This was once the most important town in the Algarve. The poet-king Al-Mutamid, who reigned in Silves, wrote several poems about the town. In one of them he describes the oranges in the orchard as incandescent coals, a magnificent metaphor. The orange groves still exist in the outskirts of the town. It was conquered in 1189 by the Portuguese with the help of the Northern crusaders (Germans, Danes and Dutch) but soon fell back into Moorish hands before being taken definitively by the Christians in 1240. Today Silves is a serene town in the Algarve interior where the colours always look fiery against such a calm background.