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The land within the borders of today's Portuguese Republic has
been continously settled since prehistoric times. Some of the earliest
civilizations include Lusitanians and Celtic societies. Incorporation
into the Roman Republic dominions took place in the 2nd century
BC. The region was ruled and colonized by Germanic peoples, such
as the Suebi and the Visigoths, from the 5th to the 8th century.
The Muslim Moors arrived in the early 8th century and conquered
the Christian Germanic kingdoms, eventually occupying most of the
Iberian Peninsula. In the early 1100s, during the Christian Reconquista,
Portugal appeared as a kingdom independent of its neighbour, the
Kingdom of León and Galicia. In a little over a century,
in 1249, Portugal would establish almost its entire modern-day borders
by conquering territory from the Moors.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, with a global empire that included
possessions in Africa, Asia and South America, Portugal was one
of the world's major economic, political, and cultural powers. In
the 17th century, the Portuguese Restoration War between Portugal
and Spain ended the sixty year period of the Iberian Union (1580-1640).
In the 19th century, armed conflict with French and Spanish invading
forces and the loss of its largest territorial possession abroad,
Brazil, disrupted political stability and potential economic growth.
After the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution coup
d'état in 1974, the ruling regime was deposed in Lisbon and
the country handed over its last overseas provinces in Africa. Portugal's
last overseas territory, Macau, was handed over to the P. R. China
Portugal is a developed country, and although having one of
the lowest GDP per capita of Western European countries, it has
a high Human Development Index and is among the world's 20 highest
rated countries in terms of quality of life. It is a member of
the European Union (since 1986) and the United Nations (since 1955);
as well as a founding member of OECD, NATO, CPLP (Comunidade dos
Países de Língua Portuguesa — Community of Portuguese
Language Countries), and the European Union's Eurozone.
2 Government and politics
3 Foreign relations
4 Military of Portugal
5 Administrative divisions
6 Geography and climate
8 Energy, transportation, communications, water supply and sanitation
10 Education, science and technology
15 Sports and games
16 International rankings
16.1 Political and economic rankings
16.2 Health rankings
16.3 Other rankings
17 Facts and figures
18 See also
20 External links
Main article: History of Portugal
The early history of Portugal, whose name derives from the Roman
name Portus Cale, is shared with the rest of the Iberian peninsula.
The region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to
peoples like the Lusitanians, visited by Phoenicians and Carthaginians,
incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions (as Lusitania in 138
BC), settled again by Suevi, Buri, and Visigoths, and conquered
by Moors. In 868, during the Reconquista (by which Christians reconquered
the Iberian peninsula from the Muslim and Moorish domination), the
First County of Portugal was formed. A victory over the Muslims
at Ourique in 1139 is traditionally taken as the occasion when Portugal
is transformed from a county into an independent kingdom.
Portugal traces its national origin to June 24, 1128 with the Battle
of São Mamede. At the Battle of São Mamede, Afonso
Henriques, Count of Portugal, defeated his mother, Countess Teresa,
and her lover, Fernão Peres de Trava, in battle - thereby
establishing himself as sole leader. Afonso Henriques proclaimed
himself king of Portugal on July 25, 1139, after the Battle of Ourique
and was recognized as such in 1143 by Afonso VII, king of León
and Castile, and in 1179 by Pope Alexander III.
Afonso Henriques and his successors, aided by military monastic
orders, pushed southward to drive out the Moors, as the size of
Portugal covered about half of its present area. In 1249, this Reconquista
ended with the capture of the Algarve on the southern coast, giving
Portugal its present day borders, with minor exceptions.
The 10th century Castle of Guimarães, a national symbol,
known as the "Cradle of Portugal", GuimarãesIn
1373, Portugal made an alliance with England, which is the longest-standing
alliance in the world.
In 1383, the king of Castile, husband of the daughter of the Portuguese
king who had died without a male heir, claimed his throne. An ensuing
popular revolt led to the 1383-1385 Crisis. A faction of petty noblemen
and commoners, led by John of Aviz (later John I), seconded by General
Nuno Álvares Pereira defeated the Castilians in the Battle
of Aljubarrota. This celebrated battle is still a symbol of glory
and the struggle for independence from neighboring Spain.
