Spain


About Spain

Spain is a member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar; to the north by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the northwest and west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal. Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that border Morocco. With an area of 504,030 kmĀ², Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union after France. Because of its location, the territory of Spain was subject to many external influences, often simultaneously, since prehistoric times and through the dawn of Spain as a country. Conversely, the country itself has been an important source of influence to other regions, chiefly during the Modern Era, when it became a global empire that has left a legacy of over 400 million Spanish speakers today, making it the world's second most spoken first language. On the west, Spain borders Portugal; on the south, it borders Gibraltar and Morocco, through its cities in North Africa. On the northeast, along the Pyrenees mountain range, it borders France and the tiny principality of Andorra. Due to Spain's geographical situation and orographic conditions, the climate is extremely diverse; discounting the mountain climate, it can be roughly divided into five areas.