Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is the largest city proper in northern Spain. Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain, with a population of 345,141 as of 2015; the Bilbao metropolitan area has 1 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain. Bilbao is the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region. Bilbao is situated in the north-central part of Spain, some 16 kilometres south of the Bay of Biscay, where the economic social development is located, where the estuary of Bilbao is formed, its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges with an average elevation of 400 metres. Its climate is shaped by the Bay of Biscay low-pressure systems and mild air, moderating summer temperatures by Iberian standards, with low sunshine and high rainfall; the annual temperature range is low for its latitude. After its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, Bilbao was a commercial hub of the Basque Country that enjoyed significant importance in Green Spain.
This was due to its port activity based on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Bilbao experienced heavy industrialisation, making it the centre of the second-most industrialised region of Spain, behind Barcelona. At the same time an extraordinary population explosion prompted the annexation of several adjacent municipalities. Nowadays, Bilbao is a vigorous service city, experiencing an ongoing social and aesthetic revitalisation process, started by the iconic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Azkuna Zentroa, the under development Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre renewal projects. Bilbao is home to football club Athletic Club de Bilbao, a significant symbol for Basque nationalism due to its promotion of only Basque players and one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football history. On 19 May 2010, the city of Bilbao was recognised with the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, awarded by the city state of Singapore, in collaboration with the Swedish Nobel Academy.
Considered the Nobel Prize for urbanism, it was handed out on 29 June 2010. On 7 January 2013, its mayor, Iñaki Azkuna, received the 2012 World Mayor Prize awarded every two years by the British foundation The City Mayors Foundation, in recognition of the urban transformation experienced by the Biscayan capital since the 1990s. On 8 November 2017, Bilbao was chosen the Best European City 2018 at The Urbanism Awards 2018, awarded by the international organisation The Academy of Urbanism; the official name of the town is Bilbao, as known in most languages of the world. Euskaltzaindia, the official regulatory institution of the Basque language, has agreed that between the two possible names existing in Basque and Bilbo, the historical name is Bilbo, while Bilbao is the official name. Although the term Bilbo does not appear in old documents, in the play The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, there is a reference to swords made of Biscayan iron which he calls "bilboes", suggesting that it is a word used since at least the sixteenth century.
There is no consensus among historians about the origin of the name. Accepted accounts state that prior to the 12th century the independent rulers of the territory, named Senores de Zubialdea, were known as Senores de Bilbao la Vieja; the symbols of their patrimony are the church used in the shield of Bilbao to this day. One possible origin was suggested by the engineer Evaristo de Churruca, he said. For Bilbao this would be the result of the union of the Basque words for river and cove: Bil-Ibaia-Bao; the historian José Tussel Gómez argues that it is just a natural evolution of the Spanish words bello vado, beautiful river crossing. On the other hand, according to the writer Esteban Calle Iturrino, the name derives from the two settlements that existed on both banks of the estuary, rather than from the estuary itself; the first, where the present Casco Viejo is located, would be called billa, which means stacking in Basque, after the configuration of the buildings. The second, on the left bank, where now Bilbao La Vieja is located, would be called vaho, Spanish for mist or steam.
