Carmen Polo, 1st Lady of Meirás
María del Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdés, 1st Lady of Meirás, Grandee of Spain was the wife of General and caudillo Francisco Franco. She played an important role in Francoist Spain, playing an major role in the election of Carlos Arias Navarro and in censoring the press, she was, the most influential woman in Francoist Spain. She was nicknamed as la Collares in Spain, she was the daughter of Felipe Polo y Flórez de Vereterra, a wealthy lawyer in Oviedo, Ramona Martínez-Valdés y Martínez-Valdés, paternal granddaughter of Claudio Polo-Vereterra y Astudillo and wife Bonifacia Flórez and sister of María Isabel and Ramona. Her aunt Isabel Polo-Vereterra y Flórez married her relative Luis Vereterra y Estrada, her great-grandparents were Telésforo Polo y Briz and Isabel Astudillo Her constant smile, pearl necklaces, the wedding's postponement became the inspiration for a verse of "La Madelón":"... el comandante Franco es un gran militar que aplazó su boda para ir a luchar...". It was two years before Franco returned to Oviedo.
When he returned, ready to marry, the death of Rafael de Valenzuela, successor to José Millán Astray as commander of the Spanish Legion, intervened. Franco was offered Valenzuela's command, promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel, his ambition was too great to resist the opportunity, he left for Morocco on 18 July 1923, making this promise to his fiancée: "This year we will be married, above all else. If I do not die in combat, I will return to you." Having become Spain's most decorated soldier, Franco was given a leave of forty days, royal permission to marry. The wedding took place on 22 October 1923, in the church of San Juan el Real of Oviedo. Franco's best man was King Alfonso XIII, represented by General Antonio Losada, military governor of Asturias. Serving as maid of honour was Isabel Polo, Carmen's aunt; the witnesses were the Marquis de la Vega de Anzo, Franco's brothers, Nicolás and Ramón. Franco did not invite his father, Nicolás Franco, whom he had never forgiven for leaving his mother and living in Madrid with another woman.
The honeymoon lasted only a few days. Franco was needed in North Africa, he did not wish to be accompanied by his wife; this forced separation lasted fifteen months. At age 32, Franco was made official commander of the Legion, he established a home, in Melilla, Polo joined him. Franco soon rose to the rank of general; this began a new and difficult life for Polo, who would have to accustom herself to her husband's constant and unpredictable reassignments. They moved from Madrid to Zaragoza, back to Oviedo, to the Canary Islands, after the Spanish Civil War, to Salamanca and Burgos. "I felt like an authentic nomad", she said on one occasion. In the winter of 1926, Polo moved from Zaragoza to Oviedo; the Francos had produced no children. This delay, abnormal at that time, gave rise to many rumours. In the end, Polo gave birth to a daughter, Carmen Franco y Polo, known by the nicknames Nenuca and Morita. In July 1936, Polo and her daughter fled to France, on the German steamboat Waldi, they traveled under assumed names.
They waited in Le Havre for Antonio Barroso, who transported them to Bayonne, to the house of his former governess Claverie. At the end of September, Franco sent his confidant, Salgado-Araujo, to find them. In September 1936 Franco was chosen and appointed "Generalísimo" and head of state by the National Defense Board. Accordingly, Carmen Polo became known as the first lady of Spain, she was referred to as "La Señora". Her glamorous persona became part of Franco's image, it is rumored that Jose Antonio de Sangróniz, Franco's chief diplomat, was forced to cancel a reception before the Junta de Burgos because Polo did not have suitable clothes for the occasion. She would never have this problem again. Beginning in 1936, she began to build up a large collection of hats and pearl necklaces, the latter becoming her trademark. Polo always appeared with her husband; this caused some problems when traveling outside Madrid, since it required that Franco's ministers and advisers be accompanied by their wives, creating problems with lodging.
After the war's end, the question of the head of state's residence presented a problem. Franco was inclined to live in the Royal Palace, but was disabused of this notion by Ramón Serrano Súñer. Franco instead chose the Palacio Real de El Pardo, where he settled in March 1940 following its restoration; the Francos passed their summers at a home in Meirás, fishing on their yacht Azor. The home, which had belonged to Emilia Pardo Bazán, according to the official story, bought by "popular subscription" for more than 400,000 pesetas. Polo embarked on many foreign trips during her time as first lady, she first traveled to Portugal in 1950, returned in 1958 and 1967. She traveled to Rome in May 1950. During the visit, she was granted an audience with Pope Pius XII. On none of her trips abroad was she accompanied by her husband. El Pardo was the center of Spanish political life under Franco, the venue for many of the Franco family's personal events. Protocol was rigorously enforced, dictated by la Se
John Winston Ono Lennon was an English singer and peace activist who co-founded the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He and fellow member Paul McCartney formed a much-celebrated songwriting partnership. Along with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the group achieved worldwide fame during the 1960s. In 1969, Lennon started the Plastic Ono Band with his second wife, Yoko Ono, he continued to pursue a solo career following the the Beatles' break-up in April 1970, he was born as John Winston Lennon in Liverpool, where he became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager. In 1957, he formed his first band, the Quarrymen, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Further to his Plastic Ono Band singles such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Instant Karma!", Lennon subsequently produced albums that included John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, songs such as "Working Class Hero", "Imagine" and "Happy Xmas". After moving to New York City in 1971, he never returned to England for the remainder of his life.
In 1975, he disengaged himself from the music business to raise his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the album Double Fantasy. He was shot and killed in the archway of his Manhattan apartment building three weeks after the album's release. Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, drawings, on film and in interviews, he was controversial through his political and peace activism. From 1971 onwards, his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a three-year attempt by the Nixon administration to deport him; some of his songs were adopted as anthems by the larger counterculture. By 2012, Lennon's solo album sales in the United States had exceeded 14 million units, he had 25 number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart as a co-writer or performer. In 2002, Lennon was voted eighth in a BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons and in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all time. In 1987, he was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Lennon was twice posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: first in 1988 as a member of the Beatles and again in 1994 as a solo artist. Lennon was born on 9 October 1940 at Liverpool Maternity Hospital, to Alfred Lennon. Alfred was a merchant seaman of Irish descent, away at the time of his son's birth, his parents named him John Winston Lennon after his paternal grandfather, John "Jack" Lennon, Prime Minister Winston Churchill. His father was away from home but sent regular pay cheques to 9 Newcastle Road, where Lennon lived with his mother; when he came home six months he offered to look after the family, but Julia, by pregnant with another man's child, rejected the idea. After her sister Mimi complained to Liverpool's Social Services twice, Julia gave her custody of Lennon. In July 1946, Lennon's father visited her and took his son to Blackpool, secretly intending to emigrate to New Zealand with him. Julia followed them – with her partner at the time, Bobby Dykins – and after a heated argument, his father forced the five-year-old to choose between them.
In one account of this incident, Lennon twice chose his father, but as his mother walked away, he began to cry and followed her. According to author Mark Lewisohn, Lennon's parents agreed that Julia should take him and give him a home. A witness, there that day, Billy Hall, has said that the dramatic portrayal of a young John Lennon being forced to make a decision between his parents is inaccurate. Lennon had no further contact with Alf for close to 20 years. Throughout the rest of his childhood and adolescence, Lennon lived at Mendips, 251 Menlove Avenue, with Mimi and her husband George Toogood Smith, who had no children of their own, his aunt purchased volumes of short stories for him, his uncle, a dairyman at his family's farm, bought him a mouth organ and engaged him in solving crossword puzzles. Julia visited Mendips on a regular basis, when John was 11 years old, he visited her at 1 Blomfield Road, where she played him Elvis Presley records, taught him the banjo, showed him how to play "Ain't That a Shame" by Fats Domino.
