southernmost city of Portugal, lying on the Atlantic coast near Cape Santa Maria. Held by the Moors from early in the 8th century until 1249, when it was recaptured by Afonso III, the city was the last Moorish stronghold in Portugal. It was sacked by the English in 1596 and was almost totally destroyed in the earthquakes of 1722 and 1755. Notable remaining buildings include the Renaissance cathedral (restored in the 18th century); the Convent of Nossa Senhora da Anunciacao (1513) is in ruins. The former bishop's palace library was pillaged by the Earl of Essex in 1596 and formed the nucleus of the Bodleian Library in Oxford
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