Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 1 November 1700 to his abdication in favour of his son Louis on 14 January 1724, from his reaccession of the throne upon his son's death on 6 September 1724 to his own death on 9 July 1746. Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a grandson of King Louis XIV, his father, Grand Dauphin, had the strongest genealogical claim to the throne of Spain when it became vacant in 1700. However, since neither the Grand Dauphin nor Philip's older brother, Duke of Burgundy, could be displaced from their place in the succession to the French throne, the Grand Dauphin's maternal uncle King Charles II of Spain named Philip as his heir in his will, it was well known that the union of France and Spain under one monarch would upset the balance of power in Europe, such that other European powers would take steps to prevent it. Indeed, Philip's accession in Spain provoked the 13-year War of the Spanish Succession, which continued until the Treaty of Utrecht forbade any future possibility of unifying the French and Spanish thrones.
Philip was the first member of the French House of Bourbon to rule as king of Spain. The sum of his two reigns, 45 years and 21 days, is the longest in modern Spanish history. Philip was born at the Palace of Versailles in France the second son of Louis, Grand Dauphin, the heir apparent to the throne of France, his wife Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria, Dauphine Victoire, he was Duke of Burgundy, the father of Louis XV of France. At birth, Philip was created Duke of Anjou, a traditional title for younger sons in the French royal family, he would be known by this name. Since Philip's older brother, the Duke of Burgundy, was second in line to the French throne after his father, there was little expectation that either he or his younger brother Charles, Duke of Berry, would rule over France. Philip lived his first years under the supervision of the royal governess Louise de Prie, was after, tutored with his brothers by François Fénelon, Archbishop of Cambrai; the three were educated by Paul de Beauvilliers.
In 1700 King Charles II of Spain died childless. His will named as successor the 17-year-old Philip, grandson of Charles' half-sister Maria Theresa, the first wife of Louis XIV. Upon any possible refusal, the crown of Spain would be offered next to Philip's younger brother, the Duke of Berry to the Archduke Charles of Austria Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. Philip had the better genealogical claim to the Spanish throne, because his Spanish grandmother and great-grandmother were older than the ancestors of the Archduke Charles of Austria. However, the Austrians maintained that Philip's grandmother had renounced the Spanish throne for herself and her descendants as part of her marriage contract; the French claimed. After a long Royal Council meeting in France at which the Dauphin spoke up in favour of his son's rights, it was agreed that Philip would ascend the throne, but he would forever renounce his claim to the throne of France for himself and his descendants; the Royal Council decided to accept the provisions of the will of Charles II naming Philip king of Spain, the Spanish ambassador was called in and introduced to his new king.
The ambassador, along with his son, knelt before Philip and made a long speech in Spanish, which Philip did not understand. On 2 November 1701 the 18-year-old Philip married the 13-year-old Maria Luisa of Savoy, as chosen by his grandfather King Louis XIV, by an old man of 63, she was the daughter of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy, Philip's second cousin Anne Marie d'Orléans the parents of the Duchess of Burgundy, Philip's sister-in-law. There was a proxy ceremony at Turin, the capital of the Duchy of Savoy, another one at Versailles on 11 September. Maria Luisa proved popular as Queen of Spain, she served as regent for her husband on several occasions. Her most successful term was when Philip was away touring his Italian domains for nine months in 1702, when she was just 14 years old. On entering Naples that year he was presented with Bernini's Boy with a Dragon by Carlo Barberini. In 1714, Maria Luisa died at the age of 26 from tuberculosis, a devastating emotional blow to her husband; the actions of Louis XIV heightened the fears of the English, the Dutch and the Austrians, among others.
In February 1701, Louis XIV caused the Parlement of Paris to register a decree that if Philip's elder brother, the Petit Dauphin Louis, died without an heir Philip would surrender the throne of Spain for the succession to the throne of France, ensuring dynastic continuity in Europe's greatest land power. However, a second act of the French king "justified a hostile interpretation": pursuant to a treaty with Spain, Louis occupied several towns in the Spanish Netherlands; this was the spark that ignited the powder keg created by the unresolved issues of the War of the League of Augsburg and the acceptance of the Spanish inheritance by Louis XIV for his grandson. The War of the Spanish Succession began. Concern among other European powers that Spain and France united under a single Bourbon monarch would upset the balance of power pitted powerful France and weak Spain against the Grand Alliance of England, the Netherlands and Austria. Inside Spain, the Crown of Castile supported Philip of France.
