Kingdom of Spain
and largest city
40°26′N 3°42′W / 40°26′N 3°42′W / 40.433; -3.700
|Official language |
and national language
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Carlos Lesmes Serrano|
|Congress of Deputies|
|20 January 1479|
|9 June 1715|
|19 March 1812|
|29 December 1978|
|1 January 1986|
|505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi) (51st)|
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
| 46,733,038 [e] (30th)|
|92/km2 (238.3/sq mi) (112th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2019 estimate|
| $1.941 trillion (15th)|
• Per capita
| $41,592 (30th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
| $1.398 trillion (12th)|
• Per capita
| $29,961 (30th)|
|Gini (2018)|| 33.2|
medium · 103rd
|HDI (2018)|| 0.893|
very high · 25th
|Currency||Euro[f] (€) (EUR)|
|Time zone||UTC±0 to +1 (WET and CET)|
|UTC+1 to +2 (WEST and CEST)|
|Note: most of Spain observes CET/CEST, except the Canary Islands and Plazas de soberanía which observe WET/WEST.|
Although located in Western European Time/UTC (Z) zone, since 16 March 1940, during WW2, Spain adopted (without reversal to this day) Central European Time/ with a +1:14:44 offset (and +2:14:44 during DST) from Madrid LMT (UTC-00:14:44); the same for the Canary Islands, located in UTC-1 (N) time zone, since 30 September 1946 adopted Western European Time/UTC as standard time with a +1:01:36 offsett (+2:01:36 during DST) from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (CE)|
|ISO 3166 code||ES|
Spain (Spanish: España [esˈpaɲa] (listen)), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España),[a][b] 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).[h] 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, 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 Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically, ecclesiastically and legally all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was then documented as Hispania.
In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Muslims of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 711, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to eight centuries in the Kingdom of Granada. This led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of Kingdom of León, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion. Following the establishment of Al-Andalus, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. The end of Muslim rule in Spain occurred in 1492, the same year Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World.
In the early modern period, Spain ruled one of the largest empires in history which was also one of the first global empires, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes over 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were also many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez.The most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was also published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state. It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the Eurozone, the Council of Europe (CoE), the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group.
The origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most widely accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one. Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses:
The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world".
Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged". It may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean; Roman coins struck in the region from the reign of Hadrian show a female figure with a rabbit at her feet, and Strabo called it the "land of the rabbits". The word in question (compare modern Hebrew Shafan) actually means "Hyrax", possibly due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals.
Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia, Ἑσπερία in Greek) and Spain, being still further west, as Hesperia ultima.
There is the claim that "Hispania" derives from the Basque word Ezpanna meaning "edge" or "border", another reference to the fact that the Iberian Peninsula constitutes the southwest corner of the European continent.
Two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem. Phiros was a Grecian by birth, but who had been given a kingdom in Spain. Phiros became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, who also ruled over a kingdom in Spain. Heracles later renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, Espan, from whom the country of España (Spain) took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c. 350 BCE.