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Portal:Spain

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The Spain Portal (Bienvenido al portal español)

Spain (Spanish: España, [esˈpaɲa] (listen)), or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España), is a country primarily located in southwestern Europe with parts of territory in the Atlantic Ocean and across the Mediterranean Sea. The largest part of Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula; its territory also includes the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla in Africa. The country's mainland is bordered to the south by Gibraltar; to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea; to the north by France, Andorra and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of 505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi), Spain is the second-largest country in the European Union (EU) and, with a population exceeding 47.4 million, the fourth-most populous EU member state. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid; other major urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Málaga, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Bilbao.

Anatomically modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 42,000 years ago. Pre-Roman peoples dwelled in the territory, in addition to the development of coastal trading colonies by Phoenicians and Ancient Greeks and the brief Carthaginian rule over the Mediterranean coastline. The Roman conquest and colonization of the peninsula (Hispania) ensued, bringing a Roman acculturation of the population. Hispania remained under Roman rule until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the fourth century, which ushered in the migration of Germanic peoples and the Alans into the peninsula. Eventually, the Visigoths emerged as the dominant power in the peninsula by the fifth century. In the early eighth century, most of the peninsula was conquered by the Umayyad Caliphate and during early Islamic rule, Al-Andalus became the dominant peninsular power, centered in Córdoba. Several Christian kingdoms emerged in Northern Iberia, chief among them León, Castile, Aragón, Portugal, and Navarre and over the next seven centuries, an intermittent southward expansion of these kingdoms, known as Reconquista, culminated with the Christian seizure of the Emirate of Granada in 1492. Jews and Muslims were forced to choose between conversion to Catholicism or expulsion and the Morisco converts were eventually expelled. The dynastic union of the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon was followed by the annexation of Navarre and the 1580 incorporation of Portugal (which ended in 1640). In the wake of the Spanish colonization of the Americas after 1492, the Crown came to hold a large overseas empire, which underpinned the emergence of a global trading system primarily fuelled by the precious metals extracted in the New World. Centralisation of the administration and further State-building in mainland Spain ensued in the 18th and 19th centuries, during which the Crown saw the loss of the bulk of its American colonies a few years after the Peninsular War. The country veered between different political regimes; monarchy and republic, and following a 1936–39 devastating civil war, the Francoist dictatorship that lasted until 1975. With the restoration of Democracy under the Constitution of Spain and the entry into the European Union in 1986, the country experienced profound social and political change as well as an important economic growth. (Full article...)

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A portrait of Antoni Gaudí

Antoni Plàcid Guillem Gaudí i Cornet (25 June 1852 – Barcelona, 10 June 1926) – sometimes referred to by the Spanish form of his name, Antonio Gaudí – was a Spanish Catalan architect, who belonged to the Modernisme (Art Nouveau) movement and was famous for his unique style and highly individualistic designs.

Gaudí was born in the province of Tarragona in southern Catalonia, Spain, in 1852. While there is some dispute as to his birthplace – official documents state that he was born in the town of Reus, whereas others claim he was born in Riudoms, a small village 3 miles (5 km) from Reus. Gaudí, as an architecture student at the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura in Barcelona from 1873 to 1877, achieved only mediocre grades but did well in his "Trial drawings and projects." After five years of work, he was awarded the title of architect in 1878. As he signed Gaudí's title, Elies Rogent declared, "Qui sap si hem donat el diploma a un boig o a un geni: el temps ens ho dirà" ("Who knows whether we have given this diploma to a nut or to a genius. Time will tell.") The newly named architect immediately began to plan and design and would remain affiliated with the school his entire life. Gaudí's first works were designed in the style of gothic and traditional Spanish architectural modes, but he soon developed his own distinct sculptural style. French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who promoted an evolved form of gothic architecture, proved a major influence on Gaudí. But the student surpassed the master architect and contrived highly original designs – irregular and fantastically intricate. Some of his greatest works, most notably La Sagrada Família, have an almost hallucinatory power.

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In the news

18 November 2022 – International Basketball Federation
The United States loses its top rank at the FIBA Men's World Ranking for the first time since 2010 after being surpassed by Spain in the latest update. (AP via The Boston Globe)
15 November 2022 – 2022 ATP Tour
At 19 years old, Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest year-end world No. 1-ranked singles player by the Association of Tennis Professionals after his closest rival, fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, failed to advance to the semifinals of the 2022 ATP Finals. Alcaraz breaks Australian player Lleyton Hewitt's record that he achieved in 2001. (The Courier-Mail)

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