In September 1980, Lennon commented about his family and his rebellious nature: Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic poet/musician. But I cannot be what I am not... I was the one who all the other boys' parents – including Paul's father – would say, "Keep away from him"... The parents instinctively recognised I was a troublemaker, meaning I did not conform and I would influence their children, which I did. I did my best to disrupt every friend's home... Out of envy that I didn't have this so-called home... but I did... There were five women. Five strong, beautiful women, five sisters. One happened to be my mother. Just couldn't deal with life, she was the youngest and she had a husband who ran away to sea and the war was on and she couldn't cope with me, I ended up living with her elder sister. Now those women were fantastic... And, my first feminist education... I would infiltrate the other boys' minds. I could say, "Parents are not gods because I don't live with mine and, therefore, I know."
He visited his cousin, Stanley Parkes, who lived in Fleetwood and took him on trips to local cinemas. During the school holidays, Parkes visited Lennon with Leila Harvey, another cousin, the threesome travelled to Blackpool two or three times a week to watch shows, they would
María del Pilar Cuesta Acosta known professionally as Ana Belén is a Spanish actress and singer. Born in 1951, Ana Belén is the oldest of three children, her father was a cook in Hotel Palace, her mother worked on a farm. Ana Belén studied acting in Spain during her youth and began acting in theatrical and cinematic productions in the mid-1960. While working on the film Morbo by Gonzalo Suárez, she met Víctor Manuel, marrying him in 1972 in Gibraltar. At this time she started her career as a singer, releasing several successful albums, she appeared in various films: La petición by Pilar Miró. In 1986, Ana Belén, alongside songwriter Víctor Manuel, performed the song "La Puerta de Alcalá"; the single remained at the top position in Spain for seven weeks in summer 1986. In 1991, she recorded Como una novia, her first album that did not include any songs composed or adapted by Víctor Manuel. In 1997, she released a new album, Mírame, of her own songs and duets and which went on to become the best-selling album of her solo career.
In autumn of 1996, she – along with Joan Manuel Serrat, Miguel Ríos, Víctor Manuel – set ticket sales records throughout Spain with their "El gusto es nuestro" tour. In 1998, Belen commemorated Federico García Lorca's centenary by releasing two albums under the title of Lorquiana, a collection of poems and popular songs by Lorca; the following year another album was released Ana Belén y Miguel Ríos cantan a Kurt Weill, she had a role in the Tele 5 series, Petra Delicado. 1965 Zampo y yo Qué difícil es tener 18 años 1973 Al diablo con amor Tierra 1975 Calle del Oso 1976 La paloma del vuelo popular 1977 De paso 1979 Ana Lo mejor de Ana Belén 1980 Con las manos llenas 1982 Ana en Río 1983 Victor y Ana en vivo 1984 Géminis 1985 BSO La corte de faraón 1986 Para la ternura siempre hay tiempo Grandes éxitos 1987 BSO Divinas palabras 1988 A la sombra de un león 1989 26 grandes canciones y una nube blanca Rosa de amor y fuego 1991 Como una novia 1993 Veneno para el corazón 1994 Mucho más que dos 1996 20 exitos El gusto es nuestro 1997 Mírame 1998 Lorquiana.
