Coordinates : 40°N 4°W / 40°N 4°W / 40; -4
Kingdom of Spain
Reino de España (Spanish )
6 other official names
Reino de España
Flag Coat of arms
MOTTO: "Plus Ultra " (Latin )
Marcha Real " (Spanish )
Spain (dark green)
Europe (green "> (green)
and largest city
40°26′N 3°42′W / 40.433°N 3.700°W / 40.433; -3.700
and national language Spanish
in certain autonomous
ETHNIC GROUPS (2015)
* 89.9% Spanish
* 10.1% others
RELIGION (2017 )
* 27% Irreligious
* 2% other religion
Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• PRIME MINISTER
• DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER
Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría
• PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
• PRESIDENT OF THE CONGRESS OF DEPUTIES
Ana Pastor Julián
Ana Pastor Julián
• PRESIDENT OF THE SUPREME COURT
Carlos Lesmes Serrano
Carlos Lesmes Serrano
• UPPER HOUSE
• LOWER HOUSE
Congress of Deputies
20 January 1479
• DE FACTO
23 January 1516
• DE JURE
9 June 1715
• FIRST CONSTITUTION
19 March 1812
• CURRENT DEMOCRACY
29 December 1978
• EEC ACCESSION
1 January 1986
505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi) (51st )
• WATER (%)
• 2016 CENSUS
46,354,321 (30th )
92/km2 (238.3/sq mi) (112nd )
GDP (PPP )
$1.769 trillion (16th )
• PER CAPITA
$39,944 (31st )
$1.307 trillion (12nd )
• PER CAPITA
$30,689 (30th )
very high · 27th
Euro (€ ) (EUR )
CET (UTC +1)
WET (UTC )
• SUMMER (DST )
CEST (UTC +2)
WEST (UTC +1)
Spain observes CET/CEST, except the
Canary Islands which
dd/mm/yyyy (CE )
DRIVES ON THE
ISO 3166 CODE
SPAIN (Spanish: España ( listen )), officially the KINGDOM OF
SPAIN (Spanish: Reino de España), is a country mostly located on
Iberian Peninsula in
Europe , with there also being two large
archipelagoes , the
Balearic Islands in the
Mediterranean Sea and the
Canary Islands off the African Atlantic coast, two cities,
Melilla , on the African mainland and several small islands in the
Alboran Sea near the African coast. The country\'s mainland is
bordered to the south and east by the
Mediterranean Sea except for a
small land boundary with
Gibraltar ; to the north and northeast by
Andorra , and the
Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay ; and to the west and
Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the only European
country to have a border with an African country (
Morocco ) and its
African territory accounts for nearly 5% of its population, mostly in
Canary Islands but also in
Ceuta and Melilla.
With an area of 505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi),
Spain is the largest
country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western
Europe and the European Union, and the fourth largest country in the
European continent . By population,
Spain is the sixth largest in
Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and
largest city is
Madrid ; other major urban areas include
Modern humans first arrived in the
Iberian Peninsula around 35,000
years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician , Greek and
Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came
under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named
Hispania , based on the earlier Phoenician name Sp(a)n or Spania. At
the end of the Western
Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations
in migration from Central
Europe invaded the Iberian peninsula and
established themselves in relatively independent realms in its western
provinces, including the Sueves,
Vandals . Eventually, the
Visigoths would integrate by force all remaining independent
territories in the peninsula, including
Byzantine provinces into the
Kingdom of Toledo
Kingdom of Toledo that more or less unified politically,
ecclesiastically and legally all the former Roman provinces or
successor kingdoms of what was then known in documents as
Visigothic kingdom fell to the
Moors except in the north where
shortly after started a process known as
as a unified country in the 15th century under the
Catholic Monarchs ,
who completed the eight centuries-long
Reconquista in 1492. In the
early modern period,
Spain became one of history's first global
empires , leaving a vast cultural and linguistic legacy that includes
over 500 million Hispanophones , making Spanish the world's second
most spoken native language , after Mandarin Chinese.
Spain is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy ,
Felipe VI as head of state . It is a major developed country
with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and
sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity . It is a member of the
United Nations (UN), the
European Union (EU), the
Eurozone , the
Europe (CoE), the Organization of Ibero-American States
Union for the Mediterranean
Union for the Mediterranean , the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) , the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
OSCE , the
Schengen Area , the World Trade
Organization (WTO) and many other international organisations. Spain
has a "permanent invitation" to the
G20 summits that occur generally
once a year.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Prehistory and pre-Roman peoples
Roman Empire and the Gothic Kingdom
* 2.3 Middle Ages:
Muslim era and
* 2.4 Imperial
* 2.5 Liberalism, Labour movement and nation state
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War and
* 2.7 Restoration of democracy
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Islands
* 3.2 Mountains and rivers
* 3.3 Climate
Fauna and flora
* 4 Politics
* 4.1 Government
* 4.2 Human rights
* 4.3 Administrative divisions
* 4.3.1 Autonomous communities
* 4.3.2 Provinces and municipalities
* 4.4 Foreign relations
* 4.5 Military
* 5 Economy
* 5.1 Agriculture
* 5.2 Tourism
* 5.3 Energy
* 5.4 Transport
* 5.5 Science and technology
Water supply and sanitation
* 6 Demographics
* 6.1 Urbanisation
* 6.2 Peoples
* 6.3 Minority groups
* 6.4 Immigration
* 6.5 Languages
* 6.6 Education
* 6.7 Health
* 6.8 Religion
* 7 Culture
* 7.1 World Heritage Sites
* 7.2 Literature
* 7.3 Art
* 7.4 Sculpture
* 7.5 Cinema
* 7.6 Architecture
* 7.7 Music and dance
* 7.8 Fashion
* 7.9 Cuisine
* 7.10 Sport
* 7.11 Public holidays and festivals
* 8 See also
* 9 Notes
* 10 References
* 11 Further reading
* 12 External links
The origins of the Roman name
Hispania , from which the modern name
España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence,
although it is documented that the
Phoenicians and Carthaginians
referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most widely accepted
etymology is a Semitic -Phoenician one. Down the centuries there
have been a number of accounts and hypotheses:
Lady of Elche
Antonio de Nebrija
Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word
Hispania evolved from the Iberian word
Hispalis , meaning "city of the
Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the
Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya
would mean "the land where metals are forged". It may be a derivation
of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of
rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the
Mediterranean; Roman coins struck in the region from the reign of
Hadrian show a female figure with a rabbit at her feet, and Strabo
called it the "land of the rabbits".
Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia,
reflecting the Greek perception of
Italy as a "western land" or "land
of the setting sun" (Hesperia, Ἑσπερία in Greek ) and Spain,
being still further west, as Hesperia ultima.
There is the claim that "Hispania" derives from the Basque word
Ezpanna meaning "edge" or "border", another reference to the fact that
Iberian Peninsula constitutes the southwest corner of the European
Two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don
Isaac Abravanel and
Solomon ibn Verga , gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both
men wrote in two different published works that the first
Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with
the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem. Phiros was a
Grecian by birth, but who had been given a kingdom in Spain. Phiros
became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, who
also ruled over a kingdom in Spain. Heracles later renounced his
throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his
nephew, Espan, from whom the country of España (Spain) took its name.
Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in
Spain by c. 350 BCE.
History of Spain
History of Spain Reproduction of Altamira Cave
Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the
Celts . Early on its coastal areas were settled
Phoenicians who founded Western Europe's most ancient cities Cadiz
Malaga . Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula
was eventually incorporated into the
Carthaginian Empire , becoming a
major theater of the
Punic Wars against the expanding
Roman Empire .
After an arduous conquest , the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule.
During the early
Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later,
much of it was conquered by
Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a
process that took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north
gradually regained control of the peninsula. The last
fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas. A global empire
began which saw
Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the
leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas
empire for three centuries.
Continued wars and other problems eventually led to a diminished
status. The Napoleonic invasions of
Spain led to chaos, triggering
independence movements that tore apart most of the empire and left the
country politically unstable. Prior to the Second World War, Spain
suffered a devastating civil war and came under the rule of an
authoritarian government, which oversaw a period of stagnation that
was followed by a surge in the growth of the economy. Eventually
democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary
Spain joined the European Union, experiencing
a cultural renaissance and steady economic growth until the beginning
of the 21st century, that started a new globalized world with economic
and ecological challenges.
PREHISTORY AND PRE-ROMAN PEOPLES
Prehistoric Iberia Pre-Roman map of The Iberian
Peninsula Celtic castro in Galicia
Archaeological research at Atapuerca indicates the Iberian Peninsula
was populated by hominids 1.2 million years ago. In Atapuerca fossils
have been found of the earliest known hominins in Europe, the Homo
Modern humans first arrived in Iberia, from the north on
foot, about 35,000 years ago. The best known artefacts of these
prehistoric human settlements are the famous paintings in the Altamira
Cantabria in northern Iberia, which were created from 35,600
to 13,500 BCE by
Cro-Magnon . Archaeological and genetic evidence
suggests that the
Iberian Peninsula acted as one of several major
refugia from which northern
Europe was repopulated following the end
of the last ice age .
The largest groups inhabiting the
Iberian Peninsula before the Roman
conquest were the
Iberians and the
Celts . The
Iberians inhabited the
Mediterranean side of the peninsula, from the northeast to the
Celts inhabited much of the inner and Atlantic sides of
the peninsula, from the northwest to the southwest.
the western area of the
Pyrenees mountain range and adjacent areas,
the Phoenician-influenced Tartessians culture flourished in the
southwest and the
Vettones occupied areas in the
central west. A number of cities were founded along the coast by
Phoenicians , and trading outposts and colonies were established by
Greeks in the East. Eventually, Phoenician-
inland towards the meseta, however due to the bellicose inland tribes
Carthaginians got settled in the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula.
ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE GOTHIC KINGDOM
Visigothic Kingdom Roman Theatre ,
Mérida Toledo , capital of the
Second Punic War
Second Punic War , roughly between 210 and 205 BC the
Roman Republic captured Carthaginian trading colonies along
Mediterranean coast. Although it took the Romans nearly two
centuries to complete the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, they
retained control of it for over six centuries. Roman rule was bound
together by law, language, and the
Roman road .
The cultures of the Celtic and Iberian populations were gradually
Romanised (Latinised) at different rates depending on what part of
Hispania they lived in, with local leaders being admitted into the
Roman aristocratic class.
Hispania served as a granary for the Roman
market, and its harbors exported gold, wool , olive oil , and wine.
Agricultural production increased with the introduction of irrigation
projects, some of which remain in use. Emperors
Theodosius I , and the philosopher Seneca were born in Hispania.
Christianity was introduced into
Hispania in the 1st century AD and it
became popular in the cities in the 2nd century AD. Most of Spain's
present languages and religion, and the basis of its laws, originate
from this period.
Reccared I and bishops. Council III of Toledo
Codex Vigilanus , fol. 145, Biblioteca del Escorial .
The weakening of the Western Roman Empire's jurisdiction in Hispania
began in 409, when the Germanic
Vandals , together with the
Alans entered the peninsula at the invitation of a Roman
usurper. These tribes who had crossed the
Rhine in early 407 and
Gaul . The
Suebi established a kingdom in what is today modern
Galicia and northern
Portugal whereas the
themselves in southern
Spain by 420 before crossing over to North
Africa in 429 and taking Carthage in 439. As the western empire
disintegrated, the social and economic base became greatly simplified:
but even in modified form, the successor regimes maintained many of
the institutions and laws of the late empire, including Christianity
and assimilation to the evolving Roman culture.
The Byzantines established an occidental province,
Spania , in the
south, with the intention of reviving Roman rule throughout Iberia.
Hispania was reunited under Visigothic rule .
The Spanish-Gothic scholars such as
Braulio of Zaragoza and Isidore
Seville played an important role in keeping the classical Greek and
Roman culture . Isidore was one of the most influential clerics and
philosophers in the
Middle Ages in Europe, and his theories were also
vital to the conversion of the
Visigothic Kingdom from an Arian domain
to a Catholic one in the
Councils of Toledo . This Gothic kingdom was
the first independent Christian kingdom ruling in the Iberian
Peninsula , and in the
Reconquista it was the referent for the
different kingdoms fighting against the
Muslim rule. Isidore created
the first western encyclopaedia which had a huge impact during the
MIDDLE AGES: MUSLIM ERA AND RECONQUISTA
Reconquista The death of the
Roland defeated by a Basque and
Qasi ) alliance at the
Battle of Roncevaux Pass (778) originated the
Kingdom of Navarre
Kingdom of Navarre led by Íñigo Arista .
In the 8th century, nearly all of the
Iberian Peninsula was conquered
(711–718) by largely
Muslim armies from North Africa. These
conquests were part of the expansion of the
Umayyad Caliphate . Only a
small area in the mountainous north-west of the peninsula managed to
resist the initial invasion.
