Portal:Portugal/Selected article archive

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September 4

The complete list of Presidents of the Portuguese Republic consists of the 20 heads of state in the history of Portugal since the October 5, 1910 revolution that installed a republican regime. This list includes not only those persons who sworn into office as President of Portugal but also those who de facto served as head of state since 1910. This is the case of Teófilo Braga who served as President of the Provisional Government after the republican coup d'état. Also Sidónio Pais, Mendes Cabeçadas, Gomes da Costa, as well as Canto e Castro and Óscar Carmona in their early months, weren't sworn into office as President of the Republic, usually being the President of the Ministry (Prime Minister), but de facto accumulation this functions with that of the Head of State. (continued...)

August 28


August 14


July 31


July 17
Flag of Portugal.svg

The flag of the Portuguese Republic is a 2:3 green and red rectangle divided vertically into green at the hoist (2/5 of the flag’s length) and red at the fly (3/5). Centered in this partition a coat of arms consisting of an armillary sphere charged with the traditional Portuguese shield. It was officially adopted on June 30, 1911, but had in fact been in use since the Republican revolution of 5 October 1910.

The flag probably has a much more ambiguous meaning than the traditional, most popular explanations for its design. The most commonly held belief is that during the Estado Novo, the nationalist authoritarian regime, which lasted from 1933 until the 1974 Carnation Revolution, claims that the green represented hope and the red represented the blood of those who died serving the nation. This definition of the colors is currently the commonly accepted one, however the original meaning could be much more uncertain.

The traditional Portuguese shield (escudo) is present in almost every single Portuguese flag. It is the prime Portuguese symbol, as well as one of the oldest national symbols still used in the world and certainly one of the oldest in Europe. Used for more than 800 years, it appears on all of the Portuguese flags except for the first one. The shield is, in fact, an evolution whose roots are in the first flag (1143–1185) and first king of Portugal.(continued...)

July 3
Louis-Michel van Loo 003.jpg

The History of Portugal from the dynastic crisis in 1578 to the end of the reign of the Marquis of Pombal in 1777 is a period of transition. The Portuguese Empire was near its height at the start of this 200 year period and continued to enjoy the widespread influence in the world that had characterized the two previous centuries. By the end of this period, the fortunes of Portugal and its Empire had declined, culminating with the Távora affair, the catastrophic 1755 Lisbon earthquake, and the accession of Maria I, the first ruling Queen of Portugal.

The opulent use of Brazilian gold, the absolutist regime, the movement towards the Independence of Brazil, the Methuen Treaty and the Lisbon earthquake all contributed to the downfall of Portugal's position in Europe and the world. These events, and those that occurred at the end of the Aviz dynasty and the period of Iberian Union led Portugal to depend on its colonies, first India and then Brazil. This shift from India to Brazil was a natural consequence of the rise of the Dutch as well as the British Empire. A similar shift occurred the independence of Brazil, resulting in Portuguese focusing more on its possessions in Africa.

The early 1700s, known as the Pombaline Era after Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Marquis of Pombal, was a period of dictatorship and wide-ranging reforms. The Marquis of Pombal was appointed by Joseph I, who had little inclination to rule. He initiated many reforms intended to modernize the country and attacked the power of the privileged nobility and clergy, notably in the case of the Távora affair and the expulsion of the Jesuits. He was also the leader of the reconstruction of Lisbon after the earthquake in 1755. (continued...)

June 19

Futebol Clube do Porto (pron. Portuguese pronunciation: [futɨˈβɔɫ ˈkluβ(ɨ) du ˈpoɾtu]) – short: FC Porto, FCP – is a Portuguese sports club, best known for its football section founded in Porto in 1893 by a wine-salesman António Nicolau de Almeida. He first had contact with the game of football in one of his trips to England. The club went through a relatively abandoned state until 1906 when Monteiro da Costa revived the club.

The football home ground is now the Estádio do Dragão (finished in 2003 as a venue for Euro 2004) after 51 years playing in the Estádio das Antas. Porto is, along with Sporting Lisbon and Benfica, one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal. Porto have won the UEFA Champions League twice (one still as the ECC) and the UEFA Cup once. It was the first team since the Liverpool 76-77 squad to win the Champions League after winning the UEFA Cup.

FC Porto is also a leading force in other sports: the handball and basketball team are regular contenders in the Portuguese national titles, and the rink hockey section is amongst the best in the sport. The new arena near the stadium will be completed soon; in past years the non-professional home grounds were scattered in northwestern cities of Portugal (such as Gondomar and Espinho). (continued...)

