- Although not amongst the leading states of Europe, Portugal is, in fact, the oldest nation-state of the continent. It beats other old countries such as England, France or Spain, having its borders defined since 1139.
- If countries were people, then Portugal would be the good guy of the party bunch. Portugal was the first colonial power to abolish slavery. And that’s not limited to Europe. No, Portugal officially put a ban to slavery in 1761, half a century earlier than Britain, Spain and even the USA.
- Here’s a mind-blowing one: once upon a time, Portugal had a dead Queen. How did this happen? It seems that when King Pedro I was crowned, back in 1357, he proclaimed Ines del Castro, his lover, Queen. It’s a shame she had been dead ever since 1355.
- Drinking tea is an English thing, right? Wrong. The well-known tea-drinking habit was introduced to the English by the Portuguese Catherine Braganza, who married King Charles II of England and brought the fashion to the Royal Court.
- Lisbon hosts the largest casino in the whole of Europe. It’s called Casino do Estoril and we bet you’re googling it right now.
- Last, but not least: did you know that, thanks to good ol’ Portugal, we now have the useful scientific field of seismology? In 1755, Lisbon was struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, resulting in a 275,000 deaths’ calamity. With such a horrendous happening, all the bright minds of the land began researching the causes of the earthquake, giving birth to what we know call the science of seismology.