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Lagos - History
The Romans gave the name of “Lacobriga” to the town but its natural river port would indicate very much earlier occupation. It was captured from the Moors in 1189 but it was not until 1249 that it was finally claimed by Dom Afonso III and integrated into the kingdom of the Algarve. This historic town has played an important part in the story of discovery and conquering the rest of the world. It was from this very harbour that Vasco da Gama sailed in 1499 on his historic and epic discovery voyage. It was the capital of the Algarve from 1578 until 1756 and there remain several ancient buildings to testify to its historic glory. From its port maritime expeditions were embarked to discover the world at the orders of Prince Henry the Navigator. Also, the armada of 800 vessels led by the ill-fated heir to the throne Dom Sebastião embarked from Lagos in 1578 in its failed attempt to capture the town of Ceuta in Morocco.

Lagos - Description:
Essentially now an important tourist town there are still many architectural signs of its ancient past, even a building dating originally back to around 1445 and is recorded as being Europe’s first building used as a slave-market. The walls of the town are in most parts remaining after areas of restoration. Attached to the famous 17th century "gold" church of Santo António there is a small museum of regional items, some of which are quite odd! There are several interesting statues erected to the famous past figures that are associated with the history of this town. None more controversial that the sculpture of Dom Sebastião standing in the main square in front of the Town Hall. A more recently erected statue commemorates the Algarve’s only Saint, São Gonçalo de Lagos who was born in 1360 and died in 1422 in Torres Vedras. Pope Pio VI raised him to Sainthood in 1778. The town’s more recently constructed Marina presents a lovely picture and this harbour is the first sight a visitor has of Lagos. Besides the boats that find it convenient as a permanent mooring it is usually full of yachts passing through, to and from the Mediterranean. The municipal council has constructed a modern Cultural Centre in which various exhibitions and culturally related events are held during the year. In the Marina different boat tours and deep sea-fishing outings can be booked.

About photo location:
Across the river from Lagos is Meia Praia, a very long sandy beach sheltered from the north by a gentle slope dotted with comfortable villas and holiday resorts. If you look at the picture and see in the background those ruins, you can easily imagine some huge sand dunes followed by a 8Km long beach with a usually very quiet sea.

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Additional Photos by Sergio Leitao (sergio_leitao7) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 16 W: 12 N: 114] (1325)
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