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"Spain" ( ; , ), officially the "Kingdom of Spain" (In Spain, other laguages have bee officially recogised as legitimate autochthoous (regioal) laguages uder the Europea Charter for Regioal or Miority Laguages. I each of these, Spai"s official ame is as follows:

The term "Kigdom of Spai" (Reio de España) is widely used by the Spaish Govermet for atioal ad iteratioal affairs of all kid, for example: , ; by the press (, most sold spaish ewspaper); ad i may official documets (i.e. all drivig ad ). Additioally he Govermet always uses the ame "Kigdom of Spai" whe sigig documets, treaties ad pacts withi the Europea Uio: is a coutry ad member state of the Europea Uio located i southwester Europe o the Iberia Peisula.The Spaish costitutio does ot establish ay official deomiatio of the coutry, eve though "España" (Spai), "Estado español" (Spaish State) ad "Nació española" (Spaish Natio) are used iterchageably. The Miistry of Foreig Affairs, i a Ordiace published i 1984, declared that "deomiatios "Spai" ad "Kigdom of Spai" are equally valid to desigate the Spai i iteratioal treaties..." Its mailad is bordered to the south ad east by the Mediterraea Sea except for a small lad boudary with the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar; to the orth by Frace, Adorra, ad the Bay of Biscay; ad to the orthwest ad west by the Atlatic Ocea ad Portugal.

Spaish territory also icludes the Balearic Islads i the Mediterraea, the Caary Islads i the Atlatic Ocea off the Africa coast, ad two autoomous cities i North Africa, Ceuta ad Melilla, that border Morocco. Furthermore, the tow of Llívia is a Spaish exclave situated iside Frech territory. With a area of 504,030&bsp;km², it is the secod largest coutry i Wester Europe ad the Europea Uio after Frace.

Because of its locatio, the territory of Spai was subject to may exteral iflueces sice prehistoric times ad through to its daw as a coutry. Spai emerged as a uified coutry i the 15th cetury, followig the marriage of the Catholic Moarchs ad the completio of the recoquest, or "Recoquista", of the Iberia peisula i 1492. Coversely, it has bee a importat source of ifluece to other regios, chiefly durig the Moder Era, whe it became a global empire that has left a legacy of over 500 millio Spaish speakers today, makig it the world"s secod most spoke first laguage.

Spai is a democracy orgaised i the form of a parliametary govermet uder a costitutioal moarchy. It is a developed coutry with the twelfth largest ecoomy i the world by omial GDP, ad very high livig stadards (20th highest Huma Developmet Idex), icludig the teth-highest quality of life idex ratig i the world, as of 2005. It is a member of the Uited Natios, Europea Uio, NATO, OECD, ad WTO.

After a log ad hard coquest, the Iberia Peisula became a regio of the Roma Empire kow as Hispaia. Durig the early Middle Ages it came uder Germaic rule but later was coquered by Muslim ivaders. Through a very log ad fitful process, the Christia kigdoms i the orth gradually rolled back Muslim rule, fially extiguishig its last remat i Graada i 1492, the same year Columbus reached the Americas. A global empire bega which saw Spai become the strogest kigdom i Europe ad the leadig world power i the 16th cetury ad first half of the 17th cetury.

Cotiued wars ad other problems evetually led to a dimiished status. The Frech ivasio of Spai i the early 19th cetury led to chaos, triggerig idepedece movemets that tore apart most of the empire ad left the coutry politically ustable. I the 20th cetury it suffered a devastatig civil war ad came uder the rule of a authoritaria govermet, leadig to years of stagatio, but fiishig i a impressive ecoomic surge. Democracy was restored i 1978 i the form of a parliametary costitutioal moarchy. I 1986, Spai joied the Europea Uio, experiecig a cultural reaissace ad steady ecoomic growth.
Etymology ===The true origis of the ame "España" ad its cogates "Spai" ad "Spaish" are disputed. The aciet Roma ame for Iberia, "Hispaia", may derive from poetic use of the term "Hesperia" to refer to Spai, reflectig Greek perceptio of Italy as a "wester lad" or "lad of the settig su" ("Hesperia") ad Spai, beig still further west, as "Hesperia ultim

It may also be a derivatio of the Puic "Ispaihad", meaig "lad of coies" or "edge", a referece to Spai"s locatio at the ed of the Mediterraea; Roma cois struck i the regio from the reig of Hadria show a female figure with a coy at her feet. There are also claims that "España" derives from the Basque word "Ezpaa" meaig "edge" or "border", aother referece to the fact that the Iberia peisula costitutes the southwest of the Europea cotiet.

The humaist Atoio de Nebrija proposed that the word "Hispaia" evolved from the Iberia word Hispalis, meaig "city of the wester world". Accordig to ew research by Jesús Luis Cuchillos published i 2000 with the ame of "Gramática feicia elemetal" ("Basic Phoeicia grammar"), the root of the term "spa" is "spy", meaig "to forge metals". Therefore "i-sp-ya" would mea "the lad where metals are forged".# ↑ Lich, Joh (director), Ferádez Castro, María Cruz (del segudo tomo), Historia de España, El País, volume II, La peísula Ibérica e época prerromaa, pg. 40. Dossier. La etimología de España; ¿tierra de coejos?, ISBN 978-84-9815-764-2
Prehistory ad pre-Roma peoples
Altamira Cave paitigs, i Catabria
Archaeological research at Atapuerca idicates the Iberia Peisula was populated by homiids 1.2 millio years ago. Moder humas first arrived i Iberia, from the orth o foot, about 32,000 years ago.Typical Aurigacia items were foud i Catabria (Morí, El Pedo, Castillo), the Basque Coutry (Satimamiñe) ad Cataloia. The radiocarbo datatios give the followig dates: 32,425 ad 29,515 BP. The best kow artifacts of these prehistoric huma settlemets are the famous paitigs i the Altamira cave of Catabria i orther Iberia, which were created about 15,000 BCE by cro-magos.

Archaeological ad geetic evidece strogly suggests that the Iberia Peisula acted as oe of several major refugia from which orther Europe was repopulated followig the ed of the last ice age.

The two mai historical peoples of the peisula were the Iberias ad the Celts, the former ihabitig the Mediterraea side from the ortheast to the southwest, the latter ihabitig the Atlatic side, i the orth ad orthwest part of the peisula. I the ier part of the peisula, where both groups were i cotact, a mixed, distictive culture kow as Celtiberia was preset.I recet years, some researchers have argued that Iberia might have bee the origial source of Celtic culture. See, Culiffe, Karl, Guerra, McEvoy, Bradley; Oppeheimer, Rrvik, Isaac, Parsos, Koch, Freema "Celtic from the West: Alterative Perspectives from Archaeology, Geetics, Laguage ad Literature" 2010|publisher Oxbow Books ad Celtic Studies Publicatios; "Rethikig the Broze Age ad the Arrival of Ido-Europea i Atlatic Europe", Uiversity of Wales Cetre for Advaced Welsh ad Celtic Studies ad Istitute of Archaeology, Uiversity of Oxford, 24 May 2010 Basques occupied the wester area of the Pyreees moutai rage ad adjacet areas. Other ethic groups existed alog the peisula"s souther coastal areas.

I the south of the peisula appeared the semi-mythical city of Tartessos (c.1100&bsp;BC), whose flourishig trade i items made of gold ad silver with the Phoeicias ad Greeks is documeted by Strabo ad the Book of Solomo. Betwee about 500&bsp;BC ad 300 BC, the seafarig Phoeicias ad Greeks fouded tradig coloies alog the Mediterraea coast. The Carthagiias briefly exerted cotrol over much of the Mediterraea side of the peisula, util defeated i the Puic Wars by the Romas.
Roma Empire ad the Gothic Kigdom
Roma Theatre of Mérida, i Badajoz
Durig the Secod Puic War, a expadig Roma Empire captured Carthagiia tradig coloies alog the Mediterraea coast from roughly 210&bsp;BC to 205 BC. It took the Romas early two ceturies to complete the coquest of the Iberia peisula, though they had cotrol of much of it for over six ceturies. Roma rule was boud together by law, laguage, ad the Roma road.
Cathedral of the Holy Saviour, i Asturias

The cultures of the Celt ad Iberia populatios were gradually romaized (Latiized) at differig rates i differet parts of Hispaia. Local leaders were admitted ito the Roma aristocratic class.The "latifudia" (sig., "latifudium"), large estates cotrolled by the aristocracy, were superimposed o the existig Iberia ladholdig system. Hispaia served as a graary for the Roma market, ad its harbors exported gold, wool, olive oil, ad wie. Agricultural productio d with the itroductio of irrigatio projects, some of which remai i use. Emperors Traja, Theodosius I, ad the philosopher Seeca were bor i Hispaia.The poets Martial, Quitilia ad Luca were also bor i Hispaia. Christiaity was itroduced ito Hispaia i the 1st&bsp;cetury CE ad it became popular i the cities i the 2d&bsp;cetury CE. Most of Spai"s preset laguages ad religio, ad the basis of its laws, origiate from this period.

