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Information about Spain

Spain is a country of Western Europe and one of the major European countries. Located in the west - southwest tip of Europe and occupies almost 84% of the Iberian peninsula (the remaining 16% occupied by Portugal). It belongs to the north and for the most part, in the western hemisphere and its position defined by the coordinates: 35 39 - 43 45 north latitude by 4 25 east to 9 20 west longitude . The perimeter of the Iberian area of Spain is 4,780 km, of which 1654 km occupy its borders and 3126 km (65%) of the coastline. Spain is bordered to the west by Portugal, whilst in the north and northeast of the Pyrenees Mountains it is separate from France and the state of Andorra. It borders to the east and southeast with the Mediterranean and north, west and southwest by the Atlantic Ocean. In the south-eastern tip is the small peninsula of Gibraltar that since 1713 is under British possession. Through the Gibraltar straights joins the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea and separated Spain - and by extension Europe from Morocco and Africa. In Spain belong also some small islands lying off the coast of Morocco, the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Cabrera) in the Mediterranean Sea and the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Las Palmas, Hierro, Gkomara, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura) in the Atlantic Ocean. Spain from the 16th to the 19th century was the center of a great empire, which occupied most of South and Central America (except Brazil).

The total area of Spain is 504,782 sq. km and the country ranks 4th in Europe in terms of size (after Russia, Ukraine and France) and 50th in the world. It is about twice the size of the United Kingdom and 3.8 times larger than Greece. Occupies 5% of the area of Europe, while only 2.7% of its total area is the island's terrain.
The total population amounts to 40,525,100 inhabitants about. Spain ranks seventh in Europe in terms of population (after Russia, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Ukraine) and 28th in the world.
Spain's capital and largest urban centre in the country is Madrid. The main town occupies an area of 66 sq. km and has a population of approximately 3,020,000 inhabitants. It is situated at the centre of the Iberian peninsula, on the river Manthanares at an altitude of 690 meters and is the economic, political and cultural centre of the country. The attractions include the Mayor Square (1617), the Royal Palace in the 18th century. The Prado Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the Modern Art Centre and many buildings built in baroque style.

Second largest city in the country is Barcelona, the capital of an autonomous administrative region of Catalonia. It is built on the north-eastern Mediterranean coast and has 1,650,000 inhabitants (1998). The major urban area has more than 3,000,000 inhabitants. The city has major museums, libraries and major historical monuments, among which stand out the Town Hall, the Cathedral of Sangri Familia (Holy Evlalia) and the church of Santa Maria del Mar (14th century)..

Third most populous city in the country is Valencia, located on the Mediterranean coast south of Barcelona. It is built on the banks of the Guadalquivir River and is the administrative capital of the homonymous district. Its population is approximately 760,000 inhabitants, while the greater metropolitan area has approximately 2,120,000 inhabitants. Local attractions include the Courthouse, the fortified gates, the cathedral of the 14th century and The Museum of Fine Arts.

The city of Seville, capital of the administrative region of Andalusia. Built on the banks of the river Gouantalkivir is a river port and one of the most important Spanish cities in architectural monuments and attractions, among which stand the medieval fortress of Alcatraz, which was built by the Moors in 1181, and the cathedral of the 15th century and the minaret Giralda, which reaches a height of 91 m.

Fifth-largest city of Spain is Zaragoza (600,000-way. 1998), which is located in the north-eastern part of the country on the banks of the river Ebro, is the capital of Aragon. The university was founded in 1474, while the city is full of historic buildings, among which stand the church of Our Lady of Pilar 17th century. The Gothic Cathedral, the Tower of Alchaferias and Loncha, Renaissance style.

Malaga, which is valuable port and large tourist resort on the southern coast in the Mediterranean. Bilbao is the seventh most populous city in Spain. Located in the northern part of the country, in the Basque country, and through Canal Nervion communicates with the Bay of Biscay. It is one of the largest industrial centres of the country. The city of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands with a population of 360,000 inhabitants, built on the northeast coast of the island of Gran Canaria, major commercial and tourist center.

Other large cities are Valladolid town of the region of Castilla - Leon, Murcia the capital of the eponymous administrative district, the historic capital of the Arab Caliphate of Cordoba Ommefadon, famous for its Alcazar and mosque built by the Moors, the Palma de Mallorca, capital of the Balearic Islands and a large tourist center in the Mediterranean, Vigo, the country's major port on the west coast of the Iberian in the Atlantic, Alicante, the port in the south-eastern Mediterranean coast and center Export of agricultural products in the region, Gijon, a major port of northern Spain, Granada, famous for its palace of the Alhambra, La Coruna , in north-western tip of the Iberian, Badalona in Catalonia, Santa Cruz and Tenerife on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Cadiz, a large port in southern Spain in the Atlantic and one of the oldest cities (founded in 1100 BC by the Phoenicians), Almeria, Santander and San Sebastian on the Bay of Biscay, Toledo, capital of the administrative region of New Castile and old capital of Spain.