Spain Religion and Languages

By | March 5, 2021

According to Countryaah, in the 9th and 8th centuries BCE, the Celts settled in the central and western parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Around the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, Iberian culture developed in the southern peninsula. The mix of these two peoples created the so-called Celtic-Iberian people colonized by the Phoenicians, Greeks and later Romans.

The collapse of the Roman Empire temporally coincided with the expansion of Christianity and the invasion of Germanic peoples that ravaged Europe. In the Iberian Peninsula, this development culminated with Gothic invasion. The Goths ruled the peninsula over the following three centuries.

Official Language of Spain

Arab colonization

In the 7th century, the peninsula was invaded by the Arabs who brought down the Goths’ last king, Rodrigo. The following 8 centuries, the peninsula was under Muslim domination. The descendants of the Goths concentrated in the north of the country and organized the kingdoms of Castile, Cataluña, Navarre, Aragon, León and Portugal. Over the centuries, a slow association occurred, which was consolidated in the fight against the Arabs.

The Arabs called the southern part of the Iberian peninsula for Al-Andalus. In the 10th century, Al-Andalus reached its peak. In stark contrast to the rest of Europe, which was rural and poor, its cities developed thriving – especially Córdoba – thanks to trade down the Orient. The religious tolerance allowed Muslims, Jews and Christians to live side by side in the development of science, medicine and philosophy. The classical Greek thinkers were copied and translated, thus paving the way for European rebirth in the 15th century.

1492 Spain gathers

In 1492 Spain was characterized by 3 parallel processes of national reunification. This was partly the marriage between Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón, partly the expulsion of the Moors (Arabs) and finally the conquest and subsequent colonization of the new territories in America. The creation of the Spanish kingdom and a united political power took place at the same time as the Jews and other peoples who had inhabited the peninsula for centuries were displaced, and finally the Inquisition was initiated. At the same time, the colonies of America provided the colonial power with a continued flow of precious metals that enabled the 3 century economic boom. Native American cultures were subjected to double oppression by being subjected to evangelism and by forced labor, which caused most of them to succumb.

The economic prosperity created by the slave labor in the colonies led in Spain to a comprehensive development of the arts and especially of literature. The 16th and 17th centuries are therefore referred to as the Spanish Golden Age. In the 18th century, the Borbond dynasty entered Spain. It reorganized the country’s administration, the colonies of America, and ruled on “spiritually inspired principles.” In the end, the ideas of the French Revolution spread throughout Europe and America, and the subsequent Napoleonic expansion into the Iberian Peninsula weakened the ties between the colonial power and its colonies, which immediately began a longer struggle for independence.

The end of Napoleonic rule was followed by struggles between liberal sectors that wanted modernization and conservative sectors that wanted to preserve traditional order. Throughout the 19th century, Spain lost its colonies in America and had to begin to find its place in the new world order.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Spain was characterized by a deep political, social and economic crisis, which was only exacerbated by the First World War. In a situation of extreme polarization, in 1923, a coup d’état was carried out which brought the Primo de Rivera dictatorship to power. It sought to curb the development of working-class and autonomy requirements in the regions. The dictatorship had many similarities with the fascists in Italy, but collapsed in 1931. More because of internal contradictions between the forces that supported it – the church, the military and industrial bourgeoisie – than because of the opposition of the political and trade union opposition. The collapse of the dictatorship was at the same time the death knell for the monarchy that had supported it, and a Republican term began.

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Country data

Area: 505,944 km2 (world ranking: 51)

Residents: 46,572,000

Population density: 92 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 30)

Capital: Madrid

Official languages: Spanish, Catalan / Valencian (regional), Galician (regional), Basque (regional)

Gross domestic product: 1164 billion. Euro; Real growth: 3.1%

Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): US $ 27,180

Currency: 1 euro (Euro) = 100 cents

Embassy

Lichtensteinallee 1, 10787 Berlin
Telephone 030 2540070,
Fax 030 25799557
www.spanischebotschaft.de

Government
Head of State: Felipe VI. de Borbón y Grecia, Head of Government: Pedro Sánchez Pérez- Castejón, Exterior: Josep Borrell i Fontelles

National holiday: 12.10. (Discovery of America by Columbus in 1492)

Administrative structure
17 autonomous communities, 52 provinces including the exclaves

State and form of government
Constitution of 1978
Parliamentary monarchy
Parliament (Cortes Generales): House of Representatives (Congreso de los Diputados) with 350 members; Senate (Senado) with 266 members (208 directly, 58 indirectly elected); Election every 4 years. Right to
vote from 18 years.

Population: Spaniards, last census 2011: 46,815,919 residents; Ceuta: 83,517 pop.; Melilla: population 81,323.
Proportion of foreigners 2017: 9.5%

Cities (with population): Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as of 2017: 377,650 residents and Santa Cruz de Tenerife as of 2017: 203,692 residents

Religions: 68% Catholics; Minorities of Protestants, Muslims, Jews and others; 27% without religion (as of 2006)

Languages: Spanish (Castellano); Recognized minority languages: Catalan, Galician, Valencian, Basque, Aranese, Asturian, Berber, Aragonese, Portuguese, Arabic (Ceuta and Melilla), Caló, Romanes

Employees by economic sector: Agriculture. 4%, industry 20%, business 76% (2017)

Unemployment (in% of all labor force): 2017: 17.2%

Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 2.0%

Foreign trade: import: 310.4 billion euros (2017); Export: 283.7 billion euros (2017)

Spain Population by Religion