Spain is famously recognized for its cuisine, flamenco music and dance, siesta, bullfights and football (soccer). But there are numerous other fascinating facts about this beautiful European nation.
Spain, for instance, boasts an average life expectancy of 83 years old with individuals spending 16 hours of each day engaging in leisurely activities such as eating and drinking as well as engaging in hobbies or pastimes.
1. It has a land border with Morocco
Spain may seem far away from Africa, yet it does indeed share land borders with several African countries. The European Union’s sole non-European land border can be found between Melilla and Ceuta in northern Morocco – Spain has two enclaves there and these have seen increased levels of migration as Morocco becomes both a source and transit country for African migrants hoping to reach Europe.
However, tensions remain between Morocco and Spain due to non-legal workers from Morocco being treated unfairly in Spain as legal employees and discriminated against in the workplace. Morocco also strongly objects to Spain reopening Melilla and Ceuta borders due to what they see as its unilateral action without reciprocity from their part.
Fun facts about Spain include the fact that Spaniards typically inherit two surnames — one from their father and one from their mother. Their national dish, paella, combines rice with saffron-infused chicken meatballs, rabbit legs, shellfish and rabbit legs for an irresistibly delicious dish! When visiting Valencia city you should also participate in “La Tomatina,” the world’s largest food fight featuring people throwing tomatoes at one another!
If you’re traveling to Spain, be sure to bring along an app that lets you practice Spanish conversational skills with locals and take full advantage of siestas as part of daily life there. Also don’t forget the tooth mouse (aka Ratoncito Perez). He may leave something under your pillow as thanks! Enjoy your travels!
2. It has a sundial at Puerta de Sol
Before the advent of personal watches, public clocks were relied upon to keep time. One such clock is the sundial at Puerta del Sol in Madrid which dates back to 1753 and provided convenient readings of sun’s position as well as serving as an official reference point in documents issued at that time.
This square marks the origins of “la tomatina”, an annual food fight held every August 31st that involves throwing over 150,000 tomatoes! An extraordinary Spanish tradition!
Puerta del Sol is well-known because it was once the main gate into Madrid during 5th century. Additionally, this monument houses a statue of King Carlos III that was placed there in 1997 as well as a plaque marking “kilometer zero”.
Visit a plaza during the holidays and don’t miss the opportunity to sample traditional paella. This iconic Spanish dish can be found at many restaurants all over Spain.
There are now over 50 variations of this dish originally developed by chef Pedro Romero. Saffron from Spain is popularly used; though costly, it makes for an unforgettable culinary treat!
3. It has a lot of great artists
Spain is home to many well-known artists, from Goya’s black paintings to Gaudi’s whimsical designs; some of these artists have left lasting marks on art history with works that remain popular today.
Some of the great Spanish artists include El Greco, Velazquez, Goya and Salvador Dali – each known for his/her unique styles of art creation. Goya’s Burial of Count of Orgaz shows this well with thin figures with long faces positioned within an atmosphere specially lit to highlight them in his Mannerist painting style.
Salvador Dali, another acclaimed Spanish artist, was renowned as a Surrealist painter who used unusual images and patterns in his paintings to express the inner worlds he experienced. One such work by him is known as Persistence of Memory – depicting an egg symbolizing hope, rhinoceros chastity and soft watches representing time.
Spain was at the heart of European art during the Renaissance period. Due to its central trading route status and native traditions that helped form art forms by their citizens, Spain received influences from all corners of Europe that informed art forms throughout Spain itself. Many artists created their own distinct styles from this combination of influences – some became widely adopted like Cubism and Impressionism while other subgenres like Baroque were less well received; nonetheless Spain remains one of Europe’s storied and sophisticated cultures with stone castles, snowcapped mountains, vast monuments that attract travelers worldwide.
4. It has a national anthem without lyrics
Spain is one of only four nations worldwide that boast a national anthem without lyrics; known as ‘Marcha Real’ by many, its Royal March dates back to the 18th century and remains without words even today. There have been various attempts at including lyrics in its melody but finding a song representative of all the various groups and languages present can prove challenging.
Spain may surprise some, but they’re extremely tolerant towards different cultures and religions. Nearly all Spaniards are Catholic; this is evidenced in festivals, holidays, and architectural masterpieces found across Spain.
Most people know of Don Quixote’s trusted squire, Sancho Panza. Miguel de Cervantes’ epic novel is widely considered as being the first modern novel and continues to leave an indelible mark today.
Spain stands out as an environmentally-friendly nation, boasting one of the greenest countries worldwide. Over half its area is covered with forests, while it’s not uncommon to encounter large areas of pine and oak trees when traveling around.
Like its English-speaking counterparts, when children lose a tooth they typically put it under their pillow in hopes that the Tooth Fairy will visit and take it. But in Spain there is another tradition called Ratoncito Perez which instead takes away their lost tooth instead – this tradition first started back in 1877 and has since become part of Spanish folklore.
5. It has a tooth mouse instead of a tooth fairy
When children lose a tooth in many countries, tradition dictates leaving it under their pillow for a fairy to collect it. But in Spain this enchanting task is performed by Ratoncito Perez: an eccentric mouse known for collecting children’s teeth since 1894! After returning them back to his castle he swaps them out with coins or treats as promised.
Spain is full of unexpected delights. Notably, it was in Spain where staplers first appeared – specifically created for King Louis XV of France by artisans from Basque Country; each stapler allegedly bears his royal emblem! Other inventions by Spaniards include cigarettes (invented during 17th Century), mop and bucket, spacesuit and mop bucket.
Spain is home to some incredibly weird traditions. One example: at midnight on New Year’s Eve they celebrate by eating 12 grapes without breaking them – according to legend if this feat can be accomplished without incident, one will be granted good fortune throughout the rest of their year!
These are only some of the quirky and wonderful aspects of Spain that will amaze and charm you! If you want to delve further into its rich history, culture, and incredible landmarks that make Spain special then plan a trip today – this stunning country offers something new with every visit. Families as well as solo travelers will find plenty to keep them captivated! Don’t wait; start planning your adventure now!