History of the Algarve

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 regions architecture (lattice chimneys and tiles, for example) and in many places' names beginning with 'Al'.
The Algarve 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!

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