Portugal Brief History

Some countries you like to visit, others you take to heart. Portugal is a country that you are happy to take to heart. It has a lot to offer in terms of visits to historically interesting places, beautiful nature, friendly people and a wonderful climate. Portugal is an underrated destination, with so much more to offer than swimming on the Algarve coast.

Having previously visited Madeira and the Azores, both of which belong to Portugal, I now traveled to the Portuguese mainland to get an idea of ​​this. Join me on my almost 2,750 kilometer long journey through Portugal, from north to south, from east to west. Meet this small, interesting country with Europe’s westernmost mainland point Cabo da Roca. This became a journey through the Portugal of history, culture, nature and, to some extent, religion.

I visited historical places like the mighty castle of the Knights Templar in Tomar, the city of Guimaraes where the country Portugal was born and historical places like Conimbriga where the country’s finest remains of the Romans are found and the city of Vila Nova de Foz Coa where you can visit the world famous rock carvings which are between 25 to 28,000 years old and Citania Briteiros where the last Celtic stronghold belonging to the Celts lay before it fell before the Roman onslaught.

In Portugal, according to businesscarriers, there are a large number of interesting religious buildings, which many tourists visit. Beautiful cathedrals and churches, such as the church in Fatima where millions of pilgrims seek to visit the place where the Virgin Mary appeared on May 13, 1917, or the Capela dos Ossos in Evora decorated with bones from more than 5,000 dead. Here are old beautiful fortification cities high up on the mountain tops, which were built during the 11th and 13th centuries to protect the country’s inhabitants from the Spanish attack. Here is fabulously beautiful nature, as in the nature reserve Serra de Estrela with Portugal’s highest mountain peak on the mainland, Torre 1 993 masl and the river Duoro valley, where the vineyards cover the slopes down to the river and the country’s pleasant capital, Lisbon, with several monuments reminiscent of the great the seafarers Vasco da Gama and Henrik the Seafarer.

The trip also included some dramatic experiences, for example, when I came to a small mountain village where all the villagers were being vaccinated against rabies because a dog had bitten several of them.

Portugal history in brief

The oldest traces of people in the area we today call Portugal are about half a million years old, which shows that the country has a very long, continuous, period of human activity behind it.

Portugal history, older

before the birth of Christ

7,000 Live different tribes along the Tagus River, which feeds on hunting and fishing

3,000 people are starting to make a living on agriculture

1,500 – 1,000

Immigration of different ethnic groups, such as Ligurians, Iberians, Phoenicians, Celts and Greeks

History of Portugal, after the birth of Christ – 1899

27 – 400 AD The region was a Roman province called Lusitania

500 – 711 The Visigoths ruled the region

711 Invaded the Moors (Arabs) region

1000s The position of the Moors weakens. Several kingdoms agree.

1139 Alfonso Henriques is proclaimed King Alfonso I

13th century, middle The kingdom of the Moors Conquered by the Portuguese

1249 Portugal gets its current borders


Concluded agreement with England giving Portuguese ships access to English ports and giving Portuguese merchants trade privileges

1383 Died King Ferdinand

1385 King Joao I seizes power with the help of England

1415 The Portuguese occupy the city of Ceuta in North Africa

1487 Bartolomeu Diaz rounds the southern tip of Africa


The Pope divides the New Values ​​for Europe between the colonial empires Spain and Portugal. Brazil goes to Portugal, other countries in America to Spain

1498 Vasco da Gama finds the sea route to India

1578 King Sebastiao dies in war in North Africa

1580 Portugal came under Spanish rule

1640 Portugal becomes independent again

1755 A very strong earthquake strikes Lisbon

19th century, beginning

Portugal was attacked by Napoleon. King Joao VI fled to Brazil. The British help the Portuguese defend the country


The Portuguese rise up against the British and the king returns from his exile in Brazil

1822 Brazil liberates from Portugal

1878 The First Republican Party is formed

Portugal history, modern 1900 – 1999

1901 A suffrage reform is implemented

1908 King Charles I and his son were executed


The monarchy is overthrown and a Republic is established. During the first 16 years of the republic, there are 45 different governments

1926 A military coup leads to a fascist dictatorship

1928 The economist António de Oliveira Salazar becomes Minister of Finance

1932 A d O Salazar becomes Prime Minister

1933 The new state “Estado Novo” is proclaimed

1949 Portugal joins NATO

1955 Portugal becomes a member of the UN

1958 Direct presidential election was abolished


After a stroke, Salazar was succeeded by Marcello Caetano, who largely continued to pursue the same policy as the representative.


The “Captain Movement” was formed by young officers, who saw the African wars as meaningless. Thought of coup was born


On April 25, the Armed Forces Movement (MFA) seizes power through a coup

The former colonies of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde become independent


Mozambique and Angola become independent after being Portuguese colonies for a long time

The first free parliamentary elections will be held in April

In November, a new coup attempt is stopped


New democratic constitution introduced

In the parliamentary elections, held in April, the Socialists again became the largest party and Mário Soares formed a minority government.

In June, presidential elections were held, which were won by General Eanes. He was seen as a guarantor of stability

1977 Portugal applied for membership of the EC (now the EU)

1981 General Eanes is re-elected President

1985 – 95 The bourgeois party PSD has the power of government

1986 Portugal joins EC (EU)

In the presidential election, the Socialist Party candidate Mário Soares won.

1991 In the presidential election, the Socialist Party candidate Mário Soares won.


In the parliamentary elections, the Socialist Party came to power. Many had then grown tired of what they saw as the perfection of power by the PSD and several corruption scandals within the party. In the election, the Conservative People’s Party (PP) also succeeded in gaining new votes by blaming the EU for the problems of Portuguese agriculture and the fishing industry, as well as for increasing crime.

The Socialist Party formed a minority government under the leadership of António Guterres

1996 In the presidential election, Jorge Sampaio defeated former Prime Minister Cavaco Silva

1998 Portugal became a member of EMU

Portugal Brief History