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Spain

Country Name

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain.

Location

Spain is located in southwestern Europe.

Spain is bordered by the Bay of Biscay, the Balearic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Alboran Sea; Portugal to the west and France and Andorra to the north.

To the south, across the Strait of Gibraltar, the semi-enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla are bordered by Morocco.

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Capital 

Madrid.

Reason For Naming the country

The origins of the Roman name Hispania, and the modern España, are uncertain, although the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most widely accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one. There have been a number of accounts and hypotheses of its origin: 

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 argued 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".

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, Ἑσπερία in Greek) and Spain, being still further west, as Hesperia ultima.

There is the claim that "Hispania" derives from the Basque word Ezpanna meaning "edge" or "border", another reference to the fact that the Iberian Peninsula constitutes the southwest corner of the European continent.

Flag

The first use of the current flag design was on 15 May 1785.

​The current Flag of Spain was adopted on October 5, 1981.

Spain’s official flag, also known as "la Rojigualda".

The flag is consists of two red horizontal stripes at the top and bottom and a yellow stripe in the middle which is twice the width of each red stripe.

The Red and yellow colors are known as traditional Spanish colors.

The coat of arms set on the national flag is a combination of six different coats of arms, representing the six kingdoms that makeup Spain. and feature a gold castle set on a red background, a pink-crowned lion set on a white background, vertically-running red and yellow stripes, a golden chain link,

a pomegranate flower, and the fleur-de-lis (flower of the lily) at the center.

The coat of arms is set on two crowned Pillars of Hercules with a banner

covering both pillars and inscription, “Plus Ultra” written on the banner.

On top of the coat of arms is a large red and gold crown.

There are different meaning of the flag colors,  it said:

The red color represents the blood spilled by the bulls whereas

the yellow color represents the sand in the bullfighting arena. 

A second legend claims that the red represents the bloodshed by the Spanish people.

and the yellow represents the sun.

The red and yellow colors of the naval ensign were chosen for being the primary colors on the coat of arms of King Ferdinand II.

The castle represents the Kingdom of Castile, and the lion represents the Kingdom of Leon,

the vertically-running red and yellow stripes represent the kingdom of Aragon,

the golden chain-link represents the kingdom of Navarre.

The pomegranate flower at the bottom represents the kingdom of Granada,

and the Flower of the Lily (fleur-de-lis) represents the House of Bourbon.

The two Pillars of Hercules symbolize the Straits of Gibraltar and on top of the two pillars are two crowns, an imperial crown, and a royal crown. The royal crown symbolized the King of Spain while the imperial crown symbolized the Holy Roman Emperor with King Charles serving in both capacities in the late 18th century.

The inscription on the red banner wrapping the two pillars “Plus Ultra” translates to “more beyond” which represented the then newly discovered American territories after the voyages of Christopher Columbus.

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Religion

Roman Catholicism, is the dominant religion, although it no longer has official status by law, in all public schools in Spain students have to choose either a religion or ethics class. Catholicism is the religion most commonly taught, although the teaching of Islam,  Judaism,  and evangelical Christianity is also recognised in law. 

The Spanish constitution realize secularism in governance, as well as freedom of religion or belief for all, saying that no religion should have a "state character," while allowing for the state to "cooperate" with religious groups.

Minority religions in Spain include Islam, Judaism, Protestant Christianity, Baha’i, Hinduism, and Buddhism, along with others in smaller numbers. Approximately 3% to 5% of the population practices one of these religions. 

Language 

Spanish is the official language of Spain. Also referred to as Castilian, it is a Romance language with origins in the Castile region of Spain.

Co-official regional languages include Basque, Catalan, Galician, and Occitan. Basque is the only non-Romance language with official status in the country and is in fact, not related to any other language. 

These four languages are widely used in newspapers, books, on TV, and in local government.

The recognized regional languages are Aragonese, Asturian, and Leonese. These are not official and are considered minority, endangered languages.

Unofficial regional languages include: Cantabrian, Extremaduran, Judaeo-Spanish, Riffian Berber, Eonavian, Fala, Portuguese, Iberian Romani, and Gomeran whistled language.

The foreign languages spoken in Spain, 3 in particular, have a significant role in the society. The main foreign languages of Spain are English, French, and German.

Currency

Euro (€) (EUR)

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Time Zone

Spain has 2 time zones;

+02:00 GMT.  (Summer Time)

+01:00 GMT. (Summer Time)

+00:00 GMT.

+01:00 GMT.

Government Regime

Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy.

Climate

In Spain there are,  five types of climate:
- the climate of the Atlantic coast, cool, humid, and rainy;
- the climate of the central plateau, quite arid and moderately continental, with relatively cold winters and hot summers;
- the Mediterranean climate of the southern and eastern coastal regions, characterized by warm/hot and dry summers- mild and sunny;
- the mountainous climate of the Pyrenees and the Sierras, more or less cold depending on altitude; and, the almost African climate of Andalusia, mild in winter and very hot in summer.
Therefore, Spain is not always as warm and sunny as we might think.
However, if you exclude the north-facing coast, in much of Spain the summer is hot, dry, and sunny.

In general, however, the best seasons to visit the southern and central parts of Spain are spring and autumn. In Madrid and Barcelona, for example, May, June, and September are the best months (though in September, especially in Barcelona, the first autumn rains occur); in Seville, which is characterized by a particularly long and hot summer, the best months are May, October, and April, when the maximum temperature can already exceed 25 °C (77 °F) with some ease.
 

International Phone Code

+34

Internet Code

.es

Some Facts about Spain

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