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Republic of Portugal




90% Roman Catholic, minorities of Protestants, Muslims and Jews

Political System

Republic since 1910


1 Euro = 100 Cent

Geographical Information

Capital: Lisbon

Area: 92.000 sq km

South-west Europe, islands of Azores and Madeira. Spain borders Portugal in the north and east; the south and west are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.

Typical Food and drinks

Wide range of seafood, also tasty local cuisine with simple but rich dishes. Lots of olive oil used. Chinese food is widely available.

Holidays and Festivals

National Holidays:

10th june: Death of poet Luis de Camoes 1580

25th april: Carnation Revolution 1974

5th october Declaration of the Republic 1910

1st december : Liberation from Spanish domination 1640

1st january: New Year

Most Roman Catholic holidays are observed.


7000 B.C. Hunters and gatherers

800 B.C. Arrival of Romans and Greek

700 A.D. Moors conquered whole Iberian Peninsular

1094 A.D. The name Portugal first recorded

1250 A.D. Expulsion of the Moors

Period of the discoveries

Later collapse of Portuguese world empire

1801 Invasion by Napoleon

Portugal became the poorhouse of Europe

1928 Salazar became Minister of Finance; 1932 Prime Minister and introduced a fascist dictatorship until 1970, a period of isolation

1974 Carnation Revolution and agricultural reform

  1. Joined the E.U.

Art and culture

Romans and Moors built temples and palaces. Building of the romansque cathedrals of Lisboa and Porto. Gothic buildings in Lisboa, most of which where distroyed in the earthquake of 1755.

Manueline Style is a form of gothic surrealism, the outstanding masterpiece is the monastery of Jeronimos at Belem, which was declared a world heritage site.

Dos and donīts for visiting the country

Queues are formed like in Great Britain

Buy bustickets before boarding not in the bus

Get into bus at te front near to driver, not at the back.

Avoid driving a car in larger cities because of shortage of parking spaces

Cycling is very dangerous

Cheaper to drink coffee art the bar than at a table

Use the portuguese word "obrigado/a" for thank you, not the spanish "gracias"

Wait to be sown a tabele in restaurants

Never talk during a Fado concert

Population and

% of foreign population /minorities

98% Portugueses,

2,0% are legal foreigners of which came from

50.000 Cape Verde

46.000 Brazil

46.000 Ukraine

Approximately 30.000 illegal immigrants according to government estimates

Main Integration Problems

Illiteracy rate in 1974 was 30%, in the country sometimes 80%. No educated middleclass. Today Portugal has the highest illiteracy rate (15%) in Europe. The health system is very bad. Up to 1989 Portugal received development assistance from Germany. Under Salazar the country was completely isolated and poor public administration and justice system resulted in the underdevelopment of the country.

Main problems are education and language.

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Latest update of this page: 2005-07-15 
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