There are many reasons why Portugal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and beyond. Aside from the affordable prices, there are many other reasons that attract people to this country. There is something special for every visitor: a quiet beach holiday, historical sites worth visiting, a very diverse culture and of course the delicious local dishes. Throughout the year cultural activities fill the calendar, and from music to sports and other events, there is no shortage of options. As hospitality is one of the brand images for our country, I bring you today 10 interesting facts about Portugal that not everyone knows, and that you can use to break the ice with the many tourists who visit our country. So if you want to try it then book your cheap flights to Lisbon Portugal now! Did you know any?
- Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries
More than 236 million people in the world speak Portuguese. Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Prince, Sao Tome and Equatorial Guinea. Portuguese is also spoken in Goa (India), Macau and East Timor.
The vast majority of people here say that what we speak is not Portuguese but “Brazilian”. This bothers me a bit because I feel that some Portuguese really believe we speak another language.
It is as if the English called what the Americans born speak of “American,” when in fact both are and should be called English: British English and American English only for differentiation. So I’d be happier if they said Portuguese from Portugal and Brazilian Portuguese, even if it’s longer.
- Portugal is the oldest country in Europe
Portugal has defined borders since 1139, making it the oldest nation in Europe. Afonso Henriques declared the principal Kingdom of Portugal in 1139 and the nation remained a kingdom for over 800 years until 1910.
- The oldest bookstore in the world is in the capital of Portugal
Bertrand Chiado was elected in 2011 by the Guinness Book as the oldest bookstore in the world still in operation. It opened in 1732!
- Portugal is the largest producer of cork in the world
Portugal produces 70% of the cork that is exported worldwide. The largest importers of Portuguese cork are Germany, England and the United States. The country also has the largest forest of cork oaks.
- One of the oldest universities in Europe is in Portugal
The University of Coimbra was established in 1290, is one of the oldest in Europe.
- Portugal and England have the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world
The Luso-British Alliance was signed in 1373 and continues to this day! It established a treaty of “perpetual friendship”, union and alliance between the two nations
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