is located in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, its area is 92.3 thousand square kilometers (including islands). The capital of the Portuguese Republic is the city of Lisbon. According to data for 2003, the population of Portugal was 10.10 million people, it is distributed with a density of 115 people per square kilometer.
Portuguese is a state language, Catholicism is the main religion in the Portuguese Republic. June 10 is recognized as a state holiday – this is Portugal’s day. This country is a parliamentary republic, the president is elected for a term of five years by universal suffrage.
The Prime Minister is usually the leader of a party that received the largest number of votes in elections, he also heads the government of the Portuguese Republic and forms the composition of his cabinet. As for the Parliament of Portugal, he is elected for a term of four years on party lists. The Parliament of the Portuguese Republic is also called the Assembly of the Republic, it consists of two hundred and thirty deputies.
After the administrative reform in 1976, the territory of the Portuguese Republic (its continental part) was divided into eighteen districts (before that, the province was a large unit of the administrative division). Currently, the eighteen existing districts are divided into three hundred and eight municipal districts, which in turn consist of parishes. With regard to the island part of Portugal (and this is Madeira and the Azores), they have received the status of autonomous regions of the Portuguese Republic.
Portugal has a moderate Mediterranean climate, which is formed under some influence of the Atlantic Ocean. The average temperature in Lisbon in August is 23 degrees Celsius, and in January – 10 degrees Celsius. Mount Estrela, whose height is 1993 meters, is the highest point of the Portuguese Republic.
Portugal is a mono-national state.
Portuguese make up 99% of the total population. However, from ancient times on the Iberian peninsula (in the western part of which the Portuguese Republic is located) a large number of different peoples settled, the most ancient inhabitants of which were the Iberians. They were swarthy and short. For many centuries, the shape of the Portuguese was formed. He was influenced by Arabs, Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Celts, and also some Germanic tribes.
The Portuguese Republic is a country with rich natural attractions.
Among the diverse landscapes of the northern part of Portugal (the mountainous part), old castles, monasteries and small villages were lost. The highest mountain massif of this country is also in its northern part – it is a granite massif of Serra da Estrela, whose length is sixty kilometers, and the width is thirty kilometers. On its rocky slopes rustic little villages are settled, there are many river valleys that cut through mountain slopes. The baroque shape has cliffs that can be seen at the very top of the Serra da Estrela. By the way, this mountain range is the only place of its kind in the country that is suitable for skiing. Another attraction of the Portuguese Republic is the waterfall of Posu do Inferno. This small waterfall is not far from the above-mentioned mountain range. The waterfall of Posu do Inferno, although small, is translated from the Portuguese language as “hell’s precipice”. A little to the west of the Serra da Estrela massif is the forest park Bukasu. Its area is significant – it is four hundred and eighty hectares. For many centuries, this forest plot was under the protection of monks, and in the seventeenth century a Carmelite monastery was established here. In ancient times, many people found shelter in these forests.Park “Bukasu” in something unique – now it can count three hundred exotic species of vegetation, as well as four hundred local species. The matter is that monks for a long period of time sought (and not without success) to acclimatize exotic plants in these forests. The reserve zone is the San Mamede Ridge, which is located in the central part of the Portuguese Republic. Here (by the way, this is the border with Spain) there are bears. Beautiful landscapes can be seen in the south-eastern part of Portugal. It is the Arrabida Range, which is an important conservation area of the Portuguese Republic. The ridge, steeply cut off to the sea waters, densely overgrown with forest and bizarre vegetation. No less wonderful and magnificent masterpiece, created by nature, is the cape of Cabo da Roca. From its height you can marvel at the beauty of the coastal landscape.
Man has greatly changed the flora of Portugal.
However, natural vegetation still reflects all the climatic features inherent in this country. Pine grows where the influence of the ocean is the strongest, and there are significant woodlands on the central and northern coast of Portugal. Stone and cork oaks prefer to grow where the summer is characterized as hot and long. It should be noted that one fifth of the territory of the Portuguese Republic is made up of forests. Half of them are coniferous, with pine predominating in them. Plantations of cork oak make up about 607 thousand hectares – thanks to this the Portuguese Republic is the most important supplier of cork bark products (it supplies one second part all over the world).
Portugal lies on the migration route of migratory birds.
