Portugal• Portugal is one of the oldest countries in all Europe. It was founded in 1143 by D. Afonso Henriques, after some disputes with Castella – Spain. Portugal was the first unified nation-state in Western Europe, and it maintains its continental borders intact since the 13th century.
• It is a member of the EU for 24 years now and it has developed a lot since then.
• The population of Portugal has been unusually homogeneous for most of its history.• Portuguese is the 5th language (mais falada) in the World. Official language in Portugal and Brazil, and with other languages in Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Saint Tome and Prince, Timor, Equatorial Guinea, and in the old portuguese India, Goa, Damão, Diu, Dadrá and Nagar-Aveli.• Before 1143 Portuguese territory was visited and ruled by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans (who left us our language).
• Portugal is situated at the south-west point of Europe and also includes the Madeira and Azores archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean. Mainland Portugal occupies an area of about 90,000 km2. It is 218 km wide and 561 km long. It has 832 km of Atlantic coast and a 1,215 km border with Spain, it’s only neighbour.
• According to the last estimatives, Portugal population of about 10.5 million people – 52% female and 48% male.
• The population density is higher in Lisbon, the capital and its suburbs, where almost 2 million people live. The second largest city in Portugal is Porto, in the north. The majority of the portuguese people – 80% - live in the country’s coastal regions.
Climate• The climate in portugal varies considersbly from one region to another and is influenced by the relief, latitude and proximity to the sea, which offers mild winters, especially in the Algarve – southern region.• In the north and inland regions, the winters are colder, although the temperatures are still mild when compared to the rest of Europe.
• Summers are hot and dry, especially in the inland areas. Temperatures are slightly lower in the coastal areas, because of the influence ot the sea. Spring and Autum are very moderate – for instance, last year, when it was snowing in Prague, we had 23 degree maximum an 10 degree minimum.
History• With such a long sea coast, it is not surprising that Portugal has such a long tradition of sailors, that discovered new land in all the continents and as some poet said: added new worlds to the world.• This fact contributed decisively to our openness to the world and intercultural communication
GovernementActually Portugal is ademocratic republicwhere the president isAnibal Cavaco Silva andthe Prime Minister is JoséSócrates.
Luis de Camões• (1524 – 1580) – epical poet, writer of Os Lusiadas, our main literary achievement
Fernando Pessoa• (1888 – 1935) – modernist poet and writer