Fun Facts about Spain – a DonQuijote Spanish Language post

There are so many fun facts about Spain that it is hard to know where to start. Here is a selection of our favorite fun facts about Spain that the average person might now know.

  • When your car is towed away, a message left on the street so you know where it was taken.
  • Madrid is in the physical center of the country and the plaza Puerta del Sol, in Madrid, is the exact center of the country.
  • Spain has a very low birthrate. Most attribute this to high unemployment, low wages and steep housing costs.
  • Do not be alarmed by a dirty floor in a bar. It is completely acceptable and normal to throw things on the ground in bars. Most of the time a dirty floor means a good bar!
  • Sunflower seeds are big deal in Spain. More importantly, Spaniards are really talented at opening and eating them at a shocking speed.
  • The locals of Spain have lunch at 2 pm and dinner at around 9 to10 pm read more about Spanish Eating Customs.
  • Spanish food is not spicy and very seldom hot. Learn more about the Mediterranean diet.
  • Spain has the second highest number of bars per inhabitants, the only country that has more bars than Spain is Cyprus. Bars are an important part of life; learn more about Spanish eating customs.
  • Tortillas in Spain are not the same as tortillas elsewhere. You will not find corn or flour tortillas in Spanish dishes. In Spain, tortilla española refers to a very popular and delicious egg and potato dish. Spaniards use the word “tortitas” to refer to flour/corn tortillas.
  • Most households buy fresh bread every day. Traditionally, they are long baguettes called barras or pistolas. Bread is present (and required) at almost every meal.
  • Spain is home to the world´s largest tomato fight: La Tomatina, celebrated every year in a village of Valencia.
  • The Spaniard Catherine of Aragon married Henry VIII of England. She was the first of his six wives and the mother of Queen Mary I.
  • Gibraltar was ceded by Spain to Britain in 1713, controlled the entrance to the Mediterranean.
  • In 1588 the Spanish Armada, consisting of one hundred and fifty ships, sailed to England to invade, but it was defeated by the English navy and stormy weather.
  • Euskera, spoken by the Basque population in northern Spain and southern France, is one of the oldest living languages in the world.
  • Spain remained neutral in both world wars.
  • Food is important in Spain and often a topic of conversation. Additionally, they often go on walks after a meal to help them digest their meal.
  • Football/Soccer is the country´s most important sport. Spain won its first World Cup football title in 2010, which made the country the 8th country to have ever won.
  • For 40 years, between 1936 and 1975, Franco ruled Spain as a dictator. After his death, the rightful King Juan Carlos had a key role in returning the country to a democracy with a new constitution.
  • Same-sex marriage in Spain became legal on July 3, 2005.
  • Tomatoes, potatoes, avocadoes, tobacco, and cacao (for chocolate) were all imported into Europe by Spain.
  • Though Spain is more famous for its red wine than white, the majority of its vineyards have white grapes. The fortified wine sherry comes from the city of Jerez in Andalusia. In Spanish, sherry is simply called ‘vino de Jerez’ (Jerez wine).
  • The Spanish (in particular those from Cadiz) claim that they invented fried fish. In the 18th century, Britain had ties with Cadiz and therefore it is believed that the English took the idea of fish ‘n’ chips from Spain. However, other sources claim the Portuguese and Belgians invented it.
  • Spain is the number one producer of olive oil in the world with 44% of the world’s olive oil production. That is more than twice that of Italy and four times that of Greece.
  • Spain is one of the world’s biggest producers of saffron, an important ingredient in paella.
  • The MadridBarcelona is one of the city pairs with most flights per week in the world!
  • The Madrid subway is the second largest underground system in Europe and the sixth largest system in the world. It has 141 miles of track and is still growing.
  • Spain is the third country in the world, after the US and Brazil, with the most plastic surgery interventions per capita in the world.
  • Spain is the number one country in regards to organ donation in the world.
  • Mahou-San Miguel is the leading brand of Spanish Beer.
  • Seat is the only Spanish car brand.
  • Presenting oneself at a party before 12 is early; Spaniards normally start the night around 12:30-2:00 am.
  • When meeting someone, it is customary to give one kiss on each cheek.
  • Older women often flaunt expensive fur coats during the winter.
  • There are a lot of holidays and vacation days in Spain and Spaniards really respect their free time and siestas. They often talk about the “quality of life” which has a lot to do with how much free time one has.
  • The Spanish Empire was once one of the world’s most powerful.

Spring Holidays in Spain

feriaDo you know what they say in Spain? The sap rises in the spring! It’s because the days are longer, the countryside looks beautiful and the terraces of the bars are full of people who feel like being outdoors.

There are many interesting things to do this season. For example, you can travel to the Jerte Valley (in Extremadura) and experience what it feels like to be surrounded by two million blossoming cherry trees. The hills look like they are covered with a spectacular white blanket. There are routes in this part of Spain and many other cultural and natural routes that lead to other places.

You’ll also love going hiking and observing the scenery in the Covadonga Lakes, Sanabria Lake, Arribes del Duero (where you can go on a tourist boat), Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, or Tablas de Daimiel National Park. You might also want to visit one of our botanical gardens.

As for popular spring festivities, there is Easter week, and then the April Fair in Seville and the Festival of the Courtyards in Cordoba, where you can go for a walk round beautiful courtyards decorated with lots of pots full of geraniums, carnations and jasmines. And on the subject of flowers, in May we have the Corpus Christi, and in towns like San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Sitges and Ponteareas the streets are adorned with enormous carpets made out of petals.