Portugal was the first country to be invited to Expo'92, to create its curatorship, and to choose the location of its pavilion.
This recognition of Portugal as a priority delegate was due as much to the greatness of its historical past as to the coordinates of its present and the potential of its future.
The main lines that defined its participation stemmed from some clear constants: transcontinentality, universalism of its values, dialogue of civilisations, North-South solidarity. They show the importance of Portugal's contribution to the creation of the modern world and its unique vocation to be the agent and interpreter of this dialogue, which will undoubtedly be the great planetary task of the 21st century.
In order to give the visitor an overview, the thematic structure of the pavilion has been defined on the basis of the following vectors
1- Portuguese national identity and formation ;
2- The great Portuguese discoveries of the 16th century, which led to the opening of the New World (contact between cultures, vision of the Other and Portugal's privileged role as a mediator);
3- The expansion of the Portuguese language throughout the world and its current situation; the language of almost two hundred million people;
4- The fruit of five centuries of history. The cultural, economic, political and strategic situation of Portugal in Europe and in the world.
Even a brief visit to the Portuguese Pavilion should make the visitor understand the meaning of the slogan: "Portugal: a centuries-long adventure to invent the future".
The architecture of the pavilion itself, which, by maintaining a constant dialogue with its surroundings - at the crossroads of Avenida de Europa and Avenida de Los Descubrimientos - symbolised the stages of Portuguese life, and gave a plastic translation of it.
The dynamics of the Portuguese presence went beyond the national pavilion, however, and had to be understood as a whole: a large popular festival for the bank holidays (10 June), a lively historical reconstruction of Manuel I's embassy to the Pope, a luxurious restaurant, music, dance, theatre and cinema, multiple conferences and the affirmation of its Europeanism through its participation in the European Community and high-definition TV projects.
The Portuguese representation was a place of celebration and mutual discovery, not only within the walls, but also in the city itself - in the Maestranza theatre, in the port, in the Portuguese Consulate (Portuguese pavilion at the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929) - and its surroundings in the Roman ruins of Italica
© Official Guide Expo'92