The Boy King Square
11 October 2011 | Lagos
Finally got round to taking a picture of the statue in what is known as "The Boy King Square". Personally me and a lot of other folk think it looks more like a spaceman but there. There are often street performers and musicians here to entertain in the main tourist months of the year.
In 1572, the 18 year-old Boy King, Dom Sebastião, visited Lagos. He inspected the fortress at Sagres and the Franciscan monastery at Cape S. Vicente. Later in the same year, Dom Sebastião issued a new charter for Lagos, elevating the town to the status of a city. Soon it became the capital of the Kingdom of the Algarve, and the governor took up residence in the fortifications opposite the town hall.
Three years later the troops mustered between the Paços do Concelho and the governor’s palace where the king addressed them from one of the windows, before they left on the ill-fated expedition to invade Morocco. At Alcaçer-Quibir many died including Dom Sebastião himself, leaving no direct heir to the throne. Some stories suggest his body was brought back and buried in the Jeronimos Monastery. He became known as "the king who would return" as on the death of his uncle, the cardinal king Henrique, Portugal came under the control of Spain. The "boy king" became a national hero to maintain Portuguese identity.