For many of us, Spain is associated with bullfighting, amazing beaches, legendary football clubs, colorful traditions, majestic historical monuments and rich natural attractions. All these associations are inextricably linked with the geographical position of the country.
If you open the geographical map of Europe and carefully look at the outlines of the borders of Spain, you will notice that the contours of the country are somewhat reminiscent of the stretched skin of a bull. And if you leave the map and spin the globe, it becomes obvious: Spain — it is a kind of bridge between Europe and Africa.
Located in the Mediterranean climatic region, Spain is one of the warmest countries on the European continent. Despite the fact that in summer the temperature here often reaches 40 ° C, five millennia ago, at the foot of the majestic Pyrenees mountains, the ancient Iberian tribes appeared, which were replaced centuries later by the Celts.
Meanwhile, the climate of Spain is very diverse and in many ways even contradictory. The northwestern part of the country is characterized by a humid and mild climate, due to the proximity of the Atlantic. In the central part of the country, on the contrary, there is little precipitation. And the inhabitants of such territories as the Aragonese Plain and Old Castile are well aware of what a real winter is with severe frost and piercing wind.
Spain is not only diverse in climate, but also in landscape. The country can rightly be called Europe in miniature. To verify this, it is enough to drive along it from north to south. Green hills, reminiscent of Ireland, are replaced by snow-capped mountain peaks, similar to the Swiss Alps, and the southern coast — it is already a part of the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. This similarity is confirmed by the preserved Moorish palaces and the ruins of the era of the Roman Empire.
Alpine Pyrenees or Pyrenean Alps?.. It is difficult to say which of these comparisons is the most correct. The fact is that Spain, after Switzerland, is the most mountainous European country. Most of it is occupied by mountain ranges with snow-white caps, as well as high plateaus. The most majestic mountain range in Spain is the Pyrenees. This mountain system, located on the border with France and Andorra, was the reason that Spain for many centuries lived politically and socially isolated from central Europe.
The Pyrenees consist of several ranges that stretch for 450 kilometers from west to east. Despite their relatively low peaks (the largest peak of Aneto reaches 3405 meters above sea level), the Pyrenees are difficult to access. This is precisely what can explain the long land isolation of Spain.
Along with the Pyrenees, the Iberian and Catalan mountains are located on the territory of the country, approaching the Mediterranean Sea with their southern slopes. There are many legends and legends associated with the Spanish mountains. The most famous legend tells about the origin of the name Pyrenees on behalf of the heroine of ancient mythology Pyrenees. Continuing the mountain theme, it should be noted that Madrid is the highest European capital – it is located at an altitude of 667 meters above sea level.
The mentioned isolation of Spain in the old days did not affect the development and power of the state. The decisive role was played by access to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, where the Bolearic and Canary Islands, which are part of the kingdom, are located. Spain has long been known as a maritime power, so there are many ports on its territory, the largest of which are – Bilbao and Barcelona.
Thanks to the Strait of Gibraltar, which is about 14 kilometers wide, the local population has maintained close ties with the inhabitants of the African continent for many centuries. There are a number of uninhabited islands in the Strait of Gibraltar that are also part of Spain.
The total length of the coast of Spain is about 5 thousand kilometers. Excellent beaches with numerous resorts (Costa Blanca, etc.) stretch for hundreds of kilometers. It is not surprising that Spain occupies a leading position in the world in terms of the number of tourists. At least 50 million people visit it annually, mostly – residents of EU countries.
However, tourists tend not only to the Cote d'Azur of Spain. Thousands of ski lovers come to Spain every year for holidays. The resorts located near Granada are especially famous. In addition to the mountains, the relief of Spain is also characterized by a large Andalusian lowland, located in the south of the country, as well as the Aragonese plain in the Ebro River valley in the northeast.
The location of Spain determines not only the diversity of its rich historical and cultural heritage, but also the peculiarities of the local flora and fauna. Many countries have their own animal and plant symbols. If we talk about Spain, then first of all it is worth mentioning the bull. Specific symbols exist for individual regions and cities. For example, Madrid's Puerta del Sol is decorated with a sculpture depicting a bear near a strawberry tree. It is these trees that grow in the Sierra Morena mountains. But the most common forests in Spain are evergreen oak.
Ash, birch and chestnut, typical for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, also grow in the mountain forests of Spain, which once again testifies in favor of the uniqueness of the geographical position of the state. The southern part of the country abounds with typical Mediterranean shrubs and herbs. In addition to the brown bear, wolves, lynxes, foxes, hares, deer, squirrels are found here. Live in Spain and dozens of species of birds, insects and reptiles. Some of them are also found on the African coast.
The peculiarity of the geographical position of Spain has made this country the way we know it well: unique, affordable, but at the same time, mysterious and stunningly beautiful!
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