Portugal Maps Collection
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic is a country located in Southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are Portuguese territory as well. The country is named after its second largest city, Porto, whose Latin name was Portus Cale.
Portugal National Flag
The land within the borders of the current Portuguese Republic has been continuously settled since prehistoric times: occupied by Celts like the Gallaeci and the Lusitanians, integrated into the Roman Republic and later settled by Germanic peoples such as the Suebi and the Visigoths. In the 8th century most of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Moorish invaders professing Islam, which were later expelled by the Knights Templar under the Order of Christ. During the Christian Reconquista, Portugal established itself as an independent kingdom from Leon in 1139, claiming to be the oldest European nation-state.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result of pioneering the Age of Discovery, Portugal expanded western influence and established a global empire that included possessions in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers. The Portuguese Empire was the first global empire in history,and also the longest lived of the European colonial empires, spanning almost 600 years, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415, to the grant of sovereignty to East Timor in 2002. However, the country's international status was greatly reduced during the 19th century, especially following the Independence of Brazil, its largest colony.
After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established being then superseded by the "Estado Novo" authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974, after which Portugal's last overseas provinces became independent (most prominently Angola and Mozambique); the last overseas territory, Macau, was ceded to China in 1999.
Portugal is a developed country with a very high Human Development Index, the world's 19th-highest quality-of-life as of 2005, and a strong healthcare system. It is one of the world's most globalized and peaceful nations: a member of the European Union and the United Nations, and a founding member of the Latin Union, the Organization of Ibero-American States, OECD, NATO, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Eurozone and the Schengen Agreement.