Multimedia - Portugal preview

Official Name: Portuguese Republic
Type of Government: Parlamentary Democracy
Official Language: Portuguese
Total Area: 92,090 km2
Capital: Lisbon
Population: 10,627,250 (2008 E)
Population Density: 115 inhabitants / Km2
Religion: 97% Roman Catholic
Currency: EURO (EUR)
EU Membership: Since 1986

Presenting Portugal
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Portugal, where the Atlantic meets Europe, is located in southwestern Europe, is the westernmost country of Europe. It has two boarders, Spain that stretches from the eastern up to the northern part of the country, and a natural border, the Atlantic Ocean, covering the southern and the western part of Portugal. This geographic position on the extreme south-west point of Europe permits rapid access to European markets and to the US eastern seaboard and Africa.

Located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula, was an important feature of its maritime vocation. In 1415, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to discover the Ocean routes to India, Brazil, China and Japan, at the same time they founded settlements on the east and west coast of Africa.

Portugal occupies an area of approximately 92,090 square kilometers divided by seven regions: North, Centre, Lisbon, Alentejo, Algarve, Azores and Madeira. Lisbon is the capital and prime centre for trade and business, Oporto, a traditional centre of Port Wine and textile industries.

In Portugal the official language is Portuguese. Although Portuguese is not only spoken in Portugal as a official language, but also in countries like Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé e Principe, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and East Timor. Portuguese is one of the world's major languages, according to the number of native speakers (between 191 and 230 million).

Clime in Portugal is strongly influenced by the maritime winds. We can say that are two climatic zones, the coastal regions are completely different from the interior part of the country. The former is humid and mild, with average temperatures ranging from 10ºC in the winter to 24ºC in the summer, whilst in the interior part of the country the minimum temperature tends to be lower while the maximum temperature is higher. The winter and autumn are rainy seasons, and the summer and spring are dry, sunny seasons.