Fun Facts about Spain

Spain is one of the world’s oldest cultures with a rich heritage that has influenced many countries around the world. It is the birthplace of the Spanish language, Pablo Picasso and Miguel Cervantes, and attracts millions of people every year.

Spain has tons to offer, from chorizos and matadors to flamenco dance and Spanish guitar. Now here are some random facts about the country.

  • Spain has been through a bunch of different names throughout its history.

The North African inhabitants who first crossed the Straits of Gibraltar called it Iberia, which meant land of rivers. When the Greeks invaded the peninsula, they called it Hesperia, meaning “land of the setting sun” (since it was then the westernmost point of the European continent).

When the Carthaginians came to the land around 300 BCE, they called it Ispania, which meant “land of the rabbits”. Later, the Romans took over and Latinized the name to Hispania. Over time, this changed to España. So essentially, Spain is the “land of rabbits”

  •  There is a Spanish New Year custom called Twelve Grapes.

  • As per this custom, Spaniards celebrate the New Year by eating one grape with their family for each bell strike of the clock (for a total of 12 grapes – hence the name). This custom was originally popularized by Spanish vine growers as a way to sell their excess grapes!

  • They have a King

    Like the United Kingdom, Spain is a constitutional monarchy called the Kingdom of Spain. The head of state is King Felipe VI , who ascended the throne in 2014

  •   Spanish is the second most popular first language in the world.
  • It is the official language of Spain but also is the official language  Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, Panama, Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Peru, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Equatorial Guinea. Many of these places were once colonies of the Spanish Empire 

  • The Spanish national football team:

 

There are two religions in Spain.. Catholicism and Football. La Liga is world renowned for being one of the greatest football leagues in the world. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla are seen to be one of the best teams in the world. Spanish players From 2008 to 2013, Spain holds a total of 28 wins, which makes it the longest world record for winning the most consecutive competitive matches.  

  • Spaniards love to hang out

On average, Spaniards are known to spend approximately 16 out of every 24 hours laying around, eating, drinking(including alcoholic beverages) and sleeping. There is nothing better than taking a Siesta! after lunch.

  •  Zipline connects Spain and Portugal. 

It only takes 60 seconds to cross the border on this Zipline. It is built on a river, 150 meters wide, between the two countries.

  • The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada familia, a cathedral in Barcelona that is still under construction is one of the most visited buildings in Spain. It is under construction for over 130 yearsIt is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Europe.

  • Spain is in the wrong time zone

General Franco, Spanish dictator, in showing some support to Hitler in the 1940s pushed the timezone one hour. Ever since, even though Spain is geographically in line with Britain, Portugal and Morocco — its clocks are on the same time zone as countries as far east as Poland and Hungary.

  • Spain is the land of fiestas or festivals.

In every single city, town and village there is a festival of some kind which gets all the townsfolk out on the streets partying with their neighbours. The biggest festivals of international fame are the bullrunning of Pamplona, the fireworks of Las Fallas in Valencia, the mock battles of Moros y Cristianos in Alcoy, Semana Santa in all of Andalucia and the massive Feria de Abril in Seville.

  • Some famous people who are from Spain

Enrique Iglesias: singer and songwriter. He was born in Madrid and is warmly regarded as the king of Latin pop.

Penelope Cruz: Oscar winning actress and model. She made her debut into the acting world at the age of 16 and starred in her first movie the next year.

Javier Bardem: actor and director. He was born in the Canary Islands and is most known for his role in ‘No Country for Old Men’ and ‘Skyfall’.

Ricky Martin: singer and songwriter. He began his successful career at the early age of 13 singing with Menudo, an all boy group.

Pablo Picasso: artist, painter. He completed his first painting, Le picador, at the age of 9 and his first academic painting at the age of 15.

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