Portugal’s History

If we really want to be specific about the history of Portugal, we have to travel back to the the Neolithic era, or about 5,500 years BC. Just like all countries of Europe, Portugal has a very interesting history, full of events that built the country we know today.

Let’s put the Neolithic and Paleolithic eras aside ; the evidences of life at this eras are more geologic than historic.

The written history about Portugal begins a millennium, BC when Celtics founded the northern and western parts of Portugal, and the Phoenician traders, Greeks and Carthaginians founded the coastal stations.

Portugal spent 600 years under Roman Empire. During this period, roads and bridges were built, and they brought wheat, barley, olives and vines, which makes the cultural and gastronomic richness of the country today.

Then in the 5th century, the Germanic tribes invaded the peninsula, but the Islamic Moors, mainly Berbers with some Arabs, took over in the spring of 711.

And in 1065, Portugal gained its first independence under the rule of Garcia II, but it’s only in 1095 that it completely separated from the Kingdom of Galicia.

July 25, 1415 marks the beginning of the Portuguese Empire. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal was a major European power, alongside with England, France and Spain. These centuries are rich in discovers by this country, but it also marks the official rejection of Christopher Columbus’ idea of reaching India from the west, because it seemed unreasonable. And at the end of the 15th century, Vasco da Gama demonstrates that this route leads to India.

In 1793, Portugal found itself at war again when it joined England in sending naval forces against revolutionary France, but instead, French Revolutionary Napoleon invaded Portugal and Spain which lasted until 1814.

The history of Portugal has been marked with many wars and revolutions but it progressively, and not without difficulty, moved to a blend of socialism and democracy.

In 1986, Portugal entered the European Economic Community and joined the Euro in 1999.

In 2002, The Portuguese Football Federation hired Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Brazilian born coach who lead the Brazil national football team to the 2002 FIFA World Cup championship. Under his tutelage, Portugal went to the final of UEFA Euro 2004, eventually losing to the Greek national team. Under Scolari, they also went to the 2nd World Cup semi-finals in the 2006 World Cup. After the Euro 2008 championshops, Scolari left to manage Chelsea. In 2008, Carlos Queiroz was made the new manager of the Portuguese team in 2008.

Portugal is not only a country where Football is more than a national sport ! It also has some of the greatest stadiums in Europe among which the Estadio da Luz (Stadium of light) that is legendary. This stadium is impressive and has a capacity seating of 65,000 people.

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