Moros y cristianos
Moros y Cristianos or Moros i Cristians in English Moors and Christians, is a set of festival activities which are celebrated in many towns and cities of Spain in the southern Valencian Community. According to popular tradition the festivals commemorate the battles and fights between Moors and Christians during the period known as Reconquista. There are festivals of Moros y Cristianos in Spanish America; the festivals represent the capture of the city by the Moors and the subsequent Christian reconquest. The people who take part in the festival are enlisted in local associations called filaes or comparses; the festivals last for several days, feature festive parades with bombastic costumes loosely inspired by Medieval fashion. Christians wear fur, metallic helmets, armor, fire loud arquebuses, ride horses. In contrast, Moors wear ancient Arab costumes, carry scimitars, ride real camels or elephants; the festival develops among shots of gunpowder, medieval music, fireworks, ends with the Christians winning a simulated battle around a castle.
Due to Spanish colonization, the performing art has been adapted in the Philippines since the 17th century and is a popular street play throughout the country. Unlike the Spanish version, the Philippine version is dominated by indigenous Philippine cultures which are used in language, costumes and dances of the play; the main story of the art, has been faithfully retained. The most well-known Moors and Christians festival are the Moors and Christians of Alcoy that takes place in Alcoi from 22 to 24 April, around the Feast Day of Saint George, the patron saint of the Crown of Aragon. According to legend, after James I of Aragon reconquered the city of Alcoi, the Moors, in turn, tried to recover it; as fighting was about to resume, Saint George miraculously appeared, the frightened Moors scattered in defeat. Other traditions ascribe a miraculous saintly appearance to Saint James, the patron saint of Spain at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, sometimes guiding the Christians to surprise the Moors.
The feast day of St. James is 25 July, so some of the Moors' and Christians' festivals occur at the end of July. La Vila Joiosa / Villajoyosa celebrates it in the last week of July, with a reenactment of the Berber pirate attack of 1538, according to tradition repelled when St. Martha sent a flash flood. In northern and western Spain, parades associated with Corpus Christi celebrations may feature gigantic costumed Moors and Christians commemorating the Reconquest. Other noteworthy Moors and Christians festivals are celebrated in the towns of Bocairent, Banyeres de Mariola, Villena with 12,000 participants, Cocentaina, Crevillent, El Campello, Elda, Muro d'Alcoi, Ontinyent, Petrel, Novelda, Monforte del Cid, some districts of the city of Alicante. Andalusia has interesting Moors and Christians performances in the former Moorish kingdom of Granada. Performances are organized in rural towns and villages, such as Válor, Granada, a small town in the Eastern Alpujarras. Spaniards took this tradition overseas.
In the Philippines, fiestas include a moro-moro play. The show begins with a parade of stars in colorful costumes: Christians wear blue costumes, while Moors wear ornamented red costumes. Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia have festivals featuring Moors and Christians reenactments. In the Philippines, the perforing art is called Moro y Cristianos Street Drama by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the cultural agency of the government. On July 5, 1637, Jesuit priest F. Hironimo Perez finished the first Moro y Cristianos play in the Philippines; the first drama was played in a church, was presented to the governor-general for a victory play against Muslims in the south. Afterwards, the play became known in the common tongue as moro-moro, the common name of the street drama today; the street drama itself, did not draw from actual Christian-Muslim conflict in the Philippines. The main precursor of its popularity in the Philippines was the indigenous awit and corrido traditions in Philippine native cultures.
