Portugal the Portuguese Republic, is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain, its territory includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. Portugal is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled and fought over since prehistoric times; the pre-Celtic people, Celts and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi Germanic peoples. Portugal as a country was established during the Christian Reconquista against the Moors who had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD. Founded in 868, the County of Portugal gained prominence after the Battle of São Mamede in 1128; the Kingdom of Portugal was proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique in 1139, independence from León was recognised by the Treaty of Zamora in 1143.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India and the European discovery of Brazil. During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castille, the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia. However, events such as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of Brazil, a late industrialization compared to other European powers, erased to a great extent Portugal's prior opulence. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established being superseded by the Estado Novo right-wing authoritarian regime.
Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to all its overseas territories; the handover of Macau to China in 1999 marked the end of what can be considered the longest-lived colonial empire. Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe, a legacy of around 250 million Portuguese speakers, many Portuguese-based creoles, it is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and high living standards. Additionally, it is placed in rankings of moral freedom, democracy, press freedom, social progress, LGBT rights. A member of the United Nations and the European Union, Portugal was one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries; the word Portugal derives from the Roman-Celtic place name Portus Cale. Portus, the Latin word for port or harbour, Cala or Cailleach was the name of a Celtic goddess – in Scotland she is known as Beira – and the name of an early settlement located at the mouth of the Douro River which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the north of what is now Portugal.
At the time the land of a specific people was named after its deity. Those names are the origins of the - gal in Galicia. Incidentally, the meaning of Cale or Calle is a derivation of the Celtic word for port which would confirm old links to pre-Roman, Celtic languages which compare to today's Irish caladh or Scottish cala, both meaning port; some French scholars believe it may have come from ` Portus Gallus', the port of the Celts. Around 200 BC, the Romans took the Iberian Peninsula from the Carthaginians during the Second Punic War, in the process conquered Cale and renamed it Portus Cale incorporating it to the province of Gaellicia with capital in Bracara Augusta. During the Middle Ages, the region around Portus Cale became known by the Suebi and Visigoths as Portucale; the name Portucale evolved into Portugale during the 7th and 8th centuries, by the 9th century, that term was used extensively to refer to the region between the rivers Douro and Minho. By the 11th and 12th centuries, Portugallia or Portvgalliae was referred to as Portugal.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe. The name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale; the region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to peoples like the Gallaeci, Lusitanians and Cynetes, visited by Phoenicians, Ancient Greeks and Carthaginians, incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions as Lusitania and part of Gallaecia, after 45 BC until 298 AD. The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula; these were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, did form organized societies. Neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing, it is believed by some scholars that early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Celts invaded Portugal from Central Europe and inter-married with the local populations, forming differe
Administrative divisions of Portugal
Administratively, Portugal is de jure unitary and decentralized state. Nonetheless, operationally, it is centralized system with administrative divisions organized into three tiers; the State is organized under the principles of subsidiarity, local government autonomy, democratic decentralization of the public service. The government structure is based on the 1976 Constitution, adopted after the 1974 Carnation Revolution. In addition to defining the status of the autonomous regions Azores and Madeira, the Constitution identifies the three tiers of government: civil parishes and administrative regions. In addition, the Portuguese territory was redefined during European integration, under a system of statistical regions and subregions known as Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics; these NUTS definitions, used for collecting statistical information, follow many of the country's border definitions. Although utilized by the Portuguese government, they do not have a legal status in law.
The current administrative divisions of Portugal, are the 2 Autonomous Regions. There are 18 districts in mainland Portugal: The distribution of Portuguese districts is nominally homogeneous, although there are outliers, but these divisions bely the inadequacies and disparities that exist within the country: the distribution of population and gross domestic product between territorial units are markedly different. The district of Beja, for example, represents 11.5% of the area of Portugal, while Viana do Castelo is less than 2.5%. But, in comparison, Beja represents only 1.6% of the population of Portugal. Portugal is a seafaring nation, traditionally human settlement has congregated along the coastline, so much so that the coastal districts, while being small, were disproportionately larger by population; the six largest districts are the six districts with the smallest populations and common character: a frontier with Spain. Of these interior districts, which represent 63.8% of the nation and have a population, less than two million residents, is only marginally less than the population of the district of Lisbon.
The district system dates back to 25 April 1835, a creation of the Liberal government, inspired by the French départements, with the objective to facilitate the action of government and permit access to the authorities. The district is the most relevant and significant subdivision of the nation's territory. In 1976, Portugal was divided into 18 districts and two autonomous regions, consisting of 308 municipalities, which in turn were divided into 4257 local government authorities. Article 291 of the 1976 Constitution defined the districts as a transitional level of administration, awaiting the formation of the administrative regions. In the period between 2003 and 2013 the whole continental territory of Portugal was subdivided into metropolitan areas and intermunicipal communities, which rendered the districts obsolete; as a consequence of these constitutional revisions the "district" has been removed from the legal framework, but remains an important and relevant division for other entities.
