- Capital: Madrid
- Official Languages: Spanish, Basque, Catalan, and Galician
- Currency: euro (EUR)
Spain was the strongest kingdom in Europe in the sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth centuries. In the middle decades of the twentieth century it came under a dictatorship, but democracy was restored in 1978. In 1986 it joined the European Union and experienced an economic and cultural renaissance. Widely known for excellent food and art, flamenco music and dance, fantastic beaches, and lots of sunshine, Spain has been one of the cultural centers of Europe for thousands of years. It was home to famous artists such as El Greco, Diego Velásquez, Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí.