Spain - a wonderful experience
Spain has always been considered a beautiful country. For the Greeks it was
the land in which the golden apples of the Hesperides grew, for the Arabs it was
the preliminary stage of heaven. For Central Europeans, the country is the
epitome of sunny coasts. The Balearic Islands, which belong to Spain, and the
Canaries are also paradises for sun-seekers. Spain is the highest country in
Europe after Switzerland. The middle of the country is occupied by the Meseta
plateau, which is framed by mountains. The highest peak on the mainland is the
Sierra Nevada at 3,478 meters in the south of the country. Of course there are
3,000 km of coastline in Spain with some spectacular 100 meter high cliffs. The
highest peak in the entire country is the Teide on Tenerife with a height of
|Name of the country
||Reino de España/Kingdom of Spain
|Form of government
|Head of state
||King Felipe VI. - Since June 19, 2014
, his father, Juan Carlos I, had ruled from November 22, 1975, and
his resignation became final on June 18, 2014
||Southwest Europe, Iberian Peninsula
||approximately 46.2 million (Credit:
||Spaniards, Catalans, Galicians, Basques
||Roman Catholicism (more than 90%)
||Castellano (Castilian), Catalan, Galician, Basque
||Pico de Teide (on Tenerife), 3,718 m
||Tajo, with a length of 1,010 km
|International license plate
||Euro (€) = 100 cents
|Time difference to CET
||Mainland 0 h; Canaries - 1 h
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, frequency
||230 volts, 50 hertz (but sometimes still 110/125 volts),
on the Balearic and Canary Islands 220 V, 50 Hz
|Internet Top Level Domain (TLD)
Before the year 1000
The oldest prehistoric finds in Spain are dated to around 30,000 to 50,000
BC. dated. The main remains are in the Cova Negra (Játiva) and Piñar (Granada)
Abbreviationfinder website, from approx. 10,000 BC. The Iberian Peninsula was settled by different peoples,
including Iberians, Celts, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Arabs and Romans.
Around 1,100 BC The Phoenicians founded the first trading establishments on the
Spanish coast. Greeks later also settled on the peninsula. Around 200 BC The
land fell to the Roman Empire, which it owned until around 600 BC. Roman
structures such as aquaducts and amphitheaters were built.
Around the year AD 400, the Vandals conquered the country.
In 711 the Arabs crossed the Strait of Gibraltar. After defeating the last King
of the Visigoths Roderich (710-711), they conquered the entire peninsula in a
short time. The rule of the Arabs lasted almost 800 years. Southern Spain in
particular, which was then called Al-Andalus, was a cultural boom. In 756 the
emirate of Cordoba was founded.
From the year 1000 to the 17th century
From the 12th century, in the age of the Inquisition, the Spanish Empire
developed into a powerful state. The unification of the two most important
Christian kingdoms through the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragón and Isabella of
Castile in 1469 marked a turning point. From this point on, the Arabs lost
ground and in 1492 they finally (re-) conquered the country. In the same year
Christopher Columbus discovered America while looking for a sea route to India
and thus established the Spanish supremacy at sea. Colonies around the world,
e.g. B. in South America, were founded and Spain developed into one of the most
powerful nations in the world.
Isabella died in 1504 and her daughter Johanna ("Johanna die Wahnsinnige")
inherited the throne. The House of Habsburg entered Spain with her husband
("Philip the Beautiful"). In 1517, her son united one of the most powerful
empires in history as Charles I of Spain and Charles V of the "Holy Roman Empire
of the German Nation". Spain experienced an economic boom. However, the colonial
empire was soon weakened by wars and in 1588 the English (see also England)
defeated the Spanish Armada under Philip II (1527-1597) - the son of Charles
V. As a result, Spain lost its leading role in Europe.
In the 18th and 19th centuries
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Latin American colonies broke away
from the motherland. Napoleonic troops conquered Spain, but were repulsed
shortly afterwards. Unrest and power struggles led to the Seven Years' War. The
consequences were economic recession and political instability, and Spain lost
much of its overseas possessions. After the revolution of 1868, the republic was
proclaimed, which was replaced by the monarchy a year later. During the
Spanish-American War, the country lost its last overseas possessions.
In the 20th century
The economic crisis of the early 1920s brought the country to the brink of
civil war and General Primo de Ribera established a military dictatorship. In
1930 he was replaced by elections from the political left and the republic was
proclaimed again. After the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) General Franco took
power with the support of fascist Germany, although numerous intellectuals (such
as Ernest Hemingway) and political activists from other countries fought in the
"International Brigades". Franco managed to keep Spain out of World War II, but
his military dictatorship nonetheless led to political and economic isolation.
On November 22, 1975, two days after the death of the dictator Franco, Juan
Carlos I was declared king and immediately began to initiate the democratization
of the country. In 1978 the new constitution of Spain came into force and in
1986 the country joined the EU and NATO. In 1992 the Olympic Games took place
in Barcelona and the World Exhibition EXPO'92 in Seville. At the same
time, Madrid was declared the European Capital of Culture.
On December 1, 1982, Felipe González Márquez (born 1942) of
the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) became Prime Minister of the
country. He was followed on May 4, 1996 by the conservative José María
Aznar López(born 1953) from the Spanish People's Party Partido Popular
(PP), which emerged in 1989 from the AP (Alianza Popular) and whose chairman was
Aznar in 1990.
After the terrible terrorist attacks in Madrid on March 11, 2004, the socialist José
Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (born 1960) of the PSOE won the parliamentary
election on March 14, 2004 and became Prime Minister of the country on April 16.
He won the parliamentary election on March 9, 2008 again - even with a slight
increase in votes compared to the last election - and that against the bitter
resistance of the clergy in the country. He was then re-elected Prime Minister
by Parliament on April 11 and sworn in by the King a day later.
After the resignation of Juan Carlos I on June 19, 2014, his son was the new
King Felipe VI. sworn in.