Top 10 Cultural Traits of Portugal

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As one of the oldest countries in Europe, Portugal's Atlantic coastline once provided a springboard for great geographical discoveries. Its cultural heritage reflects the friendly and welcoming nature of the Portuguese.


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World Heritage

Portugal has 25 World Heritage Sites, including monuments, historic urban centers, landscapes and intangible heritage.


Ceramic tile

Tiles are a timeless feature of Portuguese architecture. No other country uses as much ceramic tile as Portugal for the interior and exterior decoration of homes, churches, palaces and other buildings. Tiles have Muslim origins, and tile production in Portugal began in the late 15th century but reached its peak in the 18th century, dominated by blue and white tiles.
You can learn about the history of tiles at the Portuguese National Tile Museum in Lisbon, or travel around Portugal by train, see the city's architecture, or take the Lisbon Metro.


Manuel Architecture

While Gothic cathedrals popped up across Europe, Portugal's architectural sculptures came into their own, with designs inspired by the sea and symbols of royalty, such as the armillary sphere. This architectural style is known as Manuel, named after Manuel I, who reigned from 1495 to 1521. The most famous examples of this architectural style are the Jeronimos Monastery, the Tower of Belém, the Batalha Monastery and the Convent of Christ.



The Baroque style, synonymous with pomp and ostentation, was a defining feature of the reign of João V, who reigned from 1707 to 1750, when Portugal was importing gold and precious stones from Brazil and exporting port wine. A number of great works emerged during this period, such as the Convent of Mafra, Lisbon's "Free Waters Aqueduct" and the University Library of Coimbra. However, churches decorated with golden carvings and tiles can be seen all over Portugal.


Villages and cities

There are many schist villages scattered throughout the region, as well as numerous walled villages and walled towns, Óbidos, Marvão and Monsaraz are the most representative. In the Alentejo we have magnificent views of marble and single-story whitewashed houses, while in the Algarve we have views of whitewashed houses with roof balconies.


Holy place

Mainland Portugal and its subsidiary islands are full of holy places worth visiting, but Fatima, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is the most famous. Of all the famous holy places, the cathedral is especially worth visiting. The history of almost all churches can be traced back to the art revival period after the founding of Portugal.
Few Moorish sanctuaries have survived intact, but the town museum of Mértola in the Alentejo is an exception worth a visit.



Fado was successfully applied to become an intangible world heritage in 2011.
There is no better way to really feel the fado, the emotions of the fado singers and the music of the Portuguese guitar than in the candlelit atmosphere of a "casa de fados" or a fado house. Lisbon's Fado Museum is also a great place to get acquainted with the distinctive Portuguese musical style.



Portugal is known as the country of poetry. Its poetry history can be compared with the history of the founding of Portugal. The poetry is mainly lyric poetry, which reached its peak in the Renaissance. ", extolling the historical feats of Portugal's great geographical discovery.


Celebrations and festivals

Especially in summer, there are various traditional festivals in Portugal, such as the traditional festivals in Viana do Castelo, Tomar, Maijo and the Flower Festival in Funchal, Madeira. Of course, the Halloween parades in Lisbon on June 13 and in Porto on June 24 are equally memorable.
Then there are music festivals of various music genres from rock to jazz, ethnic, etc... In fact, music has no distinctions between national boundaries, races, men, women, and children, and sometimes the venues and program lists are very attractive; the Southwest Festival (Festival do Sudoeste), Paredes de Coura, Super Bock Super Rock and Nos Alive are some of the best.


Gourmet food

Today, interest in Portuguese cuisine is growing around the world, with a new generation of young chefs putting a contemporary spin on traditional Portuguese flavors and recipes. Five characteristics that make Portuguese cuisine so popular: the most delicious fish in the world; "cataplana" (a living symbol of Mediterranean cuisine); port wine (unique); Portuguese egg tarts ("heavenly sweet and delicious"); And Portuguese chefs (for a perfect blend of tradition and innovation and creativity). This is all very much in line with the recent UNESCO recognition of Portugal as the Land of Mediterranean Gastronomy. Also, in Portugal, the table is the center of our entertaining or socializing, so every meal is a time of sharing and laughter.

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