Popular songs of Federico García Lorca Lorquiana. Poems by Federico García Lorca 1999 Cantan a Kurt Weill 2001 Peces de ciudad Dos en la carretera 2003 Viva L`Italia 2006 Una canción me trajo aquí 2007 Anatomía 2008 Los grandes éxitos... Y mucho más 2011 A los hombres que amé 2015 Canciones regaladas 2019 Vida Medea. Kathie y el hipopótamo Electra Fedra Diatriba de amor contra un hombre sentado Defensa de dama La bella Helena La gallarda El mercader de Venecia Hamlet La casa de Bernarda Alba La hija del aire Tío Vania Antígona Ravos Sabor a miel Los niños Te espero ayer Don Juan Tenorio Medida por medida Las mujeres sabias El sí de las niñas El rufián castrucho El rey Lear Numancia 1971 Best TV actress for Retablo de las mocedades del Cid Fotogramas Award 1972 Special mention for Morbo San Sebastián International Film Festival 1980 Best TV actress for Fortunata y Jacinta Fotogramas de Plata 1980 Best actress for Fortunata y Jacinta TP de Oro 1980 Best actress for La Corte del Faraón Bronce 1980 Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres 1987 Best actress for La Casa de Bernarda Alba and Divinas palabras Fotogramas de Plata 1988 Nominated for Best actress for Miss Caribe Goya Awards 1989 Nominated for Best actress for El vuelo de la Paloma Goya Awards 1991 Nominated for Best director for Como ser mujer y no morir en el intento Premios Ondas 1991 Nominated for Best director debut for Como ser mujer y no morir en el intento Goya Awards 1994 Best song for Contaminame Premios Ondas 1994 Nominated for Best actress for La Pasión Turca Goya Awards 1994 Best Actress for La Pasión Turca Goya Awards 1995 Gold Medal from the Spanish Cinema Academy 1995 Best theatre actress for La bella Helena Fotogramas de Plata 1996 Cadena Dial Award 1997 Best Female soloist.
Carlos Gardel Awards 1997 Best actress El amor perjudica seriamente la salud Festival de Peñíscola 1997 Silver Lighthouse Award. Festival de Alfás del Pí 1997 Best Tour El gusto es nuestro Spanish Music Awards 1998 Nominated for Best Spanish female soloist for Lorquiana Premios Amigo 2000 William Layton Award 2001 Woman of the Year. Premios Elle 2001 Nominated Best Spanish female soloist for Peces de ciudad Premios Amigo 2002 Nominated Best female soloist for Peces de ciudad Latin Grammy Awards 2002 Runner up Defensa de dama Premios Mayte of Theatre 2003 Homage by the Instituto Cervantes of Toulouse 2004 Nominated for Best actress Cosas que hacen que la vida valga la pena Goya Awards 2004 Nominated for Best actress Cosas que hacen que la vida valga la pena Fotogramas de Plata 2004 Nominated for Best actress Cosas que hacen que la vida valga la pena Spanish Actors' Union 2004 Best actress Cosas que hacen que la vida valga la pena Premios Turia 2006 Málaga Award. Film Festival of Málaga 2007 Fine Arts Golden Medal presented by the Spanish royal family at Toledo Cathedral 2015 Latin Grammy Awards for Musical Excellence.
2017 Honorary Goya Award. Portalatino.com Ana Belén on IMDb
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón is a Spanish film actress. She was born Aitana Sánchez-Gijón de Angelis in Rome, to father Ángel Sánchez-Gijón Martínez, a history professor, Italian mother, Fiorella de Angelis, a mathematics professor, she grew up in Spain. Best known for playing dramatic roles in Spain, Sánchez-Gijón first became known internationally for her portrayal of Victoria Aragon, a pregnant and abandoned Mexican-American winegrower's daughter, helped by travelling salesman Paul Sutton in A Walk in the Clouds, she has since built a reputation as an international star in films such as Manuel Gomez Pereira's Boca a Boca, Bigas Luna's The Chambermaid on the Titanic, Jaime Chávarri's Sus Ojos Se Cerraron, Gabriele Salvatores' adaptation of the Niccolò Ammaniti novel I'm Not Scared and Brad Anderson's The Machinist. Romanza final A Walk in the Clouds Boca a Boca The Chambermaid on the Titanic Love Walked In Sus Ojos Se Cerraron Jealousy My Sweet I'm Not Scared The Machinist The Whore and the Whale The Backwoods The Nautical Chart Oviedo Express Tell Me About Love The Frost Maktub Conquistadores: Adventvm as Isabel de Castilla on Cero Thi Mai, Rumbo a VietNam Aitana Sánchez-Gijón on IMDb
Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez simply referred to as Raphael, is a worldwide acclaimed Spanish singer and television and theater actor. A pioneer of modern Spanish music, he is considered a major influence in having opened the door and paving the way to the flood of Spanish singers that followed on the wake of his enormous success, his wide-range voice, added to his quality as showman, has entertained and engaged people worldwide for more than five decades. Raphael was born Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez in Linares, province of Jaén, on May 5, 1943; as a consequence, he is nicknamed both "El Ruiseñor de Linares" and "El Divo de Linares" but is known as "El Niño". His family moved to Madrid when he was nine months old, he started singing when he was just three years-old, he joined a children's choir at age four. When he was 9, he was recognized as the best child voice in Europe at a contest in Salzburg, Austria, his two idols, when he was growing up, with whom he announced, on October 6, 2014, his plans to record posthumous duets with, were said to be US singer Elvis Presley and French diva Edith Piaf.