Under Islamic law , Christians and
Jews were given the subordinate
status of dhimmi . This status permitted Christians and
practice their religions as
People of the Book but they were required
to pay a special tax and had legal and social rights inferior to those
Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí
Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí
Islam proceeded at an increasing pace. The muladíes
Muslims of ethnic Iberian origin) are believed to have comprised the
majority of the population of
Al-Andalus by the end of the 10th
Muslim community in the
Iberian Peninsula was itself diverse and
beset by social tensions. The
Berber people of North Africa, who had
provided the bulk of the invading armies, clashed with the Arab
leadership from the Middle East. Over time, large
became established, especially in the
Guadalquivir River valley, the
coastal plain of
Valencia , the
Ebro River valley and (towards the end
of this period) in the mountainous region of
Granada . Hypostyle
hall in the Great Mosque of Córdoba
Córdoba , the capital of the caliphate since
Abd-ar-Rahman III , was
the largest, richest and most sophisticated city in western Europe.
Mediterranean trade and cultural exchange flourished.
a rich intellectual tradition from the Middle East and North Africa.
Some important philosophers at the time were
Ibn Arabi and
Maimonides . The Romanised cultures of the Iberian Peninsula
Muslim and Jewish cultures in complex ways, giving the
region a distinctive culture. Outside the cities, where the vast
majority lived, the land ownership system from Roman times remained
largely intact as
Muslim leaders rarely dispossessed landowners and
the introduction of new crops and techniques led to an expansion of
agriculture introducing new produces which originally came from Asia
or the former territories of the
Roman Empire Petronilla of
Aragon and Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of
Barcelona , dynastic union of
Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon Paint of
Jueces de Castilla , Arco de
Santa María ,
Burgos . In the
County of Castile , kingdom after
Fernán González , the law was based on fazañas ,
Custom (law) .
In the 11th century, the
Muslim holdings fractured into rival Taifa
kingdoms, allowing the small Christian states the opportunity to
greatly enlarge their territories. The arrival from North Africa of
the Islamic ruling sects of the
Almoravids and the
unity upon the
Muslim holdings, with a stricter, less tolerant
application of Islam, and saw a revival in
Muslim fortunes. This
re-united Islamic state experienced more than a century of successes
that partially reversed Christian gains. Basilica of San Isidoro
Reconquista (Reconquest) was the centuries-long period in which
Christian rule was re-established over the Iberian Peninsula. The
Reconquista is viewed as beginning with the
Battle of Covadonga
Battle of Covadonga won by
Don Pelayo in 722 and was concurrent with the period of
Muslim rule on
the Iberian Peninsula. The Christian army's victory over
led to the creation of the Christian
Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias along the
northwestern coastal mountains. Shortly after, in 739,
were driven from Galicia , which was to eventually host one of
medieval Europe's holiest sites,
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela and was
incorporated into the new Christian kingdom. The
Kingdom of León
Kingdom of León was
the strongest Christian kingdom for centuries. In 1188 the first
modern parliamentary session in
Europe was held in León (Cortes of
León ). The
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile , formed from Leonese territory, was
its successor as strongest kingdom. The kings and the nobility fought
for power and influence in this period. The example of the Roman
emperors influenced the political objective of the Crown, while the
nobles benefited from feudalism .
Muslim armies had also moved north of the
Pyrenees but they were
defeated by Frankish forces at the Battle of Poitiers , Frankia and
pushed out of the very southernmost region of
France along the
seacoast by the 760s. Later, Frankish forces established Christian
counties on the southern side of the Pyrenees. These areas were to
grow into the kingdoms of
Aragon . For several centuries,
the fluctuating frontier between the
Muslim and Christian controlled
areas of Iberia was along the
Ramon Llull and Sufi
Ibn Arabi , both mystic theologists
The County of
Barcelona and the
Kingdom of Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon entered in a
dynastic union and gained territory and power in the Mediterranean. In
Majorca was conquered, so was
Valencia in 1238. The Almohads
transferred the capital of
The break-up of
Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped
the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative. The
capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in 1085 marked a
significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian
kingdoms. Following a great
Muslim resurgence in the 12th century, the
Moorish strongholds in the south fell to Christian
Spain in the
13th century—Córdoba in 1236 and
Seville in 1248. In the 13th and
14th centuries, the
Marinid dynasty of
Morocco invaded and established
some enclaves on the southern coast but failed in their attempt to
re-establish North African rule in Iberia and were soon driven out.
After 800 years of
Muslim presence in Spain, the last Nasrid sultanate
Granada , a tributary state would finally surrender in 1492 to the
Catholic monarchs Queen
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II
Alfonso X , pretender to the Holy Roman Empire
crown and king of the
Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
From the mid 13th century, literature and philosophy started to
flourish again in the Christian peninsular kingdoms, based on Roman
and Gothic traditions. An important philosopher from this time is
Ramon Llull .
Abraham Cresques was a prominent Jewish cartographer.
Roman law and its institutions were the model for the legislators. The
Alfonso X of Castile focused on strengthening this Roman and
Gothic past, and also on linking the Iberian Christian kingdoms with
the rest of medieval European Christendom. Alfonso worked for being
elected emperor of the Holy
Roman Empire and published the Siete
Partidas code. The
Toledo School of Translators
Toledo School of Translators is the name that
commonly describes the group of scholars who worked together in the
city of Toledo during the 12th and 13th centuries, to translate many
of the philosophical and scientific works from
Classical Arabic ,
Ancient Greek , and Ancient Hebrew . The Islamic transmission of the
classics is the main Islamic contributions to Medieval
Europe . The
Castilian language—more commonly known (especially later in history
and at present) as "Spanish" after becoming the national language and
lingua franca of Spain—evolved from
Vulgar Latin , as did other
Romance languages of
Spain like the Catalan , Asturian and Galician
languages, as well as other
Romance languages in Latin Europe. Basque
, the only non-
Romance language in Spain, continued evolving from
Early Basque to Medieval. The
Glosas Emilianenses founded in the
San Millán de la Cogolla contain the first written
words in both Basque and Spanish, having the first become an influence
in the formation of the second as an evolution of Latin. Alhambra
Granada was the last
Taifa in the Peninsula.
The 13th century also witnessed the
Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon , centred in
Spain's north east, expand its reach across islands in the
Sicily and even Athens. Around this time the
universities of Palencia (1212/1263) and
Salamanca (1218/1254) were
Black Death of 1348 and 1349 devastated Spain.
School of Salamanca (origin
of modern international law theories) and
Colegio de San Gregorio
Colegio de San Gregorio of
Valladolid (origin of modern human rights theories).
Hernán Cortés and
Francisco Pizarro .
In 1469, the crowns of the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon
were united by the marriage of
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II
Aragon . 1478 commenced the completion of the conquest of the
Canary Islands and in 1492, the combined forces of Castile and Aragon
captured the Emirate of
Granada from its last ruler Muhammad XII ,
ending the last remnant of a 781-year presence of Islamic rule in
Iberia. That same year, Spain\'s
Jews were ordered to convert to
Catholicism or face expulsion from Spanish territories during the
Spanish Inquisition . The Treaty of
Granada guaranteed religious
tolerance towards Muslims, for a few years before
Islam was outlawed
in 1502 in the
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile and 1527 in the Kingdom of Aragon,
leading to Spain's
Muslim population becoming nominally Christian
Moriscos. A few decades after the
Morisco rebellion of
War of the Alpujarras , a significant proportion of Spain's
Muslim population was expelled, settling primarily in North
The year 1492 also marked the arrival of
Christopher Columbus in the
New World , during a voyage funded by Isabella. Columbus's first
voyage crossed the Atlantic and reached the Caribbean Islands,
beginning the European exploration and conquest of the Americas,
although Columbus remained convinced that he had reached the
The colonisation of the Americas started, with conquistadores like
Hernán Cortés and
Francisco Pizarro .
Miscegenation was the rule
between the native and the Spanish cultures and people.
Christopher Columbus meets
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of
Aragon in the
New Monarchs , Isabella and Ferdinand centralised
royal power at the expense of local nobility, and the word España,
whose root is the ancient name Hispania, began to be commonly used to
designate the whole of the two kingdoms. With their wide-ranging
political, legal, religious and military reforms,
Spain emerged as the
first world power .
The unification of the crowns of
Aragon and Castile by the marriage
of their sovereigns laid the basis for modern
Spain and the Spanish
Empire, although each kingdom of
Spain remained a separate country
socially, politically, legally, and in currency and language.
Anachronous map of the Spanish Empire, including territorial claims
María Pacheco , last leader of
Revolt of the Comuneros , one of
the first modern revolutions
There were two big revolts against the new Habsburg monarch and the
more authoritarian and imperial-style crown: Revolt of the Comuneros
in Castile and
Revolt of the Brotherhoods
Revolt of the Brotherhoods in
After years of combat, Comuneros
Juan López de Padilla , Juan Bravo
Francisco Maldonado were executed and
María Pacheco went into
exile. Germana de Foix also finished with the revolt in the
Mediterranean. Philip II and Charles V ,
Habsburg Spain .
Charles was also Emperor of the Holy
Roman Empire .
Spain was Europe's leading power throughout the 16th century and most
of the 17th century, a position reinforced by trade and wealth from
colonial possessions and became the world's leading maritime power .
It reached its apogee during the reigns of the first two Spanish
Habsburgs —Charles I (1516–1556) and Philip II (1556–1598). This
period saw the
Italian Wars , the
Revolt of the Comuneros , the Dutch
Revolt , the
Morisco Revolt , clashes with the Ottomans , the
Anglo-Spanish War and wars with
Through exploration and conquest or royal marriage alliances and
Spanish Empire expanded to include vast areas in the
Americas, islands in the Asia-Pacific area, areas of Italy, cities in
Northern Africa, as well as parts of what are now France, Germany,
Luxembourg , and the
Netherlands . The first
circumnavigation of the world was carried out in 1519–1521. It was
the first empire on which it was said that the sun never set . This
Age of Discovery
Age of Discovery , with daring explorations by sea and by land,
the opening-up of new trade routes across oceans, conquests and the
beginnings of European colonialism . Spanish explorers brought back
precious metals , spices, luxuries, and previously unknown plants, and
played a leading part in transforming the European understanding of
the globe. The cultural efflorescence witnessed during this period is
now referred to as the
Spanish Golden Age
Spanish Golden Age . The expansion of the
empire caused immense upheaval in the Americas as the collapse of
societies and empires and new diseases from
Europe devastated American
indigenous populations. The rise of humanism , the Counter-Reformation
and new geographical discoveries and conquests raised issues that were
addressed by the intellectual movement now known as the School of
Salamanca , which developed the first modern theories of what are now
known as international law and human rights.
Juan Luis Vives was
another prominent humanist during this period.
Europe after the
Peace of Westphalia
In the late 16th century and first half of the 17th century, Spain
was confronted by unrelenting challenges from all sides. Barbary
pirates , under the aegis of the rapidly growing
Ottoman Empire ,
disrupted life in many coastal areas through their slave raids and the
renewed threat of an Islamic invasion . This was at a time when Spain
was often at war with France.
Protestant Reformation dragged the kingdom ever more deeply into
the mire of religiously charged wars. The result was a country forced
into ever expanding military efforts across
Europe and in the
By the middle decades of a war- and plague -ridden 17th-century
Europe, the Spanish Habsburgs had enmeshed the country in
continent-wide religious-political conflicts. These conflicts drained
it of resources and undermined the economy generally.
Spain managed to
hold on to most of the scattered
Habsburg empire , and help the
imperial forces of the Holy
Roman Empire reverse a large part of the
advances made by
Protestant forces, but it was finally forced to
recognise the separation of
Portugal (with whom it had been united in
a personal union of the crowns from 1580 to 1640) and the Netherlands
, and eventually suffered some serious military reverses to
the latter stages of the immensely destructive, Europe-wide Thirty
Years\' War . The Family of Philip V . During the Enlightenment
Spain a new royal family reigned, the
House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon .
In the latter half of the 17th century,
Spain went into a gradual
decline, during which it surrendered several small territories to
France and the Netherlands; however, it maintained and enlarged its
vast overseas empire, which remained intact until the beginning of the
The decline culminated in a controversy over succession to the throne
which consumed the first years of the 18th century. The War of the
Spanish Succession was a wide-ranging international conflict combined
with a civil war, and was to cost the kingdom its European possessions
and its position as one of the leading powers on the Continent.
During this war, a new dynasty originating in France, the Bourbons ,
was installed. Long united only by the Crown, a true Spanish state was
established when the first Bourbon king, Philip V , united the crowns
of Castile and
Aragon into a single state, abolishing many of the old
regional privileges and laws. The
Esquilache Riots in Madrid, by
Francisco de Goya
Francisco de Goya ,
Enlightened absolutism peryod.
The 18th century saw a gradual recovery and an increase in prosperity
through much of the empire. The new Bourbon monarchy drew on the
French system of modernising the administration and the economy.
