A Travellerspoint blog

Spain

Location: Europe
Capitol: Madrid
Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 4 00 W

Area total: 504,782 sq km
land: 499,542 sq km
water: 5,240 sq km

Border: total: 1,917.8 km
border countries: Andorra 63.7 km, France 623 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1,214 km, Morocco (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Morocco (Melilla) 9.6 km

Coastline: 4,964 km
Population: 40,077,100 (July 2002 est.)
Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish
Languages: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%
Ethnic groups: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Life expactancy at birth
total population: 79.08 years
male: 75.63 years
female: 82.76 years (2002 est.)
Currency: euro (EUR); Spanish peseta (ESP)

Government: parliamentary monarchy

National Anthem

La Marcha Real (The Royal March) is the national anthem of Spain. It is one of the few national anthems in the world to have no words.

Spain's national anthem is one of the oldest in Europe and its origins are unknown. Its first mention is in a document dated 1761: the Libro de Ordenanza de los toques militares de la Infantería Española — the Spanish Infantry Book of Military Bugle Calls — by Manuel de Espinosa. The tune was entitled La Marcha Granadera ("March of the Grenadiers"); however, no composer's name was given.

In 1770, King Carlos III declared the Marcha Granadera to be the official "Honour March", thereby according it a place at public and ceremonial events. Because it was always played at public events attended by the royal family, Spaniards soon came to regard the Marcha Granadera as their national anthem and called it the Marcha Real, or "Royal March".

Under the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939), El Himno de Riego replaced La Marcha Real as the national anthem of Spain. At the conclusion of the Civil War, however, Francisco Franco restored La Marcha Real as the country's national anthem, under its old title of La Marcha Granadera.

The current version was commissioned to Francisco Grau after the approval of the 1978 constitution.

In October 1997 a Royal Decree was promulgated regulating the official use of the Marcha Real as the national anthem of Spain.

Lyrics

Though the Marcha Real has no lyrics nowadays, it did have lyrics in the past. One version was used during Alfonso XIII's reign and another during general Franco's dictatorship, whatever, none of them were ever official.

Version used during Alfonso XIII's reign
Lyrics by Eduardo Marquina.

Gloria, gloria, corona de la Patria,

soberana luz
que es oro en tu Pendón.

Vida, vida, futuro de la Patria,
que en tus ojos es
abierto corazón.

Púrpura y oro: bandera inmortal;
en tus colores, juntas, carne y alma están.

Púrpura y oro: querer y lograr;
Tú eres, bandera, el signo del humano afán.

Gloria, gloria, corona de la Patria,
soberana luz
que es oro en tu Pendón.

Púrpura y oro: bandera inmortal;
en tus colores, juntas, carne y alma están.

English

Glory, glory, crown of the country

sovereign light
your standard is made of gold

Life, life, future of the country,
in your eyes it is
an open heart

Purple and gold: immortal flag;
in your colors, together, flesh and soul are.

Purple and gold: to want and to achieve;
You are, flag, the sign of human effort.

Glory, glory, crown of the country
sovereign light
your standard is made of gold

Purple and gold: immortal flag;
in your colors, together, flesh and soul are.

Version used during general Franco's dictatorship
Lyrics by José María Pemán:

¡Viva España!

Alzad los brazos, hijos
del pueblo español,
que vuelve a resurgir.
Gloria a la Patria que supo seguir,
sobre el azul del mar el caminar del sol.

¡Triunfa España!
Los yunques y las ruedas
cantan al compás
del himno de la fe.

Juntos con ellos cantemos de pie
la vida nueva y fuerte de trabajo y paz.

English

Long live Spain!

Raise your arms, sons and daughters
of the Spanish people
who is remerging again.
Glory to the country which knew how to follow
Over the blue sea the way of the sun.

Triumph Spain!
Anvils and wheels
sing in time to
the hymn of faith.

Standing alongside them we'll sing
the new and strong life of work and peace.

Posted by airwolf09 15:17 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

United States of America

Location: North America
Capitol: Washington, DC
Geographic coordinates: 38 00 N, 97 00 W

Area total: 9,629,091 sq km
land: 9,158,960 sq km
water: 470,131 sq km

Border: total: 12,034 km
border countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,141 km


Coastline: 19,924 km
Population: 280,562,489 (July 2002 est.)
Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: American(s)
adjective: American
Languages: English, Spanish (spoken by a sizable minority)
Ethnic groups: white 77.1%, black 12.9%, Asian 4.2%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1.5%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.3%, other 4% (2000)

Religions: Protestant 56%, Roman Catholic 28%, Jewish 2%, other 4%, none 10% (1989)
Life expactancy at birth
total population: 77.4 years
male: 74.5 years
female: 80.2 years (2002 est.)
Currency: US dollar (USD)
Government: federal republic; strong democratic tradition

National Anthem

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland by British ships in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. It became well known as a patriotic song to the tune of a popular English drinking song, "To Anacreon in Heaven." While it was recognized for official use by the United States Navy (1889) and by the White House (1916), it was made the national anthem by a Congressional resolution on March 3, 1931. Although the song has four verses, only the first is commonly sung today.

Lyrics

I.
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Chorus
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
II.
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream
Chorus
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
III.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave
Chorus
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
IV.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Bles't with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when1 our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
Chorus
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Posted by airwolf09 15:10 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Ecuador

South America

Location: South America
Capitol: Quito
Geographic coordinates: 2 00 S, 77 30 W

Area total: 283,560 sq km
land: 276,840 sq km
water: 6,720 sq km

Border: total: 2,010 km
border countries: Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km

Coastline: 2,237 km
Population: 13,447,494 (July 2002 est.)
Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: Ecuadorian(s)
adjective: Ecuadorian
Languages: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%
Religions: Roman Catholic 95%
Life expactancy at birth
total population: 71.61 years
male: 68.79 years
female: 74.57 years (2002 est.)
Currency: US dollar (USD)
Government: republic

National Anthem

"Salve, Oh Patria!" ("We Salute You, Our Homeland") is the national anthem of Ecuador. The author of the lyrics, Juan Leon Mera, later served as president of the Ecuadorian Senate. The song was composed by Antonio Neumane. The anthem was officially adopted in 1886.

Lyrics

CORO:
Salve, Oh Patria, mil veces!
¡Oh Patria, Gloria a ti! Gloria a ti!
Ya tu pecho, tu pecho, rebosa
Gozo y paz ya tu pecho rebosa;
Y tu frente, tu frente radiosa
Más que el sol contemplamos lucir,
Y tu frente, tu frente radiosa
Más que el sol contemplamos lucir.
Los primeros los hijos del suelo
Que soberbio, el Pichincha decora
Te aclamaron por siempre señora
Y vertieron su sangre por ti.
Dios miró y aceptó el holocausto
Y esa sangre fue germen fecundo
De otros héroes que atónito el mundo
Vió en tu torno a millares surgir.
a millares surgir,
a millares surgir.

English

CHORUS:
O homeland, we greet you a thousand times!
Glory be to you, O homeland, glory be to you!
Your breast overflows with joy and peace,
And we see your radiant face shining
More brightly than the sun.
The worthy sons of the soil
Which Pichincha on high is adorning,
Always acclaimed you as sovereign lady
And shed their blood for you.
God observed and accepted the sacrifice,
And that blood was the prolific seed
Of other heroes whom the world in astonishment saw
Arising in thousands around you.

Posted by airwolf09 15:03 Archived in Ecuador Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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