On the other hand, the majority of the nobility of the Crown of Aragon supported Charles of
Prague Castle is a castle complex in Prague, Czech Republic, dating from the 9th century. It is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic; the castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, occupying an area of 70,000 square metres, at about 570 metres in length and an average of about 130 metres wide; the castle is among the most visited tourist attractions in Prague attracting over 1.8 million visitors annually. The history of the castle began in 870 when its first walled building, the Church of the Virgin Mary, was built; the Basilica of Saint George and the Basilica of St. Vitus were founded under the reign of Vratislaus I, Duke of Bohemia and his son St. Wenceslas in the first half of the 10th century; the first convent in Bohemia was founded in the castle, next to the church of St. George.
A Romanesque palace was erected here during the 12th century. King Ottokar II of Bohemia improved fortifications and rebuilt the royal palace for the purposes of representation and housing. In the 14th century, under the reign of Charles IV the royal palace was rebuilt in Gothic style and the castle fortifications were strengthened. In place of rotunda and basilica of St. Vitus began building of a vast Gothic church, that were completed six centuries later. During the Hussite Wars and the following decades, the castle was not inhabited. In 1485, King Ladislaus II Jagello began to rebuild the castle; the massive Vladislav Hall was added to the Royal Palace. New defence towers were built on the north side of the castle. A large fire in 1541 destroyed large parts of the castle. Under the Habsburgs, some new buildings in Renaissance style were added. Ferdinand I built the Belvedere as a summer palace for his wife Anne. Rudolph II used Prague Castle as his main residence, he founded the northern wing of the palace, with the Spanish Hall, where his precious art collections were exhibited.
The Second Defenestration of Prague in 1618 began the Bohemian Revolt. During the subsequent wars, the Castle was dilapidated. Many works from the collection of Rudolph II were looted by Swedes in 1648, in the Battle of Prague, the final act of the Thirty Years' War; the last major rebuilding of the castle was carried out by Empress Maria Theresa in the second half of the 18th century. Following his abdication in 1848, the succession of his nephew, Franz Joseph, to the throne, the former emperor, Ferdinand I, made Prague Castle his home. In 1918, the castle became the seat of the president of the new Czechoslovak Republic, T. G. Masaryk; the New Royal Palace and the gardens were renovated by Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik. In this period the St Vitus Cathedral was finished. Renovations continued in 1936 under Plečnik's successor Pavel Janák. On March 15, 1939, shortly after the Nazi Germany forced Czech President Emil Hacha to hand his nation over to the Germans, Adolf Hitler spent a night in the Prague Castle, "proudly surveying his new possession."
During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in World War II, Prague Castle became the headquarters of Reinhard Heydrich, the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. According to a popular rumor, he is said to have placed the Bohemian crown on his head. Less than a year after assuming power, on May 27, 1942, Heydrich was ambushed during Operation Anthropoid, by British-trained Slovak and Czech resistance soldiers while on his way to the Castle, died of his wounds - which became infected - a week later. Klaus, his firstborn son, died the next year in a traffic accident in line with the legend. After the liberation of Czechoslovakia and the coup in 1948, the Castle housed the offices of the communist Czechoslovak government. After Czechoslovakia split in 1993 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the castle became the seat of the Head of State of the new Czech Republic. Similar to what Masaryk did with Plečnik, president Václav Havel commissioned Bořek Šípek to be the architect of post-communism Prague Castle's necessary improvements, in particular of the facelift of the castle's gallery of paintings.
The castle buildings represent every architectural style of the last millennium. Prague Castle includes Gothic St Vitus Cathedral, Romanesque Basilica of St. George, a monastery and several palaces and defense towers. Most of the castle areas are open to tourists; the castle houses several museums, including the National Gallery collection of Bohemian baroque and mannerism art, exhibition dedicated to Czech history, Toy Museum and the picture gallery of Prague Castle, based on the collection of Rudolph II. The Summer Shakespeare Festival takes place in the courtyard of Burgrave Palace; the neighborhood around Prague Castle is called Hradčany. Katedrála svatého Víta, Václava a Vojtěcha Bazilika svatého Jiří and Klášter svatého Jiří, it is the oldest surviving church building within Prague Castle. Chrám Všech svatých Kaple svatého Kříže Starý královský palác Letohrádek královny Anny Lobkovický palác Nový královský palác Sloupová síň Španělský sál Rud
Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia
Victor Emmanuel I was the Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia. Victor Emmanuel was the second son of King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain, daughter of King Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese. Victor Emmanuel was known from birth as the Duke of Aosta. From 1792 to 1796, Aosta's father had taken an active part in the struggle of the old powers against the revolutionary forces in France but was defeated and forced to make peace, signing the Treaty of Paris; the old king died shortly thereafter, in December 1798, his eldest son and successor, Charles Emmanuel IV, was faced with a French occupation and annexation, of his mainland territories. Charles Emmanuel and his family were forced to withdraw to Sardinia, the only part of his domains not conquered by the French. Charles Emmanuel himself took little interest in the rule of Sardinia, living with his wife on the mainland in Naples and Rome until his wife's death in 1802, which led the childless Charles Emmanuel to abdicate the throne for of his younger brother.
