Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
The Paleozoic Era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon. It is the longest of the Phanerozoic eras, lasting from 541 to 251.902 million years ago, is subdivided into six geologic periods: the Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian and Permian. The Paleozoic comes after the Neoproterozoic Era of the Proterozoic Eon and is followed by the Mesozoic Era; the Paleozoic was a time of dramatic geological and evolutionary change. The Cambrian witnessed the most rapid and widespread diversification of life in Earth's history, known as the Cambrian explosion, in which most modern phyla first appeared. Arthropods, fish, amphibians and diapsids all evolved during the Paleozoic. Life began in the ocean but transitioned onto land, by the late Paleozoic, it was dominated by various forms of organisms. Great forests of primitive plants covered the continents, many of which formed the coal beds of Europe and eastern North America. Towards the end of the era, sophisticated diapsids and synapsids were dominant and the first modern plants appeared.
The Paleozoic Era ended with the largest extinction event in the history of Earth, the Permian–Triassic extinction event. The effects of this catastrophe were so devastating that it took life on land 30 million years into the Mesozoic Era to recover. Recovery of life in the sea may have been much faster; the Paleozoic era began and ended with supercontinents and in between were the rise of mountains along the continental margins, flooding and draining of shallow seas between the mountain ranges, in the interior of the continents. At its start, the supercontinent Pannotia broke up. Paleoclimatic studies and evidence of glaciers indicate that central Africa was most in the polar regions during the early Paleozoic. During the early Paleozoic, the huge continent Gondwana was forming. By mid-Paleozoic, the collision of North America and Europe produced the Acadian-Caledonian uplifts, a subduction plate uplifted eastern Australia. By the late Paleozoic, continental collisions formed the supercontinent of Pangaea and resulted in some of the great mountain chains, including the Appalachians, Ural Mountains, mountains of Tasmania.
There are six periods in the Paleozoic Era: Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian and the Permian. The Cambrian spans from 541 million years to 485 million years and is the first period of the Paleozoic era of the Phanerozoic; the Cambrian marked a boom in evolution in an event known as the Cambrian explosion in which the largest number of creatures evolved in any single period of the history of the Earth. Creatures like algae evolved, but the most ubiquitous of that period were the armored arthropods, like trilobites. All marine phyla evolved in this period. During this time, the supercontinent Pannotia begins to break up, most of which became the supercontinent Gondwana; the Ordovician spanned from 485 million years to 443 million years ago. The Ordovician was a time in Earth's history in which many of the biological classes still prevalent today evolved, such as primitive fish and coral; the most common forms of life, were trilobites and shellfish. More the first arthropods went ashore to colonize the empty continent of Gondwana.
By the end of the Ordovician, Gondwana was at the south pole, early North America had collided with Europe, closing the Atlantic Ocean. Glaciation of Africa resulted in a major drop in sea level, killing off all life that had established along coastal Gondwana. Glaciation may have caused the Ordovician–Silurian extinction events, in which 60% of marine invertebrates and 25% of families became extinct, is considered the first mass extinction event and the second deadliest; the Silurian spanned from 443 to 416 million years ago. The Silurian saw the rejuvenation of life; this period saw the mass evolution of fish, as jawless fish became more numerous, jawed fish evolved, the first freshwater fish evolved, though arthropods, such as sea scorpions, were still apex predators. Terrestrial life evolved, including early arachnids and centipedes; the evolution of vascular plants allowed plants to gain a foothold on land. These early plants were the forerunners of all plant life on land. During this time, there were four continents: Gondwana, Laurentia and Avalonia.
