10 facts about Portugal

Steeped in history, Portugal has a vastly colourful and historical past. With so much to take in, here is our ´History of Portugal in 30 Seconds´ lowdown…

1. Did you know Portugal´s early settlers were, in fact, the Celtic people.

2. Later, the Phoenician Empire and the Carthage Empire would both come to this area of the Iberian Peninsular.

3. During the Roman Empire, Portugal was under Roman occupation from 45BC to 298BC.

4. In 711AD the Moors invaded. They conquered the Iberian Peninsular and stayed from some hundreds of years.

5. The Reconquista period was when Christian nations conquered the Moors. 

6. It was in 1139 that the Kingdom of Portugal was formed, with Alfonso Henriques becoming the first King of Portugal.

7. By the 14th century, Portugal had become a major colonial power in the Age of Exploration. Explorers such as Vasco de Gama began to establish colonies in South America, Africa and the Far East.

8. Portuguese colonial power would dwindle in the 1900s. In 1932 Antonio Salazar took power as Prime Minister and ruled as a dictator for 42 years.

9. In 1974 a left wing military coup took over the country and made drastic democratic reforms, including granting independence to all of Portugal´s African colonies.

10. Today Portugal is a member of the European Union and was a founding member of NATO.

Do you have any top facts about Portugal? We would love to hear!

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