Enlightenment ideas began to gain ground among some of the kingdom's
elite and monarchy. Military assistance for the rebellious British
colonies in the American War of Independence improved the kingdom's
LIBERALISM, LABOUR MOVEMENT AND NATION STATE
Mid-19th-century Spain , Spanish American wars of
Spanish–American War ,
Anarchism in Spain , and
Spanish Second Republic
Spanish Second Republic
The Third of May 1808
The Third of May 1808 by Francisco de
Goya depicts an episode of the Spanish Independence War .
Spain went to war against the revolutionary new French
Republic as a member of the first Coalition . The subsequent War of
Pyrenees polarised the country in a reaction against the
gallicised elites and following defeat in the field, peace was made
France in 1795 at the
Peace of Basel
Peace of Basel in which
Spain lost control
over two-thirds of the island of
Hispaniola . The Prime Minister,
Manuel Godoy , then ensured that
Spain allied herself with
War of the Third Coalition which ended with the British
victory at the
Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In 1807, a secret treaty
between Napoleon and the unpopular prime minister led to a new
declaration of war against Britain and Portugal. Napoleon's troops
entered the country to invade
Portugal but instead occupied Spain's
major fortresses. The ridiculed Spanish king abdicated in favour of
Joseph Bonaparte .
Joseph Bonaparte was seen as a puppet monarch and was regarded with
scorn by the Spanish. The 2 May 1808 revolt was one of many
nationalist uprisings across the country against the Bonapartist
regime. These revolts marked the beginning of a devastating war of
independence against the Napoleonic regime. Napoleon was forced to
intervene personally, defeating several Spanish armies and forcing a
British army to retreat. However, further military action by Spanish
armies, guerrillas and Wellington\'s British-Portuguese forces,
combined with Napoleon's disastrous invasion of
Russia , led to the
ousting of the French imperial armies from
Spain in 1814, and the
return of King
Ferdinand VII . The Proclamation of the Spanish
Constitution of 1812 in
During the war, in 1810, a revolutionary body, the Cortes of
was assembled to co-ordinate the effort against the Bonapartist regime
and to prepare a constitution. It met as one body, and its members
represented the entire Spanish empire. In 1812, a constitution for
universal representation under a constitutional monarchy was declared,
but after the fall of the Bonapartist regime,
Ferdinand VII dismissed
Cortes Generales and was determined to rule as an absolute monarch
. These events foreshadowed the conflict between conservatives and
liberals in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Laureano Figuerola
Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla ,
Práxedes Mateo Sagasta
Práxedes Mateo Sagasta ,
Juan Prim ,
Francisco Serrano ,
Juan Bautista Topete ,
Adelardo López de Ayala ,
Juan Álvarez de Lorenzana , Antonio Romero Ortiz
Spain's conquest by
France benefited Latin American anti-colonialists
who resented the Imperial Spanish government's policies that favoured
Spanish-born citizens (
Peninsulars ) over those born overseas
(Criollos ) and demanded retroversion of the sovereignty to the people
. Starting in 1809 Spain's American colonies began a series of
revolutions and declared independence, leading to the Spanish American
wars of independence that ended Spanish control over its mainland
colonies in the Americas. King Ferdinand VII's attempt to re-assert
control proved futile as he faced opposition not only in the colonies
but also in
Spain and army revolts followed, led by liberal officers.
By the end of 1826, the only American colonies
Spain held were Cuba
Puerto Rico .
The Napoleonic War left
Spain economically ruined, deeply divided and
politically unstable. In the 1830s and 1840s Anti-liberal forces known
as Carlists fought against liberals in the
Carlist Wars . Liberal
forces won, but the conflict between progressive and conservative
liberals ended in a weak early constitutional period. After the
Glorious Revolution of 1868 and the short-lived First Spanish Republic
, a more stable monarchic period began characterised by the practice
of turnismo (the rotation of government control between progressive
and conservative liberals within the Spanish government).
Proclamation of the
First Spanish Republic
First Spanish Republic in Barcelona, 1873.
Francesc Pi i Margall
Francesc Pi i Margall , was president and intellectual theoric of
In the late 19th century nationalist movements arose in the
Philippines and Cuba. In 1895 and 1896 the Cuban War of Independence
Philippine Revolution broke out and eventually the United
States became involved. The
Spanish–American War was fought in the
spring of 1898 and resulted in
Spain losing the last of its once vast
colonial empire outside of North Africa. El Desastre (the Disaster),
as the war became known in Spain, gave added impetus to the Generation
of \'98 who were conducting an analysis of the country.
Barcelona after the Tragic Week events
Although the period around the turn of the century was one of
increasing prosperity, the 20th century brought little peace; Spain
played a minor part in the scramble for Africa , with the colonisation
Western Sahara , Spanish
Equatorial Guinea . It
remained neutral during World War I (see
Spain in World War I ). The
heavy losses suffered during the Rif War in
Morocco brought discredit
to the government and undermined the monarchy.
A period of authoritarian rule under General Miguel Primo de Rivera
(1923–1931) ended with the establishment of the Second Spanish
Republic . The Republic offered political autonomy to the
linguistically distinct regions of Basque
Galicia and gave voting rights to women . During this period Asturian
miners\' strike of 1934 occurred.
SPANISH CIVIL WAR AND FRANCOIST SPAIN
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War ,
Spanish Revolution of 1936
Spanish Revolution of 1936 , and
Francoist Spain They shall not pass!...
Madrid will be the
graveyard of fascism. Fascism was on rise in
Europe during Spanish
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936. For three years the
Nationalist forces led by General
Francisco Franco and supported by
Nazi Germany and Fascist
Italy fought the Republican side, which was
supported by the
Soviet Union ,
International Brigades but
it was not supported by the Western powers due to the British-led
Non-Intervention . The civil war was viciously fought and
there were many atrocities committed by all sides . The war claimed
the lives of over 500,000 people and caused the flight of up to a
half-million citizens from the country. In 1939, General Franco
emerged victorious and became a dictator.
Francisco Franco and
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower (
Madrid 1959) in the context of the
Cold War .
Spain entered in United Nations in 1955.
The state as established under Franco was nominally neutral in the
Second World War, although sympathetic to the Axis . The only legal
party under Franco's post civil war regime was the
Tradicionalista y de las JONS, formed in 1937; the party emphasised
falangism , a form of fascism that emphasised anti-communism ,
nationalism and Roman
Catholicism . Given Franco's opposition to
competing political parties, the party was renamed the National
Movimiento Nacional ) in 1949.
After World War II
Spain was politically and economically isolated,
and was kept out of the United Nations. This changed in 1955, during
Cold War period, when it became strategically important for the US
to establish a military presence on the
Iberian Peninsula as a counter
to any possible move by the
Soviet Union into the
In the 1960s,
Spain registered an unprecedented rate of economic
growth which was propelled by industrialisation , a mass internal
migration from rural areas to
Barcelona and the Basque
Country and the creation of a mass tourism industry . Franco's rule
was also characterised by authoritarianism , promotion of a unitary
national identity , the favouring of a very conservative form of Roman
Catholicism known as National
Catholicism , and discriminatory
language policies .
RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY
Spanish transition to democracy
Spanish transition to democracy and Spanish society
after the democratic transition
Federica Montseny speaks at the
meeting of the CNT in
Barcelona in 1977 after 36 years of exile.
In 1962, a group of politicians involved in the opposition to
Franco's regime inside the country and in the exile met in the
congress of the
European Movement in Munich, where they made a
resolution in favour of democracy.
With Franco's death in November 1975,
Juan Carlos succeeded to the
King of Spain and head of state in accordance with the
franquist law. With the approval of the new Spanish Constitution of
1978 and the restoration of democracy , the State devolved much
authority to the regions and created an internal organisation based on
autonomous communities . The
Spanish 1977 Amnesty Law let people of
Franco's regime continue inside institutions without consequences,
even perpetrators of some crimes during transition to democracy like
Massacre of 3 March 1976 in Vitoria or
1977 Massacre of Atocha .
The 'founding chairman' of the current leading political party in
Spain, the People\'s Party , was Manuel Fraga who had been a minister
in Franco's government and yet continued with his political career
until shortly before his death in 2012.
Madrid Conference of 1991
Israeli–Palestinian peace process with presidents George H. W.
Felipe González , among others.
In the Basque Country, moderate
Basque nationalism has coexisted with
a radical nationalist movement led by the armed terrorist organisation
ETA . The group was formed in 1959 during Franco's rule but has
continued to wage its violent campaign even after the restoration of
democracy and the return of a large measure of regional autonomy.
On 23 February 1981, rebel elements among the security forces seized
the Cortes in an attempt to impose a military-backed government . King
Juan Carlos took personal command of the military and successfully
ordered the coup plotters, via national television, to surrender.
José María Aznar
José María Aznar ,
Jordi Pujol ,
Felipe VI and
Adolfo Suárez in the
During the 1980s the democratic restoration made possible a growing
open society. New cultural movements based on freedom appeared, like
La Movida Madrileña and a culture of human rights arose with Gregorio
Peces-Barba . On 30 May 1982
NATO , following a
referendum after a strong social opposition. That year the Spanish
Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) came to power, the first left-wing
government in 43 years. In 1986
Spain joined the European Economic
Community , which later became the
European Union . The PSOE was
replaced in government by the Partido Popular (PP) in 1996 after
scandals around participation of the government of
Felipe González in
the Dirty war against ETA ; at that point the PSOE had served almost
14 consecutive years in office.
On 1 January 2002,
Spain fully adopted the euro , and Spain
experienced strong economic growth, well above the EU average during
the early 2000s. However, well-publicised concerns issued by many
economic commentators at the height of the boom warned that
extraordinary property prices and a high foreign trade deficit were
likely to lead to a painful economic collapse.
Spain has been a
member of the
European Union since 1986.
In 2002 the
Prestige oil spill occurred with big ecological
consequences along Spain's Atlantic coastline. In 2003 José María
Aznar supported US president
George W. Bush
George W. Bush in the
Iraq War , and a
strong movement against war rose in Spanish society. On 11 March 2004
Islamist terrorist group inspired by
Al-Qaeda carried out the
largest terrorist attack in Spanish history when they killed 191
people and wounded more than 1,800 others by bombing commuter trains
in Madrid. Though initial suspicions focused on the Basque terrorist
group ETA , evidence soon emerged indicating
Because of the proximity of the 2004 election , the issue of
responsibility quickly became a political controversy, with the main
competing parties PP and PSOE exchanging accusations over the handling
of the incident. The elections on 14 March were won by the PSOE, led
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero .
Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol square in
Madrid , shown here on 20 May 2011, became a focal point and a symbol
during the protests.
The proportion of Spain\'s foreign born population increased rapidly
during its economic boom in the early 2000s, but then declined due to
the financial crisis. In 2005 the Spanish government legalised same
sex marriage . Decentralisation was supported with much resistance of
Constitutional Court and conservative opposition, so did gender
politics like quotas or the law against gender violence. Government
talks with ETA happened, and the group announced its permanent cease
of violence in 2010.
The bursting of the
Spanish property bubble in 2008 led to the
2008–16 Spanish financial crisis and high levels of unemployment,
cuts in government spending and corruption in
Royal family and
People\'s Party served as a backdrop to the 2011–12 Spanish protests
Catalan independentism was also on rise. In 2011,
Mariano Rajoy 's
conservative People\'s Party won the election with 44.6% of votes, and
Rajoy became the Spanish Prime Minister, after having been the leader
of the opposition from 2004 to 2011, and continued to implement
austerity measures required by the EU Stability and Growth Pact. On 19
June 2014, the monarch , Juan Carlos, abdicated in favour of his son,
Felipe VI .
A Catalan independence referendum was held on 1 October 2017 and
then, on 27 October, the
Catalan parliament voted to unilaterally
declare independence from
Spain to form a Catalan Republic on the
Spanish Senate was discussing approving direct rule over
Catalonia as called for by the Spanish Prime Minister. Later that
day the Senate granted the power to impose direct rule and Mr Rajoy
Catalan parliament and called a new election. No
Catalonia as a separate state.
Geography of Spain Topographic map of
At 505,992 km2 (195,365 sq mi),
Spain is the world's fifty-second
largest country and Europe\'s fourth largest country . It is some
47,000 km2 (18,000 sq mi) smaller than
France and 81,000 km2 (31,000
sq mi) larger than the US state of California. Mount
is the highest mountain peak in
Spain and is the third largest volcano
in the world from its base.
Spain is a transcontinental country .
Spain lies between latitudes 26° and 44° N , and longitudes 19° W
and 5° E .
On the west,
Spain is bordered by
Portugal ; on the south, it is
British overseas territory
British overseas territory ) and
through its exclaves in North Africa (
Melilla , and the
peninsula of Vélez de la Gomera ). On the northeast, along the
Pyrenees mountain range, it is bordered by
France and the Principality
Andorra . Along the
Girona , a small exclave town
Llívia is surrounded by France.
Extending to 1,214 km (754 mi), the
Portugal–Spain border is the
longest uninterrupted border within the
European Union .
List of islands of Spain
Spain also includes the
Balearic Islands in the
Mediterranean Sea ,
Canary Islands in the
Atlantic Ocean and a number of uninhabited
islands on the
Mediterranean side of the Strait of
Gibraltar , known
as plazas de soberanía ("places of sovereignty", or territories
under Spanish sovereignty), such as the
Chafarinas Islands and
Alhucemas . The peninsula of Vélez de la Gomera is also regarded as a
plaza de soberanía. The isle of Alborán , located in the
Spain and North Africa, is also administered by
Spain, specifically by the municipality of
Almería , Andalusia. The
Pheasant Island in the River
Bidasoa is a Spanish-French
Largest inhabited islands of Spain: Mt
Tenerife , Canary
MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park ,
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site in
Spain is a mountainous country, dominated by high plateaus
and mountain chains. After the Pyrenees, the main mountain ranges are
Cordillera Cantábrica (Cantabrian Range), Sistema Ibérico
Sistema Central (Central System),
Montes de Toledo ,
Sierra Morena and the
Sistema Bético (Baetic System) whose highest
peak, the 3,478-metre-high (11,411-foot)
Mulhacén , located in Sierra
Nevada , is the highest elevation in the Iberian Peninsula. The
highest point in
Spain is the
Teide , a 3,718-metre (12,198 ft) active
volcano in the Canary Islands. The
Meseta Central (often translated as
"Inner Plateau") is a vast plateau in the heart of peninsular Spain.
There are several major rivers in
Spain such as the
Ebro , Guadiana ,
Guadalquivir , Júcar ,
Turia and Minho (Miño). Alluvial plains are found along the coast,
the largest of which is that of the
Climate of Spain
Somiedo Natural Park ,
Cantabrian Mountains , Asturias. The
Mediterranean coast in
Region of Murcia
Tablas de Daimiel National Park
Tablas de Daimiel National Park .
Three main climatic zones can be separated, according to geographical
situation and orographic conditions:
Mediterranean climate , characterised by warm/hot and dry
summers, is dominant in the peninsula. It has two varieties: Csa and
Csb according to the
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification .
* The Csa zone is associated to areas with hot summers. It is
predominant in the
Mediterranean and Southern Atlantic coast and
Extremadura and much, if not most, of
the centre of the country. The Csa zone covers climatic zones with
both relatively warm and cold winters which are considered extremely
different to each other at a local level, reason for which Köppen
classification is often eschewed within Spain. Local climatic maps
generally divide the
Mediterranean zone (which covers most of the
country) between warm-winter and cold-winter zones, rather than
according to summer temperatures.
* The Csb zone has warm rather than hot summers, and extends to
additional cool-winter areas not typically associated with a
Mediterranean climate, such as much of central and northern-central of
Spain (e.g. western Castile–León , northeastern Castilla-La Mancha
Madrid ) and into much rainier areas (notably Galicia ).
Note areas with relatively high rainfall such as Galicia are not
Mediterranean under local classifications, but classed as
* The semi-arid climate (BSk, BSh), is predominant in the
southeastern quarter of the country, but is also widespread in other
areas of Spain. It covers most of the
Region of Murcia , southern
Valencia and eastern Andalusia, where true hot desert climates also
exist. Further to the north, it is predominant in the upper and mid
reaches of the
Ebro valley, which crosses southern
Navarre , central
Aragon and western Catalonia. It also is found in Madrid, Extremadura,
Castilla-La Mancha, and some locations of western Andalusia. The dry
season extends beyond the summer and average temperature depends on
altitude and latitude.
* The oceanic climate (Cfb), located in the northern quarter of the
country, especially in the Atlantic region (Basque
Asturias , and partly Galicia and Castile–León).
Additionally it is also found in northern Navarre, in most highlands
areas along the Iberian System and in the Pyrenean valleys, where a
humid subtropical variant (Cfa) also occurs. Winter and summer
temperatures are influenced by the ocean, and have no seasonal
Apart from these main types, other sub-types can be found, like the
alpine and continental climates (Dfc, Dfb / Dsc, Dsb) in the Pyrenees
as well as parts of the Cantabrian Range , the Central System , Sierra
Nevada and the Iberian System , and a typical desert climate (BWk,
BWh) in the zone of Almería,
Murcia and eastern
Canary Islands .
Low-lying areas of the
Canary Islands average above 18.0 °C (64.4
°F) during their coldest month, thus having a tropical climate .
FAUNA AND FLORA
The fauna presents a wide diversity that is due in large part to the
geographical position of the Iberian peninsula between the Atlantic
Mediterranean and between Africa and
Eurasia , and the great
diversity of habitats and biotopes , the result of a considerable
variety of climates and well differentiated regions.
The vegetation of
Spain is varied due to several factors including
the diversity of the relief, the climate and latitude .
different phytogeographic regions, each with its own floristic
characteristics resulting largely from the interaction of climate,
topography, soil type and fire, biotic factors.
Politics of Spain
Politics of Spain See also: Spanish Constitution of
1978 The Royal Palace in
According to the
Democracy Index of the EIU,
Spain is one of the 19
full democracies in the world.
Spanish Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978 is the culmination of the Spanish
transition to democracy . The constitutional history of
back to the constitution of 1812. Impatient with the slow pace of
democratic political reforms in 1976 and 1977, Spain's new King Juan
Carlos , known for his formidable personality, dismissed Carlos Arias
Navarro and appointed the reformer
Adolfo Suárez as Prime Minister.
The resulting general election in 1977 convened the Constituent Cortes
(the Spanish Parliament, in its capacity as a constitutional assembly)
for the purpose of drafting and approving the constitution of 1978.
After a national referendum on 6 December 1978, 88% of voters approved
of the new constitution.
As a result,
Spain is now composed of 17 autonomous communities and
two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy thanks to its
Constitution, which nevertheless explicitly states the indivisible
unity of the Spanish nation. The constitution also specifies that
Spain has no state religion and that all are free to practice and
believe as they wish.
The Spanish administration approved legislation in 2007 aimed at
furthering equality between genders in Spanish political and economic
life (Gender Equality Act). However, in the legislative branch, as
of May 2017 only 140 of the 350 members of the Congress were women
(40%). It places
Spain 12th on a list of countries ranked by
proportion of women in the lower house . In the Senate, there are only
101 women out of 263 (38.0%). The
Gender Empowerment Measure of Spain
in the United Nations
Human Development Report is 0.794, 12th in the
Government of Spain
Government of Spain See also: List of Spanish monarchs
Monarchs of Spain family tree
Monarchs of Spain family tree Congress of Deputies ,
Spain is a constitutional monarchy , with a hereditary monarch and a
bicameral parliament , the
Cortes Generales (General Courts). The
executive branch consists of a
Council of Ministers of Spain presided
over by the Prime Minister, nominated and appointed by the monarch and
confirmed by the Congress of Deputies following legislative elections.
By political custom established by King
Juan Carlos since the
ratification of the 1978 Constitution, the king's nominees have all
been from parties who maintain a plurality of seats in the Congress.
The legislative branch is made up of the Congress of Deputies
(Congreso de los Diputados) with 350 members, elected by popular vote
on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year
terms, and a Senate (Senado) with 259 seats of which 208 are directly
elected by popular vote, using a limited voting method, and the other
51 appointed by the regional legislatures to also serve four-year
* HEAD OF STATE
Felipe VI , since 19 June 2014
* HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Prime Minister of Spain
Prime Minister of Spain (Presidente del Gobierno, literally
President of the Government):
Mariano Rajoy Brey , elected 20 November
* Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Presidency : Soraya
Sáenz de Santamaría .
* Council of Ministers (Consejo de Ministros) designated by the
Spain is organisationally structured as a so-called Estado de las
Autonomías ("State of Autonomies"); it is one of the most
decentralised countries in Europe, along with Switzerland,
Belgium; for example, all autonomous communities have their own
elected parliaments, governments, public administrations , budgets,
and resources. Health and education systems among others are managed
by the Spanish communities, and in addition, the Basque
Navarre also manage their own public finances based on foral
provisions. In Catalonia, the Basque Country,
Navarre and the Canary
Islands, a full-fledged autonomous police corps replaces some of the
State police functions (see Mossos d\'Esquadra ,
Ertzaintza , Policía
Foral /Foruzaingoa and
Policía Canaria ).
Human rights in Spain See also:
LGBT rights in Spain
Europride in Madrid. In 2017 a Summit about LGBTI human rights
took part at the same time than the
World Pride .
Spanish Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978 "protect all
Spaniards and all the
Spain in the exercise of human rights, their cultures and
traditions, languages and institutions".
Amnesty International (AI), government investigations of
alleged police abuses are often lengthy and punishments were light.
Violence against women was a problem, which the Government took steps
Spain provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world for
LGBT community. Among the countries studied by Pew Research Center
Spain is rated first in acceptance of homosexuality, with an
88% of society supporting the gay community compared to 11% who do
Political divisions of Spain
The Spanish State is integrated by 17 autonomous communities and 2
autonomous cities, both groups being the highest or first-order
administrative division in the country. Autonomous communities are
integrated by provinces, of which there are 50 in total, and in turn,
provinces are integrated by municipalities. In Catalonia, two
additional divisions exist, the comarques (sing. comarca) and the
vegueries (sing. vegueria) both of which have administrative powers;
comarques being aggregations of municipalities, and the vegueries
being aggregations of comarques. The concept of a comarca exists in
all autonomous communities, however, unlike Catalonia, these are
merely historical or geographical subdivisions.
Autonomous communities of Spain
Autonomous communities of Spain See also:
Nationalities and regions of Spain
Nationalities and regions of Spain Galicia
Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay Atlantic
Spain's autonomous communities are the first level administrative
divisions of the country. They were created after the current
constitution came into effect (in 1978) in recognition of the right to
self-government of the "nationalities and regions of
Spain ". The
autonomous communities were to be integrated into adjacent provinces
with common historical, cultural, and economical traits. This
territorial organisation, based on devolution , is literally known in
Spain as the "State of Autonomies".
The basic institutional law of each autonomous community is the
Statute of Autonomy . The Statutes of Autonomy establish the name of
the community according to its historical and contemporary identity,
the limits of its territories, the name and organisation of the
institutions of government and the rights they enjoy according to the
The governments of all autonomous communities must be based on a
division of powers comprising:
* a legislative assembly whose members must be elected by universal
suffrage according to the system of proportional representation and in
which all areas that integrate the territory are fairly represented;
* a government council, with executive and administrative functions
headed by a president, elected by the Legislative Assembly and
nominated by the
King of Spain ;
* a supreme court, under the supreme court of Spain, which heads the
judiciary in the autonomous community.
Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country, which identified
themselves as nationalities, were granted self-government through a
Andalusia also took that denomination in its first
Statute of Autonomy, even though it followed the longer process
stipulated in the constitution for the rest of the country.
Progressively, other communities in revisions to their Statutes of
Autonomy have also taken that denomination in accordance to their
historical and modern identities, such as the Valencian Community,
the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, and Aragon.
The autonomous communities have wide legislative and executive
autonomy, with their own parliaments and regional governments. The
distribution of powers may be different for every community, as laid
out in their Statutes of Autonomy, since devolution was intended to be
asymmetrical. Only two communities—the Basque
Navarre—have full fiscal autonomy. Aside of fiscal autonomy, the
nationalities—Andalusia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, and
Galicia—were devolved more powers than the rest of the communities,
among them the ability of the regional president to dissolve the
parliament and call for elections at any time. In addition, the Basque
Navarre have police corps of their own:
Ertzaintza , Mossos d\'Esquadra and the
Policía Foral respectively.
Other communities have more limited forces or none at all, like the
Policía Autónoma Andaluza in
Andalusia or the
BESCAM in Madrid.
Nonetheless, recent amendments to existing Statutes of Autonomy or
the promulgation of new Statutes altogether, have reduced the
asymmetry between the powers originally granted to the nationalities
and the rest of the regions.
Finally, along with the 17 autonomous communities, two autonomous
cities are also part of the State of Autonomies and are first-order
Melilla . These are two exclaves
located in the northern African coast.
Provinces And Municipalities
Provinces of Spain
Provinces of Spain and
Municipalities of Spain
Municipalities of Spain
Autonomous communities are subdivided into provinces , which served
as their territorial building blocks. In turn, provinces are
integrated by municipalities . The existence of both the provinces and
the municipalities is guaranteed and protected by the constitution,
not necessarily by the Statutes of Autonomy themselves. Municipalities
are granted autonomy to manage their internal affairs, and provinces
are the territorial divisions designed to carry out the activities of
The current provincial division structure is based—with minor
changes—on the 1833 territorial division by Javier de
Burgos , and
in all, the Spanish territory is divided into 50 provinces. The
communities of Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands,
Navarre are the only communities that are
integrated by a single province, which is coextensive with the
community itself. In these cases, the administrative institutions of
the province are replaced by the governmental institutions of the
Foreign relations of Spain
Mariano Rajoy in a
G-20 Summit in Mexico.
