Portugal is on edge of the European Continent. It was once a great empire. Today it is a relative poor country. It stretches along the most of the Atlantic coast of the Iberian peninsular in the southern-western tip of Europe. The islands of Madeira and the Azores belonging to Portugal but are thousand of kilometres out in the North Atlantic.
A number of rivers have their start in Spain and flowing through Portugal into the Atlantic. Lisbon is their capital. It lies on the river of Tagus which starts in Spain near Madrid. On the north side of the Tagus the land is mountainous, cold and wet. The southern side is dry grasslands and rolling plains. The Algarve on the south coast is a semi tropical region. It is very popular with tourist.
The plants are rich and varied from tropical plants to others more often seen I colder climates. Pines, elms and oaks are mixing with palms, cacti and mimosas. Not a lot of large wild life.
A high number of people are working in agriculture which is very high in comparison to its neighbouring countries. The main food crops are wheat, in the southern regions and maize and potatoes in the northern regions.
Portugal is famous its port wine which is grown in Oporto. The region is in the north. The Portuguese fisherman are still going out to sea and bringing the sardines and other fish in. This is another well known export. The country’s other export are textiles, cork and wood.
Previously in history mining was not very encouraged in Portugal. Nowadays they built several large hydro-electric schemes on major rivers. With the new available electric power the mini industry is producing tungsten, tin, copper, manganese and iron.
The Portuguese language is widely spoken in Brazil. Although the Portuguese language differs from Spanish but when two people meet it is possible for them to understand each other.
For 60 years Portugal was ruled by Spain. They have one thing in common that is bull fighting. However, the Portuguese bullfight is not killing them. It is a test of the horseman to ride so skilfully that it prances in front of the bull to entice the bull to charge repeatedly.
|GUIMAERES CASTLE IS KNOW AS THE CRADLE OF PORTUGAL|
|THE BATALHA MONESTRY BUILT IN 1385 AND IT KNOWN AS ONE THE BEST GOTHIC BUILDINGS. WORLD HERITAGE SITE|
Portugal is also known for great seafaring traditions. In the 15th and 16th century it was the Portuguese explorer who ventured out into the open sea with very small ships. Still believing the world is flat which shows their limited knowledge and great courage to face the open oceans with no knowledge where they going. They must have experienced huge storms and with their size of ships it must have horrendous. They explored and discovered so many oceans and continents.
They founded many colonies and the Portuguese Empire included Brazil, Angola and Mozambique. The trade from the Moluccan spice islands made Portugal the richest country in Europe.
|MANUEL II -- LAST KING OF PORTUGAL|
The wealth and empire did not last and it crumbled. The monarchy fell in 1910 and military rule started in 1920. It lasted till the revolution in 1974. With in two year democracy was established and 10 years after it joined the European Union.
|PORTUGAL - AZORES|