With its castle ruins, riverfront gardens, and atmospheric streets, Tavira—at the mouth of the quiet Rio Gilão—is immediately endearing. Many of the town's white 18th-century houses retain their original doorways and coats of arms; others are topped with unusual, four-sided "roof screens," and still others are completely covered in tiles. The town also has more than 30 churches, most dating to the 17th and 18th centuries. One of two river crossings—the low bridge adjacent to the arcaded Praça da República—is of Roman origin, although it was rebuilt in the 17th century and again in recent times after sustaining damage in a flood.


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