Spain is a permanent guest of the
Ibero-American Summit , in
San Salvador , 2008 Palau Reial
de Pedralbes , in Barcelona, headquarters of the Union for the
After the return of democracy following the death of Franco in 1975,
Spain's foreign policy priorities were to break out of the diplomatic
isolation of the Franco years and expand diplomatic relations , enter
the European Community , and define security relations with the West.
As a member of
NATO since 1982,
Spain has established itself as a
participant in multilateral international security activities. Spain's
EU membership represents an important part of its foreign policy. Even
on many international issues beyond western Europe,
Spain prefers to
co-ordinate its efforts with its EU partners through the European
political co-operation mechanisms.
Spain has maintained its special relations with
Hispanic America and
Philippines . Its policy emphasises the concept of an
Ibero-American community, essentially the renewal of the historically
liberal concept of "
Hispanidad " or "Hispanismo ", as it is often
referred to in English, which has sought to link the Iberian Peninsula
Hispanic America through language, commerce, history and culture.
Gibraltar , a 6-square-kilometre (2.3 sq mi) Overseas
Territory of the
United Kingdom in the southernmost part of the
Iberian Peninsula . Then a Spanish town, it was conquered by an
Anglo-Dutch force in 1704 during the
War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession on
behalf of Archduke Charles , pretender to the Spanish throne.
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic army. According to United Nations,
Spain is the administrative power of the
Western Sahara de iure.
The legal situation concerning
Gibraltar was settled in 1713 by the
Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht , in which
Spain ceded the territory in perpetuity
to the British Crown stating that, should the British abandon this
post, it would be offered to
Spain first. Since the 1940s
called for the return of Gibraltar. The overwhelming majority of
Gibraltarians strongly oppose this, along with any proposal of shared
sovereignty. UN resolutions call on the
United Kingdom and Spain,
both EU members, to reach an agreement over the status of Gibraltar.
The Spanish claim makes a distinction between the isthmus that
connects the Rock to the Spanish mainland on the one hand, and the
Rock and city of
Gibraltar on the other. While the Rock and city were
ceded by the Treaty of Utrecht,
Spain asserts that the "occupation of
the isthmus is illegal and against the principles of International Law
United Kingdom relies on de facto arguments of possession by
prescription in relation to the isthmus, as there has been
"continuous possession over a long period".
Another claim by
Spain is about the
Savage Islands , a claim not
Spain claims that they are rocks rather than
islands, therefore claiming that there is no Portuguese territorial
waters around the disputed islands. On 5 July 2013,
Spain sent a
letter to the UN expressing these views.
Spain claims the sovereignty over the
Perejil Island , a small,
uninhabited rocky islet located in the South shore of the Strait of
Gibraltar . The island lies 250 metres (820 ft) just off the coast of
Morocco, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from
Ceuta and 13.5 kilometres (8.4 mi)
from mainland Spain. Its sovereignty is disputed between
Morocco. It was the subject of an armed incident between the two
countries in 2002. The incident ended when both countries agreed to
return to the status quo ante which existed prior to the Moroccan
occupation of the island. The islet is now deserted and without any
sign of sovereignty.
Besides the Perejil Island, the Spanish-held territories claimed by
other countries are two:
Morocco claims the Spanish cities of Ceuta
Melilla and the plazas de soberanía islets off the northern coast
of Africa; and
Portugal and the other signatories of the Treaty of
Vienna(1815) and their successor states do not recognise Spain's
sovereignty over the territory of
Olivenza in the
Alentejo region of
Portugal which was annexed by
Spain in 1801.
Portugal stance has been
the territory being de iure Portuguese territory and de facto Spanish.
Spanish Armed Forces
Spanish Armed Forces Aircraft carrier/assault
Juan Carlos I (L61) , multirole fighter
Eurofighter Typhoon ,
Boeing CH-47 Chinook , universal tank
The armed forces of
Spain are known as the Spanish Armed Forces
(Fuerzas Armadas Españolas). Their
Commander-in-chief is the King of
Felipe VI .
Spanish Armed Forces
Spanish Armed Forces are divided into three branches:
* Army (Ejército de Tierra)
* Navy (Armada)
* Air Force (Ejército del Aire)
Economy of Spain Headquarters of Banco Santander
in Santander Financial district in downtown
Madrid called AZCA
Spain's capitalist mixed economy is the 14th largest worldwide and
the 5th largest in the
European Union , as well as the
Eurozone 's 4th
The centre-right government of former prime minister José María
Aznar worked successfully to gain admission to the group of countries
launching the euro in 1999. Unemployment stood at 7.6% in October
2006, lower than many other European countries, and significantly
below Spain's early 1990s unemployment rate of at over 20%. Perennial
weak points of Spain's economy include a large informal economy ,
and an education system which
OECD reports place among the poorest for
developed countries, together with the
United States and UK.
Spain is a member of the
Schengen Area , the
Eurozone and the European
Single Market .
By the mid-1990s the economy had recommenced the growth that had been
disrupted by the global recession of the early 1990s. The strong
economic growth helped the government to reduce the government debt as
a percentage of GDP and Spain's high unemployment rate began to
steadily decline. With the government budget in balance and inflation
Spain was admitted into the
Eurozone in 1999.
Since the 1990s some Spanish companies have gained multinational
status, often expanding their activities in culturally close Latin
Spain is the second biggest foreign investor there, after the
United States. Spanish companies have also expanded into Asia,
especially China and India. This early global expansion is a
competitive advantage over its competitors and European neighbours.
The reason for this early expansion is the booming interest towards
Spanish language and culture in Asia and Africa and a corporate
culture that learned to take risks in unstable markets. The Torre
Spanish companies invested in fields like renewable energy
Iberdrola was the world's largest renewable energy
operator ), technology companies like
Mondragon Corporation ,
Hisdesat , Indra , train
manufacturers like CAF ,
Talgo , global corporations such as the
Inditex , petroleum companies like
infrastructure, with six of the ten biggest international construction
firms specialising in transport being Spanish, like
Acciona , ACS , OHL and FCC .
In 2005 the
Economist Intelligence Unit 's quality of life survey
Spain among the top 10 in the world. In 2013 the same survey
(now called the "Where-to-be-born index"), ranked
Spain 28th in the
In 2010, the Basque city of
Bilbao was awarded with the Lee Kuan Yew
World City Prize , and its mayor at the time,
Iñaki Azkuna , was
World Mayor Prize in 2012. The Basque capital city of
Vitoria-Gasteiz received the
European Green Capital Award in 2012.
Agriculture in Spain
Crop areas were farmed in two highly diverse manners. Areas relying
on non-irrigated cultivation (secano), which made up 85% of the entire
crop area, depended solely on rainfall as a source of water. They
included the humid regions of the north and the northwest, as well as
vast arid zones that had not been irrigated. The much more productive
regions devoted to irrigated cultivation (regadío) accounted for 3
million hectares in 1986, and the government hoped that this area
would eventually double, as it already had doubled since 1950.
Particularly noteworthy was the development in
Almería —one of the
most arid and desolate provinces of Spain—of winter crops of various
fruits and vegetables for export to Europe. A vineyard of Rioja
Though only about 17% of Spain's cultivated land was irrigated, it
was estimated to be the source of between 40–45% of the gross value
of crop production and of 50% of the value of agricultural exports.
More than half of the irrigated area was planted in corn , fruit trees
, and vegetables. Other agricultural products that benefited from
irrigation included grapes, cotton, sugar beets , potatoes, legumes ,
olive trees , mangos, strawberries , tomatoes, and fodder grasses.
Depending on the nature of the crop, it was possible to harvest two
successive crops in the same year on about 10% of the country's
Citrus fruits , vegetables, cereal grains , olive oil , and
wine—Spain's traditional agricultural products—continued to be
important in the 1980s. In 1983 they represented 12%, 12%, 8%, 6%, and
4%, respectively, of the country's agricultural production. Because of
the changed diet of an increasingly affluent population, there was a
notable increase in the consumption of livestock, poultry, and dairy
products . Meat production for domestic consumption became the single
most important agricultural activity, accounting for 30% of all
farm-related production in 1983. Increased attention to livestock was
the reason that
Spain became a net importer of grains. Ideal growing
conditions, combined with proximity to important north European
markets, made citrus fruits Spain's leading export. Fresh vegetables
and fruits produced through intensive irrigation farming also became
important export commodities, as did sunflower seed oil that was
produced to compete with the more expensive olive oils in oversupply
Mediterranean countries of the European Community .
Tourism in Spain
Benidorm , one of Europe's
largest coastal tourist destinations Frías is a main rural
destination, next to Las Loras geopark , Hoces del
Ebro natural park
Poza de la Sal , place of birth of environamentalist Félix
Rodríguez de la Fuente .
The climate of Spain, its geographic location, popular coastlines,
diverse landscapes, historical legacy, vibrant culture and excellent
infrastructure, has made Spain's international tourist industry among
the largest in the world. In the last five decades, international
Spain has grown to become the second largest in the world
in terms of spending, worth approximately 40 billion Euros or about 5%
of GDP in 2006.
Castile and Leon is the Spanish leadrer in rural tourism linked to
its environamental and architectonical heritage.
Energy in Spain
Spain is one of the world's leading countries in the development and
production of renewable energy. In 2010
Spain became the solar power
world leader when it overtook the
United States with a massive power
station plant called La Florida , near Alvarado,
also Europe's main producer of wind energy. In 2010 its wind turbines
generated 42,976 GWh, which accounted for 16.4% of all electrical
energy produced in Spain. On 9 November 2010, wind energy reached
an instantaneous historic peak covering 53% of mainland electricity
demand and generating an amount of energy that is equivalent to that
of 14 nuclear reactors . Other renewable energies used in
hydroelectric , biomass and marine (2 power plants under
Non-renewable energy sources used in
Spain are nuclear (8 operative
reactors), gas , coal , and oil . Fossil fuels together generated 58%
of Spain's electricity in 2009, just below the
OECD mean of 61%.
Nuclear power generated another 19%, and wind and hydro about 12%
Transport in Spain A
RENFE Class 730 train on the
Viaducto Martin Gil near Zamora
The Spanish road system is mainly centralised, with six highways
Madrid to the Basque
Country , Catalonia,
Valencia , West
Extremadura and Galicia . Additionally, there are highways
along the Atlantic (Ferrol to
Vigo ), Cantabrian (
Oviedo to San
Sebastián ) and
Cádiz ) coasts.
to put one million electric cars on the road by 2014 as part of the
government's plan to save energy and boost energy efficiency . The
former Minister of Industry Miguel Sebastián said that "the electric
vehicle is the future and the engine of an industrial revolution."
Spain has the most extensive high-speed rail network in Europe, and
the second-most extensive in the world after China. As of October
Spain has a total of 3,500 km (2,174.80 mi) of high-speed tracks
Seville , Madrid,
Valladolid , with the trains reaching speeds up to 300 km/h (190 mph).
On average, the Spanish high-speed train is the fastest one in the
world, followed by the Japanese bullet train and the French
Regarding punctuality, it is second in the world (98.54% on-time
arrival) after the Japanese
Shinkansen (99%). Should the aims of the
AVE programme (Spanish high speed trains) be met, by 2020
Spain will have 7,000 km (4,300 mi) of high-speed trains linking
almost all provincial cities to
Madrid in less than three hours and
Barcelona within four hours.
There are 47 public airports in Spain. The busiest one is the airport
Madrid (Barajas), with 50 million passengers in 2011, being the
world\'s 15th busiest airport , as well as the European Union's fourth
busiest. The airport of
Barcelona (El Prat) is also important, with 35
million passengers in 2011, being the world's 31st-busiest airport.
Other main airports are located in
Majorca (23 million passengers),
Málaga (13 million passengers),
Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) (11 million
Alicante (10 million passengers) and smaller, with the
number of passengers between 4 and 10 million, for example Tenerife
Fuerteventura . Also, more than 30 airports with the number of
passengers below 4 million.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Science and technology in Spain
Science and technology in Spain Roque de los
Muchachos Observatory ,
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
In the 19th and 20th centuries science in
Spain was held back by
severe political instability and consequent economic underdevelopment.
Despite the conditions, some important scientists and engineers
emerged. The most notable were
Miguel Servet , Santiago Ramón y Cajal
Narcís Monturiol ,
Celedonio Calatayud ,
Juan de la Cierva ,
Leonardo Torres y Quevedo ,
Margarita Salas and
Severo Ochoa .
Since 2006 the
Mobile World Congress has taken place in
WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION
Water supply and sanitation in Spain
Water supply and sanitation in Spain is characterised by universal
access and generally good service quality, while tariffs are among the
lowest in the EU. Almost half of the population is served by private
or mixed private-public water companies, which operate under
concession contracts with municipalities. The largest of the private
water companies, with a market share of about 50% of the private
concessions, is Aguas de
Agbar ). However, the large cities
are all served by public companies except
Barcelona and Valencia. The
largest public company is
Canal de Isabel II , which serves the
metropolitan area of Madrid.
