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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 mostly on the Iberian Peninsula, in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Portugal is the oldest nation state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe and the world, its territory having been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times. The pre-Celtic people, Iberians, Celts, Carthaginians and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi Germanic peoples. After the Muslim conquests of the Iberian Peninsula, most of the territory was part of Al-Andalus until their expulsion. 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 in 1128. The Kingdom of Portugal was later proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique in 1139, and independence from León was recognised by the Treaty of Zamora in 1143.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global 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, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope (1488), Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India (1497-98) and the European discovery of Brazil (1500). During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castille, 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, the independence of Brazil (1822) and a late industrialization compared to other European powers erased to a great extent Portugal's prior opulence.

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The smooth surfaces of the castle of Evoramonte visible on the approach to the structure

The Castle of Evoramonte, alternately spelled Évora Monte or Évoramonte, (Portuguese: Castelo de Évora Monte/Castelo de Evoramonte) is a Portuguese castle in the civil parish of Evoramonte, municipality of Estremoz in the former district of Évora. Initiated in 1160, in the Gothic period, it was enlarged in later centuries in the Manueline style. It was at this site that the Concession of Evoramonte (or the Convention of Evoramonte) on was signed on 26 May 1834, that ended Liberal Wars between the Liberal forces of Queen Maria II of Portugal (under the regency of her father Peter VI of Portugal) and Absolutist armies of Miguel of Portugal. Since 1910, it has been listed as a Portuguese National monument. Read more...

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The Madeira firecrest, Madeira kinglet, or Madeiracrest (Regulus madeirensis) is a very small passerine bird endemic to the island of Madeira. It is a member of the kinglet family. Before it was recognised as a separate species in 2003, it was classified as a subspecies of the common firecrest. It differs in appearance and vocalisations from its relative, and genetic analysis has confirmed it as a different species. The Madeiran bird has green upperparts, whitish underparts and two white wingbars, and a distinctive head pattern with a black eye stripe, short white supercilium, and a crest that is mainly orange in the male and yellow in the female.

The female Madeira firecrest builds a spherical nest from cobwebs, moss and small twigs, and she incubates the eggs and broods the chicks on her own. Both parents feed the young. This species forages for insects and other small invertebrates in tree heath, laurisilva and other woodland. It is common within its restricted range, and is not considered to be threatened. Read more...

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"We gave the Brazilians, the land, people and language, and we are the ones with an accent?!"
Raúl Solnado, actor and commedian

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Otelo Nuno Romão Saraiva de Carvalho, GCL (Portuguese pronunciation: [?'t?lu s?'?ajv? d? k'va?u]; born 31 August 1936), is a retired Portuguese military officer. He was the chief strategist of the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Lisbon. After the Revolution, Otelo assumed leadership roles in the first Portuguese Provisional Governments, alongside Vasco Gonçalves and Francisco da Costa Gomes, and as the head of military defense force COPCON. In 1976, Otelo ran in the first Portuguese presidential election, in which he placed second with the base of his support coming from the far-left. In the 1980s Otelo was accused of having involvement with the controversial Forças Populares 25 de Abril. Read more...

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Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira (, , European Portuguese: ['va?ku ð? 'm?]; c. 1460s - 24 December 1524), was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India (1497-1499) was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and therefore, the West and the Orient.

Da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India was significant and opened the way for an age of global imperialism and for the Portuguese to establish a long-lasting colonial empire in Asia. Traveling the ocean route allowed the Portuguese to avoid sailing across the highly disputed Mediterranean and traversing the dangerous Arabian Peninsula. The sum of the distances covered in the outward and return voyages made this expedition the longest ocean voyage ever made until then, far longer than a full voyage around the world by way of the Equator. Read more...

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Lisbon Oceanarium, a marine biology museum and one of the largest aquariums in the world.

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