Aosta took the throne on 4 June 1802 as Victor Emmanuel I. He ruled Sardinia from Cagliari for the next twelve years, during which time he constituted the Carabinieri, a Gendarmerie corps, still existing as one of the main branches of the military of Italy. Victor Emmanuel could return to Turin only in 1814, his realm reconstituted by the Congress of Vienna, with the addition of the territories of the former Republic of Genoa; the latter became the seat of the Sardinian Navy. Victor Emmanuel abolished all the freedoms granted by the Napoleonic Codices and restored a fiercely oppressive rule: he restored the Regie Costituzioni of Victor Amadeus II and the Jus commune, strengthened customs barriers, refused to grant a liberal constitution, entrusted education to the Church and reintroduced laws concerning labour and the justice system which discriminated against Jews and Waldensians, he nurtured expansionist ambitions in Lombardy, where nationalist anti-Austrian sentiments had developed, promoted by the bourgeoisie.
This led to conflict with Austria. In March 1821, a liberal revolution exploded in Italy the work of the Carbonari and it seemed that the anti-Austrian attitude of the revolutionaries matched that of Victor Emmanuel. However, Victor Emmanuel was not willing to grant a liberal constitution as desired by the revolutionaries, so he abdicated in favor of his brother, Charles Felix on 13 March 1821; because Charles Felix was in Modena at the time, Victor Emmanuel temporarily entrusted the regency to Charles Albert, second in line to the throne. Thereafter Victor Emmanuel lived in a number of cities until 1824, when he returned to the Castle of Moncalieri, where he died, he is buried in the Basilica of Superga. On 21 April 1789, he married Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria-Este, daughter of Ferdinand, Duke of Modena, they had six daughters and one son who died young: Maria Beatrice Victoria Josepha of Savoy, married her uncle Francis IV, Archduke of Austria and Duke of Modena Maria Adelaide Clothilde Xaveria Borbonia of Savoy Charles Emanuel died of smallpox.
A daughter Maria Teresa Fernanda Felicitas Gaetana Pia of Savoy, married Charles II, Duke of Parma Maria Anna Ricarda Carlotta Margherita Pia of Savoy, married Ferdinand I of Austria Maria Cristina Carlotta Giuseppina Gaetana Elise of Savoy, married Ferdinand II of the Two SiciliesAs a descendant of Henrietta of England he carried the Jacobite claim to the throne of Great Britain. Napoleonic Wars Segre, A.. Vittorio Emanuele I. Turin. "Victor Emmanuel I.". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921
Ferdinand Karl, Archduke of Austria-Este
Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Austria-Este was a son of Holy Roman Emperor Franz I and Maria Theresa of Austria. He was the founder of the House of Austria-Este and Governor of the Duchy of Milan between 1765 and 1796, he was designated as the heir to the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, but he never reigned, owing to the Napoleonic Wars. Ferdinand was born at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna as the fourth son and fourteenth child of the Holy Roman Emperor Franz I and of his wife, Maria Theresa of Austria. In 1763, the last Este Duke of Modena, Ercole III, signed a treaty with the Empress Maria Theresa engaging the nine-year-old Ferdinand to his only daughter Maria Beatrice, making him thus his heir. There had been an earlier treaty in 1753 making Ferdinand's older brother Peter Leopold the heir to the Duchy of Modena, but in 1761, Peter Leopold became heir to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, which required a change to the Modena agreement. In 1771, the Perpetual Imperial Diet approved the eventual investiture of Ferdinand with the imperial fiefs held by Ercole III.
