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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.
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.