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Spain

Spain

Spain in the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. An area of 505,900 square kilometers. Population of 41.55 million, mainly Sidiliya (the Spaniards), other Catalan, Galician and Basque. Castilian is the official language and national language. Residents are Catholic. Currency is the euro (formerly pesetas). Madrid, the capital. Spain Map

National Flag

Spain Flag

From the top down the flag is composed of three parallel red, yellow and red rectangles. To the left of the flag is a painted emblem. Red and yellow are the colors of the Spanish people.

History

On October 12, 1492, Columbus reached the West Indies and Spain became a strong sea state. In 1588, the Armada was defeated by the British, and Spanish dominance began to decline. In 1875, the First Republic was established and in 1931 the Second Republic. Between 1936 and 1939 there was a civil war. In 1947, Franco declared Spain a monarchy, with himself as the head of state for life. In November 1975, Franco died and Juan Carlos I ascended the throne, beginning the transition to a western parliamentary democracy.

Economic and Cultural Customs

Spain's main industries are mining, steel-making, shipbuilding, textiles, footwear, wine and machinery manufacturing. It dominates a large proportion of the mining industry and has some of the world's largest mercury and pyrite reserves. Its footwear industry has excellent quality and is well known; Alicante is the famous "shoe town." Wine production is ranked third in the world behind the Italy and France.

Its major agricultural products are wheat, grapes, olives, oranges and bananas. It is the leading global producer of olive and olive oil and second leading of citrus fruits.

Tourism

Spain's tourist industry is well developed. Spain's tourism flagship project is the three Ss: the sun, shore and sea. Spain has four main tourist areas: (1) "Sun Coast" - the Mediterranean beaches, (2) the Canary Islands - tropical, (3) Balearic Islands - Mediterranean beach and (4) ancient city - Madrid. The Costa del Sol region of Andalusia in on the south Atlantic coast. The weather is warm with 300 days of sunshine throughout the year. Summer maximum temperature is 35C and winter minimum temperature is 16C.

Altamira Cave

This houses prehistoric art of the Spanish heritage and world-famous cave paintings. It is near the ancient city of Santander in northern Spain. The Stone Age cave maintains a distant look. More than 150 murals are painted at the entrance and the caves date back 3 million years BC to 1 million years BC, featuring the remains of the late Paleolithic. The colorful murals feature paintings of vivid images of animals, with high historical and artistic value.

Spanish bullfighting

Bullfighting in Spain has a long history. From March to October each year is the bullfighting season. The matador is dressed in Technicolor Dreamcoat hand and has a red cloth to tease the bull. The most courageous bullfighter is considered a national hero. Bullfighting originated as ancient hunting and is considered a symbol of passionate Spaniards. However, this bloody activity has attracted more and more criticism.

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