On 15 October 1771, Ferdinand married Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este, only surviving child of Duke Ercole III of Modena and Reggio. Festivities arranged for this occasion included the operas Ascanio in Alba by Mozart and Il Ruggiero by Johann Adolph Hasse. Ferdinand and Maria Beatrice had ten children: Josef Franz Maria Theresa, married Victor Emanuel I, King of Sardinia Josepha Maria Leopoldina, married Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria Francis IV, next Duke of Modena, married Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy Ferdinand Karl Joseph, Commander-in-Chief of the Austrian army during the Napoleonic Wars Maximilian Joseph, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights Maria Antonia Karl, Archbishop of Esztergom, Primate of Hungary Maria Ludovika, married her first cousin Francis II, Emperor of Austria Ferdinand became Governor of the Duchy of Milan on his marriage in 1771, as long as his father-in-law Ercole III d'Este still ruled the Duchy of Modena, he and his family lived in Milan. In 1780, Ferdinand was confirmed as Governor of Lombardy by his brother, the new Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II.
In 1796, Napoleon's invasion of Milan forced the family to flee the French forces. Duke Ercole III had to flee Modena, which overthrew the monarchy and joined the Cisalpine Republic. By the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, Duke Ercole III was granted the Duchy of Breisgau, a Habsburg territory in southwest Germany; when Ercole III died in 1803, Ferdinand succeeded as Duke of Breisgau, as well as titular Duke of Modena and Reggio. By the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805, Ferdinand ceded the Duchy of Breisgau to the Grand Duchy of Baden. Ferdinand died the following year in Vienna, he is buried in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna. In 1814, Ferdinand's eldest surviving son, Francis IV, was recognised as Duke of Modena by the Congress of Vienna. Weissensteiner, Friedrich. Die Söhne Maria Theresias. Wien: Kremayer & Scheriau, 1991. Wurzbach, Constantin von. "Habsburg, Ferdinand Karl Anton von Este". In Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich. 6. Theil. Kaiserlich-königliche Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, Wien 1860, S. 204 f
Order of the Starry Cross
The Order of the Starry Cross is an imperial Austrian dynastic order for Catholic noble ladies, founded in 1668. The order still exists under the House of Habsburg; the Order was founded in 1668 by Eleonora Gonzaga of Mantua, dowager empress of the Holy Roman Empire. This all-female order was confirmed by Pope Clement IX on June 28, 1668, was placed under the spiritual management of the Prince-Bishop of Vienna. Only high-born ladies could be invested with the Order, including “princesses and other high nobility.” Once invested, members were to “devote themselves to the service and worship of the Holy Cross, to lead a virtuous life in the exercise of religion and works of charity.” According to legend, the Habsburg dynasty owned a piece of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified. Though it is impossible to prove its authenticity, the holy relic was set in gold and worn by at least two Holy Roman Emperors, Maximilian II and Ferdinand III. Ferdinand III’s last consort, Empress Eleanora, was given the relic by her stepson, Emperor Leopold I, after Ferdinand’s 1657 death.
In the aftermath of a fire at the Hofburg on February 2, 1668, the relic was discovered in near-perfect condition. The dowager empress founded the Order in celebration that the relic had survived the fire, believing it to be a true miracle. In 1881, the empress accorded multiple noble ladies of the royal Belgian court the Starry Cross, after the engagement of Archduke Rudolf. Members of the Order wore the following insignia: "An oval medallion, with a broad blue enameled border, inclosing a black enameled Eagle with two heads, claws, both of gold, on which lies a Gold Cross, enameled green, bordered with brown wood. Over this, on an intwined wreath in black letters, on a white ground, is the motto of the Order, "Salue et Gloria” – It is worn, pendent to a strip of black riband, on the left breast." Special Class - Diamond and Gemstone studded insignia only for the Grand Mistress. 1st Class - Ruby Cross with Diamonds around the badge suspended from a Black ribbon. 2nd Class - Smaller insignia with Diamonds around the badge suspended from a Black ribbon.
