Portugal is a small country in southwestern Europe with the only neighbor, Spain. Spain and Portugal make up the Iberian Peninsula. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the west and south. The country’s area is 92,391 square kilometers. Its official name is Portuguese Republic.
Iberian peoples settled in what is now Portugal more than 7,000 years ago. Celtic peoples began to arrive about 3,000 years ago. Ancient Rome ruled the Iberian Peninsula from the 100s BC to the AD 400s. Germanic peoples controlled much of the land until Muslims invaded in 711. In 1179 the kingdom of Portugal was established and soon became one of Europe’s great powers. In the 1400s Portuguese sailors were the first Europeans to explore the world.