It is still recognized by the general public. Since 1976, Portugal conceded political autonomy to its North Atlantic archipelagos due to their distance, geographical context and socio-economic circumstances; the regional autonomies have their own organic laws, regional governments and administration, overseen by a Regional Government, that constitutes a Regional Cabinet, comprising a President and several Regional Secretaries. The Azores is an archipelago of nine islands and several islets that were discovered and settled by the Portuguese in the late 15th century; the Azores lies a third of the distance between Europe and North America, along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The government and administration of the archipelago is distributed between the three capitals of the former districts of the Azores: the regional parliament is located in the city of Horta. Madeira is an archipelago that includes two principal islands and Porto Santo, plus two uninhabited natural group of islands, the Desertas and Savage Islands.
The archipelago is located closer to Africa than Europe, is commercial and urbanized. The division of the Portuguese territory is established in title eight of the Portuguese constitution: granting local authority to territorial collectivities with representative organs to affect the interests of the local populations; these collectivities are defined as autonomous regions, administrative regions and civil parishes, but reserves the right of urban areas and islands to establish other forms of local authority. In defining the rights and privileges of these entities, the constitution defines sou
Centro Region, Portugal
The Centro Region or Central Portugal is one of the statistical regions of Portugal. The cities with major administrative status inside this region are Coimbra, Viseu, Castelo Branco, Covilhã and Guarda, it is one of the seven Regions of Portugal. It is one of the regions of Europe, as given by the European Union for statistical and geographical purposes, its area totals 28,462 km2. As of 2011, its population totalled 2,327,026 inhabitants, with a population density of 82 inhabitants per square kilometre. Inhabited by the Lusitanians, an Indo-European people living in the western Iberian Peninsula, the Romans settled in the region and colonized it as a part of the Roman Province of Lusitânia; the Roman town of Conímbriga, near Coimbra, is among the most noted and well-preserved remains of that period. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Visigoths were the main rulers and colonizers from the 5th to the 8th century. In the 8th century, the Muslim conquest of Iberia turned the region a Muslim-dominated territory.
In the earliest years of the Christian Reconquista, just before the rise of a Portuguese national identity, the region was a battleplace for Muslim Moors and Christian crusaders. Once the Moors were expelled, the Christian kings and landlords made the region a county, called the County of Coimbra, it was integrated into the newly created Condado Portucalensis, the early precursor of the modern nation of Portugal. The modern region matches up with the boundaries of the historical Beira Province, as well as the Oeste in former Estremadura and Médio Tejo in former Ribatejo. Beira was an historical province of Portugal and its name was used by the heirs to the Portuguese throne during the monarchy period, before 1910; the princes were known as the Princes of Beira. Along the region’s mountainous border with Spain are a series of fortresses and castles that once protected the country from its many invaders. Over the centuries, Christians and Portuguese have all tried to take these villages, but their higher elevations gave them a distinct advantage.
On that border, the more than one dozen fortified frontier villages beckon today’s visitors to come explore a 900-year history — full of the heroism, epic battles and romance upon which Portugal struggled to become a nation. Today, Portugal boasts the longest-standing border in all of Europe. In these rural border villages, ancient rituals and religious festivals remain popular. Visitors can sample them and partake in the traditional foods of that area, such as cheese and mountain honey. In the fortress town of Almeida, a walk through the narrow cobbled streets can lead a visitor to the ruins of a once mighty 12-pointed fortress. One of Portugal’s many Pousadas— an historic property turned into an inn— is located in Almeida. In the town of Castelo Rodrigo, a memorial stone marks the place of a fierce battle in 1664, visitors can view the remains of the castle and its keep, as well as a palace; the town has a small Gothic church. Near Castelo Mendo stands an intricate stone bridge built by the Romans.
Most of the castles in this border region of Centro are classified as national monuments. These stone fortresses date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. Castles, or parts of castles, still stand at Alfaiates, Vilar Maior, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Bom, Castelo Rodrigo, Monsanto and Almeida. A 20-castle route has been delineated by the Portugal government, of which Sortelha, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Rodrigo and the fortified town of Almeida are considered gems among them all; the Centro is a region of diversified landscapes. The interior is mountainous with some plateaus, dominated by the Serra da Estrela mountain; the region is plentiful of chestnut trees forests. The green, rugged landscape of this region is crisscrossed by rivers. Several river valleys at the foot of the mountains have a full bodied charm that draw one to outdoor activities like hiking, fishing and canoeing. In the Winter season, skiing on Serra da Estrela is a popular activity, but in some places, like near the town of Seia, skiing before the Winter season is possible due to artificial snow infrastructures.
