Reino de España
Kingdom of Spain

Spanische Flagge

Spanisches Wappen

(detail) (detail)

Wahlspruch: “Plus Ultra”
lat., “beyond that”

office languages Spanish (regional Catalan, Galicisch, Baskisch and Aranesisch)
capital Madrid
system of government parliamentary hereditary monarchy
king Juan Carlo I.
Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
surface 504,782 km ²
number of inhabitants 43.197.684 (conditions: 01/01/04)
Population density 86 Einwohner/km ²
currency euro
- total
- BIP/Einw.
2005 (estimated)
$1,120 billion (8.)
$27,074 (21.)
Time belt UTC +1 (Kanari islands UTC)
national anthem Marcha material
Kfz characteristic E
internet TLD of .es
preselection +34
Lage Spaniens in Europa
Karte Spaniens

the Kingdom of Spain (officially Spanish Reino de España, Catalan rains d'Espanya, galicisch Reino de España, baskisch Espainiako Erresuma) lies in the southwest of Europe and takes the largest part of the Iberi peninsula .

Table of contents



Spain is, just like Portugal (in the west) and Gibraltar belonging to the united kingdom (in the south), on the iberischen peninsula, between 36° and 43,5° northern latitude and 9° more west to 3° of eastern length (without Balearen, Kanaren, Ceuta and Melilla). Spain takes six seventh of the Iberi peninsula. In the northeast, along the mountain course of the Pyreneeses, Spain borders on France and the small state Andorra. In addition the Inselgruppen of the Balearen , in the Mediterranean convenient , belong and to the Kanaren, in the Atlantic, as well as the cities Ceuta and Melilla which were because of the North African coast to the national territory. Spain is the third biggest country of Europe.

In France Spain possesses the Exklave Llívia. In addition Spain the islands Islas Chafarinas , Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera , Alhucemas, Alborán and the Islas Columbretes lain before the Moroccan coast belongs. The affiliation of the island Perejil is not clarified between Morocco and Spain.

The cities Ceuta and Melilla lie in North Africa and border on the Mediterranean as well as Morocco. The northernmost point of Spain is the Estaca de Vares, the westernmost cape Toriñana, both in Galicien, the southernmost Punta Marroquí with Tarifa, the easternmost Cap de Creus. The largest expansion from the north to the south amounts to 856 km and from the east to the west 1,020 km.


Topographie Spaniens
topography of Spain

the highest mountain on Spanish national territory is with 3.718 m height the pico del Teide on the island Teneriffa, which belongs to the Kanari islands. The highest mountain on the mainland is with 3.482 m height the Mulhacén, which lies in Andalusien in the Sierra Nevada in the province Granada.

The north coast of Spain runs nearly lineally and forms only between Gijón and Avilés as well as between Ribadeo and A Coruña (Spanish La Coruña) more important projections/leads northward. Opposite the remaining coasts of the country these coast regions are characterised by Schroffheit and bad accesibility.

Causally for this it is that the mountains move close here nearly everywhere closely to the sea. These coast regions are accessible only at the deltas of the rivers and the arms of the sea (Rías), deeply drastic into the country, which arise in particular at the coast of Galicien frequently. Also the west coast of Spain carries generally speaking this character; but it is many more accessible than the north, since the mountains come closer here only in cape to to the sea and in the background of the Rias usually levels are.

Characteristically of the south and east coast against it a number, flat sea bosom and between them land projections/leads present ending into rocky Vorgebirge are further. These sections are more accessible than the north and west coast. The most important bays of the south coast are of the west eastward the gulfs of Cádiz, Málaga and Almería as well as the bay of Cartagena, at the east coast the Bahía of Alicante and the gulf of Valencia. The largest rivers of Spain are the Duero, the Tajo and the Ebro.

Some landscapes in Spain:


The climate in Spain can be arranged roughly into the following zones:

Climatic diagrams
Mediterranean coast
central Spain north coast Kanari islands
Ozeanisch-Kontinentales Klima in Madrid
oceanic-continental climate in Madrid
Atlantisches Klima in Santander
Atlantic climate in Santander

Flora and fauna

the vegetation of the Iberi peninsula divides itself into three large ranges:

, tundra intensive cultivation of cultivated plants.



in Spain Spanish , Catalan and Galicisch , as well as Baski are spoken predominantly. The Spanish language is in the entire national territory office language, while the other three enjoy this status only in the appropriate autonomous communities.

