water reservoir were built during the Moor occupation between 711 and 1249. At that time Silves was an important trading city with a connection to the sea trough the river Arade. As the Arade increasingly silted, its importance decreased as well. The earthquake of 1755 destroyed the city and most of the historic buildings. However, the remains of the Moorish castle are still impressive to this day. The archaeological museum built in 1990, displays items dating back to the Stone Age. The lively city of the past is a quiet market town today.