Michelin Travel Guide Spain

Michelin Travel Guide Spain
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Mediterranean History

Skopelos Town, Sporades

Old Town, Skopelos, Sporades Islands, Greece

Mediterranean History

The Mediterranean area is one of the cradles of civilization:

Egyptians, Phoenicians, Minoans, Greeks, and Romans are some of the ancient cultures that inhabited the region.

In the middle ages, crusaders controlled a number of Mediterranean islands, the Turks conquered the eastern Mediterranean; the Spanish later evicted the Arabs from the west; Italian trading cities, particularly Venetians, colonized the central mediterannean.

In more recent times, French and British fought major land and sea battles to gain influence.

Today, the Mediterranean islands are generally stable politically: Greece regained its independence from the Turks in the 18th and 19th centuries; the British colonies of Malta and Cyprus were given their independence after the second world war, but Northern Cyprus is a separate state recognized only by Turkey; Sardinia and Sicily remain part of Italy; Corsica has its own culture and limited autonomy but remains part of France; Spain retains the Balearic Islands which have considerable regional autonomy; in the east, Croatia and its islands are becoming major travel destinations.

More about the Mediterranean islands