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Spain (Spanish: España, [esˈpaɲa] (listen)), or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España), is a country in southwestern Europe with parts of territory in the Atlantic Ocean and across the Mediterranean Sea. The largest part of Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula; its territory also includes the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla in Africa. The country's mainland is bordered to the south by Gibraltar; to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea; to the north by France, Andorra and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of 505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi), Spain is the second-largest country in the European Union (EU) and, with a population exceeding 47.4 million, the fourth-most populous EU member state. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid; other major urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Málaga, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Bilbao.

Anatomically modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 42,000 years ago. Pre-Roman peoples dwelled in the territory, in addition to the development of coastal trading colonies by Phoenicians and Ancient Greeks and the brief Carthaginian rule over the Mediterranean coastline. The Roman conquest and colonization of the peninsula (Hispania) ensued, bringing a Roman acculturation of the population. Hispania remained under Roman rule until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the fourth century, which ushered in the migration of Germanic peoples and the Alans into the peninsula. Eventually, the Visigoths emerged as the dominant power in the peninsula by the fifth century. In the early eighth century, most of the peninsula was conquered by the Umayyad Caliphate and during early Islamic rule, Al-Andalus became the dominant peninsular power, centered in Córdoba. Several Christian kingdoms emerged in Northern Iberia, chief among them León, Castile, Aragón, Portugal, and Navarre and over the next seven centuries, an intermittent southward expansion of these kingdoms, known as Reconquista, culminated with the Christian seizure of the Emirate of Granada in 1492. Jews and Muslims were forced to choose between conversion to Catholicism or expulsion and the Morisco converts were eventually expelled. The dynastic union of the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon was followed by the annexation of Navarre and the 1580 incorporation of Portugal (which ended in 1640). In the wake of the Spanish colonization of the Americas after 1492, the Crown came to hold a large overseas empire, which underpinned the emergence of a global trading system primarily fuelled by the precious metals extracted in the New World. Centralisation of the administration and further State-building in mainland Spain ensued in the 18th and 19th centuries, during which the Crown saw the loss of the bulk of its American colonies a few years after of the Peninsular War. The country veered between different political regimes; monarchy and republic, and following a 1936–39 devastating civil war, a fascist dictatorship that lasted until 1975. (Full article...)

