ART + CULTURE

DISCOVERING PORTUGAL: A GLIMPSE INTO ITS CULTURE AND HERITAGE

Embark on a journey through Portugal's rich tapestry of culture, history, and unique traditions

09.12.2023
BY WILHEMINA BOWEN
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Portugal, nestled on the Iberian Peninsula in the enchanting southwestern corner of Europe, invites explorers to delve into its multifaceted identity. In this article, we unravel the captivating facets that make Portugal a gem among European nations.

1. The Origin of the Name Portugal and its Political History

The name Portugal first appeared in 868, while the term "Portuguese" was used to refer to its inhabitants. The country operates under a semi-presidential republic system, with a president serving a 5-year term and a prime minister with a 4-year term. For almost 800 years, from 1139 to 1910, Portugal followed a monarchy system before transitioning into a republic in 1910.

2. Portuguese Language and the Portuguese-Speaking Community

The Portuguese language is still used by over 240 million speakers worldwide, representing a legacy of Portugal's extensive exploration and colonialism. Nine countries using Portuguese are part of the "Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa" (CPLP), including Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Timor Leste, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome, and Principe.

3. Culinary Delights: Bacalhau and the Love for Coffee

Portuguese people are known for their love of fish, especially bacalhau, or dried and salted cod. There's a myth that Portuguese can cook bacalhau in 1001 ways. Additionally, coffee is a favorite beverage, with Portuguese individuals consuming up to 5 to 6 cups of espresso per day.

4. Football and International Achievements

Football dominates the sports scene in Portugal, with the national team producing renowned players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo. High achievements in this sport have placed the country on the international stage.

5. Vasco da Gama Bridge: A Modern Architectural Marvel

The Vasco da Gama Bridge, spanning 17.18 km, is the longest bridge in Europe. Opened on March 29, 1998, just three years after construction began in February 1995, the bridge stands as a testament to Portugal's modern architectural prowess.

6. World's Leading Cork Producer

Portugal is rich in cork oak trees, with over half of the world's cork production originating from the country. Cork trees provide not only abundant natural resources but also support the local industry.

7. University of Coimbra: The Oldest Educational Institution

Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra is one of the oldest universities still in operation globally. As a historically rich educational center, the university symbolizes Portugal's academic achievements.

With its cultural richness and historical significance, Portugal continues to captivate the world with its charm and unique character. This information provides a deeper insight into this beautiful country.

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