When performing, the representations for the Christians are in blue, while the representations for Muslims are in red or maroon. The street drama includes pasa dobles tune marches, rigodon in battles, courtships between a Moro prince and a Christian princess and vice versa, a conclusion which depicts the Muslim converting into Christianity, the Muslim dying, or the appearance of the Virgin Mary or a saint as the intervention figure of the conflict; the komedya begins with a loa, followed by a parada. The main part of the story begins with a Muslim embahador delivering a challenge to an equally-boastful Christian; the street drama became popular in the rural areas due to the inputting of folk traditions in the play and the need of the people for leisure after a hard day at labor. Overall, the Philippine moros y cristianos may last from one to several days, depending on the Philippine-written script being used. In 2011, the performing
Gandia is a city and municipality in the Valencian Community, Eastern Spain on the Mediterranean. Gandia is located on the Costa del Azahar, 65 kilometres south of Valencia and 110 km north of Alicante, it can be accessed through road N-332. It was a important cultural and commercial centre during the 15th and 16th centuries: in the 15th it had a university, it was home to several important poets including Ausiàs March, produced the novelist Joanot Martorell, but it is best known for the Borja or Borgia, through their family title, Duke of Gandia. Today, Gandia is one of the largest coastal towns in Spain, with a population over 200,000 during summer, a thriving centre of commerce and tourism in the region. There are two main zones, Gandia City, which has all the historical monuments, commercial activity, shopping, Gandia beach, where apartments and summer residences used during the summer season are to be found; the bars and nightclubs are concentrated in the beach area. As is normal for Spain, nightlife does not begin until well after midnight.
The beach and town are some 2 km apart which succeeds in separating summer tourism from day-to-day living. Collegiate Basilica of Gandia Ducal Palace of Gandia Convent of Santa Clara of Gandia Archaeological Museum of Gandia Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba Route of the Borgias Route of the Monasteries of Valencia Route of the Valencian classics With its long, golden, sandy beaches Gandia is one of the major tourist destinations in Spain. Traditionally Gandia's tourism has a domestic base, with the majority coming from Madrid, although in recent years it has been an popular destination for international tourists French and British. There are some popular Spanish restaurants around the beach. Gandia has a number of shopping facilities including shopping malls and chain supermarkets like Carrefour, Carrefour Express, Lidl and Aldi. There are available various fast-food chain restaurants like McDonald's, Burger King and Domino's Pizza. For culture, there are literary contests, the Summer University, the International Festival of Classical Music and art exhibitions.
Gandia hosts the annual Cortoons Gandia animation festival in April, which celebrates international animation and short films. Gandia has an important regional wetland with an extension above 1.200km2 in the outskirts of the city, called Marjal de La Safor. This natural area is home to several water plants such as Lemna gibba, Lemna minor, specially many species of water lily plants, such as Nymphaea alba, Utricularia australism and Potamogeton fluitans. Underwater plants exist, such as Myriophyllum and Ceratophyllum. Native land plants are formed of various Phragmites species, Thypha domingensis, various Scirpus and Cladium species. Various species of palm trees are naturalised in the area, they're found in the marjal due to seed dispersion, either wind or animal dispersion; the most common naturalised palm trees in the area are Phoenix dactylifera, Washingtonia robusta and Phoenix canariensis. There are some specimens of the native palm tree Chamaerops humilis, although few compared to the naturalised species.
This natural zone is rich in fauna, with many species of birds, fish and reptiles, with some mammal species. The most common species of birds are Tachybaptus ruficollis, Anas platyrhynchos, Falco tinnunculus, Fulica atra and Gallinula chloropus amongst many other species; the most common fish and amphibian species are Cobitis maroccana, Anguilla anguilla, Syngnathus abaster, Bufo bufo, Bufo calamita and Rana perezi. The most common reptiles are turtles, with a native species, in critical condition due to the heavy expansion of the Trachemys scripta scripta and Trachemys scripta elegans, most known as Florida turtles, which are introduced species in Spain. Other species of reptiles are Tarentola mauritanica, Podarcis hispanicus and Natrix maura amongst others; the most common and native mammals are the European rabbits, the European hedgehog, the greater white-toothed shrew Musaranya comuna, the European bat and the wild hog amongst others. The climate of Gandia is mediterranean-subtropical with mild to warm temperatures during winters, hot summers.
