Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España), is a country on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe 47,370,542 (2013) inhabitants and an area of 505 992 km². It occupies roughly 80% of the Iberian Peninsula. Beyond that also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the Spanish exclaves in North Africa in the country.
In northeast Spain borders France and Andorra, along the entire length of the Pyrenees, in the west to Portugal in the south to the British colony of Gibraltar and through the enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta in Morocco. The capital of Spain is Madrid, a city of more than 3 million inhabitants located in the middle of the country.
Spain is a diverse country with very different cultures, languages, eating habits and climates. The land ranges from the rainy fishing villages in Galicia to the nightlife of Madrid, the tourist shores of the Mediterranean to the flamenco dance of Andalusia and of bullfighting in many parts of the country to the modern Barcelona in Catalonia.
Like the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain is a constitutional parliamentary monarchy. Spain joined NATO in 1982 and is a member of the European Union since 1986. The euro was the Spanish currency on January 1, 2002, replacing the peseta.
Besides Spanish (Castilian) are Catalan, Basque and Galician-called “co-official” languages of the country.
The name of Spain (Spanish: España) is derived from the Latin name Hispania, which was used for the entire Iberian Peninsula. Linguistically this name comes not from the Latin, and also with other Indo-European languages is no clear link to designate. Consequently there are several theories about the origin of the word Hispania. One of the theories is that the name comes from the Greek. The Greeks would have given the name to the current Hesperia Italy and Spain, as both countries were west of a given star (called Esperos). The word Hesperia would later be corrupted into Hispania. According to the most accepted theory, however, the name comes from the Phoenicians, a people who once inhabited the current Spain. According to this theory, this is due to the large number of rabbits that they found on the Iberian Peninsula. The Phoenician language was closely related to Hebrew, and in which language they spoke about Spain as I sphanim, which literally means’ rock ties. The hyrax was a common animal in Lebanon, the country of origin of the Phoenicians, but when they discovered the rabbit in Spain, an animal unknown to them, they gave the same name. Therefore, they referred back to Spain as I sphanim whose Latin Hispania would be distracted.