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This is my happy land, my home, my pride. ~ Luís de Camões
Oh salty sea, how much of your salt are tears of Portugal! ~ Fernando Pessoa

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa), is a country located in the southwestern tip of Europe, in the Iberian Peninsula. It borders with Spain by land (North and East) and with the Atlantic Ocean by sea (West and South).


  • Portugal is a small but, we are sure, proud nation located somewhere in Europe and boasting a history. During the Age of Exploration, Portugal produced many great navigators, men such as Vasco da Gama (literally, "Vasco the Gama"), who set out across the vast, stormy Atlantic in tiny ships, which of course immediately sank like stones, thus paving the way for the Age of Remaining on Land. Today the main industry in Portugal is manufacturing the Portuguese man-of-war, which is a type of jellyfish that can sting you to death if provoked, so tipping is strongly recommended.
    • Dave Barry, Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need (1991), New York: Fawcett Columbine, p. 149
  • As armas e os barões assinalados
    Que da ocidental praia lusitana
    Por mares nunca de antes navegados
    Passaram ainda além da Taprobana
    Em perigos e guerras esforçados
    Mais do que prometia a força humana
    E entre gente remota edificaram
    Novo Reino, que tanto sublimaram.
    • Arms and the Heroes, who from Lisbon's shore,
      Thro' seas where sail was never spread before,
      Beyond where Ceylon lifts her spicy breast,
      And waves her woods above the watery waste,
      With prowess more than human forc'd their way
      To the fair kingdoms of the rising day:
      What wars they wag'd, what seas, what dangers past,
      What glorious empire crown'd their toils at last.
  • I found my April dream in Portugal with you
    When we discovered romance, like we never knew.
    My head was in the clouds, My heart went crazy too,
    And madly I said: "I love you."
    • José Galhardo, Coimbra (1947), translated by Jimmy Kennedy as April in Portugal (1950).
  • Portuguese wit suggests rebranding the whole country as Poortugal.
  • The year 1492 marks not only Columbus's voyage, but also one of the major expulsions of the Jews from Spain; Portugal would be next.
  • Unlike the fleeting visits paid by Cheng Ho, the actions of the Portuguese and Spanish explorers symbolized a commitment to alter the world's economic and political balances. With their shipborne cannon and musket-bearing soldier, they did precisely that. In retrospect it sometimes seems difficult to grasp that a country with the limited population and resources of Portugal could reach so far and acquire so much. In the special circumstances of European military and naval superiority described above, this was by no means impossible. Once it was done, the evident profits of empire, and the desire for more, simply accelerated the process of aggrandizement.
    • Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987), p. 27
  • The example of family unity, pursuit of education and respect for the elderly set by the Portuguese are profound lessons for all of us.
  • Ó mar salgado, quanto do teu sal
    São lágrimas de Portugal!
    • Oh salty sea, how much of your salt
      are tears of Portugal!
    • Fernando Pessoa, Poem "Mar Português" (1934), lines 1–2
  • Cette petite nation se trouvant tout-à-coup maîtresse du commerce le plus riche & le plus étendu de la terre, ne fut bientôt composée que de marchands, de facteurs & de matelots, que détruisoient de longues navigations. Elle perdit aussi le fondement de toute puissance réelle, l'agriculture, l'industrie nationale & la population. II n'y eut pas de proportion entre son commerce & les moyens de le continuer. Elle fit plus mal encore: elle voulut être conquérante, & embrassa une étendue de terrein, qu'aucune nation de l'Europe ne pourroit conserver sans s'affoiblir.
    • This small nation, suddenly finding itself mistress of the richest and most extensive commerce in the world, was soon peopled only by merchants, factors and mariners, whose health was destroyed by long voyages. It thus lost the foundation of all real power, namely agriculture, national manufactures and population. There was no proportion between its trade and the means of continuing it. Worse still, it set out to make conquests, and extended itself over a vast area of land that no nation in Europe would have been able to retain without making itself weak.
      • Guillaume-Thomas Raynal, Histoire des deux Indes (1770), Book I, Ch. 29 — A History of the Two Indies, Peter Jimack (ed.) (2006), Extract IX, p. 14
  • Most Portuguese soldiers, as AR Disney notes, were “scoundrels from the prisons of Portugal” and were happy to serve in Asia as it gave hope for a better life.
    • Twilight of Pepper Empire by AR Disney (Pg. 21)
  • Notorious for their unethical trade practices, the Portuguese would levy illegal taxes and sometimes seize ships belonging to traders and sell their goods for sheer profit.
    • The Portuguese, India Ocean And European Bridgeheads 1500–1800(Pg. 313) by Nagendra Rao

See also

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