The euro is the official currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area, counts about 343 million citizens as of 2019; the euro is the second largest and second most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar. The euro is subdivided into 100 cents; the currency is used by the institutions of the European Union, by four European microstates that are not EU members, as well as unilaterally by Montenegro and Kosovo. Outside Europe, a number of special territories of EU members use the euro as their currency. Additionally, 240 million people worldwide as of 2018 use currencies pegged to the euro; the euro is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar. As of August 2018, with more than €1.2 trillion in circulation, the euro has one of the highest combined values of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world, having surpassed the U.
S. dollar. The name euro was adopted on 16 December 1995 in Madrid; the euro was introduced to world financial markets as an accounting currency on 1 January 1999, replacing the former European Currency Unit at a ratio of 1:1. Physical euro coins and banknotes entered into circulation on 1 January 2002, making it the day-to-day operating currency of its original members, by March 2002 it had replaced the former currencies. While the euro dropped subsequently to US$0.83 within two years, it has traded above the U. S. dollar since the end of 2002, peaking at US$1.60 on 18 July 2008. In late 2009, the euro became immersed in the European sovereign-debt crisis, which led to the creation of the European Financial Stability Facility as well as other reforms aimed at stabilising and strengthening the currency; the euro is managed and administered by the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank and the Eurosystem. As an independent central bank, the ECB has sole authority to set monetary policy; the Eurosystem participates in the printing and distribution of notes and coins in all member states, the operation of the eurozone payment systems.
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty obliges most EU member states to adopt the euro upon meeting certain monetary and budgetary convergence criteria, although not all states have done so. The United Kingdom and Denmark negotiated exemptions, while Sweden turned down the euro in a 2003 referendum, has circumvented the obligation to adopt the euro by not meeting the monetary and budgetary requirements. All nations that have joined the EU since 1993 have pledged to adopt the euro in due course. Since 1 January 2002, the national central banks and the ECB have issued euro banknotes on a joint basis. Euro banknotes do not show. Eurosystem NCBs are required to accept euro banknotes put into circulation by other Eurosystem members and these banknotes are not repatriated; the ECB issues 8% of the total value of banknotes issued by the Eurosystem. In practice, the ECB's banknotes are put into circulation by the NCBs, thereby incurring matching liabilities vis-à-vis the ECB; these liabilities carry interest at the main refinancing rate of the ECB.
The other 92% of euro banknotes are issued by the NCBs in proportion to their respective shares of the ECB capital key, calculated using national share of European Union population and national share of EU GDP weighted. The euro is divided into 100 cents. In Community legislative acts the plural forms of euro and cent are spelled without the s, notwithstanding normal English usage. Otherwise, normal English plurals are sometimes used, with many local variations such as centime in France. All circulating coins have a common side showing the denomination or value, a map in the background. Due to the linguistic plurality in the European Union, the Latin alphabet version of euro is used and Arabic numerals. For the denominations except the 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, the map only showed the 15 member states which were members when the euro was introduced. Beginning in 2007 or 2008 the old map is being replaced by a map of Europe showing countries outside the Union like Norway, Belarus, Russia or Turkey.
The 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, keep their old design, showing a geographical map of Europe with the 15 member states of 2002 raised somewhat above the rest of the map. All common sides were designed by Luc Luycx; the coins have a national side showing an image chosen by the country that issued the coin. Euro coins from any member state may be used in any nation that has adopted the euro; the coins are issued in denominations of €2, €1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, 1c. To avoid the use of the two smallest coins, some cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cents in the Netherlands and Ireland and in Finland; this practice is discouraged by the Commission, as is the practice of certain shops of refusing to accept high-value euro notes. Commemorative coins with €2 face value have been issued with changes to the design of the national side of the coin; these include both issued coins, such as the €2 commemorative coin for the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, nationally i
Province of Teruel
Teruel is a province of Aragon, in the northeast of Spain. The capital is Teruel, it is bordered by the provinces of Tarragona, Castellón, Cuenca and Zaragoza. The area of the province is 14,809 km², its population is 134,572, of whom about a quarter live in the capital, its population density is 9.36/km². It contains 236 municipalities; the main language throughout the province is Spanish, although Catalan is spoken in the comarca of Matarranya. This province is located in the mountainous Sistema Ibérico area; the main ranges in the province of Teruel are Sierra de la Virgen, Sierra de Santa Cruz, Sierra de Cucalón, Sierra de San Just, Sierra Carrascosa, Sierra Menera, Sierra Palomera, Sierra de Javalambre, Sierra de Gúdar, Sierra de Albarracín and the Montes Universales, among others. Most of the Teruel Province has undergone massive depopulation since the middle of the 20th century; this situation is shared with other areas in Spain with those near the Iberian mountain range and with other areas in Aragón.
