Porto owes its depth of history to a roster of civilizations, each leaving its distinct mark upon the city. The city was first founded by the Celts in 300BC, before the Romans occupied the Iberian Peninsula, laying claim to Porto as well as the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona.
The Romans ruled Porto for centuries, largely thanks to its favorable water-locked position on the brink of the vast Atlantic Ocean. However, in 711AD, the Moors invaded the Peninsula, seizing control of the city and ending Roman rule. Given the city’s advantageous location, many wars were subsequently fought over the control of Porto, before Count Vimara Peres restored peace to the region in the 9th century.
Following the marriage of John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster in 1387, Portugal and England entered into a long-standing military alliance. This ultimately became the Portuguese-English Alliance, the world’s oldest coalition which is said to have inspired the formation of NATO.
Thanks to Portugal’s amicable relationship with England, its capital, Porto, flourished. By the 15th century, the country had entered its celebrated Age of Discovery, with Porto at the epicentre of global navigation, exploration and trade.
In the centuries that followed, Portugal lost some of its power as a result of political unrest and a string of civil wars. In 1910, the Portuguese monarchy was overthrown in a revolution which mirrored that of the French, ultimately bringing peace and stability to the country, and forging a new era in Porto’s history.