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  • Image 1Muhammad III (Arabic: محمد الثالث; 15 August 1257 – 21 January 1314) was the ruler of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula from 8 April 1302 until 14 March 1309, and a member of the Nasrid dynasty. He ascended the Granadan sultan's throne after the death of his father Muhammad II, which according to rumours was caused by Muhammad III poisoning him. He had the reputation of being both cultured and cruel. Later in his life, he became visually handicapped, which caused him to be absent from many government activities and to rely on high officials, especially the powerful Vizier Ibn al-Hakim al-Rundi. (Full article...)
    Muhammad III (Arabic: محمد الثالث; 15 August 1257 – 21 January 1314) was the ruler of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula from 8 April 1302 until 14 March 1309, and a member of the Nasrid dynasty. He ascended the Granadan sultan's throne after the death of his father Muhammad II, which according to rumours was caused by Muhammad III poisoning him. He had the reputation of being both cultured and cruel. Later in his life, he became visually handicapped, which caused him to be absent from many government activities and to rely on high officials, especially the powerful Vizier Ibn al-Hakim al-Rundi. (Full article...)
  • North View of Gibraltar from Spanish Lines by John Mace (1782)
    North View of Gibraltar from Spanish Lines by John Mace (1782)
  • Image 4Muhammad II (Arabic: محمد الثاني) (also known by the epithet al-Faqih, "the canon-lawyer", c. 1235 – 8 April 1302; reigned from 1273 until his death) was the second Nasrid ruler of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula, succeeding his father, Muhammad I. Already experienced in matters of state when he ascended the throne, he continued his father's policy of maintaining independence in the face of Granada's larger neighbours, the Christian kingdom of Castile and the Muslim Marinid state of Morocco, as well as an internal rebellion by his family's former allies, the Banu Ashqilula. (Full article...)
    Muhammad II (Arabic: محمد الثاني) (also known by the epithet al-Faqih, "the canon-lawyer", c. 1235 – 8 April 1302; reigned from 1273 until his death) was the second Nasrid ruler of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula, succeeding his father, Muhammad I. Already experienced in matters of state when he ascended the throne, he continued his father's policy of maintaining independence in the face of Granada's larger neighbours, the Christian kingdom of Castile and the Muslim Marinid state of Morocco, as well as an internal rebellion by his family's former allies, the Banu Ashqilula. (Full article...)
  • Bataille de Cérisoles, 14 avril 1544 (oil on canvas by Jean-Victor Schnetz, 1836–1837) depicts François de Bourbon at the end of the battle.
    Bataille de Cérisoles, 14 avril 1544 (oil on canvas by Jean-Victor Schnetz, 1836–1837) depicts François de Bourbon at the end of the battle.
  • Image 6 Las Meninas (pronounced [laz meˈninas]; Spanish for
  • Image 7 Hurricane Leslie (known as Storm Leslie or Cyclone Leslie), while extratropical, was the strongest cyclone of tropical origin to strike the Iberian Peninsula since 1842. A large, long-lived, and very erratic tropical cyclone, Leslie was the twelfth named storm and sixth hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.[1] The storm had a non-tropical origin, developing from an extratropical cyclone that was situated over the northern Atlantic on 22 September. The low quickly acquired subtropical characteristics and was classified as Subtropical Storm Leslie on the following day. The cyclone meandered over the northern Atlantic and gradually weakened, before merging with a frontal system on 25 September, which later intensified into a powerful hurricane-force extratropical low over the northern Atlantic. (Full article...)
  • Plate 3: Lo mismo (The same). A man about to cut off the head of a soldier with an axe.
    Plate 3: Lo mismo (The same). A man about to cut off the head of a soldier with an axe.
  • Shekel minted by the Libyans during the war, depicting Herakles and a lion, with the legend ΛIBYΩN ("the Libyans"). Above the lion, the Phoenician letter M could stand for Mathos, a leader of the rebellion.
    Shekel minted by the Libyans during the war, depicting Herakles and a lion, with the legend ΛIBYΩN ("the Libyans"). Above the lion, the Phoenician letter M could stand for Mathos, a leader of the rebellion.
  • The ruins of Santa María de Óvila in Spain, shown more than 75 years after the most striking architectural features were removed by agents of William Randolph Hearst
    The ruins of Santa María de Óvila in Spain, shown more than 75 years after the most striking architectural features were removed by agents of William Randolph Hearst
  • Image 11The Oran fatwa was a responsum fatwa, or an Islamic legal opinion, issued in 1504 to address the crisis that occurred when Muslims in the Crown of Castile (in Spain) were forced to convert to Christianity in 1500–1502. The fatwa sets out detailed relaxations of the sharia (Islamic law) requirements, allowing the Muslims to conform outwardly to Christianity and perform acts that are ordinarily forbidden in Islamic law, when necessary to survive. It includes relaxed instructions for fulfilling the ritual prayers, the ritual charity, and the ritual ablution, and recommendations when obliged to violate Islamic law, such as worshipping as Christians, committing blasphemy, and consuming pork and wine. (Full article...)
    The Oran fatwa was a responsum fatwa, or an Islamic legal opinion, issued in 1504 to address the crisis that occurred when Muslims in the Crown of Castile (in Spain) were forced to convert to Christianity in 1500–1502. The fatwa sets out detailed relaxations of the sharia (Islamic law) requirements, allowing the Muslims to conform outwardly to Christianity and perform acts that are ordinarily forbidden in Islamic law, when necessary to survive. It includes relaxed instructions for fulfilling the ritual prayers, the ritual charity, and the ritual ablution, and recommendations when obliged to violate Islamic law, such as worshipping as Christians, committing blasphemy, and consuming pork and wine. (Full article...)
  • The western Mediterranean in 218 BC
    The western Mediterranean in 218 BC
  • An AMX-30E on display at the Museum of Armored Vehicles of El Goloso, in Spain
    An AMX-30E on display at the Museum of Armored Vehicles of El Goloso, in Spain
  • Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, oil on oak panels, 205.5 cm × 384.9 cm (81 in × 152 in), Museo del Prado, Madrid
    Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, oil on oak panels, 205.5 cm × 384.9 cm (81 in × 152 in), Museo del Prado, Madrid
  • Image 15Abu'l-Walid Ismail I ibn Faraj (Arabic: أبو الوليد إسماعيل الأول بن فرج, 3 March 1279 – 8 July 1325) was the fifth Nasrid ruler of the Emirate of Granada on the Iberian Peninsula from 1314 to 1325. A grandson of Muhammad II on the side of his mother Fatima, he was the first of the lineage of sultans now known as the al-dawla al-isma'iliyya al-nasriyya (the Nasrid dynasty of Ismail). Historians characterise him as an effective ruler who improved the emirate's position with military victories during his reign. (Full article...)
    Abu'l-Walid Ismail I ibn Faraj (Arabic: أبو الوليد إسماعيل الأول بن فرج, 3 March 1279 – 8 July 1325) was the fifth Nasrid ruler of the Emirate of Granada on the Iberian Peninsula from 1314 to 1325. A grandson of Muhammad II on the side of his mother Fatima, he was the first of the lineage of sultans now known as the al-dawla al-isma'iliyya al-nasriyya (the Nasrid dynasty of Ismail). Historians characterise him as an effective ruler who improved the emirate's position with military victories during his reign. (Full article...)
  • Northern Italy in 1494
    Northern Italy in 1494
  • Andalusian horse
    Andalusian horse
  • Lombardy in 1522. The location of the battle is marked.
    Lombardy in 1522. The location of the battle is marked.
  • The Western Mediterranean in 264 BC: Rome is shown in red, Carthage in grey, and Syracuse in green
    The Western Mediterranean in 264 BC: Rome is shown in red, Carthage in grey, and Syracuse in green
  • Map of the Greek and Latin states in southern Greece c. 1278
    Map of the Greek and Latin states in southern Greece c. 1278
  • View of Badajoz, across the Guadiana river from the foothills of the San Cristóbal heights, by Eugène-Ferdinand Buttura
    View of Badajoz, across the Guadiana river from the foothills of the San Cristóbal heights, by Eugène-Ferdinand Buttura
  • Image 22 The Third of May 1808 (also known as El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid or Los fusilamientos de la montaña del Príncipe Pío, or Los fusilamientos del tres de mayo) is a painting completed in 1814 by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon
  • Witches' Sabbath, 1821–1823. Oil on plaster wall, transferred to canvas; 140.5 × 435.7 cm (56 × 172 in). Museo del Prado, Madrid
    Witches' Sabbath, 1821–1823. Oil on plaster wall, transferred to canvas; 140.5 × 435.7 cm (56 × 172 in). Museo del Prado, Madrid
  • Image 24The Lince (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlinθe], meaning "Lynx") was a  Spanish development programme for a proposed main battle tank that unfolded during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The intention was to replace the M47 and M48 Patton tanks that the Spanish Army had received under the U.S. Mutual Defense Assistance Act between 1954 and 1975, and to complement the AMX-30E tanks manufactured for the army during the 1970s. Companies from several nations, such as German Krauss-Maffei, Spanish Santa Bárbara, and French GIAT, made bids for the development contract. The main priorities were mobility and firepower, with secondary priority placed on protection; the Lince tank was to have been lighter and faster than its competitors. The vehicle's size would also have been restricted by the Spanish rail and highway network. To achieve a sufficient level of firepower and protection, given the size requirements, the Lince was to use Rheinmetall's 120 mm L/44 tank-gun and German composite armour from the Leopard 2A4. (Full article...)
    The Lince (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlinθe], meaning "Lynx") was a Spanish development programme for a proposed main battle tank that unfolded during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The intention was to replace the M47 and M48 Patton tanks that the Spanish Army had received under the U.S. Mutual Defense Assistance Act between 1954 and 1975, and to complement the AMX-30E tanks manufactured for the army during the 1970s. Companies from several nations, such as German Krauss-Maffei, Spanish Santa Bárbara, and French GIAT, made bids for the development contract. The main priorities were mobility and firepower, with secondary priority placed on protection; the Lince tank was to have been lighter and faster than its competitors. The vehicle's size would also have been restricted by the Spanish rail and highway network. To achieve a sufficient level of firepower and protection, given the size requirements, the Lince was to use Rheinmetall's 120 mm L/44 tank-gun and German composite armour from the Leopard 2A4. (Full article...)
  • Spanish Leopard 2E in Zaragoza, June 2008
    Spanish Leopard 2E in Zaragoza, June 2008

