Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Spain is not a federation, but a decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes; each community has its own set of devolved powers. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism". There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies"; the two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it.
This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies". The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a diverse country made up of several different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown in 1479 this was not a process of national homogenization or amalgamation; the constituent territories—be it crowns, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories exhibited a variety of local customs, laws and currencies until the mid nineteenth century.
From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime. Leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries; this culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces, which served as transmission belts for policies developed in Madrid. However, unlike in other European countries such as France, where regional languages were spoken in rural areas or less developed regions, two important regional languages of Spain were spoken in some of the most industrialized areas, moreover, enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, in addition to having their own cultures and historical consciousness; these were Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism; therefore and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. As such, Spanish history since the late 19th century has been shaped by a dialectical struggle between Spanish nationalism and peripheral nationalisms in Catalonia and the Basque Country, to a lesser degree in Galicia.
In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1914, only to be abolished in 1923. It was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonia's mediaeval institution of government, was restored; the constitution of 1931 envisaged a territorial division for all Spain in "autonomous regions", never attained—only Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia had approved "Statutes of Autonomy"—the process being thwarted by the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936, the victory of the rebel Nationalist forces under Francisco Franco. During General Franco's dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the "unity of the Spanish nation". Peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats, his attempts to fight separatism with heavy-handed but sporadic repression, his severe suppression of language and regional identities backfired: the demands for democracy became intertwined with demands for the recognition of a pluralistic vision of the Spanish nationhood.
When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy. The most difficult task of the newly democratically elected Cortes Generales in 1977 acting as a Constituent Assembly was to transition from a unitary centralized state into a decentralized state in a way that would satisfy the demands of the peripheral nationalists; the Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. Shortly after, the government allowed the creation of "assemblies of members of parliament" integrated by deputies and senators of the different territories of Spain, so that they could constitute "pre-autonomic regimes" for their regions as well; the Fathers of the Constitution had to strike a balance between the opposing views of Spain—on the one hand, the centralist view inherited from Franco's regime, on the other hand federalism and a pluralistic view of Spain as a "nation of nations".
Covadonga is one of 11 parishes in Cangas de Onís, a municipality within the province and autonomous community of Asturias, in Northwestern Spain. It is situated in the Picos de Europa mountains. With a permanent population of 58, it consists of the Real Sitio de Covadonga known as the "cradle of Spain", a pilgrimage site dedicated to Our Lady of Covadonga and commemorating the Battle of Covadonga of 718/722; the Battle of Covadonga of c. 722 was the first Christian victory in the Iberian Peninsula over the Arabs and Berbers invading from north Africa under the Umayyad banner, is considered to be the start of the 770-year effort to expel Muslim rulers governing the Iberia during the Reconquista. Our Lady of Covadonga is a significant Marian shrine; the Spanish Army has, over the years, named several of its units "Covadonga". In the mountains above the town are located the two lakes of Covadonga and Ercina, the road leading to the lakes is featured in the Vuelta a España bicycle race; the Sanctuary of Covandonga is a monument dedicated to Our Lady of Covadonga that commemorates the Battle of Covadonga.
It comprises the Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga, a church built in the 19th century to a design by Roberto Frassinelli, Santa Cueva de Covadonga, in which the bodies of Kings Pelagius and Alfonso I lie, Collegiate church of Nuestra Señora de Covadonga, built in the 16th century and declared a Bien de Interés Cultural in 1884, Montasterio de San Pedro, Esplanade, with the Museum of the Real Sitio de Covadonga. Battle of Covadonga Lakes of Covadonga Count of Covadonga Countess of Covadonga Schooner Virjen de Covadonga Covadonga Real sitio de Covadonga
Sella River (Bay of Biscay)
The Sella is a river located in northwest Spain. It flows through the region of Asturias from the Picos de Europa to the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean at Ribadesella, it hosts an annual canoe competition called the International Descent of the Sella River on the first Saturday in August. List of rivers of Spain
Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spain)
The National Statistics Institute is the official agency in Spain that collects statistics about demography and Spanish society. It is an autonomous organization in Spain responsible for overall coordination of statistical services of the General State Administration in monitoring and supervision of technical procedures; every 10 years, this organisation conducts a national census. The last census took place in 2011. Through the official website one can follow all the updates of different fields of study; the oldest statistics agency of Spain and the predecessor of the current agency was the General Statistics Commission of the Kingdom, created on November 3, 1856 during the reign of Isabella II. The so-then Prime Minister Narváez approved a decree creating this body and ordering that people with recognized ability in this matter were part of it. On May 1, 1861, the Commission change its name to General Statistics Board and their first work was to do a population census. By a decree of September 12, 1870, Prime Minister Serrano created the Geographic Institute and in 1873 this Institute change its name to Geographic and Statistic Institute assuming the competences of the General Statistics Board.
In 1890, the titularity of the agency was transferred from the Prime Minister's Office to the Ministry of Development. Between 1921 and 1939, change its name many times. In the same way, the agency was transferred from a ministry to another, passing through the Deputy Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of the Presidency and the Ministry of Labour; the National Statistics Institute was created following the Law of December 31, 1945, published in the BOE of January 3, 1946, with a mission to develop and refine the demographic and social statistics existing, creating new statistics and coordination with the statistical offices of provincial and municipal areas. At the end of 1964 the first computer was installed at the INE, it was a first-generation IBM 1401, for which a team was formed consisting of four statistics faculty and ten technicians. In the four years following it was possible that said. INE Website
Meteorite falls called observed falls, are meteorites collected after their fall from space was observed by people or automated devices. All other meteorites are called "finds". There are more than 1,100 documented falls listed in used databases, most of which have specimens in modern collections; as of January 2019, the Meteoritical Bulletin Database has 1,180. Observed meteorite falls are interesting for several reasons. Material from observed falls has not been subjected to terrestrial weathering, making the find a better candidate for scientific study. Observed falls were the most compelling evidence supporting the extraterrestrial origin of meteorites. Furthermore, observed fall discoveries are a better representative sample of the types of meteorites which fall to Earth. For example, iron meteorites take much longer to weather and are easier to identify as unusual objects, as compared to other types; this may explain the increased proportion of iron meteorites among finds, over that among observed falls.
There is detailed statistics on falls such as based on meteorite classification. As of January 2019, the Meteoritical Bulletin Database has 1,180 confirmed falls with statistics for the previous decades in the table to the right; the German physicist Ernst Cladni, sometimes considered as the father of meteoritics, was the first to publish the audacious idea that meteorites were rocks from space. There were several documented cases, one of the earliest was the Aegospotami meteorite of 467 BC and which became a landmark for 500 years. Below is a list of 8 confirmed falls pre-1600 AD. However, unlike the Loket and Ensisheim meteorites, not all are as well-documented. While most confirmed falls involve masses between less than one kg to several kg, some reach 100 kg or more. A few have fragments that total more than one metric ton; the six largest falls are listed below and five occurred during the 20th century. Events of such magnitude may happen a few times per century but if it occurred in remote areas, may have gone unreported.
For comparison, the largest finds are the 60-ton Hoba meteorite, a 30.8-ton fragment and a 28.8-ton fragment of the Campo del Cielo, a 30.9-ton fragment of the Cape York meteorite. These 14 have been found in 2010 and after. Since in the modern period around half a dozen falls are found each year, the table needs some updating; these have all been arranged alphabetically. Glossary of meteoritics Meteorite fall statistics
Battle of Covadonga
The Battle of Covadonga was the first victory won by Christian military forces in Iberia after the Islamic conquest of Hispania in 711–718. It was fought at Covadonga, either in 718 or 722; the battle was central to the creation of an independent Christian principality in the mountains of the northwestern region of the Iberian peninsula that grew into the Kingdom of Asturias and became a bastion of Christian resistance to the expansion of Muslim rule. As a result, the Battle of Covadonga has been credited by historians with catalyzing the Reconquista or the "reconquest" of Christian rule to the entire peninsula. According to texts written by Mozarabs in northern Iberia during the ninth century, the Visigoths in AD 718 elected a nobleman named Pelagius, as their princeps, or leader. Pelagius, the first monarch of the Asturian kingdom, was a grandson of a former King of Hispania and son of Favila, a dignitary at the court of the Visigoth King Egica, established his headquarters at Cangas de Onís, Asturias and incited an uprising against the Umayyad Muslims.
From the beginning of the Muslim invasion of Iberia and combatants from the south of the peninsula had been moving north to avoid Islamic authority. Some had taken refuge in the remote mountains of Asturias in the northwestern part of the Iberian peninsula. There, from among the dispossessed of the south, Pelagius recruited his band of fighters, his first acts were to refuse to pay the Jizya to the Muslims any longer and to assault the small Umayyad garrisons, stationed in the area. He managed to expel a provincial governor named Munuza from Asturias, he held the territory against a number of attempts to re-establish Muslim control, soon founded the Kingdom of Asturias, which became a Christian stronghold against further Muslim expansion. For the first few years, this rebellion posed no threat to the new masters of Hispania, whose seat of power had been established at Córdoba. There was only a minor perfunctory reaction. Pelagius was not always able to keep the Muslims out of Asturias but neither could they defeat him, as soon as the Moors left, he would always re-establish control.
Islamic forces were focused on raiding Narbonne and Gaul, there was a shortage of manpower for putting down an inconsequential insurrection in the mountains. Pelagius never attempted to force the issue, it was an Umayyad defeat elsewhere that set the stage for the Battle of Covadonga. On July 9, 721, a Muslim force that had crossed the Pyrenees and invaded the Kingdom of the Franks was defeated by them in the Battle of Toulouse, in present-day France; this was the first serious setback in the Muslim campaign in southwestern Europe. Reluctant to return to Córdoba with such unalloyed bad news, the Ummayad wāli, Anbasa ibn Suhaym Al-Kalbi, decided that putting down the rebellion in Asturias on his way home would afford his troops an easy victory and raise their flagging morale. In 722, forces commanded by the Umayyad commanders Al Qama and Munuza, accompanied by Bishop Oppas of Seville, were sent to Asturias; as Al Qama overran much of the region, folklore suggests that Oppas attempted to broker the surrender of his fellow Christians, but he failed in the effort.
Pelagius and his force retreated deep into the mountains of Asturias retiring into a narrow valley flanked by mountains, defensible due to the impossibility of launching a broad-fronted attack. Pelagius may have had as few as three hundred men with him. Al Qama arrived at Covadonga, sent forward an envoy to convince Pelagius to surrender, he refused, so Al Qama ordered his best troops into the valley to fight. The Asturians shot arrows and stones from the slopes of the mountains, at the climactic moment, Pelagius led some of his soldiers out into the valley, they had been hiding in a cave, unseen by the Muslims. The Christian accounts of the battle claim that the slaughter among the Muslims was horrific, while Umayyad accounts describe it as a mere skirmish. Al Qama himself fell in the battle, his soldiers withdrew from the battlefield. In the aftermath of Pelagius' victory, the people of the conquered villages of Asturias now emerged with their weapons, killed hundreds of Al Qama's retreating troops.
Munuza, learning of the defeat, organized another force, gathered what was left of the survivors of Covadonga. At some date, he confronted Pelagius and his now augmented force, near the modern town of Proaza. Again Pelagius won, Munuza was killed in the fighting, and although the Arabs in their own histories called Pelagius and his men "thirty Infidels left, what can they do", they never again challenged the independence of the Kingdom of Asturias. The battle is commemorated at the shrine of Our Lady of Covadonga
Umayyad conquest of Hispania
The Umayyad conquest of Hispania was the initial expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate over Hispania extending from 711 to 788. The conquest resulted in the destruction of the Visigothic Kingdom and the establishment of the independent Emirate of Córdoba under Abd ar-Rahman I, who completed the unification of Muslim-ruled Iberia, or al-Andalus; the conquest marks the westernmost expansion of both the Umayyad Caliphate and Muslim rule into Europe. During the caliphate of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I, forces led by Tariq ibn Ziyad disembarked in early 711 in Gibraltar at the head of an army consisting of Berbers, he campaigned his way northward after the decisive Battle of Guadalete against the usurper Roderic, after which he was reinforced by an Arab force led by his superior wali Musa ibn Nusair. By 717, the combined Arab-Berber force had crossed the Pyrenees into Provence; the historian al-Tabari transmits a tradition attributed to the Caliph Uthman who stated that the road to Constantinople was through Hispania, "Only through Spain can Constantinople be conquered.
