Spain - The Enchanting Destination in Southern Europe
Spain, also known as the Kingdom of Spain (in Spanish: España), is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. Its coastline extends along the Mediterranean Sea to the south and east, and along the Atlantic Ocean to the north. It is bordered by Portugal to the west, France to the north, Andorra, and the United Kingdom to the south. Spain also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as two cities with autonomous rule in North Africa: Ceuta and Melilla. Spain covers an area of 505,992 square kilometers and has a population of 40,491,051.
Spain is the second-largest country in Western Europe after France and has an average elevation of 650 meters above sea level. It is the second-highest country in Europe after Switzerland. Spain is governed by a parliamentary constitutional monarchy system and has been a member of NATO since 1986.
Naming and History:
Around 1100 BCE, the Phoenicians began establishing the first settlements on Spanish lands, followed by the Greeks. Spain then fell under Carthaginian rule in 202 BCE. Since then, the Roman Empire occupied and gradually Christianized the region.
In the 5th century BCE, Spain became the target of Germanic tribal invasions. In 711 CE, Muslims from North Africa conquered Spain, holding various regions in the north from the 8th to the 10th century, establishing the Andalusian civilization.
In the 11th century, Christians, taking advantage of internal unrest in the country, started to reconquer the peninsula, beginning from the north. By 1276, Muslims only held the southern city. Over time, Christians gained more power and eventually drove out Jews and Muslims from Andalusia. Those who survived, along with their maritime knowledge under the command of Admiral Musa bin Nusayr, left behind many books on science and knowledge, which were later utilized by Europeans.
In 1492, the Kingdom of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold, was conquered, and the same year, Christopher Columbus embarked on his famous journey to America with financial support from the Spanish monarch. This journey led Spain to form one of the largest colonial empires in the world.
In 1588, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the British Navy, Portugal was lost in 1640, and Gibraltar in 1714. In the early 19th century, all Spanish colonies in America gained independence.
During World War I, Spain remained neutral despite all the invitations but was significantly affected by the war. France invaded and occupied parts of Spain. General Primo de Rivera established a dictatorship in the country by suppressing uprisings and regained power in 1930. After a year, King Alfonso left the country following the victory of the Republicans in the elections. When the leftists won the elections in 1936, General Franco attempted to overthrow the elected government, leading to the Spanish Civil War.
In 1939, when the Civil War ended, Franco became the head of state. Franco retained his position after the war with support from the Spanish Army, which did not participate in World War II. In 1975, Franco was replaced by King Juan Carlos. In 1976, with the resignation of Prime Minister Navarro, Carlos became king, and Adolfo Suárez was appointed as the prime minister.
On June 15, 1977, after 41 years, the first general elections were held in Spain, and the Democratic Center Union, led by Suárez, won the majority. In 1981, the attempted coup by right-wing Colonel Tejero before the parliament was decisive. In the 1982 elections, the Socialist Party won with a large majority, and after 46 years, a left-wing government was born again in Spain.
In the Atlantic coastal areas, there is rainfall during winter, and summers are very mild. The Mediterranean coastal climate is characterized by rainfall in spring and autumn, with warm summers and mild winters. The subtropical climate experiences little rainfall in winter, and the average air temperatures in Santa Cruz de Tenerife are 17.9 degrees Celsius in January and 25.1 degrees Celsius in August. Rainfall varies greatly across the Canary Islands from one region to another.
Mountainous areas have long winters with heavy snowfall, especially in the north, and short, mild summers. Severe frosts occur in the region during the winter months, so summers are longer, with hot weather. High mountain areas experience a long winter, short and mild summers around mid-July, and heavy rainfall and floods occur in the region.
Government System: Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Foundation Year: 1479 CE
Population: 40,491,051 people
Area: 505,992 square kilometers
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