3rd Class - Much smaller insignia without brilliants, suspended from a Black ribbon. According to the website of the Archdiocese of Vienna, the order is ruled by: Grand Mistress: Archduchess Gabriela Order Chancellor: Count Norbert Salburg-Falkenstein Order Secretary: Altgraf Niklas zu Salm-Reifferscheidt-Raitz Tagore, Rajah Sir Sourindro Mohun; the Orders of Knighthood and Foreign. Calcutta: The Catholic Orphan Press, 1884
Kingdom of Dalmatia
The Kingdom of Dalmatia was a crown land of the Austrian Empire and the Cisleithanian half of Austria-Hungary. It encompassed the entirety of the region of Dalmatia, with its capital at Zadar; the Habsburg Monarchy had annexed the lands of Dalmatia after the Napoleonic War of the First Coalition: when Napoleon Bonaparte launched his Italian Campaign into the Habsburg duchies of Milan and Mantua in 1796, culminating in the Siege of Mantua, he compelled Emperor Francis II to make peace. In 1797 the Treaty of Campo Formio was signed, whereby the Habsburg emperor renounced possession of the Austrian Netherlands and recognized the independence of the Italian Cisalpine Republic. In turn, Napoleon ceded to him the possessions of the Republic of Venice, including the Dalmatian coast and the Bay of Kotor. La Serenissima had sided with Austria in order to defend her Domini di Terraferma and was occupied by French troops on 14 May 1797; the treaty ended the centuries-long history of the Venetian Republic.
The newly acquired Habsburg crown land stretched from the Rab Island and Karlobag in the north down the Adriatic coast to Budva in the south, while the Republic of Ragusa retained its independence until 1808. When in 1804 Francis II created the title of Emperor of Austria for himself, he added that of "King of Dalmatia". However, the possessions were again lost after the Austrian defeat in the Battle of Austerlitz and the 1805 Peace of Pressburg, when they temporarily formed part of the French Illyrian Provinces. Not until the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15 was the Kingdom of Dalmatia formed from the regained territories, now including the former Republic of Ragusa and stretching down to Sutomore in the southeast. Around 1850, the Austrians had the Prevlaka fortress erected to control the maritime traffic in the Bay of Kotor. Upon the Revolutions of 1848, Dalmatia was temporarily under the control of Ban Josip Jelačić of Croatia. However, the Italian-speaking elite dominating the Diet of Dalmatia urged autonomy for the kingdom as an Austrian crown land – against the Croatian national revival movement's demand for a Triune Kingdom of Croatia and Dalmatia.
In the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, a unification with the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia was denied. While Croatia-Slavonia was incorporated into the Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen, Dalmatia remained a crown land of the Cislethanian half of the Dual Monarchy; the kingdom was a separate administrative division of Austria-Hungary until 1918, when its territory – except for Zadar and the islands of Lastovo and Palagruza which were annexed by the Kingdom of Italy – became part of the State of Slovenes and Serbs and the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. As a result of the Vidovdan Constitution, the majority of the kingdom was divided into the Split Oblast and Dubrovnik Oblast, with the Bay of Kotor being administratively split off to the Montenegrin Zeta Oblast. Many workers and citizens throughout Dalmatia were revolted by the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797. A strong movement for unification of Dalmatia with Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia has emerged; the Franciscans and many other members of the clergy held gatherings, for example in the village of Gornji Karin, where they demanded unification.
They were joined by the Archbishop Lelije Cipiko of Split, Bishop of Makarska and the Orthodox clergy. In June 1797, they formed a delegation which planned to travel to Vienna and ask the Emperor to approve unification but they were precipitated by the Treaty of Campo Formio, so they decided to contact Croatian Ban instead. By the Treaty of Campo Formio, signed on 18 October 1797 between the French First Republic and the Habsburg Monarchy, Venetian territories were divided between the two states with Habsburg Monarchy gaining Istria and Dalmatia. Austrian army, with about 4,000 soldiers, was led by the Croatian general Mathias Rukavina von Boynograd in the military campaign of claiming newly acquired territories. Rukavina, a supporter of the unification of Dalmatia and Croatia-Slavonia, was named Military Governor of Dalmatia; the people and the clergy were delighted to see the arrival of a Croat-led army composed predominantly of ethnic Croats. However, Dalmatia was treated as a newly-conquered territory so it didn't have an autonomous government but was directly subjected to the Government in Vienna.
In 1798, the Royal Government, headed by the governor, was founded in Zadar. Members of the government and the governor were appointed by the Emperor and were subordinated to the Royal Court Committee for Istria and Albania in Venice, since 1802 to the Viennese Royal Chamber's Section for Dalmatia and Bay of Kotor. Dalmatia was divided into administrative-court districts, headed by the rectors and judge-administrators. Seats of these districts were in Cres, Rab, Zadar, Novigrad, Skradin, Šibenik, Sinj, Split, Omiš, Brač, Korčula, Makarska and Metković. In 1802, the Royal Court rejected the request for the unification of Dalmatia with the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia. During its short first administration of Dalmatia, Austrian government didn't much change the existing Venetian system and has only implemented limited reforms in education and the judiciary. In 1803, a gymnasium wa
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