Algarve was the last province to join the Kingdom of Portugal (in the mid 12th century under King Afonso III) after the successful military campaigns against the Moorish occupation of the region. By the 15th century, this southern most area of Portugal, played an important role in the important colonial power of the country. Prince Henry, the Navigator, moved to Lagos and conducted several maritime expeditions departing from there. Henry the Navigator, was the first Governor of the Algarve in 1418 and established a maritime school in Sagres. Europe’s most southwesterly point. In this school the Portuguese caravel was redesigned to allow for long ocean journeys.
Gil Eanes set sail from Algarve, in 1434 to become the first navigator to cross Cape Bojador in Western Africa (known until then as Cape of Storms.) With the new increased trade due to these expeditions, Lagos, became known and wealthy and it became the capital of Algarve by 1577. Today the capital of Algarve is Faro.
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