Portugal is a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to thewest and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are part of Portugal.
The land within the borders of today's Portuguese Republic has beencontinuously settled since prehistoric times. In 29 B.C. the territory was occupied by the Gallaeci and the Lusitanians when it was integrated in the Roman Empire as the provinces of Lusitania and part ofGallaecia. Roman settlers strongly influenced Portuguese culture, particularly the Portuguese language, mostly derived from Latin. In the 5th century, after the fall of the Roman empire, it wasoccupied by several Germanic peoples, mainly the Suevi and the Visigoths. In the early 8th century Muslim Moors conquered those Christian kingdoms, occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula.
During theChristian Reconquista (Reconquering), the County of Portugal was settled, as part of the Kingdom of Galicia. With the establishment of the Kingdom recognized in 1143 and the stabilization of its borders by1249, Portugal claims to be the oldest European nation-state. In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result of maritime exploration, Portugal established a global empire that included possessions inAfrica, Asia and South America, becoming the world's major economic, political and military power. Portugal´s Empire was the first, and most long-lived Global Empire in the world. In 1580, after asuccession crisis it was united with Spain for a period called the Iberian Union; however in 1640 it re-established full independence during the Portuguese Restoration War that resulted in theestablishment of a new dynasty and a return to the previous separation between the two empires.
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, Spanish and French invasions, which preceded the loss of its largest territorial...