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Culture Portugal
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Country guide

Portugal, Lonely Planet Country Guide by R. St Louis (2009)
The Rough Guide to Portugal by J Fisher, M Hancock et J Brown (2010)
The Wine and Food Lover's Guide to Portugal by C Metcalfe and K McWhirter (2007)




Portuguese music spans a wide range of styles but probably the most well known is the fado; bittersweet melodies usually played on Portuguese guitar, with sad lyrics that usually speak of longing.


1297: King Dinis signs a treaty with Ferdinand IV of Castile to define the borders between Portugal and Spain
1415: Portugal conquers the city of Ceuta in northern Africa and so the exploration of Africa begins
1419: The Madeira islands are discovered
1427: The discovery of the Azores Islands
1491: Bartolomeu Dias becomes the first European captain to cross the Cape of Good Hope
1498: Vasco da Gama reaches India after navigating around Africa
1500: Pedro Alvares Cabral discovers Brazil
1580 to 1640: The Habsburg Dynasty (Spanish rule)
1580: Philip II of Spain becomes Philip I of Portugal and independence is lost to Spain
1640:The Duke of Braganza becomes king, ending Spanish control
1807: Portugal adopts the name of the Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarve
1822: Brazil declares independence
1910: Portuguese Revolution ends the monarchy
May 28, 1926: A military coup brings fascist leaders to Portuguese government
April 25, 1974: The Carnation Revolution ends the fascist regime

Key dates

1 January: New Year's Day
March/April: Easter
1 May: Labour Day
10 June: National Holiday
1 November: All Saints' Day
1 December: Day of Restauration of Independence
25 December: Christmas Day