The Restoration of Independence Day in Portugal is a Portuguese holiday on December 1 of every year. Independence Restoration Day or Portugal Independence Day is a national holiday in Portugal that commemorates when the country revolted against Spanish rule and regained its independence after 60 years of Spanish occupation. The war between Portugal and Spain began with the Portuguese revolution and ended with the Treaty of Lisbon.
History of Restoration of Independence in Portugal
On December 1, 1640, a small group of conspirators stormed the royal palace in Lisbon and deposed the Vicereine of Portugal. Margaret of Savoy tried to calm the Portuguese people during demonstrations in the Terreiro do Paço, at the time, Lisbon’s main square, but her efforts failed. King João IV, the head of Portugal’s senior noble family, accepted the throne on the same day he was offered it. King João IV’s entire reign was dominated by his fight to keep Portugal from being conquered by Spain. On June 12, 1641, Portugal and the Dutch Republic signed a treaty of alliance. It was not respected by either party and had no effect on Brazil or Angola, which were under Dutch occupation at the time.
Shortly after Afonso VI came of age in 1662, Luís de Vasconcelos e Sousa, 3rd Count of Castelo Melhor, befriended the mentally deficient king. He convinced the king that his mother was plotting to steal his throne and exile him from Portugal. Afonso asserted himself as ruler, sending his mother to a convent and appointing Castelo Melhor as his secret notary. This position allowed Castelo Melhor to exercise the functions of the first minister. Because of Afonso’s weakness, Castelo Melhor became the virtual dictator of Portugal.
The Treaty of Lisbon with Spain, signed in 1668, ended 28 years of war. The regent of Spain, Mariana of Austria, acted in the name of her young son Charles II of Spain and, after a series of negotiations between representatives from both countries, finally recognized the legitimacy of the Portuguese monarch. Portugal kept all of its remaining overseas colonies, except Ceuta on the north African coast, which didn’t recognize the Bragança Dynasty during the war.
Restoration of Independence in Portugal timeline
On December 1, a small group of conspirators storm the royal palace in Lisbon and depose the Vicereine of Portugal.
On June 12, Portugal and the Dutch Republic sign the Treaty of The Hague.
After his mother’s regency, Afonso VI asserts himself as the ruler of Portugal.
On February 13, the Treaty of Lisbon is signed by Portugal and Spain.
Restoration of Independence in Portugal FAQs
How did Portugal maintain its independence?
Britain’s participation in the Peninsular War helped keep Portugal independent; French troops were expelled from the country. The war cost Portugal a town that Spain now governs: Olivença. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, served as the Portuguese capital.
What is Portugal's largest religion?
Today, Portugal is 81% Roman Catholic, but most Portuguese consider themselves non-practicing. Most Portuguese identify as Catholic for cultural rather than religious reasons.
Do Spain and Portugal like each other?
Spain and Portugal currently have excellent relations and cooperate in the fight against forest fires and drug trafficking.
How to Observe Restoration of Independence in Portugal
Take part in a parade or other events
If you're visiting Lisbon, there are plenty of parades taking place throughout the city. You can also find smaller events happening at local schools and churches. Take part and join the crowd in celebrating this holiday.
Visit the Military Museum of Lisbon
The Military Museum of Lisbon is located on Praça do Comércio. The museum has since been preserved as a tribute to all those who fought for independence from Spain, and it contains equipment used during the war. Give it a visit and learn more about Portugal's rich history.
Enjoy the beautiful architecture
Lisbon has some of the most beautiful buildings that you will ever see in your life! There are so many incredible buildings, from churches to palaces and castles to houses, that it would amaze you.
5 Impressive Facts About Portugal
The oldest nation in Europe
Portugal's borders were established in 1139 A.D., making it Europe's oldest nation.
It is always sunny in the Algarve
The Algarve coast has a Mediterranean climate, even though it is located on the Atlantic Ocean, where there are about 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, making it one of the sunniest regions in Europe.
The land of great explorers
Ferdinand Magellan and Diogo Silves are among many great Portuguese explorers who discovered new lands.
The Portuguese language is widespread
This beautiful language is spoken by more than 274 million people worldwide,
The Portuguese descend from Celtic people
The Portuguese heritage is mainly derived from the pre-Celts, proto-Celts, and Celts.
Why Restoration of Independence in Portugal is Important
It is a significant turning point for Portugal
This day celebrates Portugal's independence and the Portuguese national identity. It symbolizes the first steps taken toward modernity and progressiveness.
It celebrates Portuguese history
The restoration of independence was a critical historical event that led to a significant shift in Portuguese politics and culture. Thus, this day marks this huge transition and recognizes its significance.
It helps strengthen the Portuguese nationality
Commemorating the Restoration of Independence in Portugal helped to strengthen national unity. This gives people a common goal to strive for and unite around.
Restoration of Independence in Portugal dates