On one of the most important ways. As a result of this peculiarity in the Portuguese Republic, not one species of birds can be seen. The province of Algarve will be interesting to ornithologists, since it is here that you can find an interesting bay. The sand spit, which protects this bay from sea water, is a place of congestion of a large number of migratory birds that flock here in search of a resting place. As for the animal world as a whole, Portugal has representatives of all kinds that are typical for the territory of Central Europe. In the country there are a fox, a bear, a wolf, a wild forest cat, a lynx, a wild boar and a variety of rodents. More than two hundred species of fish are found in the coastal waters of the Portuguese Republic. Among them there are commercial fish (tuna, anchovies, sardines).
The Portuguese Republic is a country with a rich cultural heritage.
There are many attractions in this country, and you can see them in different parts of Portugal. In the capital of the Portuguese Republic – in Lisbon – a visitor can get acquainted with the Monastery of Jerome, the castle of Saint George, and Rossio Square. The monastery of Jerome is considered one of three architectural monuments that are unique all over the world. Rossio Square is covered with a history of burning heretics. There was also a corrida. Be sure to watch the watchtower of Belém. It is a symbol of the Portuguese capital. It was from here that caravels set off in search of new lands. No less interesting is the acquaintance with the National Museum of Ancient Art, which is also located in Lisbon. In the National Museum, historical exhibits dating from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries are collected. In Lisbon, you can visit the archaeological, ethnographic museums, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Kalost Gulbenkian. In the latter there is a collection of works of art from the most ancient times to the twentieth century.
The Castle of St. George is a symbol of the Portuguese Republic.
One of the symbols. The history of the magnificent castle is more than a thousand years old. Not one historical event associated with the ancient castle of St. George, occurred during its centuries-old history – he was their witness and even a participant.The majestic castle has an advantageous position, which for a long time determined its role as both the most important Portuguese fortress and port. During the invasion of the territory of Portugal in 1085, it was this castle that took the brunt, the Spaniards repeatedly tried to take possession of the castle of St. George, but to no avail. Wedding ceremonies are often held in the walls of the mysterious castle. The centuries-old walls of the castle of St. George keep the history of kings and knight battles.
Vasco da Gama Bridge is the pride of the Portuguese capital.
This grandiose structure makes us marvel at its scale. At present, this bridge has the largest length in the whole of Europe – it exceeds seventeen kilometers. The Vasco da Gama Bridge was built for eighteen months and was opened for traffic on 29 March 1998 – this event was timed to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the opening of the sea route to India Vasco da Gama. A distinctive feature of the grandiose bridge is its curvature, which is caused by a strong unevenness of the underwater bottom. The number of lanes for traffic on the bridge is six, but in the near future it is planned to add two more lanes. The bridge is paid to get to Lisbon and you need to pay just over two euros for a car.
The bridge on April 25 is another masterpiece of the Portuguese capital.
It is interesting that this name was given to the bridge only in 1974 (although it was opened on March 6, 1966), when democracy was restored in Portugal (it happened on April 25), until that moment it was called “Salazar Bridge”. Salazar – King of Portugal since 1926, a convinced fascist. At the time of opening of this suspension bridge over the Tagus River it was the longest in Europe – its length was two and a half kilometers.
The Bethlehem Tower is the symbol of Lisbon.
This is a historical monument, since the tower was built in the sixteenth century, and now represents one of the best examples of Manueline style. The Bethlehem Tower is protected by UNESCO. Every day the tower attracts a large number of buses – every foreign tourist wants to see this historical monument, which is located in the waters of the River Tejo and faces the Atlantic Ocean. Having seen it once, a tourist will never forget this masterpiece and will not confuse it with anything else. The tower is built in honor of St. Vincent, who has long been considered the patron saint of the Portuguese capital. The Bethlehem Tower is decorated with stone carvings, delicate Venetian balconies and lanterns. Here you can see a sculpture of a rhinoceros and a statue of Madonna of the Navigators. But the interior of the grandiose tower is rather gloomy, and it is not surprising, because in the past there was a prison in its walls.
Mafra Palace – National Palace of the Portuguese Republic.
Mafra Palace is located in the suburbs of the Portuguese capital in Mafra and is a monastery made in the style of neoclassicism and baroque. The palace has huge dimensions, and therefore almost eclipses the city. Mafra Palace is a monument of history, was built in the eighteenth century. In 1711, the reigning King John V. vowed to build a convent in the event that his wife gives birth to his descendants. The construction of the palace, and the truth, began after the birth of the first daughter. The extensive complex of the National Palace (which also includes a library of about forty thousand rare books) is a striking example of luxury baroque buildings in the Portuguese Republic.
