Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic,
is a country in southwestern Europe, on the Iberian
Peninsula. Being the westernmost country of mainland Europe, Portugal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to
the west and south and by Spain
to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are
also part of Portugal.
During the 15th and 16th
centuries, with its global empire which included possessions in Africa, Asia
and South America, Portugal was one of the world's
major economic, political, and cultural powers. In the 19th century, armed
conflict with French and Spanish invading forces at mainland, and the loss of
its largest territorial possession abroad, Brazil, which declared independence
unilaterally, disrupted political stability and potential economic growth.
Today Portugal is a developed country,
although having one of the lowest GDP per capita of Western European countries.