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Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: España, Reino de España, is a country located in Southern Europe, with two small exclaves in North Africa (both bordering Morocco). The mainland of Spain is bounded on the south and east by Mediterranean Sea (containing the Balearic Islands), on the north by the Cantabrian Sea and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean (containing the Canary Islands off the African coast). Spain shares land borders with Portugal, France, Andorra, Gibraltar and Morocco. It is the larger of two sovereign states that make up the Iberian Peninsula — the other is Portugal.

Different cultures have settled in the area of modern Spain, such as the Celts, Iberians, Romans, Visigoths, and Moors. For just over five centuries, during the Middle Ages, large areas were under the control of Islamic rulers, a fragment of which survived as late as 1492, when the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragón completed the 770 years long process of driving the Moors out. That same year, Christopher Columbus reached the New World, leading to the creation of the world-wide Spanish Empire.

Spain became the most powerful country in Europe, but continued wars and other problems gradually reduced Spain to a diminished status. The 20th century was dominated in the middle years by the Franco dictatorship; with the dawn of a stable democracy in 1978, and having joined what is now known as the European Union in 1986, Spain has enjoyed an economic and cultural renaissance.

There are a number of hypotheses as to the origin of the Roman name "Hispania", the root of the Spanish name España and the English name Spain.

Spain is a democracy which is organized as a parliamentary monarchy. It is a developed country with the eighth-largest economy in the world.

At 194,884 mi² (504,782 km²), Spain is the world's 51st-largest country. It is comparable in size to Turkmenistan, and somewhat larger than the US state of California.

On the west, Spain borders Portugal, on the south, it borders Gibraltar (a British overseas territory) and Morocco, through its cities in North Africa (Ceuta and Melilla). On the northeast, along the Pyrenees mountain range, it borders France and the tiny principality of Andorra.

Spain also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and a number of uninhabited islands on the Mediterranean side of the strait of Gibraltar, known as Plazas de soberanía, such as the Chafarine islands, the isle of Alborán, the "rocks" (peñones) of Vélez and Alhucemas, and the tiny Isla Perejil. In the northeast along the Pyrenees, a small exclave town called Llívia in Catalonia is surrounded by French territory.

Mainland Spain is dominated by high plateaus and mountain ranges, such as the Sierra Nevada. Running from these heights are several major rivers such as the Tajo, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir. Alluvial plains are found along the coast, the largest of which is that of the Guadalquivir in Andalusia.

Due to Spain's geographical situation and orographic conditions, the climate is extremely diverse; it can be roughly divided in three areas:

A temperate version of the Continental climate takes place in the inland areas of the Peninsula (largest city, Madrid).

The Mediterranean climate region, which roughly extends from the Andalusian plain along the southern and eastern coasts up to the Pyrenees, on the seaward side of the mountain ranges that parallel the coast (largest city, Barcelona).
An Oceanic climate takes place in Galicia and the coastal strip by the Bay of Biscay (largest city, Bilbao). This is an area often called Green Spain.

Territorial disputes

Territories claimed by Spain
Spain has called for the return of Gibraltar, a small but strategic British overseas territory near the Strait of Gibraltar. An overwhelming majority of Gibraltar's 30,000 inhabitants want to remain British, as they have repeatedly proven in referenda on the issue. UN resolutions call on the UK and Spain to reach an agreement to resolve their differences over Gibraltar.

Spanish territories claimed by other countries
Morocco claims the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the lesser plazas de soberanía off the northern coast of Africa. Portugal does not recognize Spain's sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza.

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