Paderne Castle lies south of the village of Paderne in the Algarve province in Portugal. It is locally known as Castelo de Paderne.
These are the remains of a Moorish castle. It was probably built during the Almoravid period and was constructed entirely of taipa. Taipa is a mixture of mud and sandstone which may sound not very firm but it's as hard as stone. On this building the Moors used a military version of taipa. The ruins of Paderne Castle are said to be one of the oldest examples of a taipa building left standing in the Iberian peninsula.
The stones we see today in some of the walls and the gate were added during a restoration in the 1980's.
In 1248 the castle was taken from the Moors by Dom Paio Peres Correia, during his campaigns in the south of Portugal. It was one of the fortifications in the Algarve given to D. Alfonso III of Portugal by the king of Castile; D. Alfonso X.
The castle was built on a large hill, which is on 3 sides enclosed by the deep valley of the Quarteira river.
Inside the castle there is not much to be seen except from a ruined 16th century church. It was destroyed in the earthquake of 1755 after which the people of the village of Paderne moved the village to its present location. This earthquake of course also damaged the fragile remains of the castle ruins.
When I visited, an archaeological dig was taking place in and around the castle. Very hot and dusty but interesting work! The excavations showed the remains of several buildings inside the castle walls.
In the river valley south of the castle you can see a surviving Roman bridge.
The castle can be visited, for free, during the daytime. It can also easily be seen from the IP1/E01 highway between Loulé and Albufeira.