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Introduction The Kingdom of Spain also simply known as Spain is located at the crossroads of European and African civilizations Over the course of its entire history Spain has enjoyed a truly rich and complex history having been invaded inhabited and dominated by both European as well as non-European civilizations It was Spains location at the narrow Gibraltar which perhaps provided for the nations interaction with a number of pre-classical and classical civilizations A brief on the geography of Spain shows that she is located in the southwestern part of the European continent at the Iberian Peninsula occupying some 80 percent of this Peninsula The remaining 20 percent are occupied by neighboring country of Portugal On the north Spain has common borders with France and Andorra with the Pyrennes range of mountains serving as their natural frontiers In addition the Balearic Islands of Mallorca Menorca and Ibiza located in the Mediterranean Sea the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the Islands of Ceuta and Melilla located in northern Africa are also part of the Spanish dominion today A comparison with her European neighbors Spain enjoys the position of being the 3 largest nation while standing 5th as far as her population is taken into account The topography of Spain also shows that it is home to Europes five big mountain ranges of which some 50 percent are located at elevated plain However the landscape of each has extreme variations from green and fertile to almost desert-like in addition to the long coastline overlooking the Mediterranean Sea Yahoo-Spain 2004 CIA World Fact Book 2001 Coutsoukis 2004 A brief on the climate of Spain shows that she has three types of climates namely continental maritime and Mediterranean However the majority of the peninsular Spain is covered by the continental climate which is characterized by wide diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature and by low irregular rainfall including high rates of evaporation which results in an arid
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