Portugal is rich in resort areas.
The province of Algarve is an example. This resort area is rightly considered one of the European coastal zones that are most popular with tourists. Every year, the Algarve attracts millions of tourists. The capital of this resort area is Faro.The city of Faro can boast of its location, because the harbor in which it was built is located in a surprisingly beautiful lagoon. In 1965 Faro became a real tourist center – this year an airport of international importance was opened here. An interesting fact is that a significant number of current resort towns, equipped according to all modern rules, were previously small fishing settlements. In the fashionable resorts, these settlements have turned largely thanks to the relaxing climate and sandy beaches with a considerable length. Surprisingly, these places do not get too hot in the summer months and too cold in the winter. In the Algarve there are vast green spaces, many of which are adapted for golf.
Algarve is a treasure trove of tourist destinations.
In the central part of the coast of this province is located the resort town of Vilamoura. Being in a large harbor, this resort allows its visitors to try themselves in all kinds of outdoor activities. Amazing landscapes around the resort city, a favorable climate, all the amenities and a wide range of all kinds of entertainment predetermine the fact that every year Vilamoura is visited by tourists from many countries. Another of the tourist destinations of the Algarve, which enjoys the greatest popularity in Portugal and in Europe as a whole, is the ancient port city of Lagos. This city is characterized by developed infrastructure and stunning beaches. This region has a rich history, which was not always favorable to its inhabitants. For example, in 1755 a powerful earthquake occurred here. It caused the destruction of many historic buildings. Currently, the ruins that remained after the earthquake remained in the old part of Lagos, and an inquisitive tourist can look at them. To the east of this resort town stretched its best beach. It’s about Meia Prayer. Another masterpiece of the coast of the province of Algarve is a small town of Tavira. This city is east of the city of Faro and is famous for its picturesque landscapes, because its streets are buried in the green of orange, almond, fig trees. The present resort is proud of its centuries-old history, which dates from the second century to the new era. A tourist who has come to these regions can get acquainted with the Moorish castle, which has ramparts. From the last resting will admire the stunning views, which also rightfully takes pride in the town of Tavira. Tavira also suffered from the earthquake of 1755, but was completely restored. Among the sights of this town one can especially single out the churches (Miserikordiya church).
The province of Algarve is the “garden of Portugal”.
It is this reputation that this territory of the Portuguese Republic has earned itself. The reason for this beautiful name was numerous fig, pomegranate, carob, orange and lemon trees. The attractiveness of the Algarve is also added by almond trees, which are found here in abundance.
Madeira is an island located in the southwestern part of the Portuguese Republic.
Simultaneously, Madeira is also the name of an autonomous archipelago. Madeira is famous for its mild climate and picturesque landscapes. To the coast of this island (its origin is volcanic), large whales often swim. This happens because the steep precipices of Madeira end almost vertically, and the Atlantic Ocean, which approaches the shore, is characterized by considerable depth. Madeira was discovered in 1419 by accident. Its discoverer was the Portuguese Joao Goncalves Zarku. The purpose of his voyage was to study the western shores of the African continent. However, the storm confused the plans of this Portuguese, but gave the opportunity to discover the previously unknown island of Madeira. By the way, in translation Madeira means “tree”. The name was given to the island due to its rich vegetation – untouched forest cover. But soon after the discovery, the island was set on fire.The purpose of such an event was to make this island suitable for living on it. As the legend says, the duration of the fire was seven years, during which all the virgin forests of Madeira completely burned (except for a small northern section). At present, contemplating the beauty of Madeira, it is already difficult to reconcile with the idea that at one time, even in remote times, this island was betrayed by fire. Now the island of Madeira is a window from Europe to the tropics. Here eternal spring reigns, and the wild nature strikes with its primordial nature. Beautiful flowers, an atmosphere of silence and peace will remain in the memory of a man who has been to this region for a long time.
Madeira Island is poor in vegetation.
This is not true. The island has a variety of flowers. These are orchids, and geraniums, and cannes, and wisteria, and many others. Here the numbness of shrubby apple, banana, mango and avocado, which can be seen in different parts of this island. The charm of Madeira is woven from a combination of aromas of herbs and sea breath. Madeira covers the forest, which is so diverse that one hundred and forty-five species of trees can be seen exclusively on this island – they are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Funchal is the port city of Madeira.
