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Interesting Facts About Portugal That You Didn’t Know

Interesting Facts About Portugal That You Didn't Know

Our full guide quick facts about Portugal that you didn’t know.

Portugal is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some fascinating facts that will enhance your travel experience and appreciation of this vibrant nation.

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Facts About Portugal

Historical and Cultural Facts

Oldest Nation-State in Europe

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Portugal is one of the oldest nation-states in Europe, with its borders having been defined in 1139. It is the oldest country in Europe with the same defined borders.

Lisbon’s Earthquake

The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, followed by a tsunami and fires, devastated the city. This event significantly influenced European Enlightenment thinking.

Portuguese Language

Portuguese is the official language of nine countries, making it the sixth most spoken language in the world, with around 250 million speakers.

Fado Music

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Fado, the traditional Portuguese music characterized by melancholic tunes and lyrics, is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Geographic and Natural Wonders

Diverse Landscape

Interesting Facts About Portugal That You Didn't Know

Portugal boasts a diverse landscape, from the lush vineyards of the Douro Valley to the stunning beaches of the Algarve, and the rugged mountains of the Serra da Estrela.

Azores and Madeira

Portugal’s autonomous regions, the Azores and Madeira, are volcanic archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean, known for their dramatic landscapes and unique flora and fauna.

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Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca, located near Lisbon, is the westernmost point of mainland Europe. It offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Architectural Marvels

Azulejos

Interesting Facts About Portugal That You Didn't Know

Portugal is famous for its azulejos, decorative ceramic tiles that adorn many buildings, especially in Lisbon and Porto. They often depict historical and cultural scenes.

Jerónimos Monastery

Interesting Facts About Portugal That You Didn't Know

The Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon is a prime example of Manueline architecture, an ornate, late-Gothic style unique to Portugal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pena Palace

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Located in Sintra, Pena Palace is a colorful and eclectic mix of Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance elements, often considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.

Culinary Delights

Port Wine

Portugal is the birthplace of Port wine, a sweet, fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley. It is one of the most famous wines globally.

Pastel de Nata

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The Pastel de Nata, a delicious custard tart, originated from the Jerónimos Monastery. It’s now a beloved treat worldwide.

Seafood

With a long coastline, Portugal has a rich seafood tradition. The country is known for dishes like bacalhau (salted cod) and grilled sardines.

Unique Traditions and Festivals

Carnival in Madeira

The Carnival in Madeira is one of Portugal’s most vibrant festivals, featuring colorful parades, elaborate costumes, and lively music.

Sao Joao Festival

The Sao Joao Festival in Porto is celebrated with fireworks, street parties, and the playful tradition of hitting people on the head with plastic hammers.

Bullfighting

Portuguese bullfighting is unique in that the bull is not killed in the ring. Instead, the event focuses on the skill of the matador and the forcados, who perform a “face catch.”

Modern Portugal

Renewable Energy

Portugal is a leader in renewable energy. In 2016, the country ran entirely on renewable energy for four consecutive days.

Technology Hub

Lisbon is rapidly becoming a tech hub, attracting startups and entrepreneurs from around the world, especially during the annual Web Summit.

Miscellaneous Facts

World’s Oldest Bookstore

Bertrand Bookstore in Lisbon, founded in 1732, is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest operating bookstore.

Soccer Legacy

Interesting Facts About Portugal That You Didn't Know

Portugal has a rich soccer history and is home to legendary players like Eusébio and Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Longest Bridge in Europe

Interesting Facts About Portugal That You Didn't Know

The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe, stretching over 17 kilometers (10.7 miles) across the Tagus River.

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