Selected biography

Navarro pictured on the far right

Aguas Santas Ocaña Navarro (born April 23, 1963 in Brenes, Seville, Spain) was the first lady of Honduras. Aguas Santas, her double given name means "holy waters" in Spanish. Navarro was the wife of former President Ricardo Maduro, marrying him when he was already President in October 2002 after meeting him during a 2 year stint working in the Spanish embassy in Tegucigalpa. She received dual Spanish-Honduran citizenship in 2004.

She and her husband legally adopted five children, two of whom had their families murdered but she now has 13 children in her care, all of whom accompanied her to Nicaragua on January 27, 2006, the day she ceased being first lady. She will work there with Nicaraguan children in need, and will help the wife of Nicaragua's President Enrique Bolaños. The five children legally adopted are called Leidy Jackeline, Kevin Josué, Francis, Joan and Jackie. During 2003, Ocaña Navarro returned to live in Spain for a short period of time, sparking rumours that she and her husband were about to divorce. The separation was allegedly provoked because Ricardo Maduro named a former girlfriend, Mireya Batres, to be Honduras' Minister of Culture. Batres was sacked and she returned.

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31 August 2022 –
One person is killed and 50 others are injured by a hailstorm in Catalonia, Spain. This is the first direct hail-related death in Europe since 1997. (BBC News)

31 August 2022 –
One person is killed and 50 others are injured by a hailstorm in Catalonia, Spain. This is the first direct hail-related death in Europe since 1997. (BBC News)

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  1. ^ "Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)" (Database). United States National Hurricane Center. 23 November 2020.