|a republic in SW Europe, on the Atlantic: became an independent monarchy in 1139 and expelled the Moors in 1249 after more than four centuries of Muslim rule; became a republic in 1910; under the dictatorship of Salazar from 1932 until 1968, when he was succeeded by Dr Caetano, who was overthrown by a junta in 1974; constitutional government restored in 1976. Portugal is a member of the European Union. Official language: Portuguese. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Lisbon. Pop: 10 072 000 (2004 est). Area: 91 831 sq km (35 456 sq miles)|
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.