In the following decades, Portugal spearheaded the exploration
of the world and undertook the Age of Discovery. Prince Henry the
Navigator, son of King João I, became the main sponsor and
patron of this endeavor.
In 1415, Portugal gained the first of its overseas colonies when
a fleet conquered Ceuta, a prosperous Islamic trade center in North
Africa. There followed the first discoveries in the Atlantic: Madeira
and the Azores, which led to the first colonization movements.
An anachronous map of the Portuguese Empire (1415-1999). Red - true
possessions; Pink - explorations, areas of influence and trade and
claims of sovereignty; Blue - main sea explorations, routes and
areas of influence. The disputed discovery of Australia is not shown.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a monument to Prince Henry the
Navigator and the Portuguese Age of Discovery, LisbonThroughout
the 15th century, Portuguese explorers sailed the coast of Africa,
establishing trading posts for several common types of tradable
commodities at the time, ranging from gold to slaves, as they looked
for a route to India and its spices, which were coveted in Europe.
In 1498, Vasco da Gama finally reached India and brought economic
prosperity to Portugal and its then population of one million residents.
In 1500, Pedro Álvares Cabral, en route to India, discovered
Brazil and claimed it for Portugal. Ten years later, Afonso de
Albuquerque conquered Goa, in India, Ormuz in the Persian Strait,
and Malacca in what is now a state in Malaysia. Thus, the Portuguese
empire held dominion over commerce in the Indian Ocean and South
Atlantic. The Portuguese sailors set out to reach Eastern Asia by
sailing eastward from Europe landing in such places like Taiwan,
Japan, the island of Timor, and it may also have been Portuguese
sailors that were the first Europeans to discover Australia.
Portugal's independence was interrupted between 1580 and 1640.
Because the heirless King Sebastian died in battle in Morocco, Philip
II of Spain claimed his throne and so became Philip I of Portugal.
Although Portugal did not lose its formal independence, it was governed
by the same monarch who governed Spain, briefly forming a union
of kingdoms, as a personal union; in 1640, John IV spearheaded an
uprising backed by disgruntled nobles and was proclaimed king. The
Portuguese Restoration War between Portugal and Spain on the aftermath
of the 1640 revolt, ended the sixty-year period of the Iberian Union
under the House of Habsburg. This was the beginning of the House
of Braganza, which was to reign in Portugal until 1910. On 1 November
1755, Lisbon, the largest city and capital of the Portuguese Empire,
was strongly shaken by an earthquake which killed between 60,000
and 90,000 people and destroyed eighty-five percent of the city.
By this time, however, the Portuguese empire was already under
attack from other countries, specifically Britain and the Netherlands.
Portugal began a slow but inexorable decline until the 20th century.
This decline was hastened by the independence in 1822 of the country's
largest colonial possession, Brazil.
Map of the Portuguese Overseas provinces in Africa by the time of
the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1974)At the height of European
colonialism in the 19th century, Portugal had lost its territory
in South America and all but a few bases in Asia. During this phase,
Portuguese colonialism focused on expanding its outposts in Africa
into nation-sized territories to compete with other European powers
there. Portuguese territories eventually included the modern nations
of Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau,
Angola, and Mozambique.
In 1910, a revolution deposed the Portuguese monarchy, but chaos
continued and considerable economic problems were aggravated by
the military intervention in the First World War, which led to a
military coup d'état in 1926. This in turn led to the establishment
of a right-wing dictatorship by António de Oliveira Salazar.
In December 1961, the Portuguese army was involved in armed action
in its colony of Portuguese India against an Indian invasion. The
operations resulted in the defeat of the isolated and relatively
small Portuguese defense force which was not able to resist a much
larger enemy. The outcome was the loss of the Portuguese territories
in the Indian subcontinent.
Also in the early 1960s, independence movements in the Portuguese
overseas provinces of Angola, Mozambique, and Portuguese Guinea,
in Africa, resulted in the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1974).
In 1974, a bloodless left-wing military coup in Lisbon, known as
the Carnation Revolution, led the way for a modern democracy as
well as the independence of the last colonies in Africa shortly
after. However, Portugal's last overseas territory, Macau (Asia),
was handed over to the People's Republic of China in 1999.
