Facts about Galicia Spain : Galicia

Facts about Galicia Spain

A bird's-eye view of the beach at Baiona in southern Galicia.A bird's-eye view of the beach at Baiona in southern Galicia. (Photo: Playa de Bayona, Galicia image by Mr.Papeete from Fotolia.com )

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The region of Galicia in northwestern Spain is home to terraced green hills, one of the world’s most visited pilgrimage sites and its very own language. Galicia’s rainy climate and historic reputation as one of Spain’s poorer regions can scare off tourists. However, a closer look at the area reveals some of Spain’s most beautiful cities and an insistently unique provincial culture.

History

Galicia’s history dates back to around 600 B.C., when Celtic groups settled the region. In the 6th Century, the Visigoths colonized the land, followed nearly 500 years later by a brief Muslim occupation which ravaged several towns, including Santiago de la Compostela. In 1495, three years after Columbus visited Galicia to announce his American discovery, the University of Santiago was established; it still stands.

In the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War devastated the local economy; many young Galicians left their homeland. In 1936, the Spain granted Galicia regional autonomy and officially recognized its language. However, Galician-born General Franco outlawed the language and restrained Galician autonomy until his death in 1975.

Language

The Galician language, Gallego, helps set this region apart from the rest of Spain and is a major source of pride to Galicians. Though locals generally speak standard Spanish, about 3 million also speak Gallego. This centuries-old Romance language is highly similar to Portuguese; so similar, in fact, that debates over Gallego’s status as a stand-alone language or Portuguese dialect have raged for decades. Although Galicians have spoken their regional tongue since the 12th Century, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that Gallego was recognized as a standardized literary language.


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Q&A

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What are some intresting and/or funny facts about Galicia,Spain? | Yahoo Answers

Here's a copy of an answer I gave to a similar question two weeks ago:
Galicia is a Celtic area in Spain and the music has a strong Celtic influence
The bagpipe is the symbol for Galicia because it is most used in traditional music
Galicia's language, Gallego, is a Spanish dialect that has more in common with Portuguese than Castellano
Over 4,000 fiestas are held in Galicia each year
Santiago de Compostela, the capital city of Galicia, is the final stop on the famous 'Camino de Santiago' pilgrimage route through Spain, and the body of St James the Apostle is traditionally believed…


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