For such a small country, Portugal has a pretty long résumé and history. As such there may be some controversy about where the country was actually started. Most nevertheless agree that Guimarães is the birthplace of Portugal.
You see… Portugal was occupied multiple times by different people, including: Celts, Romans, Suevi, Visigoths, and Muslim Moors. With this, the borders of what constituted Portugal changed many times over the last two millennia.
Guimarães is referred to as the “cradle of Portugal”: because it is associated with several key ...continue reading →
Now a free democracy, Portugal was under a dictatorship until 1974. One of the marks left by this period was a set of 3 “values” known as the 3Fs: Fado, Fátima, and Football. The dictatorship was overturn by the Carnation Revolution but these 3 things remain core to the Portuguese identify.
Fado – is a Portuguese traditional music genre with at least 2 centuries of history. Characterized by the use of mournful tones and lyrics, traditionally revolving around the Portuguese word “Saudade” which embodies the feeling of loss. Fado has evolved overtime and today you can hear different types of Fado depending on the region and the authors. Though it has always been central to the Portuguese culture, the last decade has witnessed a revival with several young authors and singers taking the world stage almost by surprise. Following the worldwide popularization of this genre mostly between the 50s and 70s by Amália Rodrigues (also known as the “Queen of Fado”), new names like Mariza have recently brought new content and interpretation to this genre and received multiple international awards. Fado was inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2011. You can listen to Fado in some traditional Fado houses in Lisbon’s historical quarters, but also in many other cities like Porto or Coimbra. ...continue reading →