Occupying about 85% of the Iberian Peninsula sharing it only with Portugal, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe and also the fourth-largest country in the entire European continent. The varied landscape, diverse culture, ethnicity, rich history, and heritage of the country fascinates everybody around the world to travel to this country and to know its culture in a better manner. If you are planning a travel to this magical country or were just wondering is there anything you do not really know about this amazing country, you really gotta give a read to this article. There are some very interesting but lesser-known facts about Spain that are truly intriguing to know and you will have a fun time reading about them. So just grab a cup of coffee and scroll down below to give these amazing facts about Spain a mindful read.
These are random and are by no particular order. From facts about the country’s landscape to lesser-known fun facts like the name of Spain emerged from the word ‘Ispania’, that means the ‘land of rabbits’, this list contains everything that will make you astonished. Let’s dive into the interesting facts about Spain and let’s check your general knowledge about the country of sunshine and siestas.
Mind-blowing Facts About Spain You Need To Know:
Spain is the second-largest and fourth-most populous country in the European Union.
With a land area of about 505,990 sq. km. Spain is the second-largest country in Western Europe.
Spanish is the largest spoken language in the country and it belongs to the Romance language family. It is also the only official language of the country. About 99% of Spaniards speak in this language. Other languages that are spoken regionally are – Aranese, Basque, Catalan, Valencian, and Galician. Some of the minority languages are Aragonese, Asturian, and Leonese.
Not only in Spain but outside of the country also, Spanish is spoken in 22 other countries.
In the United States, Spanish is the second-largest spoken language.
#6. No Word In National Anthem:
One of the most interesting facts about Spain is that its national anthem ‘Marcha Real’ or ‘Royal March’ has no official lyrics. The original symphonic version of the national anthem is played in the key of B-flat major at a tempo of 76 bpm. And the duration of the anthem is 52 seconds. The other three countries with no official lyrics in their national anthem are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and San Marino.
Spain is a kingdom and its official name is “Kingdom of Spain”.
The country as well as the Iberian Peninsula has been inhabited by people for thousands of years. And in this country, some of the oldest archaeological sites in Europe are located.
Some of the most fascinating archaeological sites of Spain are:
Cenobio de Valerón on Gran Canaria, Cave of Altamira, Atapuerca, and many more.
Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe only after Switzerland.
The highest point of Spain is Pico de Teide that locates on the Canary Islands and has an elevation of 12,198 feet.
Spain holds the thirteen-largest nominal GDP rank in the world.
Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world. It produces more than half of the world’s total olive oil.
#12. 12 Grape Eating Tradition:
One of the funniest and lesser-known facts about Spain is that they eat a total of 12 grapes when the clock strikes 12 in the night on New Year’s Day. With each ring of the bell, they munch on one grape and a total of 12 for the twelve months of the year. They believe that it would initiate good luck in the coming months.
This tradition was probably made famous by the wineries to stop wastages of extra grapes!
Flamenco is not a form of dance. It is a style of music. Did you know this?
#14. Day Of The Innocents:
Spaniards have their own version of April Fools Day. On December 28, they play practical jokes and prank their friends. It is one of the most popular Christmas traditions in Spain. The most practiced joke is that they would cut out a figure from a white paper and would stick that on someone’s back without their realization.
#15. They Have Two Surnames:
In Spanish cultures, people have two surnames. The first is their father’s first surname and the second one is their mother’s first surname.
#16. Nudity Is Not Illegal In Spain:
Though not accepted each and everywhere, stripping off your clothes is quite common in the land of sunshine. With top-class beaches and 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, come to Spain if you want to enjoy beaches and some serious suntan.
The country has around 98.44 percent of literacy rate. But on the contrary, Spain has the second-highest rate of unemployment in the European Union that is only next to Greece. Though the situation is improving gradually.
#18. High Life-expectancy:
Spain has one of the highest life-expectancy rates in Europe. And that is why the country has a great amount of the aging population.
#19. La Tomatina:
The festival is all about throwing tomatoes on each other that takes place in the Valencian town of Bunol in East Spain. This is generally held on the last Wednesday of August and is one of the most famous and popular festivals in Spain. The festival started in the year 1945.
#20. Dragon Tree:
This weird-looking plant on the Canary Islands has a striking umbrella-like appearance and once it was believed to be the source of dragon blood! The red resin derived from the tree is used as varnish, dye, incense, and medicine.
