Portugal Library

Portugal, officially known as the Portuguese Republic, is a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered by Spain to the east and north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south. Portugal also includes the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean.



Portugal has a Mediterranean climate in the south and a maritime temperate climate in the north. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild and rainy, especially in coastal areas. The Azores have a subtropical climate with mild temperatures year-round, while Madeira enjoys a subtropical climate with warm summers and mild winters.


Portugal’s diverse landscape supports a variety of fauna, including mammals such as the Iberian lynx, Iberian wolf, and wild boar. The country is also home to numerous bird species, including eagles, falcons, and storks. In addition, Portugal’s rivers and estuaries provide habitats for fish species such as trout, salmon, and eels.

Longest Rivers

The longest river in Portugal is the Tagus (Rio Tejo), which flows approximately 1,007 kilometers (626 miles) from its source in Spain to the Atlantic Ocean. The Tagus River serves as an important waterway for transportation and irrigation, with several dams and reservoirs along its course.

Highest Mountains

Portugal’s highest mountains are located in the interior regions, including the Serra da Estrela range. The highest peak in Portugal is Torre, which reaches an elevation of 1,993 meters (6,539 feet) above sea level. Other notable peaks in the Serra da Estrela range include Cântaro Magro, Cântaro Gordo, and Torreão.



The territory of present-day Portugal has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with evidence of human presence dating back thousands of years. Neolithic cultures such as the Megalithic culture left behind megalithic monuments, dolmens, and menhirs. Later, Celtic and Lusitanian tribes inhabited the region before the arrival of the Romans.

Roman Rule

Portugal was part of the Roman Empire for several centuries, known as Lusitania. Roman influence left its mark on Portugal’s culture, language, and infrastructure, with cities such as Braga, Porto, and Lisbon founded during this period. The Romans built roads, bridges, and aqueducts that are still in use today.

Moorish Rule

In the 8th century, the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula and established Islamic rule in what is now Portugal. The Moorish presence lasted for several centuries, leaving a lasting impact on architecture, agriculture, and language. Cities such as Évora, Silves, and Lisbon were important centers of Moorish culture and trade.

Reconquista and Kingdom of Portugal

Portugal emerged as an independent kingdom in the 12th century during the Reconquista, a period of Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim rule. The first king of Portugal, Afonso I, established the Kingdom of Portugal and expanded its borders through conquest and colonization. Portugal became a major maritime power during the Age of Discovery, exploring new trade routes and establishing colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Age of Exploration and Colonial Empire

During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal led the way in maritime exploration and trade, with explorers such as Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, and Bartolomeu Dias making significant voyages of discovery. Portugal established a vast colonial empire, including territories in Africa (Angola, Mozambique), Asia (Goa, Macau), and South America (Brazil). The Portuguese language and culture spread across the globe, leaving a lasting legacy in its former colonies.

Decline and Modern Era

Portugal’s colonial empire began to decline in the 17th century due to economic decline, competition from other European powers, and independence movements in its colonies. The Carnation Revolution in 1974 ended decades of dictatorship and colonial wars, leading to the transition to democracy and the independence of Portugal’s African colonies. Portugal joined the European Union in 1986 and has since experienced economic growth, political stability, and social progress.



As of the latest available data, Portugal has a population of approximately 10.3 million people. The population is relatively homogeneous, with ethnic Portuguese comprising the vast majority of the population. There are also small minority populations of immigrants, including Brazilians, Ukrainians, and Cape Verdeans.

Ethnicity and Language

Ethnic Portuguese make up over 95% of the population, with Portuguese being the official language and primary spoken language of the country. Minority languages such as Mirandese and Portuguese Sign Language are also recognized. Portuguese culture is characterized by its rich history, traditions, music, and cuisine.


The majority of Portuguese people identify as Roman Catholic, although the influence of the Catholic Church has declined in recent decades. Portugal has religious freedom, and there are small minority communities of Protestants, Muslims, and other faiths. Religious festivals and traditions are an important part of Portuguese culture and heritage.

Administrative Divisions and Population

Portugal is divided into 18 districts and two autonomous regions, the Azores and Madeira. The districts are further subdivided into municipalities and parishes. The following is a list of Portugal’s administrative divisions along with their populations:

  1. Lisbon District – Population: 2.8 million
  2. Porto District – Population: 1.7 million
  3. Braga District – Population: 850,000
  4. Aveiro District – Population: 780,000
  5. Setúbal District – Population: 1.2 million
  6. Faro District – Population: 500,000
  7. Leiria District – Population: 470,000
  8. Coimbra District – Population: 450,000
  9. Santarém District – Population: 460,000
  10. Viseu District – Population: 390,000
  1. Madeira Autonomous Region – Population: 270,000
  2. Azores Autonomous Region – Population: 250,000
  3. Bragança District – Population: 130,000
  4. Viana do Castelo District – Population: 250,000
  5. Castelo Branco District – Population: 200,000
  6. Guarda District – Population: 170,000
  7. Évora District – Population: 170,000
  8. Portalegre District – Population: 120,000
  9. Beja District – Population: 160,000
  10. Vila Real District – Population: 230,000
  11. Aveiro District – Population: 780,000
  12. Setúbal District – Population: 1.2 million
  13. Faro District – Population: 500,000
  14. Leiria District – Population: 470,000
  15. Coimbra District – Population: 450,000

10 Largest Cities by Population

  1. Lisbon – Population: 505,000
  2. Porto – Population: 215,000
  3. Vila Nova de Gaia – Population: 300,000
  4. Amadora – Population: 180,000
  5. Braga – Population: 180,000
  6. Coimbra – Population: 140,000
  7. Funchal (Madeira) – Population: 115,000
  8. Setúbal – Population: 120,000
  9. Almada – Population: 175,000
  10. Aveiro – Population: 80,000

Education Systems

Education in Portugal is free and compulsory from the ages of 6 to 18, consisting of basic, secondary, and higher education. The Ministry of Education oversees the education system, which includes public and private schools, as well as universities and polytechnics. Portugal has several top universities, including the University of Lisbon, University of Porto, and University of Coimbra.



Portugal has several major airports, with the busiest being Lisbon Airport, located in the capital city. Other major airports include Porto Airport, Faro Airport, and Madeira Airport.


Portugal has a well-developed railway network, operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP). The total length of the railway network is approximately 2,800 kilometers (1,740 miles), connecting major cities and towns across the country.


Portugal has a network of highways and expressways, including the A1, A2, and A8 motorways, which connect major cities and regions. The total length of the highway network is approximately 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles).


Portugal has several major seaports along the Atlantic coast, serving as important hubs for maritime transportation and trade. The five major ports include:

  1. Port of Lisbon
  2. Port of Leixões (Porto)
  3. Port of Sines
  4. Port of Setúbal
  5. Port of Aveiro

Country Facts

  • Population: 10.3 million
  • Capital: Lisbon
  • Official Language: Portuguese
  • Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic
  • Race: Predominantly Portuguese, with small minority populations
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • ISO Country Code: PT
  • International Calling Code: +351
  • Top-Level Domain: .pt