Furthermore in the autonomous community Valencia a variation of the Catalan one, Valencianisch, and on the Balearen a further local variant of the Catalan one, is spoken Mallorquini. Besides exist some minority languages, which are spoken of a small number of humans. Among these Asturisch ranks - Leonesisch, Aragonesisch and Aranesisch. In Melilla the masirische minority speaks besides Tamazight, in Olivenza (Extremadura) still partial Portuguese spoken.

During the vacation season also seasonal workers from Germany and Poland work, often also south Americans in the tourism regions. In some tourism regions like the Costa Blanca or the Costa del Sol reside comparatively many Germans and Englishmen durably.

As foreign languages English and French are usually spoken. Younger Spaniards speak than foreign language mostly English, older one rather French. In the broad population mass applicable Fremdsprachenkenntnisse are however still not the rule. In areas at the Mediterranean, the Balearen and on the Kanari islands, visited gladly by tourists, partially German is common.

In Katalonien at the schools and universities on Catalan one teaches to a large extent; Spanish may be used there however by all students in instruction and examinations.


Spain is a predominantly catholic country. 92% of the population (conditions: 2000) belong officially to the Roman-catholic church . In the context of a study of the national polling institute center de Investigaciones Sociológicas in the year 2002 indicated however only 80% to the asked one to be catholics. 12% did not call themselves as religiously. The catholic church of the Spanish state on basis of a contract between this and the holy chair is financed. Since in Spain the catholic church is not thus financed from directly paid taxes of the Gläubigen, an official church withdrawal brings thus no financial advantages. Within the catholic church there is very the grouping strongly closed in itself Opus Dei.

The Muslims constitute 0.5%, the Protestanten 0.3% of the population. Jews, member of other denominations and denomination lots place 7.2% to the population.

See also: Catholic church in Spain, Islam in Spain, protest anti-mash in Spain, Judentum in Spain

largest cities

of cities also over 100.000 inhabitants, with number of inhabitants. (Conditions: 1. January 2005)


major item: History of Spain

the natives of the Pyrenees peninsula were the Celts and the Iberer, after which also the peninsula was designated. In the 11. Century v. Chr. the Phönizier at the south coast settled; the most famous of their colonies was Cádiz (Gades). The designation Spain leads itself from the Roman designation “Hispania” off (phönizisch “coast of the Klippschliefer”; which the Phönizier regarded as Klippschliefer, rabbits were) in reality. The country was coined/shaped also by the century for a long time Arab supremacy, whose inheritance settled both in architecture and in the language. With driving the Mauren out of the iberischen peninsula (reconquest - Reconquista) and the discovery America by Christoph Kolumbus in the year 1492 ascended Spain temporarily to the world power.


in accordance with the condition of 6. December 1978 is Spain a social and democratic constitutional state with the system of government of a parliamentary monarchy (kind. 1, exp. 3 of the Spanish condition). The king title is hereditary. The present king is Juan Carlo I. The king is a head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. Successor to the throne is a prince Felipe de Borbón y Grecia, which carries at the same time the title prince of Asturien (Príncipe de Asturias). Domicile of the king family is the Palacio de la Zarzuela in Madrid.

The role of the Spanish crown is essentially limited the condition to representative functions. Beyond that going functions of the king are the confirmation of laws and the appointment and the dismissal of the head of the government.

The highest legislation organ in Spain is the parliament, the Cortes of general. The Cortes is divided into two chambers, the Lower House (Congreso de loosely Diputados) and the senate (Senado). Between 300 and 400 members of the Lower House by step-by-step selection for four years are selected. The senate consists of 259 seats. Of it 208 members are selected directly by the people and the remaining 51 by the parliaments of the autonomous communities are determined. Senators are appointed for one term of office by four years.

The Prime Minister (Presidente del Gobierno, literally translates „head of the provincial government “) and the cabinet members are selected by the Lower House. Present Prime Minister is José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of the social-democratic Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE). Seat is the Palacio de la Moncloa in Madrid.