Portugal was a founding member of NATO, OECD and EFTA. In 1986,
Portugal joined the European Union (then the European Economic Community).
It is also a co-founder of the CPLP.
 Government and politics
Assembly of the Republic, LisbonMain article: Politics of Portugal
Portugal is a democratic republic ruled by the constitution of 1976
with Lisbon, the nation's largest city, as its capital. The four
main governing components are the president of the republic, the
assembly of the republic, the government, and the courts. The constitution
grants the division or separation of powers among legislative, executive,
and judicial branches. Portugal like most European countries has
no state religion, making it a secular state.
The president, who is elected to a five-year term, has a supervising,
nonexecutive role. The current President is Aníbal Cavaco
Silva. The Assembly of the Republic is a unicameral parliament composed
of 230 deputies elected for four-year terms.
The government is headed by the prime minister (currently José
Sócrates), who chooses the Council of Ministers, comprising
all the ministers and the respective state secretaries. The national
and regional governments, and the Portuguese parliament, are dominated
by two political parties, the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic
Party. Minority parties CDU (Portuguese Communist Party plus Ecologist
Party "The Greens"), Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc) and
CDS-PP (People's Party) are also represented in the parliament and
The courts are organized into categories, including judicial, administrative,
and fiscal. The supreme courts are the courts of last appeal. A
thirteen-member constitutional court oversees the constitutionality
 Foreign relations
Main article: Foreign relations of Portugal
Portugal is a founding member of NATO (1949), OECD and EFTA; it
left the latter in 1986 to join the European Union. In 1996 it co-founded
the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. It has a friendship
alliance and dual citizenship treaty with Brazil. Portugal is part
of the world's oldest active alliance through its treaty with the
The only international dispute concerns the municipality of Olivença.
Under Portuguese sovereignty since 1297, the municipality of Olivença
was ceded to Spain under the Treaty of Badajoz in 1801, after the
War of the Oranges. Portugal claimed it back in 1815 under the Treaty
of Vienna. Nevertheless, bilateral diplomatic relations between
the two neighbouring countries are cordial, as well as within the
 Military of Portugal
Main articles: Military of Portugal and Military history of Portugal
The armed forces have three branches: Army, Navy, and Air Force.
The military of Portugal serves primarily as a self-defense force
whose mission is to protect the territorial integrity of the country
and providing humanitarian assistance and security at home and abroad.
Since the early 2000s, compulsory military service is no longer
practised. The changes also turned the forces' focus towards professional
military engagements. The age for voluntary recruitment is set at
18. In the 20th century, Portugal engaged in two major military
interventions: the First Great War and the Portuguese Colonial War
(1961-1974). Portugal has participated in peacekeeping missions
in East Timor, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq (Nasiriyah), and
 Administrative divisions
Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island, Azores
Map of Mainland Portugal and the two autonomous regions of Portugal
(not in their actual locations)Main article: Administrative divisions
Portugal has an administrative structure of 308 municipalities (Portuguese
singular/plural: concelho/concelhos), which are subdivided into
more than 4,000 parishes (freguesia/freguesias). Municipalities
are grouped for administrative purposes into superior units. For
continental Portugal the municipalities are gathered in 18 Districts,
while the Islands have a Regional Government directly above them.
Thus, the largest unit of classification is the one established
since 1976 into either mainland Portugal (Portugal Continental)
or the autonomous regions of Portugal (Azores and Madeira).
The European Union's system of Nomenclature of Territorial Units
for Statistics is also used. According to this system, Portugal
is divided into 7 regions (Alentejo, Algarve, Açores, Centro,
Lisboa, Madeira, and Norte), which are subdivided into 30 subregions.
 Geography and climate
Burgau, Algarve - a view of the Southwest Alentejo and Cape St.
Vicente Coast Natural Park.Main articles: Geography of Portugal
and Conservation areas of Portugal
The climate can be classified as Mediterranean type csa in the south
and csb in the north, according to the Köppen climate classification.
