December 1 is Restoration of Independence Day, celebrates the end of the Philippine Dynasty. The revolution of 1640 ended the 60-year rule of Portugal by the Spanish Habsburgs.
Portugal as a country was established in the aftermath of the Christian Reconquista against the Muslim Moors who had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the world’s major economic, political and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King João II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias’ sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope (1488), Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India (1497–98) and the European discovery of Brazil (1500). Portugal monopolized the spice trade during this time, and the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia. However, events such as the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, the country’s occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of Brazil (1822), and the Liberal Wars (1828–34), left Portugal crippled from war and diminished in its world power.
After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, later being superseded by the Estado Novo right-wing authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution in 1974, ending the Portuguese Colonial War. Shortly after, independence was granted to almost all its overseas territories. The handover of Macau to China in 1999 marked the end of the longest-lived colonial empire.
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain.