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
Valencian referred to as Southern Catalan, is a dialect of the Catalan language spoken in the Valencian Community, where it is an official language, in the El Carche comarca in Murcia, where it has no official recognition. Besides, it is spoken in the south of the Terres de l'Ebre and in the south of La Franja in Aragon, in its transitional variety; the denominations "Valencian" or "Valencian language" are used traditionally and as a glottonym exclusively in the Valencian Community, to refer not only to the dialect spoken in the region, but to refer to the totality of the Catalan language. However, outside this territory the use of this denomination is null, it is considered the Valencian Community's own language according to the region's 1982 Statute of Autonomy and the Spanish Constitution. According to philological studies, the varieties of this language spoken in the Valencian Community and El Carxe cannot be considered a dialect restricted to these borders: the several dialects of Valencian belong to the Western group of Catalan dialects.
Valencian, as a variety of the Catalan language, displays transitional features between Ibero-Romance languages and Gallo-Romance languages. Its similarity with Occitan has led many authors to group it under the Occitano-Romance languages. There is some controversy within the Valencian Community regarding its status as a glottonym or as a language on its own among certain political sectors such as blaverism and Spanish nationalism. According to a study carried out by the Generalitat Valenciana in 2014, scarcely more than a half people in the Valencian Community consider it as a separate language, different from Catalan. However, according to the same study, most of Valencians with higher studies say that it is the same language. According to the 2006 Statute of Autonomy Valencian is regulated by the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, by means of the Normes de Castelló. Due to not having been recognized for a long time and the considerable immigration coming from Andalusia but from other areas of Spain where Spanish is spoken, the number of speakers has decreased, the influence of Spanish has led to the adoption of a huge amount of loanwords.
Some of the most important works of Catalan literature in Valencia experienced a golden age during the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Important works include Joanot Martorell's chivalric romance Tirant lo Blanch, Ausiàs March's poetry; the first book produced with movable type in the Iberian Peninsula was printed in the Valencian variety. The earliest recorded chess game with modern rules for moves of the queen and bishop was in the Valencian poem Scachs d'amor; the official status of Valencian is regulated by the Spanish Constitution and the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, together with the Law of Use and Education of Valencian. Article 6 of the Valencian Statute of Autonomy sets the legal status of Valencian, providing that: The official language of the Valencian Community is Valencian. Valencian is official within the Valencian Community, along with Spanish, the official language nationwide. Everyone shall have the right to know it and use it, receive education in Valencian. No one can be discriminated against by reason of their language.
Special protection and respect shall be given to the recuperation of Valencian. The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua shall be the normative institution of the Valencian language; the Law of Use and Education of Valencian develops this framework, providing for implementation of a bilingual educational system, regulating the use of Valencian in the public administration and judiciary system, where citizens can use it when acting before both. Valencian is recognized under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages as "Valencian". Valencian is not spoken all over the Valencian Community. A quarter of its territory, equivalent to 10% of the population, is traditionally Castilian-speaking only, whereas Valencian is spoken to varying degrees elsewhere. Additionally, it is spoken by a reduced number of people in Carche, a rural area in the Region of Murcia adjoining the Valencian Community. Although the Valencian language was an important part of the history of this zone, nowadays only about 600 people are able to speak Valencian in the area of Carche.
In 2010 the Generalitat Valenciana published a study and Social use of Valencian, which included a survey sampling more than 6,600 people in the provinces of Castellón, Alicante. The survey collected the answers of respondents and did not include any testing or verification; the results were: Valencian was the language "always or most used": at home: 31.6% with friends: 28.0% in internal business relations: 24.7%For ability: 48.5% answered they speak Valencian "perfectly" or "quite well" 26.2% answered they write Valencian "perfectly" or "quite well" The survey shows that, although Valencian is still the common language in many areas in the Valencian Community, where more than half of the Valencian population are able to speak it, most Valencians do not speak in Valencian in their
Valencia València, on the east coast of Spain, is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with around 800,000 inhabitants in the administrative centre. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 1.6 million people. Valencia is Spain's third largest metropolitan area, with a population ranging from 1.7 to 2.5 million depending on how the metropolitan area is defined. The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and the busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea; the city is ranked at Beta-global city in World Cities Research Network. Valencia is integrated into an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar. Valencia was founded as a Roman colony by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus in 138 BC, called Valentia Edetanorum. In 714 Moroccan and Arab Moors occupied the city, introducing their language and customs. Valencia was the capital of the Taifa of Valencia.
In 1238 the Christian king James I of Aragon conquered the city and divided the land among the nobles who helped him conquer it, as witnessed in the Llibre del Repartiment. He created a new law for the city, the Furs of Valencia, which were extended to the rest of the Kingdom of Valencia. In the 18th century Philip V of Spain abolished the privileges as punishment to the kingdom of Valencia for aligning with the Habsburg side in the War of the Spanish Succession. Valencia was the capital of Spain when Joseph Bonaparte moved the Court there in the summer of 1812, it served as capital between 1936 and 1937, during the Second Spanish Republic. The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea, its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, with 169 ha. Due to its long history, this is a city with numerous popular celebrations and traditions, such as the Fallas, which were declared as Fiestas of National Tourist Interest of Spain in 1965 and Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in November 2016.
