Spain, a country on Europe’s the Iberian Peninsula, includes 17 autonomous regions with diverse geography and cultures. The capital city Madrid is home to the Royal Palace and Prado museum, housing works by European masters. Segovia has a medieval castle (the Alcázar) and an intact Roman aqueduct. Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, is defined by Antoni Gaudí’s whimsical modernist landmarks like the Sagrada Família church. Here are some interesting facts about Spain’s geography: Longest river: Rio Ebro with 910km/566 miles. Largest lake: Mar Menor is also the largest Salt Lake in Europe. Highest mountain: El Teide on Tenerife (Canary Islands) with 3,718m/12,198 ft. Largest island: Mallorca (which is part of the Balearic Islands)
Key cities in Spain include: Madrid, Barcelona, valencia, Seville, Bilbao, Malaga, Oviedo-Gijon-Aviles, Alicante-Elche, Las Palmas, Zaragoza.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
The history of Spain dates back to the Middle Ages. In 1516, Habsburg Spain unified a number of disparate predecessor kingdoms; its modern form of a constitutional monarchy was introduced in 1813, and the current democratic constitution dates to 1978.
The culture of Spain is based on a variety of historical influences, primarily based on pre-Roman Celtic and Iberian culture. Spanish culture before and after the arrival of the Muslims was based heavily on Roman heritage and the primary religion practiced was Catholicism. Catholic Christianity is the largest religion in Spain, but practical secularization is strong. Only 3% of Spaniards consider religion as one of their three most important values, even lower than the 5% European average.
Brief Country History
From about 900 BC a seafaring people called the Phoenicians who came from what is now Lebanon traded with what is now Spain. They founded a chain of trading settlements along the coast on islands and peninsulas. The Iberians gave the Phoenicians silver in return for wine and olive oil as well as jewelry. The people of Spain were heavily influenced by the Phoenician culture. The Spanish also traded with Spain the Iberians were also influenced by Spanish culture.
A Phoenician colony in North Africa called Carthage rose to be powerful and important. After the Romans defeated them in 241 BC the Carthaginians increased their influence in Spain. In 227 BC they founded New Carthage (modern Cartagena). However, in 226 the Carthaginians made a treaty with Spain. They agreed not to expand north of the River Ebro.
Yet in 119 BC the Carthaginians took the town of Saguntum. It was south of the Ebro but the Romans claimed Saguntum was their ally and they ordered the Carthaginian general, Hannibal to withdraw. He refused and war ensued. The Romans sent an army to Spain in 218 BC and they gradually pushed back the Carthaginians. By 206 BC the Carthaginians were gone from Spain. In 197 BC the Romans divided the Iberian Peninsula into 2 areas, Hispania Citerior (east of the River Iberius) and Hispania Ulterior.
However, the Iberians wanted independence and they rebelled against the Romans. Rome sent a man named Cato who regained control of most of Spain. Nevertheless, the Iberians continued to resist and fighting continued for nearly 200 years. Resistance finally ended when the Cantabrians were defeated in 19 BC. Afterward, Spain was gradually integrated into the Roman Empire. The Romans built a network of roads and founded towns and Spain became highly civilized.
Under Roman rule Spain became prosperous. Mining was an important industry. Gold and silver were exported. So were olives, grapes, and grain. Roman Spain also exported a fish sauce called garum. However, in 171-173 raiders from North Africa swept into Spain. There were further attacks at the beginning of the 3rd century. In any case from the mid-3rd century, the Roman Empire gradually declined. Meanwhile, the people of Roman Spain were gradually converted to Christianity.
In 1999 Spain joined the Euro. Spain suffered badly in the recession from 2008 and unemployment rose to a very high level. Unemployment in Spain reached a peak in 2013. However, it then fell. From 2014 onward Spain recovered from the crisis. Today the economy of Spain is growing steadily. Today the population of Spain is 48 million.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
In terms of the number of speakers and dominance, the most prominent of the languages of Spain is Spanish (Castilian), spoken by about 99% of Spaniards as a first or second language. Catalan (or Valencian) is spoken by 19%, Galician by 5%, and Basque by 2% of the population.
Important Types of Commerce in Spain
The economy of Spain is among the largest in the world, with its Gross Domestic Product standing at $1.36 trillion. The country ranks at 14th place in the world’s largest economies. In Europe, Spain’s GDP is only surpassed by that of France, Italy, Germany, and the UK. Despite being hit by the 2007-2008 financial crisis and the property recession of the 2000s, the economy has experienced significant growth in recent years, growing by 3% in 2016. However, the country is heavily indebted, with public debt being equivalent to 99% of Spain’s GDP. In 2013, the country’s gross external debt stood at $1.3 trillion. The euro is the official currency used in the country. The regulation of financial institutions is handled by the Banco de Espana, the nation’s central bank. The country has invested heavily in infrastructure to facilitate the growth of industries in the country. Spain is home to the fifth-busiest port in Europe; Valencia which is also the busiest port in the Mediterranean. The country has Europe’s longest high-speed rail network and is only surpassed globally by China. The major industries that drive the economy of Spain are the tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, and energy industries.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Spain
Spain has been in a trade relationship with several countries. Because of such close relations, the necessity to learn and understand the Spanish language has increased in importance over the years. This developed the need for Spanish translators and interpreters. Moreover, for businesses planning to tap into Spain, in order to maximize the voice of your brand and help them to reach a new Spanish-speaking audience with enormous marketing opportunities in the global market, the next step is to partner with a professional translation and interpretation company.
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