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The Spain Portal

Spain (Spanish: España [esˈpaɲa] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España), is a country in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

With an area of 505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi), Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population (about 47 million), Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid; other major urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Málaga and Bilbao.

Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek, Celtic and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Sp(a)n or Spania. At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established relatively independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi, Alans and Vandals. Eventually, the Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including the Byzantine province of Spania, into the Visigothic Kingdom, which more or less unified politically, ecclesiastically and legally all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was then documented as Hispania.

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Verdeja 75 mm self-propelled howitzer, based on the Verdeja 1 prototype chassis

Verdeja was the name of a series of light tanks developed in Spain between 1938 and 1954 in an attempt to replace German Panzer I and Soviet T-26 tanks in Spanish service.

The program was headed by major Félix Verdeja Bardales and led to the development of four prototype vehicles, including a self-propelled howitzer armed with a 75 millimeter (3 in) gun. It was designed as an advanced light tank and was one of the first development programs which took into account survivability of the crew as opposed to the protection of the tank itself. The tank was influenced by several of the light tanks which it was intended to replace, including the Panzer I and T-26, both of which were originally used during the Spanish Civil War. The Verdeja was considered a superior tank to the T-26 after a lengthy testing period, yet was never put into mass production. Read more...

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Infobox collage for Spanish Civil War.jpg

The Spanish Civil War (Spanish: Guerra Civil Española) was a civil war in Spain fought from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with anarchists, fought against a revolt by the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists, monarchists, conservatives and Catholics, led by a military group among whom General Francisco Franco soon achieved a preponderant role. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets and was variously viewed as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, and between fascism and communism. It has been frequently called the "dress rehearsal" for World War II. The Nationalists won the war, which ended in early 1939, and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975.

The war began after a pronunciamiento (a declaration of military opposition) against the Republican government by a group of generals of the Spanish Republican Armed Forces, originally under the leadership of José Sanjurjo. The government at the time was a coalition of Republicans, supported in the Cortes by communist and socialist parties, under the leadership of centre-left President Manuel Azaña. The Nationalist group was supported by a number of conservative groups, including CEDA, monarchists, including both the opposing Alfonsists and the religious conservative Carlists, and the FE de las JONS, a fascist political party. After the deaths of Sanjurjo, Emilio Mola and Manuel Goded Llopis, Franco emerged as the remaining leader of the Nationalist side. Read more...

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Photo of Pino de las tres ramas in 2012
Pino de las tres ramas in 2012

Pi de les tres branques or Pino de las tres ramas in Spanish, "the three-branched pine") is a dead pine tree located in the countryside near the town of Berga in north-central Catalonia, Spain. It has long been regarded by some Catalan nationalists as representing the unity of the three "Catalan Countries" and is the site of regular political-cultural gatherings.

The tree has been dead since 1915 and is in poor structural condition, due in part to politically-motivated vandalism, but there is a very similar living tree a short distance away known as Pino joven de las tres ramas ("the young three-branched pine"), which is regarded as its successor. Both are protected as "monumental trees" by the Catalan Generalidad. Read more...

Selected biography

Dalí in 1939

Salvador Felip Jacint Dalí Domènech (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), known popularly as Salvador Dalí, was a Spanish artist from Catalonia who became one of the most important painters of the 20th century. A skilled draftsman, he is best known for his surrealist work identified by its striking, bizarre, dreamlike images. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. In addition to painting, his artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, photography, and an Academy Award–winning short cartoon, "Destino," on which he collaborated with Walt Disney; it was released posthumously in 2003.

An artist of great imagination, Dalí had an affinity for doing unusual things to draw attention to himself. This sometimes irked those who loved his art as much as it annoyed his critics, since his eccentric manner sometimes drew more public attention than his artwork.

Selected picture

Windmills
Credit: Lourdes Cardenal

Active windmills shown turning in La Mancha. The area is now famous for its windmills and scenic views.

General images

The following are images from various Spain-related articles on Wikipedia.

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In the news

12 February 2020 –
The Ministry of Culture of Colombia designates the Spanish galleon San José as an asset of cultural interest, thus protecting it from commercial exploitation. (RCN)
12 February 2020 – 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak
The GSM Association decides to cancel this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, amid coronavirus concerns. The event would have been held between February 24 and 27. This is the first time that the mobile communications trade show has been cancelled. (CNBC)
31 January 2020 – 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak
The Ministry of Health of Spain confirms the first case of coronavirus in the country in La Gomera, Canary Islands, from a German tourist. (El Mundo)

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