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late 14c., Portyngale, from Medieval Latin Portus Cale (Roman name of modern Oporto), "the port of Gaya." Alfonso, Count of Portucale, became the first king of Portugal.
Capital of Portugal and largest city in the country, located in western Portugal on the Tagus River where it broadens to enter the Atlantic Ocean; a major port, and Portugal's political, economic, and cultural center.
Note: Because Lisbon was a neutral city, it became a center for international political activity during World War II.
Note: Portugal has been a member of NATO since 1949.
Note: Famous for its explorers in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Portugal followed such exploration closely with colonization. By the middle of the sixteenth century, Portugal controlled a vast overseas empire, including Brazil.
Note: Portugal has been independent since the twelfth century, except for sixty years of Spanish rule in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.