Galicia (/ɡəˈlɪʃ(i)ə/; Galician: Galicia [ɡaˈliθjɐ], Galiza [ɡaˈliθɐ]; Spanish: Galicia; Portuguese: Galiza) is an autonomous community of Spain and historic nationality under Spanish law. Located in the north-west 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 and has a total area of 29,574 km2 (11,419 sq mi). Galicia has over 1,660 km (1,030 mi) of coastline, 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, 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, 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. 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. 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 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. 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, with a nominal GDP per capita of €20,700. 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). Two languages are official and widely used today in Galicia: the native Galician, a Romance language closely related to Portuguese with which it shares the Galician-Portuguese medieval literature; and the Spanish language, usually known locally as Castilian. While most Galician are bilinguals, statistics of 2013 reported that 51% of the Galician population used more Galician on a day-to-day basis, and 48% used more Spanish.
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