50 Fascinating Facts About Spain

Spain hosts an annual festival called La Tomatina where people engage in a massive food fight with tomatoes.

Spain is a renowned country that has conquered much of the world during colonial times and holds significant influence.

Here are 50 intriguing facts about Spain:

Spain is just slightly bigger than California, covering 195,364 square miles (505990.437 square kilometers).

The Spanish word for Spain is España, which means rabbit and was given to the land by the Carthaginians around 300 B.C.

Madrid, not Barcelona, is the capital of Spain.

Spain is the second-largest country in the EU and its official name is the Kingdom of Spain.

The Bourbon family has been in reign since the 1700s as the Spanish Royal family.

Although Spain is considered an old country, it was officially founded on December 6, 1978.

Marcha Real, the Spanish national anthem, is one of only four anthems in the world without lyrics.

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, with around 442 million people speaking it in 2020.

The Spanish flag has a yellow background with a red horizontal stripe on the top and bottom and a coat of arms on the left.

Nudity in public is not illegal in Spain, although it is inappropriate in certain areas and some cities like Barcelona have banned it.

Instead of a tooth fairy, Spanish children place their lost teeth under their pillows for a little mouse called Ratoncito Pérez to collect.

The national animal of Spain is the bull, representing their love of bullfighting, which is still legal in most parts of the country.

La Ventas in Madrid was the main arena for bullfighting but is now a museum and concert venue.

The running of the bulls is a popular annual event in most towns across Spain, involving letting loose several cattle or bulls in a course created by sectioned-off streets.

Paella, a popular Spanish dish, originated from Valencia and was originally made with rabbits, snails, and vegetables.

The Spanish omelet, or Tortilla España, is one of the most well-known national dishes in Spain.

Spanish Flan is a national dessert that was first created in 1518.

Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil, with over 250 million olive trees grown in the country. Mount Teide, located on the Canary Islands, is the highest mountain in Spain at 12,198 feet (3,718 meters), while Mulhacén in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is the highest mainland mountain at 11,413 feet (3,478 meters). The river Tagus, the longest on the Iberian Peninsula, starts in Spain and runs 626 miles (1,007 kilometers), with 445 miles (716 kilometers) flowing through Spain and along the Portuguese border. The Red Carnation, or Clavel, is Spain’s national flower and is grown in Andalusia and Aragon. Spain has 47 UNESCO world heritage sites and the Guinness Book of Records recognizes Sobrino de Botín in Madrid as the oldest official restaurant in the world, established in 1725. The Santa María del Naranco Palace, built in 848, is the oldest building in Spain. La Tomatina is an annual festival in which tomatoes are used in a massive food fight. El Diablo, a restaurant in the Timanfaya National Park on the island of Lanzarote, uses the heat of a volcano to cook food. Spain has been the birthplace of many famous artists, including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The first modern novel, “Don Quixote”, was written by Miguel de Cervantes in 1605. Arnold of Villanova, born in Spain in 1240, was the first to discover carbon monoxide. The first mop and bucket were invented in 1956 by Spanish engineer Manuel Jalón Corominas. The Barbary macaque, the only monkey species found in Europe, can be found in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory located on the southern tip of Spain. Spain has the largest diversity of vascular plants in Europe, with up to 9,000 species between the mainland and the Spanish Islands. Only 25% of plant species found in Spain are native, and many native animals, such as the Iberian Lynx, Iberian Wolf, Spanish Ibex, and Iberian Pig, call Spain home. Serrano ham, made from Iberian pigs fed on acorns, is a well-known Spanish delicacy, and the Spanish Serrano Ham Consortium was formed in 1990 to ensure the highest quality of the product.

Spain is the birthplace of tapas, which are small dishes of food served with alcohol. According to legend, King Alfonso X could only eat small amounts of food with wine when he fell ill. After his recovery, he ordered that all inns should serve wine with food. Chorizo, a type of cured meat, originated in Spain and is part of a larger category of Iberian cured meats called “Embutido”. Flamenco, a dance and musical art form, was born in Andalucía in the 18th century and consists of three elements: song, dance, and guitar playing. La Basilica de La Sagrada Familia, also known as the basilica of the holy family, began construction in 1882 and is still being built, making it the longest construction project in history. These are just a few of the many fascinating facts about Spain, a sunny destination that is sure to captivate any traveler.

FAQ

1. What is the official language of Spain?

The official language of Spain is Spanish, also known as Castilian. It is spoken by the majority of the population and is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. However, there are also several regional languages such as Catalan, Basque, and Galician that are recognized as co-official languages in their respective regions.

2. What is the most popular sport in Spain?

The most popular sport in Spain is football (soccer). It is deeply ingrained in the country’s culture and has a passionate following. Spanish football teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona are some of the most successful and well-known in the world. Other popular sports in Spain include basketball, tennis, and cycling.

3. What is the traditional Spanish dish?

One of the most traditional Spanish dishes is paella, a rice dish that originated in the Valencia region. It typically includes seafood, chicken, and chorizo, and is seasoned with saffron. Other popular Spanish dishes include gazpacho (a cold soup), tortilla española (a potato and onion omelette), and churros (a fried dough pastry).

4. What is the name of the famous pilgrimage route in Spain?

The famous pilgrimage route in Spain is called the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James). It is a network of routes that lead to the shrine of the apostle St. James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. The route has been traveled by pilgrims for over a thousand years and is now a popular tourist attraction as well.

5. What is the name of the famous Spanish artist known for his surrealist paintings?

The famous Spanish artist known for his surrealist paintings is Salvador Dalí. He was born in Catalonia and was one of the most prominent members of the surrealist movement. His works are known for their dreamlike imagery and symbolism, and he is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

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