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Image: Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz
Iberian Peninsula. Spain has a coastline at the Atlantic Ocean in north and the Mediterranean Sea in south east. It is bordered by Andorra, France, Gibraltar (U.K.), Portugal, and Morocco (at the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African coast), it also shares maritime borders with Algeria and Italy.
Flag of Spain
Spain occupies an area of 505,992 km² making it the fourth largest country in Europe, and the second largest in western Europe. Compared it is twice the size of the United Kingdom, or slightly more than twice the size of the US state of Oregon.
Spain has a population of 46.4 million people (in 2016), capital and largest city is Madrid, Spain's second city is Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia. Official and national language is Spanish, co-official languages are Basque, Catalan and Galician.
Spain is known for its food, Flamenco music and dance, bullfights, horses, arts and literature, architecture, a Moorish heritage, its islands, Mediterranean beaches, wines, fruits and vegetables, and football (soccer).
Kingdom of Spain | Reino de España
In ancient times the Iberian Peninsula at the southwestern tip of Europe has been inhabited by various ethnic groups. Iberian tribes moved into the peninsula at some point during the second millennium B.C. --whether from north Africa or southern Europe-- and spread out over a broad area. During the eighth and ninth centuries B.C. Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and a significant number of Celtic immigrants from central and northern Europe entered the peninsula. This highly diversified ethnic stocks of the pre-Roman period, constituting the ancestors of the later Spaniards.
Disparate societies and the tribal organisation of the Iberian inhabitants slow down the conquest of "Hispania" by the Romans, lasting from 218 B.C. to 19 B.C.
With the decline of the Roman empire, Suebi, Vandals and Alans took control of parts of Hispania. Followed by the Visigoths, who conquered all of Hispania in the 5th century A.D. and established a kingdom lasting until 711, when it fell to an invasion by Islamic North African Moors. The Reconquista, the struggle among the Christian kingdoms and the Moors lasted until 1492. By 1512, the unification of present-day Spain was complete.
During the 16th century, Spain became the most powerful nation in Europe, due to the immense wealth derived from their possessions in the Americas. The steady decline of Spanish power in Europe began in the end of the 16th century, in the 19th century Spain suffered the loss of most of its colonies.
With the victory of his nationalist forces in 1939, General Francisco Franco ruled a nation exhausted politically and economically, isolated by the Allies.
In 1955 Spain joined the United Nations. 1975 Franco's personally designated heir Prince Juan Carlos assumed the position of king and head of state.
Spain joined NATO in 1982 and became a member of the European Union in 1986.
Reino de España
short form: España
int'l long form: Kingdom of Spain
int'l short form: Spain
ISO Country Code: es
Time Zone: Central European Time (CET)
Local Time = UTC +1h
Actual Time: Mon-July-23 00:11
Daylight Saving Time (DST) March - October (UTC +2)
Country Calling Code: +34
Capital City: Madrid (pop. 5.5 million)
Barcelona (4.9 million), Bilbao (353 950), Malagá (1.3 million), Sevilla (1.8 million), Valencià (2.3 million), Zaragoza (871 000).
Type: Constitutional Monarchy (Juan Carlos I. proclaimed King 22 November 1975).
Constitution: 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978.
Location: On the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France.
Area: 506.000 km² (194,884 sq. mi.), including the Balearic and Canary Islands
Terrain: High plateaus, lowland areas such as narrow coastal plains, and mountainous regions.
Climate: Temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast.
Nationality: Noun--Spaniard(s). Adjective--Spanish.
Population: 46.4 million (2016)
Ethnic groups: Distinct ethnic groups within Spain include the Basques, Catalans, and Galicians.
Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic.
Languages: Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan-Valenciana 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%.
Literacy: 98% (est.)
Natural resources: Coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land.
Agriculture products: Grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish.
Industries: Textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism.
Exports - commodities: machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods.
Exports - partners: France 15.7%, Germany 11%, Italy 7.4%, UK 7.4%, Portugal 7.1%, USA 4.5% (2015).
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semi-finished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments.
Imports - partners: Germany 14.4%, France 11.7%, China 7.1%, Italy 6.5%, Netherlands 5%, UK 4.9% (2015)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Spain in Figures
Key statistical data of Spain.
Image: Carlos Delgado
The Kingdom of Spain is a constitutional monarchy, its government is defined by the constitution of 6 December 1978. The king is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The highest legislative body in Spain is the Parliament, the Cortes Generales, consisting of the Senate (Upper house) and the Congress of Deputies (Lower house). Spain is by constitution (from 1978) a unitary state, a state in which the central government is the ultimate supreme power and the country's administrative divisions exercise only powers that the central government chooses to delegate.
Official Sites of SpainNote: External links will open in a new browser window.
Casa de S.M. el Rey de España
The Royal Family of Spain.
Moncloa Palace complex, seat of the Spanish Government.
El Senado de España
The Senate of Spain is the upper house of Spain's parliament, the Cortes Generales.
Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores
Ministry of External Affairs (in Spanish).
Misión Permanente de España en Naciones Unidas
The Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations.
Embajada de España
Embassy of Spain, Washington D.C.
Spanish Embassies and Consulates
Spain's Embassies and Consulates Abroad.
Instituto Nacional de Estadística
National Statistics Institute.
Instituto Nacional de Meteorología (INM)
National Institute of Meteorology.
Map of Spain
Political Map of Spain.
Administrative Map of Spain
Map of Spain showing Spain's autonomous communities and provinces and their capitals.
Google Earth Map of Spain
Searchable map and satellite view of Spain.
Google Earth Map of Madrid
Searchable map and satellite view of Spain's capital.
Google Earth Map of Barcelona
Searchable map and satellite view of Spain's second largest city.
Topographic Map of the Iberian Peninsula
Mediterranean Region Map
Map of the Mediterranean Sea and bordering countries.
Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.
News from SpainMajor Newspapers (all in Spanish)
Spain's third largest national daily newspaper, headquartered in Madrid.
El Correo ("The Courier")
Leading daily in Bilbao and the Basque Country with national and international news.
El Mundo ("The World")
One of Spain's leading newspapers with national and international news, its headquarters is in Madrid.
El Pais ("The Country")
Spanish daily newspaper with the highest-circulation in the country, headquartered in Madrid.
La Vanguardia ("The Vanguard")
Catalonia's leading daily newspaper, printed in Spanish and in Catalan, its headquarters is in Barcelona.
La Voz de Galicia (The Voice of Galicia)
Spanish daily newspaper and Galicia's paper with the highest circulation.
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Arts & Culture
Círculo del Arte
Online shop for prints and original artworks of contemporary artists like Antonio Saura, Eduardo Arroyo, Albert Ràfols-Casamada, José Hernández, Manuel Rivera and many others.
Fundación Joan Miró
Site related to the work of Joan Miró.
Fundación Gala-Salvador Dalí
Site related to the work of Salvador Dalí influenced by Gala.
Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
Museum for contemporary and modern art.
Museo del Prado
The Prado Museum - one of the biggest art galleries in the world.
museo PICASSO málaga
A permanent exhibition centre for Picasso's work.
A guide to Spanish arts and artists.
A virtual visit of the Alhambra at Grenada.
Highest Library Institution of Spain and Head of the Spanish Libraries System.
The Spain flamenco magazine.
Guias Oficiales de Granada
The official guide to Granada and the Alhambra.
An expanding directory of vintage images of Spain.
Business & Economy
Banco de España
The Spanish Central Bank.
Bolsa de Madrid
Madrid Stock Exchange is Spain's largest and most international exchange.
Spain Business (ICEX)
Official website of ICEX Spain Trade and Investment, Spain's Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.
Cámara de Madrid
Madrid's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the business association was founded in 1887.
Top Rated Spanish Companies
Spain is the 2nd largest car manufacturer in Europe after Germany. The main manufacturers are multinational companies with subsidiaries and production plants in the country, the largest are Daimler AG, Germany (with a manufacturing plant in Vitoria), Ford, USA (its plant in Almussafes (Valencia) is one of Ford's biggest in Europe), General Motors, USA (with plants in Figueruelas and Zaragoza), IVECO, Italy (with plants in Madrid and Valladolid), Nissan, Japan (Barcelona), PSA Peugeot Citroen, France (Vigo), Renault, France (with facilities in Valladolid, Palencia and Sevilla).
