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Spain: All You Need to Know....and More!

Physical Background

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  • Spain covers an area of 504,784 square kilometers and is located on the Iberian Peninsula, of which it occupies approximately 80% (remaining 20% is occupied by Portugal) in the southwest of Europe.  It is one of the largest countries in Western Europe, second only to France.  From east to west, Spain stretches 1,022 kilometers and is 885 kilometers long from north to south.  On the Atlantic coastline, Spain shares the shores with Portugal and Spain's longest coastline stretches for 2,740 kilometers along the Mediterranean Sea.  There are five large mountain ranges crossing the country, and about 50% of it is located at an elevation plain.  Spain's northeastern border, the mighty Pyreenees Mountains, seperate Spain from France.  It once formed a great barrier to overland travel between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe.  Spain has major lowland areas which include narrow coastal plains, the Andalasian Plain in the southeast, and the Elro Basin in the northeast.  Spain has four major geographic regions known as El Centro, El Norte, El Este, and El Sur.  El Centro is the largest region and it is considered the heart of Spain.  This area is dominated by a high, rugged plateau known as the Mesta.  The El Centro region is thinly populated but is large in area.  It covers about half of the total area of Spain and only about a quarter of Spain's population reside here.  The second region is known as El Norte and it stretches across northern Spain.  This region occupies a fifth of Spain's total population, and a tenth of the total area.  El Este, being the thrid region, covers only 15% of Spain's total area, but occupies nearly 30% of its total population.  This region is also home to Spain's second largest urban-industrial center.  El Sur is the fourth and final region.  It is a land mass with coastal openings to both the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.  This region accounts for 17% of Spain's area, and only 18% of Spain's total population.

Geographical Location

  • Spain is situated in a temperate area, between latitudes 43 degrees, 47 minutes, 24 seconds north, and 36 degrees, 0 minutes, 3 seconds south.  Its longitudes are 7 degrees, 0 minutes, 29 seconds east, and 5 degrees, 36 minutes, 40 seconds west.

Below: Map of Spain showing location of Pyrenees Mountains.

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Above and Below: Both picures are of the Iberian Peninsula.

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By: Justin Fowler

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