Droughts affect water supply in Southern Spain, which increasingly is
turning towards seawater desalination to meet its water needs.
Demographics of Spain See also: List of Spanish
autonomous communities by population
In 2008 the population of
Spain officially reached 46 million people,
as recorded by the Padrón municipal (Spain's Municipal Register).
Spain's population density, at 91/km² (235/sq mi), is lower than that
of most Western European countries and its distribution across the
country is very unequal. With the exception of the region surrounding
Madrid , the most populated areas lie around the coast.
The population of
Spain more than doubled since 1900, when it stood at
18.6 million, principally due to the spectacular demographic boom in
the 1960s and early 1970s.
Spaniards make up 88% of the total population of Spain. After
the birth rate plunged in the 1980s and Spain's population growth rate
dropped, the population again trended upward, based initially on the
return of many
Spaniards who had emigrated to other European countries
during the 1970s, and more recently, fuelled by large numbers of
immigrants who make up 12% of the population. The immigrants originate
mainly in Latin America (39%), North Africa (16%), Eastern Europe
Sub-Saharan Africa (4%). In 2005,
Spain instituted a
three-month amnesty programme through which certain hitherto
undocumented aliens were granted legal residency.
Spain granted citizenship to 84,170 persons, mostly to
people from Ecuador, Colombia and Morocco. A sizeable portion of
foreign residents in
Spain also comes from other Western and Central
European countries. These are mostly British, French, German, Dutch,
and Norwegian. They reside primarily on the
Mediterranean coast and
the Balearic islands, where many choose to live their retirement or
Substantial populations descended from Spanish colonists and
immigrants exist in other parts of the world, most notably in Latin
America. Beginning in the late 15th century, large numbers of Iberian
colonists settled in what became Latin America and at present most
white Latin Americans (who make up about one-third of Latin America's
population) are of Spanish or Portuguese origin. Around 240,000
Spaniards emigrated in the 16th century, mostly to
Another 450,000 left in the 17th century. Between 1846 and 1932 it is
estimated that nearly 5 million
Spaniards emigrated to the Americas,
Brazil . Approximately two million
Spaniards migrated to other Western European countries between 1960
and 1975. During the same period perhaps 300,000 went to Latin
Largest cities or towns in Spain
Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE)
Castile and León
Castile and León
Metropolitan areas Main article: List of metropolitan areas in
Spain Geographical distribution of the Spanish population in
2008 The urban transformation of
Bilbao has been hailed as an
example of "smart city ".
Source: "Áreas urbanas +50", Ministry of Public Works and Transport
e • d
5.4 – 6.5 m
4.2 – 5.1 m
1.5 – 2.3 m
1.2 – 1.3 m
Spanish people and National and regional identity in
Spanish Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978 , in its second article, recognises
several contemporary entities —nationalities — and regions,
within the context of the Spanish nation.
Spain is de facto a plurinational state . The idendity of Spain
rather accrues of an overlap of different territorial and
ethnolinguistic identities than of a sole Spanish identity. In some
cases some of the territorial identities may conflict with the
dominant Spanish culture. Distinct traditional identities within Spain
Basques , Catalans , Galicians ,
Valencians , although to some extent all of the 17 autonomous
communities may claim a distinct local identity.
It is this last feature of "shared identity" between the more local
level or autonomous community and the Spanish level which makes the
identity question in
Spain complex and far from univocal.
Melilla are spanish cities in north Africa with
an important minority of berbers A 'carpet' page from The
Burgos Bible (also called 'Damascus Keter'), 1260. National Library of
Spain has a number of descendants of populations from former
colonies, especially Latin America and North Africa. Smaller numbers
of immigrants from several
Sub-Saharan countries have recently been
settling in Spain. There are also sizeable numbers of Asian
immigrants, most of whom are of Middle Eastern,
South Asian and
Chinese origin. The single largest group of immigrants are European;
represented by large numbers of Romanians, Britons,
Germans , French
The arrival of the gitanos , a
Romani people , began in the 16th
century; estimates of the Spanish Roma population range from 750,000
to over one million. There are also the mercheros (also
quinquis), a formerly nomadic minority group. Their origin is unclear.
Jews and Moriscos are the main minority groups
Spain and with a contribution to Spanish culture. The
Spanish government is offering Spanish nationality to Sephardi Jews.
Immigration to Spain Percentage distribution of
foreign population in
Spain in 2005
According to the Spanish government there were 5.7 million foreign
Spain in 2011, or 12% of the total population. According
to residence permit data for 2011, more than 860,000 were Romanian,
about 770,000 were Moroccan , approximately 390,000 were British, and
360,000 were Ecuadorian . Other sizeable foreign communities are
Colombian, Bolivian, German, Italian, Bulgarian , and Chinese. There
are more than 200,000 migrants from
Sub-Saharan Africa living in
Spain, principally Senegaleses and Nigerians . Since 2000,
experienced high population growth as a result of immigration flows,
despite a birth rate that is only half the replacement level. This
sudden and ongoing inflow of immigrants, particularly those arriving
illegally by sea, has caused noticeable social tension.
Within the EU,
Spain had the 2nd highest immigration rate in
percentage terms after
Cyprus , but by a great margin, the highest in
absolute numbers, up to 2008. The number of immigrants in
grown up from 500,000 people in 1996 to 5.2 million in 2008 out of a
total population of 46 million. In 2005 alone, a regularisation
programme increased the legal immigrant population by 700,000 people.
There are a number of reasons for the high level of immigration,
including Spain's cultural ties with Latin America, its geographical
position, the porosity of its borders, the large size of its
underground economy and the strength of the agricultural and
construction sectors, which demand more low cost labour than can be
offered by the national workforce.
Another statistically significant factor is the large number of
residents of EU origin typically retiring to Spain's Mediterranean
coast. In fact,
Spain was Europe's largest absorber of migrants from
2002 to 2007, with its immigrant population more than doubling as 2.5
million people arrived. In 2008, prior to the onset of the economic
crisis, the Financial Times reported that
Spain was the most favoured
destination for Western Europeans considering a move from their own
country and seeking jobs elsewhere in the EU.
In 2008, the government instituted a "Plan of Voluntary Return" which
encouraged unemployed immigrants from outside the EU to return to
their home countries and receive several incentives, including the
right to keep their unemployment benefits and transfer whatever they
contributed to the Spanish Social Security. The programme had little
effect; during its first two months, just 1,400 immigrants took up the
offer. What the programme failed to do, the sharp and prolonged
economic crisis has done from 2010 to 2011 in that tens of thousands
of immigrants have left the country due to lack of jobs. In 2011
alone, more than half a million people left Spain. For the first time
in decades the net migration rate was expected to be negative, and
nine out of 10 emigrants were foreigners.
Languages of Spain
Languages of Spain The languages of Spain
Spain is legally multilingual, and the constitution establishes that
the nation will protect "all
Spaniards and the peoples of
Spain in the
exercise of human rights, their cultures and traditions, languages and
Spanish (español)— recognised in the constitution as Castilian
(castellano)—is the official language of the entire country, and it
is the right and duty of every Spaniard to know the language. The
constitution also establishes that "all other Spanish
languages"—that is, all other languages of Spain—will also be
official in their respective autonomous communities in accordance to
their Statutes , their organic regional legislations, and that the
"richness of the distinct linguistic modalities of
Spain represents a
patrimony which will be the object of special respect and protection."
The other official languages of Spain, co-official with Spanish are:
* Basque (euskara) in the Basque
* Catalan (català) in
Catalonia , the
Balearic Islands and in the
Valencian Community , where its distinct modality of the language is
officially known as Valencian (valencià); and
* Galician (galego) in Galicia
As a percentage of the general population, Basque is spoken by 2%,
Catalan by 19% or Valencian as it is called in the Communidad
Valenciana – (understood by 23%, as mother tongue by 9% and as
habitual/preferred by 13%), and Galician by 5% of all Spaniards.
In the riojan monastery of San Millán de Suso there were found the
first written records of both basque and Spanish languages (Glosas
Catalonia , Aranese (aranés), a local variety of the Occitan
language , has been declared co-official along with Catalan and
Spanish since 2006. Occitan itself is spoken only in the comarca of
Val d\'Aran by roughly 6,700 people. Other Romance minority languages
, though not official, have special recognition, such as the
Astur-Leonese group (Asturian – asturianu, also called bable – in
Asturias and Leonese – llionés – in
Castile and León
Castile and León ) and
Aragonese (aragonés) in
In the North African Spanish autonomous city of
Melilla , Riff Berber
is spoken by a significant part of the population. In the tourist
areas of the
Mediterranean coast and the islands, English and German
are widely spoken by tourists, foreign residents, and tourism workers.
Education in Spain
Concepción Arenal , krausist
and pioneer of the
Asociación para la Enseñanza de la Mujer
State education in
Spain is free and compulsory from the age of six
to sixteen. The current education system is regulated by the 2006
educational law, LOE (Ley Orgánica de Educación), or Fundamental Law
for the Education. In 2014, the LOE was partially modified by the
newer and controversial LOMCE law (Ley Orgánica para la Mejora de la
Calidad Educativa), or Fundamental Law for the Improvement of the
Education System, commonly called Ley Wert (Wert Law). Since 1970 to
Spain has had seven different educational laws (LGE, LOECE,
LODE, LOGSE, LOPEG, LOE and LOMCE).
Institución Libre de Enseñanza was an educational project that
Spain for the half a century of about 1876–1936 by
Francisco Giner de los Ríos
Francisco Giner de los Ríos and
Gumersindo de Azcárate . The
institute was inspired by the philosophy of
Krausism . Concepción
Arenal in feminism and
Santiago Ramón y Cajal
Santiago Ramón y Cajal in neuroscience were in
Health care in Spain and
Abortion in Spain
The health care system of
Spanish National Health System ) is
considered one of the best in the world, in 7th position in the
ranking elaborated by the
World Health Organization
World Health Organization . The health care
is public, universal and free for any legal citizen of Spain. The
total health spending is 9.4% of the GDP, slightly above the average
of 9.3% of the
Religion in Spain See also:
Christianity in Spain ,
Judaism in Spain ,
Hinduism in Spain
Hinduism in Spain , and Bahá\'í
Zugarramurdi ´s cave, 2009.
RELIGIONS IN SPAIN
Numbers from the following source:
Catholicism has long been the main religion of Spain, and
although it no longer has official status by law, in all public
Spain students have to choose either a religion or ethics
Catholicism is the religion most commonly taught, although the
teaching of Islam, Judaism, and evangelical Christianity is also
recognised in law. According to a June 2016 study by the Spanish
Centre for Sociological Research about 70% of
as Catholics, 2% other faith, and about 25% identify with no religion
Spaniards do not participate regularly in religious services.
This same study shows that of the
Spaniards who identify themselves as
religious, 59% hardly ever or never go to church, 16% go to church
some times a year, 9% some time per month and 15% every Sunday or
multiple times per week. Recent polls and surveys have revealed that
atheists and agnostics comprise anywhere from 20% to 27% of the
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral , A
Altogether, about 9% of the entire Spanish population attends
religious services at least once per month. Though Spanish society
has become considerably more secular in recent decades, the influx of
Latin American immigrants, who tend to be strong Catholic
practitioners, has helped the Catholic Church to recover.
There have been four Spanish Popes. Damasus I , Calixtus III ,
Alexander VI and Benedict XIII . Spanish mysticism was an important
intellectual fight against Protestantism with
Teresa of Ávila
Teresa of Ávila , a
reformist nun, ahead. The
Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus was founded by Ignatius of
Francisco Javier . In the 1960s, Jesuits
Pedro Arrupe and
Ignacio Ellacuría were inside the movement of
Liberation Theology .
Protestant churches have about 1,200,000 members. There are about
105,000 Jehovah\'s Witnesses . The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints has approximately 46,000 adherents in 133
congregations in all regions of the country and has a temple in the
Moratalaz District of Madrid.
Ignatius of Loyola ,
Teresa de Jesús , and
Francisco Javier were prominent figures of the
A study made by the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain
demonstrated that there were about 1,700,000 inhabitants of Muslim
background living in
Spain as of 2012 , accounting for 3–4% of the
total population of Spain. The vast majority was composed of
immigrants and descendants originating from
Morocco and other African
countries. More than 514,000 (30%) of them had Spanish nationality.
The recent waves of immigration have also led to an increasing number
Muslims . After the
Muslims did not live in
Spain for centuries. Late 19th-century
colonial expansion in northwestern Africa gave a number of residents
Western Sahara full citizenship. Their ranks
have since been bolstered by recent immigration, especially from
Morocco and Algeria.
Judaism was practically non-existent in
Spain from the 1492 expulsion
until the 19th century, when
Jews were again permitted to enter the
country. Currently there are around 62,000
Jews in Spain, or 0.14% of
the total population. Most are arrivals in the past century, while
some are descendants of earlier Spanish Jews. Approximately 80,000
Jews are thought to have lived in
Spain prior to its expulsion.