The weakeig of the Wester Roma Empire"s jurisdictio i Hispaia bega i 409, whe the Germaic Suevi ad Vadals, together with the Sarmatia Alas crossed the Rhie ad ravaged Gaul util the Visigoths drove them ito Iberia that same year. The Suevi established a kigdom i what is today moder Galicia ad orther Portugal. As the wester empire disitegrated, the social ad ecoomic base became greatly simplified: but eve i modified form, the successor regimes maitaied may of the istitutios ad laws of the late empire, icludig Christiaity.

The Alas" allies, the Hasdigi Vadals, established a kigdom i Gallaecia, too, occupyig largely the same regio but extedig farther south to the Duero river. The Siligi Vadals occupied the regio that still bears a form of their ame –"Vadalusia", moder Adalusia, i Spai. The Byzaties established a eclave, Spaia, i the south, with the itetio of revivig the Roma empire throughout Iberia. Evetually, however, Hispaia was reuited uder Visigothic rule.
Muslim Iberia
Alhambra palace complex, i Graada.
I the 8th&bsp;cetury, early all of the Iberia Peisula was coquered (711–718) by largely Moorish Muslim armies from North Africa. These coquests were part of the expasio of the Umayyad Islamic Empire. Oly a small area i the moutaious orth-west of the peisula maaged to resist the iitial ivasio.

Uder Islamic law, Christias ad Jews were give the subordiate status of dhimmi. This status permitted Christias ad Jews to practice their religios as "people of the book" but they were required to pay a special tax ad to be subject to certai discrimiatios.Dhimma provides rights of residece i retur for taxes. H. Patrick Gle, "Legal Traditios of the World". Oxford Uiversity Press, 2007, pg. 218-219.Dhimmi have fewer legal ad social rights tha Muslims, but more rights tha other o-Muslims.Lewis, Berard, The Jews of Islam. Priceto: Priceto Uiversity Press (1984). ISBN 978-0-691-00807-3 p. 62

Coversio to Islam proceeded at a steadily icreasig pace. The "muladies" (Muslims of ethic Iberia origi) are believed to have comprised the majority of the populatio of Al-Adalus by the ed of the 10th cetury., Thomas F. Glick

La Giralda, the bell tower of Seville Cathedral
The Muslim commuity i the Iberia peisula was itself diverse ad beset by social tesios. The Berber people of North Africa, who had provided the bulk of the ivadig armies, clashed with the Arab leadership from the Middle East.The Berbers soo gave up attemptig to settle the harsh lads i the orth of the Meseta Cetral haded to them by the Arab rulers. Over time, large Moorish populatios became established, especially i the Guadalquivir River valley, the coastal plai of Valecia, the Ebro River valley ad (towards the ed of this period) i the moutaious regio of Graada.

Córdoba, the capital of the caliphate, was the largest, richest ad most sophisticated city i wester Europe. Mediterraea trade ad cultural exchage flourished. Muslims imported a rich itellectual traditio from the Middle East ad North Africa. Muslim ad Jewish scholars played a importat part i revivig ad expadig classical Greek learig i Wester Europe. The Romaized cultures of the Iberia peisula iteracted with Muslim ad Jewish cultures i complex ways, thus givig the regio a distictive culture. Outside the cities, where the vast majority lived, the lad owership system from Roma times remaied largely itact as Muslim leaders rarely dispossessed ladowers, ad the itroductio of ew crops ad techiques led to a remarkable expasio of agriculture.

I the 11th&bsp;cetury, the Muslim holdigs fractured ito rival Taifa kigdoms, allowig the small Christia states the opportuity to greatly elarge their territories. The arrival from North Africa of the Islamic rulig sects of the Almoravids ad the Almohads restored uity upo the Muslim holdigs, with a stricter, less tolerat applicatio of Islam, ad saw a revival i Muslim fortues. This re-uited Islamic state, experieced more tha a cetury of successes that partially reversed Christia gais.
Fall of Muslim rule ad uificatio
Loarre Castle, i Huesca
Ávila city wallsKig Ferdiad of Arago ad Quee Isabella of Castile: the Catholic Moarchs.
The "Recoquista" ("Recoquest") is the ceturies-log period of expasio of Iberia"s Christia kigdoms. The Recoquista is viewed as begiig with the Battle of Covadoga i 722, ad was cocurret with the period of Muslim rule o the Iberia peisula. The Christia army"s victory over Muslim forces led to the creatio of the Christia Kigdom of Asturias alog the orthwester coastal moutais. Muslim armies had also moved orth of the Pyreees, but they were defeated by Frakish forces at the Battle of Poitiers, Frakia.

Subsequetly, they retreated to more secure positios south of the Pyreees with a frotier marked by the Ebro ad Duero valleys. I 739 Muslim forces were drive from Galicia, which was to host oe of medieval Europe"s holiest sites, Satiago de Compostela. A little later, Frakish forces established Christia couties o the souther side of the Pyreees; these areas were to grow ito kigdoms. These territories icluded Navarre, Arago ad Cataloia.

Alcázar of Segovia

The breakup of Al-Adalus ito the competig Taifa kigdoms helped the Christia kigdoms. The capture of the strategically cetral city of Toledo i 1085 marked a sigificat shift i the balace of power i favour of the Christia kigdoms of Iberia. After a great Muslim resurgece i the 12th&bsp;cetury, the great Moorish strogholds i the south fell to Christia Spai i the 13th&bsp;cetury—Córdoba i 1236 ad Seville i 1248—leavig oly the Muslim eclave of Graada as a tributary state i the south. See also:

I the 13th ad 14th&bsp;ceturies the Mariids Muslim sect based i North Africa ivaded ad established some eclaves o the souther coast but failed i their attempt to re-establish Muslim rule i Iberia ad were soo drive out. The 13th&bsp;cetury also witessed the Crow of Arago, cetred i Spai"s orth east, expad its reach across islads i the Mediterraea, to Sicily ad eve Athes. Aroud this time the uiversities of Palecia (1212/1263) ad Salamaca (1218/1254) were established. The Black Death of 1348 ad 1349 devastated Spai.

I 1469, the crows of the Christia kigdoms of Castile ad Arago were uited by the marriage of Isabella I of Castile ad Ferdiad II of Arago. 1478 commeced the completio of the coquest of the Caary Islads ad i 1492, the combied forces of the Castile ad Arago captured the Emirate of Graada, edig the last remat of a 781-year presece of Islamic rule i Iberia. The Treaty of Graada guarateed religious tolerace toward Muslims.

The year 1492 also marked the arrival i the New World of Christopher Columbus, durig a voyage fuded by Isabella. That same year, Spai"s Jews were ordered to covert to Catholicism or face expulsio from Spaish territories durig the Spaish Iquisitio.. New Scietist. December 4, 2008. A few years later, followig social disturbaces, Muslims were also expelled uder the same coditios.For the related expulsios that followed see Morisco.

As Reaissace New Moarchs, Isabella ad Ferdiad cetralized royal power at the expese of local obility, ad the word "España", whose root is the aciet ame "Hispaia", bega to be commoly used to desigate the whole of the two kigdoms.
With their wide-ragig political, legal, religious ad military reforms, Spai emerged as the first world power.
Imperial Spai
The Spaish Empire"s historical ifluece
The uificatio of the crows of Arago ad Castile laid the basis for moder Spai ad the Spaish Empire. Spai was Europe"s leadig power throughout the 16th cetury ad most of the 17th cetury, a positio reiforced by trade ad wealth from coloial possessios. It reached its apogee durig the reigs of the first two Spaish Habsburgs – Charles I (1516–1556) ad Philip II (1556–1598). This period saw the Italia Wars, the revolt of the comueros, the Dutch revolt, the Morisco revolt, clashes with the Ottomas, the Aglo-Spaish war ad wars with Frace.

The Spaish Empire expaded to iclude great parts of the Americas, islads i the Asia-Pacific area, areas of Italy, cities i Norther Africa, as well as parts of what are ow Frace, Germay, Belgium, Luxembourg, ad the Netherlads. It was the first empire of which it was said that the su ever set.

This was a age of discovery, with darig exploratios by sea ad by lad, the opeig-up of ew trade routes across oceas, coquests ad the begiigs of Europea coloialism. Alog with the arrival of precious metals, spices, luxuries, ad ew agricultural plats, Spaish explorers brought back kowledge from the New World, ad played a leadig part i trasformig the Europea uderstadig of the globe. The cultural efflorescece witessed is ow referred to as the Spaish Golde Age. The rise of humaism, the Protestat Reformatio ad ew geographical discoveries raised issues addressed by the ifluetial itellectual movemet ow kow as the School of Salamaca.

