Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Alzira is a town and municipality of 45,000 inhabitants in Valencia, eastern Spain. It is the capital of the comarca of Ribera Alta in the province of Valencia. Alzira is located in the province of Valencia, on the left bank of the Júcar river, on the Valencia–Alicante railway. Alzira's climate is Mediterranean: warm with no extremes of temperature either in summer or winter. Rainfall is irregular. Torrential rains follow periods of relative drought; the town contains the Murta and Casella valleys. Alzira's borough extends over 111 square kilometres. Alzira was founded by the Muslim Moors under the name Jazirat Shukr which became known as Júcar Island, it was a prosperous trading station during the reign of the Muslim Moors which lasted over five hundred years. During that time the city had a local administrative government and was considered as a cultural hub for writers and law experts; the city was conquered by James I of Aragon on 30 December 1242. Alzira, located right on the bank of the Júcar, has suffered devastating floods throughout its history - in particular in 1472, 1590, 1864, 1916, 1982 and 1987.
Alzira has been a walled town, surrounded by palm and mulberry groves, by low-lying rice-swamps, which rendered its neighborhood somewhat unhealthy. It is sometimes identified with the pre-Roman Sucro. According to one source, the mutiny at Sucro of 206 BC, squelched by Scipio Africanus, was at or near present-day Alzira, a few kilometers east of the mouth of the Sucro/Jucar River. Agriculture was the prime economic driving force in Alzira up to the mid-20th century; the most important produce are oranges and they are distributed by important local co-operatives. During the 20th century, Alzira changed from an agricultural based economy to a diversified industry-orientated city with an important commercial infrastructure and associated services. Many outstanding companies have their head-office in the city: building and publishing companies, diverse manufacturers and ice cream factories, etc. Alzira has become a important commercial city due to its influence area, estimated about 300,000 inhabitants.
Alzira has a 250-bed Community Hospital, the Hospital de la Ribera, built in 1999 by UTE-Ribera, under a Private Finance Initiative scheme. Under the contract the Valencia Health Department pays an annual capitation-fee per inhabitant of 420 euros to Ribera Salud. There are about 250000 inhabitants in the area; the hospital has to pay for any treatment provided elsewhere for those inhabitants, they are at liberty to go elsewhere. After 10 years the building revertss to the Valencia Health Department. During 2001, there were 19205 inpatient episodes, 19098 surgical acts, 115428 A&E visits, 462733 outpatient visits. 90% of the patients seen were satisfied with the care they got. This capitation based system with integration between primary and secondary care providers and a unified IT system across all services has become known as the Alzira model and received a great deal of attention; the quality of services appears to be higher than other health care systems. Monastery of la Murta: It is constituted of buildings rising in the following three periods: SXIX_XV, XVI y XVII.
In the 19th century, after the expropriation, his new owner raised a manor over the hospice of the monastery. The Monastery has a partition battlemented wall. Nowadays, In the garden. There are still remainders gathering in the walls. In that way, it has prepared to increase the defensive function; the elements of the group are: Monastery: The new church and the Tower of the Bells._ Fortified tower of la Porteria. Ruins of the monastery and adjacent elements. Foster chapel of' La Virgen de la Murta'. Alzira walled circuit: The walls of Alzira were built around a possible river island, from which derives its name in Arabic had a dual purpose, first the defense, second the flood protection of Júcar river; the walls were buried by the river. The walled circuit was formed by a double wall which today contains the historical center of “la Vila”, dated in the Islamic period where some of the mosques and baths were settled. Nowadays, the remains are located in two areas of the city, “el parque de las murallas” and “las murallas del Antiguo Mercado” Town council hall of Alzira: This building has a civil Gothic style of the Crown of Aragon.
Its oldest part dates from the 16th century and, although we can say that the construction of its plant obeys to medieval patterns alternating the Ghotic style and the Baroque. It is a building with a quadrangular plant and a three water covered with Arabic tiles in whose construction the following local unions have collaborated: stonecutters and mull wall, its interior rooms are arranged around a rectangular gallery. In 1930 it was declared an Artistic National Monument Santa Catalina church of Alzira: The building was rebuilt in the 17th century on an earlier mosque, with a Gothic basilica and a Gothic factory, it is inserted into the so-called “reconquista” churches with a single ground covered with a cannon vault open with lunettes and open chapels between buttresses, covered with a mid-cannon vault. Over the transept, a drum covered by a dome over scallops sets up; this was replaced by a new double-sloped roof that covers the entire temple Mare de Déu del Lluch Sanctuary of Alzira: Construction built in a neo-Romanesque style.
The temple of three naves is covered with groin vault, while the major chapel is fixed with another kind of vault. The access is thro
Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Spain is not a federation, but a decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes; each community has its own set of devolved powers. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism". There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies"; the two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it.
This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies". The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a diverse country made up of several different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown in 1479 this was not a process of national homogenization or amalgamation; the constituent territories—be it crowns, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories exhibited a variety of local customs, laws and currencies until the mid nineteenth century.
From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime. Leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries; this culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces, which served as transmission belts for policies developed in Madrid. However, unlike in other European countries such as France, where regional languages were spoken in rural areas or less developed regions, two important regional languages of Spain were spoken in some of the most industrialized areas, moreover, enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, in addition to having their own cultures and historical consciousness; these were Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism; therefore and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. As such, Spanish history since the late 19th century has been shaped by a dialectical struggle between Spanish nationalism and peripheral nationalisms in Catalonia and the Basque Country, to a lesser degree in Galicia.
