1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lagos (Portugal)

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LAGOS, a seaport of southern Portugal, in the district of Faro (formerly the province of Algarve); on the Atlantic Ocean, and on the estuary of the small river Lagos, here spanned by a fine stone bridge. Pop. (1900) 8291. The city is defended by fortifications erected in the 17th century. It is supplied with water by an aqueduct 800 yds. long. The harbour is deep, capacious, and completely sheltered on the north and west; it is frequently visited by the British Channel fleet. Vines and figs are extensively cultivated in the neighbourhood, and Lagos is the centre of important sardine and tunny fisheries. Its trade is chiefly carried on by small coasting vessels, as there is no railway. Lagos is on or near the site of the Roman Lacobriga. Since the 15th century it has held the formal rank and title of city. Cape St Vincent, the ancient Promontorium Sacrum, and the south-western extremity of the kingdom, is 22 m. W. It is famous for its connexion with Prince Henry (q.v.), the Navigator, who here founded the town of Sagres in 1421; and for several British naval victories, the most celebrated of which was won in 1797 by Admiral Jervis (afterwards Earl St Vincent) over a larger Spanish squadron. In 1759 Admiral Boscawen defeated a French fleet off Lagos. The great earthquake of 1755 destroyed a large part of the city.