One of the most popular Portuguese exports is the famous port
wine, produced in and around the Douro Valley and the city of
Porto. A fortified wine used as for dessert, Port takes its name
from Porto, where it was often loaded on ships to be take around
the world. Ever since the Roman occupation of these shores, grapes
have been grown across the country. The consistency of soil and
excellent climate in the Douro regions has long been the perfect
combination for creating the iconic port wine for which Portugal is
so famous. By the 17th and 18th century,
Portugal had developed a true port viticulture which has been
exported across the world, in particular to the UK, where it was
famously one of Winston Churchill's famous drinks.
Another Portuguese cultural offering comes in the shape of the
music genre of Fado. Taking its origins as a variety of song which
was sung by Portuguese sailors to express longing for homeland,
Fado is a truly beautiful musical form, characterized by the sound
of the Portuguese guitar. Technically, fado is a form of Portuguese
folk music, popularised by singers in the ports and dockyards.
Making use of simple rhythms and ancient harmonies, mostly made up
of Dorian or Ionian modes, the fado is very much a product of the
Portuguese architecture is another facet of Portugal's culture
which is celebrated. A prominent feature is the use of white and
blue tiles to decorate homes, plazas and municipal buildings. These
'Azulejo' design of tile has been used across the Iberian
Peninsula, and they truly add beautiful colour to proceedings,
lending a timeless charm to even the most mundane of buildings.
The official language of Portugal is Portuguese. The currency
here is the Euro € and the capital city is Lisbon.