Portugal is one of the warmest European countries, the annual temperature
averages in mainland Portugal are 13 °C (55 °F) in the north
and 18 °C (64 °F) in the south. The Madeira and Azores Atlantic
archipelagos have a narrower temperature range. Generally, spring
and summer are sunny, whereas autumn and winter are rainy and windy.
Extreme temperatures occur in Northeastern parts of the country
in winter (where they may fall to -15 °C) and Southeastern parts
in summer (where they can soar up to 45 °C). Sea coastal areas
are milder, temperatures varying between -2 °C in the coldest
winter mornings and 37 °C in the hottest summer afternoons.
Absolute extremes registered so far have been -23 °C in Serra
da Estrela and 48 °C in the Alentejo region.
Serra da Estrela during the winter seasonMainland Portugal is split
by its main river, the Tagus. The northern landscape is mountainous
in the interior areas, with plateaus indented by river valleys.
The south, between the Tagus and the Algarve (the Alentejo), features
mostly rolling plains and a climate somewhat warmer and drier than
in the cooler and rainier north. The Algarve, separated from the
Alentejo by mountains, enjoys a Mediterranean climate much like
southern Spain. Snow falls occasionally (on some cold winter days)
in the northern interior of the country, from October to May. However,
it is a very rare event in the south. The coast registers snow usually
once in five or six years.
Alentejo - Cork Oak on wheat field, a typical image of the Alentejo
region, PortugalThe islands of the Azores are located in the Mid-Atlantic
Ridge whilst the Madeira islands were formed by the activity of
an in-plate hotspot, much like the Hawaiian archipelago. Some islands
have had volcanic activity as recently as 1957. Portugal's highest
point is Mount Pico on Pico Island. It is an ancient volcano measuring
2,351 m (7,713 ft). Mainland Portugal's highest point is Serra da
Estrela, measuring 1993 m (6,558 ft).
Portugal's Exclusive Economic Zone, a seazone over which the Portuguese
have special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources,
has 1,727,408 km². This is the 3rd largest Exclusive Economic
Zone of the European Union and the 11th in the world.
Conservation areas of Portugal include one national park (Parque
Nacional), 12 natural parks (Parque Natural), 9 natural reserves
(Reserva Natural), 5 natural monuments (Monumento Natural), and
7 protected landscapes (Paisagem Protegida), ranging from the Parque
Nacional da Peneda-Gerês to the Parque Natural da Serra da
Estrela to the Paul de Arzila.
Parque das Nações, where Expo'98 took place, Lisbon
- the impact of the Expo'98 over the entire Portuguese economy was
noted at the time.Main articles: Economy of Portugal and Economic
history of Portugal
Portugal's economy is based on industries such as textiles, clothing,
footwear, cork and wood products, beverages (wine), porcelain and
earthenware, and glass and glassware. In addition, the country has
increased its role in Europe's automotive sector and has a world-class
mold-making industry. Services, particularly tourism, are playing
an increasingly important role. Portugal's European Union (EU) funding
will be cut by 10%, to 22.5 billion euros, during the 2007-2013
period. EU expansion into eastern Europe has erased Portugal's historic
competitive advantage and relative low labor costs. The governments
are working to change Portugal's economic development model from
one based on public consumption and public investment to one focused
on exports, private investment, and development of the high-tech
Portugal joined the European Union in 1986 and started a process
of modernization within the framework of a stable environment. It
has achieved a healthy level of growth. Successive governments have
implemented reforms and privatized many state-controlled firms and
liberalized key areas of the economy. Portugal was one of the founding
countries of the euro in 1999, and therefore is integrated into
Portuguese national side of a 1 euro coin. The centrepiece is the
1144 royal seal of King Afonso Henriques.Major industries include
oil refineries, automotive, cement production, pulp and paper industry,
textile, footwear, furniture, and cork (of which Portugal is the
world's leading producer). Manufacturing accounts for 33% of
exports. Portugal is the world's fifth-largest producer of tungsten,
and the world's eighth-largest producer of wine. Agriculture and
Fishing (see Portugal EEZ) no longer represents the bulk of the
economy, but Portuguese wines, namely Port Wine (named after the
country's second largest city, Porto) and Madeira Wine (named after
Madeira Island), are exported worldwide. Tourism is also important,
especially in mainland Portugal's southernmost region of the Algarve
and in the Atlantic Madeira archipelago.
Funchal, Madeira - tourism is an important economic activity in
the Portuguese island of Madeira.The Global Competitiveness Report
for 2005, published by the World Economic Forum, places Portugal
on the 22nd position, ahead of countries such as Spain, Ireland,
France, Belgium and Hong Kong . This represents an increase of two
places from the 2004 ranking. Portugal was ranked 20th on the Technology
index and 15th on the Public Institutions index.
Research about standard of living by the Economist Intelligence
Unit's quality of life survey places Portugal as the country
with the 19th-best quality of life in the world, ahead of other
economically and technologically advanced countries like France,
Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea. This is despite the
fact that Portugal has the lowest per capita GDP in Western Europe
(though still very high by global standards).
Caixa Geral de Depósitos, EDP, Galp, Millennium bcp, Portugal
Telecom and Sonae are among the largest corporations of Portugal
by both number of employees and net income.
The major stock exchange is the Euronext Lisbon which is part of
the NYSE Euronext, the first global stock exchange. The PSI-20 is
Portugal's most selective and widely known stock index.
 Energy, transportation, communications, water supply and
Vasco da Gama Bridge, the longest bridge in Europe.Main articles:
Transportation in Portugal, Communications in Portugal, Renewable
energy in Portugal, and Water supply and sanitation in Portugal
In 2006 the world's largest solar power plant began operating in
the nation's sunny south while the world's first commercial wave
power farm opened in October 2006 in the Norte region. As of 2006,
55% of electricity production was from coal and fuel power plants.
The other 40% was produced by hydroelectrics and 5% by wind energy.
The government is channeling $3.8 billion into developing renewable
energy sources over the next five years.
Portugal wants renewable energy sources like solar, wind and wave
power to account for nearly half of the electricity consumed in
the country by 2010. "This new goal will place Portugal in
the frontline of renewable energy and make it, along with Austria
and Sweden, one of the three nations that most invest in this sector",
Prime Minister José Sócrates said.
Alqueva Dam, Alentejo - irrigation and hydroelectric power generation
facility which created the largest artificial lake in Western EuropeTransportation
was seen as a priority in the 1990s, pushed by the growing use of
automobiles and industrialization. The country has a 68,732 km (42,708
mi) network of roads, of which almost 3,000 km (1,864 mi) are part
of a 44 motorways system.
The two principal metropolitan areas have subway systems: Lisbon
Metro and Metro Sul do Tejo in Lisbon Metropolitan Area and Porto
Metro in Porto, each with more than 35 km (22 mi) of lines. Construction
of a high-speed TGV line connecting Porto with Lisbon and Lisbon
with Madrid will begin in 2008; it will replace the Pendolinos.
Lisbon's geographical position makes it a stopover point for many
foreign airlines at airports all over the country. The government
is currently studying two locations (Ota and Alcochete) to replace
the present Lisbon airport. Currently, the most important airports
are in Lisbon, Faro, Porto, Funchal (Madeira), and Ponta Delgada
A28 motorway, Norte - Portugal has a developed motorway system.Portugal
has one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates in the world
(the number of operative mobile phones already exceeds the population).
This network also provides wireless mobile Internet connections
as well, and covers the entire territory. As of October 2006, 36.8%
of households had high-speed Internet services and 78% of companies
had Internet access. Most Portuguese watch television through cable
(June 2004: 73.6% of households). Paid Internet connections are
available at many cafés, as well as many post offices. One
can also surf on the Internet at hotels, conference centres and
shopping centres, where special areas are reserved for this purpose.
Free internet access is also available to Portuguese residents at
"Espaços de Internet" across the country.
Portugal has also modernized its water supply and sanitation system,
in particular by increasing the rate of wastewater treated with
support from EU subsidies to 80%. The country has also established
a modern institutional and legal framework for the water and sanitation
sector, including an autonomous regulatory agency, a national asset
holding company called Aguas de Portugal and a number of multi-municipal
utilities. This replaced an institutionally fragemented sector structure,
under which the country's 308 municipalities - many of them very
small - had exclusive responsibility for water and sanitation.