Spain is since January 1986 member of the European union (until 1992: „European community “).

See also: Political parties in Spain, list of the Spanish Prime Ministers, Euskadi TA Askatasuna (ETA)

autonomous communities

major items: Administratively Ceuta

and Melilla are divided autonomous communities of Spain Spain into 17 autonomous communities or regions (Comunidades Autónomas) , comparably the German Lands of the Federal Republic, and into the two autonomous cities. The autonomous communities were divided for their part into altogether 50 (52 with Ceuta and Melilla) provinces (provincias), which are designated after their respective administrative seat nearly all.

Fights there are and. A. around the autonomy of the Basque country, whose bloody form operates the ETA. Katalonien aims at independence on political way.


with the democratic change in the time after 1975, the entry to the European community in the year 1986 and the participation in the European economic and monetary union put the basis for a long lasting economic upswing to Spain. The industry of the country was liberalisiert gradually and modernized. From this are some internationally successfully acting enterprises hervorgegeangen, e.g. Iberia, Seat, Telefonica, Zara or Endesa. The Öfnung Spain for the international competition tightened extensive foreign direct investments.


the currency in Spain is since that 1. January 2001 of the euro, which, as in all countries of the euro zone, replaced the pesetas starting from 2002 also as official currency. The rate of exchange for previous currency, pesetas (PTS), amounted to: 1 € = 166.386 PTS and/or. 1 PTS = 0.6010 €- cent. Still still prices will be indicated in pesetas, straight at expensive goods those like cars or dwellings will not too frequently be bought. As generously shortening order of magnitude here gladly million PTS, million pesetas are used: thus z costs. B. a dwelling in the colloquial language 25 millions PTS or a car 2 millions PTS. 1.000.000 PTS correspond 6,010, 12 €, thus approximately 6000 €.

500 pesetas correspond rather exactly to 3.0051 euro. Therefore can be converted with dividing by 500 and following multiplying by 3 quite simply by pesetas to euro. Turned around euro can be converted by dividing with 3 and following multiplying by 500 simply to pesetas.

In discussions occasionally still the currency Duro is used. A Duro corresponds 5 peseta, thus approximately 3 cent. In order to convert from euro to Duro, it is enough, to divide the euro amount by 3 and attach afterwards two zeros (or by 100 multiply).

Gross domestic product

Spain takes at present under the industrial nations with a gross domestic product (GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT) of 1,024 billion US$ (estimated 2005) the 8. Struggled in. Gros domestic product/head increased on 24.500 US$.

The structure of the Spanish economy exhibits a distribution relatively typical for industrial nations:

  • 67% services
  • 18% processing industry
  • 9% building industry
  • 3% agriculture.

Most important industries of the Spanish economy are the tourism, the building, communication and information technology, metalworking industry, mechanical engineering, agriculture and petrochemical products.

The research and expenditures for development related to the gross domestic product amount to 0.96%. The unemployment ratio is with 11,4%, the inflation rate with 3,1%.

The public revenues of 274,6 billion € consist

  • to 29% from the income tax,
  • to 35% of the corporation tax.

The public expenditures amount to 275.2 billion €, the budgetary deficit amounts to 0.3% of the gross domestic product.


Spain is world-wide the secondarymost popular vacation country to France and a goal of 7% of all tourists. 2004 brought the tourism Spain incomes at a value of 35,7 billion €. Between January and November have 2005 approx. 52,4 millions foreign tourists Spain visited, this are 6.2% more than in the appropriate period of the previous year.

Katalonien is the most important routistic goal in Spain: 25.3% of all tourists traveled there, 12.7% more than in the previous year. A secondarymost important tourist goal are the Balearen, it became from 9,4 millions , 1% more than in visits tourists the previous year. Afterwards Andalusien with 7,6 millions come Tourist (1.3% more) and the country Valencia with 4,8 millions (9.5% more).