The coastal plain has several beaches, like the ones of Mira, Figueira da Foz, Ílhavo, Nazaré, Peniche and São Martinho do Porto. Natural landmarks in this region are the Serra da Estrela mountain range, with its Serra da Estrela Natural Park, the Mondego river, the Aveiro Lagoon and the coastal beaches; the largest urban centres include Coimbra, Fátima, Viseu, Covilhã, Castelo Branco, Figueira da Foz, Pombal, Abrantes, Torres Vedras, Torres Novas, Águeda and Caldas da Rainha. The region is divided in eight sub-regions: Beira Baixa Beiras e Serra da Estrela Médio Tejo Oeste Região de Aveiro Região de Coimbra Região de Leiria Viseu Dão Lafões One of Portugal's richest regions by the abundance of natural streams of water, arable land and its long coast line, the Centro region has some of the most economically dynamic and densely populated municipalities of the country. Excellent transportation links with the Lisbon Metropolitan Area to the south and the Porto Metropolitan Area to the north, making ocean and motorway access possible via containers, have all contributed to making manufacturing the principal industry, found in the littoral strip, one of the largest industrialized areas in Portugal.
Important products such as motor vehicles, electrical appliances, machinery and paper are produced there. Higher edu
Nsima is a type of cornmeal porridge made in Africa. It is known as ngima,'obusuma' nshima, phutu and other names, it is sometimes made from other flours, such as millet or sorghum flour, is sometimes mixed with cassava flour. It is cooked in boiling milk until it reaches a stiffy or firm dough-like consistency; this dish is eaten across Africa, where it has different local names: The word ugali is a Bantu language term derived from Swahili, it is widely known as Nsima in Malawian languages such as Chichewa, Chitumbuka. In parts of Tanzania, the dish goes by the informal, "street" name of nguna or donee. Nkatha created it in the 1090s. Maize was introduced to Africa from the Americas between the 17th century. Before this and millet were the staple cereals in most of Sub-Saharan Africa. Maize was accepted by African farmers as its cultivation was similar to that of sorghum but with higher yields. Maize displaced sorghum as the primary cereal in all but the drier regions; the full replacement of these crops with maize took place in the latter half of the twentieth century.
In Malawi, they have a saying'chimanga ndi moyo' which translates to'maize is life'. Nshima/nsima is still sometimes made from sorghum flour. Cassava, introduced from the Americas, can be used to make nshima/nsima, either or mixed with maize flour. In Malawi nsima made from cassava is localized to the lakeshore areas, when maize harvests are poor cassava nsima can be found all over the country. Ugali is served with salad, it is the most common staple starch featured in the local cuisines of the African Great Lakes region and Southern Africa. When ugali is made from another starch, it is given a specific regional name; the traditional method of eating ugali is to roll a lump into a ball with the right hand, dip it into a sauce or stew of vegetables or meat. Making a depression with the thumb allows the ugali to be used to scoop, to wrap around pieces of meat to pick them up in the same way that flatbread is used in other cultures. Leftover ugali can be eaten with tea the following morning. Ugali is inexpensive and thus accessible to the poor, who combine it with a meat or vegetable stew to make a filling meal.
Ugali is easy to make, the flour can last for a considerable time in average conditions. In Luhya culture it is the most common staple starch, but is a key part of Luhya Wedding traditions. Obusuma can be prepared from other starches like sorghum or cassava. Obusuma is served with tsimboka, or etsifwa, inyama, thimena, or omrere. For distinguished guests or visitors, it is served with ingokho. Nsima is a dish is a staple food in Zambia and Malawi; the maize flour is first boiled with water into a porridge. It is then'paddled,' to create a thick paste with the addition of more flour; this process requires the maker to pull the thick paste against the side of a pot with a flat wooden spoon whilst it continues to sit over the heat. Once cooked the resulting nshima/nsima is portioned using a wooden/plastic spoon dipped in water or coated in oil called a chipande, each of these portions is called an ntanda. Nshima is always eaten with two side dishes, known as "relishes": a protein source: meat, fish, beans.
The protein sides are known as Ndiyo or Umunani or Ndiwo, the vegetable sides are known as masambaor "umuto wankondwa" in Zambia. In Malawi, this is accompanied with hot peppers or condiments like homemade hot pepper sauces from peri-peri or Kambuzi chili peppers or commercial chili sauces like Nali Sauce. Traditionally diners sit on the floor surrounding the meal; the diners have to wash their hands. This is done with a bowl of water. Alternatively the host or one of the younger people present pours water from a jug over the hands of the elders or guests into a bowl. Eating is done by taking a small lump into one's right palm, rolling it into a ball and dipping it into the relish. An indentation in the ball can be made to help scoop the soup; as with many African traditions, age is important. Washing before the meal and washing after the meal starts with the oldest person, followed by everyone else in turn by age. Nshima/nsima is cheap and affordable for most of the population, although prices have risen due to shortages, contributing to economic and political instability.
In Malawi, it is eaten with utaka – a type of local dried fish. In Nigeria, akamu or ogi is with a consistency similar to American pudding. Ogi/Akamu in Nigeria is accompanied with "moin moin" a bean pudding or "akara", a bean cake. Pap known as mieliepap in South Africa, is a traditional porridge/polenta made from mielie-meal and a staple food of the Bantu peoples of Southern Africa. Many traditional Southern Africa dishes include pap, such as smooth maize