Portugal is one of the oldest nations in Europe having established its continental frontier as it is set today in 1297. Portugal has been an independent kingdom since 1143 when first Portuguese king Dom Afonso Henriques rebelled against his mother, Dona Teresa of Portugal Countess of Portugal. Teresa had rebelled against the Kingdom of Leon and was anointed Queen by the Pope although she was forced to accept Portugal as a country subject to Leon. After the amorous affair with Galician nobleman Fernando Perez de Traba took place her son Dom Afonso Henriques, with the backing of the Bishop and nobility defeated his mother in the battle of Sao Mamede in 1128 thus declaring independence from Leon.
Portugal is located on the west side of the Iberian Peninsula, ideally positioned between Spain and the Atlantic ocean. Its geographic location along the Atlantic coastline is the reason why quickly became an ocean-bound country setting the stage for centuries of sea adventure and discoveries.
1415 was the year that set the tone for centuries to come where innovation, risk taking, and vision where qualities never used before nor after in the history of Portugal. Under the guidance of Prince Henry “The Navigator”, the Portuguese set sail on epic voyages that would make them the first to discover the ocean routes to India, Brazil, China and Japan, while at the same time founding settlements on both African coasts. Prince Henry was not just a adventurer but also a innovator and visionary on the science of the oceans.
Traces of this worldwide historic presence may be seen as trademarks of the Portuguese culture. The Portuguese language became one of the most widely spoken in the world, and the Portuguese people were privileged for being exposed to so many different civilizations. The vast monumental, artistic and archaeological heritage witness not only the 850 years of history of encounters with distant cultures, but also the presence in the territory of more ancient peoples (Celts, Visigoths, Romans and Arabs).
Portugal’s natural advantages of a sunny country with such diverse geographic features have turned the country into a chosen destination for many holidaymakers offering modern tourism facilities and quaint and personalized means of accommodations. Visit Portugal and discover it by yourself.
The islands of Azores and Madeira are affably named as Paradise in the Atlantic (Azores) and the Pearl of the Atlantic (Madeira). Discovered during the Golden area of the discoveries each archipelago has its own unique and timeless traditions and cultural activities. For more information visit Azores.com.
The Portugal regions are divided into the following sections:
- Porto and North
- Lisbon and Tagus Valley
- Azores Islands
- Madeira Islands