„ The Country I`d Like to Visit “
Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Southern Europe, with two small exclaves in North Africa (both bordering Morocco). The mainland of Spain is bounded on the south and east by Mediterranean Sea (containing the Balearic Islands), on the north by the Bay of Biscay and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean (containing the Canary Islands off the African coast). Spain shares land borders with Portugal, FFrance, Andorra, Gibraltar and Morocco. It is the largest of three sovereign states that make up the Iberian Peninsula — the others being Portugal and Andorra.
In relation to many other countries of the world Spain, with its surface area of 505,957 square kilometers, takes up only a small part of the map. In terms of the European continent, however, Spain is the third largest country after the Community of Independent Sates and France.
Flag of Spain
Population. The population of Spain iis 39 million, according to 1991 figures, which supposes an average density of 78 inhabitants per square kilometre, that is to say, one of the lowest rates of density of the European Union, somewhat higher than Greece and Ireland and ssic times less than that of the Netherlands. The unequal distribution of the population throughout the territory has created an imbalance among the regions, presenting widely different population densities. There is a growing tendency for the population to concentrate in the coastal regions and of depopulation in the interior, with the exception of Madrid and a few other cities, owing to industrialization and urbanization.
Spain’s population density, at 87.8/km² (220/sq. mile), is lower than that of most Western European countries and its distribution along the country is very unequal. With the exception of the region surrounding the capital, Madrid, the most populated areas lie around the coast.
The population of Spain doubled during the twentieth century, due to the spectacular demographic bboom by the 60’s and early 70’s. The pattern of growth was extremely uneven due to large-scale internal migration from the rural interior to the industrial cities during the 60’s and 70’s. No fewer than eleven of Spain’s fifty provinces saw an absolute decline in population over the century. Then, after the birth rate plunged in the 80’s and Spain’s population became stalled, a new population increase started based initially in the return of many Spanish who emigrated to other EEuropean countries during the 70’s and, more recently, it has been boosted by the large figures of foreign immigrants, mostly from Latin America (38.75%), Eastern Europe (16.33%), North Africa (14.99%) and Sub-Saharan Africa (4.08%). In 2005, Spain instituted a 3-month amnesty program through which certain hitherto undocumented aliens were granted legal residency. Also some important pockets of population coming from other countries in the European Union are found (20.77% of the foreign residents), specially along the Mediterranean costas and Balearic islands, where many choose to live their retirement or even telework. These are mostly English, French, German, and Dutch from fellow EU countries and, from outside the EU, Norwegian.
Sports. Sport in Spain has been traditionally dominated by football (soccer) (since the early 20th century), cycling and bullfighting (since the 17th century). Today, Spain is a major world sports power, especially since the 1992 Summer Olympics that were hosted in Barcelona and promoted a great variety of sports in the country. The great touristic attraction of the country has caused an improvement of the sports infrastructure, especially for water sports, golf and skiing.
Bullfighting was started in the village squares and became formalized with the building of the bullring in Ronda in tthe late 18th century.
Bullfighting follows this sequence of events: the entrance of the bull, the picador, the banderillos, and finally the matador (bullfighter). Spanish-style bullfighting is called a corrida de toros, and is also named fiesta brava. In a traditional corrida three toreros, also called matadores (or in French, toreadores), each fight two out of a total of six bulls, each of which is at least four years old and weighs up to about 600 kg.
Bullfighting season in Spain runs from March to October. The fights that attract the most people are the ones held during a fiesta. The most prestigious of such fights is held for the fiesta of San Isidro in Madrid. Another day Spaniards celebrate is the feast day of San Pedro Regalado. Tradition has it that on this day in Valladolid there is a bullfight.
Football is is the most played sport in Spain. The highest division of football is La Liga, and is widely regarded as one of the world’s strongest, containing clubs such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Valencia CF.
The Spanish national football team has made it to the World Cup finals eleven times, reaching every tournament since 1978. However, at the finals they aare regarded as perennial underachievers: once there, Spain’s best finish was fourth place in 1950 and apart from that they have never progressed past the quarter-finals. Their record in the European Championship is slightly better: they were champions in 1964 and runners-up in 1984, but again have not progressed past the quarter-finals since then.
Spain won a silver medal in 2000 at the Sydney Games. They took the gold in Barcelona in 1992.
Government / Parties. Spain is a constitutional monarchy, with a hereditary monarch and a bicameral parliament, the Cortes Generales. The executive branch consists of a Council of Ministers presided over by the President of Government (comparable to a prime minister), proposed by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly following legislative elections.
Geography . At 194,884 mi² (504,782 km²), Spain is the world’s 51st-largest country. It is comparable in size to Turkmenistan, and is somewhat larger than the U.S. state of California.
On the west, Spain borders Portugal, on the south, it borders Gibraltar (a British overseas territory) and Morocco, through its cities in North Africa (Ceuta and Melilla). On the northeast, along the Pyrenees mountain range, it borders France and the tiny principality of Andorra. Spain also includes the
Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and a number of uninhabited islands on the Mediterranean side of the strait of Gibraltar, known as Plazas de soberanía, such as the Chafarine islands, the isle of Alborán, the „rocks“ (peñones) of Vélez and Alhucemas, and the tiny Isla Perejil. In the northeast along the Pyrenees, a small exclave town called Llívia in Catalonia is surrounded by French territory.
Mainland Spain is dominated by high plateaus and mmountain ...
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