España, THE BULL SKIN
On the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is a conglomerate of regions shaped by its past, as well as varied climates and geography. The people value their unique heritage and are passionate about their individual region or home town, so “Spanish” is a general term referring to many cultures within the country.
Spain has culturally enriched diversity with distinct languages, traditions, food and architecture in its geographic area. Integral to the culture is an appreciation for fresh quality ingredients in its cuisine and a relaxed lifestyle.
Distinct autonomous regions have developed over an extensive history, influence of its neighbors—France and Andorra beyond the Pyrenees to the north, Portugal along the western edge of the Iberian Peninsula, and Africa with Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar—as well as a prior Moorish presence.
Although Castilian Spanish is the official language of the whole, other languages are also official in certain regions: Catalan in Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands; Galician in Galicia; Basque in Basque Country and Navarre. Andalusia is heavily influenced by the Moors and Islamic architecture.
Regions and Autonomous Communities of Spain
♦ Northeast Spain
Catalonia, Aragon — Barcelona
♦ North Spain
Basque Country, Navarre, La Rioja
♦ Northwest Spain
Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria
♦ Balearic Islands
♦ East Spain
Valencia, Murcia — València (city)
♦ Central Spain
Community of Madrid, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León, Extremadura