Modern humans in the form of Cro-Magnons began arriving in the Iberian Peninsula from North of the Pyrenees some 35.000 years ago. The most conspicuous sign of prehistoric human settlements are the famous paintings in the Northern Spanish cave of Altamira, which were done c. 15,000 BC and are regarded as paramount instances of cave art.

The Greeks, who founded the first Greek colonies in the 9th century BC are responsible for the name Iberia, apparently after the river Iber (Ebro). In the 6th century BC, the Carthaginians arrived in Iberia, struggling first with the Greeks, and shortly after, with the newly arriving Romans for control of the Western Mediterranean. Their most important colony was Carthago Nova (Latin name of modern day Cartagena).

The Visigoths, having sacked Rome two years earlier, arrived in the region in 412 AD, founding the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse (in the south of modern France) and gradually expanded their influence into the Iberian peninsula. The Visigothic Kingdom shifted its capital to Toledo and reached a high point during the reign of Leovigild (568 - 586 AD).

The Arab Islamic conquest dominated most of North Africa by 640 AD. In 711 an Islamic Berber and Arab raiding party, led by
Tariq ibn-Ziyad, was sent to Iberia to intervene in a civil war in the Visigothic Kingdom. Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, they won a decisive victory in the summer of 711 when the Visigothic King Roderic was defeated and by 718 the Muslims were in control of nearly the whole Iberian Peninsula. During the next 750 years independent Muslim states were established and the entire area of Muslim control became known as Al-Andalus.
Meanwhile the Christian kingdoms in the north of the peninsula began the long and slow Christian recovery, a process called the Reconquista, which was concluded in 1492 with the fall of Granada.

The year 1492 was the starting point of the modern history of Spain, with the expulsion of the Moors and the successful voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World. The Spanish Empire was launched, as was the Spanish Inquisition; Jews and Muslims who refused to convert were expelled from the country.
From 1500 to the 1650s Spain was the most powerful state in Europe; it controlled the largest overseas empire in the world for three centuries, including possessions in the Americas stretching from California to Patagonia, as well as colonies in the western Pacific, among them the Philippines. Spanish literature and fine arts, scholarship and philosophy flourished during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Spain's European wars led to economic damage and the latter part of the 17th century saw a marked decline of power, which ended with the relegation of Spain to the status of a second rate power with a reduced influence in European affairs.
The end of the 18th and the start of the 19th centuries saw turmoil unleashed throughout Europe by the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, and the military occupation of Spain by the Bonapartist regime.

Following a period of growing political instability in the early 20th century, in 1936 Spain was plunged into a bloody civil war. The war ended in a nationalist dictatorship, led by Francisco Franco, which controlled the Spanish government until 1975.
The death of Franco in 1975 resulted in the return of the Bourbon monarchy headed by Prince Juan Carlos. While tensions remain (for example, with Muslim immigrants and in the Basque region), modern Spain has seen the development of a robust, modern democracy.

I visited Spain in mei 2011

It was part of the West Africa Pelagic 2011

During this trip, i have seen
Canary Islands

In july 2014 I have visited Andalusia

During this trip, i have seen
Sierra Nevada & Alpujarras

Please let me know when you're having questions.
i would be pleased to help you.

Things to do and other tips

not available

This illustrate's my memories of Spain:
A group of Short-finned Pilot Whales at the Canary Islands

See my "Things to do" pages for more pictures.
These are divided in:


When i'am visiting a country i like to be prepared;
So i know something about the Country and i can plan the things to visit.
That's why i 'm reading books;looking at travel maps etc.

See my "Things to read" pages for Books/Maps about Spain