Capital city: Lisbon

Population: 10677000

Portugal is located in the south-western part of the Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and on the islands of Azores and Madeira. Land borders only Spain. The Portuguese border from north to south, along the Atlantic coast, is 560 km, and the average width from west to east is 180 km. Natural conditions – Portugal covers about 15% of the Iberian Peninsula area. The coast is leveled, sandy or rocky. The majority of the country is covered by heights and mountains, constituting an extension of the Spanish Meseta. In the north there are numerous mountain ranges, among others: Serra do Gerez (1544 m.n.p.m.), Serra de Marao (1415 m.n.p.m.), Serra de Nogueira (1318), in the central part crystalline log massifs, among others Serra da Estrela (with the highest peak in the land part of the country – Malhao da Estrela, 1991 m.n.p.m.). The highest peak of Portugal is Pico (2351 m.n.p.m.) located in the Azores. In Portugal there are lower sections of the large rivers of the peninsula: Duero, Tagu, Gwadiany. Subtropical marine climate, diversified depending on the terrain. On the coast, winters are mild and rainy, and wet years, while in the interior of the country the summers are hot and dry, and winters colder. Precipitation on the windward slopes – about 1000 mm per year, the interior of the country receives about 400 mm. The average air temperature and average rainfall for the capital city are: in January 11 ° C and 84 mm, in July 22 ° C and 5 mm. The natural vegetation of the country is: in the north Atlantic forests and thickets of giant heathers, while in the south Mediterranean plants (groves of carob, fig and almond trees, cork oak, maquis, garig). The animal world is represented by various mammals, including wolves, wild boar, lynx. There are many reptiles (lizards, chameleons) and birds. Political system Portugal is a republic in which the constitution of 1976 is in force. The head of state is the president, elected for a five-year term and having the right to two terms. Under his chairmanship, the Council of State (about 20 people), including the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament and former presidents). The Council of State has advisory powers. The president appoints and dismisses the prime minister, and at the request of the prime minister appoints and dismisses – ministers. The government exercises executive power and is politically responsible to the president and parliament. Legislative power belongs to the unicameral parliament – the Assembly of the Republic (230-235 deputies elected for a four-year term). Cuisine In Portuguese cuisine, a popular vegetable soup is caldo verde (with cabbage, potatoes, and sometimes also with pieces of ham) and sopa á alentejana – garlic soup with bread and boiled egg. On the coast are served mainly fish and seafood dishes: crabs, shrimps, crawfish, molluscs and huge crustaceans. The most popular dish of this type is made from bacalhau (dried and salted cod). It is a national dish that can be prepared in 365 ways. The smell of sardines (sardinhas) roasted on the grill is associated with Portugal. Other, more exotic delicacies include smoked ham (presunto), originating from the north of the country (especially from Chaves) and porco á alentejana (pork cooked with mollusks); this dish, probably from Alentejo, is one of the best delicacies in the world. Most dishes are served with boiled or fried potatoes and rice. Where is it worth going? When traveling around Portugal, it is worth visiting Lisbon in particular. Here, in addition to other monuments (many of them were destroyed during the earthquake in 1977) is surrounded on three sides by the sea Torre de Belém (“Bethlehem tower”; VI-IX. The building, distinguished by the splendor of forms and countless turrets. During the last five years of Manuel I (1515-1520), he is the only structure in Portugal erected from the beginning to the end according to the requirements of the Manueline style (other constructions from that period were either added to existing ones or finished much later). of the project – Francisco de Arruda – previously worked on the construction of Portuguese fortifications in Morocco, as evidenced by the Mauritian architecture arched windows and balconies inspired by arches. The ornaments are also characterized by two motifs characteristic of this period: a rosette depicting the globe (symbol of Manuel I) and the cross of the Templars who played an important role in Inside, only the “whispers gallery” deserves attention, serving in the nineteenth century as a prison. Here, in the flooded dungeons, King Miguel (1828-1834) detained political prisoners. Braga, in turn, is sometimes referred to as “Portuguese Rome.” Initially, the city served as the bishop of Swebów, later Muslim authorities took over it. During the Crusades, Braga was one of the first liberated from the Moors’ yoke, and by the end of the 11th century the archbishops came to make every effort to make it a metropolis. Braga has remained the religious center of the country to this day. Thousands of believers come here every year to participate in the celebrations of Easter – at the torch lights, hooded penitents are walking in a procession through the city center. The suburbs of Braga are famous for many beautiful sacral buildings, such as, for example, Bom Jesus, which is one of the most elaborate Baroque constructions in Portugal.