Algarve’s History

2020.06.13

 

All around the Algarve region, you will find the chance to discover some of the charms and secrets of Portugal's history, which time has not yet managed to erase.

Electing the Algarve to live will provide you an opportunity for travelling in time, finding numerous testimonies to the different peoples and cultures that have come together throughout the history of this region.

 

Lets learn a little about the Algarve’s history

The first people in the Algarve were traders and Estate stewards that established their colonies on the coasts. Good examples were the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians that existed for a long time solely from the resources of the coast.

One of the most important facts in the Algarve's history: the five centuries of Arab occupation, visible in the region's architecture (lattice chimneys and tiles) and in many places' names beginning with 'Al'.

The 'Al'garve was once part of the Roman province of Lusitânia, later becoming part of the Visigoths' jurisdiction. The Roman presence left tracks in Milreu, Faro, Boca do Rio and Vilamoura.

In 711, Tarik ibn Zyad passed the Estreito de Gibraltar and defeated the king of the Visigoths. In 712 Abd Al-Aziz Ben Mussa conquered the "Gharb Al Andaluz". Andaluz meant Vandal's Land and Al-Gharb, The West.

After many battles, the Algarve was reclaimed by the Christians. Since 1249, and until the Republic proclamation, the Portuguese monarchs were entitled "King of Portugal and of the Algarves".

Also important in the story of the Algarve were the Age of the Discoveries and the 1755 earthquake. The Algarve became a lot more important during the Discoveries, being used as one of the main departure ports. The “algarvios” (people from the Algarve) were an important part of the maritime adventures and of the African territory occupation. The 1755 earthquake, which had its epicentre very close to Lagos, destroyed much of the Algarve. The tremors of destruction were felt everywhere and many important monuments were lost. But not even this would stop the “algarvios”, who despite all the adversities rebuilt the Algarve and made it what it is today: a wonderful resort by the sea!

Many marks of this remote past, which is still very much present in the soul of the Algarve's inhabitants, are to be found scattered throughout all region.

 

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