The recent rise in sea levels allowed many new species to thrive in water. The Devonian spanned from 416 million years to 359 million years ago. Known as "The Age of the Fish", the Devonian featured a huge diversification of fish, including armored fish like Dunkleosteus and lobe-finned fish which evolved into the first tetrapods. On land, plant groups diversified in an event known as the Devonian Explosion when plants made lignin allowing taller growth and vascular tissue: the first trees evolved, as well as seeds; this event diversified arthropod life, by providing them new habitats. The first amphibians evolved, the fish were now at the top of the food chain. Near the end of the Devonian, 70% of all species became extinct in an event known as the Late Devonian extinction, the Earth's second mass extinction event; the Carboniferous spanned from 359 million to 299 million years ago. During this time, average global temperatures were exc
Maladeta is a mountain in the Pyrenees, close to the highest peak in the range, Aneto. It is located in the Natural Park of Posets-Maladeta in the town of Benasque in Province of Huesca, Spain, its northern slope contains the 91-acre Maladeta Glacier, divided into the 15-acre Western Maladeta and the 77-acre Eastern Maladeta. Maladeta was considered to be highest peak in the area, attempts to reach its summit took priority over the other peaks in the range; the first successful ascent of the peak was made by Johann Jacob Friedrich Wilhelm Parrot with guide Pierre Barrau in 1817. The name "Maladeta" comes from the Spanish montes malditos, which means "Damned Mountains". According to some authorities the local name for the massif was Mala hita; when French travellers came to the region they translated the name into the French as "Maladette", on the basis that it was cognate with the Italian term Maladetta. Subsequently the mountain became known as a term that encompasses the entire massif. While not the highest peak in the local group of mountains, Maladeta was named for the entire group, called Montes Malditos.
It attracted the most interest from climbers in the early nineteenth century, as its summit appears in the foreground from the natural entrance to the valley via the port of Benasque or when arriving from France. From this vantage point, the Cresta Portillones hides the true height of its eastern neighbour Aneto, taller and has more extensive glaciers; the first attempts to reach the peak were by Ramond in 1787, Ferrieres in 1801, Louis Cordier in 1802. It wasn't until German naturalist Johann Jacob Friedrich Wilhelm Parrot, with guide Pierre Barrau, climbed to the summit of the mountain on 28 September 1817 that Aneto was discovered to be higher. Pierre Barrau, considered to be the leading expert in the area, was killed in a crevice of the Maladeta glacier in 1824; as a result, locals became fearful of venturing out on the ice. The movement of the glacier in 1931 exposed the body. In the early twentieth century, the Refugio de la Renclusa mountain hut was opened, it is the most common starting point for climbing the Aneto.
It is located 2,140 m above sea level and is accessed via a path that leaves from the La Besurta recreational area. Due to the variety of wildlife in the valleys and the sensitivity of its glaciers, Maladeta was declared a natural park in 1994, together with the entire range, part of the Pyrenean Glaciers Natural Monument. Maladeta rises to 3,308 metres above sea level in the heart of the Pyrenees along the border between France and Spain; the summit is located northeast of the Province of Huesca and occupies the centre of the Montes Malditos. It is connected to Aneto to the east by a 3,000-metre row of peaks called the Cresta del Medio, along with the crest of the Portillones, give the appearance of being solid; the snow from its slopes feeds the headwaters of the Ésera and Ballibierna rivers, both on the south side. The Maladeta range is surrounded by valleys. A hill of over 8,200 feet, crowned by the Perdiguero, separates the valley of Arán from France; the wider and more compact Spanish side, less accessible, is separated from the foothills by the gorges and ravines of the Posets and Maladeta mountain ranges.
The Cerler alpine ski resort lies two valleys further south. The normal route of ascent is common to both Maladeta and Aneta up to the height of the upper Portillón. There one continues in a straight line to the bottom of the crest of the Maladeta, accessible via a steep passage to a distinctive and visible rock; the route into the corridor can be hazardous because a deep bergschrund that opens in the glacier following the winter. Ascents of the mountain are only recommended for experienced climbers; the mountain hut La Renclusa, located in the foothills at 2,500-metre, is the usual starting point for ascents of Maladeta and Aneto. List of Pyrenean three-thousanders
Bagnères-de-Luchon referred to as Luchon, is a French commune and spa town in the Haute-Garonne department in the Occitanie region of south-western France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Luchonnaises; the commune has been awarded three flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Bagnères-de-Luchon is located on the Spanish border some 50 km south-west of Saint-Gaudens and 40 km south of Montréjeau at the end of a branch line of the Southern railway at the foot of the central Pyrenees. To the south the Luchonnais Mountains form a natural barrier and there is no crossing point into Spain. Access to the commune is by the D125 road from Salles-et-Pratviel in the north which passes through the town and continues south through the commune to its termination in the mountains; the D618A branches off the D125 south of the town and goes east to Saint-Mamet continuing through the Val d'Aran and the Col du Portillon to the Spanish border.
