Ermak Travel Guide

 

The World at your fingertips 

 

 

Spain

Spain Destinations Travel Guide

 

 

 

Flag of Spain

Language: Spanish

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Calling Code: 34

 

 

 

Description of Spain

Spain, also called Kingdom of Spain, is a transcontinental country, member of the European Union, constituted as a social and democratic State of law and whose form of government is the parliamentary monarchy. Its territory, with capital in Madrid, is organized into seventeen autonomous communities and two autonomous cities, these formed, in turn, by fifty provinces.

Spain is located as much to the south of Western Europe as in the north of Africa. In Europe, it occupies most of the Iberian peninsula, known as mainland Spain, and the Balearic Islands (in the western Mediterranean Sea); in Africa there are the cities of Ceuta (in the Tingitana peninsula) and Melilla (in the cape of Tres Forcas), the Canary Islands (in the North-East Atlantic Ocean), the Chafarinas Islands (Mediterranean Sea), the Vélez Peñón de la Gomera (Mediterranean Sea), the Alhucemas Islands (Gulf of the Al Hoceima Islands) and the Alboran Island (Alboran Sea). The municipality of Llivia, in the Pyrenees, constitutes an enclave entirely surrounded by French territory. Complete the set of territories a series of islands and islets in front of the own peninsular coasts.

Spain covers an area of 505 370 km², being the fourth largest country in the continent, after Russia, Ukraine and France. With an average altitude of 650 meters above sea level it is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. Its population is 46 659 302 inhabitants (2018) The peninsular territory shares land borders with France and with Andorra to the north, with Portugal to the west and with the British territory of Gibraltar to the south. In its African territories, it shares land and sea borders with Morocco.

 

Travel Destinations in Spain

Madrid (Spain)

Castillo de los Mendoza-Mendoza Castle

El Escorial

Madrid

 

 

 

 

Green Spain

Galicia (Spain)

Baiona

Castro de Santa Tecla Celtic Settlement

Monasterio de Oseira

Monasterio de Ribas de Sil

Santiago de Compostela

 

   

 

 

Northern Spain-Pyrenees

Aragon (Spain)

Aljafería Palace

Alquézar Castle

Loarre Castle

Monzón Castle

Ordesa Valley

     

 

 

Eastern Spain

Valencian Community (Spain)

Coves de Sant Josep

Dénia Castle

Monasterio de El Puig

 

 

Catalonia (Spain)

Aiguestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici

Barcelona

Montserrat Monastery

Tarragona

 

 

Andalucia

Andalucia (Spain)

La Calahorra Castle

     

 

 

Central Spain 

Castile and León (Spain)

Alcazar at Segovia

Avila

Las Médulas

Ponferrada Castle

Puebla de Sanabria

Salamanca

Segovia

 

 

Castile-La Mancha (Spain)

Calatrava la Nueva

Calatrava la Vieja

Monasterio de Ucles

Toledo

 

 

 

Origin of the word Hispania

The name of Spain derives from Hispania, name with which the Romans designated geographically the whole of the Iberian peninsula, an alternative term to the name Iberia, preferred by the Greek authors to refer to the same space. However, the fact that the term Hispania is not of Latin origin has led to the formulation of several theories about its origin, some of them controversial.

Hispania comes from the Phoenician "i-spn-ya", a term whose use is documented from the second millennium BC, in Ugaritic inscriptions. The Phoenicians constituted the first non-Iberian civilization that arrived in the peninsula to expand its trade and founded, among others, Gadir, the current Cádiz, the oldest inhabited city in Western Europe.The Romans took the name of the defeated Carthaginians, interpreting the prefix "i" as 'coast', 'island' or 'land', with the meaning of a 'region'. The spn lexeme, which in Phoenician and also in Hebrew can be read as saphan, was translated as 'rabbits' (actually 'damans', some animals the size of the rabbit spread across Africa and the Fertile Crescent). The Romans, therefore, gave Hispania the meaning of 'land abundant in rabbits', a use picked up by Cicero, Caesar, Pliny the Elder, Cato, Livy and, in particular, Catullus, who refers to Hispania as a peninsula cuniculosa (in some coins minted in the time of Hadrian figured personifications of Hispania as a lady sitting and with a rabbit at his feet), referring to the time he lived in Hispania.