In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1914, only to be abolished in 1923. It was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonia's mediaeval institution of government, was restored; the constitution of 1931 envisaged a territorial division for all Spain in "autonomous regions", never attained—only Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia had approved "Statutes of Autonomy"—the process being thwarted by the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936, the victory of the rebel Nationalist forces under Francisco Franco. During General Franco's dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the "unity of the Spanish nation". Peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats, his attempts to fight separatism with heavy-handed but sporadic repression, his severe suppression of language and regional identities backfired: the demands for democracy became intertwined with demands for the recognition of a pluralistic vision of the Spanish nationhood.
When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy. The most difficult task of the newly democratically elected Cortes Generales in 1977 acting as a Constituent Assembly was to transition from a unitary centralized state into a decentralized state in a way that would satisfy the demands of the peripheral nationalists; the Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. Shortly after, the government allowed the creation of "assemblies of members of parliament" integrated by deputies and senators of the different territories of Spain, so that they could constitute "pre-autonomic regimes" for their regions as well; the Fathers of the Constitution had to strike a balance between the opposing views of Spain—on the one hand, the centralist view inherited from Franco's regime, on the other hand federalism and a pluralistic view of Spain as a "nation of nations".
Benifaió is a municipality in the comarca of Ribera Alta in the Valencian Community, Spain. In the central plaza, it contains a tower built by the Moors Tower of la Plaça: It was part of a defensive structure, palace-castle, the adjoining buildings are part of the palace of Falcó and the old Town Hall. In 1978 the old Town Hall was demolished being the tower free of three parts. Subsequently, it was used as a storehouse, a pigeon house; the interior is covered with vaults built with cane mud. On the first floor, with vault, within the centre of the tower, there is a ladder with high stairs which will rise over the four levels. In the surrounding area there is a set of Gothic tunnels with diaphragmatic arches that are not open for visitors and are to be valued Benifaió is twinned with: Valmontone in Latium, Italy
Alginet is a municipality in the comarca of Ribera Alta in the Valencian Community, Spain
Province of Valencia
Valencia or València is a province of Spain, in the central part of the Valencian Community. Of the province's 2,547,986 people, one-third live in the capital, the capital of the autonomous community and the 3rd biggest city in Spain, with a metropolitan area of 2,522,383 it's one of the most populated cities of Southern Europe. There are 265 municipalities in the province. Although the Spanish Constitution of 1812 loosely created the province of València, a stable administrative entity does not arise until the territorial division of Spain in 1833, remaining today without major changes; the Provincial Council of Valencia dates from that period. After the Valencian Statute of Autonomy of 1982, the province became part of the Valencian Community. Together with Spanish, Valencian is the co-official language, it is bordered by the provinces of Alicante, Cuenca, Castellón, the Mediterranean Sea. The northwestern side of the province is in the mountainous Sistema Ibérico area. Part of its territory, the Rincón de Ademuz, is an exclave sandwiched between the provinces of Cuenca and Teruel.
The province is subdivided into the comarques of Camp de Túria, Camp de Morvedre, Canal de Navarrés, Hoya de Buñol, Horta de València, Horta Nord, Horta Oest, Horta Sud, Requena-Utiel, Rincón de Ademuz, Ribera Alta, Ribera Baixa, Los Serranos, Vall d'Albaida and Valle de Cofrentes. The province of Valencia, like the rest of the region, is mountainous in the interior in the north and west, with the Sistema Central running from north to south and the foothills of Andalusia from west to east; this mountainous interior features deep and steep valleys formed by the major rivers running through it. The plain of Valencia, is the second largest coastal plain of the country, located in the low region between the Júcar and Turia river valleys, it is twenty wide. In 1843 it was cited as "one of the most fertile and best cultivated spots in Europe"; the other main rivers include the Serpis. The Altiplano de Requena-Utiel range, in the interior of the Valencia region, has an average height of about 750 m.
The principal mountains in the province are Cerro Calderón, Sierra del Caroche, Sierra del Benicadell, Serra Calderona, Sierra Martés, Sierra de Utiel, Sierra de Enguera, the Sierra de Mondúver. The València plains are known for their olive, ilex, algaroba and palm trees, with the appearance of an "immense garden"; such is the fertility of the soil, that two and three crops in the year are obtained, the greater part of the land returns eight per cent. The rice crops are the most valuable, are chiefly produced in the tract, irrigated by the Albufera, a large lake in the neighbourhood of València. Rice being the principal food of the lower classes, the crop is consumed in the province, with the exception of a small quantity which finds its way into Castile and Andalusia; the other chief product is the white mulberry, once the source of great wealth: it was worked in the silk-factories of València. In 1828, the produce of silk from the vega of València amounted to one million of pounds yearly, the greater part of, exported in its raw state, but the produce has increased since, owing to demands from the manufacturers of Lyon and other towns in the south of France.
The province of València is a notable producer of satins, silk ribbons, velvets. The export of fruit from Valencia is considerable of raisins; the raisins are of two kinds, the muscatel, an inferior and smaller raisin, called pasa de legia. The export of figs and wine from the province and ports of València is considerable, with a wine known as Beni Carlo, which as of 1843 was shipped to Cette. Mercury, sulphur, argentiferous lead, coal, etc. are among the mineral products, but they are procured only in small quantities. Today, tourism is a major source of income, with the city of Valencia and the resort towns along the coast being the primary earners during the summer months; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, by C. Knight
Cotes is a municipality in the comarca of Ribera Alta in the Valencian Community, Spain