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Portuguese History

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Portugal has a long history which it celebrates in its stamps. In 711-716 an invasion by the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate, comprising Berbers from North Africa and Arabs from the Middle East plus other Muslims from all around the Islamic world, conquered the Visigoth Kingdom and founded the Islamic State of Al-Andalus. The Umayyads reigned supreme and advanced through Iberia and France until the Battle of Tours (732) and endured in the south until the final reconquista of the Algarve (Gharb Al-Andalus) in 1294.

Lisbon and the rest of what would become Portugal, was reconquered by the early 12th century. At the end of the 9th century, a county based in the area of Portus Cale was established under King Alfonso III of Asturias, and by the 10th century, the counts were known as the Magnus Dux Portucalensium (Grand Duke of the Portuguese). (Portucale, Portugale, Portugalliæ) The Kingdom of Asturias was later divided so that northern "Portugal" became part of the Kingdom of León.

Initially a vassal of the Kingdom of León, Portugal grew in power and territory and gained de facto independence during weak Leonese reigns. In 1071 Garcia II of Galicia was declared king of Portugal and in 1095, Portugal broke away from the Kingdom of Galicia. At the end of the 11th century, the Burgundian knight Henry became count of Portugal and defended its independence by merging the County of Portugal and the County of Coimbra. Henry's son Afonso Henriques proclaimed himself prince of Portugal on 24 June 1128 and king of Portugal in 1139 with Guimarães (Vimarens) as capital. In 1179 a papal bull officially recognised Afonso I as king. The Algarve was conquered from the Moors in 1249, and in 1255 Lisbon became the capital. Portugal's land boundaries have remained almost unchanged since then.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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