The D618 goes west from the town to Saint-Aventin. The D46 goes north-east to Sode; the D125C goes north by north-west to Moustajon. The town is located in a valley at the confluence of the L'One river from the west and the Pique river from the south. Numerous streams flow into these rivers including the Ruisseau de Sahage into L'One, the Ruisseau de Bagnartigue, the Ruisseau de Jean, the Lys, the Ruisseau des Barguieres, the Ruisseau de Laus d'Esbas, the Ruisseau de Garante, the Ruisseau de Sajust, the Ruisseau de Layrous, the Ruisseau de Roumingau, the Ruisseau du Port de Venasque all flowing into the Pique; the Ruisseau de Bouneu forms much of the western border of the commune as it flows north to join the Lys. There are several high mountain lakes in the south of the commune which feed the Pique including the Boums de Port and the Etang de la Freche; the Gare de Luchon railway station is the SNCF terminal station for the Montréjeau to Gourdan-Polignan and Luchon line that connects to Toulouse via Montréjeau.
On weekends, a night train connects Bagneres-de-Luchon directly to Paris. The Montréjeau to Bagnères-de-Luchon train line was suspended in 2014; the connection is now made by bus. A Gondola lift since 1993 has connected Bagneres-de-Luchon to Superbagnères, it replaced the Chemin de fer de Luchon à Superbagnères rack railway which operated from 1912 to 1966. There is a small public aerodrome in the commune just east of the town where the Aeroclub de Luchon is based; the commune is located on a slope. Winter temperatures range from −10 to 10 degrees Celsius and summer temperatures range from 10 to 35 degrees Celsius; the northerly wind brings more anticyclonic conditions and south-west or north-west winds are often a harbinger of a disturbance. Sometimes the north and south winds are reversed causing storms on the valley which are sometimes strong with hail due to the moist air in the south and dry air in the north; the name Bagneres-de-Luchon comes in the other part from a local god. After some confusion the Académie Julien Sacaze confirmed that Lixon is the correct Roman name for Luchon and not Ilixon.
The town has existed for more than 2,000 years. The presence of a population has been attested since Neolithic times at least in the Saint-Mamet Cave; the presence of Stone circles attests to an ancient occupation. In 76 BC Pompey, returning from a policing expedition in Spain, stopped in the area and founded the new city of Lugdunum Convenarum where he brought together the scattered Convènes tribe: this was the future Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges. One of his soldiers who suffered from a skin disease immersed himself in the thermal waters of Luchon and its "Onésiens" baths where he discovered their thermal properties. After 21 days he came out healed. In 25 BC Tiberius Claude developed thermal baths; the baths had a modest motto: "Balneum Lixonense post Neapolitense primum", still today the motto of the town. Julius Caesar spoke of the region his "Commentaries"; the invasions of the Goths and Visigoths passed through the region as well as the incursions of the Moors. People took refuge in the high valleys of Oueil.
Traces of these invasions remain in some local legends. Charlemagne and Gaston Phoebus gave the area a special status of a border March with a certain amount of autonomy between France and Spain; the area was untouched by the Hundred Years' War, as well as by the suppression of Catharism and the Protestant Reformation. People remained loyal to a'modified' Catholicism, which it took the bishops of Saint-Béat centuries to rein in, they extorted payment for funeral Masses in the form of well-watered meals, they were loyal to the interests of their house of origin, rather than to Rome. In 987 the village of "Banières" and its thermal baths around its church was described as quite successful. At Toussaint there was a major fair which did not have, the fame of that of Saint-Béat, which benefited more from trade with Spain. Around 1200 the hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem installed a commandery at Frontés, between Montauban and Juzet-de-Luchon; the goal was to control the passage to the mountain, a secondary road on the Camino de Santiago, to organize hospices for pilgrims and merchants who risked their lives in winter.