The only Spanish automobile manufacturer headquartered in Martorell is a wholly owned subsidiary of the German Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen, Germany (Pamplona).
Spanish multi-national engineering and car components company.
Multinational automotive supplier, who develops and manufactures interior components for the vehicle industry. Its headquarters is in Burgos.
Santander (Banco Santander, S.A.)
The Spanish banking group headquartered in Santander, the Santander Group operates across Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia.
BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.)
The second largest bank in Spain is multinational banking group formed in 1999 after the merger of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya and Argentaria, itself a former fusion of Spanish public banks.
Spain's number three in the financial service sector, a not for profit and charitable financial institution with over 5,800 branches, based in Barcelona.
Leading Spanish insurance company, based in the outskirts of Madrid.
Spain’s largest energy group, a multinational electric utility company based in Bilbao, Basque Country. Subsidiaries amongst others are Scottish Power (Scotland), Avangrid (United States) and Elektro (Brazil).
One of the largest electric utility company in the country, it is a majority-owned subsidiary of the Italian utility company Enel. Endesa has its headquarters in Madrid.
Gas Natural Fenosa
Gas Natural SDG, S.A. is a public distributor of natural gas in Spain, Italy and Latin America, the company is headquartered in Barcelona.
El Corte Inglés
Spain's only remaining department store chain, ranked number four worldwide. El Corte Inglés has its headquarters in Madrid.
Inditex is one of the largest textile companies in the world, headquartered in Arteixo, A Coruña, Galicia. Flagship store is Zara (ZARA), the clothing and accessories retailer, other chains owned by Inditex are the clothes manufacturing company Massimo Dutti, the fashion stores of Bershka, the clothing brand Stradivarius, the clothing and accessories retailer Pull and Bear, the undergarments company Oysho, and Uterqüe, a manufacturer of fashion accessories and garments.
Nationwide supermarket chain with a revenue in more than 20 million euros in 2015.
Telefónica (Telefónica, S.A.)
Multinational broadband and telecommunications provider and one of the largest private telecommunications companies in the world with operations in Europe, Asia, and North, Central and South America.
A major Spanish mobile phone operator and cable TV provider owned by Telefónica S.A..
The Spanish Carrier.
Spanish low-cost airline with hubs in Barcelona–El Prat Airport and Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy.
Major airports of Spain are: Madrid Barajas International Airport, Barcelona El Prat International Airport, Palma airport on the Balearic island of Mallorca (Aeropuerto de Palma de Mallorca), and Málaga Airport (Aeropuerto de Málaga)
Official website of airports of Spain.
Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles (RENFE)
Travel and Tour Consumer Information
DestiNation Spain :: Travel and Tour Guides
Discover Spain: A Coruña, Alhambra, Andalusia, Barcelona, Bilbao, Canary Islands, Catalan rumba, Doñana National Park, fiesta de los toros, Galicia, Madrid, Monfragüe (Extremadura), Santiago de Compostela, Sierra Nevada, Mount Teide, Tenerife.
Find accommodation, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, tours and much more.
The tourist office of Spain.
Tourist Office of Spain in New York.
Comprehensive travel and tourism information for Spain.
All about Spain
A guide to country and culture.
A guide to tourism and leisure on Cadiz province.
Turismo de la Provincia de Sevilla
A travel and tourism guide to Seville province.
City Guides (official city sites)
The Municipality of Madrid.
The City of Barcelona.
The City of Bilbao.
The City of Sevilla.
The City of Valencia.
Image: Antoine Taveneaux
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
University's home page in Spanish.
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Public university, founded in 1989.
Universidad de Málaga
Founded in the late Sixties of the last century.
Universidad de Salamanca
Third oldest university in the world in continuous operations, founded in 1134.
Universidad de Sevilla
Multi-disciplinary university with a specialization in the research of technology and science and one of the top-ranked universities in Spain.
