The beautiful Andalusia lies at the south of Spain. It stretches into 87,268 square kilometers beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, which lies in a strategic water passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
In land size, Andalucia is larger than many European countries, such as Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Slovakia and Switzerland. There are more than 79 million inhabitants on this area.
The coastline of the beautiful Andalusia stretches to 1,200 kilometers, where many touristy activities run in the hot tourism season, along the coast, inside the beautiful historical cities, the white villages and on the nearby islands.
The Strait of Gibraltar is very narrow between Morocco at the south of it and Spain at the north of it. Gibraltar was named after Tariq ibn-Ziyad, the conqueror of Spain, who crossed from Morocco / the Maghrib in Arabic to conquer Aspania or Espania, or as combined called Bilad Al-Andalus (in Arabic) in the eighth century. So the strait has taken his name too.
The beautiful Andalusia is one of the beautiful regions in Spain and is also the most populous and the second largest community among seventeen autonomous communities in Spain. Each one of these communities has its own legislative power, judicial power and executive power controlled by regional governments.
In 1978, fifty provinces were reformed to make the seventeen communities. However, the historic communities have been known as Andalusia, which we cover here, in addition to the Basque Country at the north, which has given the Spanish nationality according to the Spanish Constitution of 1978, and Catalonia at the northeast of Spain and Galicia at the northwest.
These communities include Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Balearic Islands, Basque Country, Canarian Islands, Castile-La Mancha, Castile and Leon, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarre and Valencian Community. Each community has its own capital city, except the Canarian Islands, as they have two capitals.
Some capital cities of the communities take the name of the community. For example, Madrid is the capital city of Madrid. Murcia is the capital city of Murcia. The Valencian capital city is Valencia.
Andalusia capital city is Sevilla or Seville. Aragon capital is Zaragoza. Asturias capital is Oviedo. Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the Balearic Islands. Vitoria is the capital of the Basque Country. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife are the capitals of the Canary Islands. Cantabria capital city is Santander.
Castile-La Mancha capital city is Toledo. The capital city of Castile and Leon is Valladolid. Catalonia capital city is Barcelona. Extremadura capital city is Merida. Santiago de Compostela is the capital city of Galicia. La Rioja capital city is Logrono. Navarre capital city is Pamplona.
The Spanish language or the Castilian Spanish is the official language in those communities. Six of the communities have other regionally chosen official languages including Basque, Catalan, Galician and Occitan.
The beautiful Andalusia is divided into upper Andalucia and lower Andalusia. Historically, Bilad Al-Andalus were regarded as one country, before the formation of the new Spain. Geographically, it was from it that discoveries to the new world has begun, starting by the discoveries of Christopher Columbus in the fifteenth century (1492).
There were three kingdoms in the medieval Andalusia, known as Cordoba, Jaen and Seville. Now, Andalusia has three sub-regions defined as systems of the mountain ranges, including:
... the Sierra Morena and the Baetic System known also as the Baetic Cordillera in upper Andalusia, stretching from the west to Murcia and Valencia and the Depression System of the valley of Guadalquivir in lower Andalusia.
Sierra Morena is at the north, stretching from the borders of Portugal at the west to Albacete at the east. It divides Andalusia from the plains of Extremadura and Castile-La Mancha on Meseta Central or Central Spain.
It lies also between the Guadiana River at the north of it and Guadalquivir River at the south of it. The Guadiana River runs on the border between Portugal and Spain and separates Alentejo and Algarve in Portugal from Andalusia and Extremadura in Spain.
The Guadalquivir River, which runs from the Canada de las Fuentes in Cazorla mountain in Jaen, runs through Cordoba and Seville, ends in the fishing village of Bonanza and flows into throughout the Gulf of Cadiz into the Atlantic Ocean.
It includes alphabetically, the eight provinces of Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Malaga and Seville. Each province has its capital city. The capital of the beautiful Andalucia is Sevilla or Seville, which is the capital of the province of Seville, as well.
The capitals of the other seven provinces take the name of the provinces. In addition, there are 771 municipalities in the beautiful Andalusia.
Its landscape is covered by white villages even on the top of green hills, and snowcapped mountains in Sierra Nevada, the main Spanish land inside the country and large nature reserves that make 20% of its landscape environmentally protected.
The beautiful Andalusia is well known for its rich culture that presents the specific Spanish cultural identity including flamenco, tapas, guitar music, bullfighting and Moorish architectural styles.
The Muslim influence appears in the architectural styles of many cities. The Roman's influence appears in the Celtic and the Iberian cultures. The Carthaginians, Greeks, Vandals, Visigoths, Byzantines have also preceded the Muslims.
The Castilian and other Christian north Iberian nationalities conquered and repopulated in the late period of the Reconquista or the reconquest to take the Iberian Peninsula back from the Muslims. There is also a Sephardic Jewish presence.
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