Don't miss this this restaurant!
This is a really special restaurant, that serves good food, with vegetables. (unknown in many Portugese restaurants.) Meals come with a choice of chips, new potatoes, vegetables or salad. The main courses vary from steak, through to salmon, down to a more basic chicken and chips. Excellent starters. Portions are generous - beware!. It is run by an Portugese/Australian husband and wife team. Prices very reasonable, considering the standard of both the food and the serve. Throughly recommended! Favourite dish was salmon, with new potatoes and salad. Was chargrilled on one side, and beatifully moist. Came with a small bowl of creme fraiche type sauce with chives. Perfect!
The first slave market in Europe was in Lagos
It was from Lagos that Prince Henry the Navigator, sponsored missions of exploration along the West Coast of Africa. This resulted in the opening of the sea route from Europe to India and the subsequent development of the empires of not only Portugal, but also the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Belgium.
So Lagos came to be the major port from which explorers set out to discover lands in Africa and Asia and build the trade routes that made Portugal rich. Many seamen on the voyages of exploration originated from Lagos, which resultantly turned it into a commercial and naval port of consequence. It was from Lagos that the caravels, developed by Portuguese shipwrights, sailed to encounter new worlds in Africa and America and subsequently brought back gold, ivory and, sadly, slaves, all of which greatly contributed to the wealth of both the city and nation.
At that time in history, no trade was richer than that of trade in slaves and the first slave market opened in Europe to accommodate this trade still stands here in central Lagos.
Situated on the Praca do Infante Dom Henrique in Lagos, the building with four arches, shown in the picture, was the site where the first slaves brought from Africa were sold beginning in 1444 AD. On the walls, one can see a stone bearing the coat of arms of the Marques de Nisa, dating from the 17th Century, and on one wall a window dating from the 15th Century, which originally was a door.
Today this building has a much nobler use as it is now used as an art gallery where local artists exhibit their works.
Shopping and History
Lagos has certainly played a very important part in the discovery of many parts of the world, It was from this very harbour that Vasco da Gama sailed in 1499 on his historic and epic voyage of discovery but it’s history dates back far further than that. The Romans gave the name of “Lacobriga” to the town although it was probably occupied much earlier.
When the Moors came they then called the town "Zawaia" Although captured from the Moors in 1189 it was not until 1249 that it was finally conquered by Dom Afonso III making it part of Portugal and giving it the name of "Lagus".
Lagos was the capital of the Algarve from 1578 until 1756 and there are still many ancient buildings.
It was from Lagos that many maritime expeditions set sail to discover the world and many at the orders of Prince Henry the Navigator.
In 1587 Sir Francis Drake of England failed in his attempt to raid Lagos and so sailed on to Sagres where he sacked the historic home of Henry the Navigator.
Lagos is now an important tourist town that still has many architectural signs of its ancient and somewhat controversial past with a building dating back to around 1445 that has been recorded as being Europe’s first building to be used as a slave market.
The Town walls do for the most part remain although many sections have been restored.
Guarding the entrance to the Harbour is the Forte da Ponta da Bandeira " fort at the Flag point" whose real name is actually Fortaleza Nossa Senhora da Penha de franca which was constructed at the end of the 17th Century at the mouth of the river which flows around Lagos, The fort because of its strategic position provides an ocean gateway defending the city of Lagos from attack by enemy ships entering the bay.
Lagos has many shops ranging from local crafts to fine goods from all parts of the world. For those foodies amongst us it has a fine market on 2 floors. The ground floor being all fish with a very wide selection including some very strange and unusual types.