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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 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 by area on the European continent. With a population exceeding 47 million, Spain is the sixth-most populous country in Europe, and the fourth-most populous country 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. One of them, the Visigoths, would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including the Byzantine province of Spania, into the Visigothic Kingdom.

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The Colossus of Rhodes is a 1954 oil painting by the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. It is one of a series of seven paintings created for the 1956 film Seven Wonders of the World, each depicting one of the eponymous wonders. The painting shows the Colossus of Rhodes, the ancient statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun, Helios. It was ultimately not used for the movie, and in 1981 was donated to the Kunstmuseum Bern, its present location.

Painted two decades after Dalí's heyday with the surrealist movement, The Colossus of Rhodes is emblematic of his shift from the avant-garde to the mainstream. After financial pressures imposed by his move to the United States in 1940, and influenced by his fascination with Hollywood, Dalí shifted focus away from his earlier exploration of the subconscious and perception, and towards historical and scientific themes. Read more...

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Location of Galicia

Galicia (/ɡəˈlɪʃ(i)ə/; Galician: Galicia [ɡaˈliθjɐ], Galiza [ɡaˈliθɐ]; Spanish: Galicia) is an autonomous community of Spain and historic nationality under Spanish law. Located in the northwest Iberian Peninsula, it includes the provinces of Coruña, Lugo, Orense and Pontevedra.

Galicia is bordered by Portugal to the south, the Spanish autonomous communities of Castile and León and Asturias to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Cantabrian Sea to the north. It had a population of 2,701,743 in 2018 and a total area of 29,574 km2 (11,419 sq mi). Galicia has over 1,660 km (1,030 mi) of coastline, including its offshore islands and islets, among them Cíes Islands, Ons, Sálvora, Cortegada, and the largest and most populated, A Illa de Arousa. Read more...

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Location of the Basque provinces within Spain and France

Erromintxela (Basque pronunciation: [eromintʃela] (About this soundlisten)) is the distinctive language of a group of Romani living in the Basque Country, who also go by the name Erromintxela. It is sometimes called Basque Caló or Errumantxela in English; caló vasco, romaní vasco, or errominchela in Spanish; and euskado-rromani or euskado-romani in French. Although detailed accounts of the language date to the end of the 19th century, linguistic research began only in the 1990s.

The Erromintxela are the descendants of a 15th-century wave of Kalderash Roma, who entered the Basque Country via France. Both ethnically and linguistically, they are distinct from the Caló-speaking Romani people in Spain and the Cascarot Romani people of the Northern Basque Country. Erromintxela is a mixed language (referred to as Para-Romani in Romani linguistics), deriving most of its vocabulary from Kalderash Romani but using Basque grammar, similar to the way the Angloromani language of the Roma in England mixes Romani vocabulary and English grammar. The development of the mixed language was facilitated by the unusually-deep integration of the Erromintxela people into Basque society and the resultant bilingualism in Basque. The language is in decline; most of the perhaps 1000 remaining speakers live on the coast of Labourd and in the mountainous regions of Soule, Navarre, Gipuzkoa and Biscay. Read more...

Selected biography

Joan Lluís Vives (6 March 1492 - 6 May 1540) was a Spanish scholar and humanist. Vives was born in Valencia. As a child, he saw his father, grandmother and great-grandfather, as well as members of their wider family, executed as Judaizers at the behest of the Spanish Inquisition; his mother was acquitted but died of the plague when he was 15 years old.[1] Shortly thereafter, he left Spain never to return.

He studied at Paris from 1509 to 1512, and in 1519 was appointed professor of humanities at the University of Leuven. At the insistence of his friend Erasmus, he prepared an elaborate commentary on Augustine's De Civitate Dei, which was published in 1522 with a dedication to Henry VIII of England. Soon afterwards, he was invited to England, and acted as tutor to the Princess Mary, for whose use he wrote De ratione studii puerilis epistolae duae (1523) and, ostensibly, De Institutione Feminae Christianae, on the education of girls.

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Credit: Ary Scheffer

An artists portrayal of the Battle of Ravenna (1512). This artwork also shows the death of Gaston de Foix, as well as the general scene during the time of battle.

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In the news

23 May 2020 – COVID-19 pandemic in Spain, Protests over responses to the COVID-19 pandemic
Thousands of protesters, mostly supporters of the far-right party Vox, participate in car protests in Madrid, Seville, Barcelona and other cities against the continuing lockdown and the national government. (BBC)
20 May 2020 – COVID-19 pandemic in Bolivia
Bolivian Minister of Health Marcelo Navajas is dismissed and arrested in graft probe over ventilators bought in a Spanish company. (Bloomberg)

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