Portugal is located in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. Its capital is Lisbon.
Portugal emerged as a country in 1143, after a rebellion by Dom Afonso Henriques (Afonso I) against his own mother Countess of Portugal Teresa of León, regent of the County of Portugal and loyal to the Kingdom of León, at the Battle of São Mamede near the town of Guimarães, in June of 1128.
In the the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal evolved into a powerful nation and naval power. Famous explorers are Fernando Magellan (died during the first circumnavigation attempt of the world), Vasco da Gama (discovered the route to India) and Bartolomeu Dias (sailed around Africa). Portugal made many discoveries and established colonies all over the world. The most famous one is Brazil, but it also established colonies in Africa, such as Mozambique and Angola, and on other continents. Portugal also developed into the first global power and one of the biggest empires at that time.
A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy. For most of the next six decades, repressive governments ran the country. In 1974, a military coup installed broad democratic reforms. On January 1, 1986, Portugal became the eleventh member of the European Economic Community.
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