Portuguese Map of West Africa
Original Author: Lázaro Luís; Alvesgaspar, photographer
Created: 1563 original; March 2008 photograph
Medium: Colored map

Portuguese Map of West Africa

A 1563 map of West Africa by the Portuguese cartographer Lázaro Luís includes a depiction of São Jorge da Mina (Saint George of the Mine) Castle in present-day Ghana. The lion of Saint George, a symbol of power in Portugal, holds the Portuguese flag on a hilltop in front of the castle. Built by the Portuguese in 1482, the structure, now known as Elmina Castle, was the first European trading post on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, and became an important center of the transatlantic slave trade. The cartographer included a scene of traders with camels traversing the interior of Africa. This map is part of the collections at the Academia das Ciências in Lisbon.