Spain's History

One of the world's most influential powers, Spain, came under Roman rule as the province of Hispania for five hundred years. Rome's collapse brought a deluge of invading Germanic tribes who ruled until they were expelled by Muslim Moors crossing from Morocco in 711. The Reconquista, the Christian reconquest of Iberia was completed with the capture of Córdoba in 1492. That was a busy year in Spain's history. Spain's Jews were required by the Inquisition to convert to Catholicism or leave and Christopher Columbus set off on his Spanish funded voyage of discovery. Spain's power and wealth quickly grew as the treasury flooded with the New World's gold and silver, financing magnificent public works and further Imperial expansion. Spain was overrun by Napoleon from 1808-12 and their American colonies seized the chance to declare independence. The USA found an excuse for war in 1898 to grab Spain's last colonies.

Our Pick


If time is not on your side and you need to pack in as much of Spain into as short a time as possible we highly recommend this four day tour of heritage-rich southern Spain and Madrid. book-now

Right Now

Spain became a republic in 1931 which caused a Civil War between 1936-39. The Monarchy was restored in 1943 however the King did not occupy the throne until General Franco's demise in 1975. In 2014 Juan Carlos handed the throne to his son who became Felipe VI. Spain moved to the mainstream of European cultural and economic life, joining the European Union in 1982 and adopting the Euro in 2002. Spain has a diverse economy with agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and tourism all very important, but the country is presently deep in recession. Barcelona is Spain's second largest city and home to much of Spain's ancient history, magnificent art, rich culture and cuisine, superb wines, relaxed lifestyle and sundrenched beaches which make it one of the world's favourite holiday hotspots.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player