The official name of Portugal is the Portuguese Republic.
Portugal is the westernmost country of the European mainland.
The country also holds sovereignty over the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and the Madeira Islands.
Portugal has a population of over 10 million people (10,799,270) as of July 2013.
Portugal became the first global maritime power during the 15th & 16th centuries. Pioneering Portuguese explorers such as Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama and Álvares Cabral founded new lands and colonies making Portugal a major economic, political and military power, ultimately dividing the world with Spain.
The Portuguese Empire was the longest-lived of the modern European empires and was spread throughout areas that now make up 53 different sovereign states. The legacy of this exploration is that the language of Portuguese is today the 6th most spoken first language in the world with over 240 million speakers.
Over the years Portugal's empire has slowly been broken up, with Brazil gaining independence after the revolution of 1910 and the African colonies of Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Timor-Leste, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau in 1974 and 75. Macau was handed over to China in 1999 and East Timor granted sovereignty in 2002.
Portugal was one of the original member states of the eurozone in 1999, and replaced the Portuguese Escudo with the euro (€) currency at this time.
Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal. It is the oldest city in Western Europe and one of the oldest cities in the world. Lisbon was devastated by a major earthquake in 1755. Although the city was rebuilt within a few years, the quake led to the country losing much of its wealth and status.
Portugal is named after its 2nd largest city, Porto, the Latin name of which was Portus Cale. Porto's city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city is also world-renown for being the home of Port wine.
The Vasco da Gama Bridge, over the Tagus River in Lisbon is the largest in Europe at 17.2 km's (10.7 mi).
The cork tree is one of the few native trees still found in Portugal. The various uses of the soft, spongy bark of the cork tree has made the country the largest producer of cork products in the world.
As of 2013, Portugal has 15 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list, 14 of these cultural sites and 1 of them natural. The country is one of the 20 most visited countries in the world with more than 13 million tourists visiting each year.
Catholic monasteries of the Middle Ages are responsible for the wide range of famous Portuguese pastries today, including: the pastéis de Belém (or pastéis de nata) from Lisbon and ovos moles from Aveiro.
The most popular sport in Portugal is football (soccer), the national team finished 3rd in the 1966 World Cup, 2nd in Euro 2004, and 4th in 2006 World Cup.
For more information, check out maps of Portugal or take a closer look at the Portuguese flag.