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Portal:Spain

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THE SPAIN PORTAL
EL PORTAL DE ESPAÑA

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Location of Spain

Spain (Spanish: España), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España), is a country in southern Europe. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. The country consists of Peninsular Spain which is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, two archipelagos, one in each sea, and two autonomous cities in North Africa. The mainland area of Spain is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the southern and eastern areas, the Cantabric Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Spain is organised as a parliamentary democracy and is a constitutional monarchy. Spain has been a member of the European Union since 1986 and is a developed country, with the ninth largest economy in the world and fifth largest in the EU. With an area of 504,030 km², Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (behind France).

Spain flourished under the Roman empire Hispania, thus becoming one of the Empire's most important regions at the time. During the times of the Middle Ages, Spain was under Germanic rule, only later to come under the rule of the Islamic caliphate. Spain emerged as a unified country in the 15th century, following the completion of the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula in 1492. It has been an important source of influence to other regions, chiefly during the Modern Era, when it became a global empire that has left a legacy of over 500 million Spanish speakers today, making it the world's second most spoken first language.

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The Tower of Hercules

The Tower of Hercules is an ancient Roman lighthouse, located on a peninsula approximately 1½ from the center of the city of A Coruña. The tower remains a sentinel from days long past. It is known to have existed by the 2nd century, built or perhaps rebuilt under Trajan, perhaps on foundations and just possibly following a design that was Phoenician in origin. At its base is preserved the cornerstone with the inscription MARTI AUG.SACR C.SEVIVS LUPUS ARCHTECTUS AEMINIENSIS LVSITANVS.EX.VO, permitting the original lighthouse tower to be ascribed to the architect Gaius Sevius Lupus, from Aeminia (an ancient Roman town near present-day Coimbra, Portugal) in the former province of Lusitania, as an ex voto dedicated to Mars. The tower has been in constant use since the 2nd century. Originally it was constructed with an ascending ramp encircling its sides, for oxen to bring cartloads of wood to keep the light fueled at night.

According to Gaelic legend embodied in the 11th-century compilation Lebor Gabala Erren— the "Book of Invasions"— King Breogán, the founding father of the Galician Celtic nation, constructed here a massive tower of such a grand height that his sons could see a distant green shore from its top. The glimpse of that distant green land lured them to sail north to Ireland. A colossal statue of Breogán has been erected near the Tower.

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Seville Cathedral.
Credit: Seville Tourism Bureau

The Cathedral of Seville, formally Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See) was begun in 1402, with construction continuing into the 16th century. It is the largest of all Roman Catholic cathedrals (Saint Peter's Basilica not being a cathedral) and also the largest Medieval Gothic religious building, in terms of both area and volume.

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Federico Mayor Zaragoza

Federico Mayor Zaragoza (1934 in Barcelona) is a Spanish scholar and politician. He served as Director-General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999. Mayor obtained a doctorate in pharmacy from the Complutense University of Madrid in 1958. In 1963 he became professor of biochemistry at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Granada, and in 1968 was elected rector of that university, a post he held until 1972. The following year he was appointed professor in biochemistry at the Community of Madrid. In 1974 he co-founded the Severo Ochoa Centre of Molecular Biology at the Autonomous University of Madrid and of the High Council for Scientific Research.

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Federico García Lorca
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