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Location of Portugal

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa in Portuguese), is located in the west and southwest parts of the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, and is the westernmost country in continental Europe. Continental Portugal is bordered by Spain to the north and east and by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south. In addition, Portugal includes two archipelagos in the Atlantic, the Azores (Açores) and Madeira Islands, as well as an extensive exclusive maritime economic zone.

Portugal has witnessed a constant flow of different civilizations during the past millennia. From prehistoric cultures, to its Pre-Roman civilizations (such as the Lusitanians, the Gallaeci, the Celtici, and the Cynetes, amongst others), passing through its contacts with the Phoenician-Carthaginian world, the Roman period (see Hispania, Lusitania and Gallaecia), the Germanic invasions and consequent settlement of the Suevi and Buri (see Suebic Kingdom of Galicia) and the Visigoth (see Visigothic Kingdom), and, finally, the Moorish Umayyad invasion of Hispania and the subsequent Reconquista, all have made an imprint on the country's culture, history and people's ancestry.

The name of Portugal itself reveals much of the country's early history, stemming from the Roman name Portus Cale, a Latin name meaning "Port of Cale", latter transformed into Portucale, and finally into Portugal, who emerged as a county of the Kingdom of León (see First County of Portugal and Second County of Portugal) and became an independent kingdom in 1139. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal was a major economic, political, and cultural power, its global empire stretching from Brazil to the Indies.

Selected article

The complete list of Presidents of the Portuguese Republic consists of the 20 heads of state in the history of Portugal since the October 5, 1910 revolution that installed a republican regime. This list includes not only those who sworn into office as President of Portugal but also those who de facto served as head of state since 1910. This is the case of Teófilo Braga who served as President of the Provisional Government after the republican coup d'état. Also Sidónio Pais, Mendes Cabeçadas, Gomes da Costa, as well as Canto e Castro and Óscar Carmona in their early months, weren't sworn into office as President of the Republic, usually being the President of the Ministry (Prime Minister), but de facto accumulation this functions with that of the Head of State. (continued...)

Selected biography

António de Oliveira Salazar (April 28, 1889—July 27, 1970) was the President of the Council of Ministers of Portugal for 36 years, from 1932 to 1968, and founder of the Estado Novo (New Regime). He was the last of a family of 11, and he was also the only male child. He studied at the Seminary, from 1900 to 1914 and thought of becoming a priest, but he later changed his mind. He studied law at Coimbra University during the first years of the Republican regime. As a young man, his involvement in politics stems from his Catholic views, which were aroused by the new anticlerical Portuguese First Republic. He was Finance Minister during the Ditadura Nacional, and then was appointed President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister). Salazar developed the "Estado Novo" (literally, New State). The basis of his regime was a platform of stability; his reforms were advantageous to the upper classes while detrimental to the poorer sections of society. Education was not seen as a priority and therefore not heavily invested in. Salazar relied on the secret police (often known by the name it carried from 1945--1969, PIDE) to repress, torture and, in extreme cases, murder dissidents. During his political rule, Portugal remainded neutral in World War II, joined EFTA and NATO and started a Colonial War. (continued...)

Selected place

Court of the University of Coimbra

Coimbra is a city in Portugal. The municipality has a population of 148,474 inhabitants, and over 430,000 inhabitants live in its metropolitan area made of 16 concelhos comprising a 3370 km² area. It is the district seat of Coimbra district (distrito de Coimbra) and capital of Centro region (região Centro).

This historic city is located in the central part of Portugal, 120 km south of Porto, 195 km north of Lisbon. One of Portugal's biggest crossroads, Coimbra is served by the A1, the main highway of Portugal. It is set by the Mondego River, about 40 km east of Figueira da Foz, a neighbour coastal city with several beaches, summer and seaport facilities on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. (continued...)


"There are several kinds of states: socialist states, corporative states, and the state we've arrived at!"

Há diversas modalidades de Estado: os estados socialistas, os estados corporativos e o estado a que isto chegou!
Salgueiro Maia to his troops on the evening of 24 to 25 April 1974

"Hats there are plenty, you fool!"

Chapéus há muitos, seu palerma!

Vasco Santana in A Canção de Lisboa

"Rather Queen for a day than duchess for a lifetime."

Antes rainha um dia que duquesa toda a vida.

Luísa de Gusmão, queen-consort of John IV

"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

"Dantas might know grammar, might know syntax, might know medicine, might know how to cook suppers for cardinals, he might know everything except how to write which is the only thing he does!"

O Dantas saberá gramática, saberá sintaxe, saberá medicina, saberá fazer ceias pra cardeais, saberá tudo menos escrever que é a única coisa que ele faz!

Almada Negreiros, writer and painter


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Lisbon monument.jpg

"Monument to the Discoveries", by architect Cottinelli Telmo and sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida in Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

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Duque de Loulé.jpg

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Liberal Revolution of Porto
One of the most important events in the 19th century history of Portugal. Help create it!
Democratic Republican Party (Portugal)
An important party in the upcoming elections in Portugal in 2015. Help create it!

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