Culture of Portugal
Just as Portugal is rich in history, so too is the country rich in culture. To its credit Portugal touts a number of scholarly museums and libraries and considers music, architecture and literature to be among its greatest cultural attributes.A writer from Paper Masters reports that Lisbon is currently home to the following:
- Academy of Sciences
- The Ajuda
- The National and Military Library
- The National Archive of Torre do Tombo
Many of those institutions house the Portugal's historical records dating as far back as the 9th century. In addition to these specialized libraries, Lisbon is also home to world-class museums that house sixteenth century Roman sculpture and paintings. These muses include: the National Museum of Ancient Art, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and the National Museum of Archeology.
Large towns in Portugal offer every kind of entertainment from theater and nightclubs to folk dancing and music performances. The theater season runs form May to October, while the festival season reaches it height in June. Of the festivals the most notable and widely celebrated are, the Festival of St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter.
While it is true that Portugal occupies the same peninsula as Spain, there are stark contrasts between architectural styles, art, culture and language. "A descendant of Vulgar Latin, Portuguese the official language of the country is a Romance language". Portuguese contains vocabulary borrowed from Arabic and other foreign tongues and is closely related to Galician. Surprisingly Portuguese is spoken by about 200 million people worldwide. Additionally, while Portuguese is the official language, English proliferates the business community.