If you conquer you will share the reward of those who conquer." The conquest of Hispania followed the conquest of North Africa. Walter Kaegi calls Tabari's tradition dubious, states that the conquest of far western reaches of the Mediterranean was motivated by exploiting military and religious opportunities, he considers that it was not a shift in direction due to the Muslims failing to conquer Constantinople in 678. Historian Jessica Coope of University of Nebraska considers that the pre-modern Islamic thought believed that the conquest of dar al-harb was motivated by belief that others were better off under Islamic rule and the belief in the superiority of the concept of Islamic society. What happened in Iberia in the early 8th century is uncertain. There is one contemporary Christian source, the Chronicle of 754, regarded as reliable but vague. There are no contemporary Muslim accounts, Muslim compilations, such as that of Al-Maqqari from the 17th century, reflect ideological influence; this paucity of early sources means.
The manner of King Roderic's ascent to the throne is unclear. Regnal lists, which cite Achila and omit Roderic, are consistent with the contemporary account of civil war. Numismatic evidence suggests a division of royal authority, with several coinages being struck, that Achila II remained king of the Tarraconsense and Septimania until circa 713; the nearly contemporary Chronicle of 754 describes Roderic as a usurper who earned the allegiance of other Goths by deception, while the less reliable late-ninth century Chronicle of Alfonso III shows a clear hostility towards Oppa, bishop of Seville and a brother of Wittiza, who appears in an unlikely heroic dialogue with Pelagius. There is a story of one Julian, count of Ceuta, whose wife or daughter was raped by Roderic and who sought help from Tangier. However, these stories are not included in the earliest accounts of the conquest. According to the chronicler Ibn Abd-el-Hakem, the Tangier governor Tariq ibn Ziyad led a raiding force 1,700 men strong from North Africa to southern Spain in 711.
However, 12,000 seems a more accurate figure. Ibn Abd-el-Hakem reports, one and a half centuries that "the people of Andalus did not observe them, thinking that the vessels crossing and recrossing were similar to the trading vessels which for their benefit plied backwards and forwards", they defeated the Visigothic army, led by King Roderic, in a decisive battle at Guadalete in 712. Tariq's forces were reinforced by those of his superior, the wali Musa ibn Nusair, both took control of most of Iberia with an army estimated at 10,000–15,000 combatants. According to the Muslim historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Iberia was first invaded some sixty years earlier during the caliphate of Uthman. Another prominent Muslim historian of the 13th century, Ibn Kathir, quoted the same narration, pointing to a campaign led by Abd Allah bin Nafi al Husayn and Abd Allah bin Nafi al Abd al Qays in 32 AH. However, this putative invasion is not accepted by modern historians; the first expedition led by Tariq was made up of Berbers who had themselves only come under Muslim influence.
It is probable that this army represented a continuation of a historic pattern of large-scale raids into Iberia dating to the pre–Islamic period, hence it has been suggested that actual conquest was not planned. Both the Chronicle of 754 and Muslim sources speak of raiding activity in previous years, Tariq's army may have been present for some time before the decisive battle, it has been argued that this possibility is supported by the fact that the army was led by a Berber and that Musa, the Umayyad Governor of North Africa, only arrived the following year – the governor had not stooped to lead a mere raid, but hurried across once the unexpected triumph became clear. The historian Abd al-Wāḥid Dhannūn Ṭāhā mentions that several Arab-Muslim writers mention the fact that Tariq has decided to cross the strait without informing his superior and wali Musa; the Chronicle of 754 states that many townspeople fled to the hills rather than defend their cities, which might support the view that this was expected to be a temporary raid rather than a permanent change of government.
The Chronicle of 754 stated that "the entire army of the Goths, which had come with him fraudulently and in rivalry out of hopes of the Kingship, fled". This is the only contemporary acco