The annual average temperature is between 18-19 °C. Gandia receives about 600 mm of rain per the majority falling from September to November; the wettest season is the autumn. The average annual sunshine hours are about 3.000. Gandia, the whole Safor comarca, is said to be the centre of the Raspall variant of the Valencian pilota autochthonous sport. Nonetheless, Gandia held. Gandia is twinned with: Laval in France Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba Collegiate Basilica of Gandia Ducal Palace of Gandia Ferrocarril Alcoy Gandia Route of the Borgias Route of the Monasteries of Valencia Route of the Valencian classics Town hall of Gandia Official Tourism of Gandia Gandia Information
A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by rainy winters and dry summers, with less than 40 mm of precipitation for at least three summer months. While the climate receives its name from the Mediterranean Basin, these are located on the western coasts of continents, between 30 and 45 degrees north and south of the equator between oceanic climates towards the poles, semi-arid and arid climates towards the equator. In essence, due to the seasonal shift of the subtropical high-pressure belts with the apparent movement of the Sun, a Mediterranean climate is an intermediate type between these other climates, with winters warmer and drier than oceanic climates and summers imitating sunny weather in semi-arid and arid climates; the resulting vegetation of Mediterranean climates are the garrigue or maquis in the Mediterranean Basin, the chaparral in California, the fynbos in South Africa, the mallee in Australia, the matorral in Chile. Areas with this climate are where the so-called "Mediterranean trinity" of agricultural products have traditionally developed: wheat and olive.
Most large, historic cities of the Mediterranean basin lie within Mediterranean climatic zones, including Algiers, Beirut, İzmir, Marseille, Rome and Valencia. Examples of major cities with Mediterranean climates that lie outside of the historic Mediterranean basin include major examples as Adelaide, Cape Town, Dushanbe, Los Angeles, Perth, San Francisco and Victoria. Under the Köppen climate classification, "hot dry-summer" climates and "cool dry-summer" climates are referred to as "Mediterranean". Under the Köppen climate system, the first letter indicates the climate group. Temperate climates or "C" zones have an average temperature above 0 °C, but below 18 °C, in their coolest months; the second letter indicates the precipitation pattern. Köppen has defined a dry summer month as a month with less than 30 mm of precipitation and with less than one-third that of the wettest winter month. Some, use a 40 mm level; the third letter indicates the degree of summer heat: "a" represents an average temperature in the warmest month above 22 °C, while "b" indicates the average temperature in the warmest month below 22 °C.
Under the Köppen classification, dry-summer climates occur on the western sides of continents. Csb zones in the Köppen system include areas not associated with Mediterranean climates but with Oceanic climates, such as much of the Pacific Northwest, much of southern Chile, parts of west-central Argentina, parts of New Zealand. Additional highland areas in the subtropics meet Cs requirements, though they, are not associated with Mediterranean climates, as do a number of oceanic islands such as Madeira, the Juan Fernández Islands, the western part of the Canary Islands, the eastern part of the Azores. Under Trewartha's modified Köppen climate classification, the two major requirements for a Cs climate are revised. Under Trewartha's system, at least eight months must have average temperatures of 10 °C or higher, the average annual precipitation must not exceed 900 mm. Thus, under this system, many Csb zones in the Köppen system become Do, the rare Csc zones become Eo, with only the classic dry-summer to warm winter, low annual rainfall locations included in the Mediterranean type climate.
During summer, regions of Mediterranean climate are influenced by cold ocean currents which keep the weather in the region dry and pleasant. Similar to desert climates, in many Mediterranean climates there is a strong diurnal character to daily temperatures in the warm summer months due to strong heating during the day from sunlight and rapid cooling at night. In winter, Mediterranean climate zones are no longer influenced by the cold ocean currents and therefore warmer water settles near land and causes clouds to form and rainfall becomes much more likely; as a result, areas with this climate receive all of their precipitation during their winter and spring seasons, may go anywhere from 3 to 6 months during the summer without having any significant precipitation. In the lower latitudes, precipitation decreases in both the winter and summer because they are closer to the Horse latitudes, thus bringing smaller amounts of rain. Toward the polar latitudes, total moisture increases; the rainfall tends to be more evenly distributed throughout the year in Southern Europe, while in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Southern California the summer is nearly or dry.
