The history of Portugal spans several thousand years and includes a period during the 15th and 16 centuries when the Portuguese established the first truly global empire which extended from Brazil in the West to Batavia (present day Jakarta) in the East. It was maritime prowess that enabled the Portuguese to build their global trading empire and that maritime tradition is still alive and well today in the form of a robust commercial fishing industry. But while the fishing industry remains an important component of Portugal’s economy other areas of the country have shifted away from traditional industries toward a combination of private investment, exports and high tech. As a result, despite enduring some tough times in the wake of the global financial crisis, Portugal has since regained its collective footing and is a vibrant, forward looking nation with its eye on the future and its heart firmly grounded in its astonishing cultural legacy.
What things to know about Portugal now? Read on!