A Spaish galleo
I the late 16th cetury ad first half of the 17th&bsp;cetury, Spai was cofroted by ureletig challeges from all sides. Barbary pirates uder the aegis of the rapidly growig Ottoma empire, disrupted life i may coastal areas through their slave raids ad reewed the threat of a Islamic ivasio.Accordig to Robert Davis betwee 1 millio ad 1.25 millio Europeas were captured by North Africa Muslim pirates ad sold as slaves durig the 16th ad 17th ceturies. This at a time whe Spai was ofte at war with Frace.

The Protestat Reformatio schism from the Catholic Church dragged the kigdom ever more deeply ito the mire of religiously charged wars. The result was a coutry forced ito ever expadig military efforts across Europe ad i the Mediterraea.

By the middle decades of a war- ad plague-ridde 17th&bsp;cetury Europe the Spaish Habsburgs had emeshed the coutry i the cotiet-wide religious-political coflicts. These coflicts draied it of resources ad udermied the Europea ecoomy geerally. Spai maaged to hold o to most of the scattered Habsburg empire, ad help the imperial forces of the Holy Roma Empire reverse a large part of the advaces made by Protestat forces, but it was fially forced to recogise the separatio of Portugal (with whom it had bee uited i a persoal uio of the crows from 1580 to 1640) ad the Netherlads, ad evetually suffered some serious military reverses to Frace i the latter stages of the immesely destructive, Europe-wide Thirty Years War.
El Escorial, built i Philip II"s reig, ear Madrid.

I the latter half of the 17th&bsp;cetury, Spai wet ito a gradual relative declie, durig which it surredered a umber of small territories to Frace. However it maitaied ad elarged its vast overseas empire, which remaied itact util the begiig of the 19th&bsp;cetury.

The declie culmiated i a cotroversy over successio to the throe which cosumed the first years of the 18th&bsp;cetury. The War of Spaish Successio was a wide ragig iteratioal coflict combied with a civil war, ad was to cost the kigdom its Europea possessios ad its positio as oe of the leadig powers o the Cotiet.

Durig this war, a ew dyasty origiatig i Frace, the Bourbos, was istalled. Log uited oly by the Crow, a true Spaish state was established whe the first Bourbo kig, Philip V, uited the crows of Castile ad Arago ito a sigle state, abolishig may of the old regioal privileges ad laws.

The 18th&bsp;cetury saw a gradual recovery ad a i prosperity through much of the empire. The ew Bourbo moarchy drew o the Frech system of moderisig the admiistratio ad the ecoomy. Elightemet ideas bega to gai groud amog some of the kigdom"s elite ad moarchy. Military assistace for the rebellious British coloies i the America War of Idepedece improved the kigdom"s iteratioal stadig.
Napoleoic rule ad its cosequeces

"Secod of May, 1808": the people revolt agaist the Boapartist regime
I 1793, Spai wet to war agaist the ew Frech Republic, which had overthrow ad executed its Bourbo kig, Louis XVI. The war polarised the coutry i a apparet reactio agaist the gallicised elites. Defeated i the field, peace was made with Frace i 1795 ad it effectively became a cliet state of that coutry; I 1807, the secret treaty of Fotaiebleau betwee Napoleo ad the deeply upopular Godoy led to a declaratio of war agaist Britai ad Portugal. Frech troops etered the kigdom uopposed, supposedly to ivade Portugal, but istead they occupied Spaish fortresses. This ivasio by trickery led to the abdicatio of the ridiculed Spaish kig i favour of Napoleo"s brother, Joseph Boaparte.

This foreig puppet moarch was widely regarded with scor. The 2d of May 1808 revolt was oe of may atioalist uprisigs agaist the Boapartist regime across the coutry.David A. Bell. ". These revolts marked the begiig of what is kow to the Spaish as the War of Idepedece, ad to the British as the Peisular War.(Gates 2001, p.20) Napoleo was forced to itervee persoally, defeatig several badly coordiated Spaish armies ad forcig a British army to retreat. However, further military actio by Spaish guerrillas ad armies, ad Welligto"s British-Portuguese forces, combied with Napoleo"s disastrous ivasio of Russia, led to the oustig of the Frech imperial armies from the Spai i 1814, ad the retur of Kig Ferdiad VII.(Gates 2001, p.467)

The Frech ivasios devastated the ecoomy, ad left Spai a deeply divided coutry proe to political istability. The power struggles of the early 19th&bsp;cetury led to the loss of all of its coloies i the Americas (which stretched from Las Califorias to Patagoia), with the sole exceptio of Cuba ad Puerto Rico.
Spaish–America War
Amid the istability ad ecoomic crisis that afflicted Spai i the 19th cetury there arose atioalist movemets i the Philippies ad Cuba. Wars of idepedece esued i those coloies ad evetually the Uited States became ivolved. Despite the commitmet ad ability show by some military uits, they were so mismaaged by the highest levels of commad that the Spaish–America War, fought i the Sprig of 1898, did ot last log. "El Desastre" (The Disaster), as the war became kow, helped give impetus to the Geeratio of 98 who were already coductig much critical aalysis cocerig the coutry. It also weakeed the stability that had bee established durig Alfoso XII"s reig.
Spaish Civil War
The 20th&bsp;cetury brought little peace; Spai played a mior part i the scramble for Africa, with the coloisatio of Wester Sahara, Spaish Morocco ad Equatorial Guiea. The heavy losses suffered durig the Rif war i Morocco helped to udermie the moarchy. A period of authoritaria rule uder Geeral Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923–1931) eded with the establishmet of the Secod Spaish Republic. The Republic offered political autoomy to the Basque Coutry, Cataloia ad Galicia ad gave votig rights to wome.
Geeral Fraco ad US Presidet Eisehower i Madrid (1959)
The Spaish Civil War (1936–39) esued. Three years later the Natioalist forces, led by Geeral Fracisco Fraco, emerged victorious with the support of Nazi Germay ad Fascist Italy. Popular Frot govermet side was supported by the Soviet Uio ad Mexico ad Iteratioal Brigades, icludig the America Abraham Licol Brigade, but it was ot supported officially by the Wester powers due to the British-led policy of No-Itervetio.

The Civil War claimed the lives of over 500,000 people, Telegraph, October 16, 2008 ad caused the flight of up to a half-millio citizes., BBC News, February 23, 2003 Most of their descedats ow live i Lati America coutries, with some 300,000 i Argetia aloe.". December 28, 2008. The Spaish Civil War has bee called the first battle of the Secod World War; uder Fraco the coutry was eutral i the Secod World War, although sympathetic to the Axis.

The oly legal party uder Fraco"s post civil war regime was the "Falage Española Tradicioalista y de las JONS", formed i 1937; the party emphasised ati-Commuism, Catholicism ad atioalism. Give Fraco"s oppositio to competig political parties, the party was reamed the Natioal Movemet ("Movimieto Nacioal") i 1949.

After World War II Spai was politically ad ecoomically isolated, ad was kept out of the Uited Natios. This chaged i 1955, durig the Cold War period, whe it became strategically importat for the U.S. to establish a military presece o the Iberia peisula as a couter to ay possible move by the U.S.S.R ito the Mediterraea basi. I the 1960s, Spai registered a uprecedeted rate of ecoomic growth i what became kow as the Spaish miracle, which resumed the much iterrupted trasitio towards a moder ecoomy.
Spaish Costitutio of 1978

With Fraco"s death i November 1975, Jua Carlos assumed the positio of Kig of Spai ad head of state i accordace with the law. With the approval of the ew Spaish Costitutio of 1978 ad the arrival of democracy, the State devolved much authority to the regios ad created a iteral orgaizatio based o autoomous commuities.

I the Basque Coutry, moderate Basque atioalism has coexisted with a radical atioalist movemet led by the armed orgaisatio ETA. The group was formed i 1959 durig Fraco"s rule but has cotiued to wage its violet campaig eve after the restoratio of democracy ad the retur of a large measure of regioal autoomy.

O 23 February 1981, rebel elemets amog the security forces seized the Cortes i a attempt to impose a military backed govermet. Kig Jua Carlos took persoal commad of the military ad successfully ordered the coup plotters, via atioal televisio, to surreder.

