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Portugal occupies most of the Western seaboard of the Iberian Penninsula, and was formed as a result of The Reconquista.

Portugal rose to prominence as a trading nation having discovered a passage to India by travelling south around Africa, and establishing itself in the part of the New World which is now called Brazil. The man often given the credit for inspiring Portugal's successes on the sea is Henry the Navigator, a Prince whose interest in exploration inspired many expeditions. During the 16th century Portugal was one of the foremost kingdoms in Europe.