On the Phoenician origin of the term, the historian and Hebraist Cándido María Trigueros proposed in the Royal Academy of Good Letters of Barcelona in 1767 a different theory, based on the fact that the Phoenician alphabet (like the Hebrew) lacked vowels. Thus "spn" (sphan in Hebrew and Aramaic) would mean in Phoenician 'the north', a name that would have taken the Phoenicians when arriving at the Iberian peninsula bordering the African coast, seeing it to the north of its route, reason why "i-spn-ya" it would be the 'land of the north'. On the other hand, according to Jesús Luis Cunchillos in his Grammatical phoenician grammar (2000), the root of the term span is spy, which means 'to forge or beat metals'. Thus, "i-spn-ya" would be the 'earth in which metals are forged'.

Apart from the theory of Phoenician origin, which is the most accepted despite the fact that the precise meaning of the term remains the subject of discussions, various hypotheses have been proposed throughout history, based on apparent similarities and more or less related meanings. At the beginning of the Modern Age, Antonio de Nebrija, in the line of Isidoro of Seville, proposed his autochthonous origin as deformation of the Iberian word Hispalis, which would mean 'the city of the West' and that, being Hispalis the main city of the peninsula, the Phoenicians and then the Romans gave their name to their entire territory, and later, Juan Antonio Moguel proposed in the 19th century that the term Hispania could come from the word éuscara Izpania, which would mean 'part of the sea' being composed of the voices iz and pania or bania which means 'to divide' or 'to depart' In this respect, Miguel de Unamuno declared in 1902: "The only difficulty I find [...] is that, according to some countrymen Mine, the name Spain derives from the Basque 'ezpaña', lip, alluding to the position that our peninsula has in Europe." Other hypotheses implied that both Hispalis and Hispania were derivations of the names of Hispalo and his son Hispan or Hispano, son and grandson, respectively, of Hercules.

 

 

Evolution from the word Hispania to Spain

From the Visigoth period, the term Hispania, until then used geographically, began to be used also with a political connotation, as shown by the use of the expression Laus Hispaniae to describe the history of the peoples of the peninsula in the chronicles of Isidoro de Sevilla .

You are, oh Spain, sacred and always happy mother of princes and peoples, the most beautiful of all the lands that extend from the West to India. You, by right, are now the queen of all the provinces, from whom you receive your lights not only the sunset, but also the East. You are the honor and ornament of the orb and the most illustrious portion of the earth, in which the glorious fecundity of the Goth nation is greatly enjoyed and splendidly flourished. With justice it enriched you and nature was more indulgent with the abundance of all created things, you are rich in fruits, in copious grapes, in happy harvests ... You are located in the most pleasant region of the world, nor are you Burning in the tropical heat of the sun, you do not get numbed by glacial rigors, but, clinging to a temperate zone of the sky, you nourish yourself with happy and soft zephyrs ... And for that reason, a long time ago, the Golden Rome, head of the people, he wished you and, although the same Roman power, first winner, has possessed you, however, at last, the flourishing nation of the Goths, after innumerable victories all over the world, with hard work you conquered and loved you and So far you enjoy safe between regal and very powerful treasures in safety and happiness of empire.
Isidoro de Sevilla, Santo (6th-7th century). History of Regibus Gothorum, Vandalorum et Suevorum [History of the kings of the Goths, Vandals and Swabians].

The word Spain derives phonetically from Hĭspanĭa, on a regular basis through the palatalization of the / n / en / ñ / ante Latin iod-ĭa, the loss of the initial H- (which occurs in late Latin) and the opening of ĭ in initial position a / e /. However, Spain can not be considered the translation into Spanish of the Latin word Hispania, since modern usage designates a different extension.

 

 

Historical use of the term Spain

Use of the term Spain until the Middle Ages

The evolution of the word Spain is in accordance with other cultural uses. Until the Renaissance, names referring to national and regional territories were relatively unstable, both from the semantic point of view and from their precise geographical delimitation. Thus, in the time of the Romans Hispania corresponded to the territory they occupied in the peninsula, the Balearic Islands and, in the third century, part of North Africa - Mauritania Tingitana, which was included in the year 285 in the Diocesis Hispaniarum.

