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
Planes is a municipality in Spain. This hamlet lies in the Comtat region of the Spanish kingdom. Media related to Planes at Wikimedia Commons
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain. It is the fourth most populous autonomous community after Andalusia and Madrid with more than 4.9 million inhabitants. Its homonymous capital Valencia is metropolitan area in Spain, it is located along the Mediterranean coast on the east side of the Iberian peninsula. It borders with Catalonia to the north and Castilla–La Mancha to the west, Murcia to the south; the Valencian Community consists of three provinces which are Valencia and Alicante. According to its Statute of Autonomy, the Valencian people are a nationality, their origins date back to the Aragonese reconquest of the Moorish Taifa of Valencia, taken by James I of Aragon in 1238 during the Reconquista. The newly founded Kingdom of Valencia was granted wide self-government under the Crown of Aragon. Valencia experienced its golden age in the 15th century. Self-government continued after the unification of the Spanish Kingdom, but was suspended in 1707 by Phillip V of Spain as a result of the Spanish War of Succession.
Valencian nationalism resurged towards the end of the 19th century, which led to the modern conception of the Valencian Country. Self-government under the Generalitat Valenciana was reestablished in 1982 after Spanish transition to democracy. Many Valencian people speak Valencian, the region's own co-official language, a southwestern dialect of Catalan standardised by the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua. Valencian is a diglossic language, repressed during Franco's dictatorship in favour of Spanish. Since it regained official status in 1982 in the Valencian Estatut d'Autonomia. Valencian has been implemented in public administration and the education system leading to an exponential increase in knowledge of its formal standard. Valencian is understood by more than half of the population living within the Valencian Community. Valencia was founded by the Romans under the name of "Valentia Edetanorum", which translates to'Valiance of the Land of the Lamb'. With the establishment of the Taifa of Valencia, the name developed to بلنسية, which became Valencia after the expulsion of the Moors.
"Valencian Community" is the standard translation of the official name in Valencian recognized by the Statute of Autonomy of 1982. This is the name most used in public administration, the media and Spanish written language. However, the variant of "Valencian Country" that emphasizes the nationality status of the Valencian people is still the preferred one by left-wing parties, civil associations, Catalan written language and major academic institutions like the University of Valencia. "Valencian Community" is a neologism, adopted after democratic transition in order to solve the conflict between two competing names: "Valencian Country" and "Former Kingdom of Valencia". On one hand, "Valencian Country" represented the modern conception of nationality that resurged in the 19th century, it became well-established during the Second Spanish Republic and on with the works of Joan Fuster in the 1960s, implying the existence of the "Catalan Countries". This nationalist subtext was opposed by anti-Catalan blaverists, who proposed "Former Kingdom of Valencia" instead in order to emphasize Valencian independence from Catalonia.
Blaverists have accepted the official denomination. The autonomous community can be homonymously identified with its capital "Valencia". However, this could be disregarding of the provinces of Castellón. Other more anecdotal translations have included "Land of Valencia", "Region of Valencia" and "Valencian Region"; the term "Region", carries negative connotations among many Valencians because it could deny their nationality status. The Pre-Roman autochthonous people of the Valencian Community were the Iberians, who were divided in several groups; the Greeks established colonies in the coastal towns of Saguntum and Dénia beginning in the 5th century BC, where they traded and mixed with the local Iberian populations. After the end of the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome in 241 BC, which established their limits of influence in the Ebro river, the Carthaginians occupied the whole region; the dispute over the hegemony of Saguntum, a Hellenized Iberian coastal city with diplomatic contacts with Rome, destroyed by Hannibal in 219 BC, ignited the Second Punic War, which ended with the incorporation of the region to the Roman Empire.