O 30 May 1982 Spai joied NATO, followig a referedum. That year the Spaish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) came to power, the first left-wig govermet i 43 years. I 1986 Spai joied the Europea Commuity; what became the Europea Uio. The PSOE was replaced i govermet by the Partido Popular (PP) after the latter wo the 1996 Geeral Electios; at that poit the PSOE had served almost 14 cosecutive years i office.
21st cetury
Spai issued a ew currecy, the euro, i 2002

O 1 Jauary 2002, Spai ceased to use the peseta as currecy replacig it with the euro, which it shares with 15 other coutries i the Eurozoe. Spai has also see strog ecoomic growth, well above the EU average, but well publicised cocers issued by may ecoomic commetators at the height of the boom that the extraordiary property prices ad high foreig trade deficits of the boom were likely to lead to a paiful ecoomic collapse were cofirmed by a severe property led recessio that struck the coutry i 2008/9. See also:

A series of bombs exploded i commuter trais i Madrid, Spai o 11 March 2004. After a five moth trial i 2007 it was cocluded the bombigs were perpetrated by a local Islamist militat group ispired by al-Qaeda. See also: The bombigs killed 191 people ad wouded more tha 1800, ad the itetio of the perpetrators may have bee to ifluece the outcome of the Spaish geeral electio, held three days later.

Though iitial suspicios focused o the Basque group ETA, evidece soo emerged idicatig possible Islamist ivolvemet. Because of the proximity of the electio, the issue of resposibility quickly became a political cotroversy, with the mai competig parties PP ad PSOE exchagig accusatios over the hadlig of the aftermath. At the 14 March electios, PSOE, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, obtaied a plurality, eough to form a ew cabiet with Rodríguez Zapatero as the ew "Presidete del Gobiero" or Prime Miister of Spai, thus succeedig the former PP admiistratio.
Bosost (Lérida), i the Pyreees

At , Spai is the world"s 51st-largest coutry. It is some smaller tha Frace ad larger tha the U.S. state of Califoria. The Teide (Teerife, Caary Islads) is the highest peak of Spai ad the third largest volcao i the world from its base.

El Sardiero beach, i Satader (Catabria)
O the west, Spai borders Portugal; o the south, it borders Gibraltar (a British overseas territory) ad Morocco, through its exclaves i North Africa (Ceuta, Melilla, ad Peñó de Vélez de la Gomera). O the ortheast, alog the Pyreees moutai rage, it borders Frace ad the tiy pricipality of Adorra.

Spai also icludes the Balearic Islads i the Mediterraea Sea, the Caary Islads i the Atlatic Ocea ad a umber of uihabited islads o the Mediterraea side of the Strait of Gibraltar, kow as , such as the Chafarie islads, the isle of Alborá, Alhucemas, ad the tiy Isla Perejil. Alog the Pyreees i Cataloia, a small exclave tow called Llívia is surrouded by Frace. The little Pheasat Islad i the River Bidasoa is a Spaish-Frech codomiium.

Mailad Spai is domiated by high plateaus ad moutai rages, such as the Sierra Nevada. Ruig from these heights are several major rivers such as the Tagus, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiaa ad the Guadalquivir. Alluvial plais are foud alog the coast, the largest of which is that of the Guadalquivir i Adalusia.
Climate ===Climatic areas of Spai accordig to the Köppe climate classific

Due to Spai"s geographical situatio ad orographic coditios, we ca fid three mai climatic zoes

*The Mediterraea climate, characterized by dry ad warm summers. Accordig to the Köppe climate classificatio, it is domiat i the peisula, with two varieties : the typical Mediterraea climate (Csa climate), preset i most of the coutry, ad the Galicia variat (Galicia ad North-West Castilla), with summers less hot due to the proximity of the ocea (Csb climate ) or the altitude.
*The semiarid climate (Bsk), located i south-easter quarter of the coutry, especially i the regio of Murcia ad i the Ebro valley. I cotrary to the Mediterraea climate, the dry seaso exteds beyod the summer.
*The Oceaic climate: Witer ad summer temperatures are poderated by the ocea, ad have o seasoal drought.I the coastal strip ear the Basque Coutry, the Asturias, ad i some highlads, we fid essetially a "souther" uace (sometimes called "Aquitaia"), which differs from the typical type by hotter summers (mea temperature of July betwee ad ) , ad much stormy tha i orth-west Europe - (average July temperature of i Satader, vs i Brest or Liverpool).
For some authors, Galicia presets a oceaic climate too, because of lower temperatures i summer tha i the typical Mediterraea climate. Nevertheless, North-west Spai is ofte cocered by forest fires due to the summer drought, ad has more shushie duratio tha the typical oceaic regios.

I a less exted, we ca fid other sub-types like the alpie climate i the Pyreees, ad a Humid subtropical climate i the Caary Islads.

The rai i Spai does "ot" fall maily i the plai. It falls maily i the orther moutais.
Islads ===Islader populatio:La superficie de las islas vedrá dada e hectáreas salvo la de las mayores islas de los archipiélagos caario y balear, así como las Plazas de Sobera
Teide, the highest moutai i Spai (Teerife, Caary Islads)
Palma of Mallorca

Kig Jua Carlos I

The "Spaish Costitutio of 1978" is the culmiatio of the Spaish trasitio to democracy.
The costitutioal history of Spai dates back to the costitutio of 1812. Impatiet with the pace of democratic political reforms i 1976 ad 1977, Spai"s ew Kig Jua Carlos, kow for his formidable persoality, dismissed Carlos Arias Navarro ad appoited the reformer Adolfo Suárez as Prime Miister.Joh Hooper, "The New Spaiards", 2001, "From Dictatorship to Democracy" BBC News Friday, 4 Jauary 2008 Extracted 18 Jue 2009 The resultig geeral electio i 1977 coveed the "Costituet Cortes" (the Spaish Parliamet, i its capacity as a costitutioal assembly) for the purpose of draftig ad approvig the costitutio of 1978.|Spaish Costitutio i Eglish After a atioal referedum o 6 December 1978, 88% of voters approved of the ew costitutio.

As a result, Spai is ow composed of 17 autoomous commuities ad two autoomous cities with varyig degrees of autoomy thaks to its Costitutio, which evertheless explicitly states the idivisible uity of the Spaish atio as well as that Spai has today o official religio but all are free to practice ad believe as they wish.

As of November 2009, the govermet of Spai keeps a balaced geder equality ratio. Nie out of the 18 members of the Govermet are wome. Uder the admiistratio of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spai has bee described as beig "at the vaguard" i geder equality issues ad also that "o other moder, democratic, admiistratio outside Scadiavia has take more steps to place geder issues at the cetre of govermet"., BBC News, 10 May 2008. The Spaish admiistratio has also promoted geder-based positive discrimiatio by approvig geder equality legislatio i 2007 aimed to provide equality betwee geders i the Spaish political ad ecoomic life (Geder Equality Act)., IPS News, 13 March 2007. However, i the legislative brach, as of July 2010 oly 128 out of the 350 members of the Cogress are wome (36.3%). Nowadays, it positios Spai as the 13th coutry with more wome i its lower house. I the Seate, the ratio is eve lower, sice there are oly 79 wome out of 263 (30.0%). The Geder Empowermet Measure of Spai i the Uited Natios Huma Developmet Report is 0.794, the 12th i the world., p.330.
Braches of govermet ===José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Prime Miis

Spai is a costitutioal moarchy, with a hereditary moarch ad a bicameral parliamet, the "Cortes Geerales". The executive brach cosists of a Coucil of Miisters of Spai presided over by the Prime Miister, omiated ad appoited by the moarch ad cofirmed by the Cogress of Deputies followig legislative electios. By political custom established by Kig Jua Carlos sice the ratificatio of the 1978 Costitutio, the kig"s omiees have all bee from parties who maitai a plurality of seats i the Cogress.

The legislative brach is made up of the Cogress of Deputies ("Cogreso de los Diputados") with 350 members, elected by popular vote o block lists by proportioal represetatio to serve four-year terms, ad a Seate ("Seado") with 259 seats of which 208 are directly elected by popular vote ad the other 51 appoited by the regioal legislatures to also serve four-year terms.
* "Head of State"
** Kig Jua Carlos I, sice 22 November 1975
* "Head of Govermet"
** Prime Miister of Spai (Spaish "Presidete del Gobiero" literally "Presidet of the Govermet"): José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, elected 14 March 2004.
*** First Vice Presidet ad Miister of Iterior: Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.
*** Secod Vice Presidet ad Miister of Ecoomy ad Fiace: Elea Salgado.
*** Third Vice Presidet ad Miister of Territorial Policy: Mauel Chaves.
* "Cabiet"
** Coucil of Miisters (Spaish "Cosejo de Miistros") desigated by the Prime Miister.

