Portugal

Useful informations
LocationExtremity of Southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula
NeighborhoodSpain, Atlantic Ocean
Area92.212 km2
Density115 persons/km2
CapitalLisbon
CurrencyEuro (EUR)

If the metropolitan area is included, then the total population of Lisbon would be of 2,8 million people. Portugal’s national anthem is called “A Portuguesa” which translates to … “The Portuguese”, and was composed by Alfredo Keil and written by Henrique Lopes de Mendonça. The country is organized as a unitary semi-presidential republic and has a total population of 10.341.330 persons. Other important Portuguese citizens living abroad can be found in countries like: Brazil (some 5.000.000), United States of America (1.471.549), Venezuela (1.300.000), France (1.243.419) or Canada (429.850). The official currency in Portugal is the Euro (EUR). The Portuguese National Day is celebrated on 10 June.

Portugal is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and high living standards. It is the 5th most peaceful country in the world, maintaining a unitary semi-presidential republican form of government. It has the 18th highest Social Progress in the world, putting it ahead of other Western European countries like France, Spain and Italy. A founding member of NATO and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is also a member of numerous other international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, and OECD. Portugal is also known for having decriminalized the usage of all common drugs in 2001, the first country in the world to do so. However, the sale and distribution of these drugs is still illegal in Portugal.

 

Roman Lusitania and Gallaecia – The first Roman invasion of the Iberian Peninsula took place in 218 BC. In two hundred years, the entire peninsula was annexed to the dominion of Rome. The Carthaginians, the main opponents of Rome, were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula after the Second Punic War.

The Roman conquest of Portugal was completed after several decades. It began from the southern side, where the Romans found more malleable populations: the Conii. The Romans suffered a severe defeat in 194 BC, where a rebellion exploded in the north.

The Germanic Kingdoms – At the beginning of the 5th century AD, some Germanic tribes, including the Suevi, the Vandals and Alans, invaded the Iberian Peninsula. Only the kingdom of Suebi survived the arrival of the Visigoths, who conquered the entire Iberian Peninsula and expelled the Vandals and Alans. Later, towards the end of the 6th century, even the Suebi were integrated into the Visigoth kingdom.

The Arab domination and the Reconquista – In 711, the Andalusian Muslims (mainly Berber, but also Arabs), coming from North Africa began the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. In a few years, they managed to destroy the Visigoth kingdom. Many Visigoth nobles were expelled from their lands and took refuge in Asturias, where they sought to regain the lost territories. This war is known, both in Spain and in Portugal as the “Reconquista”.

Affirmation of Portugal – In 1095, Portugal was completely separated from the kingdom of Galicia. Its territories consisted mainly of mountains, moorlands and forest, bordered on the north by the Minho river, and on the south by the Mondego river.

At the end of the 11th century, Henry of Burgundy became count of Portugal. Henry declared Portugal’s independence, while there was a war between the kingdom of León and the kingdom of Castile. Henry died without achieving any of his goals. His son, Alfonso Henriques “the Conqueror” took control of the country. The city of Braga, an unofficial center of the catholicity of the Iberian Peninsula had to compete with other regions. The nobles of the city of Coimbra and Porto, along with the clergy from Braga demanded the independence of the country.

The foundation of the first well-organized Portuguese state has its origins on 24 June 1128, with the Battle of São Mamede where Alfonso declared himself Prince of Portugal and in 1139 became the first king of Portugal. In 1143, following the assistance of a representative of the Holy See at the Conference of Zamora, Portugal’s independence was officially recognized, with the Prince being entitled as “Dux Portucalensis”. In 1179, King Afonso I was recognized as king by the Pope. After the battle of São Mamede, the first capital of Portugal was Guimarães. Later, Coimbra became the official capital.

The great discoveries era and the Portuguese Empire – Between the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal was a great power, just like England, France and Spain in terms of economic, cultural and political force, which helped at the development of a significant non-European expansion policy, thanks to its thalassocracy power.

In 1418, two captains of Prince Henry, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Teixeira, arrived on an island which they called Porto Santo. In 1419, Zarco landed on the island of Madeira. Between 1427 and 1431, most of the Azores islands had already been discovered. In 1434, Gil Eanes passed by the Cape Bojador, in the south of Morocco. This trip marked the beginning of the Portuguese explorations in Africa. Prior to this venture, the European knowledge on northwest Africa were scarce. The people who previously had tried to venture into those places were dispersed. This contributed to the birth of legends about the existence of sea monsters. However, there were still such setbacks when in 1436, the Pope recognized the possession of the Canary Islands to the Castilians, whereas previously they had been accorded to the Portuguese. In 1438, on an expedition to Tangier, the Portuguese suffered a defeat.