The Mesozoic Era is an interval of geological time from about 252 to 66 million years ago. It is called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers; the Mesozoic is one of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon, preceded by the Paleozoic and succeeded by the Cenozoic. The era is subdivided into three major periods: the Triassic and Cretaceous, which are further subdivided into a number of epochs and stages; the era began in the wake of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, the largest well-documented mass extinction in Earth's history, ended with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, another mass extinction whose victims included the non-avian dinosaurs. The Mesozoic was a time of significant tectonic and evolutionary activity; the era witnessed the gradual rifting of the supercontinent Pangaea into separate landmasses that would move into their current positions during the next era. The climate of the Mesozoic was varied, alternating between cooling periods. Overall, the Earth was hotter than it is today.
Dinosaurs first appeared in the Mid-Triassic, became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates in the Late Triassic or Early Jurassic, occupying this position for about 150 or 135 million years until their demise at the end of the Cretaceous. Birds first appeared in the Jurassic; the first mammals appeared during the Mesozoic, but would remain small—less than 15 kg —until the Cenozoic. The flowering plants arose in the Triassic or Jurassic and came to prominence in the late Cretaceous when they replaced the conifers and other gymnosperms as the dominant trees; the phrase "Age of Reptiles" was introduced by the 19th century paleontologist Gideon Mantell who viewed it as dominated by diapsids such as Iguanodon, Megalosaurus and Pterodactylus. Mesozoic means "middle life", deriving from the Greek prefix meso-/μεσο- for "between" and zōon/ζῷον meaning "animal" or "living being"; the name "Mesozoic" was proposed in 1840 by the British geologist John Phillips. Following the Paleozoic, the Mesozoic extended 186 million years, from 251.902 to 66 million years ago when the Cenozoic Era began.
This time frame is separated into three geologic periods. From oldest to youngest: Triassic Jurassic Cretaceous The lower boundary of the Mesozoic is set by the Permian–Triassic extinction event, during which 90% to 96% of marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrates became extinct, it is known as the "Great Dying" because it is considered the largest mass extinction in the Earth's history. The upper boundary of the Mesozoic is set at the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, which may have been caused by an asteroid impactor that created Chicxulub Crater on the Yucatán Peninsula. Towards the Late Cretaceous, large volcanic eruptions are believed to have contributed to the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. 50% of all genera became extinct, including all of the non-avian dinosaurs. The Triassic ranges from 252 million to 201 million years ago, preceding the Jurassic Period; the period is bracketed between the Permian–Triassic extinction event and the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event, two of the "big five", it is divided into three major epochs: Early and Late Triassic.
The Early Triassic, about 252 to 247 million years ago, was dominated by deserts in the interior of the Pangaea supercontinent. The Earth had just witnessed a massive die-off in which 95% of all life became extinct, the most common vertebrate life on land were lystrosaurus and euparkeria along with many other creatures that managed to survive the Permian extinction. Temnospondyls would be the dominant predator for much of the Triassic; the Middle Triassic, from 247 to 237 million years ago, featured the beginnings of the breakup of Pangaea and the opening of the Tethys Sea. Ecosystems had recovered from the Permian extinction. Algae, sponge and crustaceans all had recovered, new aquatic reptiles evolved, such as ichthyosaurs and nothosaurs. On land, pine forests flourished, as did groups of insects like mosquitoes and fruit flies. Reptiles began to get bigger and bigger, the first crocodilians and dinosaurs evolved, which sparked competition with the large amphibians that had ruled the freshwater world mammal-like reptiles on land.
