Spain

Spain is one of the most historically significant countries in the world. Prehistoric and ancient Spain was inhabited by many cultures including the Iberians, Celts, Phoenicians, and Greeks. In 206 BC, Rome conquered the Iberian Peninsula, forming the basis of Hispania. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Visigoths established a kingdom in Hispania, but their rule was challenged by various invaders, including the Moors.

In 711 AD, Muslim forces from North Africa (Moors) crossed into Spain and established Al-Andalus, a Muslim-ruled territory that coexisted with Christian kingdoms in the north. Al-Andalus saw significant cultural and scientific advancements. The influences of this period are clearly visible in historical sites like Cordoba and Granada. Over the next 700 years, The Christian kingdoms in the north waged the Reconquista to retake the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors. This period saw the emergence of Castile, Aragon, and Portugal as powerful kingdoms. In 1469, the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile led to the establishment of a unified Spanish monarchy. In 1492, the monarchy completed the Reconquista by capturing Granada, the last Muslim stronghold.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, known as the Age of Exploration, Spain became a global superpower with explorers like Christopher Columbus and Hernán Cortés discovering new lands and spreading Spanish power globally. At its peak, the Spanish Empire included territories in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, making Spain one of the wealthiest nations in the world. During this period, Spain also experienced an artistic renaissance with writers like Miguel de Cervantes and painters like Diego Velázquez producing influential works. By the 18th century though, Spain’s power began to decline, and they lost several of their colonies with Napoleon’s invasion in the early 19th century, and the Spanish-American War of 1898.

From 1936-1939, a Civil War erupted in Spain, leading to the rise of Francisco Franco, who ruled the country as a dictator until his death in 1975. It was only then that Spain transitioned to a parliamentary democracy, eventually joining the European Union in 1986.

Today, Spain is the second most visited country in the world, attracting over 80 million visitors annually. Visitors are attracted to its natural beauty – from the sunny coastline and beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol and Valencia to the rugged terrain of Andalucía and the Pyrenees – its stunning cities bursting with history, culture, and world-famous art and architecture, its multiple UNESCO world heritage sites, and its delicious culinary delights. Visitors also flock to experience its many festivals like La Tomatina, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, and the Semana Santa processions in Seville.

Spain is one of the most enchanting and mesmerizing destinations on the planet. Whether you’re interested in history, food, art, or outdoor adventures, Spain has something to offer every type of traveler.


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