Geography of Spain
The Spain is a country open on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. It occupies, with the Portugal, the Iberian peninsula. The chain of the the Pyrenees mark the border with the France in north. In the south, the Straits of Gibraltar separates it from the Morocco. Extended on 504.782 km ², it includes/understands archipelagoes (Balearic Islands, the Canaries) and two Enclave S in Africa (Ceuta and Melilla). Spain is in peripheral situation of Europe. Its political regime is that of the Constitutional monarchy. The government and the central institutions sit at Madrid. It is organized in autonomous communities, on the federal model . Lastly, Spain belongs to the Mediterranean world by its history, its culture and its physical environment.
See also: List of extreme points of Spain
- Length of the borders: : 6885 km
- Length of the coasts of the peninsula: : 4872 km, of which Mediterranean coast: : 2058 km
- Land borders: : 2013 km
- including 720 km with France and Andorra
- : 1292 km with Portugal
- Latitudes: 43°48' NR/27°38' NR
- Longitudes: 18°10' W/4°20' E
Mulhacén (: 3478 meters) located at the south of Spain in the chain of the Sierra Nevada. Most of Spain is occupied by the plates of the Meseta in the center, bordered by assembly lines. The valleys narrow and are located near the littoral or of the rivers. The largest plain is in the south, around the estuary of the Guadalquivir, in the area of Seville.
- assembly lines in Spain:
- Balearic Islands:
- Majorque : Sierra of Tramontana; Sierras of Levante
- the Canaries:
The Spanish littoral:
Distribution and forced ic ClimateThe provinces which receive the most Précipitation S in one year are located at the North-West (area of Vigo between: 1800 and: 2000 mm/an) while the driest areas are the Canaries and the surroundings of Almeria (less than 200 mm/an).
The coldest areas are the Pyrenees and the center of Spain (Guadalajara); the hottest areas and sunniest are the Canaries and Andalusia.
- high-altitudes of the Pyrenees have a mountain climate.
- In the center: semi-continental Climate (area of Madrid, Castille it Sleeve)
- In the east and the south: Mediterranean Climate; the arid area more , the Deserted of Tabernas, is around Almería in Andalusia. These areas are threatened by the risks of Incendie S in summer and of Crue in autumn. The floods of 1982 with Valence had caused the overflow of the Júcar and about thirty deaths. The forest fires of 2005 burned more: 1300 km ² and killed eleven firemen in the center of the country (Province of Guadalajara).
See also: List of the rivers of Spain
the principal rivers which run in Spain are:
the Tage (: 1006 km)
- the Èbre (928 km)
- the Douro (850 km)
- the Guadiana (744 km)
- the Guadalquivir (657 km)
- the Jucar (498 km)
- the Segura (325 km)
- Mediterranean Medium: on the Mediterranean coast and the south of Spain, one finds the Mediterranean landscapes. Narrow plains are located between the sea and a mountainous back-country. The scrubland and the maquis form the essence of the natural vegetation.
Spanish national parks:
- Parks Nacional de Aigüestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici, Catalogne
- Parque Nacional del Archipiélago de Cabrera, Balearic Islands
- Parque Nacional de Cabañeros, Castille it Manche
- Parque Nacional of Caldera de Taburiente, Palma, the Canaries
- Parque Nacional de Doñana, Andalusia
- Parque Nacional Garajonay, island of Will gum It, the Canaries
- Parque Nacional of mow Islas Atlánticas de Galicia, Galicia
- Parque Nacional Ordesa there Monte Perdido, Aragon
- Parque Nacional Picos de Europa, Asturies, Castille and León, Cantabrie
- Park Nacional Sierra Nevada, Andalusia
- Parque Nacional of mow Tablas of Daimiel, Castille it Manche
- Parque Nacional del Teide, island of Tenerife, the Canaries
- Parque Nacional Timanfaya, island of Lanzarote, the Canaries
Pattern of the settlement and demography
- See the detailed article Demography of Spain
The center of the country is populated little, the Spaniards concentrate in the plains and the valleys, except Madrid. The population doubled throughout XXe century, especially thanks to the Baby-boom of the years 1960 and the beginning of the year 1970. The country n´a be ravaged by the two world wars, but was for a long time a ground d emigration, because of the economic crisis of the XIXe century until in the years 1970-1980. Since the years 1980, fertility rate s´est broken down and the population viellit notably.
But the population increased all the same thanks to the return of Spanish emigrants. Since l´entrée in the European Union, l economy took again strength and the country passed from ground d emigration to ground d immigration. Many immigrants come from Latin America (38%) of North Africa (14%), of Europe of the East (16%) and of Black Africa (4%).
Half of the Spanish grounds are not cultivated because of the dryness. The breeding is practiced in the Pyrenees and all north, because of the oceanic climate. Cereal agriculture dominates in Aragon and a Castille-Leon. The irrigated Mediterranean Mixed-farming and commercial cultures find their place in the south in the east. Spain exports citrus fruits and early products in the rest of Europe
The industrial areas most dynamic are around the capital and of Barcelona. Saragossa and Valence is two other secondary industrial poles. The Heavy industry related to the areas of Gijon and Bilbao on the Atlantic coast. After several years of crisis which appeared by the fall of its population (: 433000 inhabitants in 1981: 352000 in 2004), Bilbao knows an urban revival. The Guggenheim museum is the symbol of the reconversion of the city in the tertiary sector. The port extended towards the sea Cantabrique. The municipality also put on the rise of the university of Deusto. A new terminal opened with the airport to face the increase in the number of tourists. Multinational firms of the car settled in Valladolid (Renault), with Vigo (Peugeot), with Martorell (Seat) or in Valence (Ford).
For aeronautics and high technology, the sites of Getafe (community of Madrid), Illescas and Puerto Real (Andalusia) take part in the manufacture of the planes Airbus. Spain opened its economy as from the years 1960 and more surely after its adhesion with the EEC in 1986. Madrid is the principal university center and of the businesses but the tertiary sector is also developed in Barcelona. This city accommodated the Olympic Games in 1992.
Spain is the second host country of the tourists after France. It profits indeed from various assets: the Mediterranean coasts offer famous beaches and seaside resorts (Marbella, Malaga, Benidorm, Palma). The Balearic Islands are opened to the tourists of Northern Europe. The tourist consequences of the development are important: it is about an important source of incomes. But the marbellisation and the problems of management of water are also felt. The tourists also visit cities with the rich inheritance, classified with the inheritance of Humanity (Segovia, Saint-Jacques-with-Compostelle, Ávila, Cáceres (Spain), Salamanque, Tolède, Cordoue, Alcalá de Henares).
Geography of transportThe network of the highways radiates starting from Madrid. The transverse connections are rare (Bilbao-Valladolid; Bilbao-Saragossa-Barcelona). The other important ways borrow the littoral and the river valleys. The AVE, train at high speed Spanish, connects Madrid to Cordoue and Seville.
The International airport of Madrid-Barajas accommodates 40 million travellers per annum. The airport of Balearic Islands is not in remainder.
- See the article List of the Spanish main cities
- the Roman influence is still visible in several urban sites (Aqueduc of Segovia, bridge with Cordoue, ramparts of Lugo, vestiges with Tolède and Tarragone…). It attaches the Spanish cities to the other Mediterranean cities.
- the arabo-Moslem woman influence is especially felt in Andalusia. The mosques (transformed into churches with Reconquista), the alcazar still punctuate the urban landscape of Seville, Tolède (Bab Mardum) or Cordoue (Grande mosque of Cordoue).
- the medieval influence: several cities preserved their walls; the Middle Ages are the time of the extension of the Gothic by north.
- the golden age of Spain: with the surge of the noble metals of the Spanish empire, the face of the cities changes. Philippe II installs his court with Madrid.
- the modern Urbanisme is expressed in particular in Barcelona: at the XIXe century, Ildefons Cerdà leans on the district of the Eixample.
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