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Due to it´s long and rich history, In Lagos you can find numerous cultural and physical traces that illustrate several periods and eras of the city, it´s main characters and events. Among these, it is possible to identify some more important monuments that witnessed or actually were the stage to those historical events.

The earliest traces of occupation are from the Romans, who built their settlement at the mouth of Bensafrim River. They can be seen in several ruins and also in the foundations of the bridgeo ver the river. In the Museum you will find more artifacts from this era.

The Moorish influence is strongly present in the city, who called it Zaqiya, due to the several centuries of occupation, and it can be found in the unique architecture, notably in the city´s fortress. This castle has the power to underline the changing cultures over the various periods of Lagos´ history. From this era, the christian church of St. John the Baptist stands out as a powerful counterpoint to the ruling forces of the time.

A short walk from the city center you will find the historic city walls. Built in the 15th Century, when it Lagos was the home of the Governors of Algarve, the city walls of the older part of Lagos can still be seen, a testament to this city´s enduring power. Likewise, the Ponta da Bandeira fort, by Batata beach, was built to protect the town.

Renaissance influences are not lacking in Lagos, and the wonderful churches that are located throughout the city offer proof of this. Churches such as the Medieval São João Hermitage, the 16th Century church of Santa Maria of Misericórdia, the baroque church of Santo António and the 17th Century church of São Sebastião, feature in their façades the distinct aestethic lines of that era.

Around town, the three most proeminent figures in Lagos´ history are celebrated in statues: Both King Henry the Navigator and King D. Sebastião as well as explorer Gil Eanes can be found in the most relevant parts of town. Close to the statue of King Henry is located the first market to auction slaves brought back from Africa. Though it´s diminute size and nakedness, it is also a window into another era. Today it is a modern art gallery.

Another way of getting an insight into what Lagos is all about is through gastronomy. Deeply influenced by the Mediterranean style, and benefiting from easy access to fresh fish, the gastronomic heritage is rich in grilled fish and stew recipes, shellfish, lush vegetable salads and local fruit. Recentely, the local vineyards have started to make an impact in the market, and several good local wines are now available, bearing a competitive quality and a distinctive character.