- Country name : Spain
- Official name : Kingdom of Spain.
- System of government : Constitutional monarchy.
- National anthem :
- Area : 505 000 km².
- Capital : Madrid.
- Border countries : Andorra, France, Gibraltar, Morocco, Portugal.
- Population : 40 millions (2002).
- Language(s) : Castilian Spanish (official), Catalan, Galician, Basque.
- Religions : Roman Catholic (99%), other (1%).
>Spain has been transformed in the last three decades from an agricultural country into a nation with a diversified economy with strong manufacturing and service sectors.
>Agriculture is a mainstay of the Spanish economy. Spain is the world's largest producer of olive oil and ranks third in wine production. Other important crops include barley, wheat, maze, rice, potatoes, sugar-beet, tomatoes and cork.
>Since the mid-1950s, the industrial growth of Spain has been rapid. Among the leading goods manufactured in Spain are textiles, iron, steel, motor vehicles, chemicals, ships, refined petroleum and cement.
>Tourism is one of Spain's most important industries.
>About 1000 B.C. : the Iberians, originally a North African people became the most prominent ethnological element in the peninsula. Later came the Celts, from the North, then the Phoenicians and the Greeks who founded a number of trading posts and towns along the coast.
>237 B.C. : Under the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, a large part of the peninsula was conquered.
>206 B.C. : Spain became a part of the Roman Empire. Hispania was one of the most prosperous area of Roman power.
>After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Suevi, Vandals and Alans entered Spain, but they were defeated by the Wisigoths who, by the end of the 6th century, occupied nearly the whole of the Peninsula.
>In 711, the Muslims entered Spain from Africa and within a few years completed the subjugation of the country. Muslim Spain produced a flourishing culture.
>Internal dissension of Spanish Islam invited a steady Christian conquest from the north. In 1469, the marriage of Isabel I of Castile and Fernando II of Aragon consolidated the unity of Spain. In 1492, Granada, the last stronghold of the Arabs in Spain, was conquered (end of the Reconquest) ; Christopher Colombus discovered America ; most Jews were expelled.
>The 16th and the 17th century : Apogee of the Spanish Empire, under the aegis of the Austrias, which became the world's foremost power.
>The War of Succession to the Spanish Crown (1701-1714) marked the end of the dynasty of the Habsburgs and the coming of the Bourbons.
>The colonial empire of Spain in the Americas and the Philippines vanished in wars and revolutions during the 18th and the 19th centuries.
>1914-1918 : Spain remained neutral in the First World War.
>The new constitution of 1931 declared Spain a workers'republic.
>1936 to 1939 : A military rising originating in Morocco, headed by General Francisco Franco, spreads rapidly all over the country, thus starting the Spanish Civil War. On October 1st, 1936, General Franco took over as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
>1939 to 1945 : Spain stays out of the 2nd World War.
>1975 : General Franco dies. King Juan Carlos takes the oath as King of Spain, transforming the institution he incarnated into a "Monarchy for all the Spanish people".
>A treaty admitting Spain, to the European Economic Community, along with Portugal, took effect on Jan. 1, 1986.
>On January 1, 2002, Spain has officially introduced the Euro, the new single currency of the European Monetary Union.