Terceira (Portuguese pronunciation: [tɨɾˈsɐjɾɐ]) is a volcanic island in the Azores archipelago, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the larger islands of the archipelago, with a population of 53,311 inhabitants in an area of approximately 396.75 km². It is the location of the Azores' oldest city, Angra do Heroísmo, the historical capital of the archipelago and UNESCO World Heritage Site; the seat of the judicial system (Supreme Court); and the main Air Force base, Base Aérea nº 4 at Lajes, with a United States Air Force detachment.
The island has two main sea ports, one at Angra do Heroísmo and the other at Praia da Vitória, and a commercial airport integrated with the flight operations at Base Aérea nº 4. The Portuguese bullfight is popular on the island, coming in two variations: the traditional equestrian bullfight (in the ring) and the popular "touradas à corda" that occur in the streets. (Full article...)
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The Flag of Portugal (Portuguese: Bandeira de Portugal) is the national flag of the Portuguese Republic. It is a rectangular bicolour with a field divided into green on the hoist, and red on the fly. The lesser version of the national coat of arms of Portugal (armillary sphere and Portuguese shield) is centered over the colour boundary at equal distance from the upper and lower edges. Its presentation was done on 1 December 1910, after the downfall of the constitutional monarchy on 5 October 1910. However, it was only on 30 June 1911, that the official decree approving this flag as the official flag was published. This new national flag for the First Portuguese Republic, was selected by a special commission whose members included Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, João Chagas and Abel Botelho.
The conjugation of the new field color, especially the use of green, was not traditional in the Portuguese national flag's composition and represented a radical republican-inspired change that broke the bond with the former monarchical flag. Since a failed republican insurrection on 31 January 1891, red and green had been established as the colours of the Portuguese Republican Party and its associated movements, whose political prominence kept growing until it reached a culmination period following the Republican revolution of 5 October 1910. In the ensuing decades, these colours were popularly propagandised as representing the hope of the nation (green) and the blood of those who died defending it (red), as a means to endow them with a more patriotic and dignified, therefore less political, sentiment.
The sphere and shield in the middle of the current flag are an integral part of the design, which has historically been centred on the royal arms, usually over fields of blue and white. Since the country's foundation, the standard developed from the blue cross-on-white armorial square banner of King Afonso I, through progressively more complex designs, which did incorporate green and red, to the liberal monarchy's arms over a blue-and-white rectangle. In between, major changes associated with determinant political events contributed to its evolution into the current design. (Full article...)
Image 31Areas of the Roman province of Hispania occupied by the barbarian people c. 409-429 (from History of Portugal)
Image 32In pink are areas in Africa claimed by Portugal before the 1890 British Ultimatum. (from History of Portugal)
Image 33Map of Spain and Portugal showing the conquest of Hispania from 220 B.C. to 19 B.C. and provincial borders. It is based on other maps; the territorial advances and provincial borders are illustrative. (from History of Portugal)
Image 40The arrival of the Portuguese in Japan, the first Europeans who managed to reach it, initiating the Nanban ("southern barbarian") period of active commercial and cultural exchange between Japan and the West. (from History of Portugal)
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