Old Town information
Lonely Planet review
Enter the old town through the Porta de Dom Manuel (by the turismo), built in 1520 when Dom Manuel I made Tavira a city. Around the back, along Calçada da Galeria, the elegant Palácio da Galeria holds exhibitions.
Nearby, the Torre da Tavira , which was formerly the town’s water tower (100m), now houses a câmara obscura . A simple but ingenious object, the camera obscura reveals a 360-degree panoramic view of Tavira, its monuments and local events, in real time – all while you are stationary.
Just south of the castle is the whitewashed 17th-century Igreja de Santiago ,built where a small mosque probably once stood. The area beside it was formerly the Praça da Vila, the old town square.
Downhill from here is the Largo da Porta do Postigo , at the site of another old town gate and the town’s Moorish quarter.