People from around Spain are often called "Iberians" after one of the first known peoples to live there. Over the centuries, their culture mixed with that of the Celtics, Romans, Arabs and Berbers from North Africa. Religion and politics have always had a close relationship in Spain, with mass conversions first to Islam, then to Catholicism.
Take a closer look at the corner of the world that brought you the siesta and made Christopher Columbus famous.
A closer look 說古論今
Spain has been an exciting cultural hub for most of its existence. The Islamic capital of Cordoba was at one point probably the largest city in the world, and its civilization certainly one of the world、s most advanced. The devotion to philosophy and the arts of that time helped push the rest of Europe into the Renaissance. Today, 94 percent of the population is Roman Catholic. Interestingly, although often unified throughout history by things like religion, royal marriages, politics and culture, the different kingdoms of Spain did not become an absolutely unified country until the early 1700、s, although Spain played an important role in European politics long before that. Even now, the regions of Spain still have a lot of autonomy.
Like other western European countries, Spain played a big role in the colonization of America, which was then called the New World. Isabella I of Castile not only paid for Christopher Columbus、 famous trip, but during her marriage to Ferdinand of Aragon, the two major kingdoms of Spain were joined under one "Spanish" rule.The coutry、s struggle for a system that allows for both a national and regional identity, peace, security and prosperity is still something that Spain, like many countries, is working for today.Spain is known the world over for the quality of life its citizens live, the Mediterranean flavor of its south and the role the country played in shaping the world map as we know it today.
Size: 504,782km2, about 14 times the size of Taiwan
Location: Southwestern Europe
Border countries: Andorra, France, Portugal and Morocco
Languages: Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque
Government: Parliamentary monarchy
Currency: Spain has used the euro since 1999. One euro equals about NT$42.