A presentation by Peter Kingdon Booker
I have been conscious for some time that my local history studies have been biassed towards the Sotavento (the leeward), and I thought that I should look in more detail at the Barlavento (the windward). The Portuguese barlaventear means to tack to the windward, and turning into theweather, I caught sight of Lagos, one of the oldest towns in the Algarve. Lagos and its surrounding area is famous for its connection with Henry the Navigator and as a centre for the launching of the voyages leading to the Portuguese discoveries. But does its history extend further? What made remote Lagos important in the first place? Why was it fortified? We must look towards the sea for the answer. Lagos has in common with Tavira the fact that its port offered easy access to the North African coast; and in the age of sail the massive bay in which it stands was extremely important as a haven from Atlantic storms. We find that naval engagements have taken place off Meia Praia and Cape St Vincent as long as sail was
the means for naval locomotion. There are even rumours that Lagos was at one time the capital of the Algarve. Join Peter Booker for a more detailed study of Tavira´s twin town in the Barlavento.