The small fort of Ponta da Bandeira, also known as the Fort of Our Lady of Penha de Franca (or just Lagos fortress) stands on Lagos's waterfront, where the Bensafrim River enters the sea and overlooking Praia da Batata beach. Lagos had been the administrative capital of The Algarve from 1577 and this fortress, built around 1690, would have been part of the important defensive structures guarding the strategically important harbour from raids by Corsairs, pirates and the Spanish.
The fort, used until the 20th century by the military, was restored in the 1960’s and today the interior is open to the public for a small entrance fee.
A drawbridge over a moat leads to the entrance of this squat little fort with its sturdy ramparts. Inside there is a small chapel dedicated to St Barbara, patron saint of armourers, artillerymen and miners, the walls of which are lined with traditional azulejo tiles. There is also a small museum and exhibition area which usually displays works by local artists and photographers.
From the fort terrace there are panoramic views of the town and seafront.