What is Spain best known for?
Spain is a country in southwestern Europe. It has four neighboring countries: France and Andorra in the north, Morocco in the south and Portugal in the west. Spain and Portugal together form the Iberian Peninsula. Only a small part of Spain is on the African continent. Namely the exclaves of Ceuta and Melila. Spain is about half the size of Germany and has a good half as many inhabitants. The capital Madrid is located almost exactly in the middle of the country.
In Spain, people not only speak Spanish, which is called Castilian. To the west, in the area around the city of Barcelona, many people speak Catalan, which is also a Romance language. Many Catalans want their own state. The same goes for the Basque Country, where Basque is spoken. This language is not at all related to the other languages of the world. In the past, some Basques tried to make their territory independent by force.
In Spain it is very warm in summer, especially in the middle and on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Atlantic coast, on the other hand, is more moderate. In the middle it even gets quite cold in winter because the land there is several hundred meters above sea level. The Canary Islands have a tropical climate, where it is very hot, especially in summer. The warm weather attracts a lot of holidaymakers to Spain, for example to the Canary Islands off Africa and the Balearic Islands with Mallorca and Ibiza in the Mediterranean.
What happened earlier in the country?
In ancient times, the Romans conquered what is now Spain. That is why Spanish is a Romance language and is derived from Latin. In the early Middle Ages, the country was conquered by the Moors. They were Islamic. They came from northern Africa and almost reached the Pyrenees. This is a mountain range on the border with France.
The Moors established the Emirate of Cordoba in Spain and Portugal. In Cordoba there is still a large mosque to be seen today, in which a cathedral was later built. The Moors brought a lot of science to Spain. Much of their culture can be seen in Spain to this day. In the late Middle Ages, Catholic princes began the so-called "Reconquista", the reconquest of Spain. In 1492 the last Moorish fortress fell in Granada in southern Spain. Spain became Christian again.
The Kingdom of Spain has existed since then. In modern times, Spain conquered large parts of South America and other countries. Seafarers like Hernán Cortes or Francisco Pizarro waged bloody wars against native Indians and exploited the countries. This former Spanish empire is the reason why Spanish is still spoken today in Central America and South America. From that time Spain still has small areas in the north of Africa.
From the 19th century onwards there were several revolutions in Spain. Democracy was introduced several times, but it never lasted long. The military also dictated several times. Between 1936 and 1939 there was the Spanish Civil War. In 1939 the former soldier Francisco Franco came to power. He ruled the country in a fascist way, similar to Adolf Hitler in Germany or Benito Mussolini in Italy.
Under Franco's rule, many political opponents were treated very brutally, and he also treated minorities such as the Basques and Catalans badly. There were many fights, some of which were supported by Hitler or Mussolini. In 1975 Franco died. Juan Carlos the First became king. The democracy that Spain has today emerged under him.
What is Spain known for?
A well-known cultural asset from Spain is bullfighting. In this sport, brave men fight an angry bull in an arena. Due to the Spanish colonial empire, this sport is also available in many Latin American countries. However, the most popular sport in Spain is soccer. Two of the best clubs in the world play in the Spanish league, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. The national team won the European Championship three times and the World Championship once.
Paella is a rice dish that is prepared in a round, flat pan. Often they contain mussels and shrimp. The paella is mainly eaten in the region around Valencia. The tapas are also known. These are small sandwiches. In the summer in Spain people like to drink sangria. It's cold wine with ice cubes and fruit in it.
Spanish music is popular all over the world. One of the most famous Spanish singers is Julio Iglesias, of whom there are also songs in German. Traditional Spanish folk music has been heavily influenced by the culture of the Moors. The flamenco style is known above all, for which there is also a dance with this name.
This woman is dancing flamenco
A paella with prawns, mussels and limes
A girl at a spring festival in Valencia
From the time of the civil war: soldiers lived in such a bunker.
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