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(lä`go͝osh), city (1991 pop. 12,956), Faro dist., S Portugal, in Algarve, on the Atlantic Ocean. The excellent harbor shelters much coastal trade and an important sardine and tuna fishing fleet. Sancho I with the help of bands of Crusaders captured (1189) the city from the Moors; in 1191 it was recaptured by the Moors but was soon (c.1250) restored to the Portuguese. Lagos was a starting port for Portuguese navigators in the time of Prince Henry the NavigatorHenry the Navigator,
1394–1460, prince of Portugal, patron of exploration. Because he fought with extraordinary valor in the Portuguese conquest of Ceuta (1415), he was created duke of Viseu by his father, John I, king of Portugal.
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, who was first buried at Lagos. The disastrous expedition of King Sebastian set out from there. The city was severely damaged in the 1755 earthquake. Off Lagos, in 1759, the British under Admiral Boscawen defeated the French.


(lā`gŏs, lä`gôs), city (1991 est. pop. 1,274,000), SW Nigeria, on the Gulf of Guinea. It comprises the island of Lagos and three former neighboring islands (now connected by landfill to the mainland or Lagos). Lagos is Nigeria's largest city, its administrative and economic center, and its chief port. Industries include railroad repair, motor vehicle assembly, food processing, and the manufacture of metal products, textiles, beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, soap, and furniture. Lagos also is the main center of Nigeria's motion-picture industry. The city is a road and rail terminus and has an international airport. Among its educational and cultural institutions are Moshood Abiola Univ. (formerly the Univ. of Lagos; 1962), Yaba College of Technology (1947), and the National Museum; the city also has a large, multiuse sports stadium.

An old Yoruba town, Lagos, beginning in the 15th cent., grew as a trade center and seaport. From the 1820s until it became a British colony, Lagos was a notorious center of the slave trade. Britain annexed the city in 1861, both to tap the trade in palm products and other goods with the interior and to suppress the slave trade. In 1906, Lagos was joined with the British protectorate of Southern Nigeria, and, in 1914, when Southern and Northern Nigeria were amalgamated, it became part of the small coastal Colony of Nigeria. In 1954 most of the colony was merged with the rest of Nigeria, but Lagos was made a separate federal territory. From the late 19th cent. to independence in 1960, Lagos was the center of the Nigerian nationalist movement. Lagos was the capital of Nigeria from independence until 1991, when the capital was moved to AbujaAbuja
, city and federal capital territory (2006 provisional pop. 1,405,201), central Nigeria. Plans to move the capital from Lagos were approved in 1976, and a 3,000-sq mi (7,770-sq km) capital territory was created near the old town of Abuja (renamed Suleja).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a state in Nigeria, situated on islands and on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. Area, 3,600 sq km. Population, 1.4 million (1963 census). The administrative center is the city of Lagos.

Lagos is situated in a low-lying plain and has an equatorial climate with average monthly temperatures from 25° to 28°C and with an annual precipitation of more than 1,800 mm. The vegetation includes mangrove undergrowth and high tropical forests with valuable timber trees, such as palms, abura, khaya (or African mahogany), and sapele. Lagos is one of the most economically developed states of Nigeria, with enterprises of the food, textile, metalworking, cement, and woodworking industries. The main branch of agriculture is cacao cultivation. Other economic activities are the gathering of hevea juice and fruits of wild trees, and fishing. The city of Lagos, the major economic center of the state, accounts for 80 percent of the population and for almost all industry.



the capital and main political, economic, and cultural center of Nigeria. It is situated on islands and on the coast of the Bight of Benin, which is part of the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is equatorial; the average temperature of the coldest month (August) is 25°C, and of the warmest month (March), 28°C. Annual precipitation exceeds 1,800 mm. Population, about 1 million (1972, estimate).

In 1967, Lagos and part of the adjoining territory of the former province of Western Nigeria formed a separate state, with Lagos as the administrative center. A government-appointed military governor heads the state and military administration of Lagos. The military administration exercises the functions of city government, including the management of housing and community services, urban improvements, and sanitation supervision. There are no organs of urban self-government.

Lagos was given its name by the Portuguese, who landed on the coast in the late 15th century and later made Lagos a center of slave trade. At the time of British colonial rule Lagos was an important center of the liberation struggle. In October 1960 it became the capital of the independent state of Nigeria.

Lagos is a major seaport (the outer harbor of Apapa has an annual freight turnover of about 4 million tons) and the terminal point of the Lagos-Kano railroad. It has an international airport at Ikeja. Local industries include vegetable-oil, brewing, and flour-milling enterprises; cacao processing; small plants producing textiles, cement, lubricating oil, and radio apparatus; automobile assembly and automobile repair shops; railroad shops; and shipbuilding and ship-repair yards. It is also a commercial center.

The city center is located on Lagos Island; its eastern part, the business section, with a racecourse from which the main streets radiate, is built up with multistory administrative and office buildings; the western part of the island, which is the Old Town, has narrow and winding streets and local-type structures. Well-landscaped residential quarters with villas and town houses are found on Ikoyi and Victoria Islands. The mainland part of the city, the port and industrial region of Apapa, has residential sections for workers and office employees, such as Ebute-Metta, Yaba, and Suru-Lere. In Lagos are located the University of Lagos, the National Museum, and the National Library. Amateur theater groups, which sprang up in the early 1970’s, include the Nigerian Theater and the Good Neighbor Actors.


Mabogunje, A. “Lagos—Nigeria’s Melting-Pot.” Nigeria Magazine, 1961, no. 69.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. the former capital and chief port of Nigeria, on the Bight of Benin: first settled in the sixteenth century; a slave market until the nineteenth century; ceded to Britain (1861); university (1962). Pop.: 11 135 000 (2005 est.)
2. a state of SW Nigeria. Capital: Ikeja. Pop.: 6 357 253 (1995 est.). Area: 3345 sq. km (1292 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005