 

With the Muslim invasion, the name Spania or Spain was transformed into اسبانيا, Isbāniyā. The use of the word Spain continues to be unstable, depending on who uses it and under what circumstances. Some chronicles and other documents of the High Middle Ages designate exclusively with that name (Spain or Spania) the territory dominated by the Muslims. Thus, Alfonso I of Aragon, «the Battler», says in his documents that «He reigns in Pamplona, Aragon, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza» and, when in 1126 he makes an expedition to Malaga, he tells us «he went to the lands of Spain » But as of the last years of the twelfth century, the use of the name of Spain for the entire Peninsula, whether of Muslims or Christians, became widespread again. This name covered five kingdoms of Spain: Granada (Muslim), Leon with Castile, Navarre, Portugal and the Crown of Aragon (Christians).

 

 

Identification with the Crowns of Castilla y Aragón

As the Reconquista progressed, several kings proclaimed themselves princes of Spain, trying to reflect the importance of their kingdoms in the Peninsula. After the dynastic union of Castile and Aragon, the name of Spain was used in these two kingdoms to refer to both. This name appeared in the documents of the years 1124 and 1125, on the occasion of the military expedition by Andalusia of Alfonso the Battler, they referred to this one -that had unified the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon after his marriage with Magpie I of León- with the terms "reigning in Spain" or reigning "in all the land of Christians and Saracens of Spain."

 

 

Culture
In Spain, parties are usually celebrated throughout the year. That, yes, they reach their peak around August 15, when half of Spain is celebrating.

The activities related to the bulls are characteristic throughout Spain. In addition to the well-known bullfights or the running of the bulls, other types of events, such as prize-winning contests or embolados bulls, are usually held. For years, these celebrations have been the subject of heated debate between their detractors and their followers. In Catalonia, bullfights have recently been banned and in the Canary Islands for years they have not been done due to the animal protection law. Nevertheless, the defenders of these traditions affirm that they are indissoluble of the Spanish culture and that the art of bullfighting can not be lost. Bullfighter José Tomás awakens passions throughout the geography.

In the southeastern area, Moors and Christians are celebrated, where the conquest of this area by the Arabs and their subsequent conquest by the Christians is simulated.

Each region has its own folk music, with the sound of bagpipes in Galicia, flamenco in Andalusia, jotas de Castilla y Aragón or the sardanas de Cataluña, among others.

Holy Week [1] is very important throughout the country.

In recent years, festivals of pop, rock and electronic music have become fashionable, and many cities celebrate musical and cultural events of this type throughout the year. The International Festival of Benicàssim, the Sònar and the Primavera Sound of Barcelona, ​​the Rock in Rio de Madrid, the Sonorama of Aranda de Duero, the Creamfields of Almeria or the Bilbao BBK live, to name but a few.

Festivals
Jazz festivals
Flamenco Festival of Jerez de la Frontera. It is considered to be the best flamenco festival in the world. In its last edition, 140 performances and 36 flamenco courses were held. The festival was attended by 32 different nationalities and 120 media outlets from around the world.
Cante de las Minas Festival, in La Unión (Murcia).
FIB International Festival of Benicàssim It is one of the largest independent music festivals in Europe. It is celebrated in mid-July in the town of Benicàssim, Castellón.
Primavera Sound . Independent music festival that takes place at the end of May in Barcelona. It has built a great reputation based on bringing new musical proposals while consecrated legends of international rock and pop
Art Exhibition of Benicàssim MABE The MABE Art Exhibition is held annually during the month of October in the town of Benicàssim.

Climate

Mediterranean in the south and east, oceanic in the north and continental coast in the center. Cold in winter and hot in summer in the interior, warm in winter and hot in summer on the Mediterranean coasts.

Electricity
Electricity in Spain operates at 230 volts and 50 hertz, standardized in the European Union and used in much of Africa and Asia . The most common connectors are the schuko type for 16 amps (Picture on the left). Although in very old facilities are still known as europlug , in most cases are compatible, despite being limited to 10 amps.