The Spaish atio is orgaizatioally composed i the form of called "Estado de las Autoomías" ("State of Autoomies"); it is oe of the most decetralized coutries i Europe, alog with Switzerlad, Germay ad Belgium; See also: ad ad for example, all Autoomous Commuities have their ow elected parliamets, govermets, public admiistratios, budgets, ad resources; therefore, health ad educatio systems amog others are maaged regioally, besides, the Basque Coutry ad Navarre also maage their ow public fiaces based o foral provisios. I Cataloia ad the Basque Coutry, a full fledged autoomous police corps replaces some of the State police fuctios (see Mossos d"Esquadra, Ertzaitza, Policía Foral ad Policía Caaria).

Admiistrative divisios

The basic istitutioal law of the autoomous commuity is the Statute of Autoomy. The Statutes of Autoomy establish the deomiatio of the commuity accordig to its historical idetity, the limits of their territories, the ame ad orgaizatio of the istitutios of govermet ad the rights they ejoy accordig the costitutio.. "Spaish Costitutio of 1978". Accessed: 10 December 2007

The govermet of all autoomous commuities must be based o a divisio of powers comprisig:
* a Legislative Assembly whose members must be elected by uiversal suffrage accordig to the system of proportioal represetatio ad i which all areas that itegrate the territory are fairly represeted;
* a Govermet Coucil, with executive ad admiistrative fuctios headed by a presidet, elected by the Legislative Assembly ad omiated by the Kig of Spai;
* a Supreme Court of Justice, uder the Supreme Court of the State, which head the judicial orgaizatio withi the autoomous commuity.

Besides Adalusia, Cataloia, the Basque Coutry ad Galicia, which idetified themselves as atioalities, other commuities have take that deomiatio i accordace to their historical regioal idetity, such as the Valecia Commuity, |date= |accessdate=2009-07-20}} the Caary Islads, the Balearic Islads, |date= |accessdate=2009-07-20}} ad Arago.

The autoomous commuities have wide legislative ad executive autoomy, with their ow parliamets ad regioal govermets.
The distributio of powers may be differet for every commuity, as laid out i their Statutes of Autoomy. There used to be a clear "de facto" distictio betwee so called "historic" commuities (Basque Coutry, Cataloia, Galicia, Adalusia) ad the rest. The "historic" oes iitially received more fuctios, icludig the ability of the regioal presidets to choose the timig of the regioal electios (as log as they happe o more tha four years apart).

As aother example, the Basque Coutry, Navarre ad Cataloia have full-rage police forces of their ow: Ertzaitza i the Basque Coutry, Policía Foral i Navarre ad Mossos d"Esquadra i Cataloia. Other commuities have more limited forces or oe at all (like the "Policía Autóoma Adaluza" i Adalusia or the BESCAM i Madrid).

However, the recet amedmets made to their respective Statute of Autoomy by a series of "ordiary" Autoomous Commuities such as the Valecia Commuity or Arago have weakeed this origial de facto distictio.
Subdivisios ===Autoomous commuities are composed of provices ("provicias"), which serve as the territorial buildig blocks for the former. I tur, provices are composed of muicipalities ("muicipios"). The existece of these two subdivisios is grated ad protected by the costitutio, ot ecessarily by the Statutes of Autoomy themselves. Muicipalities are grated autoomy to maage their iteral affairs, ad provices are the territorial divisios desiged to carry out the activities of the State.. Spaish Costitutio of

The curret fifty provice structure is based—with mior chages—o the oe created i 1833 by Javier de Burgos. The commuities of Asturias, Catabria, La Rioja, the Balearic Islads, Madrid, Murcia ad Navarre are couted as provices as well, but were grated autoomy as sigle-provices for historical reasos.
Foreig relatios
Spai was a foudig member of the Europea Uio i 1993 ad siged the Lisbo Treaty i 2007.

After the retur of democracy followig the death of Fraco i 1975, Spai"s foreig policy priorities were to break out of the diplomatic isolatio of the Fraco years ad expad diplomatic relatios, eter the Europea Commuity, ad defie security relatios with the West.

As a member of NATO sice 1982, Spai has established itself as a major participat i multilateral iteratioal security activities. Spai"s EU membership represets a importat part of its foreig policy. Eve o may iteratioal issues beyod wester Europe, Spai prefers to coordiate its efforts with its EU parters through the Europea political cooperatio mechaisms.

With the ormalizatio of diplomatic relatios with North Korea i 2001, Spai completed the process of uiversalizig its diplomatic relatios.

Spai has maitaied its special idetificatio with Lati America. Its policy emphasizes the cocept of a Iberoamerica commuity, essetially the reewal of the historically liberal cocept of "hispaoamericaismo", or Hispaism as it is ofte referred to i Eglish, which has sought to lik the Iberia peisula with Lati America through laguage, commerce, history ad culture. Spai has bee a effective example of trasitio from dictatorship to democracy for formerly o-democratic Lati America states, as show i the may trips that Spai"s Kig ad Prime Miisters have made to the regio.
Territorial disputes ===Spai claims Gibraltar, a 6 square km Overseas Territory of the Uited Kigdom i the southermost part of the Iberia Peisula. The a Spaish tow, it was coquered by a Aglo-Dutch force i 1704 durig the War of the Spaish Successio o behalf of the Archduke Charles, preteder to the Spaish th
Port of Melilla

The legal situatio cocerig Gibraltar was settled i 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht, i which Spai ceded the territory i perpetuity to the British Crow statig that, should the British abado this post, it would be offered to Spai first. Ever sice the 1940s Spai has called for the retur of Gibraltar. The overwhelmig majority of Gibraltarias strogly oppose this, alog with ay proposal of shared sovereigty.

UN resolutios call o the Uited Kigdom ad Spai, both EU members, to reach a agreemet over the status of Gibraltar.

However, the Spaish claim hadles i a differet way the Rock ad the city of Gibraltar, ceded by the Treaty of Utrecht, ad, o the other had, the isthmus that coects the Rock to the Spaish mailad. Spai otes that this territory was ot ceded by said Treaty ad therefore asserts that the "occupatio is illegal ad agaist the priciples of the Iteratioal Law". The Uited Kigdom relies o "de facto" argumets of possessio by prescriptio i relatio to the isthmus, as there has bee "cotiuous possessio over a log period".

Spai claims the sovereigty over the Perejil Islad, a small, uihabited rocky islet located i the South shore of the Strait of Gibraltar. The islad lies 250&bsp;meters just off the coast of Morocco, 8&bsp;km from Ceuta ad 13.5&bsp;km from mailad Spai. Its sovereigty is disputed betwee Spai ad Morocco. It was the subject of a armed icidet betwee the two coutries i 2002. The icidet eded whe both coutries agreed to retur to the status quo ate which existed prior to the Morocca occupatio of the islad. The islet is ow deserted ad without ay sig of sovereigty.

Morocco claims the Spaish cities of Ceuta ad Melilla ad the plazas de soberaía islets off the orther coast of Africa. Portugal does ot recogise Spai"s sovereigty over the territory of Oliveza.

em of Spaish Armed Forces=== Military
The armed forces of Spai are kow as the Spaish Armed Forces (). Their Commader-i-chief is the Kig of Spai, Jua Carlos I.

The Spaish Armed Forces are divided ito three braches:
* Army ("Ejército de Tierra")
* Navy ("Armada")
* Air Force ("Ejército del Aire")


Madrid: Cuatro Torres Busiess Area

Barceloa: fiace cetre

Spai"s capitalist mixed ecoomy is the twelfth largest worldwide ad the sixth largest i Europe. It is also the third largest world ivestor.

The cetre-right govermet of former prime miister José María Azar worked successfully to gai admissio to the group of coutries lauchig the euro i 1999. Uemploymet stood at 7.6% i October 2006, a rate that compared favorably to may other Europea coutries, ad especially with the early 1990s whe it stood at over 20%. Pereial weak poits of Spai"s ecoomy iclude high iflatio, a large udergroud ecoomy, ad a educatio system which OECD reports place amog the poorest for developed coutries, together with the Uited States ad UK.

However, the property bubble that begu buildig from 1997, fed by historically low iterest rates ad a immese surge i immigratio, imploded i 2008, leadig to a rapidly weakeig ecoomy ad soarig uemploymet. By the ed of May 2009 uemploymet already reached 18.7% (37% for youths).. July 2, 2009.. Telegraph. July 4, 2009.

EU sigle market.

Before the curret crisis, the Spaish ecoomy was credited for havig avoided the virtual zero growth rate of some of its largest parters i the EU. I fact, the coutry"s ecoomy created more tha half of all the ew jobs i the Europea Uio over the five years edig 2005, a process that is rapidly beig reversed. The Spaish ecoomy has bee util recetly regarded as oe of the most dyamic withi the EU, attractig sigificat amouts of foreig ivestmet.