Universidad de Zaragoza
One of the oldest universities in Spain.
Image: Jesús García
Environment & Nature
Ministerio de Medio Ambiente
Official website of the Environment Ministry (in Spanish).
Acció Ecologista Agró
Ecological organization in Valencià Country.
Amigos da Terra
Amigos de la Tierra España
The Spanish subsidiary of Friends of the Earth.
National Parks in Spain
Information about Spain's 15 National Parks.
Image: 2il org
A History of Spain and Portugal
History of Spain and Portugal from ancient times until the 17th Century, by Stanley G. Payne, a historian of modern Spain and European Fascism at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
History of Spain
Wikipedia article about Spain's history from ancient times to modern Spain.
WWW-VL The Spanish History Index
Provides Internet resources on the History of Spain, whether from Spain and abroad, in Spanish, English and other languages.
The Balearic Islands
Image: Andy Flatman
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago in the Mediterranean off the coast of eastern Spain. Mallorca, the largest island, is known for its beaches, rampant drinking parties, the picturesque coast and the Serra de Tramuntana mountains in north. the other three major islands are Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
Balearic Islands Government.
Capital City: Palma de Mallorca
Majorca Daily Bulletin
Online magazine with news from Mallorca and the Balearics Islands.
Universitat de les Illes Balears
University of the Balearic Islands.
IBATUR Institut Balear del Turisme
The official tourism portal of the Balearic Islands with travel & tourism information on the Balearic Islands.
Tourist guide to Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
Balearic Group of Ornithology and Defence of Nature.
Guia de Formentera
Provides information about everything related to Formentera.
ibiza - spotlight.com
Online version of the Ibiza Spotlight Island Guide.
Mallorca ( Majorca )
Consell de Mallorca
The Mallorca Government (Spanish).
Majorca Daily Bulletin
A touristic travel guide provides informations about the island of Majorca, Balearics.
Mallorca's Touristic server.
Information about attractions and amenities of Menorca.
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are an archipelago off the coast of Morocco, consisting of several rugged volcanic islands known for their black- or white-sandy beaches. Tenerife, the largest island, is dominated by the active volcano Mt. Teide. The other main islands are Gran Canaria, El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gomera, and Lanzarote.
Gobierno de Canarias
The Canary Government.
Capital cities: Las Palmas on Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz on Tenerife.
Cabildo de El Hierro
The Island Council and El Hierro Office of Tourism offer information on El Hierro
Cabildo de Fuerteventura
The Island Council of Fuerteventura.
Cabildo Insular La Gomera
The Island Council of Gomera provides information on Gomera.
Cabildo de Lanzarote
Lanzarote information (Spanish).
Universidad de La Laguna
Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The Las Palmas University.
Hello Canary Islands
Turismo de Canarias - Tourist information about the Canary islands.
Islas Canarias canary-guide.com
Website about the Canary Islands: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.
The Canary Islands directory.
A Spain Search Engine.
They call themself "Spain's leading independent Search Engine & Directory".
Open Directory Project: Spain
Sources and additional Information on Spain
Amnesty International: Spain
BBC - Country profile: Spain
EU member countries: Spain
The Heritage Foundation: Spain
Human Rights Watch: Spain
Reporters Without Borders: Spain
The World Factbook -- Spain
Major Cities in the Mediterranean
Athens, Barcelona, Cannes, Florence, Istanbul, Lisbon, Madrid, Monaco, Milan, Naples, Nice,
Rome, San Marino, Tirana, Valletta, Vatican City, Venice, Ljubljana, Sarajevo,Tirana, Zagreb,
Alexandria, Algiers, Beirut, Benghazi, Cairo, Jerusalem, Nicosia, Tobruk, Tripoli, Tunis, Tel Aviv
Other Countries in the Mediterranean:
Albania | Algeria | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Croatia | Cyprus | Egypt | France | Gaza Strip | Greece | Israel | Italy | Lebanon | Libya | Macedonia, Rep. of | Malta | Monaco | Montenegro | Morocco | Portugal | Slovenia | Syria | Tunisia | Turkey
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