Portugal is the westernmost country of continental Europe. It lies on the
Iberian Peninsula. Spain--Portugal's neighbor to the east and north covers
most of the peninsula.
Western and southern Portugal face the Atlantic Ocean. Lisbon is the country's
capital and largest city.
A Short Background
Following its heyday as a world power during the 15th and 16th centuries,
Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the destruction of Lisbon in a
1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence in
1822 of Brazil as a colony.
A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; for most of the next six decades
repressive governments ran the country. In 1974, a left-wing military coup
installed broad democratic reforms.
The following year Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies.
Portugal entered the EC in 1985.
||Southwestern Europe, bordering
the North Atlantic Ocean,
west of Spain
||39 30 N, 8 00 W
||10,066,253 (July 2001 est.)
||noun: Portuguese (singular
||homogeneous Mediterranean stock;
citizens of black African
descent who immigrated to mainland during
number less than 100,000
||Roman Catholic 94%, Protestant
||1 EURO to US Dollar : 1,1962 (April 2004)
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