Dulce Rodrigues, writer

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  • 01, 1290 - King Dinis of Portugal creates in Lisbon the "Estudo Geral" (the future university), which will be transferred to Coimbra in 1308. Learn more about the Coimbra and its university

    University of Coimbra
    University of Coimbra, this photo is courtesy of TripAdvisor

  • 01, 1476 - Battle of Toro, between king Afonso V of Portugal and the catholic kings, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel of Castile. In the battle, Prince João and the flag carrier Duarte de Almeida had a prominent role. The Castilians led a ferocious struggle to get hold of the Portuguese royal standard, and Duarte de Almeida had his hand cutt off; he then transferred the standard to the other hand, which was also cutt off. The brave ensign sustained the Portuguese standard in the air with his teeth until he was surrounded and captured by the Castilians, and fainted under the wounds inflicted by them. As a result of his deed, the brave ensign is historically known as “The Butchered”. The Portuguese standard was shortly afterwards retaken by Gonçalo Pires, who then became known as “Bandeira” (flag in Portuguese). Though inconclusive in its military outcome, the battle was politically not favourable to the Portuguese king.
  • 03 - Bulgaria National Day: celebration of the country's liberation from Ottoman domination in 1878.
  • 05, 1811 - After general Massena’s defeat at Bussaco on September 27, 1810, the French turned the position of the allied army (Portuguese and English) on the Serra do Bussaco and caused Wellington to fall back upon the fortified lines that he had constructed at Torres Vedras. On March 5, 1811, after a winter of terrible sufferings, the retreat of the Napoleonic army began; they were harassed by the allied troops all the way to Sabugal, where the last defense action in Portugal took place on April 3.
  • 08 - International Women’s Day: This nice initiative of celebrating "international days" for everything is spreading quickly for some time now, and if not serving for much more in most cases, it has at least the advantage of being financially beneficial in this consuming society we live in. As to the purpose for which the International Women’s Days was created, I wonder whether it really achieves anything.
  • 09, 1500 - The Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral and his sea expedition: About two years after the glorious Sea Route trip to India by Vasco da Gama, king Manuel I decides to send another fleet, this time under the command of Pedro Álvares Cabral, whose official mission is to go to Calicut, though another story of Portugal’s secret History lies behind. The fleet is the most powerful fleet ever prepared for sea expedition to distant lands, and comprises thirteen vessels. Read more about the Discovery of Brazil.

    Brazil's coast
    The Portuguese land on a sandy beach (painting)

  • 09, 1916 - Germany declares war to Portugal some time after the Portuguese forces had fought against the Germans in Nautila, Angola, Africa.
  • 12, 1811 - Battle of Redinha against the French army, and the heroic defensive position of Campo Maior that lasted until the 22nd, when it was occupaied by the French under Marshal Ney (third Portuguese campaign).
  • 13, 1809 - The French military forces under general Soult initiated the second invasion of Portugal trough the northern border with Spain and took the fortress of Chaves. The Portuguese defensive forces under General Silveira retreated to Vila Pouca de Aguiar, trying to stop the French from reaching Vila Real. The French then marched to Braga, and entered the city on March 20.
  • 14, 1415 - Taking of Ceuta by the Portuguese under king João I, to which greatly contributed the princes, namely prince Henrique, the Navigator.

    taking of Ceuta by the Portuguese

  • 15, 1147 - The Castle of Santarém is taken from the Moors by Afonso Henriques, first king of Portugal.

    taking of the castle of Santarém by the Portuguese

  • 17 - Ireland National Day: Saint-Patrick's Day.
  • 17, 1504 - Second Siege of Cochin (India) is a series of confrontations, fought on land and sea, between the armies of the Zamorin of Calicut and the Portuguese garrison under the Portuguese official geographer Duarte Pacheco Pereira, who successfully resisted the attacks.
  • 17, 1939 - Iberian Pact of 1939 was a Portuguese-Spanish non-aggression treaty signed by the governments of Portugal and Spain. It committed the two countries regarding future cooperation, it did not concern past conflict.
  • 21 - Arbor Day: The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872 at the initiative of Julius Sterling Morton, a US newspaper editor and politician who encouraged the plantation of trees in the State of Nebraska. To read more about Arbor Day.

    oliveira muito antiga em Portugal
    Old olive tree in Portugal, this photo is courtesy of TripAdvisor

  • 24 - Saint Gabriel, the Archangel, is the patron saint of communication workers and messengers (telecommunications).
  • 24, 1373 - Peace treaty, signed in Santarém, between king Fernando I of Portugal and king Henrique II of Castile.
  • 25 - Greece National Day: celebration of the call for uprising against the Turks in 1821.
  • 26, 1211 - Death of king Sancho I of Portugal. He organized the territory and fixed the people in the lands taken from the Moors. He was therefore called the "Povoador".
  • 28, 1249 - Taking of Faro from the Moors under king Afonso III of Portugal, after some negotiation and a wild fight.
  • 30, 1922 - First Air Crossing of the (South) Atlantic: Admiral Gago Coutinho and naval captain Sacadura Cabral arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after a flight of about 62 hours (with three stopping places), therefore covering a distance of 8283 km. A remarkable event which proved the efficiency of the new navigation methods and instruments invented by the two Portuguese air pilots: a precision astrolabe, based on the sea navigation sextant, that allowed measuring the height of the celestial bodies at any time and from any latitude without the major errors encountered until then; and the Direction Corrector (named after the two pilots Corrector de Direcção Coutinho-Sacadura), a small device aimed at calculating the winds direction and strength. To read more about the First Air Crossing of the Atlantic.

    1922, First Air Crossing of the Atlantic
    Photo kindly provided by the Portuguese Air Force.
    The original aircraft can be seen in Lisbon, at the Navy Museum.


  • 30, 1992 - Military service for women is created in Portugal, with the admission of the first thirty women.
  • 31 - Malta National Day: celebration of the retreat of the last British troops in 1979.

One of the most important dates in a person's life is our own birthday.
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