Galicia (Spain)


Galicia or Galiza (in Galician)
Flag of Galicia
Coat-of-arms of Galicia
Coat of arms
Anthem: Os Pinos (The Pine Trees)
Map of Galicia
Location of Galicia within Spain and the Iberian Peninsula
Coordinates: 42°30′N 8°06′W / 42°30′N 8°06′W / 42.5; -8.1 · Xunta de Galicia

Galicia (ə/;[2] Galician: Galicia [ɡaˈliθja], Galiza [ɡaˈliθa];[3] Spanish: Galicia; Portuguese: Galiza) is an autonomous community of Spain and historic nationality under Spanish law.[4] Located in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, it comprises the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra, being bordered by Portugal (Braga District, Bragança District, Viana do Castelo District and Vila Real District) to the south, the Spanish autonomous communities of Castile and León and Asturias to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Cantabrian Sea to the north. It had a population of 2,718,525 in 2016[5] and has a total area of 29,574 km2 (11,419 sq mi). Galicia has over 1,660 km (1,030 mi) of coastline,[6] including its offshore islands and islets, among them Cíes Islands, Ons, Sálvora, Cortegada, and—the largest and most populated—A Illa de Arousa.

The area now called Galicia was first inhabited by humans during the Middle Paleolithic period, and it takes its name from the Gallaeci, the Celtic people living north of the Douro River during the last millennium BC, in a region largely coincidental with that of the Iron Age local Castro culture. Galicia was incorporated into the Roman Empire at the end of the Cantabrian Wars in 19 BC, and was made a Roman province in the 3rd century AD. In 410, the Germanic Suebi established a kingdom with its capital in Braga (Portugal); this kingdom was incorporated into that of the Visigoths in 585. In 711, the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate invaded the Iberian Peninsula conquering the Visigoth kingdom of Hispania by 718,[7] but soon Galicia was incorporated into the Christian kingdom of Asturias by 740. During the Middle Ages, the kingdom of Galicia was occasionally ruled by its own kings,[8] but most of the time it was leagued to the kingdom of Leon and later to that of Castile, while maintaining its own legal and customary practices and culture. From the 13th century on, the kings of Castile, as kings of Galicia, appointed an Adiantado-mór, whose attributions passed to the Governor and Captain General of the Kingdom of Galiza from the last years of the 15th century.[9] The Governor also presided the Real Audiencia do Reino de Galicia, a royal tribunal and government body. From the 16th century, the representation and voice of the kingdom was held by an assembly of deputies and representatives of the cities of the kingdom, the Cortes or Junta of the Kingdom of Galicia.[9] This institution was forcibly discontinued in 1833 when the kingdom was divided into four administrative provinces with no legal mutual links. During the 19th and 20th centuries, demand grew for self-government and for the recognition of the culture of Galicia. This resulted in the Statute of Autonomy of 1936, soon frustrated by Franco's coup d'etat and subsequent long dictatorship. After democracy was restored the legislature passed the Statute of Autonomy of 1981, approved in referendum and currently in force, providing Galicia with self-government.

The interior of Galicia is characterized by a hilly landscape; mountain ranges rise to 2,000 m (6,600 ft) in the east and south. The coastal areas are mostly an alternate series of rías[a] and cliffs. The climate of Galicia is usually temperate and rainy, with markedly drier summers; it is usually classified as Oceanic. Its topographic and climatic conditions have made animal husbandry and farming the primary source of Galicia's wealth for most of its history, allowing for a relative high density of population.[10] With the exception of shipbuilding and food processing, Galicia was based on a farming and fishing economy until after the mid-20th century, when it began to industrialize. In 2012, the gross domestic product at purchasing power parity was €56,000 million,[11] with a nominal GDP per capita of €20,700.[11] The population is largely concentrated in two main areas: from Ferrol to A Coruña in the northern coast, and in the Rías Baixas region in the southwest, including the cities of Vigo, Pontevedra, and the interior city of Santiago de Compostela. There are smaller populations around the interior cities of Lugo and Ourense. The political capital is Santiago de Compostela, in the province of A Coruña. Vigo, in the province of Pontevedra, is the most populous municipality, with 292,817 (2016), while A Coruña is the most populous city, with 215,227 (2014).[12]

Two languages are official and widely used today in Galicia: the native Galician, a Romance language closely related to Portuguese, with which it shares Galician-Portuguese medieval literature, and the Spanish language, usually known locally as Castilian. 56% of the Galician population speak Galician as their first language, while 43% speak more in Castilian.[13]


A satellite view of Galicia

The name Galicia derives from the Latin toponym Callaecia, later Gallaecia, related to the name of an ancient Celtic tribe that resided north of the Douro river, the Gallaeci or Callaeci in Latin, or Καλλαϊκoί (Kallaïkoí) in Greek.[14] These Callaeci were the first tribe in the area to help the Lusitanians against the invading Romans. The Romans applied their name to all the other tribes in the northwest who spoke the same language and lived the same life.[15]

The etymology of the name has been studied since the 7th century by authors such as Isidore of Seville, who wrote that "Galicians are called so, because of their fair skin, as the Gauls", relating the name to the Greek word for milk. In the 21st century, some scholars have derived the name of the ancient Callaeci either from Proto-Indo-European *kal-n-eH2 'hill', through a local relational suffix -aik-, so meaning 'the hill (people)'; or either from Proto-Celtic *kallī- 'forest', so meaning 'the forest (people)'.[16][14] In any case, Galicia, being per se a derivation of the ethnic name Kallaikói, means 'the land of the Galicians'.

