Portal:Portugal
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Portal:Portugal

Welcome to the Portugal portal

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, overlooking the Tagus river
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, overlooking the Tagus river
Flag of Portugal
Location of Portugal in Europe

Portugal (Portuguese: [pu?tu'?al]), officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa ['pu?lik? pu?tu'?ez?]), is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state in mainland Europe, bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain, the sole country to have a land border with Portugal. Portugal's territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. The official and national language is Portuguese. Lisbon is the capital and largest city.

Portugal is the oldest nation state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times. It was inhabited by pre-Celtic and Celtic peoples, visited by Phoenicians-Carthaginians, Ancient Greeks and ruled by the Romans, who were followed by the invasions of the Suebi and Visigothic Germanic peoples. After the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors, most of its territory was part of Al-Andalus. Portugal as a country was established during the early Christian Reconquista. Founded in 868, the County of Portugal gained prominence after the Battle of São Mamede (1128). The Kingdom of Portugal was later proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique (1139), and independence from León was recognized by the Treaty of Zamora (1143).

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global maritime and commercial empire, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration with the discovery of what would become Brazil (1500). During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castile, and the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia. However, events such as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of Brazil (1822) erased to a great extent Portugal's prior opulence. A civil war between liberal constitutionalists and conservative absolutists in Portugal over royal succession lasted from 1828 to 1834. (Full article...)

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The Portuguese Renaissance refers to the cultural and artistic movement in Portugal during the 15th and 16th centuries. Though the movement coincided with the Spanish and Italian Renaissances, the Portuguese Renaissance was largely separate from other European Renaissances and instead was extremely important in opening Europe to the unknown and bringing a more worldly view to those European Renaissances, as at the time the Portuguese Empire spanned the globe.

As the pioneer of the Age of Discoveries, Portugal flourished in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, with voyages to India, the Orient, the Americas, and Africa. This immense trade network would create an extremely wealthy Portuguese nobility and monarchy, that would become patrons for an immense flourishing of culture, arts, and technology in Portugal and all over the world. (Full article...)

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Half-length painted portrait of a brown-haired man with mustache and beard, wearing a uniform with gold epaulettes and the Order of the Golden Fleece on a red ribbon around his neck and a striped sash of office across his chest
Emperor Dom Pedro I at age 35, 1834

Dom Pedro I (English: Peter I; 12 October 1798 - 24 September 1834), nicknamed "the Liberator", was the founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil. As King Dom Pedro IV, he reigned briefly over Portugal, where he also became known as "the Liberator" as well as "the Soldier King". Born in Lisbon, Pedro I was the fourth child of King Dom João VI of Portugal and Queen Carlota Joaquina, and thus a member of the House of Braganza. When the country was invaded by French troops in 1807, he and his family fled to Portugal's largest and wealthiest colony, Brazil.

The outbreak of the Liberal Revolution of 1820 in Lisbon compelled Pedro I's father to return to Portugal in April 1821, leaving him to rule Brazil as regent. He had to deal with challenges from revolutionaries and insubordination by Portuguese troops, all of which he subdued. The Portuguese government's threat to revoke the political autonomy that Brazil had enjoyed since 1808 was met with widespread discontent in Brazil. Pedro I chose the Brazilian side and declared Brazil's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822. On 12 October, he was acclaimed Brazilian emperor and by March 1824 had defeated all armies loyal to Portugal. A few months later, Pedro I crushed the short-lived Confederation of the Equator, a failed secession attempt by provincial rebels in Brazil's northeast. (Full article...)

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"Oh salted sea, how much of thy salt are tears of Portugal?"

Ó mar salgado quanto do teu sal são lágrimas de Portugal

Fernando Pessoa, poet

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Lopes (right) speaking with a Spaniard (engraving by Esaias van Hulsen)

Roderigo Lopes (also called Ruy Lopes, Ruy Lopez or Roger Lopez and also Rodrigo Lopes; c. 1517 - 7 June 1594) served as a physician-in-chief to Queen Elizabeth I of England from 1581 until his death by execution, having been found guilty of plotting to poison her. A Portuguese converso or New Christian of Jewish ancestry, he is the only royal doctor in English history to have been executed, and may have inspired the character of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which was written within four years of his death.

The son of a Portuguese royal physician of Jewish descent, Lopes was raised a Catholic and educated at the University of Coimbra. Amid the Portuguese Inquisition he was accused of secretly practising Judaism, and compelled to leave the country. He settled in London in 1559, joined the Church of England and became house physician at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Gaining a reputation as a careful and skilled physician, he acquired several powerful clients, including the Earl of Leicester and Sir Francis Walsingham, and eventually the Queen of England herself. (Full article...)

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José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos (2 August 1929 - 23 February 1987), known professionally as José Afonso and also popularly known as Zeca Afonso or simply Zeca, was a Portuguese singer-songwriter. One of the most influential folk and protest musicians in the history of Portugal, he became an icon in Portugal due to the role of his music in the resistance against the dictatorial Estado Novo regime.

Afonso's song "Grândola, Vila Morena" was used as a radio-broadcast signal by the Portuguese Armed Forces during their military coup operation in the morning of 25 April 1974, which led to the Carnation Revolution and the transition to democracy in Portugal. Subsequently, Afonso, who favored communism, and "Grândola, Vila Morena" became symbols of the revolution and anti-fascism, as well as of both the Portuguese labor movement and political left. (Full article...)

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Js-municiamento f-84.jpg
A Portguguese F-84 being loaded with amunition in the 60's, at the Luanda Air Base, during the Portuguese Colonial War

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