The name Portugal is said to derive from the Roman for Port of Cale, a settlement found at the mouth of the Douro River, where the modern city of Porto now stands. Originally used to describe a portion of what we now know to be continental Europe’s most westerly country, Portugal has lived under the rule of a variety of invading cultures since its conception. Even today, traces of these periods are alive in modern Portugal in, for example, its architecture, cuisine and language.
Since the first signs of inhabitants, the prehistoric cave paintings of the Côa Valley, Portugal has been occupied by many tribes and nations. Since the Celts the Romans, Visigoths and the Moors have all exerted their influence over Portugal.
Middle Ages to Modern Portugal
Following independence from Spain, Portugal embarked on the age of the Discoveries becoming a wealthy power. Portugal's more recent history is tainted with the legacy of being the last dictatorship in Western Europe.