The most recent proposal comes from linguist Francesco Benozzo after identifying the root gall- / kall- in a number of Celtic words with the meaning "stone" or "rock", as follows: gall (old Irish), gal (Middle Welsh), gailleichan (Scottish Gaelic), kailhoù (Breton), galagh (Manx) and gall (Gaulish). Hence, Benozzo explains the ethnonym Callaeci as being "the stone people" or "the people of the stone" ("those who work with stones"), in reference to the builders of the ancient megaliths and stone formations so common in Galicia.[17]

The name evolved during the Middle Ages from Gallaecia, sometimes written Galletia, to Gallicia. In the 13th century, with the written emergence of the Galician language, Galiza became the most usual written form of the name of the country, being replaced during the 15th and 16th centuries by the current form, Galicia. This coincides with the spelling of the Castilian Spanish name. The historical denomination Galiza became popular again during the end of the 19th and the first three-quarters of the 20th century, and is still used with some frequency today. The Xunta de Galicia, the local devolved government, uses Galicia. The Royal Galician Academy, the institution responsible for regulating the Galician language, whilst recognizing Galiza as a legitimate current denomination, has stated that the only official name of the country is Galicia.[18]

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Галисиэ
Afrikaans: Galisië
Alemannisch: Galicien
aragonés: Galicia
arpetan: Galice
asturianu: Galicia
Avañe'ẽ: Galicia
azərbaycanca: Qalisiya
تۆرکجه: قالیسیا
Bân-lâm-gú: Galicia
беларуская: Галісія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Галісія
български: Галисия
Boarisch: Galicien
brezhoneg: Galiza
català: Galícia
čeština: Galicie
corsu: Galizia
Cymraeg: Galisia
Deutsch: Galicien
eesti: Galicia
español: Galicia
Esperanto: Galegio
estremeñu: Galicia
euskara: Galizia
فارسی: گالیسیا
français: Galice
Frysk: Galysje
Gaeilge: An Ghailís
Gàidhlig: Galicia
galego: Galicia
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Galicia
հայերեն: Գալիսիա
hornjoserbsce: Galicija
Ido: Galisia
Igbo: Galisa
Bahasa Indonesia: Galisia (Spanyol)
interlingua: Gallecia
Interlingue: Galicia
Ирон: Галиси
íslenska: Galisía
עברית: גליסיה
Kapampangan: Galicia (Spain)
къарачай-малкъар: Галисия (Испания)
ქართული: გალისია
kaszëbsczi: Galicia
қазақша: Галисия
kernowek: Galisi
Kreyòl ayisyen: Galisiya
kurdî: Galîsya
Кыргызча: Галисия
кырык мары: Галиси
Ladino: Galizia
لۊری شومالی: گالیسیا
latviešu: Galisija
Lëtzebuergesch: Galicien
lietuvių: Galisija
Ligure: Galissia
Lingua Franca Nova: Galisia
lumbaart: Galissia
magyar: Galicia
македонски: Галиција
Māori: Galicia
मराठी: गालिसिया
مصرى: جاليسيا
مازِرونی: گالیسیا
Bahasa Melayu: Galicia
Mirandés: Galízia
Nederlands: Galicië (Spanje)
日本語: ガリシア州
Nordfriisk: Galicien
norsk nynorsk: Galicia i Spania
Novial: Galicia
occitan: Galícia
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Galisiya
پنجابی: گالیسیا
Piemontèis: Galissia
português: Galiza
Qaraqalpaqsha: Galisiya
română: Galicia
Runa Simi: Galisya
русский: Галисия
sardu: Galicia
Seeltersk: Galicien
Simple English: Galicia (Spain)
slovenčina: Galícia
slovenščina: Galicija (Španija)
کوردی: گالیسیا
српски / srpski: Галиција (Шпанија)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Galicija (Španija)
suomi: Galicia
svenska: Galicien
தமிழ்: கலீசியா
Taqbaylit: Galisya
tarandíne: Galizia (Spagne)
українська: Галісія
Tiếng Việt: Galicia (Tây Ban Nha)
Võro: Galiitsia
Winaray: Galicia
吴语: 加利西亚
粵語: 加利西亞
Zazaki: Galiçya
žemaitėška: Galėsėjė