The exodus from the rural mountain areas in Teruel rose after General Franco's Plan de Estabilización in 1959. The population declined steeply as people migrated towards the industrial areas and the large cities in Spain, leaving behind their small villages where living conditions were harsh, with cold winters and basic facilities; as a consequence there are many ghost towns in different parts of the province. A great number of surviving towns in Teruel province have only a residual population, reviving somewhat during the summer when a few city-dwellers spend their holidays there. Other causes of the strong emigration have been the low productivity of traditional agricultural practices, like sheep and goat farming, the closing of mines, like the large Sierra Menera mine near Ojos Negros, as well as the lifestyle changes that swept over rural Spain during the second half of the 20th century; the "Teruel Exists" movement began at the turn of the 21st century. It is a platform of provincial authorities and sympathizers seeking to reverse the long-standing neglect of this province.
The following Comarcas of Aragon are located in Teruel Province: Bajo Martín Jiloca Cuencas Mineras Andorra-Sierra de Arcos Bajo Aragón Comunidad de Teruel Maestrazgo Sierra de Albarracín Comarca Gúdar-Javalambre Matarranya Luis Buñuel, film director from Calanda Gaspar Sanz, music composer from Calanda Antón García Abril, music composer Pablo Serrano, sculptor from Crivillén Luis Milla, retired footballer who played for CD Teruel, FC Barcelona and R. Madrid David Civera, light music singer Federico Jiménez Losantos, author and radio host Manuel Pizarro Moreno, businessman and jurist La Vaquilla del Ángel List of Aragonese comarcas List of municipalities in Teruel Lower Aragon Sistema Ibérico Teruel.org Teruel Info. - Caciquismo & desarrollismo – N. B; this text-only website is in Japanese. Content not clear. Teruel Digital Directory in dmoz.org Fundación Amantes de Teruel Estado de los embalses de Teruel Teruel.com - Tourism Deteruel.com — Comunidad virtual de Teruel El número de ancianos españoles aumenta un 20% en 13 años
Province of Pontevedra
Pontevedra is a province of Spain along the country's Atlantic coast in southwestern Europe. The province forms the southwestern part of the autonomous community of Galicia, it is bordered by the provinces of A Coruña, Ourense, the country of Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. The official languages of the Pontevedra province are Galician. There is a public institution called the Diputación Provincial of Pontevedra, whose head office is in Pontevedra city, that provides direct services to citizens such as technical and technological support to the councils of the 62 municipalities of the province of Pontevedra; the population of the province is 941,772, of which 11.5% live in the capital, the city of Pontevedra and around 30% in Vigo. Pontevedra is cut in two parts by the Lérez River. Most of the major tourist attractions in Pontevedra are to the south of the river. Pontevedra features many historical buildings and churches. Much of the Rías Baixas Denominación de Origen is located in the province.
