Portal:Spain

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THE SPAIN PORTAL
EL PORTAL DE ESPAÑA

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Spain (Spanish: España; IPA: [esˈpaɲa]), officially the Kingdom of Spain is a country in southern Europe. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. The country consists of Peninsular Spain which is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, two archipelagos, one in each sea, and two autonomous cities in North Africa. The mainland area of Spain is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the southern and eastern areas, the Cantabric Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Spain is organised as a parliamentary democracy and is a constitutional monarchy. Spain has been a member of the European Union since 1986 and is a developed country, with the ninth largest economy in the world and fifth largest in the EU. With an area of 504,030 km², Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (behind France).

Spain flourished under the Roman empire Hispania, thus becoming one of the Empire's most important regions at the time. During the times of the Middle Ages, Spain was under Germanic rule, only later to become under ruling of the Islamic caliphate. Spain emerged as a unified country in the 15th century, following the completion of the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula in 1492. Conversely, it has been an important source of influence to other regions, chiefly during the Modern Era, when it became a global empire that has left a legacy of over 500 million Spanish speakers today, making it the world's second most spoken first language.

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The museum

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the official name of Spain's national museum of 20th century art. The museum is commonly referred to as Museo Reina Sofía, Queen Sofia Museum, or The Sofia. The museum was inaugurated on 10 September 1992 and is name after Queen Sofia of Spain. The museum is located in Madrid at the southern area of the 'Golden Triangle of Art'.

The museum focuses mainly on Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain's two greatest 20th century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Certainly the most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso's great painting Guernica. The Reina Sofía also has fine collections of the works of Juan Gris, Joan Miró, Julio González, Eduardo Chillida, Antoni Tàpies, Pablo Gargallo, Pablo Serrano, Lucio Muñoz, Luis Gordillo, Jorge Oteiza, José Gutiérrez Solana and many other significant artists. Foreign artists are few, but there are works by Robert Delaunay, Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, Jacques Lipchniz, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, cubist still lifes by Georges Braque and a large work by Francis Bacon.

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Alhambra
Credit: Ra-smit

The Alhambra (Arabic: الحمراء = Al-Ħamrā; literally "the red") is a palace and fortress complex of the Moorish monarchs of Granada in southern Spain (known as Al-Andalus when the fortress was constructed), occupying a hilly terrace on the southeastern border of the city of Granada.

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Ángel Sanz Briz (Zaragoza, September 28, 1910 - June 11, 1980) was a Spanish diplomat during World War II who helped save many Hungarian Jews from Nazi persecution. After studying law, his first diplomatic posting was to Cairo. He was sent to Budapest in 1942 where he is credited with saving the lives of 5,200 Jews from the Holocaust by using his influence and the facilities of the Spanish embassy. In 1944, as the Red Army approached Budapest, he was ordered to leave for Switzerland. Giorgio Perlasca, an Italian veteran of the Spanish War, continued his labor with fake documents.

After these events, Briz continued his diplomatic career: he was posted to San Francisco and Washington, Lima, Bern, Bayonne, Guatemala, The Hague, Brussels and China (1973, where he became the first Spanish ambassador). In 1976, he was sent to Rome as Ambassador of Spain before the Holy See, where he died on June 11, 1980. Briz Briz himself tells how he was able to save the lives of so many Jews, in Federico Ysart's book "Los judíos en España" (1973). In 1991, Briz was recognized by the Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem of Israel, and gave his heirs the title of Righteous Among the Nations. In 1994, the Hungarian government gave him the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.

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In Spain, the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world.
Federico García Lorca

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