Portugal, officially Portuguese Republic, the most westerly country of continental Europe. It shares the Iberian Peninsula with Spain, Andorra, and Gibraltar, the Portuguese section being along the western coast. Portugal is roughly rectangular in shape. It is bounded on the north and east by Spain and on the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean. Portugal also includes the Azores and Madeira Islands in the Atlantic.
Portugal once had a vast overseas empire that included Brazil and numerous possessions in Africa and Asia. It was the last European power to give up its major possessions in Africa, retaining Angola, Mozambique, and Portuguese Guinea (Guinea-Bissau) until the mid-1970's.
|Facts in brief about Portugal|
|Official language: Portuguese.|
|Official name: Republica Portuguesa (Portuguese Republic).|
|Area: 34,340 mi2 (88,941 km2), not including the Azores or the Madeira Islands. Greatest distances—north-south, 350 mi (563 km); east-west, 125 mi (201 km). Coastline—458 mi (737 km).|
|Elevation: Highest—Estrela, in Serra da Estrela, 6,539 ft (1,993 m). Lowest—sea level.|
|Population: Current estimate—10,678,000; density, 301 per mi2 (116 per km2); distribution, 56 percent urban, 44 percent rural. 2001 census—10,356,117. Population figures include the Azores and Madeira island groups.|
|Chief products: Agriculture—grapes, tomatoes, potatoes, hogs, chickens, milk, beef cattle, corn. Fishing—sardines, tuna. Manufacturing—textiles, food products, paper products, electrical machinery, cork products, ceramics, shoes, cement, fertilizer.|
|Flag and coat of arms: Portugal's flag has a band of green, which stands for hope; and of red, which symbolizes the blood of the country's heroes. Portugal's coat of arms appears on the flag. It shows castles and shields that recall Portuguese history.|
|National anthem: "A Portuguesa" ("The Portuguese").|
|Money: Basic unit—euro. One hundred cents equal one euro. The Portuguese escudo was taken out of circulation in 2002.|