In 1484, Portugal rejected the idea of Christopher Columbus to reach India, because this proposal seemed unreasonable. After the first voyage of Columbus in 1494, Castile and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, by which, along the 370 leagues meridian, on about 1.700 km, from Cape Verde, the world was divided between the two Iberian powers: the east belonged to the Portuguese, while the west belonged to the Castilians.

In 1500, Pedro Alvarez Cabral discovered the coast of Brazil. Joâo da Nova discovered the island of Ascension in 1501 and the island of Santa Helena in 1502. In 1506, Tristão da Cunha sighted the archipelago that still takes its name. Meanwhile, in East Africa, some Islamic states were conquered by the Portuguese or became their allies.

At the end of the 15th century, Portugal expelled some local Jews, along with those refugees who came from Castile and from Aragon after 1492. Moreover, many Jews were forced to convert to Christianity, but many practiced their religion in secret. In 1506, 3.000 “new Christians” were massacred in Lisbon. The two million Portuguese ruled over a vast empire with several million inhabitants in America, Africa and Asia. After 1514, the Portuguese reached China and Japan. In the Indian Ocean, one of Cabral’s ships discovered Madagascar, which was partly explored by Tristão da Cunha. In 1507, Mauritius was discovered. In 1506, Socotra was conquered. Meanwhile, Lourenço de Almeida reached Ceylon.

The 1580 Crisis, the Iberian Union and the fall of the Empire – In 1578 the young King Sebastiano died in battle without leaving any heirs (his body was not found), causing a dynastic crisis.

Restoration war and the end of the Iberian Union – With the first two Castilian kings, life in Portugal was quite quiet. In fact, they maintained the autonomy status of Portugal and gave excellent positions to the Portuguese nobles in the Castilian court. It was even proposed to move the capital to Lisbon. Philip IV of Spain tried to do in Portugal, the same thing as he did in Catalonia, turning it into a Castilian province, so the Portuguese nobles lost their positions of privilege.

The 18th century – At the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, the mining business began in Brazil, and many Portuguese emigrated there. In 1709, John V prohibited emigration, because Portugal was losing a large amount of its population. Brazil was elevated to the dignity of “viceroyalty”.

The 19th century crisis – In 1807, Portugal refused to join the continental blockade, the trade embargo system established by Napoleon Bonaparte against the United Kingdom. So the French invaded Portugal and on 8 December 1807, Lisbon capitulated. After the British intervention in the Iberian Peninsula, the Portuguese independence was restored. The last French troops were expelled in 1812. During this period, Portugal lost, in favour of Spain, the city of Olivenza. Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Portugal from 1808 to 1821. In 1820, in Porto and Lisbon there was a constitutionalist insurrection. Shortly after, Lisbon regained its status as capital of Portugal, while Brazil became independent.

The Portuguese Republic – On 5 October 1910, following a coup, King Manuel II was deposed and the republic was established. The Revolution struck first the Catholic Church, because the churches were looted and the convents were attacked. In addition, there were also targeted religious sites. The new government was anxious to inaugurate a drastic limitation reform of the clerical power in politics. On 10 October, the new republican government decreed that all convents, all the monasteries and all religious institutions were suppressed: all religious groups were expelled from the republic and their goods were confiscated. The Jesuits were forced to give up the Portuguese citizenship. Then it followed, in a rapid succession, a series of progressive laws: On 3 November, divorce was legalized. Subsequently, the government passed laws that legitimated children born out of wedlock, authorized cremation, secularized the cemeteries, suppressed religious instruction in school and prohibited the wear of the cassock.

In 1911, it was approved a republican constitution, which had inaugurated the new parliamentary system with reduced presidential powers and two parliamentary chambers. The republican regime provoked important fractures in the Portuguese society, especially in the rural population, in the trade unions and in the Church.

The Carnation Revolution of 1974, a left military coup state, established the “Third Republic”. Major democratic reforms were planned. In 1975, Portugal guaranteed the independence of its African territories. More than one million African-Portuguese left these colonies. In the same year, Indonesia conquered East Timor before it was granted independence. Meanwhile, the former African colonies, especially Angola and Mozambique were the subject of civil wars, which lasted nearly thirty years. In 1999, thanks to the agreements with the People’s Republic of China from 1986, Macao returned into Chinese sovereignty. In 2002, under Portuguese pressures, East Timor gained its independence. With the events of 1975-1976, the Portuguese Empire came to a definitive end, which had a life of more than five centuries.

In 1986, Portugal joined the European Economic Community, abandoning at the same time the EFTA, and in 1999, it became a member of the Eurozone. The former Portuguese Empire ended de facto in 1999 with the transfer of Macao to China and de jure in 2002 with the independence of East Timor. On 5 July 2004, José Manuel Barroso, then Prime Minister of Portugal, was nominated as President of the European Commission, the most powerful office in the European Union. On 1 December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, after it had been signed by the European Union member states on 13 December 2007 inside the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and improving the coherence of its action.

 

Landforms

The coasts of Portugal are represented by straight sandy sections and high, rocky stretches. Often there are encountered deep indentations interrupted by rocky headlands.

Portugal is occupied for a little bit more than half of its territory by plains (53%), hills occupy 26% of the country, while the mountainous regions occupy only 21% of the country. The maximum height of continental Portugal is reached at the 1.993 meters peak of Mount Malhão da Estrela which culminates with the Serra da Estrela in the northern half of the country, which is the most mountainous region of the country.

Portugal is a tri-continental state. Firstly, the country is European due to its continental positioning, but all the Madeira archipelago geographically belongs to Africa, while the islands of Flores and Corvo in the Azores, although they are geographically closer to Europe than to the Americas, they are entirely located on the plate of the American continent. Highly seismic, Portugal was hit several times by earthquakes, the most famous earthquake being the one of 1755, which destroyed Lisbon almost completely.

Portugal’s major rivers are: Tejo (Tagus), Douro, Guadiana, Minho (Miño), Mondego, Zêzere, Sado, Vouga, Mira, Tâmega, Cávado, Coa, Limia, Sabor, Paiva and Chança. All lakes of Portugal are artificial because they are used to produce electricity and to irrigate the fields. The main ones are: Pico, Estrela, Larouco, Peneda, Geres, Marão and Caramulo.

Climate

The climate of Portugal is Mediterranean according to the classification of Köppen. According to this classification, the climate is mainly characterized by hot, dry summers and winters which are more or less cold. During winter, the most “cold” months are January and February, but the temperatures remain mild. Thus, yet located at 700 meters above sea level, the city of Bragança in the northeast of the country has an average of 4,5°C in January, a value comparable to the lower Rhone Valley. This does not exclude periodically cold waves as in all Mediterranean regions. In summer, the hottest and driest months are July and August, with average temperatures of above 20°C throughout most of July, reaching peaks of over 45°C in some areas. The highest record temperature was 47,4°C in Amareleja.

Despite the size of the territory being rather limited, Portugal has strong climatic differences. In the north the climate is oceanic, mild and rainy during the autumn season. To the south, the climate, influenced by the warm air masses coming from Africa, is typically Mediterranean and therefore very dry. The inner lands, towards the border with Spain are less affected by the oceanic influence and their climate is more or less continental. The annual average rainfall in the mainland varies from just over 3.200 mm in the northern mountains to less than 300 mm in the area of the the Massueime River, near Côa, along the Douro river. Mount Pico is recognized as receiving the largest annual rainfall, of over 6.250 mm per year in Portugal, according to Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera.

Flora

The flora and fauna of Portugal, as its climate, are influenced by the proximity of the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Thus, the Portuguese territory is divided into two distinct areas in terms of climate and vegetation: the mountainous North, with specific flora temperate zones, and the southern Mediterranean flora.

Portugal is a land of steppes and bushes. A lot of different kinds of trees grow here: eucalyptus, pine, elm, walnut and oak trees, as well as fruit trees: lemon, orange, almond, fig. Grape vines are also cultivated in this area. Among the specific plants in Portugal, there are olive groves and cork oaks, which grow particularly in the province of Algarve. Portugal also boasts plants like orchids in Algarve, hibiscus, magnolias and aloe. From May to September, on the cork plantations the cork oak trees are peeled.

