Pontifical Legation of the Western Europe

The Armenians in Portugal

According to historical data, small groups of Armenians visited Portugal in the 15th and 16th centuries and settled in Porto. Sometime later, the street near St. Peter’s Church in the city was called “Armenian Street”, but many details are unknown.

The second small influx of Armenians in Portugal occurred in the 1920s, however, there are no historical sources mentioning the number of people.

The third influx of Armenians to Portugal mainly occurred during the last 30 years. About 150 Armenians currently live in Portugal, most of them based in Lisbon. Several Armenian families live in Porto, Braga, Coimbra, Lagos, and Guardia. The community does not have political parties, schools, or churches.

Based on the will of Armenian businessman and philanthropist Calouste Gulbenkian, the Galust Gulbenkian Foundation was established in Lisbon in 1956. The Foundation’s Armenian branch provides financial assistance to Armenian intellectuals, research centers, and associations to implement various programs aimed at preserving the Armenian identity.

On September 26, 2016, the Portugal-Armenia Friendship Association NGO was established in Lisbon and opened a branch in Porto in July. The Consonance Orchestra operates under the Union. On the initiative of the Portugal-Armenia Friendship Association and with the financial support of the Gulbenkian Foundation, an Armenian language course was established in 2018 at the University of Lisbon’s Department of Philology.

The ”Delalian Trio”, a group of professional musicians and as well as the Portugal-Armenia Chamber of Commerce also operate in Lisbon.

In 2019, the Portuguese parliament adopted a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide.