Spain is located in the southwestern part of Europe. It occupies about 85 percent of the Iberian Peninsula stretching south from the Pyrenees Mountains to the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain from Africa. To the east lies the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain’s Balearic Islands. To the west is Portugal. Spain also rules two cities in North Africa and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.
The history of Spain dates back to the Antiquity when the pre-Roman peoples of the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula made contact with the Greeks and Phoenicians and the first writing systems known as Paleohispanic scripts were developed.
The many and varied cultures that have gone into the making of Spain—those of the Castilians, Catalonians, Lusitanians, Galicians, Basques, Romans, Arabs, Jews, and Roma (Gypsies), among other peoples—are renowned for their varied cuisines, customs, and prolific contributions to the world’s artistic heritage. Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga on the south coast and Salvador Dalí was born in Figures near Barcelona in 1904.
Of Note: Flamenco dancing has its origins in the Romani gypsy music of Eastern Europe. The sound of flamenco is uniquely Spanish – and more specifically unique to Andalucia, Extremadura, and Murcia. Flamenco is made up of six parts: singing, guitar, dance, vocals, hand-clapping, and finger snapping. It is celebrated and practiced all over the world.
Culture Name: Spanish
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