Arrive
Spain is a member of the European Union (EU) and the Schengen treaty, which governs its visa policy. Citizens of other EU countries and countries with which the EU has special treaties do not need a visa. There is no border control between Spain and other nations of the Schengen Treaty, except to access Ceuta and Melilla, which are not part of the customs union. Since May 2004, citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Spain. Citizens of these countries (except those of the EU) must stay for less than three months in half a year and will not be able to work in Spain: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic , El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Holland, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican and Venezuela. There are different ways to enter Spain. From neighboring countries, it is possible by car or train, from further away you should probably use a plane.

By plane
The airport infrastructure in Spain is very notable, and it has communications with a large number of international destinations. The main airport is the Madrid-Barajas airport, which in addition to being the most important in the country, is one of the most important in the world for passenger traffic (around 50 million annually). The main destinations of Barajas are all the important and quite small airports in Europe, as well as, to America and especially to Latin America where Iberia (with its subsidiaries Air Nostrum and Iberia Express), which operates from this airport, is the leading airline among these two continents. At the same time, it also has a great variety of flights to the north, west and center of Africa, as well as the Near and Far East in the case of Asia.

Other important and international airports in the country are Alicante, Barcelona-El Prat, Gran Canaria, Malaga-Costa del Sol, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife South. Many of the most important airlines in the world operate through these airports (especially in Madrid), such as Air China, Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa, United Airlines and US Airways. In addition, numerous low-cost lines operate, such as EasyJet, Ryanair and Vueling.

AENA (Spanish Airports and Air Navigation), flight schedules.
Air transport companies.

By ship
Spain is a common destination for cruises that travel the Mediterranean, with its main ports of Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Malaga or Ibiza. It is also common for Atlantic cruises to stop in Tenerife, Gran Canaria or Arrecife as part of the route to Madeira or Morocco, even as the last stop before crossing to America.

There are ferry connections from mainland Spain to the islands, for example, the Valencia-Mallorca or Denia-Ibiza route. The Ferries also communicate the islands of the archipelagos with each other. From Malaga and other Andalusian cities you can take Ferries to Ceuta and Melilla.

By car
Spain has the largest network of motorways and highways in Europe, as well as the third largest in the world. In general, it has a high quality road infrastructure. There are freeways and freeways as well as toll roads in which the maximum speed is 120 km / h. The rules of circulation are met, to a large extent, to the letter, being able to face large economic amounts if they are not respected. For all this it is more than advisable to travel the country with a rental vehicle.

 

Поездом
Поезд в Испании очень развит. Все железные дороги управляются RENFE (Национальной сетью испанских железных дорог), принадлежащей государству, и другими более мелкими компаниями, которые также являются публичными. Существует большая разница между скоростным поездом (High Speed ​​Spanish AVE) на средние и большие расстояния и региональными поездами. AVE соединяет некоторые испанские столицы провинций с очень правильным обслуживанием и точной пунктуальностью (AVE гарантирует пунктуальность в 5 минут). Другие поезда дальнего следования, такие как Altaria, Alvia, Arco и т. Д., Современные, но не такие пунктуальные и быстрые. С другой стороны, региональные поезда известны и подвергаются критике за их пунктуальность (за исключением Сообщества Мадрида), так как они продолжают использовать старую дорожную инфраструктуру, перегружены и испытывают недостаток инвестиций. (Http://www.renfe.es) или в автоматах, расположенных на станциях. Как правило, современные железнодорожные станции соединяются напрямую с сетью метро в крупных городах, поэтому это очень удобный способ путешествовать, если вы не перевозите много багажа.

Таможня
В соответствии с положениями Закона о предотвращении отмывания денег и финансирования терроризма все путешественники, независимо от того, являются ли они гражданами Испании, въезжают или выезжают из страны с наличными деньгами или чеками, номинально равными или превышающими десять тысяч евро (10 000,00 евро) должны быть заявлены на таможенных постах и ​​заполнить некоторые формы. Больше информации в налоговом агентстве.

 

 

 

blog comments powered by Disqus