Interesting Historical Facts
1. Portugal was called Luisitania under Roman rule.
2. Prince Henry the Navigator was prince of Portugal from 1394 – 1460. He is considered to be the patron of exploration. In 1416 he established a navigation school in the city of Sagres where he gathered the finest mapmakers, navigators and astronomers of the time. Ferdinand Magellan and Vasco de Gama were among some of the great explorers who studied there.
3. At the end of the 1490s Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India.
4. Bartholomew Diaz, the Portuguese explorer, was the first to sail round the southern tip of Africa which he named the Cape of Good Hope.
5. In 1522, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, was financed by Spain and became the first to complete a circumnavigation of the world.
6. Christopher Columbus first asked the Portuguese to finance his voyage, but was refused. He then went to Spain, where he received the support he needed for his trip that discovered America.
7. The 1755 earthquake in Lisbon destroyed much of the city and took the lives of thirty thousand people.