Silves Municipal Market reopened with music and joy

The work cost more than 1,4 million euros and was supported by European funds.

A Market is a place for sales and purchases, but also «a space for socializing», where people go to meet. These assumptions were the basis for the requalification of the Silves Municipal Market, which opened this Saturday, amidst the great joy of sellers and buyers and to the sound of the Sociedade Filarmónica Silvense band.

The requalification, stressed the mayor Rosa Palma, is important for «economic development, but also social». Therefore, the work intended that the new Market is «a response more to meet the current demands of this type of equipment».

The works cost 1 million euros, benefited from support from European funds and began to give «new life» to a typical Estado Novo building, located in downtown, on the banks of the Arade River.

The remodeling work included the complete renovation of the infrastructure (water and sanitation networks, electrical installations, telecommunications), the floors, sales counters, functional reorganization of the space and roofs. The interior and exterior design of the Market was maintained, namely the system of wooden trusses that support the roof, but the color was changed from the previous white to a vibrant yellow ocher.

The exterior was also the target of intervention that included the reorganization and equipping of the restaurants' esplanades, the moving of loading and unloading to a side area, the installation of a panoramic elevator to access the new esplanade located on the roof, with access to the interior mezzanine, where there will be a restaurant and bar.

The new spaces:

Tito Coelho, president of the Silves Parish Council, the entity to which the Chamber entrusted the management of the Market, recalled that the remodeling was “an old aspiration”.

Rosa Palma, for her part, recalled that, when she took office as Mayor in 2013, «we realized that the Market needed requalification». The initial idea was just to carry out works on the roof, but later, «listening to the vendors and the restaurants», the Municipality quickly came to the conclusion that it was necessary to go further, to create «a functional space, which would become a captivating element for people to come to the market'.

The mayor stressed that her executive is “very proud of the work done. But we want the population to also feel that pride and to be the ones to protect, safeguard and use their market».

«To give more life and dynamics to this equipment», Rosa Palma announced that there will be several initiatives in the coming months. O Sul Informação you know that one of them is the return of Mercado Fora de Horas, which brings entertainment, arts, gastronomy and much more to the space… outside of normal market hours.

José Apolinário, president of the Algarve Regional Development and Coordination Commission (CCDR), the entity that coordinates the allocation of European funds in the Algarve region, underlined the current strategy of the European Union «from farm to fork». Such initiatives aim to guarantee «greater sustainability», through the promotion of «healthier products from the land, from short circuits. And that is what is done here at the Silves Market».

The president of CCDR Algarve also took the opportunity to talk about «some ambitions» that this organization shares with the Câmara de Silves. One of them will have to be guaranteed by the European funds of the next Community support framework, which will “increase”. It is about the «requalification of the river Arade». The mention of this project, long cherished by Silves, drew a round of applause from the mayors and other people present.

But José Apolinário also spoke of the need to «improve access» and, in this context, he stressed that «predictably next May», the award of the electrification work of the railway line between Tunes and Lagos should take place. Afterwards, it will still be necessary to move forward with the construction of an «agreement» between the Southern Line and the Algarve Line, which will allow «making the connection via Intercidades to the Barlavento», a «project with more than 20 years».

Market people:

But because the morning was dedicated to the new Municipal Market of Silves, the inauguration continued with a visit to the sales stalls, among dozens of buyers, more than half of them foreigners, most of them motorhomes.

Oranges and other fruits, seasonal vegetables, bread and cakes, sausages and cheeses, beans and grains in bulk, honey and jams, local handicrafts in wood or empreita, the good suckling pig from São Marcos da Serra, very fresh fish, everything Little can be bought in this Municipal Market, now with a more functional and luminous air, but which has not lost its charm and history.

“How beautiful this is!” exclaimed an elderly shopper at the entrance to the new market.

When the new restaurant and bar located on the mezzanine and terrace created on the roof opens, with a privileged view over the river Arade and the riverside park of Silves, it will most likely become a fashionable place that no one will want to miss.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação