Spain

Article

January 26, 2022

Spain (Spanish: España; [esˈpaɲa] (listen)), officially Kingdom of Spain or Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España), is a country primarily located on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. Its territory also includes two archipelagos: the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla make Spain the only European country to have a land border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. Mainland Spain is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean, except for a small land border with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of ​​505,990 square kilometers, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union (EU) and the fourth largest country in the entire European continent. It is also the sixth most populous country in Europe and fourth in the EU. The capital and largest city is Madrid; other major urban areas include Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Bilbao and Granada. Modern humans first arrived on the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures, along with ancient Phoenician, Greek, Celtic and Carthaginian settlements, developed on the peninsula until the beginning of Roman rule around 200 BC, when the region was called Hispania, based on the ancient Phoenician name Spania. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian Peninsula, and established relatively independent kingdoms in its western provinces, including the Suebi, Alans, and Vandals. By the end of the 6th century, the Visigoths had forcibly integrated all the remaining independent territories on the peninsula into the Kingdom of Toledo, including the Byzantine provinces, which in a way unified politically, ecclesiastically and legally all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of the former. Hispania. In the early 8th century, the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors, who came to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726 (lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada), leaving only a handful of small Christian kingdoms in the north. . This led to many wars over a long period, which culminated in the creation of the kingdoms of León, Castile, Aragon and Navarre, which became the main Christian forces against the Muslims. After the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as "Reconquista", which at the end of the 15th century saw Spain emerge as a unified country under the rule of the Catholic Monarchs. At the beginning of the Modern Era, the nation became the first world empire in history and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a great cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones around the world, which made Spanish the second most spoken language in the world, after Chinese. During the Spanish Golden Century (16th and 17th centuries) there were also many advances in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez. The most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was also published during this period. The country is home to the third largest number of sites classified as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with King Philip VI serving as head of state. It is one of the leading developed countries and a high-income country, with the 14th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the 16th largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), Eurozone, Council

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