However the Jewish Encyclopedia states the number over 800,000 to be
too large and 235,000 as too small: 165,000 is given as expelled as
possibly too small in favor or 200,000, and the numbers of converts
after the 1391 pograms as less. Other sources suggest 200,000 converts
mostly after the pogroms of 1391 and upwards of 100,000 expelled.
Culture of Spain
Culture of Spain
Spain is a Western country . Almost every aspect of
Spanish life is permeated by its Roman heritage, making
Spain one of
the major Latin countries of Europe. Spanish culture is marked by
strong historic ties to Catholicism, which played a pivotal role in
the country's formation and subsequent identity. Spanish art,
architecture, cuisine, and music has been shaped by successive waves
of foreign invaders, as well as by the country's
and geography. The centuries-long colonial era globalised Spanish
language and culture, with
Spain also absorbing the cultural and
commercial products of its diverse empire.
WORLD HERITAGE SITES
World Heritage Sites in Spain See also: Castles in
Cathedrals in Spain The pre-
Romanesque architecture of
Santa María del Naranco in Oviedo.
Alcázar of Segovia
Llotja de la Seda
Llotja de la Seda in
Hanging Houses of Cuenca at the
Museo de Arte Abstracto Español
Sagrada Família in
Italy (53) and China (52),
Spain is the third country in the
world with the most World Heritage Sites . At the present time it has
46 recognised sites, including the landscape of
Monte Perdido in the
Pyrenees , which is shared with France, the Prehistoric Rock Art Sites
Côa Valley and
Siega Verde , which is shared with Portugal
(the Portuguese part being in the Côa Valley, Guarda ), the Heritage
of Mercury , shared with
Slovenia and Ancient and Primeval Beech
Forests , shared with other countries of Europe. In addition, Spain
has also 14
Intangible cultural heritage
Intangible cultural heritage , or "Human treasures", Spain
ranks first in
Europe according to UNESCO\'s Intangible Cultural
Heritage List , tied with
* 1984 –
Albayzín (Granada, Andalusia).
* 1984 –
Burgos Cathedral (Burgos, Castile-León).
* 1984 –
Historic centre of Córdoba (Córdoba, Andalusia).
* 1984 – Monastery and Royal Site of
El Escorial (Madrid).
* 1984 – Works of Antoni
Gaudí (Barcelona, Catalonia).
* 1985 – Cave of Altamira and Palaeolithic Cave Art of Northern
Spain (Asturias, Basque
* 1985 – Monuments of
Oviedo and the Kingdom of Asturias
* 1985 – Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches (Ávila,
* 1985 – Old Town of
Segovia and its Aqueduct (Segovia,
* 1985 –
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela (Old Town) (A Coruña, Galicia).
* 1986 –
Garajonay National Park (La Gomera, Santa Cruz de
Tenerife, Canary Islands).
* 1986 – Historic City of Toledo (Toledo, Castile-La Mancha).
* 1986 –
Mudéjar Architecture of
Aragon (Provinces of Teruel and
Zaragoza in Aragon).
* 1986 – Old Town of Cáceres (Cáceres, Extremadura).
* 1987 – Cathedral , Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville
* 1988 – Old City of
Salamanca (Salamanca, Castile-León).
* 1991 –
Poblet Monastery (Tarragona, Catalonia).
* 1993 –
Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida (Badajoz,
* 1993 – Route of
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela (Provinces of Burgos,
León and Palencia in Castile-León, Provinces of
A Coruña and Lugo
in Galicia, La Rioja, Navarre, and the Province of Huesca in Aragon).
* 1993 – Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe (Cáceres,
* 1994 –
Doñana National Park (Provinces of Cádiz, Huelva and
Seville in Andalusia).
* 1996 – Historic Walled Town of Cuenca (Cuenca, Castile-La
* 1996 – Silk Exchange of
* 1997 –
Las Médulas (León, Castile-León).
* 1997 –
Palau de la Música Catalana and
Hospital de Sant Pau in
Barcelona (Barcelona, Catalonia).
* 1997 – Pirineos –
Monte Perdido (Huesca,
Aragon – Spanish
part / Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine – French part). (Shared with
* 1997 – San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries (La Rioja).
* 1998 (2010) – Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley
(Guarda, Norte Region – Portuguese part) and
Siega Verde (Salamanca,
Castile-León – Spanish part). (Shared with Portugal).
* 1998 –
Rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin on the
Iberian Peninsula (Andalusia, Aragon, Castile-La Mancha, Catalonia,
* 1998 – University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares
* 1999 – Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture (Ibiza, Balearic
* 1999 –
San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Tenerife, Santa Cruz de
Tenerife, Canary Islands).
* 2000 – Archaeological Ensemble of
* 2000 –
Archaeological Site of Atapuerca
Archaeological Site of Atapuerca (Burgos, Castile-León).
* 2000 –
Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí
Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí (Lleida,
* 2000 – Palmeral of
Elche (Alicante, Valencia).
* 2000 –
Roman Walls of Lugo (Lugo, Galicia).
* 2001 –
Aranjuez Cultural Landscape (Madrid).
* 2003 –
Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of
Úbeda and Baeza
* 2006 –
Vizcaya Bridge (Biscay, Basque Country).
* 2007 –
Teide National Park (Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife,
* 2009 –
Tower of Hercules (A Coruña, Galicia).
* 2011 – Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana (Majorca,
* 2012 – Heritage of Mercury .
Almadén (Ciudad Real, Castile-La
Mancha – Spanish part) and
Idrija (Slovene Littoral – Slovenian
part). (Shared with Slovenia).
* 2016 –
Antequera Dolmens Site (Antequera, Andalusia).
* 2017 – Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests (6 sites in: Navarre,
Castile-La Mancha, Community of
Madrid and Castile and León) (also
shared with other countries of Europe).
Spanish literature ,
Royal Spanish Academy , and
Instituto Cervantes See also:
Basque literature , Catalan literature
Galician literature , and
Latin American literature
Latin American literature Corral de
comedias de Almagro ,
Spanish Golden Age
Spanish Golden Age theatre with
Lope de Vega
Lope de Vega and
Calderon de la Barca
The earliest recorded examples of vernacular Romance-based literature
date from the same time and location, the rich mix of Muslim, Jewish,
and Christian cultures in
Muslim Spain, in which Maimonides, Averroes,
and others worked, the Kharjas (Jarchas). Bronze statues of Don
Sancho Panza in the Plaza de España in
Reconquista , the epic poem
Cantar de Mio Cid
Cantar de Mio Cid was written
about a real man—his battles, conquests, and daily life.
Other major plays from the medieval times were
Mester de Juglaría ,
Mester de Clerecía ,
Coplas por la muerte de su padre or El Libro de
buen amor (The
Book of Good Love).
Renaissance the major plays are
La Celestina and El
Lazarillo de Tormes , while many religious literature was created with
Luis de León ,
San Juan de la Cruz , Santa Teresa de Jesús
Baroque is the most important period for Spanish culture. We are
in the times of the
Spanish Empire . The famous Don Quijote de La
Miguel de Cervantes was written in this time. Other writers
from the period are:
Francisco de Quevedo ,
Lope de Vega
Lope de Vega , Calderón
de la Barca or
Tirso de Molina .
During the Enlightenment we find names such as Leandro Fernández de
Benito Jerónimo Feijóo ,
Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos or
Leandro Fernández de Moratín .
Tirant lo Blanch
Tirant lo Blanch final page
José Zorrilla created one of the most
emblematic figures in European literature in
Don Juan Tenorio . Other
writers from this period are
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer , José de
Rosalía de Castro or
Mariano José de Larra
Mariano José de Larra .
In Realism we find names such as
Benito Pérez Galdós
Benito Pérez Galdós , Emilia Pardo
Leopoldo Alas (Clarín),
Concepción Arenal , Vicente Blasco
Menéndez Pelayo . Realism offered depictions of
contemporary life and society 'as they were'. In the spirit of general
"Realism", Realist authors opted for depictions of everyday and banal
activities and experiences, instead of romanticised or stylised
The group that has become known as the
Generation of 1898 was marked
by the destruction of Spain's fleet in
Cuba by US gunboats in 1898,
which provoked a cultural crisis in Spain. The "Disaster" of 1898 led
established writers to seek practical political, economic, and social
solutions in essays grouped under the literary heading of
Regeneracionismo. For a group of younger writers, among them Miguel de
Pío Baroja , and
José Martínez Ruiz (Azorín), the
Disaster and its cultural repercussions inspired a deeper, more
radical literary shift that affected both form and content. These
writers, along with
Ramón del Valle-Inclán ,
Antonio Machado ,
Ramiro de Maeztu , and Ángel Ganivet, came to be known as the
Generation of '98.
Ramón del Valle-Inclán , Benito
Pérez Galdós and
Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca
The Generation of 1914 or Novecentismo. The next supposed
"generation" of Spanish writers following those of '98 already calls
into question the value of such terminology. By the year 1914—the
year of the outbreak of the First World War and of the publication of
the first major work of the generation's leading voice, José Ortega y
Gasset —a number of slightly younger writers had established their
own place within the Spanish cultural field.
Leading voices include the poet
Juan Ramón Jiménez
Juan Ramón Jiménez , the academics
Ramón Menéndez Pidal ,
Gregorio Marañón , Manuel
Maria Zambrano , Eugeni d\'Ors ,
Clara Campoamor and Ortega y
Gasset, and the novelists Gabriel Miró,
Ramón Pérez de Ayala , and
Ramón Gómez de la Serna . While still driven by the national and
existential questions that obsessed the writers of '98, they
approached these topics with a greater sense of distance and
Salvador de Madariaga , another prominent intellectual
and writer, was one of the founders of the College of
Europe and the
composer of the constitutive manifest of the
Liberal International .
The Generation of 1927, where poets Pedro Salinas,
Jorge Guillén ,
Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca ,
Vicente Aleixandre ,
Dámaso Alonso . All
were scholars of their national literary heritage, again evidence of
the impact of the calls of regeneracionistas and the Generation of
1898 for Spanish intelligence to turn at least partially inwards.
Miguel Delibes describes the situation of rural
Spain after the Rural
flight in the 1950s.
The two main writers in the second half of the 20th century were the
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature laureate
Camilo José Cela and Miguel
Delibes from Generation of \'36 .
Spain is one of the countries with
the most number of laureates with the
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature , and
with Latin American laureates they made the Spanish language
literature one of the most laureates of all. The Spanish writers are:
José Echegaray ,
Jacinto Benavente ,
Juan Ramón Jiménez
Juan Ramón Jiménez , Vicente
Camilo José Cela . The Portuguese writer José
Saramago , also awarded with the prize, lived for many years in Spain
and spoke both Portuguese and Spanish. Saramago was also well known by
his Iberist ideas.
The Generation of \'50 are also known as the children of the civil
Rosa Chacel ,
Gloria Fuertes ,
Jaime Gil de Biedma , Juan
Carmen Martín Gaite ,
Ana María Matute ,
Juan Marsé ,
Blas de Otero ,
Gabriel Celaya ,
Antonio Gamoneda , Rafael Sánchez
Ignacio Aldecoa .
Premio Planeta de Novela and
Miguel de Cervantes Prize are the two
main awards nowadays in Spanish literature.
Las Meninas ,
Diego Velázquez ; Les Demoiselles
Pablo Picasso and
The Persistence of Memory
The Persistence of Memory , Salvador
Dalí Main article:
Spain have been highly influential in the development of
various European and American artistic movements . Due to historical,
geographical and generational diversity,
Spanish art has known a great
number of influences. The
Mediterranean heritage with Greco-Roman and
Moorish and influences in Spain, especially in
Andalusia is still
evident today. European influences include Italy,
Germany and France,
especially during the
Baroque and Neoclassical
periods. There are many other autochthonous styles such as the
Pre-Romanesque art and architecture ,
Herrerian architecture or the
Isabelline Gothic .
Golden Age we find painters such as
El Greco , José de
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and
Francisco Zurbarán . Also
Diego Velázquez created some of the most famous
Spanish portraits, like
Las Meninas or Las Hilanderas .
Francisco Goya painted during a historical period that includes the
Spanish Independence War , the fights between liberals and
absolutists, and the raise of contemporary state-nations.
Joaquín Sorolla is a well-known impressionist painter and there are
many important Spanish painters belonging to the modernism art
Pablo Picasso ,
Salvador Dalí ,
Juan Gris and
Joan Miró .
The Comb of the Wind of
Eduardo Chillida in
The Plateresque style extended from beginnings of the 16th century
until the last third of the century and its stylistic influence
pervaded the works of all great Spanish artists of the time. Alonso
Valladolid School) is called the "Prince of Spanish
sculpture". His main works were the upper stalls of the choir of the
Cathedral of Toledo , the tomb of Cardinal Tavera in the same
Cathedral, and the altarpiece of the Visitation in the church of Santa
Úrsula in the same locality. Other notable sculptors were Bartolomé
Diego de Siloé ,
Juan de Juni
Juan de Juni and Damián Forment .
