Spain

Article

May 28, 2022

The Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España) or Spain (España) is a country in south-western Europe. It shares the Iberian Peninsula with Gibraltar, which belongs to Portugal and Great Britain. To the northeast are France and the small Principality of Andorra, and to the south is the land border with Morocco (see Ceuta and Melilla). The country includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic, the cities of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa, and a few uninhabited islands off the coast of Morocco. The capital of Spain is Madrid. Other major cities include Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Seville, Málaga, Bilbao and Zaragoza. The ancient Romans conquered Spain from Carthage in the Second Punic War, and the Latin used by the Romans is the basis of the Spanish language. Spain was ruled by the Muslim Moors for 300 years between 700 and 1,000. United Spain became a mighty colonial power. In the 18th century it lost control of Abroad in Spain and in the 19th century its colony. The civil war that began in 1936 was followed by Franco’s military dictatorship until 1975. Of the country's approximately 47 million inhabitants, three-quarters speak Spanish as their mother tongue, which is the country's official language. Other regionally official languages ​​include Catalan (or Valencia), Galician, Basque, and Aranese. The Spanish economy is a service-intensive mixed economy. The International Monetary Fund estimates the value of the country’s purchasing power-adjusted GDP in 2022 to be about $ 2.2 trillion.

Geography

Spain is located in the Pyrenees. To the north, the country is bordered by the Pyrenees mountain range, and to the south, the Mediterranean coast is separated from the hinterland by the Sierra Nevada mountains. The capital Madrid is located at an altitude of 650 meters in the central highlands. There are several mountains more than 2,000 meters high, with the highest peaks rising to more than 3,000 meters. There are about 1,800 rivers in Spain, but many of them carry little water and may be dry for part of the year. . In summer, almost everywhere is hot and dry, but in winter there are large temperature differences between different areas. You can go downhill in the mountains, while the coast is much warmer. In the coldest month of the year, January, the average minimum temperature is 7.6 degrees in Coruna and -1.2 degrees in Valladolid. In these forests, part of the forest drops its leaves for the winter, while some keep them all year round. In southern Spain, on the shores of the Mediterranean, Mediterranean forests grow with evergreen oak species and olive trees. Behind the mountains, in central Spain, there are deserts that rarely rain. They only grow rocky plants. The islands near Africa in the Canary Islands have only deserts, but La Palma grows lush subtropical vegetation.

History

Early history and Muslim rule

The oldest signs of modern man in Spain are 35,000 years old. The earliest known inhabitants of Spain were the Iberians, whose language was not Indo-European. In the millennium before the beginning of the era, the Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians set up trade bases in Spain. The Romans captured Spain from Carthage in the Second Punic War in the 200s BC. and in the following century the so-called Celtic wars between the Celtic tribes and the Romans. The Latin used by the Romans is inherited from the Spanish language. During the break-up of Western Rome from the 4th century onwards, Germanic tribes such as the Goths and vandals established kingdoms on Spanish territory. The Visigothic kingdom survived from the 4th century to 711, when Af