June 5
Heinrich der Seefahrer.jpg

The History of Portugal is that of an ancient European nation, whose present origins go back to the Early Middle Ages, that ascended to a great world power in the Age of Discoveries with its vast Empire. Following its heyday as a world power during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status first through the loss of its military and naval power due to the military disaster of Alcacer-Kibir, and shortly thereafter its fleet, which had been incorporated into the Spanish Armada so the country was unable to defend its interests overseas. It was further weakened later with the destruction of much of the capital, Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence in 1822 of its largest colony Brazil. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; however, the Republic was unable to solve the country's problems, amid corruption, repression of the Church and near bankruptcy of State, and in 1926, a military coup installed a dictatorship that lasted until 1974, when a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms. The following year, Portugal granted independence to all of its African and Asian colonies. Portugal is a founding member of NATO, OECD and EFTA and entered the European Community (now the European Union) in 1986. (continued...)

May 22
Malaga Arena2004.jpg

Bullfighting or tauromachy (Spanish toreo, corrida de toros or tauromaquia; Portuguese tourada, corrida de touros or tauromaquia) is a tradition that involves, most of the time, professional performers (generally called in Spanish toreros or matadores and in Portuguese toureiros) who execute various formal moves with the goal of appearing graceful and confident, while masterful over the bull itself; these maneuvers are performed at close range, concluding (in Spanish-style bullfighting) with the death of the bull by a well-placed sword thrust as the finale whereas in Portugal the beginning consists of a uniquely Portuguese and very ancient tradition called the pega where men are dressed in a traditional costume, of damask or velvet, with the long knit hats also worn by the famous Nazaré fishermen.

It is a ritual spectacle that is usually designated by insiders as an art, by others as a sport, as tallies are kept for the purpose of ranking the bullfighters. The art of bullfighting requires a significant degree of skill and talent, resulting in the widely held view of matadors as national celebrities. (continued...)

May 8
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Portuguese (About this sound português ) is an Iberian Romance language that originated in what is today Galicia (in Spain) and Northern Portugal. It is the official language of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé and Príncipe, co-official with Chinese in the Chinese S.A.R. of Macau, and co-official with Tetum in East Timor.

Portuguese is ranked sixth among the world's languages in number of native speakers (over 200 million), and first in South America (186 million, over 51% of the population). It is also a major lingua franca in Africa. It spread worldwide in the 15th and 16th century as Portugal set up a vast colonial and commercial empire (1415–1999), spanning from Brazil in the Americas to Macau in China. In that colonial period, many Portuguese creoles appeared around the world, especially in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

Portuguese is often nicknamed The language of Camões, after the author of the Portuguese national epic The Lusiads; The last flower of Latium (Olavo Bilac); and The sweet language by Cervantes. (continued...)

April 24

The Carnation Revolution (Portuguese, Revolução dos Cravos) was an almost bloodless, left-leaning, military-led revolution started on April 25, 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, that effectively changed the Portuguese regime from an authoritarian dictatorship to a liberal democracy after a two-year process of a Left-wing semi-military administration. Although government forces killed four people before surrendering, the revolution was unusual in that the revolutionaries did not use direct violence to achieve their goals. The population, holding red carnations, convinced the regime soldiers not to resist. The soldiers readily swapped their bullets for flowers. It was the end of the Estado Novo, the longest authoritarian regime in Western Europe (but not the last to fall, Francisco Franco ruled Spain until 1975). (continued...)

April 17
Miguel of Portugal.jpg

The history of Portugal from the beginning of Maria I's reign in 1777 to the end of the Liberal Wars in 1834 spans a complex historic period in which several important political and military events led to the end of the absolutist regime and to the installment of a constitutional monarchy in the country.

In 1807, Napoleon ordered the invasion of Portugal and subsequently the Royal Family escaped to Brazil. This was one of the causes for the declaration of Brazilian independence by Peter I of Brazil in 1822, following a liberal revolution in Portugal.

The liberal period was stormy and short as Prince Michael of Portugal (Peter's brother) supported an absolutist revolution endeavoring to restore all power to the monarchy. Peter eventually returned to Portugal to fight and defeat his brother in the Liberal Wars, in which liberalism was completely installed and Portugal became a constitutional monarchy. (continued...)

April 10


April 3
1755 Lisbon earthquake.jpg

The 1755 Lisbon earthquake took place on November 1, 1755, at 9:20 in the morning. It was one of the most destructive and deadly earthquakes in history, killing between 60,000 and 100,000 people. The quake was followed by a tsunami and fire, resulting in the near total destruction of Lisbon. The earthquake accentuated political tensions in Portugal and profoundly disrupted the country's 18th century colonial ambitions. The event was widely discussed by European Enlightenment philosophers, and inspired major developments in theodicy and in the philosophy of the sublime. As the first earthquake studied scientifically for its effects over a large area, it signalled the birth of modern seismology. Geologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake approached magnitude 9 on the Richter scale, with an epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent. (continued...)