From the union of these two derives the name Bilbao, written as Bilvao and Biluao, as documented in its municipal charter. An -ao ending is present in nearby Sestao and Ugao, that could be explained from Basque aho, "mouth"; the demonym is "bilbaíno, -a", although the popular pronunciation bilbaino/a is frequent. In euskera it is bilbotar, sometimes used in Spanish within the Basque Country; the village is affectionately known by its inhabitants as «the botxo», that is, «the hole», since it is surrounded by mountains. The nickname "botxero" is derived from this nickname. Another nickname that Bilbao receives is that of "chimbos", which comes from birds that were hunted in large numbers in these places during the XIX century; the titles, the flag and the coat of arms are Bilbao's traditional symbols and belong to its historic patrimony, being used in formal acts, for the identification and decoration of specific places or for the validation of documents. TitlesBilbao holds the historic category of borough, with the titles of "Very noble and loyal and unbeaten" ("Mu
Erandio is a town and municipality located in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of Basque Country, northern Spain. In 1415, during the War of the Bands, the corregidor, the royally-appointed governor of the Biscayan hermandad, acting on royal orders, siphoned off Biscayan wheat to the Asturias, inciting a rebellion; the Biscayans were defeated at Erandio with the loss of sixty men and the wheat transfers continued. Several annual festivals are celebrated in Erandio. Most of them are fiestas patronales; the local public holiday of the municipality rotates yearly on August 10, August 28 and the corpus Christi day. June 11, Saint Barnabas in Fano / Faoeta. June 13, Saint Anthony of Padua in Martiartu, Goierri. June 29, Saint Peter in Kukularra. July 3, Saint Tryphon in Arriaga. July 10, Saint Christopher in Goierri. Second half of July in Asua. August 10, Saint Lawrence in Astrabudua. August 15, Andra Maria in Erandio Goikoa. August 17 and 18: Saint Mammes in Santimami. August 29, Saint Augustine in Altzaga.
First week of September in Enekuri. Third week of September in Lutxana. Erandio has celebrated a street music festival called Musikale, with music bands marching and playing in the neighbourhoods of Altzaga and Astrabudua. Musikale was conceived in the neighbouring municipality of Leioa. For some years it was held in Leioa, Erandio and Sestao, but the other municipalities dropped it, in 2013 only Erandio organised it. Erandio is connected to other municipalities of Biscay by Bizkaibus bus services and by Line 1 of Metro Bilbao, which has three stations in Erandio, it is connected to Barakaldo by regular fluvial transport over the Estuary of Bilbao. Ramon Rubial, politician. Rafael Eguzkiza, footballer Telmo Zarraonaindia, footballer Luis María Echeberría, footballer Alex Angulo, actor Sendoa Agirre, footballer ERANDIO in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa – Auñamendi Encyclopedia
United States men's national soccer team
The United States Men's National Soccer Team is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. The team has appeared in ten FIFA World Cups, including the first in 1930, where they reached the semi-finals; the U. S. participated in the 1950 World Cups, winning 1 -- 0 against England in the latter. After 1950, the U. S. did not qualify for the World Cup until 1990. The U. S. hosted the 1994 World Cup. They qualified for five more consecutive World Cups after 1994, becoming one of the tournament's regular competitors and advancing to the knockout stage; the U. S. reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup. In the 2009 Confederations Cup, they eliminated top-ranked Spain in the semi-finals before losing to Brazil in the final, their only appearance in the final of a major intercontinental tournament; the team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, having been eliminated in continental qualifying, ending the streak of consecutive World Cups at seven.
United States will co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup along with Canada and Mexico, the automatic qualification of all three teams is as co-hosts. The U. S. competes in continental tournaments, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa América. The U. S. won six Gold Cups, has achieved a fourth-place finish in two Copa Américas, including the 2016 edition. The team's head coach is Gregg Berhalter, since November 29, 2018. Earnie Stewart is the team's General Manager since August 1, 2018; the first U. S. national soccer team was constituted in 1885, when it played Canada in the first international match held outside the United Kingdom. Canada defeated the U. S. 1–0 in Newark, New Jersey. The U. S. had its revenge the following year when it beat Canada 1–0 in Newark, although neither match was recognized. The U. S. earned both silver and bronze medals in men's soccer at the 1904 St. Louis Summer Olympics through Christian Brothers College and St. Rose Parish, though the tournament is declared official only by the IOC.
