Lagos’ New Museum is aboard a replica of a historical caravel from the time of the Portuguese Discoveries
Lagos’ latest tourist attraction was inaugurated with pomp and circumstance, live music and historical re-creations.
A once neglected replica caravel, “Boa Esperança” has been transformed into an explorable museum. The vessel has been restored and permanently anchored at the Bensafrim stream pier, now technically described as an “interpretation centre”.
Simply boarding the caravel is a major part of the experience, giving visitors a taste of what Portuguese explorers must have felt when embarking on their daring voyages.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Lagos Mayor Hugo Pereira, who celebrated the occasion as a “decisive step” for the caravel to become an “emblematic asset” in the promotion of “such an important historical period of humanity.”
“We have been able to move on from words to actions and transform what had become nothing more than a postcard – and one which gave a bad image of the Algarve due to the poor state of the caravel – into something that represents the history of Lagos and the Algarve,” said Pereira. “It will also help establish once and for all that the Algarve is not just a ‘sun and beach’ destination, but a destination which has a lot to offer in terms of culture and history” he added. “We are certain that it will provide another reason to visit our town and region, helping to consolidate the ‘Lagos dos Descobrimentos’ (Lagos of Discoveries) brand and make Lagos an even more gratifying place to visit for those come here for cultural reasons”.
The Algarve’s tourism boss João Fernandes was also in attendance and praised the joint efforts by the regional tourism board (RTA), Lagos council, Lagos Centre of Living Science and Fundación Nau Victoria to finally bring the project to life: “The caravel is not named Boa Esperança by chance,” he said, referring to the vessel being named after the Cape of Good Hope, also known as the ‘Cape of Torments’ due to the many lives lost as navigators tried to bend it. We are hoping to turn the caravel into a dynamising hub of cultural tourism, which values our region’s cultural heritage and preserves the cultural memory of Lagos and the Algarve,” the tourism chief added.