There were two Schools of special flair and talent: the Seville
School , to which
Juan Martínez Montañés belonged, whose most
celebrated works are the Crucifix in the Cathedral of Seville, another
in Vergara, and a Saint John; and the
Granada School , to which Alonso
Cano belonged, to whom an Immaculate Conception and a Virgin of
Rosary, are attributed.
Other notable Andalusian
Baroque sculptors were
Pedro de Mena , Pedro
Roldán and his daughter
Luisa Roldán ,
Juan de Mesa and Pedro Duque
Cornejo . In the 20th century the most important Spanish sculptors
were Julio González ,
Pablo Gargallo ,
Eduardo Chillida and Pablo
Cinema of Spain
Cinema of Spain
Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope
Oviedo (Princess of
Asturias Awards )
Spanish cinema has achieved major international success including
Oscars for recent films such as Pan\'s Labyrinth and
Volver . In the
long history of Spanish cinema, the great filmmaker
Luis Buñuel was
the first to achieve world recognition, followed by Pedro Almodóvar
in the 1980s (
La Movida Madrileña ).
Mario Camus and Pilar Miró
worked together in
Curro Jiménez .
Spanish cinema has also seen international success over the years
with films by directors like
Segundo de Chomón ,
Florián Rey , Luis
García Berlanga ,
Carlos Saura ,
Julio Medem ,
Isabel Coixet ,
Alejandro Amenábar ,
Icíar Bollaín and brothers
David Trueba and
Fernando Trueba .
Sara Montiel and
Penélope Cruz or actor Antonio Banderas
are among those who have become Hollywood stars.
International Film Festivals of
Valladolid and San Sebastian are the
oldest and more relevant in Spain.
Spanish architecture Historic old town of
Cáceres The modern Hemispheric at the Ciutat de les Arts i les
Due to its historical and geographical diversity, Spanish
architecture has drawn from a host of influences. An important
provincial city founded by the Romans and with an extensive Roman era
infrastructure, Córdoba became the cultural capital, including fine
Arabic style architecture, during the time of the Islamic Umayyad
dynasty . Later Arab style architecture continued to be developed
under successive Islamic dynasties, ending with the Nasrid , which
built its famed palace complex in
Simultaneously, the Christian kingdoms gradually emerged and
developed their own styles; developing a pre-Romanesque style when for
a while isolated from contemporary mainstream European architectural
influences during the earlier Middle Ages, they later integrated the
Romanesque and Gothic streams. There was then an extraordinary
flowering of the Gothic style that resulted in numerous instances
being built throughout the entire territory. The
Mudéjar style, from
the 12th to 17th centuries, was developed by introducing Arab style
motifs, patterns and elements into European architecture.
The arrival of
Modernism in the academic arena produced much of the
architecture of the 20th century. An influential style centred in
Barcelona , known as modernisme , produced a number of important
architects, of which
Gaudí is one. The International style was led by
Spain is currently experiencing a revolution in
contemporary architecture and Spanish architects like
Rafael Moneo ,
Santiago Calatrava ,
Ricardo Bofill as well as many others have gained
MUSIC AND DANCE
Music of Spain
Flamenco is an Andalusian artistic
form that evolved from the
Spanish music is often considered abroad to be synonymous with
flamenco , a West Andalusian musical genre, which, contrary to popular
belief, is not widespread outside that region. Various regional styles
of folk music abound in Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Castile, the
Basque Country, Galicia,
Cantabria and Asturias. Pop, rock, hip hop
and heavy metal are also popular.
In the field of classical music,
Spain has produced a number of noted
composers such as
Isaac Albéniz ,
Manuel de Falla
Manuel de Falla and Enrique
Granados and singers and performers such as
Plácido Domingo , José
Montserrat Caballé ,
Alicia de Larrocha
Alicia de Larrocha ,
Alfredo Kraus ,
Pablo Casals ,
Ricardo Viñes ,
José Iturbi ,
Pablo de Sarasate ,
Jordi Savall and
Teresa Berganza . In
Spain there are over forty
professional orchestras, including the Orquestra Simfònica de
Orquesta Nacional de España and the Orquesta Sinfónica
Madrid . Major opera houses include the
Teatro Real , the Gran
Teatre del Liceu ,
Teatro Arriaga and the El Palau de les Arts Reina
Thousands of music fans also travel to
Spain each year for
internationally recognised summer music festivals
Sónar which often
features the top up and coming pop and techno acts, and Benicàssim
which tends to feature alternative rock and dance acts. Both
Spain as an international music presence and reflect
the tastes of young people in the country.
Vitoria-Gasteiz jazz festival is one of the main ones on its genre.
The most popular traditional musical instrument , the guitar,
originated in Spain. Typical of the north are the traditional bag
pipers or gaiteros , mainly in
Asturias and Galicia. Zara store
in Palma de Mallorca.
Madrid Fashion Week is one of the most important fashion
weeks in Europe.
Zara is one of the biggest prêt-a-porter fashion companies in the
Fashion designers as
Cristóbal Balenciaga are between the most
influential during the XX century.
Paella , a traditional Valencian
Spanish cuisine consists of a great variety of dishes which stem from
differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily
influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the
country, and reflects the country's deep
Mediterranean roots. Spain's
extensive history with many cultural influences has led to a unique
cuisine. In particular, three main divisions are easily identified:
Spain – all such coastal regions, from
Andalusia – heavy use of seafood, such as pescaíto frito (fried
fish); several cold soups like gazpacho ; and many rice-based dishes
like paella from
Valencia and arròs negre (black rice) from
Spain – Castile – hot, thick soups such as the bread and
garlic-based Castilian soup, along with substantious stews such as
cocido madrileño . Food is traditionally conserved by salting, like
Spanish ham , or immersed in olive oil , like
Manchego cheese .
Spain – the whole Northern coast, including Asturian ,
Basque , Cantabrian and
Galician cuisine – vegetable and fish-based
stews like caldo gallego and marmitako . Also, the lightly cured
lacón ham. The best known cuisine of the northern countries often
rely on ocean seafood, like the Basque-style cod , albacore or anchovy
or the Galician octopus-based polbo á feira and shellfish dishes.
Sport in Spain
Sport in Spain
1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
While varieties of football had been played in
Spain as far back as
Roman times, sport in
Spain has been dominated by English style
association football since the early 20th century. Real
Barcelona are two of the most successful football clubs in the
world. The country\'s national football team won the UEFA European
Football Championship in 1964, 2008 and 2012 and the
FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup in
2010 , and is the first team to ever win three back-to-back major
Basketball , tennis , cycling, handball , futsal , motorcycling and,
Formula One are also important due to the presence of Spanish
champions in all these disciplines. Today,
Spain is a major world
sports powerhouse, especially since the
1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics that were
Barcelona , which stimulated a great deal of interest in
sports in the country. The tourism industry has led to an improvement
in sports infrastructure, especially for water sports , golf and
Rafael Nadal is the leading Spanish tennis player and has won several
Grand Slam titles including the Wimbledon 2010 men's singles. In north
Spain, the game of pelota is very popular.
Alberto Contador is the
leading Spanish cyclist and has won several Grand Tour titles
including two Tour de
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Public holidays in Spain , Fiestas of International
Tourist Interest of
Spain , and Fiestas of National Tourist Interest
San Fermín festival,
Public holidays celebrated in
Spain include a mix of religious (Roman
Catholic ), national and regional observances. Each municipality is
allowed to declare a maximum of 14 public holidays per year; up to
nine of these are chosen by the national government and at least two
are chosen locally. Spain's National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España
) is 12 October, the anniversary of the
Discovery of America
Discovery of America and
Our Lady of the Pillar feast, patroness of
There are many festivals and festivities in Spain. Some of them are
known worldwide, and every year millions of people from all over the
world go to
Spain to experience one of these festivals. One of the
most famous is
San Fermín , in
Pamplona . While its most famous event
is the encierro, or the running of the bulls , which happens at 8:00
am from 7 to 14 July, the week-long celebration involves many other
traditional and folkloric events. Its events were central to the plot
of The Sun Also Rises, by
Ernest Hemingway , which brought it to the
general attention of English-speaking people. As a result, it has
become one of the most internationally renowned fiestas in Spain, with
over 1,000,000 people attending every year.
Other festivals include the carnivals in the
Canary Islands , the
Valencia or the
Holy Week in
Andalusia and Castile and León
Outline of Spain
Spain – book
* ^ A B The Spanish Constitution does not establish any official
name for Spain, even though the terms España (Spain), Estado español
(Spanish State) and Nación española (Spanish Nation) are used
throughout the document. Nonetheless, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign
Affairs established in an ordinance published in 1984 that the
denominations España (Spain) and Reino de España (Kingdom of Spain)
are equally valid to designate
Spain in international treaties. The
latter term is widely used by the government in national and
international affairs of all kinds, including foreign treaties as well
as national official documents, and is therefore recognised as the
official name by many international organisations.
* ^ A B In Spain, other languages have been officially recognised as
legitimate autochthonous (regional) languages under the European
Charter for Regional or Minority Languages . In each of these, Spain's
official name (Spanish: Reino de España, pronounced: ) is as
* Aragonese : Reino d'Espanya, IPA:
* Asturian : Reinu d'España, IPA:
* Basque : Espainiako Erresuma, IPA:
* Catalan : Regne d'Espanya, IPA:
* Galician : Reino de España, IPA:
* Occitan : Reiaume d'Espanha, IPA:
* ^ The official
Spanish language of the State is established in
the Section 3 of the
Spanish Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978 to be Castilian. In
some autonomous communities , Catalan 20%, Galician 5% and Basque 2%
are co-official languages. Aragonese , Asturian , and Occitan (locally
known as Aranese ) have some degree of official recognition.
European Union (EU) since 1993.
* ^ As of July 2017
population was 46,468,102. In the same month the number of citizens
with Spanish citizenship reached 41,996,253. The number of foreigners
(i.e. immigrants, ex-pats and refugees) permanently living in Spain
was estimated to be at 4,426,811 (9.54%) in 2015.
* ^ The Peseta before 2002.
* ^ The
.eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other
European Union member states. Also, the
.cat domain is used in
Catalan-speaking territories ,
.gal in Galicia and
.eus in the
Basque-speaking area .
* ^ See list of transcontinental countries .
* ^ The latifundia (sing., latifundium), large estates controlled
by the aristocracy, were superimposed on the existing Iberian
* ^ The poets
Lucan were also born in
* ^ The
Berbers soon gave up attempting to settle the harsh lands
in the north of the
Meseta Central (Inner Plateau) handed to them by
the Arab rulers.
* ^ For the related expulsions that followed see
* ^ The term "nationality" was chosen carefully in order to avoid
the more politically charged term "nation", however in recent years it
has been proposed to use this term in the Constitution and officially
Spain as a plurinational state ("nation of nations").
* ^ Acuerdo entre el Reino de de España y Nueva Zelanda Archived
25 November 2014 at the
Wayback Machine ., Acuerdo entre el reino de
España y el reino de Marruecos Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback
Machine .; licenses permissions Archived 15 April 2011 at the Wayback
Machine . Tratado de la Unión Europea Archived 25 November 2014 at
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1560/1997, de 10 de octubre, por el que se regula el Himno Nacional"
Boletín Oficial del Estado núm. 244 (in Spanish). Archived
(PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015.
* ^ "The Spanish Constitution". Lamoncloa.gob.es. Archived from the
original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
* ^ A B C D E Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (Centre for
Sociological Research) (October 2017). "Barómetro de septiembre de
2017" (PDF) (in Spanish). p. 41. Archived (PDF) from the original on
28 September 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
* ^ "Anuario estadístico de España 2008. 1ª parte: entorno
físico y medio ambiente" (PDF). Instituto Nacional de Estadística
(Spain). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015.
Retrieved 14 April 2015.
* ^ "Cifras de Población a 1 de julio de 2016. Estadística de
migraciones. Primer semestre de 2016. Datos Provisionales" (in
Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE). 16 December 2016.
Archived from the original on 28 June 2017.
* ^ A B C D "Spain". International Monetary Fund. Archived from the
original on 8 February 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
* ^ "
Gini coefficient of equivalized disposable income (source:
Eurostat Data Explorer. Archived from the original on 4 March
2016. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
* ^ "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations
Development Programme. 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22
March 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
* ^ A B "Iberia vs Hispania: Origen etimológico". Archived from
the original on 27 December 2016.
* ^ Esparza, José Javier (2007). La gesta española : historia de
España en 48 estampas, para quienes han olvidado cuál era su nación
(1a. ed.). Barcelona: Áltera. ISBN 9788496840140 .
* ^ "La Constitución española de 1978. Título preliminar" (in
Spanish). Página oficial del Congreso de los Diputados. Archived from
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* ^ Whitehouse, Mark (6 November 2010). "Number of the Week: $10.2
Trillion in Global Borrowing".
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal . Archived from
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