The U. S. played its first official international match under the auspices of U. S. Soccer on August 20, 1916, against Sweden in Stockholm, where the U. S. won 3–2. The U. S. fielded a team in the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay, the first World Cup to be played. The U. S. began group play by beating Belgium 3–0. The U. S. earned a 3–0 victory over Paraguay, with FIFA crediting Bert Patenaude with two of the goals. In November 2006, FIFA announced that it had accepted evidence that Patenaude scored all three goals against Paraguay, was thus the first person to score a hat trick in a World Cup. In the semifinals, the U. S. lost to Argentina 6–1. There was no third place game. However, using the overall tournament records in 1986, FIFA credited the U. S. with a third-place finish ahead of fellow semi-finalist Yugoslavia. This remains the U. S. team's best World Cup result, is the highest finish of any team from outside of South America and Europe. The U. S. qualified for the 1934 World Cup by defeating Mexico 4–2 in Italy a few days before the finals started.
In a straight knock-out format, the team first played host Italy and lost 7–1, eliminating the U. S. from the tournament. At the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, the U. S. again lost to Italy in the first round and were eliminated, although this time with a score of 1-0. The 1950 World Cup in Brazil was the next World Cup appearance for the U. S. as it withdrew in 1938 and the tournament wasn't held again until 1950. The U. S. lost its first match 3–1 against Spain, but won 1–0 against England at Independência Stadium in Belo Horizonte. Striker Joe Gaetjens was the goal scorer. Called "The Miracle on Grass", the result is considered one of the greatest upsets in the history of the World Cup. Months before the World Cup, England had beaten an all-star "rest of Europe" side 6–1 in an exhibition match. In their third game of the tournament, a 5-2 defeat by Chile saw the U. S. eliminated from the tournament. It would be four decades before the U. S. would make another appearance in the World Cup finals. The national team spent the mid-to-late 20th century in near complete irrelevance in both the international game and the domestic sporting scene.
There was only one World Cup berth for CONCACAF during this period until 1982. The emergence of the North American Soccer League in the 1960s and 1970s raised hopes that the U. S. national team would soon become a global force. However such hopes were not realized and by the 1980s the U. S. Soccer Federation found itself in serious financial struggles, with the national team playing only two matches from 1981 to 1983. U. S. Soccer targeted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1986 World Cup as means of rebuilding the national team and its fan base; the International Olympic Committee declared that teams from outside Europe and South America could field full senior teams, including professionals. The U. S. had a strong showing at the tournament, beating Costa Rica, tying Egypt, losing only to favorite Italy and finishing 1–1–1 but didn't make the second round, losing to Egypt on a tiebreaker. To provide a more stable national team program and renew interest in the NASL, U. S. Soccer entered the national team into the NASL league schedule for the 1983 season as Team America.
This team lacked the continuity and regularity of training that conventional clubs enjoy, many players were unwilling to
Portugal national football team
The Portugal national football team represents Portugal in international men's association football competition since 1921. It is controlled by the governing body for football in Portugal. Portugal's first participation in a major tournament finals was at the 1966 World Cup, saw a team featuring famed striker Eusébio finish in third place; the next two times Portugal qualified for the World Cup finals were in 1986 and 2002, going out in the first round both times. Portugal made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 1984 final tournament, losing 3–2 after extra time to the hosts and eventual winners France; the team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2000, the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012, as well as the final of Euro 2004, the latter on home soil. At Euro 2016, Portugal won its first major trophy, defeating hosts France 1–0 after extra time, with the winning goal scored by Eder. With the win, Portugal qualified and made its first appearance in the FIFA Confederations Cup held in Russia, where they finished third.
The team's home stadium is the Estádio Nacional, in Oeiras, although most of their home games are played in other stadiums across the country. The current head coach is Fernando Santos and the captain is Cristiano Ronaldo, who holds the team record for most caps and for most goals. Portugal was not invited to the 1930 World Cup, which only featured a final stage and no qualification round; the team took part in the 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, but failed to eliminate their Spanish opponents, aggregating two defeats in the two-legged round, with a 9–0 loss in Madrid and 2–1 loss in Lisbon for an aggregate score of 11–1. In the 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification, the Seleção played one game against Switzerland in a neutral ground, held in Milan, losing 2–1 against the Swiss, ending qualification prospects; because of the international conflict due to the World War II, there was no World Cup held until the 1950 competition and subsequently, the national team made few games against other teams.
A 10–0 home friendly defeat against England, two years after the war, was the proof of how the irregularity of the games had taken its effects on the squad. On the restart of games, the team was to play a two-legged round against Spain, just like in the 1934 qualification. After a 5–1 defeat in Madrid, they managed to draw in the second game 2–2 and so the qualification ended with a 7–3 aggregate score. While they did not qualify on the pitch, they would be invited to replace Turkey, which had withdrawn from participating. For the qualification of the 1954 World Cup, the team would play Austria; the Austrians won the first game with a 9–1 result. The best the national team could do was hold the team to a goalless draw in Lisbon, the round ended with a 9–1 defeat. In the 1958 qualification, Portugal won a qualification match for the first time, 3–0 at home with Italy, they finished last in the group stage that featured Northern Ireland. The year 1960 was the year; the first edition was a knock-out tournament, the last four teams participating in final stage that only featured one leg while the older stages had two legs.
For the first round, the Seleção das Quinas won 2–0 against East Germany and 3–2 in Porto for the second leg, finishing with a 5–2 two-legged win. The quarter-final opponent was Yugoslavia. Despite winning the first game 2–1, they lost the second leg 5–1 in Belgrade, lost 6–3 on aggregate. England and Luxembourg were the 1962 FIFA World Cup qualification adversaries of the national team. Portugal ended second behind England. Like in the previous World Cup qualification, only the first in the group would qualify. In the 1964 European Championship. Portugal played against Bulgaria in the first round; the Portuguese won in Lisbon. With the round tied 4–4, a replay was needed in a neutral ground. In Rome, Portugal lost 1–0. In the 1966 World Cup qualification, Portugal was drawn into the same group as Czechoslovakia and Turkey, they topped the group with only one draw and one defeat during all the six games and qualified for a FIFA World Cup, that year the final stage would be held in England. Notable results were both 1–0 away wins against Czechoslovakia and Turkey and a 5–1 home win against the Turks.
The team started out with three wins in the group stage where they were in Group C when they beat Hungary 3–1, Bulgaria 3–0, two-time defending champions Brazil 3–1. Secondly, they beat surprise quarter-finalist North Korea 5–3, with Eusébio getting four markers to overturn a 3–0 deficit, they reached the semi-finals where they were beaten by hosts England 2–1. Portugal defeated the Soviet Union 2–1 in the third place match for their best World Cup finish to date. Eusébio was the top scorer of the World Cup with nine goals. In the Euro 1972 qualifiers, Portugal had to win its group that comprised the teams of Belgium and Scotland. Portugal finished second to Belgium. For the 1974 qualification stages, Portugal were unable to defeat Bulgaria in the decisive match, thus not qualifying. Portugal faced tough competition from the strong Poland team for the place in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, they finished second place, behind Poland. The national team was put alongside Austria, Belgium, N
Valencia Club de Fútbol referred to as Valencia CF or Valencia, is a Spanish football club based in Valencia. They play in La Liga. Valencia have won six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, one UEFA Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and two UEFA Super Cups, they reached two UEFA Champions League finals in a row, losing to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in 2000 and German club Bayern Munich on penalties after a 1–1 draw in 2001. Valencia were members of the G-14 group of leading European football clubs and since its end has been part of the original members of the European Club Association. In total, Valencia have reached seven major European finals. Valencia were founded in 1919 and have played their home games at the 49,500-seater Mestalla since 1923, they were due to move into the new 75,000-seater Nou Mestalla in the northwest of the city in 2013, but the final move date has been postponed while the stadium remains under construction. Valencia have a fierce rivalry with fellow Valencian club Villarreal, with whom they contest the Derbi de la Comunitat.