From 1991 to 2015, Rita Barberá Nolla was the mayor of the city, yet in 2015, Joan Ribó from Coalició Compromís, became mayor. The original Latin name of the city was Valentia, meaning "strength", or "valour", the city being named according to the Roman practice of recognising the valour of former Roman soldiers after a war; the Roman historian Livy explains that the founding of Valentia in the 2nd century BC was due to the settling of the Roman soldiers who fought against an Iberian rebel, Viriatus. During the rule of the Muslim kingdoms in Spain, it had the nickname Medina at-Tarab according to one transliteration, or Medina at-Turab according to another, since it was located on the banks of the River Turia, it is not clear if the term Balansiyya was reserved for the entire Taifa of Valencia or designated the city. By gradual sound changes, Valentia has in Castilian and València in Valencian. In Valencian, the grave accent ⟨è⟩ /ɛ/ contrasts with the acute accent ⟨é⟩ /e/—but the word València is an exception to this rule.
It is spelled according to Catalan etymology. Valencia stands on the banks of the Turia River, located on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the western part of the Mediterranean Sea, fronting the Gulf of Valencia. At its founding by the Romans, it stood on a river island in 6.4 kilometres from the sea. The Albufera, a freshwater lagoon and estuary about 11 km south of the city, is one of the largest lakes in Spain; the City Council bought the lake from the Crown of Spain for 1,072,980 pesetas in 1911, today it forms the main portion of the Parc Natural de l'Albufera, with a surface area of 21,120 hectares. In 1976, because of its cultural and ecological value, the Generalitat Valenciana declared it a natural park. Valencia has a subtropical Mediterranean climate with short mild winters and long and dry summers, its average annual temperature is 18.4 °C. In the coldest month, the maximum temperature during the day ranges from 14 to 21 °C, the minimum temperature at night ranges from 5 to 11 °C.
In the warmest month – August, the maximum temperature during the day ranges from 28–34 °C, about 22 to 23 °C at night. Similar temperatures to those experienced in the northern part of Europe in summer last about 8 months, from April to November. March is transitional, the temperature exceeds 20 °C, with an average temperature of 19.3 °C during the day and 10.0 °C at night. December and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 17 °C during the day and 8 °C at night. Valencia has one of the mildest winters in Europe, owing to its southern location on the Mediterranean Sea and the Foehn phenomenon; the January average is comparable to temperatures expected for May and September in the major cities of northern Europe. Sunshine duration hours are 2,696 per year, from 15
Province of Valencia
Valencia or València is a province of Spain, in the central part of the Valencian Community. Of the province's 2,547,986 people, one-third live in the capital, the capital of the autonomous community and the 3rd biggest city in Spain, with a metropolitan area of 2,522,383 it's one of the most populated cities of Southern Europe. There are 265 municipalities in the province. Although the Spanish Constitution of 1812 loosely created the province of València, a stable administrative entity does not arise until the territorial division of Spain in 1833, remaining today without major changes; the Provincial Council of Valencia dates from that period. After the Valencian Statute of Autonomy of 1982, the province became part of the Valencian Community. Together with Spanish, Valencian is the co-official language, it is bordered by the provinces of Alicante, Cuenca, Castellón, the Mediterranean Sea. The northwestern side of the province is in the mountainous Sistema Ibérico area. Part of its territory, the Rincón de Ademuz, is an exclave sandwiched between the provinces of Cuenca and Teruel.
The province is subdivided into the comarques of Camp de Túria, Camp de Morvedre, Canal de Navarrés, Hoya de Buñol, Horta de València, Horta Nord, Horta Oest, Horta Sud, Requena-Utiel, Rincón de Ademuz, Ribera Alta, Ribera Baixa, Los Serranos, Vall d'Albaida and Valle de Cofrentes. The province of Valencia, like the rest of the region, is mountainous in the interior in the north and west, with the Sistema Central running from north to south and the foothills of Andalusia from west to east; this mountainous interior features deep and steep valleys formed by the major rivers running through it. The plain of Valencia, is the second largest coastal plain of the country, located in the low region between the Júcar and Turia river valleys, it is twenty wide. In 1843 it was cited as "one of the most fertile and best cultivated spots in Europe"; the other main rivers include the Serpis. The Altiplano de Requena-Utiel range, in the interior of the Valencia region, has an average height of about 750 m.
The principal mountains in the province are Cerro Calderón, Sierra del Caroche, Sierra del Benicadell, Serra Calderona, Sierra Martés, Sierra de Utiel, Sierra de Enguera, the Sierra de Mondúver. The València plains are known for their olive, ilex, algaroba and palm trees, with the appearance of an "immense garden"; such is the fertility of the soil, that two and three crops in the year are obtained, the greater part of the land returns eight per cent. The rice crops are the most valuable, are chiefly produced in the tract, irrigated by the Albufera, a large lake in the neighbourhood of València. Rice being the principal food of the lower classes, the crop is consumed in the province, with the exception of a small quantity which finds its way into Castile and Andalusia; the other chief product is the white mulberry, once the source of great wealth: it was worked in the silk-factories of València. In 1828, the produce of silk from the vega of València amounted to one million of pounds yearly, the greater part of, exported in its raw state, but the produce has increased since, owing to demands from the manufacturers of Lyon and other towns in the south of France.
The province of València is a notable producer of satins, silk ribbons, velvets. The export of fruit from Valencia is considerable of raisins; the raisins are of two kinds, the muscatel, an inferior and smaller raisin, called pasa de legia. The export of figs and wine from the province and ports of València is considerable, with a wine known as Beni Carlo, which as of 1843 was shipped to Cette. Mercury, sulphur, argentiferous lead, coal, etc. are among the mineral products, but they are procured only in small quantities. Today, tourism is a major source of income, with the city of Valencia and the resort towns along the coast being the primary earners during the summer months; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, by C. Knight