Although Portugal has a wealth of natural beauty, on its territory there is only one National Park (Parque Nacional Lebeda-Geres). Other 10 areas have the status of natural parks (parques naturais). In addition, there are eight nature reserves (reserva naturais), three protected areas (Areas of paisagem Protegida) and other places where nature enjoys protection. In all, nature is protected on 6,5% of the Portuguese territory

Fauna

The most widespread animals on the Portuguese territory are the hare, house rabbit and foxes. In the north, deer, wild boars, otters and ferrets can be seen. Rarely, there also can be found the European lynx or wolves, who have their refuge in the nature reserve of Serra da Malcata. Also in Portugal, many species of birds live. The country is situated on the migration route between northern Europe and Africa. The ocean waters are filled with fish such as sardines, code or tuna, that make very popular dishes.

There are many endemic insect species, most only found in certain parts of Portugal, while other species are more widespread like the stag beetle and the cicada. The Macaronesian islands (Azores and Madeira) have many endemic species like birds, reptiles, bats, insects, snails and slugs, that evolved independently from other regions of Portugal. In Madeira, for example, it is possible to observe more than 250 species of land gastropods.

 

Language

The official language of Portugal is Portuguese, with more than 260 million people who speak it worldwide in 2008. It is the 6th most spoken language in the world and the 3rd most spoken European language in the world. Portuguese is the official language in Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor, but it is also spoken in the ancient Portuguese regions of India (Goa, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli) and in certain contested territories (as Olivença in Spain) or neighbouring Portuguese-speaking countries (such as Uruguay with Brazil).

Portugal appears to be homogeneous linguistically, because 96% of the inhabitants are Portuguese natives, but there are also several dialects, including the Azores, the Algarvio, the Alentejano, the Minhoto the Beirão, the Madeiran, the dialect of the Beira Alta and Mondego, the dialect of Castelo Branco and Portalegre and finally the dialect of Tras-os-Montes.

Religion

The church and state are formally separated since the first Portuguese Republic (1910-1926), but the separation between the two entities was clearly written in the Portuguese Constitution of 1976. Portugal is therefore a secular state. Apart from the constitution, the two most important documents relating to religious freedom are the Concordat of 18 May 2004 (succeeding those of 1940 and 1886) between Portugal and the Holy See and “The religious freedom Act” of 2001.

The majority of the Portuguese (about 84,5%) belong to the Catholic confession. Portugal is divided into twenty dioceses grouped in three provinces: Braga, Lisbon and Évora. About half of marriages in Portugal are Catholic marriages. Divorce is authorized by the Portuguese Civil Code, by mutual consent or upon request from a court by the spouses.

Religions Of Portugal
Religions Of Portugal

In Portugal, there are also practiced other religions than Christianity. There is currently a community of 100.000 Evangelists, while the Jehovah’s Witnesses have about 50.000 faithful. Moreover, in 2009, about 100.000 people attended to the annual observance of the Memorial of Christ’s death. Anglicans are organized in the Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church, founded in 1880.

Islam is also present in Portugal. According to Instituto Nacional de Estatística, in 1991, there was a community of 9.134 Muslims in the country. The majority of this population came from the ancient ultramarine regions, such as Morocco, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. The main mosque of the country is the Central Mosque of Lisbon. At Mértola, there was still a mosque, but it was converted into a Catholic church after the Reconquista.

World Heritage

On UNESCO’s list there can be found 14 cultural objectives and 1 natural objective in Portugal:

Cultural Objectives:

  • Alto Douro Wine Region
  • Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores
  • Convent of Christ in Tomar
  • Cultural Landscape of Sintra
  • Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications
  • Historic Centre of Évora
  • Historic Centre of Guimarães
  • Historic Centre of Oporto (Porto)
  • Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture
  • Monastery of Alcobaça
  • Monastery of Batalha
  • Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon
  • Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde
  • University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia

Natural Objective:

  • Laurisilva of Madeira

The Portuguese are of Celtic and Iberian origin, Celtiberians and mostly, they are of Lusitano origin. The Gallaeci origins are Celtic and Germanic. Other important influences were those of the Romans (the Portuguese language is derived from Latin), the Visigoths and the Swabians. All of these tribes populated what is now Portugal. In small influence, there can be also included the Greeks and Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, Vandals (Silingi and Hasdingi), the Alans (all of them expelled or partially absorbed by the Visigoths) and the Berbers of North Africa. Portugal has a population of more than 10.500.000 inhabitants according to the census of 2011, with a mortality rate that since 2007 exceeds the birth rate. Immigration only partially balances the negative trend of the recent years.