Today, it attracts a significant part of tourists who go to Madeira. This city is colonial, so it has something to look at a history lover. One of the main architectural treasures of the island is the Cathedral in the center of Funchal. Now this resort town has all sorts of restaurants and shops, having come to it, the tourist has the opportunity to visit the botanical garden, and, of course, enjoy a mild, climate-friendly climate.
Sintra is the pearl of the Portuguese Republic.
In any case, this is the name of this ancient Moorish city of Portugal. The symbol of this amazing city is the National Palace of Paso Real, which is in its very heart. This palace is famous for its conical chimneys, and of course, painted halls. Another attraction of Sintra is the truly fabulous Palacio de Pena castle, which is located at the very top of one of the highest hills of Sintra. Beauty is added to this masterpiece by a beautiful park.
Portugal is a country of world famous cities.
In Fatima, a tourist can visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady, which is known all over the world. This sanctuary is a place of pilgrimage for Catholics from different corners of the planet. In Cambra, it would be nice to look at the Roman aqueduct. Particularly impressive is the Romanesque-style cathedral, the erection of which dates back to the twelfth century. Caimra is the city of many churches and monasteries. Here you can visit the Museum of Art, which is proud of its collection of sculptures dating back to the sixteenth century. Its ornaments are famous for the church of Santa Maria, which is located in Setubal. This church was built in the sixteenth century. In Mafra, the sight of a newcomer is bound to linger on a monastery built in the eighteenth century. Built in honor of King Juan V’s heir, this complex has gained worldwide fame. He is famous for his huge library, which absorbed more than thirty thousand volumes. The most beautiful city of the Portuguese Republic – the city of Evora – has an unsurpassed appearance. He is one of the most ancient in the country. The city of Evora perfectly preserved the temple of Diana – one of the Roman temples, which were not destroyed by history. The unique image of this city is created by more than thirty churches, palaces and monasteries.
Celebrating the New Year takes a special place in the traditions of the Portuguese Republic.
Wedding ceremonies are no less important. The status of these festivities was given due to the fact that this country adheres to Mediterranean traditions and customs. An interesting fact is that in Portugal it is customary to eat twelve grapes under the chiming clock on New Year’s Eve.Each grapes – one desire, so you get twelve cherished desires for twelve months a year. Besides. In Portugal, the vine is a symbol of abundance.
The Portuguese Republic is a country of interesting wedding traditions.
The marriage age of the groom in this country is nineteen years, and the bride is sixteen years old. Having agreed on the marriage, a pair of young people became “conspirators” – after that the guy and the girl together could save money either for the completion of education or for independent living. This tradition also can not do without gifts – they can be embroidered scarf, rosary, ring. A week before the wedding, a guy with a girl is bound to go to neighbors and friends with a new basket in order to bring them to the wedding ceremony a crust of bread, which goes to all the guests. It is worth noting that the refusal to participate in the wedding ceremony can only be for health reasons, but even in this case the guest must make a gift to the newlyweds.
Portugal is a country of many traditions and customs.
One of the favorite shows of the inhabitants of the Portuguese Republic is the bullfight. In the Portuguese version, it is a beautiful sporting event. The rules are significantly different from the “bloodthirsty” Spanish bullfight, because in Portuguese competitions in strength and agility between bull and man no one is ever deprived of life, and bulls come out of trials alive. Many cities of the Portuguese Republic with a sinking heart watching the bullfight on holidays. Wine traditions of this country are also interesting. These traditions date back to the ancient Phoenicians. In the northern part of Portugal, an excellent port wine is made, named for the second largest city in Portugal. Port “Porto” (or “Oporto”) is famous not only in the northern part of the country, but also beyond its borders. In the famous city are more than twenty-five wineries, which often organize tours. After inspections of the shops of the enterprise, visitors will be able to try different wines and even buy the producers liked at the price.
Portuguese have a calm character.
They do not know the fuss, unhurried (than cardinally different from the Spaniards). The Portuguese are a non-aggressive, noiseless people. They well perceive many languages and are very friendly with their guests. In communication, the Portuguese are calm, their speech can not be called loud. And the Portuguese are very fond of the holidays, which often take place in the Portuguese republic. The main holidays and weekends include New Year, Carnival Tuesday, Great Friday, Freedom Day, Portugal Day, All Saints Day, Independence Day, Christmas, etc.