Spain

Article

January 20, 2022

Spain (Spanish: España), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España) is a country on the Iberian Peninsula in southern Europe. The country borders Andorra and France to the north, Gibraltar and the Mediterranean to the south, and Portugal to the west. The capital of Spain is Madrid. The highest mountain in Spain is the volcanic Teide (3,717 masl), located on Tenerife. The Spanish kingdom also includes the Balearic archipelago (including Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza (Eivissa) in the Mediterranean) and the Canary Islands (in the Atlantic Ocean). The cities of Ceuta and Melilla are exclaves bordering Morocco. Spain also has sovereignty over the exclave of Llívia, which belongs to Catalonia, but which is surrounded by France, east of Andorra.

Name

Until 1714, "Spain" was only a geographical term for the Iberian Peninsula, including Portugal. In retrospect, it has become common to use the name "Spain" or "the Spanish Empire" about the formations before 1714 that covered the same territory as Spain. In the middle of the 15th century, the Iberian Peninsula was politically divided into the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Navarre, Granada and Portugal. Spain, on the other hand, was not established as a political entity. There was a common coinage system in the Iberian Peninsula, a tax system and a common written language (Castilian was dominant from the late Middle Ages). The Catholic monarchs had original ambitions to unite the entire Iberian Peninsula (Portugal, Castile and Aragon) under one ruler. Catalonia revolted during the War of the Spanish Succession. Philip V conquered Catalonia in 1714, dissolved the crown of Aragon (the federation of Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia) and proclaimed the kingdom of Spain. . When the Roman Empire disintegrated during the migration period, the Latin language was preserved on the peninsula. The name Hispania is of Phoenician or Iberian origin. Earlier languages ​​on the peninsula were almost completely supplanted by the Roman language, only Basque is preserved. The name Iberia comes from the river Ebro (Hiberus in Latin) probably because the river was particularly important for trade on the peninsula. Iberia is considered the Greek name for the peninsula. The peoples who lived on the Mediterranean coast are referred to as Iberians.

Natural Geography

Spain is located in Western Europe and includes most of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as two archipelagos (Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean) and two cities (Ceuta and Melilla) in northern Africa. To a large extent, Spain is the fourth largest country in Europe, after Russia, Ukraine and France, and the second largest in the European Union. The land area is 505 955 km². Spain's physical borders are as follows: Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the Strait of Gibraltar to the south and the Pyrenees and France, along with the Bay of Biscay and the Cantabrian Sea, to the north.

Mountains

The Spanish land area rises on average 660 meters above sea level. and is thus the second highest country in Europe - after Switzerland. The central parts of Spain include the meseta which lies between 600 and 1,200 masl.

Climate

Spain has a Mediterranean climate. Spain's climate is divided into three main groups, the Mediterranean climate along the coast in the south and east, the Atlantic climate along the coast in the north, and the continental climate on the highlands inland. The coastal areas from the Costa Brava in the northeast to the Costa del Sol in the south have a Mediterranean climate, with dry, hot summers and mild, partly rainy winters. The Ebro Valley and most of the hinterland of Andalucía and Estremadura also have similar climates. However, there are quite large variations within the mentioned areas both in terms of precipitation and temperatures. The Costa Brava in the northeast, for example, has over 800 mm of precipitation also in summer, while Almería in the southeast has only 220 mm in annual precipitation and an almost total summer drought. On the meseta, the annual precipitation is more evenly distributed, the summer is warm, the winters are cool and strange

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