Raphael began his professional career by signing with the Dutch record label Philips. To distinguish himself, he adopted the "ph" of the company's name and christened himself'Raphael', his first singles were "Te voy a contar mi vida" and "A pesar de todo", among others. Raphael adopted his own peculiar singing style from the beginning, it is not unusual for Raphael to ad lib lyrics as to localize a song depending on the venue he's singing at, wear Latin American peasant costumes and dance folk dances within a song and demolishing a mirror, or doing the moves of a flamenco dancer or a bullfighter onstage. He possesses a wide vocal range, which he used in the beginning of his career as to evoke a choirboy approach to some songs; when he was nineteen, he won first and third awards at the famous Benidorm International Song Festival, Spain, 1962, with the songs: "Llevan", "Inmensidad" and "Tu Conciencia". After a brief relation with Barclay record label, who produced just an EP, he signed a contract with Hispavox recording company, began a long artistic relationship with the musical director of this label, the late, talented argentinian orchestrator Waldo de los Ríos and intensify the partnership with outstanding Spanish songwriter Manuel Alejandro.
In 1966 and 1967 he represented Spain at the XII and XIII Eurovision Song Contest in Luxembourg, singing "Yo soy aquél" and Vienna, "Hablemos del amor" and placing both 7th and 6th position, although he did not win. It was the first time that Spain obtained a high place in the competition, leaving the door open for victory the following year, which Spain achieved with "La, la, la", another song of modern style too, which for political reasons still in Spain was sung instead by Massiel; this served as a turning point in Raphael's career. He traveled and performed worldwide in Europe, Latin America, Puerto Rico, the United States and Japan. Songs such as "Yo soy aquel", "Cuando tú no estás", "Mi gran noche", "Digan lo que digan", "Tema de amor", "Estuve enamorado" and "Desde aquel día" cemented his status as a major international singing star. Raphael began a lucrative film career, appearing in, Cuando tú no estás, followed by Al ponerse el Sol Digan lo que digan, El golfo, El ángel, Sin Un Adiós and Volveré a nacer.
As Raphael became a success in Latin America, he made a habit of recording Latin American folk standards including "Huapango torero", "Sandunga" and "Llorona". He appeared live on The Ed Sullivan Show with great success on October 25, 1970, singing "Hallelujah" and "Hava Nagila." He appeared again on December 27, 1970, with the songs "Maybe", "When my love is around" and "The sound of the trumpet". In 1975, Raphael began his own successful program on Spanish Television called El Mundo de Raphael, where he sang with international stars, he had a radio program, where he and his wife spoke with and interviewed outstanding personalities, he starred in soap operas, starting with the Mexican production Donde termina el camino, shown in the spring of 1978 and in other countries like Peru and Chile. Raphael succeeded in the early 1980s with songs such as "¿Qué tal te va sin mí?", "Como yo te amo", "En carne viva" and "Estar enamorado". During 1984 and 1985 he recorded two albums with songs written by José Luis Perales like "Ámame", "Yo sigo siendo aquel", "Dile que vuelva", "Y...
