Many shops, banks and offices will be closed this Wednesday, 12 October, for the celebration of Día de la Hispanidad, or Spain Day. The national public holiday commemorates the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus on 12 October 1492, something that has particular significance for Spain because it transformed the still developing modern nation into a world Imperial empire which lasted until 1898. The celebration takes place every 12 October, with a military parade in Madrid’s Plaza de Colón attended by the Royal Family and the most important members of state, including the Government and the majority of the Presidents of Spain’s autonomous regions.

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