In the past Portugal was the most powerful and the wealthiest country in the world. Two thirds of the world was discovered by the explorers and sailors of Portugal, and the Portuguese founded the first modern empire. Despite its turbulent past Portugal is a stable country. The monarchy ended in 1910 and the republic was founded. In 1926 Salazar established his almost 40 years of dictatorship. Portugal became a modern democracy after a peaceful military coup April 25, 1974 that began the rebirth of the country. With the oldest national boundaries in Europe, this country is both ancient and newborn. The population of Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira islands, is approximate 11 million. More than 94% of the population is Roman Catholic although freedom of religion is permitted.
Portugal is roughly the shape of a rectangle about 560 km long and 220 km wide on the west of the Iberian Peninsula. A 830-km Atlantic coastline borders the country on the west and south. In the north and east Portugal borders to Spain. The river Tejo rises in Spain and meets the Atlantic in Lisbon. The river draws a line between the country's two parts which are very different. The archipelago of Azores is almost 1500 km west of Lisbon, nearly halfway between Portugal and New York. The area is 2.247 sq. km and consists of nine islands: No hectic nightlife or crowded cities, but crystal clear water and marvelous nature. The nature is simply luxurious. So is the nature in the archipelago of Madeira, 964 Kms southwest of Lisbon. With an area of 794 sq. km, it is much smaller than the Azores and consists of eight larger islands and a few small islets. Only Madeira and Porto Santo are inhabited.
Capital ……………………………………………………………….Lisbon (and largest city) Official languages ………………………………………..Portuguese Recognised Regional languages………………………………………..Mirandese Government………………………..…. parliamentary republuic Prime minister ………………………………………. José Sócrates President………………………………………. Anibal Cavaco Silva Assembly President………………………………….. Jaime Gama Identity Card of Portugal
Seven Wonders of Portugal The Seven Wonders of Portugal was an initiative supported by the Ministry of Culture that aimed to elect the seven most important monuments of Portugal. On July 7, 2007 the new seven wonders of the world were declared and so were the portuguese ones.
The Euro is the common currency. The coins have two different sides: on one part it shows the value of the currency, and on the other it shows the country.
The legend of the Rooster of Barcelos tells the miraculous history of a dead rooster to proove the innocence of a man. According to legend, the inhabitants of Barcelos were alarmed with the crime, which had not yet been discovered . One day, appeared a Galician who became suspicious. The authorities decided to arrest him, despite his oaths of innocence, that was he just on his way to pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, in fulfillment of a promise.
Dried salt cod, or "Bacalhau", is a purely Portuguese invention. In the 16th century, fishermen learned to salt cod at sea to last the long voyage home. It was sun-dry on board, cut in stiff slabs that could be kept for months, later to be soaked in cool water before cooking. Cod is still sun-dried on racks the old way on the beach of Nazaré. Portugal now is importing “bacalhau” from Norway just to be able to meet their annual demands. It is said the Portuguese know 365 ways to cook the “bacalhau”. The best, and most famous “bacalhau” dishes are "bacalhau á gomes de sá" (cooked in a casserole with thinly sliced potatoes and onions, then garnished with hard-boiled eggs and black olives).Delicious!
The official language is Portuguese. Like French, Italian, Spanish and Romanian, Portuguese is a roman language derived from Latin. Portuguese is spoken worldwide by 200 million people and is the fifth most spoken language in the world. English or French are the second language in most schools in Portugal. It is very helpful to learn a few Portuguese words and phrases. Any attempt to speak the language will be well-received. The Portuguese are very polite. Remember to use "Por favor" (please)! "Obrigada" (thank you) if you're a woman, "Obrigado" if you're a man.
January 1 - New Year's Day April 25 - Day of Liberty May 1 - Labour Day June 10 - Day of Portugal August 15 - Assumption Day October 5 - Day of the Republic November 1 - All Saint's Day December 1 - Restoration of Independence December 8 - Day of Our Lady December 25 - Christmas Day
The Portuguese Football selection is, as its name implies, the entity that has the responsability to represent Portuguese football abroad.
Port wine,also known as Vinho do Porto, and often simply Port, is a Portuguese, wine from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically sweet red wine, dry, semi-dry and white varieties. It is often served as a dessert wine. Only the product from Portugal may be labelled as Port. Port is produced from grapes grown and processed in the Douro region.The wine produced is then fortified with the addition of a Brandy (distilled grape spirits) in order to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine, and to boost the alcohol content. The wine is then stored and aged, often in barrels stored in caves (Portuguese meaning "cellars") as is the case in Vila Nova de Gaia, before being bottled. The wine received its name, "Port," in the latter half of the 17th century from the seaport city of Porto at the mouth of the Douro River, where much of the product was brought to export to other countries in Europe. The Douro valley where Port wine is produced was defined and established as a protected region, making it the oldest defined and protected wine region in the world. Port wine
Her ó is do mar, nobre Povo, Na ç ão valente, imortal, Levantai hoje de novo O esplendor de Portugal! Entre as brumas da mem ó ria, Ó P á tria, sente-se a voz Dos teus egr é gios av ó s, Que h á -de guiar-te à vit ó ria! À s armas, à s armas! Sobre a terra, sobre o mar, À s armas, à s armas! Pela P á tria lutar Contra os canhões marchar, marchar!