Given its geographic location, Spain has experienced a rich and varied history. The first modern humans settled in what is now Spain over 35,000 years ago. The Roman conquest began in 218 BC and led to a far-reaching process of cultural assimilation, the repercussions of which continue to be felt today. Following the fall of the Western Empire, Hispania was conquered by Germanic tribes (Visigoths, Suevi and Vandals) and then by the Moors. The Moorish presence on the peninsula lasted until 1492 and the fall of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. The marriage of the Catholic Kings led to a dynastic union between the territories of the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon. After the discovery and conquest of America, Spain became the leading powerhouse in Europe and formed a great empire that extended across four continents. The Spanish presence in America forged strong ties between the two shores of the Atlantic, with Spanish becoming a common language shared by over 500 million people.
At the present time, Spain forms part of the group of countries with the most advanced level of development. It plays an active role in the main international forums and organisations, such as the UN, NATO, the OECD and the G-20. Spain is also a Member State of the European Union, the leading trade bloc in the world, and maintains its firm commitment to further developing integration in Europe.
This section includes four tabs with information on the geography and population of Spain, as well as a brief summary of its history and culture.