How much do you know about Portugal? Sun, good food, nice people and lovely places to visit; but this isn’t all. There’s much more to know about its history before moving there, or simply to find out why you should love this country. Here for you 10 reasons:
1. It is the oldest nation in Europe – it became the kingdom of Portugal in 1139, and the country remained as such for the next 800 years until 1910, when it became the República Portuguesa (the Portuguese Republic).
2. Bertrand Bookstore is the oldest bookstore worldwide – opened in 1732 in Lisbon, is now a chain available in the whole country. For this reason, the Livraria Bertrand won the Guinness World Record in 2010.
3. Coimbra University – the oldest university in the country, and one of the oldest in the world. It was founded in 1290, and today it counts about 22,000 students.
4. Vasco da Gama bridge – it is the longest bridge in Europe and was opened in 1998. Today it counts about 13 km length and 6 road lanes.
5. Best beaches for surfing – Portugal is the perfect place for every surf lover, regardless of his/her level of abilities. It has the record of biggest wave ever surfed, it was Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara who rode a wave of 23.77m (78ft) off the coast of Nazaré in Portugal in 2011.
6. Portuguese is the official language in 8 more countries – and it is the sixth most spoken language worldwide. As result of the colonisation, it is spoken in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Goa in India and Macau.
7. The largest cork production – it is made in Portugal and delivered everywhere else in the world, and its oak cork is protected by law.
8. Lisbon is oldest than Rome – it is also one of the oldest cities in Europe, according to archaeological findings, it dates back to to 1200BC revealing populations in and around Portugal’s capital city.
9. Pioneer of adopting the euro – Portugal was one of the first countries to give up on its currency (Portuguese escudo) in 1999, while the euro was introduced for all the other countries in 2002. It is still possible to exchange escudo currency at the Banco de Portugal (Central Bank of Portugal) until 28 February 2022.
10. First European country to abolish slavery – and engage with the transatlantic slave trade, and therefore about 50 years before Britain, Spain, France and the United States.