The territory of Portugal has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. In the Bronze Age, metallurgical production was developed in the north of the country, the products of which were exported outside the country. Over the following centuries, Greeks, Romans and immigrants from North Africa settled in this territory.
In 713-718. Portuguese territory was conquered by the Arabs and Berbers. In the IX-X centuries. the south of the country, subject to the Arabs, experienced a period of economic and cultural upsurge. At the same time, the mountainous northern territories, only nominally subject to the Arab conquerors, became the focus of the Reconquista (the struggle of the Portuguese for their territories) and in the middle of the 11th century. joined the kingdom of Leon. The northerners conquered more and more territories from the Arabs. In 1143, the state of Portugal was formed with its capital in the city of Coimbra, which was officially recognized by Leon. The reconquista in Portugal ended in 1249-50. conquest of the Algarve. In its course, the Portuguese nationality gradually formed, elements of Portuguese culture took shape. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Portugal.
From the middle of the XIII century. urban growth in the country. This was facilitated by the favorable geographical position of Portugal at the junction of trade routes from England and other Northern European countries to the Mediterranean countries. The development of crafts and trade was also favored by the policy of religious tolerance, which was followed by the Portuguese kings until the end of the 15th century. in relation to non-believers (adherents of Islam, Judaism), who played a prominent role in these areas of the economy. At this time, Lisbon acquired the importance of a major center of transit trade, and in 1255-56. became the capital of the state.
In the XV-XVI centuries. with the strengthening of absolutism, Portugal begins a policy of external expansion. By 1485, she had captured a number of strongholds on the western coast of Africa, the islands of Madeira, Cape Verde, the islands of Sao Tome and Principe, and the Azores. Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India marked the beginning of Portuguese expansion into East Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. Brazil became the largest colony in the country. The Portuguese colonial empire reached its peak in the first half of the 16th century. However, the influx of huge wealth from the colonies led to only a short-term economic recovery. From the end of the 16th century, Portugal began to gradually lose its power, and from 1581 to 1640 it was under the rule of Spain. One by one, the Portuguese colonies won independence.
End of the 18th century and XIX century. – the time of unrest in the country. In the second half of the XVIII century. the political and economic difficulties facing Portuguese absolutism assumed a menacing character. The discontent of the liberal-minded part of the nobility and the emerging bourgeoisie grew. The struggle between the supporters of constitutionalism and absolutism took the form of a civil war, culminating in the victory of the constitutionalists. On May 29, 1834, King Miguel of Braganza was forced to abdicate.
From 1926 to 1976, the country was ruled by dictators, and finally, as a result of the revolution, a democratic system was established here. Today, Portugal is a member of the European Union.
Lisbon is one of the oldest capitals in the world. Its history goes back over 2 millennia. However, there is little left of antiquity in Lisbon due to the devastating earthquake of 1775. The historic quarter of Alfama suffered the least from the elements. The famous Tower of Bethlehem (Torre de Belem) and the Monastery of Jeronimos (Jeronimos) are located here – masterpieces of the Manueline architectural style, declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The houses here are covered with traditional tiles – azulejos, and when you walk along the street, it seems that tiled stoves are floating by. The main attraction of Lisbon – Castle of St. George, which offers a breathtaking view of the Tagus valley. In one of its towers there is something like a periscope, with the help of which the whole city is projected on a huge plate, like on a screen, in great detail. It is also worth visiting the picturesque neighborhoods of Rossio, Baixa, Chiado, Bairro Alta and Lapa, located in the south of the city. In 1998, for the opening of the World Exhibition in Lisbon, the longest sixteen-kilometer bridge in Europe to date was built. For this exhibition, an exhibition complex was built in the same year (in the year of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Vasco da Gama in India). Now this area has been converted into an entertainment complex. The amusement park stretches along the river for several kilometers. It is not necessary to travel along it on foot – there is a cable car. Its final station is the oceanarium. The entire marine fauna is represented in the Lisbon Aquarium – from sardines to sharks, this is one of the largest aquariums in Europe, there are over 15,000 marine inhabitants. Lisbon has many interesting museums. Among them, the most popular are the National Museum of Ancient Art, the Calost Gulbenkian Museum, the National Carriage Museum, the Museum of Archeology, the Ethnographic Museum, the Theater Museum, and the Naval Museum.