Sat, Aug 18, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting -- Portugal 世界走透透:葡萄牙

By Michael Kearney  /  STAFF WRITER

Raul Meireles, right, and Nani, left, fight over the ball during a Portuguese league soccer match at Alvalade Stadium, Lisbon, Portugal, Oct. 22, 2006. 去年十月二十二日,在葡萄牙首都里斯本瓦拉德球場上,美尼利斯(右)和拿尼(左)正在一場葡萄牙足球聯賽中搶球。


Explorers helped Portugal establish colonies in Brazil and parts of Africa and Asia during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, leaving a lasting impact on Portugal and the rest of the world.


A closer look 說古論今

For almost half of the twentieth century, dictators who were determined to keep control over the country's colonies ruled Portugal.

Chief among the dictators was Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, who ruled over Portugal from 1932 to 1968. Salazar led Portugal into the costly Portuguese Colonial War, a series of battles fought between the Portuguese military and independence movements in Portugal's African colonies.

Fed up with the war and the leadership of the dictators, a group of leftist military members overthrew the dictatorship in a bloodless coup on April 25, 1974. The day is now celebrated as a national holiday and is known as the Revolution of the Carnations.

Portugal gave up control of all its African colonies within two years of the coup and over the next decade developed into a stable democracy.

Today Portugal is among the world leaders in renewable energy. Prime Minister Jose Socrates says he wants 45% of Portugal's energy to come from renewable sources by 2010, and Portugal recently opened what officials claim is the most powerful solar power plant in the world.

Religion plays a major, although decreasing, role in Portuguese society. About 85% of Portuguese are Roman Catholic, but only about a third regularly go to church. One possible reason for such a low attendance rate could be Sunday football matches. Few priests, however, would consider football to be a legitimate excuse for not attending mass.

(Michael Kearney, Staff Writer)







WHO KNEW? 你知道嗎?

Oporto, a city in northern Portugal, is most famous for its port wine. For almost 500 hundred years, port has been produced in Oporto by combining red wine and brandy, and about 70 years ago, white port was invented. Almost all of the world's most famous ports are made in this area of Portugal.

The wine is produced in Oporto, but the vineyards are on the banks of the River Douro, about 100 miles inland. The grapes are still usually crushed by foot to enhance the wine's flavor. Demand for port has increased in recent years, in part because of the increasing popularity of Australian wines. The Australian wines tend to be very robust in flavor, which helps accustom people to the bold tastes they can expect when sipping on a glass of port.




Size: 92,391km2, or about 2.6 times the size of Taiwan

Location: Southwestern Europe

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