The province shares the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park with neighbouring A Coruña province. This region contains the Galician islands of Cies, Sálvora and Cortegada; the province has an oceanic climate with warm and dry summers and cool and wet winters. The province's capital, with a population of 82,946 is not the largest municipality of its province, the largest municipality is the industrial Vigo with a population of 292,817. In addition, there are 62 municipalities in the province. Other relevant municipalities, based on their populations, are Marín, Vilagarcía de Arousa, Poio, Nigrán, O Porriño. O Baixo Miño county Caldas county O Condado county O Deza county O Morrazo county A Paradanta county Pontevedra county O Salnés county Tabeirós - Terra de Montes county Vigo county Galician wine Media related to Province of Pontevedra at Wikimedia Commons
Ceuta is an 18.5 km2 Spanish autonomous city on the north coast of Africa, separated by 14 km from Cadiz province on the Spanish mainland by the Strait of Gibraltar and sharing a 6.4 km land border with M'diq-Fnideq Prefecture in the Kingdom of Morocco. It lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and is one of nine populated Spanish territories in Africa and, along with Melilla, one of two populated territories on mainland Africa, it was part of Cádiz province until 14 March 1995 when both Ceuta and Melilla's Statutes of Autonomy were passed, the latter having been part of Málaga province. Ceuta, like the Canary Islands, was a free port before Spain joined the European Union; as of 2011, it has a population of 82,376. Its population consists of Christians and small minorities of Sephardic Jews and ethnic Sindhi Hindus. Spanish is the official language, while Darija Arabic is spoken by 40–50% of the population, of Moroccan origin; the name Abyla has been said to have been a Punic name for Jebel Musa, the southern Pillar of Hercules.
In fact, it seems that the name of the mountain was Habenna or ʾAbin-ḥīq, in reference to the nearby Bay of Benzú. The name was hellenized variously as Ápini, Abýla, Abýlē, Ablýx, Abílē Stḗlē and in Latin as Mount Abyla or the Pillar of Abyla; the settlement below Jebel Musa was renamed for the seven hills around the site, collectively referred to as the "Seven Brothers". In particular, the Roman stronghold at the site took the name "Fort at the Seven Brothers"; this was shortened to Septem or Septum or Septa. These clipped forms continued as Berber Sebta and Arabic Sebtan or Sabtah, which themselves became Ceuta in Portuguese and Spanish. Controlling access between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar is an important military and commercial chokepoint; the Phoenicians realized the narrow isthmus joining the Peninsula of Almina to the African mainland makes Ceuta eminently defensible and established an outpost there in the early 1st millennium BC. The Greek geographers record it by variations of "Abyla", the ancient name of nearby Jebel Musa.
Beside Calpe, the other Pillar of Hercules now known as the Rock of Gibraltar, the Phoenicians established Kart at what is now San Roque, Spain. Other good anchorages nearby became Phoenician and Carthaginian ports at what are now Tangiers and Cadiz. After Carthage's destruction in the Punic Wars, most of northwest Africa was left to the Roman client states of Numidia and—around Abyla—Mauretania. Punic culture continued to thrive in what the Romans knew as "Septem". After Thapsus and his heirs began annexing north Africa directly as Roman provinces but, as late as Augustus, most of Septem's Berber residents continued to speak and write in Punic. Caligula assassinated the Mauretanian king Ptolemy in AD 40 and seized his kingdom, which Claudius organized in 42, placing Septem in the province of Tingitana and raising it to the level of a colony, it subsequently romanized and thrived into the late 3rd century, trading with Roman Spain and becoming well known for its salted fish. Roads connected it overland with Volubilis.
Under Theodosius I in the late 4th century, Septem still had 10,000 inhabitants, nearly all Christian citizens speaking Latin and African Romance. Vandals invited by Count Boniface as protection against the empress dowager, crossed the strait near Tingis around 425 and swiftly overran Roman North Africa, their king Gaiseric focused his attention on the rich lands around Carthage. When Justinian decided to reconquer the Vandal lands, his victorious general Belisarius continued along the coast, making Septem an outpost of the Byzantine Empire around 533. Unlike the Roman administration, the Byzantines did not push far into hinterland and made the more defensible Septem their regional capital in place of Tingis. Epidemics, less capable successors, overstretched supply lines forced a retrenchment and left Septem isolated, it is that its count was obliged to pay homage to the Visigoth Kingdom in Spain in the early 7th century. There are no reliable contemporary accounts of the end of the Islamic conquest of the Maghreb around 710.