 

Demographics

The Portuguese are of Celtic and Iberian origin, Celtiberians and mostly, they are of Lusitano origin. The Gallaeci origins are Celtic and Germanic. Other important influences were those of the Romans (the Portuguese language is derived from Latin), the Visigoths and the Swabians. All of these tribes populated what is now Portugal. In small influence, there can be also included the Greeks and Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, Vandals (Silingi and Hasdingi), the Alans (all of them expelled or partially absorbed by the Visigoths) and the Berbers of North Africa. Portugal has a population of more than 10.500.000 inhabitants according to the census of 2011, with a mortality rate that since 2007 exceeds the birth rate. Immigration only partially balances the negative trend of the recent years.

After the discovery of the Americas in the late 15th century, Portugal dominated the Atlantic routes for more than a century, forming in a few decades a vast empire with territories in Africa, Asia and Latin America (there were many Portuguese colonies, for example: Brazil, Mozambique and Angola). A substantial emigration of Portuguese inhabitants to the colonial territories quickly started in the search of resources that the Portuguese very poor ground could not offer. The process of decolonization, which began in the early 19th century, with the loss of the immense territory of Brazil (it formed as an Empire in 1822), the richest Portuguese colony, fueled sometimes a reverse flow generated by the repatriation of Portuguese citizens .

In the decades after World War II, Portugal fought long and bloody wars over the possession of Angola and Mozambique, in southern Africa. These colonies have gained their independence only in 1975 when Salazar’s dictatorship that had lasted for almost 50 years ended and Portugal became a parliamentary republic. Since 1999, the city of Macao, a Portuguese possession since the 19th century, has returned to Chinese sovereignty.

Nearly 550.000 immigrants live in Portugal, representing approximately 5% of the Portuguese population, a large part of them coming from Brazil (66.700). Then follows Ukraine with 65.800 immigrants and Cape Verde with 64.300 immigrants. There are also other nationalities living and working in Portugal, for example from the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, East Timor, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe and Russia.

Economy

Since 1985, the country entered a modernization process and joined the European Union in 1986. Successive governments have made several reforms, privatized many companies controlled by the state and liberalized key areas of the economy, including telecommunications and the financial sectors. The country has developed an increasingly capitalist economy based on services. Portugal is one of eleven states of the EU founders of the euro, in 1.999. The country thus abandoned its old national currency, with the application parity of about 200 escudos per euro. During most of the 1990’s, the Portuguese economic growth was higher than the average of the countries of the European Union.

Partly because of the EU funds, the country realized significant investments in its infrastructure during the last twenty years and has a network of quality roads and railways. In early 2006, Portugal suffered from an unemployment rate of 7,7%, reaching at 8,7% for women and 16,2% among people under 25 years old. However, two of the least affected European regions by the unemployment rate are Portuguese: the Azores and Madeira with an unemployment rate of 2,5%.

With a predominantly agricultural past, after the developments of recent years, the economy is now based on services and industry, representing 67,8%, respectively 28,2% of the Portuguese economic sector. Portuguese agriculture enjoys a favorable climate and relief, as well as fertile soils. The last decades have helped intensify the modernization of agriculture and fisheries, although 13% of the active population still constantly works in this domain. Olive trees (which extend on over 4.000 km2), vineyards (which occupy 3.750 km2), wheat (3.000 km2) and corn (which represent 2.680 km2) are the main crops by acreage.

Tourism is a very important sector, accounting for 8% of the GDP. The Spaniards (49%) are the main tourists, followed by the Britons (14%). The main Portuguese exports are textiles, automobiles, manufactured goods, components (parts) of computers and electronics, as well as building materials.

Wines, the most famous being the Porto wine, the Madeira wine and the Vinho verde and Portuguese oil are very appreciated for their quality. Portugal is at the same time a fruit producer, notably being the Algarvian oranges, the Western Pêra-Rocha, the Gardunha cherries and the bananas of Madeira. There are also other productions such as horticulture, dairy and floriculture, where beetroot, cheese da Serra, sunflower oil and tobacco are produced. Portugal produces 52,5% of the global production of cork, eucalyptus, wine and copper. It is also a major importer of food. The country imports 76% of its stocks from the European Union, 4% from North America and only 1% from the Portuguese-speaking countries. The primary sector (agriculture) represents 2,8% of the Portuguese GDP, the secondary sector (industry) represents 24,8% and the tertiary sector (services) makes up 72,4% of the total GDP.