#21. The First Modern Novel Is A Spanish Novel:
The classic novel Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes is the first modern novel.
#22. Third Largest Concentration Of World Heritage Sites:
As of now, Spain has a total number of 48 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that is only next to China and Italy. Both of these countries have 55 World Heritage Sites each.
Spanish people usually talk louder. This is one of the funniest facts about Spain to know.
#24. The Oldest University:
The University of Palencia was the oldest university in Spain. The University of Salamanca was patterned following the model of the University of Palencia.
There are near about 8000 plant species in Spain. Out of these, 2000 species are somewhat endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa.
The bull is the national animal of Spain. This animal is also an important part of Spanish culture. Bullfighting and traditional Running of the Bulls are so much popular here.
#27. Highest Number Of Bars Per Inhabitants:
Spain also holds the record of being the land with the highest number of bars per inhabitants in the European continent.
#28. World’s Oldest Restaurant:
Yes, one of the most amazing facts about Spain is that it is also the home to the world’s oldest restaurant. Restaurante Botin in Madrid is the oldest restaurant in the world. The hotel was established in the year 1725. It is even on the Guinness Book World Records.
#29. Beaches In Spain:
It is the country with the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the world. And it is topping the list for the last 33 years. As of 2020, there are a total of 589 Blue Flag beaches in Spain. The country has over 8000 km of beaches.
Same-Sex Marriage is legal in Spain. It has been legalized in Spain since 2005.
#31. Weird Rules Of Driving:
There are some unbelievable rules for driving in this country. And you would love to know these facts about Spain.
Driving with one hand or keeping arm outside the vehicle is illegal. Both of your hands must be on the steering and what is crazier is that your ears must be visible. Like, What???
You need to be ‘properly’ dressed while driving. And that proper means, you must wear a shirt and you can’t be barefoot or can’t wear flip flops while driving.
Touching-up while at red light is a dream here. You can not eat food or touch up your makeup while at a red light while driving.
You cannot play loud music in your car while in a quiet area or during the early hours of the morning while everybody is sleeping.
WEREN’T THESE FACTS ABOUT SPAIN AMAZING TO KNOW?
#32. They Go To Sleep At Midnight:
Contrary to the other European countries, who doze off to sleep early, the Spanish people sleep late. Germans generally hit the bed by 10 pm, Italians at 11 pm, and the French around 10.30 pm. Also siestas ‘afternoon power naps’ are not that common in Spain.
Newspaper is not widely read in the country. From the year 2008 till 2019, the percentage of reading newspaper has been drastically lowered.
Spain along with its adjoining country Portugal provides most of the cork to the whole world.
Soccer is like religion in Spain. As of the 27th June 2020 ranking, Real Madrid of Spain is the most valuable football club in the world. The second position is taken by F.C. Barcelona that is also a team of Spain.
#36. Spain Remained Neutral During Both Of The World Wars:
Spain was not a part of any of the world wars.
You cannot walk around in the streets wearing a swimsuit. It is considered indecent. In some parts of the country, you can even be fined for that.
If you are in Madrid, do not ask about the time between 3.29 pm and 6.47 pm!
More crazy laws? One of the craziest facts about Spain is that you cannot walk more than eight dogs at the same time in the country.
Spain has the highest organ donation rate than any other country in the world.
#41. Food Cooked On Volcano:
There is a restaurant in Spain named El Diablo Restaurant. It is located in the Timanfaya National Park. They really grill their food over a volcano. Isn’t it one of the most amazing facts about Spain to know?
We owe to Spain for some of their brilliant inventions. Do you know what are some of those very common things that were invented in Spain? Let’s have a look:
- Mop and Bucket
- Lollipop – Our very favorite lollipop brand ‘Chupa Chups’ was branded in Spain. And what is more astonishing to know is that the 1969 logo of the brand was designed by the eminent artist, ‘Salvador Dali’.
- Hot Chocolate
- The Stapler
- Pencil Sharpener
Madrid the capital of the country is also the exact geographical center of the country!
The United States of America has more Spanish speakers than Spain.
#45. The Only Cross-border Zip Line In The World:
Limite Zero is the only cross-border zip line in the world that connects Portugal with Spain.
The iconic Eiffel Tower was originally proposed to be built in Barcelona, Spain. But Spain refused the proposal.
Enjoyed these most amazing facts about Spain? We are sure that you did. Share these facts with your friends and family and let them also know about these facts like you did. Till we meet, A BIG HUG!!!