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Portugal: A Survey of Her Wealth Economic Possibilities (Classic Reprint)

Portugal: A Survey of Her Wealth Economic Possibilities (Classic Reprint)

ISBN: 9781330699287
Publisher: Forgotten Books
Publication Date: 2015-09-27
Number of pages: 46
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Excerpt from Portugal: A Survey of Her Wealth Economic Possibilities

The geographical position of Portugal is a great economic asset if it were utilised. Portugal forms a rectangle on the extreme west of the Iberian Peninsula. Its perimeter measures 2,054 kilometres, 1,209 kilometres being land frontiers, and 845 kilometres being sea coast. Its greatest length from north to south is 561 kilometres and its greatest width is 218 kilometres, the total area being 89,106 square kilometres, or 8,910,640 hectares.

Portugal is Spain's natural outlet to the Atlantic Ocean. Lisbon is only 656 kilometres from Madrid, and Oporto 616 kilometres. All the Mediterranean trade with England and America is bound to pass opposite the Portuguese Coast, as well as all South African and South American trade with the Northern European markets.

This exceptional position is reinforced by the Portuguese Islands of Madeira, the Acores, and Cape Verde, stretched all along the Atlantic and dominating the commercial routes connecting Europe with America and Africa.


The country is traversed by twelve rivers which, with their tributaries, cover an area of 77,990 square kilometres. The rivers Douro, Tagus, and Guadiana are navigable to a certain extent. Their flow, however, has not been regularised, and the waterways of Portugal are still to be adapted to a normal traffic. The rainfall being irregular, the rivers' flow is torrential with few exceptions.


The waterfalls are very numerous. Some of them are very powerful, and might be harnessed with great economic advantage, both for the country and the capital invested.

The mountain chains are all situated north of the Tagus - the highest point is 1,991 metres, at Serra da Estrella.

Broadly speaking, Portugal forms an amphitheatre, the open space of which lies south of the Tagus, gradually steepening in the north. The River Douro is the most important source of energy in the country.

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