One of the most well-liked travel destinations in all of Europe is Spain. Spain is a nation on the Iberian peninsula in southwest Europe. Looking for some amazing Spanish facts? Here are some of the most interesting things about Spain.
It’s never a bad idea to brush up on your knowledge of the nation’s history, culture, food, and other aspects, whether you’re moving to Spain, vacationing, or just learning Spanish.
Interesting Things About Spain
Regardless of how frequently you go, there’s always something new to learn. Let’s look at some fascinating Spain-related facts.
Interesting Facts About Spain’s History And Culture
Here are some interesting facts you did not know about the culture and history of Spain.
1. Spain Still Has A Monarchy
King Felipe VI is the current head of the nation’s constitutional monarchy.
When Juan Carlos I of Spain, the former monarch’s grandson, assumed the throne in 1975, the monarchy was briefly restored shortly before General Franco’s assassination.
2. Spain Did Not Participate In World War I Or World War II
Millions of people from important nations perished in the World Wars of the 20th century, which are notorious for this.
You might find it surprising, and it’s one of the interesting facts that neither one involves Spain, one of the great Western nations and historically a very warlike state. Although their leaders supported the Axis, Spaniards refrained from participating in the battles.
3. In Spain, The Romans Left Behind A Priceless Legacy
Many cultures, including the Moors and the Visigoths, have impacted Spanish culture, but it all began with the Romans.
After taking control of the territory, they stayed there for a very long time. The import of Latin, where the Spanish language originates, is unquestionably their most significant contribution.
4. Spanish Exploration And Conquest Began With Christopher Columbus
Spain has historically been one of the most powerful nations in terms of colonies. With Christopher Columbus in 1492, they were the first to discover the Americas and now control nearly half of them.
With the help of his three illustrious ships, the Nia, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, Columbus discovered the New World.
5. Being Served Tapas With A Drink Is A Common Custom When Going Out
One of the interesting facts about Spain is that tapas are free. However, you must pay for the beverage. Why? The word tapa, which means “top” or “cover,” is pluralized to become tapas.
The initial tapas were designed to cover drinks between sips, keeping flies and other contaminants out. Today, tapas are the main reason that many bars exist. And, of course, drink.
6. Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish Author, Produced The First Modern Novel
Talking about the country’s history, Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote de la Mancha” is more significant than you might imagine.
This legendary epic book is also the very first modern novel! It tells the tale of a nobleman and his numerous exploits. Don Quixote of La Mancha’s The Ingenious Nobleman centres on a nobleman who is fixated on chivalry.
7. Spain Is Where Flamenco Originated
In Spanish culture, dancing plays a significant role. Most traditional gatherings, primarily festivals, always include at least a small bit of dance.
The Moors are considered to have invented flamenco and brought it to Spain from North Africa in the first half of the seventh century.
It is a sensual, passionate dance that is well-liked worldwide (even the dancing female in the Apple emoji wears a flamenco attire!).
8. The World’s Oldest Fiesta Is Held In Spain
The Romeria de Nuestra Senora de la Cabeza in the Sierra Morena, which has been continuing strong for more than 800 years, is the oldest festival in the world and is held in Spain.
Pilgrims travel to the sanctuary to sing and dance in front of it during the annual celebrations; it is located on top of the tallest mountain in the Sierras.
9. Before 2015, Spain’s Legal Marriage Age Was 14, The Lowest In All Of Europe
Spanish history had the youngest legal marriage age before 2015, at just 14 years old! Since that time, you must be 16 to get married. You might find this as one of the shocking facts about Spain, as it will be for most nations.
Previously just 13 years old, the legal age for consensual sex has increased to 16, matching other European nations, as of 2015.
10. Third-highest Number Of UNESCO Sites Are In Spain
Spain is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and magnificent landmarks, but did you know that it also contains 46 UNESCO World Heritage Sites?
One of the most well-known facts about Spain is that it has many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Alhambra and the medieval centre of Cordoba. If you plan to visit Spain, you shouldn’t leave these off your itinerary.
11. Spanish National Anthem Is Without Words
There are many facts about Spain, but one is that its national anthem is wordless.
One of just four national anthems in the world without lyrics is The Marcha Real (well, it used to have songs, but no one uses them anymore). It’s also one of the world’s oldest national anthems.