Portugal is indeed highly dependent on the imports of energy, particularly fossiles fuels, but it has a clear vision about the forecasts of its energy needs over several decades. Portugal tried to enter into a partnership with Spain in this matter.

Transportation

Transportation has been a priority in the 1990’s, in parallel with the increasing use of cars and the industrialization process. The first Portuguese motorway dates from 1944 and linked Lisbon to the National Stadium (now the A5). Despite the construction of new sections of roads in the 1960’s and 1970’s, it is truly in the late 1980’s, when it has begun the construction of large-scale highways. Today, the network of Portuguese motorway covers almost the entire territory, connecting all the coast and major cities.

The country also has the networks of Itinerários Principais (IP) and Itinerários Complementares (IC) which may consist of highways, expressways and national highways. The country has 68.732 km of roads, of which 2.600 km form the country’s motorway network. By 2012, the motorway network reached 3.187 km. The two main urban centers have subway systems: the Lisbon Metro and the Metro Sul do Tejo in the Lisbon metropolitan area, as well as the Porto metro.

Rail transport of passengers and goods is conducted on 2.791 km of lines currently in service, of which 1.430 are electrified and 900 allow traffic speeds of above 120 km/h. The rail network is managed by REFER (Rede Ferroviária Nacional, the national rail network), while the transport of passengers and goods is the responsibility of Ferro Caminhos Portugueses (Portuguese Railways), which subsequently became Comboios de Portugal (CP) in 2004. There are two public companies. In 2006, CP has transported 133 million passengers and 9,75 million tons of goods. The first railway line was created in 1856 and it was built with a track gauge of 1,674 mm, just like in Spain.

Lisbon occupies a geographical position which makes it a stopover for many foreign airlines. The project for a new international airport in Alcochete, which will replace the current Portela airport in Lisbon is currently under study. The main airports are Lisbon, Faro, Porto, Funchal (Madeira) and Ponta Delgada (Azores). The primary flag-carrier is TAP Portugal, although many other domestic airlines provide services within and without the country.

The major seaports are located in Sines, Lisbon, Leixões, Setúbal, Aveiro, Figueira da Foz and Faro. The port of Sines is the Busiest transshipment port, while the port of Leixões is the most well organized one.

People

Discover some of the most popular persons who live / lived in Portugal.

Vasco Da Gama

Vasco Da Gama

Was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India, between 1497-1499 was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and, in this way, the West and the Orient. Vasco da Gama was born in Sines, […]

Antonio Salazar

Antonio de Oliveira Salazar

Was a Portuguese politician and economist who served as Prime Minister of Portugal for 36 years, from 1932 to 1968. Salazar founded and led the Estado Novo (“New State”), the corporatist authoritarian government that ruled Portugal until 1974. After the 28 May 1926 coup d’état, with President Óscar Carmona’s support, Salazar entered public life, initially […]

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He is a forward and serves as captain for Portugal. In 2008, he won his first Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He then won the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2013 and 2014. In […]

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Culinary

Discover some of the traditional receips from Portugal.

Quinto Infantada- Vinho do Porto

Quinto Infantada- Vinho do Porto

The Dão and the Douro are the most important regions as far as red Portuguese table wine is concerned. Douro wines tend to be a bit fuller and fleshier than their Dão counterparts, which are generally lighter and higher in acidity. Vinho Verde is Portugal’s most famous white wine. Literally translated as “green wine,” it […]

Torta de Azeitão

Torta de Azeitão

Ingredients: 10 egg whites 10 egg yolks 200g sugar 35g flour   Steps: Beat the yolks with the sugar until you obtain a thick cream. Add the flour and beat just as much time as required to homogenize everything. Add the beaten egg whites by hand. Put them inside a greased pan or in individual […]

Sardinhas Assadas

Sardinhas Assadas

Ingredients: 16 medium sardines 800g potatoes 8 tomatoes 2 large onions 50g butter A handful of parsley Sea salt Extra virgin olive oil   Steps: Preheat the oven to 250°C. Clean the sardines and put them in a thick oven pan. Smear them with olive oil and sea salt. Be generous with the salt, the […]

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