Following the bloom of the Middle Triassic, the Late Triassic, from 237 to 201 million years ago, featured frequent heat spells and moderate precipitation. The recent warming led to a boom of dinosaurian evolution on land as those one began to separate from each other, as well as first pterosaurs. During the Late Triassic, some advanced cynodonts gave rise to the first Mammaliaformes. All this climatic change, resulted in a large die-out known as the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, in which many archosaurs, most synapsids, all large amphibians became extinct, as well as 34% of marine life, in the Earth's fourth mass extinction event; the cause is debatable. The Jurassic ranges from 200 million years to 145 million years ago and features three major epochs: The Early Jurassic, the Middle Jurassic, the L
Province of Huesca
Huesca Huesca/Uesca, is a province of northeastern Spain, in northern Aragon. The capital is Huesca. Positioned just south of the central Pyrenees, Huesca borders France and the French Departments of Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées. Within Spain, Huesca's neighboring provinces are Navarre and Lleida. Covering a mountainous area of 15626 km², the province of Huesca has a total population of 219345 in 2018, with a quarter of its people living in the capital city of Huesca; the low population density, 14.62/km², has meant that Huesca's lush valleys and lofty mountain ranges have remained pristine and unspoiled by progress. Home to majestic scenery, the tallest mountain in the Pyrenees, the Aneto. Popular with mountaineers, spelunkers and white water rafters it is a popular snow skiing destination with notable resorts in Candanchú, Astún, Panticosa and Cerler; the Romans colonised the province of Huesca, which formed the northern part of Hispania Tarraconensis, continued to live there well into the 5th century until the arrival of the Visigoths.
As a mountainous frontier region, it was difficult to dominate. The northern counties had at one time belonged to the Kingdom of Navarre but split off and managed to stem early Moorish invasions in the Middle Ages by forming alliances between themselves and with the Franks, to become Frankish feudal marches; the imperative of sovereignty, or independence, for the northern border counts, gave rise to the Kingdom of Aragon, the precursor to the Empire or Crown of Aragon, the Kingdom of Spain. The modern day province comprises 202 municipalities; the following comarcas having their capital in Huesca Province include municipal terms within Zaragoza Province: Bajo Cinca: Mequinenza. Hoya de Huesca: Murillo de Gállego and Santa Eulalia de Gállego. Jacetania: Artieda, Salvatierra de Esca and Sigüés. Monegros: La Almolda, Farlete, Leciñena and Perdiguera. Spanish is the primary language in the province. However, the local linguistic varieties in the center and north of the province belong to the Aragonese language, which now survives in the northernmost comarcas, such as the Aragon Valley in Jacetania, the Alto Gallego and Ribagorza, where hitherto landlocked and isolated villages have helped the language to thrive into the 21st century.
In the easternmost areas of the province, varieties of the Catalan language are spoken, with a few transitional dialects difficult to classify as Aragonese or Catalan. List of municipalities in Huesca Diputación Provincial de Huesca
Monte Perdido is the third highest mountain in the Pyrenees. The summit of Monte Perdido, located in Spain, lies hidden from France by the impenetrable peaks of the Cirques of Gavarnie and Estaubé, it stands in the north of Huesca province. The mountain forms part of the Monte Perdido Range and is located in the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, in the western part of the Pyrenees, in the community of Aragon, Spain. Access to the mountain is easier from Spain than from France; the route starts near the village of Torla, Aragon, at the Ordesa Valley and ascends the Cirque de Soaso towards the Refuge of Góriz before the stiff climb to the summit. It is a dangerous climb with snow. Monte Perdido is the centre-piece of the Spanish Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, established in 1918 with just 21 square kilometres of land; the park has grown to 156 square kilometres and incorporates the whole of the Añisclo Canyon. There are more than 1,500 species of flowers, 171 species of birds, 32 different mammals and 8 types of reptile in the Ordesa.
Most magnificent of all is the lammergeier with a 3-metre wingspan. The Pyrenees is one of the few places in Europe. List of mountains in Aragon List of Pyrenean three-thousanders Normal route and Escaleras route to climb Monte Perdido komandokroketa.org, retrieved 2013-08-20 "Glaciar de Monte Perdido - Gavarnie and Monte Perdido Massif" swisseduc.ch, retrieved 2013-08-20