LAGOS, principal port city of Algarve province, S. Portugal. During the period when Algarve was a separate kingdom – founded in 1253 by King Afonso III – and into the 1400s, the Jewish inhabitants were organized into an official community (kehillah) which was empowered to regulate and represent them in every way. The kehillah paid an annual tax to the crown which covered the entire Jewish population. Lagos was the most important Jewish center in the western half of Algarve. From there Henry the Navigator (1394–1460) launched his African expeditions, and a number of Lagos Jews were among his geographers and navigators. After the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal, Lagos remained a center for *Conversos. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. In nearby Loulé, the principal Jewish center in eastern Algarve, Jews were restricted to a quarter known as the Val de Judeo.
M. Kayserling, Geschichte der Juden in Portugal (1867), 7, 183; J. Mendes dos Remedios, Os Judeus em Portugal (1895), chs. 8–9. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Iria, in: Memórias da Academia das Ciencias de Lisboa, 25 (1986), 293–438.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.