Spain Facts

Spain Facts and History


Spain – a wonderful experience

Spain has always been considered a beautiful country. For the Greeks it was the land in which the golden apples of the Hesperides grew, for the Arabs it was the preliminary stage of heaven. For Central Europeans, the country is the epitome of sunny coasts. The Balearic Islands, which belong to Spain, and the Canaries are also paradises for sun-seekers. Spain is the highest country in Europe after Switzerland. The middle of the country is occupied by the Meseta plateau, which is framed by mountains. The highest peak on the mainland is the Sierra Nevada at 3,478 meters in the south of the country. Of course there are 3,000 km of coastline in Spain with some spectacular 100 meter high cliffs. The highest peak in the entire country is the Teide on Tenerife with a height of 3,718 m.

Name of the country Reino de España/Kingdom of Spain
Form of government Parliamentary monarchy
Head of state King Felipe VI. – Since June 19, 2014, his father, Juan Carlos I, had ruled from November 22, 1975, and

his resignation became final on June 18, 2014

Geographical location Southwest Europe, Iberian Peninsula
National anthem Marcha Real
Population approximately 46.2 million (Credit: Countryaah: Spain Population)
Ethnicities Spaniards, Catalans, Galicians, Basques
Religions Roman Catholicism (more than 90%)
Languages Castellano (Castilian), Catalan, Galician, Basque
Capital Madrid
Surface 505,992 km²
Highest mountain Pico de Teide (on Tenerife), 3,718 m
Longest river Tajo, with a length of 1,010 km
International license plate E.
National currency Euro (€) = 100 cents
Time difference to CET Mainland 0 h; Canaries – 1 h
International phone code 0034
Mains voltage, frequency 230 volts, 50 hertz (but sometimes still 110/125 volts),on the Balearic and Canary Islands 220 V, 50 Hz
Internet Top Level Domain (TLD) .it

Spain: history

Before the year 1000

The oldest prehistoric finds in Spain are dated to around 30,000 to 50,000 BC. dated. The main remains are in the Cova Negra (Játiva) and Piñar (Granada) caves.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, from approx. 10,000 BC. The Iberian Peninsula was settled by different peoples, including Iberians, Celts, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Arabs and Romans.

Around 1,100 BC The Phoenicians founded the first trading establishments on the Spanish coast. Greeks later also settled on the peninsula. Around 200 BC The land fell to the Roman Empire, which it owned until around 600 BC. Roman structures such as aquaducts and amphitheaters were built.

Around the year AD 400, the Vandals conquered the country.

In 711 the Arabs crossed the Strait of Gibraltar. After defeating the last King of the Visigoths Roderich (710-711), they conquered the entire peninsula in a short time. The rule of the Arabs lasted almost 800 years. Southern Spain in particular, which was then called Al-Andalus, was a cultural boom. In 756 the emirate of Cordoba was founded.

From the year 1000 to the 17th century

From the 12th century, in the age of the Inquisition, the Spanish Empire developed into a powerful state. The unification of the two most important Christian kingdoms through the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragón and Isabella of Castile in 1469 marked a turning point. From this point on, the Arabs lost ground and in 1492 they finally (re-) conquered the country. In the same year Christopher Columbus discovered America while looking for a sea route to India and thus established the Spanish supremacy at sea. Colonies around the world, e.g. B. in South America, were founded and Spain developed into one of the most powerful nations in the world.

Isabella died in 1504 and her daughter Johanna (“Johanna die Wahnsinnige”) inherited the throne. The House of Habsburg entered Spain with her husband (“Philip the Beautiful”). In 1517, her son united one of the most powerful empires in history as Charles I of Spain and Charles V of the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation”. Spain experienced an economic boom. However, the colonial empire was soon weakened by wars and in 1588 the English (see also England) defeated the Spanish Armada under Philip II (1527-1597) – the son of Charles V. As a result, Spain lost its leading role in Europe.

In the 18th and 19th centuries

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Latin American colonies broke away from the motherland. Napoleonic troops conquered Spain, but were repulsed shortly afterwards. Unrest and power struggles led to the Seven Years’ War. The consequences were economic recession and political instability, and Spain lost much of its overseas possessions. After the revolution of 1868, the republic was proclaimed, which was replaced by the monarchy a year later. During the Spanish-American War, the country lost its last overseas possessions.

In the 20th century

The economic crisis of the early 1920s brought the country to the brink of civil war and General Primo de Ribera established a military dictatorship. In 1930 he was replaced by elections from the political left and the republic was proclaimed again. After the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) General Franco took power with the support of fascist Germany, although numerous intellectuals (such as Ernest Hemingway) and political activists from other countries fought in the “International Brigades”. Franco managed to keep Spain out of World War II, but his military dictatorship nonetheless led to political and economic isolation.

On November 22, 1975, two days after the death of the dictator Franco, Juan Carlos I was declared king and immediately began to initiate the democratization of the country. In 1978 the new constitution of Spain came into force and in 1986 the country joined the EU and NATO. In 1992 the Olympic Games took place in Barcelona and the World Exhibition EXPO’92 in Seville. At the same time, Madrid was declared the European Capital of Culture.

On December 1, 1982, Felipe González Márquez (born 1942) of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) became Prime Minister of the country. He was followed on May 4, 1996 by the conservative José María Aznar López(born 1953) from the Spanish People’s Party Partido Popular (PP), which emerged in 1989 from the AP (Alianza Popular) and whose chairman was Aznar in 1990.

After the terrible terrorist attacks in Madrid on March 11, 2004, the socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (born 1960) of the PSOE won the parliamentary election on March 14, 2004 and became Prime Minister of the country on April 16.

He won the parliamentary election on March 9, 2008 again – even with a slight increase in votes compared to the last election – and that against the bitter resistance of the clergy in the country. He was then re-elected Prime Minister by Parliament on April 11 and sworn in by the King a day later.

After the resignation of Juan Carlos I on June 19, 2014, his son was the new King Felipe VI. sworn in.

Spain Facts