Lagos is an old maritime city over two thousand years old. Lacóbriga, this old city' s ancestor, was founded by the Carthaginians , who occupied the South of the Iberian Peninsula at the end of the 4th century B.C. This city gained importance under the Roman domain, which lasted until the beginning of the 8th century. It lost a lot of its importance with the extension of the Arabic domain over the whole Western part of the Iberian Peninsula.
In the 13th century (1249 or 1250), King D. Afonso III conquered Lagos definitely for the Portuguese Crown. In the following reign, the reign of King D. Afonso IV, Lagos became the headquarters of the military government of the Algarve (until the 18th century), and a council with its own jurisdiction.
At the beginning of the 15th century (1415) King John I began the phase of the Portuguese Discoveries. Lagos became the basis of maritime enterprises and shipyards of building and of armament of vessels, the geographic platform of the conquest of the military fortified towns of the North of Africa and the starting point of fleets of navigators which left to discover new worlds beyond the Ocean. Infant D. Henrique (Henry, the Navigator), mentor of the maritime expansion of Portugal, started to live in the castle o the village (the Governors Palace).
The Discoveries started in the Atlantic Islands (Madeira and the Azores), having been the navigators from Lagos, Lourenço Gomes and António Gago, the first ones to arrive to Madeira Island (1419). From here the navigator Gil Eanes went to round the Cape of Good Hope.
Lagos also became a port of call, almost compulsory for all the vessels which, from Europe, went southwards in the Atlantic.
The importance of Lagos continued to grow and, in 1573, King D. Sebastião raised the village to the category of town.
The great link with the sea made fishing and maritime commerce makes the basis of the economic activity of this place. From the middle of the last century Tourism became the basis of the economy of this municipality. The unique beauty of the Bay of Lagos, and of the whole maritime coast of the Barlavento (Luft), the protection coming from the Chain of Monchique, which give it a unique climate all the year round, the careful city management which has been being practised, have been the impetus which transformed Lagos into one of the most desired destinies of the Algarve. Lagos lives from Tourism and for Tourism. Dazzling beaches, excellent hotel and residential enterprises with golf courses, a Marina and a recreation harbour, the wealth of the monumental patrimony of the town, beyond the extensive offer of complementary services, are the guarantee of a good revenue for the investments in real estate in this area of the Algarve.
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