March 27
Portuguese municipalities districts.PNG

The list of municipalities of Portugal encompasses all the Portuguese concelhos (councils), and presents them ordered by district. Portugal is divided into 18 districts (Portuguese: distritos) and 2 autonomous regions (Portuguese: regiões autónomas), Azores and Madeira, that are further sub-divided into 308 municipalities (Portuguese: municípios or concelhos). Usually, a municipality has the name of its biggest city, or at least, of its historically most important city or town, however, the municipality is, usually, much larger than the city or town after which it is named.

The municipality has been the most stable subdivision of Portugal since the foundation of the country in the 12th century. They have their origin in the foral, a legal document, issued by the king, which assigned previleges to a town or a region. The present subdivision has its origins in the 19th century.

Each municipality is further subdivided into parishes (Portuguese: freguesias), the municipalities in the north of the country usually have a higher number of parishes. Six municipalities are composed by only one municipality and Barcelos is the municipality with most parishes, 89. The parishes are administrated by a parish assembly.

March 20

The Portuguese Communist Party is a major left-wing political party in Portugal. It is a Marxist-Leninist party and its organization is based upon democratic centralism. The Party also considers itself to be patriotic and internationalist. The Party was founded in 1921 as the Portuguese section of the Communist International (Comintern). Made illegal after a coup in the late 1920s, the PCP played a major role in the opposition to the following dictatorial regime led, for many years, by António de Oliveira Salazar. During the five decades long dictature, the party was constantly suppressed by the political police, the PIDE, which forced his members to live in clandestine status, under the threat of being arrested, tortured or murdered.

In the following years, the PCP was one of the most influential forces involved in the revolutionary process, being very popular among the working class, however, it became less influential after the fall of the Socialist bloc in eastern Europe. However, it still enjoys popularity in some sectors of Portuguese society, particularly in the rural areas of the Alentejo and Ribatejo, and also in the heavily industrialized areas around Lisbon and Setúbal, where it holds the leadership of several municipalities. It also has a major influence within the largest Portuguese trade union federation, the General Confederation of the Portuguese Workers.

The Party publishes the weekly Avante!, founded in 1931. Its youth organization is the Portuguese Communist Youth, a member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth.

March 13
Battle of Aljubarrota

The Battle of Aljubarrota took place on August 14, 1385, between Portuguese forces commanded by King João I and his general Nuno Alvares Pereira, and the Castilian army of King Juan I. The place was Aljubarrota, between the towns of Leiria and Alcobaça in central Portugal. The result was a decisive defeat of the Castilians and the end of the 1383–1385 Crisis, establishing João as King of Portugal. Independence was assured and a new dynasty, the House of Aviz, was established. Scattered border confrontations with Castilian troops persisted until the death of Juan I in 1390, but these posed no real threat to the Portuguese monarchy. To celebrate his victory and acknowledge divine help, João I ordered the construction of the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória na Batalha and the founding of the town of Batalha (pronounced /bɐ.'ta.ʎɐ/, the Portuguese word for "battle"). The king, his wife Philippa of Lancaster, and several of his sons are buried in this monastery, which is an important part of Portuguese heritage.

March 6
Fernão Mendes Pinto.

Fernão Mendes Pinto (1509? – 1583) was a Portuguese explorer and writer. His exploits are known through the posthumous publication of his memoir Pilgrimage (Portuguese: Peregrinação) in 1614, an autobiographical work whose validity is nearly impossible to assess. In the course of his travels in the Middle and Far East, Pinto visited Ethiopia, the Arabian Sea, China (where he claimed to have been a forced laborer on the Great Wall), India and Japan. He claimed to have been among the first group of Europeans to visit Japan and initiate the Nanban trade period. He also claimed to have introduced the gun there in 1543. It is known that he funded the first Christian church in Japan, after befriending a Catholic missionary and founding member of the Society of Jesus later known as St Francis Xavier. At one time Pinto himself was a Jesuit, though he later left the order.

February 28

The complete list of Presidents of the Portuguese Republic consists of the 20 heads of state in the history of Portugal since the October 5, 1910 revolution that installed a republican regime. This list includes not only those persons who sworn into office as President of Portugal but also those who de facto served as head of state since 1910. This is the case of Teófilo Braga who served as President of the Provisional Government after the republican coup d'état. Also Sidónio Pais, Mendes Cabeçadas, Gomes da Costa, as well as Canto e Castro and Óscar Carmona in their early months, weren't sworn into office as President of the Republic, usually being the President of the Ministry (Prime Minister), but de facto accumulation this functions with that of the Head of State.