The most recet ecoomic growth beefited greatly from the global real estate boom, with costructio represetig a astoishig 16% of GDP ad 12% of employmet i its fial year. Accordig to calculatios by the Germa ewspaper "Die Welt", Spai was o course to overtake coutries like Germay i per capita icome by 2011. However, the dowside of the ow defuct real estate boom is a correspodig rise i the levels of persoal debt: as prospective home owers struggled to meet askig prices, the average level of household debt tripled i less tha a decade. This placed especially great pressure upo lower to middle icome groups; by 2005 the media ratio of idebtedess to icome had grow to 125%, due primarily to expesive boom time mortgages that ow ofte exceed the value of the property.

I 2008/2009 the credit cruch ad world recessio maifested itself i Spai through a massive dowtur i the property sector. Fortuately, Spai"s baks ad fiacial services avoided the more severe problems of their couterparts i the USA ad UK, due maily to a strigetly eforced coservative fiacial regulatory regime. The Spaish fiacial authorities had ot forgotte the coutry"s ow bakig crisis of 1979 ad a earlier real estate precipitated bakig crisis of 1993. Ideed, Spai"s largest bak, Baco Satader, took part i the UK govermet"s bail-out of part of the UK bakig sector.Charles Smith, article: "Spai", i Wakel, C. (ed.) "Ecyclopedia of Busiess i Today"s World", Califoria, USA, 2009.

A Europea Commissio forecast predicted Spai would eter a recessio by the ed of 2008. Accordig to Spai’s Fiace Miister, “Spai faces its deepest recessio i half a cetury”., Spaish News, Jauary 18, 2009 Spai"s govermet forecast the uemploymet rate would rise to 16% i 2009. The ESADE busiess school predicted 20%., The Ecoomist, Jauary 22, 2009

Durig the last four decades the Spaish tourism idustry has grow to become the secod biggest i the world, worth approximately 40 billio Euros, about 5% of GDP, i 2006. Today, the climate of Spai, historical ad cultural moumets ad its geographic positio together with its facilities make tourism oe of Spai"s mai atioal idustries ad a large source of stable employmet ad developmet. The Spaish hotel star ratig system has requiremets much more demadig tha other Europea coutries, so at a give ratig Spaish accommodatios worth higher.

PS10 Seville solar power tower

Spaish territory lacks petroleum so alterative sources of eergy is a strategic poit. It has reached importat records. I 2010 Spai overtook Uited States as the solar power world leader, with a massive power statio plat called La Florida, ear Alvarado, Badajoz. I 2009, more tha 50% of the produced eergy i Spai was geerated by wid mills, ad the highest total productio record was reached with 11.546 eolic Megawatts.
AVE Barceloa-Madrid

The Spaish road system is maily cetralized, with 6 highways coectig Madrid to the Basque Coutry, Cataloia, Valecia, West Adalusia, Extremadura ad Galicia. Additioally, there are highways alog the Atlatic (Ferrol to Vigo), Catabria (Oviedo to Sa Sebastiá) ad Mediterraea (Giroa to Cádiz) coasts.

Spai curretly has a total of 1272&bsp;km of high speed trai likig Málaga, Seville, Madrid, Barceloa ad Valladolid. Should the aims of the ambitious AVE program (Spaish high speed trais) be met, by 2020 Spai will have 7000&bsp;km (4300&bsp;mi) of high-speed trais likig almost all provicial cities to Madrid i less tha 3 hours ad Barceloa withi 4 hours.

The busiest airport i Spai is the airport of Madrid (Barajas), with 50.8 millio passegers i 2008, beig the world"s 11th busiest airport. The airport of Barceloa (El Prat) is also importat, with 30 millio passegers i 2008. Other airports are located i Gra Caaria, Málaga, Valecia, Seville, Mallorca, Alicate ad Bilbao.

Spai aims to put 1 millio electric cars o the road by 2014 as part of the govermet"s pla to save eergy ad boost eergy efficiecy. The Miister of Idustry Miguel Sebastia said that "the electric vehicle is the future ad the egie of a idustrial revolutio."

Geographical distributio of the Spaish populatio i 2008

I 2008 the populatio of Spai officially reached 46 millio people, as recorded by the "Padró muicipal". Spai"s populatio desity, at 91/km² (235/sq mi), is lower tha that of most Wester Europea coutries ad its distributio across the coutry is very uequal. With the exceptio of the regio surroudig the capital, Madrid, the most populated areas lie aroud the coast. The populatio of Spai doubled durig the 20th&bsp;cetury, pricipally due to the spectacular demographic boom i the 1960s ad early 1970s.

Native Spaiards make up 88% of the total populatio of Spai. After the birth rate pluged i the 1980s ad Spai"s populatio growth rate dropped, the populatio agai treded upward, based iitially o the retur of may Spaiards who had emigrated to other Europea coutries durig the 1970s, ad more recetly, fuelled by large umbers of immigrats who make up 12% of the populatio. The immigrats origiate maily i Lati America (39%), North Africa (16%) Easter Europe (15%), ad Sub-Sahara Africa (4%). I 2005, Spai istituted a three-moth amesty program through which certai hitherto udocumeted alies were grated legal residecy.

I 2008, Spai grated citizeship to 84,170 persos, mostly to people from Ecuador, Colombia ad Morocco." (PDF). Eurostat. July 6, 2010. A sizeable portio of foreig residets i Spai also comes from other Wester ad Cetral Europea coutries. These are mostly British, Frech, Germa, Dutch, ad Norwegia. They reside primarily o the Mediterraea "costas" ad Balearic islads, where may are choosig to live their retiremet or telework.

Substatial populatios desceded from Spaish coloists ad immigrats exist i other parts of the world, most otably i Lati America. Begiig i the late 15th cetury, large umbers of Iberia coloists settled i what became Lati America ad at preset most white Lati Americas (who make up about oe-third of Lati America"s populatio) are of Spaish or Portuguese origi. I the 16th cetury perhaps 240,000 Spaiards emigrated, mostly to Peru ad Mexico.. Uiversiteit Leide. They were joied by 450,000 i the ext cetury. Betwee 1846 ad 1932 early 5 millio Spaiards wet to the Americas, especially to Argetia ad Brazil.. Britaica Olie Ecyclopedia. From 1960 to 1975, approximately two millio Spaiards migrated to other Wester Europea coutries. Durig the same time period, about 300,000 people left Spai for Lati America.. Focus–Migratio.
Urbaizatio ===Map of the mai metropolita a

|Las Palmas de G.C.
|The city of Giroa
|The city of Toledo

"See also List of metropolita areas i Spai by populatio"
Source: ESPON, 2007

The Spaish Costitutio of 1978, i its secod article, recogises historic etities ("atioalities", a carefully chose word i order to avoid the more politically charged "atios") ad regios, withi the cotext of the Spaish atio. For some people, Spai"s idetity cosists more of a overlap of differet regioal idetities tha of a sole Spaish idetity. Ideed, some of the regioal idetities may eve coflict with the Spaish oe. Distict traditioal regioal idetities withi Spai iclude the Basques, Catalas, Galicias ad Castilias, amog others.

It is this last feature of "shared idetity" betwee the more local level or Autoomous Commuity ad the Spaish level which makes the idetity questio i Spai complex ad far from uivocal.
Miority groups ===Spai has a umber of descedats of populatios from former coloies (especially Equatorial Guiea) ad immigrats from several Sub-Sahara ad Caribbea coutries have bee recetly settlig i Spai. There are also sizeable umbers of Asia immigrats, most of whom are of Chiese, Idia, Filipio, Middle Easter ad South Asia origis; the populatio of Lati Americas (who ca also be of Spaiard descet) is sizeable as well ad a fast growig segmet. Other growig groups are Britos, 760,000 i 2006, Germas ad other immigrats from the rest of Eur

The arrival of the "Gitaos", a Romai people, bega i the 16th&bsp;cetury; estimates of the Spaish Gitao populatio fluctuate aroud 700,000. The "Mercheros" (also Quiquis) are a miority group, formerly omadic, that share a lot of the way of life of Gitaos. Their origi is uclear.
Accordig to the Spaish govermet there were 4.5 millio foreig residets i Spai i 2007; idepedet estimates put the figure at 4.8 millio people, or 11% of the total populatio. Accordig to residece permit data for 2005, about 500,000 were Morocca, aother 500,000 were Ecuadoria, more tha 200,000 were Romaia, ad 260,000 were Colombia. Other sizeable foreig commuities are British (8%), Frech (8%), Argetie (6%), Germa (6%) ad Bolivia (3%). Spai has more tha 200,000 migrats from West ad Cetral Africa.". The Earth Times. November 18, 2009. Sice 2000, Spai has experieced high populatio growth as a result of immigratio flows, despite a birth rate that is oly half the replacemet level. This sudde ad ogoig iflow of immigrats, particularly those arrivig cladestiely by sea, has caused oticeable social tesio. See also: ad ad ad

Withi the EU, Spai has the secod highest immigratio rate i percetage terms after Cyprus, but by a great margi, the highest i absolute umbers. There are a umber of reasos for the high level of immigratio, icludig Spai"s cultural ties with Lati America, its geographical positio, the porosity of its borders, the large size of its udergroud ecoomy ad the stregth of the agricultural ad costructio sectors, which demad more low cost labour tha ca be offered by the atioal workforce.