The Romans founded the city of Valentia in 138 BC, over the centuries overtook Saguntum in importance. After the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the Barbarian Invasions in the 5th century AD, the region was first invaded by the Alans and ruled by the Visigoths, until the arrival of the Arabs in 711, which left a broad impact in the region, still visible in today's Valencian landscape and culture. After the fall of the Caliphate of Cordoba, two main independent taifas were established at the region, Balansiya and Dénia, along with the small and short living taifas of Orihuela, Alpuente, Jérica and Sagunt and the short Christian conquest of Valencia by El Cid. However, the origins of present-day Valencia date back to the Kingdom of Valencia, which came into existence in the 13th century. James I of Aragon led the Christian conquest and colonization of the existing Islamic taifas with Aragonese and Catalan colonizers in 1208; the kingdom developed intensively in the 14th and 15th centuries, which are con
Alcoleja is a municipality in the comarca of Comtat in the Valencian Community, Spain
Cocentaina is a town located in the comarca of Comtat, in the province of Alicante, Spain. The village is located between the Serpis river. Cocentaina is ideally situated for both mountain biking. Many of the roads are used for training by professional teams, several roads have been used by the Vuelta a España; the economy of Cocentaina is chiefly based on the textile industry. The most important monuments in Cocentaina are the convents of the orders of Saint Clare and Saint Francis, the Catholic church of L'Assumpció and the Palace of the Counts of Cocentaina. Palace of the Counts of Cocentaina Cocentaina Castle Route of the Valencian classics Serra Mariola Natural Park The Moros i cristians festival and the Fira de Tots Sants of Cocentaina attracts many tourists each year; the Moros i Cristians festival is dated in 1586. Nicolás Borrás, a Spanish Renaissance painter and monk of the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba. Timoteo Briet Montaud, art nouveau architech. Natxo Insa, footballer José Luis Moltó, Spanish volleyball player Lucas Torró, footballer Rafael Valls, cyclist Ajuntament de Cocentaina, Municipal government of Cocentaina / L'Escaleta Restaurant, Michelin star
Province of Alicante
Alicante, or Alacant, is a province of eastern Spain, in the southern part of the Valencian Community. The second and third biggest cities in the Valencian Community are located in this province. Alicante is bordered by the provinces of Murcia on the southwest, Albacete on the west, Valencia on the north, the Mediterranean Sea on the east; the province is named after the city of Alicante. According to the 2018 population data, Alicante ranks as the 4th most populous province in Spain, with 1,838,819 inhabitants. Cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants in the province are Alicante, Torrevieja, Benidorm, Alcoy and San Vicente del Raspeig; the province has the largest ratio of foreigner population among all Spanish provinces. The total of 446,368 foreigners are registered in the province, which represents 23.6 percent of the total population. Out of 141 municipalities that make up the province, foreign population is above 25% in 54 municipalities, above 50% in 19 municipalities; the latter include San Fulgencio, Benitatxell, Algorfa, Llíber, Daya Vieja.
From the 50 provinces of Spain, Alicante is the only one with three metropolitan areas—Alicante–Elche, Elda–Petrer and Benidorm—even though only one of them is ranked within the Spanish top ten metropolitan areas. It has an area of 5.816,5 km², so it has a population density of 313.8 hab/km². The province is mountainous in the north and west, whereas it is flat to the south, in the Vega Baja del Segura area. All of these peaks are a part of the Subbaetic Range; the coast extends from the cape, Cap de la Nau, in the north to reaching the Mar Menor in the south. With regard to water sources, due to the dry rain regime there are no major rivers, but ramblas, which fill in with water when torrential rains occur; the only remarkable streams are the Vinalopó, the river Segura. Other minor seasonal creeks are Girona, Algar and Ebo. There are saline wetlands and marshlands along the coast such El Fondo and the former wetlands and now salt evaporation ponds in Santa Pola and Torrevieja. All of them are key Ramsar Sites which make the Alicante province of high relevance for both migratory and resident seabirds and waterbirds.
Important coastal dunes are present in the Guardamar area which were planted with thousands of pine trees during the 19th century in order to protect the ville from the dunes advancing, which has created now an area of remarkable ecologic value. The climate is strikingly diverse for such a reduced area. Three major areas can be cited, it goes along the coastal plain from La Vila Joiosa through the southernmost border. Summers are long, hot to hot and dry, winters are cool to mild and its most prominent feature is scarce precipitation below 300mm. Per year and most to happen during spring and autumn; the reasons for this lack of precipitation is the marked rain shadow effect caused by hills to the west of the Alicante province. Most of its few rainy days happen during Spring; the predominant vegetation in this part of the province is Matorral Scrublands including thyme, esparto and the like. Proper Mediterranean climate is present in the northeastern areas around Cap de la Nau to its North but to its South, in diminishing grades until disappearing north of Benidorm.
It goes along the coastal plain from the northern border of the province through the Benidorm area. The north slopes of the mountains in the Marina Alta have a remarkably wetter microclimate with an average of up to 900mm of precipitation due to orographic lift, with most of the precipitation occurring in Autumn and Spring; the precipitation in this area is an average four times the one of the semiarid South, with this big precipitation gap occurring in a matter of just 100 km. The vegetation of this part is an enriched version of the Matorral shrubland and Mediterranean pine woods; the Alicante province has a dry Mediterranean to Continental Mediterranean climate. These are the innermost part of some closer to the sea but at a higher elevation. Here winters are cool to cold and a few days of snow are not unusual; the innermost part of this domain is more quite dry while the mountainous part reach higher precipitation figures which allow Kermes Oak woods to thrive, such as the one in La Carrasqueta or in the Mariola range, both near Alcoy.
The Iberians were the oldest documented people living in. Belonging to these there are several archaeologi
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".