14 interesting things you should know about Portugal

Portugal is an extremely wonderful country with many beautiful landscapes, rich in historical and cultural values. Wherever you go, you can clearly feel the national identity with distinctive, rich and diverse customs and traditions. In addition, the Portuguese people are also extremely friendly and hospitable.

If you are planning to travel this summer, Portugal is not a bad choice. Let’s find out what interesting features about this beautiful country!

14 interesting things you should know about Portugal
Portuguese flag.

In 1494, Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas demarcating the boundaries of the sphere of influence and the exploitable lands. In it, Portugal has the right to rule the eastern half of the world, including Brazil, Africa and Asia. The Portuguese Empire at that time was the first truly global empire in history. It is also one of the longest living colonial powers, spanning nearly six centuries from the capture of Ceuta in 1415, until Macau’s return to China in 1999. In 1808, the king of Portugal In Spain, Dom João moved to Brazil and proclaimed the creation of a state which included Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. This state was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves from 1815 to 1822. The new capital of the kingdom was Rio de Janeiro. The kingdom fell in 1822 after the king returned to Portugal in 1821, leaving his son, Prince Dom Pedro to rule Brazil, who declared Brazil independent and split from Portugal. .

Portuguese is the mother tongue of more than 236 million people worldwide. In which, Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Republic of Cape Verde, Republic of Angola, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Mozambique, Principe, Sao Tome and Republic of Equatorial Guinea. In addition, Portuguese is also spoken in Goa (India), Macau, and East Timor.

Since the kingdom was founded and recognized in 1143 and had a stable border in 1249, it can be said that Portugal is the oldest nation-state in Europe . In 1139, when Afonso Henriques first proclaimed himself emperor of Portugal, the country remained a kingdom for nearly 800 years until 1910.

Portugal abolished slavery in 1761 – more than half a century before other colonial capitalist countries such as Britain, France, Spain, or the United States.

14 interesting things you should know about Portugal
Bertrand bookstore was founded in 1732, located in the capital of Portugal – Lisbon.

Portugal produces 70% of the world’s cork exports. The main importers of Portuguese cork are: Germany, UK and USA. The country also has the largest cork forest.

14 interesting things you should know about Portugal
University of Coimbra.

The University of Coimbra was founded in 1290. Today, it has about 20,000 students and is home to the largest community of international students in Portugal.

14 interesting things you should know about Portugal
Vasco Gama da Gama Bridge.

The Vasco Gama da Gama bridge in Lisbon is 10.5 miles (17km) long and is the longest bridge in Europe.

The Anglo-Portuguese alliance was signed in 1373 and is in force to this day. In the past, both countries went to war to protect each other, including when Great Britain entered the Iberian War and when Portugal entered World War I.

Portugal has a coastline that stretches for 497 miles (800km) and is surfable up to 364 days a year.

14 interesting things you should know about Portugal
Tram in Lisbon.

On November 1, 1755, Lisbon was shaken by an earthquake of about 8.5 magnitude, followed by a tsunami and fire that left the city in ruins. Furthermore, the earthquake that occurred on All Saints Day caused a massive fire that killed 275,000 people and destroyed 85% of buildings. The terrible devastation of this earthquake is still talked about to this day.

Fado (meaning “fate” in Portuguese) is a musical genre that originated in the city of Lisbon. It is a kind of dreary and moving folk music. The musical genre has been added to the World Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

You’ll often hear fado in bars, cafes and restaurants – sentimental songs about love, loss, hope and doom – accompanied by guitar, mandolin and violin. Fado also appears in everyday speech: people often use the expression oxalá meaning “hope” or “if only”, the Arabic word inshallah = “God is ready”.

14 interesting things you should know about Portugal
Peixinhos da horta is a traditional dish in Portuguese cuisine.

When the Portuguese arrived in Japan around the 16th century, merchants and missionaries spread peixinhos da horta. Later, this dish was “transformed” by the Japanese into the famous Tempura dish.

Fortified wine – a wine that has grape essence or spirits added to the wine before the fermentation period ends, making it sweet and about 20% alcohol. The wine is then aged in oak or steel casks for two to six years before bottling. Wine grapes are grown exclusively on the steep, terraced hillsides of the Douro valley near Porto, one of the world’s oldest wine-producing regions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.