Half of the “New World” once belonged to Portugal
In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed which essentially gave Portugal the eastern half of the “New Word”, including Brazil, Africa, and Asia. The Portuguese Empire was actually the first global empire in history! It was also one of the longest-lived colonial powers, lasting for almost six centuries from when Ceuta was captured in 1415, until Macau (now China) was handed-over in 1999. In 1808, the King of Portugal, Dom João moved to Brazil and proclaimed a single state which included Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. The single state was called the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, which was effective from 1815-1822. The new capital of the kingdom was Rio de Janeiro. The kingdom was disestablished in 1822 after the King returned to Portugal in 1821, leaving his son, Prince Dom Pedro to rule Brazil who in turn declared independence from Portugal.
Portugal is the largest cork producer in the world
Portugal produces 70% of the world’s cork exports. Main importers of Portuguese cork are: Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. The country also has the largest cork forest.
One of the oldest universities in Europe is in Portugal
The University of Coimbra was established in 1290, making it one of the oldest universities on the European continent.