In places where evapotranspiration is higher, steppe climates tend to prevail, but still follow the weather pattern of the Mediterranean climate. The majority of the regions with Mediterranean climates have mild winters and warm summers; however winter and summer temperatures can vary between different regions with a Mediterranean climate. For instance, in the case of winters and Los Angeles experience mild temperatures in the winter, with frost and snowfall unknown, whereas Tashkent has colder winters with annual frosts and snowfall. Or to consider summer, Athens experiences rather high temperatures in that season. In contrast, San Francisco has cool summers with daily highs around 21 °C due to
Ecuador the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres west of the mainland; the capital city is Quito, the largest city. What is now Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century; the territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. The legacy of both empires is reflected in Ecuador's ethnically diverse population, with most of its 16.4 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of European and African descendants. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are recognized, including Quichua and Shuar; the sovereign state of Ecuador is a middle-income representative democratic republic with a developing economy, dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products.
It is governed as a democratic presidential republic. One of 18 megadiverse countries in the world, Ecuador hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. In recognition of its unique ecological heritage, the new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights, it has the fifth lowest homicide rate in the Americas. Various peoples had settled in the area of the future Ecuador before the arrival of the Incas; the archeological evidence suggests that the Paleo-Indians' first dispersal into the Americas occurred near the end of the last glacial period, around 16,500–13,000 years ago. The first Indians who reached Ecuador may have journeyed by land from North and Central America or by boat down the Pacific Ocean coastline. Much migrations to Ecuador may have come via the Amazon tributaries, others descended from northern South America, others ascended from the southern part of South America through the Andes.
They developed different languages while emerging as unique ethnic groups. Though their languages were unrelated, these groups developed similar groups of cultures, each based in different environments; the people of the coast developed a fishing and gathering culture. Over time these groups began to interact and intermingle with each other so that groups of families in one area became one community or tribe, with a similar language and culture. Many civilizations arose in Ecuador, such as the Valdivia Culture and Machalilla Culture on the coast, the Quitus, the Cañari; each civilization developed its own distinctive architecture and religious interests. In the highland Andes mountains, where life was more sedentary, groups of tribes cooperated and formed villages. Through wars and marriage alliances of their leaders, a group of nations formed confederations. One region consolidated under a confederation called the Shyris, which exercised organized trading and bartering between the different regions.
Its political and military power came under the rule of the Duchicela blood-line. When the Incas arrived, they found that these confederations were so developed that it took the Incas two generations of rulers—Topa Inca Yupanqui and Huayna Capac—to absorb them into the Inca Empire; the native confederations that gave them the most problems were deported to distant areas of Peru and north Argentina. A number of loyal Inca subjects from Peru and Bolivia were brought to Ecuador to prevent rebellion. Thus, the region of highland Ecuador became part of the Inca Empire in 1463 sharing the same language. In contrast, when the Incas made incursions into coastal Ecuador and the eastern Amazon jungles of Ecuador, they found both the environment and indigenous people more hostile. Moreover, when the Incas tried to subdue them, these indigenous people withdrew to the interior and resorted to guerrilla tactics; as a result, Inca expansion into the Amazon Basin and the Pacific coast of Ecuador was hampered.
