Official state name: Kingdom of Spain
Spain has approximately 47.200.000 inhabitants, of which about 35.000.000 (74,2% of the population) Spanish native speakers.
Besides Spanish, in Spain people also speak Catalan, Basque, Galician.
Head of State is Juan Carlos I de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias and Government Chief is Mariano Rajoy.
Spain covers an area of approximately 505.000 km² and borders on Andorra, France, Morocco, Portugal and Gibraltar.
Currency of Spain: Euro (code: EUR, currency symbol: €)
Current time in Spain: 18:41:21 h
Time difference between Spain and UTC/GMT (Londres): 1 hour
Daylight saving time (DST): 1 hour (from Sunday, March, 31st, 2013 until Sunday, October, 27th, 2013)
The international area code for calls from abroad for Spain is : +34.
Voltage in Spain: 220 V.
Websites of Spain end usually with .es
Well known products of Spain: Red Wine, Paella, Spanish Omelette, Gazpacho, Serrano ham... Mediterranean Food.
Spain - the birthplace of such great artists as Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Velázquez, Miguel de Cervantes, and Antonio Banderas... All add to the fantastic culture of Spain. ¡Ole! Why not learn Spanish in Spain the country of origin?
For thousands of years Spain has been one of the cultural centers of Europe.
It has many beautiful cities and towns, offering thousands of monuments as well as a tremendous mix of architecture.
Its various regions are all vary from one to the next by cultural, language, geographically, climatically and even in personality differences.
Spain is about life, music, and “Carpe Diem” to seize the day. In each region of the country you will find many different versions of this philosophy being played out.
That is the one unique thread that holds the Spaniards together and why Spain is such an enjoyable country to study abroad in and learning Spanish here is so much fun.
With great weather all year long, including lots of sunshine and comfortable temperatures even during the winter months, Andalusia is an inviting region with many national parks, cultural routes, golf courses, and historical monuments.
The marks left by the past great civilizations like the Phoenicians, Visigoths, Romans, and the Arabs are presents in every corner and the more recent overlay of Baroque and Renascence give Andalusia a touch that you will not find anywhere else in the world. This ever present mix in the modern architecture in the cities of Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Malaga and Jerez produce constant tourism all year long.
Although the summer ends the sun never stops shinning on Andalusia.
Rich in scenic beauty and producing some of the fantastic culinary delights that Spain has to offer is the region of Castilla y León. The hills and valleys of this part of Spain have been famous for producing excellent wines for centuries and this always seems to bring along mouth watering food and recipes.
There are many small inns and local routes to take advantage of these fine cultural and culinary offering.
The beauty of the region is best seen from its most spectacular cities like Valladolid, Avila, Salamanca, Burgos, or Segovia.
Semana Santa is one of the most popular festivals in Spain. It’s also the oldest and the most significant in Spain, in which the people think of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ after his coming to Jerusalem.
Since the 5th century, the processions represent an essential part of these festivities and are regarded very highly in cities like Seville, Valladolid and Malaga.
On Palm Sunday palms, olive leafs and other trees are consecrated for the following procession in memory of Jesus Christ’s triumphal procession into Jerusalem. Those customs were initiated during the 4th century and are maintained until today.
During the whole week they held special celebrations which are remimesant of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ.
All fraternities of different churches show the images of Jesus Christ in the streets and they can be viewed during the processions from Monday until Friday, the day on which the old church is dedicated to penitence, abstinence and prayer.
Furthermore on Easter Saturday the people remind themselves of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and from midnight on they start to celebrate his resurrection.
Finally, on Easter Sunday they revive the resurrection. This celebration takes place on the Sunday after the first full moon of spring.
A lot of people believe that Spain has more holidays than workdays, but there are only ten national holidays. Well, there are two more per autonomous region, which are held on different days in every region. You have also to add two more per locality that are also held on different days, but usually in summer time. The following list shows only the ten national holidays:
January 1st – New Year’s day
January 6th – The three wise men
Good Friday – (March or April)
May 1st – Labour Day
August 15th – Assumption Day
October 12th – Hispanidad
November 1st – All Saint’s Day
December 6th – Constitution Day
December 8th – Immaculate Conception
December 25th – Christmas Holiday
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