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The south of Portugal and the area around Lagos was some of the last of the lands reconquered from Moorish occupation. The area was dominated by the Moors for several centuries until the Portuguese retook the lands at the end of the 13th century. As a result the Moorish influences abound in the unique architecture of Lagos and southern Portugal.
The city walls of Lagos date back to the early Middle Ages and were built following the decline of influence from the Eastern Roman Empire or the subsequent Byzantine Empire. Remains of the 5th century walls can still be found in Lagos.
The Moorish era can be seen in the city’s fortress that served as the residence of the Captain Generals of Algarve. This castle has been modified several times, and even with the various improvements it evokes the changing cultures of the various periods of Lagos’ history.Likewise, the Renaissance influences can be seen in the numerous magnificent churches that are located throughout the city. Among these are the Medieval São João Hermitage, the 16th century Santa Maria of Misericórida, the Baroque Santo António, the 17th century São Sebastião.