Country Information:Spain

  • Capital: Madrid
  • Dimensions: approx. 504.645 km²
  • Population: 46.063.511 inhabitants (2008)
  • Population density: 91 people per km²
  • Religion: 92% Roman-Catholic
  • Official language: Spanish
  • Type of government: Parliamentarian Monarchy
  • Climate: Mediterranean
  • Unemployment: 11,9 % (2008)

Dimensions of the country

Spain is situated in the South of Europe and takes up the major part of the Iberian Peninsula. Its total area is 504.645 km² and apart from the mainland, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands as well as the cities Ceuta and Melilla on the Moroccan Coast belong to Spain. The country shares borders with Portugal in its West and France and Andorra in the North. The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean are its natural borders in the East, South and the Northwest. 

Religion

92 % of the Spanish population belongs to the Roman-Catholic Church. That's why the country is also being called the Catholic Nation. However, today less than 50% of Spaniards would call themselves religious. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church has still a great influence. 

Languages

Spanish is the official language in all of its different regions and parts. But in some of Spains autonomous communities Catalan, Galician and Basque are officially recognized languages, too.

Some of the other regional languages:

  • Catalán
  • Valenciano
  • Gallego
  • Euskera
  • Mallorquín
  • Bable

Climate

Spain is a popular travel destination because of its climate. Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate and the summers are usually very warm and humid. The average temperature is 21 degrees Celsius in May already. The winters are mild, but rainy.

Seville is one of the hottest cities in the whole of Europe with an average of 300 sun days a year. Even in winter, temperatures hardly fall beneath the freezing point.

History

  • Approx. 507 : Visigoth flee to the Iberian Peninsula
  • A Muslim army beats the Visigoths and soon occupies the whole kingdom
  • The next centuries are shaped by conflicts between Christians and Muslims
  • 1212: Almost the whole Iberian Peninsula is back under Christian influence and rule
  • 12th to 15th century: Spain develops into a global power
  • 1348: Millions of people fall victim to the Plague
  • 1474: Castilian heiress to the throne declares herself Queen
  • 1492 Christopher Columbus discovers America for the Spanish Crown
  • 1524: First administrative structures in America
  • 1532: Begin of Peru conquest
  • 1535: Viceroyalty New Spain in Mexico
  • 1561: Madrid becomes Spain's capital
  • 1635: France declares war on Spain. Begin of the Thirty Years' War.
  • During the middle of the 17th century Spain loses more and more Caribbean Islands.
  • 1807: Napoleon occupies Spain until 1813
  • The following years Spain is shaped by riots and internal conflicts. Spain loses last colonies.
  • 1889: Begin of the Spanish-American War
  • 1923 -1930 Military dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera
  • 1931: Republic declaration
  • 1936: Spanish Civil War. Franco takes over power.
  • 1975: Franco dies. Begin of democratization of the country.
  • 1978: New constitution
  • 1986: Spain joins the European Union