Essay by Michael PJunior High, 9th grade February 1997

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The country of Spain lies on the continent of Europe. It is located forty degrees north and four degrees west. The capital of Spain, Madrid, is located in the central region known as the Centro-Meseta. The country of Spain is made up of four regions: El norte, El este, El sur, and Centro-Meseta. Spain's large area of 195,988 square miles covers about five sixths of the Iberian Peninsula. It is one of the largest countries in Western Europe. At its widest point, Spain stretches 635 miles from east to west. It stretches about 550 miles north to south. Spain's longest coastline lies along the Mediterranean Sea and stretches for almost 1700 miles from the eastern end of the Pyrenees mountain chain to the strait of Gibraltar. The Pyrenees, one of Europe's largest mountain chains, is 270 miles long. They are practically impassable to humans because are formed from only steep gorges that lead higher summits.

Spain is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean called the Gulf of Cadiz. The Huelva, Rota, and Cadiz ports lie on this coast and further up the Guadalquivir River is the ancient transportation center Seville. Some other major rivers in Spain are the Douro, Tagus, and Ebro rivers. Spain's currency is the peseta and is currently equal to one hundred centimos. The exchange rate has one U. S. Dollar for 134.61 pesetas.

More that thirty-nine million people reside in the country of Spain. That is because it is made up of a large ethnic diversity. Its location between Europe and Africa has resulted in a great mixing of races and cultures. The only distinct minority group generally recognized as outside the racial-cultural mainstream of Spanish society is made up of Gypsies, many of whom still follow nomadic life-style along the roads and highways. Fairly large...