Spain (Spanish: España; IPA: [esˈpaɲa]) is a country in southern 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.
The Libro de los juegos, ("Book of games"), or Libro de acedrex, dados e tablas, ("Book of chess, dice and tables") was commissioned by Alfonso X, king of León and Castile, during the 13th century and completed in 1283. It consists of 98 pages, many with color illustrations. The games covered include chess (including the earliest known European chess problems), dice, and tables (the family of games that includes backgammon). The book contains the earliest known description of some of these games, including many games imported from the Arab kingdoms.
It is one of the most important documents for researching the history of board games. The only known original is held in the library of the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial near Madrid in Spain. The book is bound in sheepskin and is 40 cm high and 28 cm wide (16 in × 11 in). A 1334 copy is held in the library of the Historical Academy of Madrid. Alfonso was likely influenced by his contact with scholars in the Arab world. Unlike many contemporary texts on the topic, he does not engage the games in the text with moralistic arguments; instead, he portrays them in an astrological context
Lope de Aguirre (c. 1510 – 27 October 1561) was a SpanishBasqueconquistador in South America. Sent, along other rebellious settlers, to an impossible mission in search of the mythical Eldorado in the Amazon river, he eventually became their leader and rebelled against Philip II, being finally defeated and slain. Aguirre was born circa 1510 in Araotz Valley, in the Basque province of Guipúzcoa, part of the kingdom of Castile. (Today, Araotz belongs to the near municipality of Oñati, in northern Spain.) He was the son of a nobleman, with some culture, possibly from a family of court clerks. Aguirre was in his twenties and living in Seville when Hernándo Pizarro returned from Peru and brought back the treasures of the Incas, inspiring Aguirre to follow in his footsteps.
Aguirre probably enlisted himself in an expedition of 250 men chosen under Rodrigo Buran. He arrived in Peru in 1536 or 1537. In Cuzco, among other activities, Aguirre was responsible for the training of stallions. As a conquistador, however, he soon became infamous for his violence, cruelty and sedition. In 1544, Aguirre was at the side of Peru's first viceroy, Blasco Núñez Vela, who had arrived from Spain with orders to implement the New Laws, suppress the Encomiendas, and liberate the natives.
There are so many beautiful parts of the world... Thailand, Italy, the south of France. There are places in Spain that are astonishing. But here . . . 25 miles and you go up on Mount Tam to see the fog come in; 25 miles the other direction and you're somewhere else that takes your breath away. There's no question this is where I want to live. Never has been.