Things you did not know about Portugal


After finding out so many astonishing things about Portugal, about the seven wonders of Portugal, about the diversity in wines and cooking specialties, we may have the wrong impression that one knows almost every aspect about this former empire. You cannot be more wrong as I will shed light on things you did not know about Portugal. Prepared to say wow? Let’s get started then.

Portuguese records

Portuguese history is full of memorable events, of fascinating legends praising the courageous and fierce heroes that fought for honor and glory. But it is also a country of impressive records. How many of you know that Portugal is the oldest country that maintained its actual frontiers from the 12th century and also the last and biggest European empire? Or that Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world? We all know Portuguese passion for fireworks, so in 2010, Guinness World Records registered Portugal as the country who produced and launched the largest firework rocket. Also, holding the record for the longest bridge in Europe with 17 km,Portugal built the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon after the name of the famous explorer.

Famous Portuguese people

“Say it right”, “I’m like a bird” or “Promiscuous”, these are only a few of the most sold hits of the Grammy award winner singer, Nelly Furtado. Born in Canada, Nelly Furtado is actually the daughter of Portuguese immigrants. The strong connection between the artist and her Portuguese roots were cultivated since she was a child. As she often confesses the first song she performed on stage was the national anthem of Portugal, at the early age of 4. Portuguese people also take great pride with Jose Saramago. Play writer, poet, journalist and novelist, Saramago was a Nobel prize winner for literature in 1998, being rewarded for “his parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony”. The most appreciated books “Memorial do Convento” (Memoir of the Convent) or “The Gospel according to Jesus Christ” were translated in several languages and received world wide attention. If you are a football fan, then you are definitely familiar with the two most representative stars of this game: Winner of the Golden Ball in 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo is the most expensive player in the history of football, his transfer contract from Manchester United to Real Madrid being worth £80 million. Another important football figure in Portugal is José Murinho, one of the most respected football managers in the world. He received the title of honoris causa from the Technical University of Lisbon for his entire exceptional activity. Among his personal awards are the two titles of Premier League Manager of the Year (2004-2005), three titles of the Premier League  Manager of the Month, two times Serie A Manager of the Year 2009, 2010), FIFA Ballon d’Or Best Coach (2010). Without any doubt, football is the king sport in Portugal. Another great Portuguese personality is Jose Manuel Barroso. After being Prime Minister of Portugal, Barroso has become one of the most influential leaders in the European Union when accepting in 2004 the position of President of the European Commission, which he presently exercises.

If “Things you did not know about Portugal” stirred your curiosity, then you should know that there are still many fascinating items to explore about Portugal, people and places that have impressed the entire world and remained symbols of this wonderful country. So, do not waste a moment and enjoy your next holiday in Portugal!

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