Aother statistically sigificat factor is the large umber of residets of EU origi typically retirig to Spai"s Mediterraea coast. I fact, Spai was Europe"s largest absorber of migrats from 2002 to 2007, with its immigrat populatio more tha doublig as 2.5 millio people arrived. Accordig to the Fiacial Times, Spai is the most favoured destiatio for West Europeas cosiderig a move from their ow coutry ad seekig jobs elsewhere i the EU.

The umber of immigrats i Spai has grow up from 500,000 people i 1996 to 5.2 millio i 2008 out of a total populatio of 46 millio., October 10, 2007, September 17, 2008 I 2005 aloe, a regularisatio programme d the legal immigrat populatio by 700,000 people. Uemploymet amog immigrats has rise 67% i 2007. Spai"s ew "Pla of Volutary Retur" ecourages immigrats to leave Spai for three years ad offers up to €25,000, but so far, oly 186 Ecuadoras have siged up to retur., TIME, October 20, 2008,, October 9, 2008 I the program"s first two moths last year, just 1,400 immigrats took up the offer., The Wall Street Joural, Jauary 24, 2009
"The laguages of Spai" (simplified)

Spaish ( or , "Castilia") is spoke all over the coutry ad so is the oly laguage with official status atiowide. But a umber of regioal laguages have bee declared co-official, alog with Spaish, i the costituet commuities where they are spoke:
* Basque () (2%) i the Basque Coutry ad Navarre;
* Catala () (17%) i Cataloia ad the Balearic Islads; Valecia ("valecià"), a distict variat of Catala, is official i the Valecia Commuity;
* Galicia () (7%) i Galicia.

There are also some other survivig Romace miority laguages such as the Astur-Leoese group, which icludes two laguages i Spai: Asturia (officially called "Bable") which has protected status i Asturias, ad Leoese, which is protected i Castile ad Leó. Aragoese is vaguely recogized i Arago. Ulike Basque, Catala/Valecia ad Galicia, these laguages do ot have ay official status. This might be due to their very small umber of speakers, a less sigificat writte traditio i compariso to Catala or Galicia, ad lower self-awareess of their speakers which traditioally meat lack of strog popular demad for their recogitio i the regios i which they are spoke.

I the North Africa Spaish city of Melilla, Riff Berber is spoke by a sigificat part of the populatio. I the tourist areas of the Mediterraea coast ad the islads, Eglish ad Germa are widely spoke by tourists, foreig residets, ad tourism workers.
State educatio i Spai is free ad compulsory from the age of 6 to 16. The curret educatio system was established by a educatioal law of 1990, Ley Orgáica de Ordeació Geeral del Sistema Educativo – Law o the Geeral Orgaizatio of the Educatioal System.

|captio=Numbers from the followig source:
Roma Catholicism has log bee the mai religio of Spai,ad although it o loger has official status by law,i all public schools i Spai studets have to choose either religio or ethics ad Catholic is the oly religio officially taught although i some schools there are large umbers of Muslim studets together. Accordig to a July 2009 study by the Spaish Ceter of Sociological Research about 73% of Spaiards self-idetify as Catholics, 2.1% other faith, ad about 22% idetify with o religio amog which 7.3% are atheists. Most Spaiards do ot participate regularly i religious services. This same study shows that of the Spaiards who idetify themselves as religious, 58% hardly ever or ever go to church, 17% go to church some times a year, 9% some time per moth ad 15% every Suday or multiple times per week.

Satiago de Compostela Cathedral (A Coruña), the destiatio of the Way of St. James

But accordig to a December 2006 study, 48% of the populatio declared a belief i a supreme beig, while 41% described themselves as atheist or agostic., Agus Reid Global Moitor, December 30, 2006 Altogether, about 22% of the etire Spaish populatio atteds religious services at least oce per moth. Though Spaish society has become cosiderably more secular i recet decades, the iflux of Lati America immigrats, who ted to be strog Catholic practitioers, has helped the Catholic Church to recover.

Protestat churches have about 1,200,000 members. There are about 105,000 Jehovah"s Witesses. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saits has approximately 46,000 adherets i 133 cogregatios i all regios of the coutry ad has a temple i the Moratalaz District of Madrid.

The recet waves of immigratio have also led to a icreasig umber of Muslims, who umber approximately oe millio i Spai. Presetly, Islam is the secod largest religio i Spai, accoutig for approximately 2.3% of the total populatio. After their expulsio i 1492, Muslims did ot live i Spai for ceturies. Late 19th-cetury coloial expasio i orthwester Africa gave a umber of residets i Spaish Morocco ad Wester Sahara full citizeship. Their raks have sice bee bolstered by recet immigratio, especially from Morocco ad Algeria.

Judaism was practically o-existet i Spai from the 1492 expulsio util the 19th&bsp;cetury, whe Jews were agai permitted to eter the coutry. Curretly there are aroud 62,000 Jews i Spai, or 0.14% of the total populatio. Most are arrivals i the past cetury, while some are descedats of earlier Spaish Jews. Approximately 80,000 Jews are thought to have lived i Spai o the eve of the Spaish Iquisitio.
Curretly, Jews of Sephardic origi are give preferetial status i the acquisitio of Spaish citizeship.
Culture ===The Hemispheric at the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciècies, Val

Spai is kow for its culturally diverse heritage, havig bee iflueced by may atios ad peoples throughout its history. Spaish culture has its origis i the Iberia, Celtiberia, Lati, Visigothic, Roma Catholic, ad Islamic cultures.

The defiitio of a atioal Spaish culture has bee characterized by tesio betwee the cetralized state, domiated i recet ceturies by Castile, ad umerous regios ad miority peoples. I additio, the history of the atio ad its Mediterraea ad Atlatic eviromet have played strog roles i shapig its culture. After Italy, Spai has the secod highest umber of UNESCO World Heritage Sites i the world, with a total of 40.
Miguel de Cervates" Do Quixote is cosidered to be the first moder ovel.

The term Spaish literature refers to literature writte i the Spaish laguage, icludig literature composed i Spaish by writers ot ecessarily from Spai. For literature from Spai i laguages other tha the Spaish, see Catala literature, Basque literature ad Galicia literature. Equally, for Spaish-America literature specifically, see Lati America literature. Due to historic, geographic ad geeratioal diversity, Spaish literature has kow a great umber of iflueces ad it is very diverse. Some major literary movemets ca be idetified withi it.

Miguel de Cervates is probably Spai"s most famous author ad his Do Quixote is cosidered the most emblematic work i the cao of Spaish literature ad a foudig classic of Wester literature.
The Royal Spaish Academy ("Real Academia Española" or "RAE", i Spaish) is the istitutio resposible for regulatig the Spaish laguage. It is based i Madrid, but is affiliated with atioal laguage academies i 21 Spaish-speakig atios through the Associatio of Spaish Laguage Academies. Its emblem is a fiery crucible, ad its motto is "Limpia, fija y da espledor" ("It cleas, sets, ad gives spledor").

The Istitute for Catala Studies ("Istitut d"Estudis Catalas" or "IEC", i Catala) is a academic istitutio which seeks to udertake research ad study ito "all elemets of Catala culture". The IEC is kow pricipally for its work i stadardizig the Catala laguage. The IEC is based i Barceloa, the capital of Cataloia. Officially the IEC provides stadards for Cataloia proper, Norther Cataloia (located i Frace), the Balearic Islads, ad the Pricipality of Adorra (the oly coutry where Catala is the sole official laguage). The Valecia Commuity has its ow laguage academy, the Acadèmia Valeciaa de la Llegua. I a area kow as the Fraja de Poet, the easter edge of Arago adjacet to Cataloia where Catala is spoke, the rules are used de facto although Catala is ot a official laguage.
Art ===Guggeheim Museum i Bi

Artists from Spai have bee highly ifluetial i the developmet of various Europea artistic movemets. Due to historical, geographical ad geeratioal diversity, Spaish art has kow a great umber of iflueces. The Moorish heritage i Spai, especially i Adalusia, is still evidet today i cities like Córdoba, Seville, ad Graada. Europea iflueces iclude Italy, Germay ad Frace, especially durig the Baroque ad Neoclassical periods.
Spaish ciema has achieved major iteratioal success icludig Oscars for recet films such as "Pa"s Labyrith" ad "Volver". I the log history of Spaish ciema, the great filmmaker Luis Buñuel was the first to achieve world recogitio, followed by Pedro Almodóvar i the 1980s. Spaish ciema has also see iteratioal success over the years with films by directors like Segudo de Chomó, Floriá Rey, Luis García Berlaga, Carlos Saura, Julio Medem ad Alejadro Ameábar.
The Plaza de Cibeles i Madrid

Spaish architecture refers to architecture carried out durig ay era i what is ow moder-day Spai, ad by Spaish architects worldwide. The term icludes buildigs withi the curret geographical limits of Spai before this ame was give to those territories, whether they were called Hispaia, Al-Adalus, or were formed of several Christia kigdoms.

