Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa), 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 the west 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 been continuously 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 of Gallaecia. 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 was occupied 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 the Christian Reconquista (English: Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula), the County of Portugal was settled, as part of the Kingdom of Galicia. With the establishment of the Kingdom in 1139, recognized in 1143, and the stabilization of its borders by 1249, Portugal claims to be the oldest European nation-state.Wikipedia
Following its heyday as a global maritime 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 of its wealthiest colony of Brazil in 1822. 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 is a founding member of NATO and entered the EC (now the EU) in 1986. In January 2011, Portugal assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.CIA The World Factbook