On the Sacrum promontory, the sailors made promises before setting off on their long voyages. Sagres had been a place of worship since the Neolithic and is, even today, a crossroads on the sea routes between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Fortress stands strategically on the Sagres promontory, where it could control shipping, and its founding in the 15th century is associated with the Infante D. Henrique. The primitive wall built by the prince and destroyed by the 1755 earthquake was rebuilt in 1793. Still visible inside are the enigmatic compass rose on the ground, the wind-breaking false battlement wall and the Chapel of Senhora da Graça (Lady of Grace), built on the ruins of the Church of Santa Maria (St Mary) by the Infante D. Henrique, the Navigator.
These witnesses to the Discoveries reinforce the aura of mystery and the mythical quality of all the history and legends about the maritime adventure, keeping the heroic feats of the navigators alive to this day.
From here, you can look out over Cape St Vincent, a reference point on nautical charts due to the lighthouse originally run by monks, who shone a light from the top of their convent tower to keep ships safe.
This vast heritage is further enhanced by the impressive natural beauty of the coast and the wild cliffs, shaped by sea and wind. The Sagres promontory is part of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Nature Park. Large numbers of birds nest here, or rest during migration, to the great delight of birdwatchers.
Further enhancing the magic of a visit to the mythical promontory, Sagres Fortress is regularly used as a venue for plays, poetry recitals, classical and popular music concerts and various other performing arts shows.
The Algarve Regional Culture Directorate stages cultural events at the region’s historical sites, combining immovable heritage with the intangible heritage of artistic creation.
The Algarve of the Discoveries awaits you.