Introduction to Spain
Spain • Spain is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, bordering France and Portugal. • Spain is mainly a Spanish/Castilian speaking country, but also has other’s including Euskara, ect. • The capital, Madrid, is located in the center of Spain.
Spain’s Flag Spain’s national flag is decorated with two, red, horizontal striped on the ends and one yellow one in the middle, with it’s Coat of Arms on the left hand side. Previously an eagle had been on it, but it was removed. There is a legend that the colors of the flag came from the bullfight arena, red representing blood and yellow representing the sand. However, it’s not a fact. The Coat of Arms consists of the royal seal, on each side is the Pillars of Hercules, which represent Gibraltar and Ceuta on the sides of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar. Spain’s flag was adopted on Dec. 19 1981.
Spain’s Independence • Spain was a province of Rome in the B.C. times. After the fall of Rome it was basically groups of independent kingdoms. The Moors came in 711 up until 1492 when they were defeated. Then, Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand took over. However, Spain was never ruled by anyone else. Most countries were trying to get independence FROM Spain. As a result, Spain doesn’t really have an independence day like America. But their National Day is October 12th.
Spain joins the EEC • The European Economic Community was created to bring economic intrgration throughout Europe. Spain finally joined this community on January 1rst, 1986. However, Spain applied in 1977.
Feast of the Assumption • The Feast of the Assumption is a religious and public holiday in which the Catholic Church recognizes when the Virgin Mary (Mother of Jesus) was taken up to heaven. It’s a major festival, and the East Orthodox also celebrates it too. The Feast of Assumption is held on August 15th.
La SagradaFamilia The SagradaFamilia is a huge Roman Catholic Church located in Barcelona, Spain. It has been under construction since 1882 and they’re still working on it, it’s not expected to be completed until at least 2026. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi, who devoted 15 years of his life exclusively to this and is now buried inside of it. Themes include words from the liturgy and is decorated with them throughout the building. According to a newspaper, 2.26 million people visited the partially built SagradaFamilia in 2004. Construction on this building was not supported by any of the government, private patrons initially funded it, but now it is paid for by the tourists who buy tickets and private donations from Friends of the Temple.
Pico De Teide The Pico De Teide is an active volcano in Spain (last erupted in 1909) and also the highest elevation. Standing at 3718 meters above sea level, it is the 3rd largest volcano in the world. It is also the highest point in the Atlantic Ocean. Teide is the most famous landmark in Tenerife and the Canary Islands, receiving as many as 3.5 million international visitors annually. Teide is a stratovolcano, which means it is built up by many layers of lava and ash and has periodic eruptions. Access to the volcano is by a public road and a public bus runs a once per day return service to Teide. Teide was a sacred mountain, like Mount Olympus was to the Greeks. According to legends, Guayota (devil) kidnapped Magec (god of the light && sun) and imprisoned him in the volcano. The people asked there supreme god Achaman to fight Guayota, and when he won he plugged the crater with Guayota. He has remained locked inside ever since.
Felix De Lope De Vega Carpio“Father of the Spanish Theatre” Felix De Lope De Vega Carpio, also known just as Lope De Vega was born on Nov. 25 1562 in Madrid. His parents were very poor, and died when Lope De Vega was just a child. People could tell he was very smart, as he learned how to read and write at the age of 5 and was accepted to the Imperial College of Madrid at age 14. He joined the military to fight against portugal with a friend when the Bishop of Avila found him and helped him to enroll in the University of Alcala, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He then fell in love with the daughter of a man who was producing his plays and did some of his best writing then. She was already married however, so 5 years later when the affair ended he started writing plays making fun of her father. He then was thrown in jail, but came back to Madrid searching for love. He married Isabel De Urbina but soon joined the Spanish Armada. After he came back, his wife died. He married Jauna De Gaurdo 3 years later. However, he was not faithful and cheated on her with an actress, which she had his son Lope Felix. Jauna died in 1612. Lope De Vega decided to become a priest, but not before having an affair with yet another woman. Lope wrote over 1,800 plays in his lifetime, along with many different poems. His house still stands today, and the people of Madrid named a street after him. Calle Lope De Vega.
Queen Isabella the First of Spain Isabella jointly ruled Castile and Aragon with her husband Ferdinand the Second of Aragon, and the Fifth of Castile. Isabella’s half brother Henry became king of Castile, and her brother Alfonso was the expected heir but died on poison. When she was offered the crown she refused, and Henry compromised to accept Isabella as her heiress in September. Isabella married Ferdinand in Oct. 1469 and they immediantly reduced the power of the nobles and increased the power of the crown. In 1480 Isabella and Ferdinand made the Inquisition in Spain, it was mainly aimed at Jews who moved to Christianity but were thought to secretly practice their beliefs. They received the title of “the Catholic monarchs” Also, they planned to expel all of the Muslims in Spain in 1492, that same year expelled all Jews who didn’t convert to Christianity. Isabellsponsered Christopher Columbus’s Voyage and along with that, a patron of scholars and artists. In her will after her death, she summarized what she thought her rein’s acheivements were and wishes for the future.
Spain’s Weather • Spain is known for all around beautiful weather. But in reality, its much more complicated. The winter months are December, January, and February. Spring is in March, April, and May. Summer’s in June, July, and August. And fall is in September, October, and November. Spain DOES get snow in the winter. The north coast is too warm sometimes, which means more rain, but when it does snow it’s several feet. In the spring it’s not quite so dependable. It’s the perfect time to go to the beach and is usually warm, but you cant guarantee good weather until June. Summer, the weather is exceptionally hot with temperatures hitting up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. And in the fall it is still possible to go to the beach, but you don’t feel like you in an oven while doing it. It’s much cooler!
Information Sources • http://www.costadelsol-vacationrentals.com/images/spanishflag2.jpg • http://www.map-of-spain.co.uk/maps-of-spain/spain/large_map-of-spain2.jpg • http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/latinamericaindependence/a/independence.htm • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain • http://www.gomadrid.com/practic/public-holidays.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assumption_of_Mary • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia • http://www.ctspanish.com/tyl/historical/lope.htm • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teide • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0a/Teide_rock_foreground.JPG • http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/medrenqueens/p/p_isabella_i.htm • http://gospain.about.com/od/spanishclimate/ss/weather.htm • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/992004.stm • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_European_Union • http://www.mapsofworld.com/south-america/history/independence.html