Cómo es él" and "Estoy llorando hoy por ti". In 1984 a parody of "Yo soy aquél" was used in a radio spot in Puerto Rico's gubernatorial race. Then-governor Carlos Romero Barceló used the parody namely as a jab against opponent, Raphael's namesake, former governor Rafael Hernández Colón. Raphael was surprised by the unauthorized use of the music, but was amused by the reference. In 1987 he left Hispavox and signed a contract with Columbia, where he again recorded songs written by Roberto Livi like "Toco madera" and "Maravilloso corazón". In 1991 he had a hit with "Escándalo" in Spain, Latin America, in Japan, where it reached number one. At the end of the 1990s, after ending a contract with PolyGram, he went back to EMI. In 1998 the artist p
Madrid is the capital of Spain and the largest municipality in both the Community of Madrid and Spain as a whole. The city has 3.3 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union, smaller than only London and Berlin, its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU, smaller only than those of London and Paris; the municipality covers 604.3 km2. Madrid lies on the River Manzanares in the Community of Madrid; as the capital city of Spain, seat of government, residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is the political and cultural centre of the country. The current mayor is Manuela Carmena from the party Ahora Madrid; the Madrid urban agglomeration has the third-largest GDP in the European Union and its influence in politics, entertainment, media, science and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. Madrid is home to Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. Due to its economic output, high standard of living, market size, Madrid is considered the leading economic hub of the Iberian Peninsula and of Southern Europe.
It hosts the head offices of the vast majority of major Spanish companies, such as Telefónica, IAG or Repsol. Madrid is the 10th most liveable city in the world according to Monocle magazine, in its 2017 index. Madrid houses the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization, belonging to the United Nations Organization, the Ibero-American General Secretariat, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Public Interest Oversight Board, it hosts major international regulators and promoters of the Spanish language: the Standing Committee of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, headquarters of the Royal Spanish Academy, the Cervantes Institute and the Foundation of Urgent Spanish. Madrid organises fairs such as ARCO, SIMO TCI and the Madrid Fashion Week. While Madrid possesses modern infrastructure, it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets, its landmarks include the Royal Palace of Madrid. Cibeles Palace and Fountain have become one of the monument symbols of the city.
مجريط Majrīṭ is the first documented reference to the city. It is recorded in Andalusi Arabic during the al-Andalus period; the name Magerit was retained in Medieval Spanish. The most ancient recorded name of the city "Magerit" comes from the name of a fortress built on the Manzanares River in the 9th century AD, means "Place of abundant water" in Arabic. A wider number of theories have been formulated on possible earlier origins. According to legend, Madrid was founded by Ocno Bianor and was named "Metragirta" or "Mantua Carpetana". Others contend that the original name of the city was "Ursaria", because of the many bears that were to be found in the nearby forests, together with the strawberry tree, have been the emblem of the city since the Middle Ages, it is speculated that the origin of the current name of the city comes from the 2nd century BC. The Roman Empire established a settlement on the banks of the Manzanares river; the name of this first village was "Matrice". Following the invasions carried out by the Germanic Sueves and Vandals, as well as the Sarmatic Alans during the 5th century AD, the Roman Empire no longer had the military presence required to defend its territories on the Iberian Peninsula, as a consequence, these territories were soon occupied by the Vandals, who were in turn dispelled by the Visigoths, who ruled Hispania in the name of the Roman emperor taking control of "Matrice".
In the 8th century, the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula saw the name changed to "Mayrit", from the Arabic term ميرا Mayra and the Ibero-Roman suffix it that means'place'. The modern "Madrid" evolved from the Mozarabic "Matrit", still in the Madrilenian gentilic. Although the site of modern-day Madrid has been occupied since prehistoric times, there are archaeological remains of Carpetani settlement, Roman villas, a Visigoth basilica near the church of Santa María de la Almudena and three Visigoth necropoleis near Casa de Campo, Tetúan and Vicálvaro, the first historical document about the existence of an established settlement in Madrid dates from the Muslim age. At the second half of the 9th century, Emir Muhammad I of Córdoba built a fortress on a headland near the river Manzanares, as one of the many fortresses he ordered to be built on the border between Al-Andalus and the kingdoms of León and Castile, with the objective of protecting Toledo from the Christian invasions and as a starting point for Muslim offensives.
After the disintegration of t
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