Instead, the rapid Muslim conquest of Spain produced romances concerning Count Julian of Septem and his betrayal of Christendom in revenge for the dishonor that befell his daughter at King Roderick's court. With Julian's encouragement and instructions, the Berber convert and freedman Tariq ibn Ziyad took his garrison from Tangiers across the strait and overran the Spanish so swiftly that both he and his master Musa bin Nusayr fell afoul of a jealous caliph, who stripped them of their wealth and titles. After the death of Julian, sometimes described as a king of the Ghomara Berbers, Berber converts to Islam took direct control of what they called Sebta, it was destroyed during their great revolt against the Umayyad Caliphate around 740. Sebta subsequently remained a small village of Muslims and Christians surrounded by ruins until its resettlement in the 9th century by Mâjakas, chief of the Majkasa Berber tribe, who started the short-lived Banu Isam dy
Alfonso XIII of Spain
Alfonso XIII was King of Spain from 1886 until the proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931. Alfonso was monarch from birth as Alfonso XII, had died the previous year. Alfonso's mother, Maria Christina of Austria, served as regent until he assumed full powers on his sixteenth birthday in 1902. During Alfonso's reign Spain experienced four major problems that contributed to the end of the liberal monarchy: the lack of real political representation of broad social groups; this political and social turbulence that began with the Spanish–American War prevented the turnaround parties from establishing a true liberal democracy, which led to the establishment of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. With the political failure of the dictatorship, Alfonso impelled a return to the democratic normality with the intention of regenerating the regime, it was abandoned by all political classes, as they felt betrayed by the king's support of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. He left Spain voluntarily after the municipal elections of April 1931, which were taken as a plebiscite between monarchy or republic.
Alfonso was born in Madrid on 17 May 1886. He was the posthumous son of Alfonso XII of Spain, who had died in November 1885, became King of Spain upon his birth. Just after he was born, he was carried naked to the Spanish prime minister on a silver tray. Five days he was carried in a solemn court procession with a golden fleece round his neck and was baptized with water specially brought from the River Jordan in Palestine; the French newspaper Le Figaro described the young king in 1889 as "the happiest and best-loved of all the rulers of the earth". His mother, Maria Christina of Austria, served as his regent until his 16th birthday. During the regency, in 1898, Spain lost its colonial rule over Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines to the United States as a result of the Spanish–American War; when he came of age in May 1902, the week of his majority was marked by festivities, bullfights and receptions throughout Spain. He took his oath to the constitution before members of the Cortes on 17 May.
By 1905, Alfonso was looking for a suitable consort. On a state visit to the United Kingdom, he stayed at Buckingham Palace with King Edward VII. There he met Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, the Scottish-born daughter of Edward's youngest sister Princess Beatrice, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, he found her attractive, she returned his interest. There were obstacles to the marriage. Victoria was a Protestant, would have to become a Catholic. Victoria's brother Leopold was a haemophiliac, so there was a 50 percent chance that Victoria was a carrier of the trait. Alfonso's mother Maria Christina wanted him to marry a member of her family, the House of Habsburg-Lorraine or some other Catholic princess, as she considered the Battenbergs to be non-dynastic. Victoria was willing to change her religion, her being a haemophilia carrier was only a possibility. Maria Christina was persuaded to drop her opposition. In January 1906 she wrote an official letter to Princess Beatrice proposing the match.
Victoria met Maria Christina and Alfonso in Biarritz, France that month, converted to Catholicism in San Sebastián in March. In May, diplomats of both kingdoms executed the agreement of marriage. Alfonso and Victoria were married at the Royal Monastery of San Jerónimo in Madrid on 31 May 1906, with British royalty in attendance, including Victoria's cousins the Prince and Princess of Wales; the wedding was marked by an assassination attempt on Alfonso and Victoria by Catalan anarchist Mateu Morral. As the wedding procession returned to the palace, he threw a bomb from a window which killed or injured several bystanders and members of the procession. On 10 May 1907, the couple's first child, Prince of Asturias, was born. However, Victoria was in fact a haemophilia carrier, Alfonso inherited the condition. Neither of the two daughters born to the King and Queen were haemophilia carriers, but another of their sons, had the condition. Alfonso distanced himself from his Queen for transmitting the condition to their sons.