The rivalry is further fueled by the fact. Valencia have a long-standing rivalry with Levante located in the city of Valencia, with two other clubs in the Valencian region, Hércules and Castellón. Valencia is the third-most supported football club in Spain, behind heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona, it is one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of number of associates, with more than 50,000 season ticket holders and another 20,000+ season ticket holders on the waiting list, who can be accommodated in the new 75,000-seater stadium. Over the years, the club has achieved a global reputation for their prolific youth academy, or "cantera." Products of their academy include world-class talents such as Raúl Albiol, Andrés Palop, Miguel Ángel Angulo, David Albelda, Gaizka Mendieta and David Silva. Current stars of the game to have graduated in recent years include Isco, Jordi Alba, Juan Bernat, José Gayà and Paco Alcácer; the club was established on 5 March 1919 and approved on 18 March 1919, with Octavio Augusto Milego Díaz as its first president.
The club played its first competitive match away from home on 21 May 1919 against Valencia Gimnástico, losing 1–0. Valencia moved into the Mestalla Stadium in 1923, having played its home matches at the Algirós ground since 7 December 1919; the first match at Mestalla ended a 0 -- 0 draw. In another match the day after, Valencia won against the same opposition, 1–0. Valencia won the Regional Championship in 1923, was eligible to play in the domestic Copa del Rey cup competition for the first time in its history; the Spanish Civil War halted Valencia's progress until 1941, when they won the Copa del Rey, defeating Espanyol in the final. In the 1941–42 season, the club won its first La Liga championship title, although winning the Copa del Rey was more reputable than the championship at the time; the club maintained its consistency to capture the league title again in the 1943–44 season, as well as the 1946–47 league edition. In the 1950s, the club failed to simulate the success of the 1940s though it grew as a club.
A restructuring of Mestalla resulted in an increase in spectator capacity to 45,000, while the club had a number of Spanish and foreign stars. Players such as Spanish international Antonio Puchades and Dutch forward Faas Wilkes graced the pitch at Mestalla. In the 1952 -- 53 season, the club finished behind Barcelona. In the following season, the club won its third Copa del Rey known as the Copa del Generalísimo. Valencia beat holders Barça 3–0 in the final in front of over 110,000 spectators at the Estadio Chamartín the home ground of Real Madrid; the 1950s saw the retirement of club greats like Salvador Monzó, Vicente Asensi, Amadeo Ibáñez, Antonio Puchades and Pasieguito. While managing indifferent league form in the early 1960s, the club had its first European success in the form of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. In the 1961–62 season, Valencia defeated Barcelona in the final; the 1962–63 edition of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final pitted Valencia against Yugoslavian club Dinamo Zagreb, which the Valencians won.
Valencia were again present in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final in the 1963–64 season, but were defeated 2–1 by Real Zaragoza. Former two-time European Footballer of the Year award winner Alfredo Di Stéfano was hired as head coach in 1970, inspired his new club to their fourth La Liga championship and first since 1947; this secured Valencia its first qualification for the prestigious European Cup, contested by the various European domestic champions. Valencia reached the third round of the 1971–72 competition before losing both legs to Hungarian champions Újpesti Dózsa. In 1972, the club finished runners-up both in La Liga and the domestic cup, losing to Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid respectively; the most notable players of the 1970s era include Austrian midfielder Kurt Jara, forward Johnny Rep of the Netherlands, West German midfielder Rainer Bonhof and Argentinian forward Mario Kempes, who became the La Liga topscorer for two consecutive seasons in 1976–77 and 1977–78. Valencia would go on to win the Copa del Rey again in the 1978–79 season, capture the European Cup Winners' Cup the next season, after beating English club Arsenal in the final, with Kempes spearheading Valencia's success in Europe.
