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Portuguese culture

The culture of Portugal is the result of a complex flow of different civilizations during the past millennia. From prehistoric cultures, to its Pre-Roman civilizations (such as the Lusitanians, the Gallaeci, the Celtici, and the Cynetes, amongst others), passing through its contacts with the Phoenician-Carthaginian world Roman period (see Hispania, Lusitania and Gallaecia), the Germanic invasions and consequent settlement of the Suebi and Buri (see Kingdom of the Suebi) and the Visigoth (see Visigothic Kingdom), and, finally, the Moorish Umayyad invasion of Hispania and the subsequent expulsion, during the Reconquista, all have made an imprint on the country’s culture and history. The name of Portugal itself reveals much of the country’s early history, stemming from the Roman name Portus Cale, a Latin name meaning “Port of Cale” (some argue that Cale is a word of Celtic origin, which also means port or harbour), later transformed into Portucale, and finally into Portugal, which emerged as a county of the Kingdom of León (see County of Portugal) and became an independent kingdom in 1139. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal was a major economic, political, and cultural power, its global empire stretching from Brazil to the Indies, as well as Macau and Japan. Portugal, as a country with a long history, is home to several ancient architectural structures, as well as typical art, furniture and literary collections mirroring and chronicling the events that shaped the country and its peoples. It has a large number of cultural landmarks ranging from museums to ancient church buildings to medieval castles, which testify its rich national cultural heritage. Portugal is home to fifteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ranking it 8th in Europe and 17th in the world.