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- Area: 505,182 square kilometers
- Population: 47 million
- Official Language: Spanish
- Regional Languages: Catalan, Basque, Galician, Valencian
A Very Brief History
- Invaders from north Africa made Spain part of the Muslim world in the 8th century. Seven centuries of reconquest ended in 1492.
- The past century or so Spain suffered the loss of its last major colonies, civil war in the 1930s and forty years of the dictator General Franco.
- Franco died in 1975, restoring the monarchy to King Juan Carlos. The young king stayed on as head of a parliamentary monarchy and today Spain is a democracy.
- Mild winters, dry and hot summers, and little rainfall in the Mediterranean;
- Cold winters, mild summers and rainfall throughout the year in Atlantic areas;
- Rain, cold winters, mild summers and snow in the highest regions;
- Warm temperatures, little rainfall, strong winds in the Canary Islands.
Siestas and Fiestas
- The siesta for shops and businesses is from approximately 2pm until 5pm, while bars and restaurants close from about 4pm until about 8 or 9pm. It is common for Spaniards to eat dinner after 10pm.
- Every city and village has it’s local festivals or ferias throughout the year. Although there will be crowds it’s a great chance to have fun and celebrate as the Spanish do.