The real name for Portugal is the “Republic of Portugal.” Portugal is in southwestern Europe and spreads over an area of 92,391sq km. It has over 10 million people. The official currency is the Euro. Lisbon is actually the largest city in Portugal and also the capital city. It is parliamentary rule in Portugal. Most Portuguese are Roman Catholic with a small amount being Protestant. Portugal became a member of the European Union in 1986. Portugal has one of the Europe’s oldest universities. It was established in 1290. Portugal was actually first called Lusitania during Roman times. Portugal was first founded by Alfonso Henriques in 1152. The man who discovered the sea route to India was Portuguese. His name was Vasco Da Gama. A Portuguese man named Bartholomew Diaz was the first person to sail around the tip of Africa. He in turn named it the widely known “Cape of Good Hope.” A Portuguese explorer named Ferdinand Magellan was the first to circumnavigate the world. He actually set a record in 1522.
The people of Madeira were given the right to sell wine to Britain and the colonies by Charles II. The Portuguese like to bull fight, however it is illegal to kill a bull while fighting! The last king of Portugal was deposed in 1910. He spent his life in Twickenham on the outskirts of London! Portugal was allied with Britain in the first World War. Portuguese must be a popular language since it is the official language in 9 countries! Portugal was considered a “Kingdom” from 1139 to 1910. The Anglo-Portuguese alliance is the oldest in the world, it was signed in 1373! Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros and Parque Natural da Arrabida is the resting place for preserved dinosaur tracks! In Portugal they have modeled their legal system after that of Germany. Abortion is legal in Portugal. However, it only passed into law in 2007. Portugal is known for thier beautiful painted tiles in their ceilings, floors, etc. The name of these tiles and art form is Azulegos. You should really know how to pronounce the words for food in Portugal. For instance bread soups are called “acordas”, “bacalhau” is cod, “caldeirada” is fish stew.
Portugal is the home to some of the worlds major industries like textiles, wood products, metalworking, oil refining, chemicals, fish canning, wine, tourism and agriculture. It is a diverse and colorful country!