12. In Spain, Especially In Madrid, Siestas Are Considered Holy
Another interesting fact about Spanish culture is that they nap a lot—so much so that it’s nearly considered sacred. Along with that, the world’s oldest restaurant is located in Madrid.
For a significant portion of the afternoon, many shops and restaurants are closed so that everyone can take a nap. The city most famed for its love of sound sleeps in Madrid.
13. Food Delivery Timings In Spain Are Very Rigid
Spanish people typically eat relatively late, primarily due to the hot climate and the revered naps.
As a result, there is a limited window during which you can place an order, and the most popular meals, such as tapas and paella, are only available during those times.
14. Spanish Painters Were Among The Most Well-Known In The World
Although writers have previously received considerable attention, Spain has produced some of history’s greatest artists.
Francisco Goya, Salvador Dal, and Pablo Picasso are the most well-known.
Fun Facts About Spain
Here are some fun facts you would love to know about Spain.
15. It Holds The Largest Tomato Fight In The World
One interesting fun fact about Spain that everyone knows is La Tomatina, one of the world’s biggest food fights.
Since a young guy started throwing tomatoes at his pals in a fit of passion in 1945, more people have followed in, and a custom has been established.
Authorities outlawed the celebrations in the 1950s, but they were reinstated in 1957 after locals performed a pretend burial, placing a tomato in a coffin, to grieve the loss of their beloved festival. Since then, the business has been booming.
16. Spain Is Known As The Rabbit Land
The name Spain has Roman origins. Spain derives from the Carthaginian word Ispania, which meant “the land of the rabbits,” and was corrupted into the Roman name Hispania.
17. In Spain, It Is Legal To Be Naked But Not Advised
Among the interesting facts about Spain of them is that in Spain, it is uncommon for people to be found without clothing. However, you are permitted to do so!
The Iberian Peninsula’s severe heat and dryness are likely to blame for this. One of Spain’s most unusual and unexpected things is being permitted to go nude.
18. Spain Has Most Bars Among The European Countries
One of the interesting facts about Spain is that it has the most bars in Europe, which should not be surprising as Spanish people enjoy a casual drink.
However, the night doesn’t start until later, so avoid leaving too early.
19. The Only European Country With A Physical Border To An African Nation
One of Spain’s most entertaining geographical facts is that it has a land border, not a sea one, with an African nation. This nation is Morocco.
Since the first century BC, this city has been strategically significant and changed ownership numerous times before coming under Spanish government control in 1668.
Talk about any fascinating fact about Spain: it was once the most powerful nation on earth. The Spanish advanced the Portuguese trading empire by many degrees while establishing themselves in North, Central, and South America and dominating the Philippines for more than 300 years.
They left a large cultural heritage, a tonne of Spanish speakers, and a lot of gold for themselves.
20. Children In Spain Do Not Believe In The Tooth Fairy
While the Tooth Fairy is a popular figure for kids in most nations, Spanish children have something different. Although there is a rat, there is no fairy. It’s one of the interesting facts about Spain.
Ratoncito Perez is the one who steals children’s teeth and then gives them gifts (instead of money for the Tooth Fairy).
21. The World’s First Great Empire Was Spain
Talk about one of those interesting facts about Spain: it is the most powerful nation on earth. The Spanish advanced the Portuguese trading empire by many levels while establishing themselves in North, Central, and South America and dominating the Philippines for more than 300 years.
They left a large cultural heritage, a tone of Spanish speakers, and much gold for themselves.
22. Spain Produces Over 44% Of The World’s Olive Oil
One of the amazing Spain facts is that Spain produces more olive oil, even though it is often linked with Italy. Spain also has a lot of wine, with a cool million hectares dedicated to wine-making.
More than twice as much as Italy, Spain produces about 44% of the world’s olive oil.
23. Spanish People Commonly Have Two Surnames
Spanish people mostly have two surnames which is one of the most unique fun facts out of the most. They continue to use their last names to respect both of their parents. Most people find this construction to be a little strange.
For instance, Salvador Dal is known as Salvador Dal I Domènech, while Pablo Picasso is Pablo Ruiz Picasso.
24. The Second-Most Widely Spoken Native Language In The World Is Spanish
One of the fun facts about Spain is that the only language with more Hispanophones is Spanish, which has approximately 570 million speakers.
Spanish is (one of) the official language in Spain, most Latin American nations, and Equatorial Guinea.
Spanish is a daily language in 21 different countries.
25. Along With Spanish There Are Five More Official Languages In Spain
Although Spanish is undoubtedly the language that is spoken the most, Spain also has five other official dialects or languages.
With over 10 million speakers, the Catalan language is the most well-known. Galician, Basque, Aranese, and Valencian are the other four. Though some places insist on speaking their language, don’t fret; everyone understands Spanish.
26. Spain Has A Lot Of Islands
Any plan for Spain will include visiting some beaches; Spain has territories outside the Iberian Peninsula.
The well-known Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea naturally include Ibiza’s extremely famous party island. Then there are the Canary Islands, located far out in the Atlantic Ocean.
27. 1936 Saw The Outbreak Of The Spanish Civil War
Things were destined to get ugly with a left-leaning Republican government allied with anarchists and communists on one side and Conservative, Royalist, Nationalist, and Catholic groups on the other.
General Franco, who had the backing of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, won the war in 1939 thanks to a British-led policy of international non-intervention, ushering Spain into an authoritarian dictatorship that lasted until 1975. Great.
28. The Second-Largest Nation In The European Union Is Spain
One of the interesting facts about Spain is that Spain’s continental territory is home to almost 47 million people in the European Union. The majority of them live in urban neighbourhoods.
Even millions of people occasionally live in the largest cities, like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville, which have populations in the hundreds of thousands. Even with only these, Spain already outnumbers many other European countries in terms of population.
29. The Majority Of Spanish People Identify As Catholic
Spain has experienced many diverse cultures and religions over the years. The Moors may have greatly influenced the nation’s architecture and agriculture. Catholicism, however, has become the dominant faith.
Today, Spain has a Catholic majority of over 70%, and traditions play a significant role in Spanish culture. If you ever decide to visit, do not miss the magnificent churches!
30. Geography Of Spain
Spain shares borders with the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the south and east.
Spain’s top three cities are Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia. Geography Spain occupies most of the Iberian Peninsula, which is also extended from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Pyrenees Mountains. It is also responsible for dividing Europe from Africa.
Spain is also the owner of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the Balearic islands Formentera, Ibiza, Menora, and Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea.
31. Spanish People Have a High Average Life Expectancy
Typically, Spanish individuals outlive their neighbours. Their life expectancy is 84 years on average. Men live more than 81 years on average, compared to about 87 years for women.
Spain has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, ranking seventh overall. Hong Kong is the first.
32. Spanish Mainland Does Not Contain The Highest Mountain In The Country
Although most of Spain’s colonies gained independence throughout the years, several are still governed by Spain.
The Canary Islands is one of them. The beaches there are black due to eruptions! Mount Teide, the tallest mountain in Spain (3,718 m/12,198 ft), is located there and is an active volcano.
33. Spain’s Geographical Center Is Madrid-Puerta Del Sol
You already know that Madrid is the capital of Spain and that it is situated in the middle of the nation.
You might be surprised to learn that it is located in the geographic centre of Spain. Every major Spanish motorway begins at the “Puerta del Sol” in Madrid, at kilometre zero.
34. Not All Of Spain Is “Spanish.”
This is probably one of the mind-blowing interesting Spain facts, yet what you would have assumed to be a straightforward definition of Spain isn’t that. It is composed of numerous autonomous communities, each governed differently.
Celts inhabit Galicia, the language of the Basque Country (which is unlike any European language); Occitan and Catalan are spoken in Valencia, Catalonia, and the Balearic Islands.
One of the fascinating facts about Spain is that Spanish Christmas Lottery is the biggest lottery in the world.
35. What Was The Reason Behind the Spanish Civil War
Generals Emilio Mola and Francisco Franco launched a revolt on July 17, 1936, to overthrow the nation’s democratically elected republic, sparking the start of the Spanish Civil War.
Spain is a fascinating nation that is rich in culture and history. It doesn’t matter how often you go; there are always some extra things about Spain to learn and explore.