Main article: Demographics of Portugal
Douro river crossing Grande Porto, Portugal's second most populated
subregionThe country is fairly homogeneous linguistically and religiously.
Native Portuguese are ethnically a combination of pre-Celts and
Celts along with some other minor contributions by Romans, Germanic
(Visigoths, Suebi, Buri), some Jews and Moors (mostly Berbers and
In the 2001 census, the population was 10,356,117, of which 51%
was female, 48% was male. Portugal, long a country of emigration,
has now become a country of net immigration, and not just from
the former Indian and African colonies; by the end of 2003, legal
immigrants represented about 5% of the population, and the largest
communities were from Brazil, Ukraine, Romania, Cape Verde, Angola,
Russia, Guinea-Bissau and Moldova with other immigrants from parts
of Latin America, China and Eastern Europe. The great majority of
Portuguese are Roman Catholic, though a large percentage consider
themselves non-practicing, especially in urban areas. The biggest
metropolitan areas are Lisbon, Porto, Braga, Coimbra, Setúbal
 Education, science and technology
The tower of the University of Coimbra, CoimbraMain articles: Education
in Portugal, Higher education in Portugal, and Science and technology
The educational system is divided into preschool (for those under
age 6), basic education (9 years, in three stages, compulsory),
secondary education (3 years), and higher education (university
Portuguese universities have existed since 1290. The oldest Portuguese
university was first established in Lisbon before moving to Coimbra.
Universities are usually organized into faculties. Institutes and
schools are also common designations for autonomous subdivisions
of Portuguese higher education institutions, and are always used
in the polytechnical system. The Bologna process has been adopted
since 2006 by Portuguese universities and polytechnical institutes.
Scientific and technological research activities in Portugal are
mainly conducted within a network of R&D units belonging to
public universities and state-managed autonomous research institutions
like the INETI - Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e
Inovação. The funding of this research system is mainly
conducted under the authority of the Ministry of Science, Technology
and Higher Education. The largest R&D units of the public universities
by number of publications which achieved significant international
recognition, include biosciences research institutions like the
Instituto de Medicina Molecular, the Centre for Neuroscience and
Cell Biology, the IPATIMUP and the Instituto de Biologia Molecular
e Celular, among others. Internationally notable state-supported
research centres in other fields include the International Iberian
Nanotechnology Laboratory?, a joint research effort between Portugal
and Spain. Among the largest non-state-run research institutions
in Portugal are the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and the
Champalimaud Foundation which yearly awards one of the highest monetary
prizes of any science prize in the world. A number of both national
and multinational high-tech and industrial companies, are also responsible
for research and development projects.
Portugal have entered into cooperation agreements with MIT (USA)
and other North American institutions in order to further develop
and increase the effectiveness of Portuguese higher education.
Main articles: Law of Portugal and Portuguese legal system
The Portuguese legal system is part of the civil law legal system,
also called the continental family legal system. Until the end of
the 19th century, French law was the main influence. Since then
the major influence has been German law. The main laws include the
Constitution (1976, as amended), the Civil Code (1966, as amended)
and the Penal Code (1982, as amended). Other relevant laws are the
Commercial Code (1888, as amended) and the Civil Procedure Code
(1961, as amended). Portuguese law applied in the former colonies
and territories and continues to be the major influence for those
Jerónimos Monastery, LisbonMain article: Religion in Portugal
Portuguese society is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. 84% of the
population are nominally Roman Catholic, but only about 19% attend
mass and take the sacraments regularly. A larger number wish to
be baptized, married in the church, and receive last rites.
Many Portuguese holidays, festivals and traditions have a Christian
origin or connotation. Although relations between the Portuguese
state and the Roman Catholic Church were generally amiable and stable
since the earliest years of the Portuguese nation, their relative
power fluctuated. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the church enjoyed
both riches and power stemming from its role in the reconquest and
its close identification with early Portuguese nationalism and the
foundation of the Portuguese educational system, including the first
university. The growth of the Portuguese overseas empire made its
missionaries important agents of colonization with important roles
of evangelization and teaching in all inhabited continents.
Main article: Culture of Portugal
Roman temple, ÉvoraPortugal has developed a specific culture
while being influenced by various civilizations that have crossed
the Mediterranean and the European continent, or were introduced
when it played an active role during the Age of Discovery.
