Portugal Culture

According to itypeauto.com, Portugal, (officially the Portuguese Republic) is a sovereign country and member of the European Union, constituted as a democratic state of law. Its territory, with its capital in Lisbon, is located in southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. It limits to the east and north with Spain, and to the south and west with the Atlantic Ocean. It also includes the autonomous archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, located in the northern hemisphere of the Atlantic Ocean. The name of Portugal is believed to derive from the Latin “Portus Cale”, the old name for Porto.


Throughout the country, secular medieval architecture developed in the form of castles, they are named:

  • Castle of Arnóia
  • Celorico da Beira Castle
  • Braganza Castle
  • Beja Castle
  • Evoramonte Castle
  • Castle of Guimarães
  • Castle of Ourém


The official language of Portugal is Portuguese. It is the 6th most widely spoken language in the world and the 3rd most widely spoken in the Western world (after English and Spanish) with about 260 million speakers.

Mirandés is also recognized as a co-official regional language in some municipalities in northeastern Portugal, although it currently has fewer than 5,000 speakers in Portugal (a number that could reach 12,000 if we count the speakers of the languages derived from it). In addition, it should be noted that in 1999 the Assembly of the Republic officially recognized the right of the Miranda do Douro region to promote the use of the Mirandés language, (Lhéngua Mirandesa in Mirandés), a dialect of Leonese. [4]


In Portuguese literature its origins are shared with medieval Galician, in Galician-Portuguese cantigas. In the official canon of literature, a special value, already recognized at the time, is given to the epic Os Lusíadas by Luís de Camões, which narrates in verse the journeys and adventures of the Portuguese discoverers on the way to India during the Century XV. During the 16th and 17th centuries, some Portuguese authors, such as Camões himself or Gil Vicente, alternated the Spanish and Portuguese languages ​​in their works, because Portuguese diplomacy, based on marriages with the House of Austria, made the Portuguese court, since the beginning of the 16th century, a bilingual space. Camões and Gil Vicente, who lived at court, wrote works in Spanish. Other authors, to achieve a larger audience, especially after the incorporation of Portugal into the Habsburg monarchy, also chose Spanish. After the restoration of independence in 1640, Portuguese was consolidated as the literary language and Portuguese authors stopped using Castilian.


Portugal also has a rich legacy when it comes to painting. The first renowned painters date back to the 15th century as Nuno Gonçalves as part of the period of Gothic painting. José Malhoa is known for his work Fado, and Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro. The 20th century saw the arrival of Modernism, and alongside it came the most renowned Portuguese painters: such as Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, who was strongly influenced by French painters, particularly by the Delaunays. A great modernist painter and writer was Almada Negreiros, a friend of the poet Fernando Pessoa. He was deeply influenced by both Cubism and Futurism. Other characters in the Visual Arts of today we have artists such as Vieira da Silva, Júlio Pomar and Paula Rego.


In Portugal there are several musical styles, but the best known is fado, whose most famous interpreter was Amalia Rodrigues, who also made forays as an actress and singer in Portuguese cinema. Some more recent popular interpreters are the group Madredeus, whose vocalist was Teresa Salgueiro, and the singers Mariza, Mísia, Mafalda Arnauth, Cristina Branco, and Dulce Pontes. Among the best known male performers are Carlos do Carmo, Alfredo Marceneiro and Camané.

In the field of political song, José Afonso stood out especially during the 1970s. A characteristic instrument of fado is the Portuguese guitar. Other peculiar chordophones are the cavaquinho and various metal string guitars popular in Braga, Alentejo and Azores. Non-urban traditional music presents a great variety, with a repertoire of some medieval romances that have passed over the years, repertoires for bagpipes, flute with tambourine and an immense popularity of the accordion. The adufe is a popular percussion instrument in the interior and north of the country. Among the most popular singers we can mention Amália Rodrigues, Cândida Branca Flor, Tonicha, the brothers Vitorino and Janita Salomé, Dulce Pontes, Paulo de Carvalho, José Cid and Paco Bandeira.


In the cinematographic framework it has a long tradition, beginning between the middle and the end of the 19th century. Some Portuguese film directors such as Arthur Duarte, António Lopes Ribeiro, Manoel de Oliveira, António Pedro Vasconcelos, João Botelho and Leonel Vieira, have achieved international fame by integrating also some actors with international fame such as: Joaquim de Almeida, Maria de Medeiros, Diogo Infante, Soraia Chaves, Vasco Santana, Ribeirinho, and António Silva, among many others.

Portugal Culture