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History

PORTUGAL

BRIEF HISTORY

The territory of modern Portugal had been part of the Roman empire for several centuries. A rich historical heritage by the Romans can be seen today in numerous Roman sites which include works of engineering, baths, temples, bridges, roads, circuses, and theatres.

 After the fall of the Roman Empire and up to the 11 th century AD the territory of Portugal was invaded
and conquered by various populations of Western Europe.

At the end of the 11th century, the Burgundian knight Henry became count of Portugal and defended its
independence by merging the County of Portugal ( today’s Porto Region) and the County of Coimbra. Henry's son Afonso Henriques proclaimed himself Prince of Portugal on 24 June 1128 and King of Portugal in 1139. Gradually, more territories in the south joined this Kingdom of Portugal forming what is known today as Portugal territory.

The peak of the glory of Portugal as a World maritime power is reflected in the expansion of colonies in almost all continents during the 15 th and 16 th Centuries.

Later we see a decline and various phases of contraction, and changes in political systems of modern Portugal up until the establishment of Democracy in the mid 1970s.

It was in the Porto and in the North regions that Portugal was founded in the 12th century and the Portuguese became a people and a nation.

Porto, a World Heritage city, is the gateway and departure point for a journey across the natural and cultural diversity of the region. It is known for the Port wine which is shipped from here all over the world, but also for a heritage which combines ancient churches and monuments.