In 1982, the club appo
Athletic Club commonly known as Athletic, is a professional football club, based in Bilbao, in the Basque Country. They are known as Los Leones. Mammes was an early Christian thrown to the lions by the Romans. Mammes pacified the lions and was made a saint; the club is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never been relegated from the top division since its inception in 1929, the others being Real Madrid and Barcelona. Athletic have won La Liga on eight occasions, fourth most in the history of the league. In the table of Copa del Rey titles, Athletic is second only to Barcelona; the club has one of the most successful women's teams in Spain, which has won five championships in the Primera División Femenina. The club is known for its cantera policy of bringing young Basque players through the ranks, as well as recruiting players from other Basque clubs like Joseba Etxeberria and Javi Martínez. Athletic's official policy is signing professional players native to or trained in football in the greater Basque Country, which includes Biscay, Gipuzkoa, Álava and Navarre.
Since 1912, Athletic has played with players meeting its own criteria to be deemed as Basque, has been one of the most successful teams in La Liga. This can be seen as a unique case in European football; the club has been praised for promoting home grown players and club loyalty. The Basque rule does not apply to coaching staff however, with several examples of non-Basque coaches both from Spain and abroad having coached the first team. Athletic's main rivals are Real Sociedad, against whom it contests the Basque derby, Real Madrid, due to sporting and political rivalry. At various points in the club's history, further Basque league derbies have been contested against Alavés, Eibar and Osasuna. Athletic is one of only four professional clubs in Spain, not a sports corporation. Football was introduced to Bilbao by two distinct groups with British connections. In the late 19th century, Bilbao was a leading industrial town and attracted many migrant workers, including miners from the north-east of England, shipyard workers from Southampton and Sunderland.
They brought with them the game of football, came together to form Bilbao Football Club. Meanwhile, sons of the Basque educated classes went to Britain to complete their studies, developed an interest in football and on their return began to arrange games with British workers. In 1898, students founded the Athletic Club. In 1901, a meeting held in the Café García established more formal regulations. In 1902, the two clubs formed a combined team, known as Bizcaya, in the first Copa del Rey and won the competition; this led to the eventual merger of the two clubs as Athletic Club in 1903. In the same year, Basque students formed Athletic Club Madrid which evolved into Atlético Madrid; the club itself declares 1898 as its foundation date. The club featured prominently in early Copas del Rey. Following the inaugural win by Club Bizcaya, the newly formed Athletic Bilbao won it again in 1903. In 1904, they were declared winners. In 1907, they revived the name Club Vizcaya after entering a combined team with Union Vizcaino.
After a brief lull, they won again in 1911 and three times in a row between 1914 and 1916. The star was Pichichi, who scored the first goal at the San Mamés stadium in 1913 and a hat-trick in the 1915 cup final; the La Liga top scorer award is named in his honour. Other Basque clubs such as Real Unión, Arenas Club de Getxo and Real Sociedad were founding members of La Liga in 1928 and by 1930 they were joined by CD Alavés; the saying "Con cantera y afición, no hace falta importación", translated as "With home-grown teams and support, there is no need for import", made sense during these early days. In 1921, a new British coach, Fred Pentland, arrived, he revolutionised the way. In 1927, Pentland left Athletic but returned in 1929 and led the club to La Liga/Copa del Rey doubles in 1930 and 1931; the club won the Copa del Rey four times in a row between 1930 and 1933 and they were La Liga runners-up in 1932 and 1933. In 1931, Athletic defeated Barcelona 12 -- the latter's worst-ever defeat. Athletic's success under British coaches continued with William Garbutt.
His first season in Spain was a massive success. He had inherited a talented squad which included strikers Guillermo Bata. Garbutt promoted the young Ángel Zubieta to the first team, a player who at 17 years of age went on to become the youngest to play for the Spanish national team at the time. In the final game of the season, the title was decided when Athletic defeated Oviedo 2–0 at home on 19 April 1936, winning the title just two points clear of Real Madrid. In July 1936, football halted due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War; the league did not restart until the 1939–40 season. Athletic Club did not win the title again by that time Garbutt had been exiled. In 1941, the club changed its name following a decree issued by Franco; the same year Telmo Zarra made his debut. He
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