Popular destinations (with much visited places) are:


54% of the national surface are used agriculturally, building of irrigation fields become on approx. 20.1% of the cultivated area operated. 144,000 km ² the national surface are wooded. In Spain the following agricultural products are manufactured: Grain (above all wheat and rice), vegetable, olives, Weintrauben, sugar beets, Zitrusfrüchte such as oranges and lemons, meat (sheep, goat, rabbit, poultry), milk products (e.g. Manchego - cheese), sea-fish and sea fruits.


many Spanish families have a weekend house on the country or at the sea beside a dwelling in the city. After numbers of the Banco de España there were at the end of of 2005 in Spain ~23.7 millions Dwellings and 15.39 millions Households. Thus 1.54 dwellings the highest rate of the world come on a Spanish household. 85% of the Spanish dwellings are inhabited by their owners, rented 15%.

The Spanish average price for a new dwelling amounts to 2,510 €/m ² (December 2005). The housing prices are however regionally differently pronounced.


1992 and 2000 the portion of the public expenditures for the health service


road system

Spain had a well removed road and motorway net of 663.795 km length. The road system is fastened to the all-largest part. The freeway net covers national routes, carreteras nacionales, and motorways, the so-called autovías (free of charge) and autopistas (duty requiring, de peaje). At the cashier's offices of the chargeable autopistas can be paid with cash or credit card.

Chargeable motorway sections partly run parallel to free of charge. Approximately around centers of dense development there is usually free of charge autovías, many Fernverbindungen is chargeable.

The maximum speed amounts to:

  • within closed localities 50 km/h
  • on highways 90 km/h
  • on highways with an edge strip of at least 1.5 m broad or an additional lane 100 km/h
  • on the motorways 120 km/h

since summer 2005 are accomplished in Spain speed checks with stationary radar device.

Into closed localities at night always with headlight low beam drive. Caution when bringing in in motorways: here applies as in the German linguistic area „right of way grant “, however place is often not granted to bringing in drivers to a shears.

For left-wingers there is occasionally a kind „waiting trace “in the center of the road, from this waiting trace can then to on the lane be in-sheared to the right.

Since July 2004 are in Spain the warning west legally prescribed. These must be carried with accidents and breakdowns. Reserve lamps for the vehicle lighting and two red warning triangles must be likewise in the motor vehicle. Green insurance cards are not obligation, but recommendable, since the police with them is familiar.

In the last years the number of the passenger cars and the urbanization in Spain increased strongly. In Spain there are 467 KFZ/1000 Ew. 78% of the population live in cities; the population density amounts to 82 Ew/km ². In many places acute shortage of parking space prevails also by the close roads. A pulled through yellow line at the edge of the lane refers to a park prohibition. The local police possesses often own tow trucks. The park fees in population centres are on the same level as in metropolises in the German-speaking countries. In some population centres (Madrid, Barcelona) the road systems straight are locally overtaxed in the rush hour; there are partly traffic control systems as in Valencia.


bicycle driving is understood of the Spaniards first as sporty manipulation; as means of transport the bicycle is used rarely. Bicycle drivers are legally not better posed in the traffic, how this is for example in Germany the case. Cycle tracks are usually only in routistic attractive regions well-known. The individual cycle tracks are linked often not with one another.

Remote bus network

Spain has a very well developed bus network. In small and large cities there are special bus stations. The bus network connects in particular smaller cities and villages, but there are also supraregional lines and international connections. Bus-drive is comparatively cheap in Spain.


on 1045 km channels and rivers is possible for inland navigation.

The largest seas port are Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Gijón and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Between the Iberi peninsula and the Balearen there is a set of driving connections.

Traction network

the traction network (traditional Breitspur) of the national railway company RENFE is supplemented by a normalspuriges high-speed net (AVE, approximately 525 km route network). The long-distance traffic system is called Grandes Líneas, the AVE is of it excluded. The RENFE operates local rapid-transit railway in the centers of dense development - nets, the so-called Cercanías. In the following regions there are Cercanías - nets: Asturias, Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia/Alicante, Santander, San Sebastián, Sevilla and Valencia. Narrow-keep in track-strain by regional societies are operated.

The Spanish long-distance trains of the Grandes Líneas are differentiated in day and night trains. Tagzüge are the Alaris, Altaria, Arco, Euromed, Talgo, intertown center and Diurno. Night trains are the Trenhotel and Estrella. These course types differ in their design and drive on fixed distances. A classification after the course speed and critical point density as in the German linguistic area does not give it in Spain. Tickets are sold not for a distance, but for a product.

