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17-06-2014

The glorious history of Lagos

Lagos has a very interesting history

Lagos has always had a seafaring connection!
From here Prince Henry armed his caravels and thus paved the way for the great voyages of discovery. The small port of Lagos became an open window to the world and a meeting point of international routes where many different cultures crossed paths.

Shortly after the Moors came to Gibraltar in 711 AD, they spreaded rapidly even in the Algarve and also conquered Lagos in 716 AD, which they called from now on Zawaia (= lake). Under their rule, the city wall was renewed in the 10th century. Already in 1189 conquered Dom Sancho I Lagos, but in 1192 the Moors returned. Only in 1241 Dom Paio Peres Correia can finally wrest the moors from Lagos, using militant order of knights!

The Port of Lagos was the starting point for many Portuguese expeditions to Africa, which Portugal did in the 15th century under Dom Henrique o navegador. In August 1415, launched a fleet of 232 ship under his leadership. Gil Eanes stabbed to sea in 1434 for the first time- to sail to Cape Bojador what was then considered as the end of the known world. It was also in Lagos that the first slaves were brought to Europe in 1444. There is a 17th century building standing on the exact site where the first slave markets were held in the 15th century!

After the earthquake of 1755 with a massive  waves of 11 m height, which devastated the city, the old town was rebuilt and thus owes her today harmonious picture. The city wall surrounds today large parts of the old town. The Porta do Postigo and the rest of the governor's palace testify to the importance and defensibility of the port city. However, the governor moved as a result of the disaster to the less destroyed Faro, which replaced Lagos as the capital of the Kingdom of the Algarve.

If you have a walk through Lagos today, you will see and feel this interesting history of this beautiful town!

 

 

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