The comarca is a purely cultural and economic unit, without political or any other official identity.

The Balearic Islands lie in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic, off the coast of Africa.

Spain also holds two cities, Ceuta and Melilla, on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco.

The motive of this move was Madrid's centrality: it lies at Spain's geographic center and thus embodies the central power of the Crown and gives the court geographic centrality in relation to its realm as a whole.

At the plaza known as Puerta del Sol in the heart of Madrid stand not only Madrid's legendary symbol—a sculpted bear under a strawberry tree ( madroño )—but also a signpost pointing in all directions to various of Spain's provincial capitals, a further statement of Madrid's centrality.

Spaniards' commitment to Spain's essential diversity is the benchmark from which any student of things Spanish must depart.

It is essential to realize that outsiders can legitimately consider some of Spain's diversity as imagined every bit as much as its unity might be—that is, Spaniards sort their differences with a fine-toothed comb and create measures of local and regional differences which might fail tests of general significance by other measures.But other measures of difference, in addition to a separate language, distinguish Cataluña from the rest of Spain.Among these is Cataluña's deeply commercial and mercantile bent, which has underlain Catalan economic development and power in both past and present. The name España is of uncertain origin; from it derived the Hispania of the roman Empire.Important regions within the modern nation are the Basque Country (País Vasco), the Catalan-Valencian-Balearic area, and Galicia—each of which has its own language and a strong regional identity.This growing power was soon to be enhanced by the Crown's monopoly (vis-a-vis other regions and the rest of Europe) on all that accrued from Christopher Columbus's discovery of the New World, which occurred under Crown sponsorship.