Begin your own journey of discovery in Lagos, the operational base for Portugal’s exploration of the African coast in the 15th century. It was here that Henry fitted out the caravels for the Discoveries. Gil Eanes also departed from Lagos to round Cape Bojador, at a time when everyone believed that the cape marked the end of the world.
Throughout the town you will find street names alluding to the Discoveries. The historic buildings and monuments include Europe’s first slave market, at the Casa das Arcadas in Praça Infante D. Henrique, which is now a venue for the exhibition and sale of handicrafts.
Do not miss Sagres Fortress, which was the site of Henry’s School of Seamanship, and a meeting place for astronomers, cartographers and seamen.
It includes an impressive wind rose that is 43 metres in diameter.
About six kilometres further on is Cape St. Vincent, Europe’s most south-westerly point, where the ancients thought the world ended. The lighthouse lens weighs four tonnes, and is one of the six heaviest in the world.
If you want to know more about the Portuguese Discoveries, drop in and visit the exhibition at Ponta da Bandeira Fort in Lagos. The fort also provides a fine sea view.