Belém Tower, built in the 1510s and a symbol of the Age of
Discovery, LisbonPortuguese literature, one of the earliest Western
literatures, developed through text and song. Until 1350, the Portuguese-Galician
troubadours spread their literary influence to most of the Iberian
Peninsula. Gil Vicente (ca. 1465 - ca. 1536), was one of the
founders of both Portuguese and Spanish dramatic traditions. Adventurer
and poet Luís de Camões (ca. 1524-1580) wrote the
epic poem The Lusiads, with Virgil's Aeneid as his main influence.
Modern Portuguese poetry is rooted in neoclassic and contemporary
styles, as exemplified by Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935). Modern
Portuguese literature is represented by authors such as Almeida
Garrett, Camilo Castelo Branco, Eça de Queirós, Sophia
de Mello Breyner Andresen, and António Lobo Antunes. Particularly
popular and distinguished is José Saramago, winner of the
1998 Nobel Prize for literature.
Belém Cultural Center, LisbonPortuguese music encompasses
a wide variety of genres. The most renowned is fado, a melancholy
urban music, usually associated with the Portuguese guitar and saudade,
or longing. Coimbra fado, a unique type of fado, is also noteworthy.
Internationally notable performers include Amália Rodrigues,
Carlos Paredes, José Afonso, Mariza, Carlos do Carmo, Mísia,
and Madredeus. One of the most notable Portuguese musical groups
outside the country, and specially in Germany, is the goth-metal
band Moonspell. In addition to fado and folk, the Portuguese listen
to pop and other types of modern music, particularly from North
America and the British Isles, as well as a wide range of Portuguese
and Brazilian artists and bands. Bands with international recognition
include Blasted Mechanism and The Gift, both of which were nominated
for an MTV Music Award. Portugal has several summer music festivals,
such as Festival Sudoeste in Zambujeira do Mar, Festival de Paredes
de Coura in Paredes de Coura, Festival Vilar de Mouros near Caminha,
and Rock in Rio Lisboa and Super Bock Super Rock in Lisbon. Out
of the summer season, Portugal has a large number of festivals,
designed more to an urban audience, like Flowfest or Hip Hop Porto.
Furthermore, one of the largest international Goa trance festivals
takes place in northern Portugal every two years, and the student
festivals of Queima das Fitas are major events in a number of cities
across Portugal. In the Classical music domain, Portugal is represented
by names as the pianist Maria João Pires, the violinist Carlos
Damas and in the past by the great cellist Guilhermina Suggia.
Casa da Música (Music House), PortoIt has also a rich history
as far as painting is concerned. The first well-known painters date
back to the XV century – like Nuno Gonçalves - were
part of the Gothic painting period. José Malhoa, known for
his work Fado, and Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro (who painted the portraits
of Teófilo Braga and Antero de Quental) were both references
in naturalist painting.
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, LisbonThe 20th century saw the arrival
of Modernism, and along with it came the most prominent Portuguese
painters: Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, who was heavily influenced by
French painters, particularly by the Delaunays. Among his best known
works is Canção Popular a Russa e o Fígaro.
Another great modernist painter/writer was Almada Negreiros, friend
to the poet Fernando Pessoa, who painted his (Pessoa’s) portrait.
He was deeply influenced by both Cubist and Futurist trends. Prominent
international figures in visual arts nowadays include painters Vieira
da Silva, Júlio Pomar, and Paula Rego. Traditional architecture
is distinctive. Modern Portugal has given the world renowned architects
like Eduardo Souto de Moura, Álvaro Siza Vieira and Gonçalo
Byrne. Internally, Tomás Taveira is also noteworthy.
Since the 1990s, Portugal has increased the number of public cultural
facilities, in addition to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation established
in 1956 in Lisbon. These include the Belém Cultural Center
in Lisbon, Serralves Foundation and the Casa da Música, both
in Porto, as well as new public cultural facilities like municipal
libraries and concert halls which were built or renovated in many
municipalities across the country.
