The cultures of Spain are European cultures based, on a variety of historical influences, primarily that of Ancient Rome, but also the pre-Roman Celtic and Iberian culture, and that of the Phoenicians and the Moors. In the areas of language and religion, the Ancient Romans left a lasting legacy. The subsequent course of Spanish history added other elements to the country's culture and traditions.
The Visigothic Kingdom left a sense of a united Christian Hispania that was going to be welded in the Reconquista. Muslim influences were strong during the Middle Ages. The Spanish language derives directly from Vulgar Latin and has minor influences from pre-Roman languages (Iberian and Celtic) and other languages such as Gothic and Andalusian Arabic. Another influence was the minority Jewish population in some cities. After the defeat of the Muslims during the Christian Reconquista ("Reconquest") period between 718 and 1492, Spain became an almost entirely Roman Catholic country. In addition, the nation's history and its Mediterranean and Atlantic environment have played a significant role in shaping its culture, and also in shaping other cultures, such as the culture of Latin America through the colonization of the Americas.
By the end of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Spaniards made expressions of cultural diversity easier than it had been for the last seven centuries. This occurred at the same period that Spain became increasingly drawn into a diverse international culture.
Spain has the third highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, with a total of 44.