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© 2017 John Kiely        john@purlieu.photography             Phone +447736849388


January 23, 2019


Tavira is a historic fishing town on the banks of the Gilão river.  The town has retained much of its historic charm and avoided the commercialisation of modern tourism. The many narrow cobbled streets lead to charming small shops, or one of the twenty churches. A town square sits at one end of a bridge that reputedly dates back to Roman times and lies adjacent to a shady, semi formal riverside park.  In turn this leads the visitor to the market and fish quay.  


 This simple design worked well in front of an apartment block.


The town is a mix of architectural styles from Moorish, those of the occupation by the Knights of Santiago, through to modern, all sitting in harmony.  Above them all are the remains of the Moorish castle with a hidden surprise through the gates.  Rather than the expected paved and grassed areas it features a beautiful formal garden with a wide range of labelled plants and trees.


Inside the Castelo de Tavira 


This was my second visit, the first was with two friends as we passed through as part of a coastal walk.  I then returned to explore on my own with my camera.


 The steep narrow streets restrict the compositional possibilities.  I liked the range of textures here, from the Moorish stonework, through to the concrete rendering, to the sunlit leaves.


 This tree seems to have been bypassed by the splendour of autumn. Its seems at odds with the sunlit buildings and the cobbled streets, but by spring I assume it will be resplendent again.

 The hillside development has to take use of every space, this raised viewing platform doubles as a secure bike park for someone.

 Tavira is full of contrasts that exist harmoniously alongside each other. Moorish ruins, old traditional buildings and a modern wall surround an ancient olive tree.


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