Pastéis de Nata (cream custards)Main articles: Portuguese
Cuisine and Portuguese Wine
Portuguese cuisine is diverse. The Portuguese love dry cod (bacalhau
in Portuguese), for which there are hundreds of recipes. There are
more than enough bacalhau dishes for each day of the year. Two other
popular fish recipes are grilled sardines and caldeirada. Typical
Portuguese meat recipes, that may take beef, pork, lamb, or chicken,
include feijoada, cozido à portuguesa, frango de churrasco,
and carne de porco à alentejana.
Vintage port from 1870 and 1873Typical fast food dishes include
the francesinha from Porto, and bifanas (grilled pork), prego (grilled
beef) or leitão (piglet) sandwiches which are well known
around the country. The Portuguese art of pastry has its origins
in ancient recipes of which pastéis de Belém (or pastéis
de nata) originally from Lisbon, and ovos-moles from Aveiro are
Portuguese wines have deserved international recognition since
the times of the Roman Empire, which associated Portugal with their
God Bacchus. Today the country is known by wine lovers and its wines
have won several international prizes. Some of the best Portuguese
wines are: Vinho Verde, Vinho Alvarinho, Vinho do Douro, Vinho do
Alentejo, Vinho do Dão, Vinho da Bairrada and the sweet:
Port Wine, Madeira Wine and the Moscatel from Setúbal and
Favaios. Port Wine is well known around the world and the most widely
exported Portuguese wine.
 Sports and games
Main article: Sport in Portugal
Portuguese football fans supporting the national teamFootball is
the most known, loved and practiced sport. The legendary Eusébio
is still a major symbol of Portuguese football history and Luís
Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the numerous examples of other
world class footballers born in Portugal and noted worldwide.
The Portuguese national teams, have titles in the FIFA World Youth
Championship and in the UEFA youth championships. The main national
team - Selecção Nacional - finished second in Euro
2004, reached the third place in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, and reached
the fourth place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, their best results
in major competitions to date.
S.L. Benfica, F.C. Porto and Sporting C.P. are the largest sports
clubs by popularity and in terms of trophies won, often known as
"os três grandes" ("the big three"). They
have a number of titles won in the European UEFA club competitions,
were present in many finals and have been regular contenders in
the last stages almost every season. Other than football, many Portuguese
sports clubs, including the "big three", compete in several
other sports events with a varying level of success and popularity.
Pavilhão Atlântico (Atlantic Pavillion), an indoor
sports venue and concert hall in LisbonPortugal has a successful
rink hockey team, with 15 world titles and 20 european titles, making
it the country with the most wins in both competitions. The most
successful Portuguese rink hockey clubs in the history of European
championships are F.C. Porto, S.L. Benfica, Sporting CP, and Óquei
The national rugby union team made a dramatic qualification into
the 2007 Rugby World Cup and become the first all amateur team to
qualify for the World Cup since the dawn of the professional era.
The Portuguese national team of rugby sevens has performed well,
becoming one of the strongest teams in Europe, and proved their
status as European champions in several occasions.
Rui Silva, in men's athletics, has won several gold, silver and
bronze medals in the European, World and Olympic Games competitions.
Francis Obikwelu in the 100 m and the 200 m, had silver in the 2004
Summer Olympics. Naide Gomes in pentathlon and long jump, is another
Portuguese elite athlete. In the triathlon, Vanessa Fernandes, has
won a large number of medals and major competitions across the world
and in 2007 became the world champion both in Triathlon and Duathlon.
In judo, Telma Monteiro is European champion in the women's under-52
kg category. Nelson Évora is world champion in triple jump.
Cycling, with Volta a Portugal being the most important race, is
also a popular sports event and include professional cycling teams
such as S.L. Benfica, Boavista, Clube de Ciclismo de Tavira, and
União Ciclista da Maia. Noted Portuguese cyclists include,
among others, names as Joaquim Agostinho, Marco Chagas, José
Azevedo and Sérgio Paulinho.
The country has also achieved notable performances in sports like
fencing, surfing, windsurf, kitesurf, kayaking, sailing and shooting,
among other. The paralympic athletes have also conquered many medals
in sports like swimming, boccia and wrestling. Portugal has its
own original martial art, jogo do pau, in which the fighters use
staffs to confront one or several opponents.