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Lagos Travel Guide

Lagos History

Formerly the Romans gave the first name of “Lacobriga” to the city, after the Moors then gave the town the name of "Zawaia", and finally Dom Afonso III and integrated into the kingdom of Portugal with the name of "Lagus". This historic town has played an important part in the story of discovery of many parts of the world.

In november 1, 1755, the great earthquake caused a almost total destruction, and several buildings, such as the church of Santa Maria da Graça, others destruction such as the church of St. António, were badly damaged, but still retain some of their earlier features. As the death of Prince Henry had removed the commercial opportunities of the town, the Earthquake of 1755 removed the political importance of the city. With his castle and all the principal buildings in ruins, the Governor of the Algarve moved to Tavira.

The historic city of Lagos has played an important part in the history of discovery of several parts of the world. Vasco da Gama sailed in 1499 of the harbour, on his epic voyage of discovery and historic. The town of Lagos was the capital of the Algarve until 1756 and there remain several ancient buildings to testify to its historic glory.

In his maritime expeditions were embarked to discover the world by orders of Prince Henry (The Navigator). Also, the Armada with around of 800 vessels led by the ill fated heir to the throne Dom Sebastiao embarked from Lagos in 1578 to capture the city of Ceuta in Morocco.


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