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Interesting Spain Facts

10 Spain Facts

Spain Facts – 10 Fun and Interesting Facts!

Always a popular destination for tourists and visitors, Spain offers more than just picturesque beaches and sunny days. Cities across the country are filled with amazing architecture and rich history. The relaxed cultural vibe of the country permeates through everything, and is one of the reasons it is such a popular location for summer holidays. If you are planning to learn Spanish abroad or just want to discover more about the country for an upcoming visit, these Spain facts we have researched and compiled are perfect to start your journey with.


10 Spain Facts:

1. The World’s First Novel

The first ‘modern novel’ is actually Spanish. The epic Don Quixote, published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, was authored by Miguel de Cervantes.

Spain Facts - Don Quixote

The story follows Alonso Quijano, an hidalgo who loses himself in chivalric romance novels and begins to believe he is a knight-errant on a quest to revive chivalry and serve his nation. Since its original publication, over 500 million copies of Don Quixote have been sold worldwide!


2. Nudity is legal

While the English may be notorious for ‘prudishness’, the Spanish are the complete opposite. It is not unusual to see nudity on beaches across Spain, and we are not just referring to nudist beaches. In Spain, nudity is legal, however it is considered inappropriate in a number of places.


3. Religion

When one thinks of Spain, imagery of Catholic churches and iconography spring to mind. However, it is surprising to note that only 13% of the population regularly attend church. Even with this small percentage making weekly trips to their local church, over two thirds of the population still identify as Roman Catholic!


4. World’s oldest restaurant

When visiting Madrid, a meal at El Restaurante Botin is highly recommended. Not only for the food on offer, but also for the fact you will be dining in a place of history.

Restaurante Botin

This popular restaurant was opened in 1725 and is the oldest restaurant in the world! Well worth a visit when looking for something to eat while in the Spanish capital!


5. Only European country with African border

Since 1668, Spain has been the only European nation that has a land border with Africa! Initially this may sound impossible, but not when you realised that Spain maintains a few small outpost in Africa which borders Morocco!


Ceuta is one of the most important, strategic cities for European nations and has passed through many different hands before becoming Spanish in 1668.


6. Festivals

There is nothing that highlights a country’s culture quite like its festivals, and Spain is no different. The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona is one of the most famous festivals in the world! The event is actually part of a larger, nine-day festival which honours Saint Fermin.

Spain Facts - La Tomatina

La Tomatina is another famous Spanish festival, held just outside Valencia. This giant tomato food-fight started in 1945 and attracts thousands of attendees every year! Though be prepared to help clean up afterwards if attending as this is a requirement for all participants in the fight. It’s only fair.


7. National anthem has no words

Written in 1761, the Spanish national anthem, ‘Marcha Real’ is one of the oldest anthems in the world. The blessing for Spaniards is that they never need to worry about forgetting the words as there are none! While this Spanish fact won’t have much of an impact on the average visitor, it is definitely a relief for Spaniards in major sporting events!


8. Olive oil

While we automatically associate olive oil with Italy, Spain actually produces more per year than any other country! Over 30% of all olive oil in the world is produced in Spain which is over double the amount than the Italians.

Spain Facts - Olive Oil

As well as its olive oil production, Spain is also notorious for its wine. So much so that Spain is the second-largest wine producer in the world!


9. Sagrada Familia

Nestled in the heart of Barcelona, Sagrada Familia is a stunning sight to behold. The cathedral was designed by Antoni Gaudi with construction beginning in 1882. As of 2022, the cathedral is still under construction with is completion expected in 2026.

Spain Facts - Sagrada Familia

Over 2.8 million people visit Sagrada Familia every year, giving it the official title of the most visited construction site in the world!


10. Unique Spanish words

As with other languages, there are certain words which are unique and cannot be easily translated to English. This is the case with many other languages around the world. While there are many examples of this, here are several which you may come across in Spain.

  • Vergüenza Ajena: feeling embarrassed for someone even if he/she doesn’t feel embarrassed him/herself;
  • Empalagar: have you ever disliked something because it was too sweet? This word perfectly describe this situation;
  • Sobremesa: in Spain and Latin American countries, it is common to stay at the table after a meal and share conversation and anecdotes with family and friends over a cup of coffee or some wine.


Interesting Spain Facts

With its beautiful weather, stunning architecture and cultural history, Spain offers so much to so many. It is no wonder that so many people visit the country every year from across the world to learn Spanish. What better way to discover Spain and the Spanish language than studying in the country itself! At Cactus, we offer a range of language holidays and courses to suit everyone. With a variety of languages and destinations to choose from, you can be sure to find your perfect course with us.

Are you looking to find out more about language holidays abroad? Cactus Language Holidays Brochure gives you all the information you need for your next unforgettable experience! Learning a language have never been easier and is a great way to start uncover a different culture.

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