Sagres or the Promontorium Sacrum. This location evokes the memory of the Infante D. Henrique and the Portuguese discoveries.
The southwesternmost point in the European continent, was already referred to in antiquity as the Promontorium Sacrum, encompassing the area from the Ponta da Piedade to the Cape of São Vicente and from the cape to the beach of Arrifana. A buttressed fortress was built in the 15th century by the Infante D. Henrique, who died here in 1460. The presence of this fortress endowed Sagres with a unique role in the history of Portugal, integrating it within the imaginary universe of the Portuguese discoveries and conferring international recognition to the site.
In addition to the spectacular panorama over the sea and the Cape of São Vicente it is still possible to recognize constructions such as the cistern tower, a windbreak wall, the former dwellings and a barracks and the old parish church of Nossa Senhora da Graça.One of the main attractions for visitors is the huge compass-rose marked on the ground, measuring 43 metres in diameter. Due to its strategic position on the Portuguese coast, the site has a long history, including the attack by the corsair, Francis Drake in 1587, when the Kingdom of Portugal was under the dominion of King Filipe III of Spain.
During the 1990s, the site was subject to an architectural intervention, by the Oporto-based architect, João Carreira, resulting in the creation of a Temporary Exhibitions area, Multimedia Centre, shops and cafetaria.