Portugal is a country located in Southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, and 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 Portuguese territory as well. The country is named after its second largest city, Porto, whose Latin name was Portus Cale. The land within the borders of the current Portuguese Republic has been continuously settled since prehistoric times. In the 8th century most of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Moorish invaders professing Islam, which were later expelled by the Knights Templar. During the Christian Reconquista, Portugal established itself as an independent kingdom from León in 1139, claiming to be the oldest European nation-state. In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result of pioneering the Age of Discovery, Portugal expanded western influence and established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers. In addition, the Portuguese Empire was the longest-lived of the modern European colonial empires, spanning almost 600 years, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415 to the handover of Macau in 1999 or the grant of sovereignty to East Timor in 2002. The empire spread throughout a vast number of territories that are now part of 53 different sovereign states. However, the country's international status was greatly reduced during the 19th century, especially following the Independence of Brazil, its largest colony. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established being then superseded by the "Estado Novo" authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974. The country is a democratic republic with a president and prime minister. Since the 1990s, Portugal's economic development model has been slowly changing from one based on public consumption to one focused on exports, private investment, and development of the high-tech sector. The Portuguese currency is the euro and the country's economy is in the Eurozone. Portugal is a developed country with a very high Human Development Index and a strong healthcare system. It is one of the world's most globalized and peaceful nations: a member of the European Union and the United Nations, and a founding member of the Latin Union, the Organization of Ibero-American States, OECD, NATO, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Eurozone and the Schengen Agreement.
Carrack or nau was a three- or four-masted sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese for use in the Atlantic Ocean and became widely used by Europe's maritime powers. It had a high rounded stern with large aftcastle, forecastle and bowsprit at the stem. It was first used by the Portuguese, and later by the Spanish, to explore and map the world. It was usually square-rigged on the foremast and mainmast and lateen-rigged on the mizzenmast. Carracks were ocean-going ships: large enough to be stable in heavy seas, and roomy enough to carry provisions for long voyages. They were the ships in which the Portuguese and the Spanish explored the world in the 15th and 16th centuries. As the forerunner of the great ships of the age of sail, the carrack was one of the most influential ship designs in history; while ships became more specialized, the basic design remained unchanged throughout the Age of Sail.
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