Lagos holds the dubious claim to fame of being home to Europe’s first slave market. It was built in 1444 and here slaves captured in Africa were brought to be sold and dispersed across the continent. An eye-witness to one of the first slave auctions held here in 1445 described it as a “terrible scene of misery and disorder”, and no doubt these walls saw very many such scenes. By 1455, 800 Africans were being transported to Portugal annually and many came through Lagos, although by 1470 the centre of the Portuguese trade in slaves had moved to Lisbon.

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