Portugal: a Historical and Cultural Overview

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 538 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 20, 2024

Words: 538|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 20, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Historical Background
  2. Cultural Influence
  3. Global Impact
  4. Conclusion

Located in the southwestern region of Europe, Portugal is a country with a rich history and vibrant culture. From its ancient roots to its modern-day influence, Portugal has made significant contributions to the world in areas such as exploration, art, and cuisine. This essay will provide an overview of Portugal's history, culture, and impact on the global stage.

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Historical Background

Portugal's history dates back to the early Paleolithic era, with evidence of human presence on the Iberian Peninsula as far back as 400,000 years ago. The region was later inhabited by Celtic and Iberian tribes before being conquered by the Romans in 218 BC. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was ruled by various Germanic tribes before coming under Muslim control in the 8th century.

The Reconquista, a period of Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula, saw the emergence of Portugal as an independent kingdom in 1139 under the leadership of Afonso I. The country expanded its territory through exploration and conquest, establishing a global empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. During this time, Portugal became a major player in the Age of Discovery, with explorers such as Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan paving the way for the country's maritime dominance.

Cultural Influence

Portugal's cultural heritage is a blend of influences from its diverse history. The country's architecture, art, music, and literature reflect a mix of Roman, Moorish, and Gothic traditions, as well as elements of its global explorations. The Manueline style, for example, is a unique Portuguese architectural style that emerged during the Age of Discovery, characterized by intricate designs and maritime motifs.

Portuguese cuisine is also a significant aspect of the country's culture, with dishes such as bacalhau (salted cod), caldo verde (green soup), and pastéis de nata (custard tarts) being popular both domestically and internationally. The influence of Portugal's former colonies, particularly in Africa, Asia, and South America, has also contributed to the diversity of its culinary traditions.

Global Impact

Portugal's global influence can be seen in its former colonies, including Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, and East Timor, where the Portuguese language and cultural traditions continue to thrive. The country's exploration and colonization of these regions had a lasting impact on their languages, religions, and social structures, shaping their identities in significant ways.

Portugal's contributions to the global stage also extend to the arts and sciences. The country has produced renowned figures such as the poet Luís de Camões, the novelist José Saramago, and the composer Carlos Seixas, all of whom have left a lasting mark on their respective fields. In the realm of science, Portuguese navigators and cartographers played a crucial role in advancing the world's understanding of geography and navigation during the Age of Discovery.

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In conclusion, Portugal's history, culture, and impact on the global stage are diverse and far-reaching. From its early beginnings as a kingdom to its role as a major player in the Age of Discovery, Portugal has left an indelible mark on the world. Its contributions to exploration, art, cuisine, and language continue to be celebrated and appreciated, making Portugal a fascinating and influential nation in the tapestry of global history and culture.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Portugal: a Historical and Cultural Overview. (2024, March 20). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“Portugal: a Historical and Cultural Overview.” GradesFixer, 20 Mar. 2024,
Portugal: a Historical and Cultural Overview. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 May 2024].
Portugal: a Historical and Cultural Overview [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 20 [cited 2024 May 25]. Available from:
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