The indigenous people of the Amazon jungle and coastal Ecuador remained autonomous until the Spanish soldiers and missionaries arrived in force. The Amazonian people and the Cayapas of Coastal Ecuador were the only groups to resist Inca and Spanish domination, maintaining their language and culture well into the 21st century. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Inca Empire was involved in a civil war; the untimely death of both the heir Ninan Cuchi and the Emperor Huayna Capac, from a European disease that spread into Ecuador, created a power vacuum between two factions. The northern faction headed by Atahualpa claims that Huayna Capac gave a verbal decree before his death about how the empire should be divided, he gave the territories pertaining to present-day Ecuador and northern Peru to his favorite son Atahualpa, to rule from Quito. He willed that his heart be buried in Quito, his favorite city, the rest of his body be buried with his ancestors in Cuzco. Huáscar did not recognize his fa
Sand is a granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. It is defined by size, being finer than coarser than silt. Sand can refer to a textural class of soil or soil type; the composition of sand varies, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal settings is silica in the form of quartz. The second most common type of sand is calcium carbonate, for example, created, over the past half billion years, by various forms of life, like coral and shellfish. For example, it is the primary form of sand apparent in areas where reefs have dominated the ecosystem for millions of years like the Caribbean. Sand is a non-renewable resource over human timescales, sand suitable for making concrete is in high demand. Desert sand, although plentiful, is not suitable for concrete, 50 billion tons of beach sand and fossil sand is needed each year for construction; the exact definition of sand varies.
The scientific Unified Soil Classification System used in engineering and geology corresponds to US Standard Sieves, defines sand as particles with a diameter of between 0.074 and 4.75 millimeters. By another definition, in terms of particle size as used by geologists, sand particles range in diameter from 0.0625 mm to 2 mm. An individual particle in this range size is termed a sand grain. Sand grains are between silt; the size specification between sand and gravel has remained constant for more than a century, but particle diameters as small as 0.02 mm were considered sand under the Albert Atterberg standard in use during the early 20th century. The grains of sand in Archimedes Sand Reckoner written around 240 BCE, were 0.02 mm in diameter. A 1953 engineering standard published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials set the minimum sand size at 0.074 mm. A 1938 specification of the United States Department of Agriculture was 0.05 mm. Sand feels gritty when rubbed between the fingers.
Silt, by comparison, feels like flour). ISO 14688 grades sands as fine and coarse with ranges 0.063 mm to 0.2 mm to 0.63 mm to 2.0 mm. In the United States, sand is divided into five sub-categories based on size: fine sand, fine sand, medium sand, coarse sand, coarse sand; these sizes are based on the Krumbein phi scale, where size in Φ = -log2D. On this scale, for sand the value of Φ varies from −1 to +4, with the divisions between sub-categories at whole numbers; the most common constituent of sand, in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal settings, is silica in the form of quartz, because of its chemical inertness and considerable hardness, is the most common mineral resistant to weathering. The composition of mineral sand is variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions; the bright white sands found in tropical and subtropical coastal settings are eroded limestone and may contain coral and shell fragments in addition to other organic or organically derived fragmental material, suggesting sand formation depends on living organisms, too.
The gypsum sand dunes of the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico are famous for their bright, white color. Arkose is a sand or sandstone with considerable feldspar content, derived from weathering and erosion of a granitic rock outcrop; some sands contain magnetite, glauconite or gypsum. Sands rich in magnetite are dark to black in color, as are sands derived from volcanic basalts and obsidian. Chlorite-glauconite bearing sands are green in color, as are sands derived from basaltic lava with a high olivine content. Many sands those found extensively in Southern Europe, have iron impurities within the quartz crystals of the sand, giving a deep yellow color. Sand deposits in some areas contain garnets and other resistant minerals, including some small gemstones. Rocks erode/weather over a long period of time by water and wind, their sediments are transported downstream; these sediments continue to break apart into smaller pieces. The type of rock the sediment originated from and the intensity of the environment gives different compositions of sand.
The most common rock to form sand is Granite, where the Feldspar minerals dissolve faster than the Quartz, causing the rock to break apart into small pieces. In high energy environments rocks break apart much faster than in more calm settings. For example, Granite rocks this means more Feldspar minerals in the sand because it wouldn't have had time to dissolve; the term for sand formed by weathering is epiclastic. Sand from rivers are collected either from the river itself or its flood plain, accounts for the majority of the sand used in the construction industry; because if this, many small rivers have been depleted, causing environmental concern and economic losses to adjacent land. The rate of sand mining in such areas outweighs the rate the sand can replenish, making it a non-renewable resource. Sand dunes are a consequence of wind deposition; the Sahara Desert is dry because of its geographic location and is known for its vast sand dunes. They exist here because little vegetation is able to grow and there's not a lot of water.