Nativity facade of the Sagrada Família Temple i Barceloa

Due to its historical ad geographical diversity, Spaish architecture has draw from a host of iflueces. A importat provicial city fouded by the Romas ad with a extesive Roma era ifrastructure, Córdoba became the cultural capital, icludig fie Arabic style architecture, durig the time of the Islamic Umayyad dyasty. Later Arab style architecture cotiued to be developed uder successive Islamic dyasties, edig with the Nasrid, which built its famed palace complex i Graada.

Simultaeously, the Christia kigdoms gradually emerged ad developed their ow styles; developig a pre-Romaesque style whe for a while isolated from cotemporary maistream Europea architectural iflueces durig the earlier Middle Ages, they later itegrated the Romaesque ad Gothic streams. There was the a extraordiary flowerig of the gothic style that resulted i umerous istaces beig built throughout the etire territory. The Mudéjar style, from the 12th to 17th&bsp;ceturies, was developed by itroducig Arab style motifs, patters ad elemets ito Europea architecture.

Auditorio de Teerife i Sata Cruz de Teerife

The arrival of Moderism i the academic area produced much of the architecture of the 20th&bsp;cetury. A ifluetial style cetered i Barceloa, kow as moderisme, produced a umber of importat architects, of which Gaudí is oe. The Iteratioal style was led by groups like GATEPAC. Spai is curretly experiecig a revolutio i cotemporary architecture ad Spaish architects like Rafael Moeo, Satiago Calatrava, Ricardo Bofill as well as may others have gaied worldwide reow.
Spaish music is ofte cosidered abroad to be syoymous with flameco, a West Adalusia musical gere, which, cotrary to popular belief, is ot widespread outside that regio. Various regioal styles of folk music aboud i Arago, Cataloia, Valecia, Castile, the Basque Coutry, Galicia ad Asturias. Pop, rock, hip hop ad heavy metal are also popular.
Spaish bagpipers or "gaiteros", i Celaova (Ourese)

I the field of classical music, Spai has produced a umber of oted composers such as Isaac Albéiz, Mauel de Falla ad Erique Graados ad sigers ad performers such as Plácido Domigo, José Carreras, Motserrat Caballé, Alicia de Larrocha, Alfredo Kraus, Pablo Casals, Ricardo Viñes, José Iturbi, Pablo de Sarasate, Jordi Savall ad Teresa Bergaza. I Spai there are over forty professioal orchestras, icludig the Orquestra Simfòica de Barceloa, Orquesta Nacioal de España ad the Orquesta Sifóica de Madrid. Major opera houses iclude the Teatro Real,the Gra Teatre del Liceu, Teatro Arriaga ad the El Palau de les Arts Reia Sofía.

Thousads of music fas also travel to Spai each year for iteratioally recogised summer music festivals Soar which ofte features the top up ad comig pop ad techo acts, ad Beicasim which teds to feature alterative rock ad dace acts . | Summer Festival Guide Both festivals mark Spai as a iteratioal music presece ad reflect the tastes of youg people i the coutry.

The musical istrumet origiatig i Spai most popular is udoubtedly the guitar. Also typical of the orther bads of bagpipers ("gaiteros"), maily i Galicia ad the Pricipality of Asturias.
Paella, a dish origiatig i the Valecia Commuity, Spai
Spaish cuisie cosists of a great variety of dishes which stem from differeces i geography, culture ad climate. It is heavily iflueced by seafood available from the waters that surroud the coutry, ad reflects the coutry"s deep Mediterraea roots. Spai"s extesive history with may cultural iflueces has led to a uique cuisie. I particular, three mai divisios are easily idetified:
* "Mediterraea" Spai – all such coastal regios, from Cataloia to Adalusia: heavy use of seafood, such as "pescaíto frito"; several cold soups like gazpacho; ad may rice-based dishes like paella from Valecia ad arroz egro from Cataloia.
* "Ier" Spai – Castile: hot, thick soups such as the bread ad garlic-based "Castilia soup", alog with substatious stews such as cocido madrileño. Food is traditioally coserved by saltig, like Spaish ham, or immersed i olive oil, like Machego cheese.
* "Atlatic" Spai – the whole Norther coast, from Galicia to Navarre: vegetable ad fish-based stews like "pote gallego" ad marmitako. Also, the lightly cured lacó ham.
The Camp Nou, i Barceloa: the largest football stadium i Europe
Sport i Spai has bee domiated by football sice the early 20th cetury. Real Madrid C.F. ad F.C. Barceloa are two of the most successful football clubs i the world. The coutry"s atioal football team wo the UEFA Europea Football Champioship i 1964 ad 2008 ad the FIFA World Cup i 2010.

Basketball, teis, cyclig, hadball, motorcyclig ad, lately, Formula Oe are also importat due to the presece of Spaish champios i all these disciplies. Today, Spai is a major world sports power, especially sice the 1992 Summer Olympics that were hosted i Barceloa ad promoted a great variety of sports i the coutry. The tourism idustry has led to a improvemet i sports ifrastructure, especially for water sports, golf ad skiig.

Rafael Nadal is the leadig Spaish teis player ad has wo several Grad Slam titles icludig the Wimbledo 2010 me"s sigles. I orth Spai is the game of pelota is very popular.
Alberto Cotador is the leadig Spaish cyclist ad has wo several Grad Tour titles icludig the 3 Tour de Frace titles.
Public holidays
Public holidays celebrated i Spai iclude a mix of religious (Roma Catholic), atioal ad regioal observaces. Each muicipality is allowed to declare a maximum of 14 public holidays per year; up to ie of these are chose by the atioal govermet ad at least two are chose locally. Spai"s Natioal Day (Fiesta Nacioal de España) is October 12, the aiversary of the Discovery of America ad commemorate Our Lady of the Pillar feast, patroess of Aragó ad throughout Spai.

The city of Sa Sebastiá i Guipúzcoa
See also

* List of Spai-related topics
Refereces ===;N


Exteral liks
; Govermet

* from Ecyclopaedia Britaica
* from The Ecoomist
* from the Uited States Departmet of State
* from the U.S. Library of Cogress (December 1988)
* from "UCB Libraries GovPubs"
* satellite images, relief maps, outlies ad themed maps of Spaish autoomous commuities, provices ad muicipalities

; Travel

; Other



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Tipps der Redaktion aus dem Reiseportal
"Spain" ( ; , ), officially the "Kingdom of Spain" (In Spain, other laguages have bee officially recogised as legitimate autochthoous (regioal) laguages uder the Europea Charter for Regioal or Miority Laguages. I each of these,
"Palencia" is a city south of "Tierra de Campos", in north-northwest Spain, the capital of the province of Palencia in the autonomous community of Castile-Leon. The municipality had a population of 82,626 in 2008.Palencia contains a few but
"Oviedo" (Bable: Uviéu) is the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain. It is also the name of the municipality that contains the city.Oviedo, which is the administrative and commercial centre of the region, also hosts the
__NOTOC__"Linares" refers to:erson*Arsenio Linares y Pombo (1848–1914), Spanish military officer and government official*Emilio Herrera Linares (1879–1967), Spanish military engineer; president of the Spanish government-in-exile,
"Getxo" ("Guecho" in Spanish) is a town located in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country, in the north of Spain.It is part of the metrpolitan area of Bilbao (Greater Bilbao), and has about 83,000 inhabitants. Getxo
"Majadahonda" is a municipality in Spain, situated 16 km northwest of Madrid, in the Community of Madrid. It lies at 743 m of altitude, and has a population of 63.427 inhabitants (2006) and an area of 39 km².It was founded in the 13th century,
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The former leader of Catalonia, who led the Spanish region to a declaration of independence last year and subsequently fled to Belgium, has said he will not seek to regain his former post "for the time being." Madrid (dpa) - Renouncing a
Polling stations across Catalonia have opened following a months-long political crisis triggered by a referendum for independence from Spain. Thursday's early regional elections, announced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government at
Spain's government rejected an offer of a fresh round of talks with separatist leaders in the country's north-eastern Catalonia region late Wednesday, amid continued uncertainty in the wake of last week's disputed referendum on independence. Madrid


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