Paderne Castle, one of the last conquests of the Muslim occupation and built in the second half of the 12th century, is one of the best examples of military mud construction south of the Tagus and the Iberian Peninsula, and is the testimony of 900 years of permanence in the landscape. The Castle is represented on the actual Portuguese flag simbol.
Paderne Castle is a hisn, small rural fort, founded by the Almohad in the 2nd half of the 12th century. In the construction of its walls, which cover an area of about 1 hectare that is currently accessed by a single gate, a construction process that has already been forgotten, the military mud, was used exclusively: local land mixes added with inert and stabilized with air lime. , which were compacted between sides by clamping. Once exposed to prolonged carbonation, the blocks thus obtained acquired the strength of the stone with which they arrived today.
The defensive device was equipped with a square-framed albarrã tower, which still retains a height of over 9 m.
Inside the castle, archaeological interventions exhumed housing structures, demonstrating that, under the walls, the space was completely urbanized with narrow but orthogonal streets, traversed by a complex sewerage system that carried wastewater out of the enclosure. fortified. The streets formed blocks, with a density of occupation typical of the urban contexts of the Islamic era, with characteristic open central courtyard dwellings accessed from every room.
After the Christian conquest of the Algarve a new population settled in the castle, which adapted or changed, with different concepts, the initial domestic model. Two cisterns testify to the castle's two main moments of occupation - the Islamic and the Christian.
Inside the castle, next to the access gate, there are the ruins of a temple, which was evoked by Our Lady of the Assumption and the original parish headquarters of Paderne, between the mid-thirteenth century and the first decades of the sixteenth century. Later, as a chapel, she met pilgrimages on the date of her patron saint (August 15) and on the day of the Annunciation (March 25). In 1858 the hermitage was already in ruins and out of worship, for that same year, with the justification that it was abandoned, the Book of Minutes of the Parish Council notes the deliberation that the shingles and the woods should withdraw for the benefit of the church. Mother Church, in the modern village of Paderne, and the Nossa Senhora Pé da Cruz Chapel, is located just outside the Village.