My French friend took a holiday to Portugal with some friends recently and sent the travel postcard on display this week. I especially liked the card since it shows several views of Lagos in southern Portugal. Readers who used to receive the family gathering newsletter from me years ago may recall that my oldest son lived two years in Portugal. One of the places he stayed was Lagos; hence this card was a lot of fun to receive.
Lagos is a tourist destination with beaches, rock formations, summer nightlife, and historic places of interest. This maritime city established during the pre-Punic civilizations. It has existed for more than 2,000 years, first colonized by the Romans and known as Lacobriga, and home to the Carthaginians who recruited Celts to aid in the Punic Wars against the Romans. During the sixth century the town was occupied by the Visigoths and later by the Byzantines. In the 8th century the Moors arrived from North Africa and fortified the town and annexed it into the coastal region known as the Algarve. In 1174 permission was granted allowing Christians to build a church outside the city walls dedicated to Sao Joao Baptista. This church is the oldest church in the Algarve.
During the Age of Discovery Portuguese explorers and trading ships carrying spices and goods would flow in and out of the port of Lagos. One such notable person was Henry the Navigator who frequently lived in Lagos. On a sadder note, Lagos was also the gateway for African slave traders with the first slave market established there in 1444.
For almost 200 years from 1576 to 1755 Lagos was the capital of the Algarve. The end came when an earthquake and tsunami destroyed the old town in 1755. Although some walls withstood the quake most of the buildings found in Lagos today date from the rebuilding period following the quake.
Art & Concept: G.A. Wittich is identified as the publisher with the number 151761 Edicao Vistal on the reverse lower left corner. The stamp on the card shows a view of one of the newer buildings at the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest universities in Europe.
For more information about Lagos and surrounding areas, see: