Portugal is situated in Southwestern Europe. The country’s capital is Lisbon, and the country is bordered by Spain and Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic archipelagos, Madeira and Azores are also the part of the country. Pre-Celts and the Celts are the people first settled in the region, and the region was occupied by Lusitanian and Gallaeci when the territory was incorporated into Roman Republic in 29 BC. Romans influenced the culture of Portuguese, especially on Portuguese language. Portugal was then occupied by various Germanic tribes after the decline of Roman Empire in 5th century. Kingdom of Portugal was established in 1139 by Afonso Henriques and recognized in the year 1143.

 

Portugal colonized several countries in Asia, Africa, South America and Oceania during 15th and 16th centuries. The country became a major economic, military and political power during that time. Portugal remained as a global empire for about six centuries. In 1580, the country united with Spain, but re-established full independence in 1640. The independence was recognized only in 1668. Portugal is a republic with parliamentary system of government. President and the Prime Minister are the head of the state and the head of the government respectively. Executive power is vested upon the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is executed by the Assembly of the Republic and the government. Judicial system is independent from other two powers.

 

Portugal has a mixed economy and the country is a developed country. Some of the major industries are textile, footwear, wood, footwear, chemicals, paper, dairy products, glassware, telecommunications, technology, tourism, ship construction and auto-parts manufacturing. The population in Portugal is 10 million and majority of the population consists of homogenous people. About 97% of the population is ethnic Portuguese people, and other ethnic groups are Ukrainians, Brazilians, Angolans and Cape Verdeans.  Portuguese is the official language of the country and Mirandese is the recognized regional language of Portugal.  Most of the people belong to Roman Catholic Church. Other religious beliefs are Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism.

 

Portugal is a romantic country with medieval villages, ancient castles, seaside towns and romantic palaces. Portugal has 14 World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO. Tower of Belem is the symbol of Age of Discovery and the tower is listed in World Heritage site situated at Lisbon’s harbor. Jeronimos Monastery is also the symbol of Age of Discovery and listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Oceanarium at Lisbon will be a great experience for both children and adults as it consist of variety of mammals, fishes, penguins and otters.

 

Peneda-Geres National Park which consists of several animals is a great attraction for the tourists and the landscape of the park is impressive. Madeira is the home for several whales and dolphins. Alfama is a district dates back to Moorish times situated in Lisbon. You can enjoy the ornate churches, whitewashed houses, tiny squares, narrow cobbled streets and wrought iron balconies at Alfama. The best beaches in Portugal are found in Algarve which provides great entertainment for the tourists. Saint George Castle is a must see tourist attraction of Portugal which dates back to 5th century. Boca do Inferno is another tourist attraction with excellent natural beauty. Other major attractions of Portugal are Monserrate Palace, Episcopal Palace, Convento do Carmo, Marvao Castle, and Igreja do Bom Jesus da Cruz, Penela Castle and Pius XII Museum.