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Sagres - Algarve Elite Property

Algarve  |  West Algarve

Sagres

The windswept headland falling steeply to the sea, a kind of world's end at the southwest extremity of mainland Europe, has a stirring historical past. It was here, facing the Atlantic Ocean, the great unknown, that Prince Henry the Navigator retired in the 15C to found the famous Sagres School of Navigation which would prepare the way for the great discoveries.
In 1415 Prince Henry the Navigator gathered around him the most famous Arabic astronomers, cartographers from Majorca and mariners of the day. Theories were tested and put to practical use in expeditions which set out on loger and longer voyages. Navigation instruments of those days, like the sextant, were improved and he introduced navigation by the stars. Cartography also improved what resulted in the Portuguese supremacy in the cartographic field.

The small town is located close to the most southerly western point of Europe, the Cape St. Vincent, named after the martyr Saint Vincent whose relics have been transported from the Holy Land to the cape according to the legend by ravens.

Sagres, located on the south side of the cape is naturally protected from the rough sea and the western winds. It was here that Prince Henry the Navigator founded his famous school devoted to navigation and exploration. He devoted his time and money to build vessels known as "Caravela". From here Diego da Silva discovered the Azores in 1427 and Gil Eanes from Lagos sailed to the Cape Bojador at the west side of Africa. In 1488 Bartolomeu Dias succeeded to round the Cape of Good Hope on board of a caravel.

The impressive lighthouse providing the guiding beam for the ships passing the cape can be visited. On the surrounding cliffs, beaten by the strength of the vast Atlantic, local fishermen risk their lives wedged in dramatic perches with the thundering sea below.

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