The cities Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia have underground - or Metronetze, in Sevilla and Palma de Mallorca are appropriate nets in the structure. Some cities such as Alicante and Barcelona possess newly open streetcar nets.


round of 40 cities have an airport for traffic machines. The largest Spanish airlines are Iberia, splinter air, Vueling and air Europe. The airports of Madrid and Barcelona are under the Top 10 of the passenger numbers of the European airports.

Between the airports Madrid and Barcelona give an air lift, puente aéreo: between 07:00 and 23:00 numerous flights start in very short time interval. The puente aéreo is operated by the Spanish airline Iberia.



most supraregional daily papers appear in the capital Madrid: El País (average edition in the year 2003 approx. 561,000 copies, El Mundo ( 379.000), ABC ( 346.000) and La Razón to the group of media of PRISA) , ( 205.000) belongs. In Barcelona La Vanguardia ( 240.000) and the important regional newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya ( 221.000) appear. Of importance appearing also daily sport media are such as Marca (549.000) and As (303.000), most Spaniards read regional newspapers, nearly each larger city in the country have here an offer, for example Diario de Sevilla or also Diario de Mallorca.

To the broadcasting corporation Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE) belongs among other things also the Spanish television Televisión Española (TVE). This operates two transmitters, TVE 1 and TVE 2. Private TV programs are Antena 3, Telecinco and, since that 7. November 2005, Cuatro. The television program offer is rounded off by regional television stations. Within the range of the digital television there are the offers to Digital+ and Auna. The formerly partly freely receiptable transmitter Canal+, which was replaced by Cuatro, was received into the Digital+ - offer.

To the broadcast see sound broadcasting in Spain.


football is in Spain with distance most important public and also a much claimant spreading haven. Further crew kinds of sport are basketball, hand ball and Volleyball, at the universities enjoy in addition Rugby of large popularity.

The engine haven, in particular Rallye, formula 1 and motorcycle running, enjoy the attention of the spectators.

A large cycle racing event is the Vuelta, further internationally considered running is the Basque land round travel, the Katalonien Rundfahrt and the Clásica San Sebastián. Important individual kinds of sport are tennis, Padel, a relatively new, the tennis similar play, and gulf. In the northeast of Spain and in the country Valencia Pelota, the baskische national sport, is played.

Typically a Spanish pageant is the Stierkampf, which not when kind of sport is regarded. According to opinion of its trailers it is to be regarded as an art, in the elegance and aesthetics an important role play. In the eyes of many critics it represents a archaische and brutal tradition, which is not worth it due to with their connected cruelty to animals, in its current form to be continued.

National holidays

in Spain are defined for each year of 14 holidays. Some of it, some by the autonomous community are determined, one holiday of the province (usually the protection patron of the province) and a holiday each of the municipality are national and/or. of the place (usually the protection patron of the municipality). The holidays are published annually for the subsequent year by each autonomous community and can vary.

The following days are usually holidays, can however depending upon year or autonomous community fail or replace:

  • 1. January - New Year
  • 6. January - holy ones of three kings and Epiphanias
  • 19. March - pc. Josef
  • March/April - Green Thursday
  • March/April - Karfreitag
  • 1. May - day of the work
  • 25. July - pc. Jakobus the older one, protection patron of Spain (Santiago)
  • 12. October - national holiday (Día de la Hispanidad/El Pilar), on the occasion of the discovery America by Christoph Kolumbus
  • 1. November - day of all holy ones
  • 6. December - day of the condition (Día de la Constitución), on the occasion of the acceptance of the condition in the year 1978
  • 8. December - Unbefleckte receipt-sneeze (Inmaculadada Concecpción)
  • 25. December - Christmas

example of regional holidays:

  • 24. June - Sant Joan (Spanish San Juan) in Katalonien
  • March/April - Ostermontag in the Basque country
  • 28. April - San Prudencio in the province Álava (protection patron of the province)
  • 15. May - San Isidro in the city Madrid (protection patron of the city)

further topics

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: Spain - word origin, synonyms and translations
Commons: Spain - pictures, videos and/or audio files
Wikiquote: Spanish proverbs - quotations

Wiki portal Spain

coordinates: 36° N to 44° N, 9° W to 3° O


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