Over time, wind blow
Morocco the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2. Its capital is the largest city Casablanca, it overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, spanning parts of Iberia and northwestern Africa; the Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, allowing Morocco to remain the only northwest African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite dynasty, which rules to this day, seized power in 1631. In 1912, Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an international zone in Tangier, it regained its independence in 1956, has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards.
Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces. After Spain agreed to decolonise the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a guerrilla war arose with local forces. Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, the war lasted until a cease-fire in 1991. Morocco occupies two thirds of the territory, peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock; the unitary sovereign state of Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors; the king can issue decrees called dahirs. He can dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the constitutional court.
Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, its official languages are Arabic and Berber. E; the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, referred to as Darija, French are widely spoken. Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Sephardi Jews, West African and European influences. Morocco is a member of the Union for the Mediterranean and the African Union, it has the fifth largest economy of Africa. The full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah translates to "Kingdom of the West". For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers sometimes referred to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá to distinguish it from neighbouring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ and al-Maghrib al-Adná; the basis of Morocco's English name is Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty and Almohad Caliphate. The origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most from the Berber words amur akush or "Land of God"; the modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc. In Turkish, Morocco is known as a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes.
However, this was not the case in other parts of the Islamic world: until the middle of the 20th century, the common name of Morocco in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic literature was Marrakesh. The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish "Marruecos", from which derives the Tuscan "Morrocco", the origin of the Italian "Marocco"; the area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. A recent publication may demonstrate an earlier habitation period, as Homo sapiens fossils discovered in the late 2000s near the Atlantic coast in Jebel Irhoud were dated to 315,000 years before present. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, resembling a savanna more than today's arid landscape. Twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European Cro-Magnon remains.
The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco. Mitochondrial DNA studies have discovered the Saami of Scandinavia; this supports theories that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers who repopulated northern Europe after the last ice age. Northwest Africa and Morocco were drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Substantial Phoenician settlements were at Chellah and Mogador. Mogador was a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC. Morocco became a realm of the Northwest African civilisation of ancie
Provinces of Spain
Spain and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces. Spain's provincial system was recognized in its 1978 constitution but its origin dates back to 1833. Ceuta and the Plazas de soberanía are not part of any provinces; the layout of Spain's provinces follows the pattern of the territorial division of the country carried out in 1833. The only major change of provincial borders since that time has been the subdivision of the Canary Islands into two provinces rather than one; the provinces served as transmission belts for policies enacted in Madrid, as Spain was a centralised state for most of its modern history. The importance of the provinces has declined since the adoption of the system of autonomous communities in the period of the Spanish transition to democracy, they remain electoral districts for national elections and as geographical references: for instance in postal addresses and telephone codes. A small town would be identified as being in, Valladolid province rather than the autonomous community of Castile and León.
The provinces were the "building-blocks". No province is divided between more than one of these communities. Most of the provinces—with the exception of Álava, Biscay, Guipúzcoa, Balearic Islands, La Rioja, Navarra — are named after their principal town. Only two capitals of autonomous communities — Mérida in Extremadura and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia — are not the capitals of provinces. Seven of the autonomous communities comprise no more than one province each: Asturias, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid and Navarra; these are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities. The table below lists the provinces of Spain. For each, the capital city is given, together with an indication of the autonomous community to which it belongs and a link to a list of municipalities in the province; the names of the provinces and their capitals are ordered alphabetically according to the form in which they appear in the main Wikipedia articles describing them. Unless otherwise indicated, their Spanish language names are the same.
List of Spanish provinces by population List of Spanish provinces by area Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces Autonomous communities of Spain Comarcas of Spain ISO 3166-2:ESGeneral: Political divisions of Spain Maps of the provinces of Spain Maps of Spain's Provinces List of municipalities of Spain listed by province from the Spanish INE