Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe, with more than 1200 km of coast, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. Continental Portugal and the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores form the 93,000 km2 of the Portuguese Republic, with approximately 10.5 million inhabitants.
Portugal was officially born in 1143, with the conquest of the County of Portugal to the Moors, by D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal. In 1297, the borders that exist today were established – the oldest borders in Europe.
The Age of Discovery (1415-1543) expanded the kingdom of Portugal throughout all the five continents and made it a great power in the world. The crisis of succession of 1580 that resulted in the union of Portugal with Spain until 1640, made Portugal lose many of its riches and overseas territories. The great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and the Spanish and French invasions deteriorated even more the Portuguese empire.
In 1910, the First Republic was established, almost 100 years after the date of the first Portuguese constitution. Until 1974, Portugal lived troubled years: an extremely unstable First Republic and a dictatorship that lasted from 1926 to 1974. The Carnation Revolution, a social movement that deposed the dictatorial regime, was considered the most peaceful revolution ever because, instead of guns being fired, carnations were placed in the gun barrels.
The following years were calmer in Portugal, where its semi-presidential republic started to be built until our days. In 1986 Portugal joined the European Union and its official currency now the euro, which replaced the Portuguese escudo.