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CIA World Factbook Photos, 15: France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal

Posted by Laurie Frost on April 6, 2010

 This is the last stop on the European Continent for this series sampling public domain images from the CIA World Factbook.


Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley dates from the early 16th century.


Strasbourg, the ninth largest city in France, is the home of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, and Eurocorps (the European Union’s military forces). The city is in an area first occupied by Celtic tribes about 1300 B.C, before later becoming  part of the Roman Empire (c. 12 B.C.) and the Holy Roman Empire (A.D. 923). 


 L’Ancienne Douane [1358] (the old custom’s building), Grande Ile, Strasbourg, on the Rhine River.

The Roman aqueduct at Pont du Gard, built during the mid-first century A.D., brought water to the city of Nemausus (now Nimes).


 The American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, overlooks Omaha Beach.

Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel off the coast of Normandy.

The Palais de Chaillot as seen from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.


View of Granada from the Alhambra.

The lower two-thirds of the La Giralda, one of the two bell towers of the Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See), Seville reveals it was once a minaret.

The 16th-century Cathedral of Segovia in the Alcazar.


The 1887 Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace), Parque del Buen Retiro (Park of the Pleasant Retreat), Madrid was inspired by The Crystal Palace in London.



You may wonder why Gibralter is listed as a separate nation rather than as part of Spain. It’s because Gibralter is an overseas teritory of the United Kingdom. Spain ceded Gibralter to Great Britain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. In the past 50 years, the UK has granted increased autonomy to the territory. Gibralter is sited at the point where the Mediterrean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet, making it of strategic importance. Maps are also from the CIA World Factbook.



The Rock of Gibraltar with the coast of Spain visible in the background.

Gibraltar Harbour with Algeciras, Spain in the background.



The early 16th century Torre de Belem (Belem Tower) commemorates Vaso de Gama’s voyages of discovery to India (1497-1524).

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