From 1914 on, he had several mistresses, fathered five illegitimate children. A sixth illegitimate child had been born before his marriage. During World War I, because of his family connections with both sides and the division of popular opinion, Spain remained neutral; the King established an office for assistance to prisoners of war on all sides. This office used the Spanish diplomatic and military network abroad to intercede for thousands of POWs – transmitting and receiving letters for them, other services; the office was located in the Royal Palace. Alfonso became gravely ill during the 1918 flu pandemic. Spain was neutral and thus under no wartime censorship restrictions, so his illness and subsequent recovery were reported to the world, while flu outbreaks in the belligerent countries were concealed; this gave the misleading impression that Spain was the most-affected area and led to the pandemic being dubbed "the Spanish Flu." Following World War I, Spain entered the lengthy yet victorious Rif War to preserve its colonial rule over northern Morocco.
Critics of the monarchy thought the war was an unforgivable loss of money and lives, nicknamed Alfonso el Africano. Alfonso had not acted as a strict constitutional monarch, supported the Africanists who wanted to conquer for Spain a new empire in Africa to compensate for the lost empire in the Americas and Asia; the Rif War had starkly polarized Spanish society between the A
A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble; this is distinct from a palace, not fortified. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. European-style castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes; these nobles built castles to control the area surrounding them and the castles were both offensive and defensive structures. Although their military origins are emphasised in castle studies, the structures served as centres of administration and symbols of power.
Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, rural castles were situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills, fertile land, or a water source. Many castles were built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced by stone. Early castles exploited natural defences, lacking features such as towers and arrowslits and relying on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged; this led with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower; these changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, inspiration from earlier defences, such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, so that devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power.
Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to dominate their landscape. Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live; as a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose; the word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, Old French castel or chastel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, a number of words in other languages derive from castellum.
The word castle was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote this type of building, new to England. In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"; this contrasts with earlier fortifications, such as Anglo-Saxon burhs and walled cities such as Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East. Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service and the expectation of loyalty, the lord would grant the vassal land. In the late 20th century, there was a trend to refine the definition of a castle by including the criterion of feudal ownership, thus tying castles to the medieval period. During the First Crusade, the Frankish armies encountered walled settlements and forts that they indiscriminately referred to as castles, but which would not be considered as such under the modern definition. Castles served a range of purposes, the most important of which were military and domestic.
As well as defensive structures, castles were offensive tools which could be used as a base of operations in enemy territory. Castles were established by Norman invaders of England for both defensive purposes and to pacify the country's inhabitants; as William the Conqueror advanced through England, he fortified key positions to secure the land he had taken. Between 1066 and 1087, he established 36 castles such as Warwick Castle, which he used to guard against rebellion in the English Midlands. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, castles tended to lose their military significance due to the advent of powerful cannons and permanent artillery fortifications. A castle could act as a stronghold and prison but was a place where a knight or lord could entertain his peers. Over time the aesthetics of the design became more important, as the castle's appearance and size began to refle
Province of Cuenca
Cuenca is one of the five provinces of the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha. It is cover over 17.141 square km. It has a population of 203.841 inhabitants- the least populated of its autonomous community. Its capital city is Cuenca and the province is compounded of 238 municipalities; the province is bordered by the provinces of Valencia, Ciudad Real, Madrid and Teruel. The northeastern side of the province is in the mountainous Sistema Ibérico area. 211,375 people live in the province. Its capital is Cuenca, some 52,980 people. There are 238 municipalities in Cuenca. Other populous towns and municipalities include Tarancón, San Clemente, Quintanar del Rey, Villanueva de la Jara, Motilla del Palancar, Mota del Cuervo, La Almarcha and Las Pedroñeras. In 1851 Cuenca lost Requena-Utiel to the neighbouring Valencia Province with which it was developing commercial ties. Requena-Utiel remained Spanish-speaking, while the loss of its most dynamic region left the province of Cuenca underdeveloped economically