Antigo Mercado de Escravos (Old Slave Market), Lagos

Antigo Mercado de Escravos (Old Slave Market), Lagos (must see)

Portugal's maritime ascendency had a dark side; slaves. Prince Infante D. Henrique, who was not actually a seafarer, earned the name "Henry the Navigator" by dispatching expeditions of discovery over the sea to Africa and beyond. The first cargo of slaves was delivered in 1441 by a Captain Antonio Goncalves.

Antonio discovered that Africa had a booming slave trade and he purchased 14 people. The demand for slaves grew. Owning slaves apparently gave one a certain social panache. Henry was entitled to one fifth of the value of slaves brought back. Captain Lancarote de Freitas brought 235 slaves in 1444. Henry took 47. Slavery became big business.

The present slave market was constructed in 1691 on the site of an old 14th century slave market. In 1512 King Manuel I had decreed that imported slaves could only be landed in Lisbon. The building is constructed in the Mannerist style and it has two floors. The ground floor is enclosed by stone arches and an iron fence.

In 2014 the city council installed a museum in the market. The building became a part of the UNESCO Slave Route program. In December 2018 it was called the "International Centre for Living Memory of Human Dignity" by Portugal's International Observatory of Human Rights.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lagos. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Antigo Mercado de Escravos (Old Slave Market) on Map

Sight Name: Antigo Mercado de Escravos (Old Slave Market)
Sight Location: Lagos, Portugal (See walking tours in Lagos)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lagos, Portugal

Create Your Own Walk in Lagos

Create Your Own Walk in Lagos

Creating your own self-guided walk in Lagos is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Lagos Coastline Walk

Lagos Coastline Walk

Characterful and charming as it is, the historic city of Lagos on the Algarve coast of Southern Portugal has not succumbed to mass tourism, fortunately, retaining much of its distinctive centuries-old heritage. Lagos’s extensive history is reflected in the varied attractions found throughout the city, such as the ancient Moorish city walls, 17th-century Forte da Ponta da Bandeira and cobbled...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Lagos Introduction Walking Tour

Lagos Introduction Walking Tour

Lagos, from captive to captivating.

The story of Lagos is over 2,000 years old. It was a Celtic settlement before the Punic Wars of Rome and Carthage. During the Second Punic War the people of Lagos sided with Hannibal and the Carthaginians. That didn't work out so well. The Romans came, then the Visigoths from Toledo, followed by the Byzantines. In the 8th century the Moors arrived.

...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles