sunset view of Barcelona in Spain

6 Interesting Facts About Spain You Didn’t Know

Tom Welbourne Travel

6 Interesting Facts About Spain You Didn’t Know

Think Spain is just all sun, siestas and sangria? Think again! Spain is one of the most beautiful European countries (though we might be biased!) which is rich in varied culture, gorgeous history and traditions that are totally worth digging in to! 

So, whether you’re excited for your upcoming Spanish for beginners course or you just want to know a little more about this stunning country and its people before you dive into learning the Spanish language, we’ve put together 6 interesting facts about Spain that you might not have known!

sunset view of Barcelona in Spain

It’s Home To The World’s Second-Most Spoken Language

That’s right! The Spanish language is the second most spoken language in the world, with only Mandarin pipping it to the post. There are around 440 million Spanish speakers around the world! And while not all of these speakers will be native, that’s a pretty impressive number.

Spanish is the official language of Spain, but there are also regional languages like Catalan, Basque (Euskara) and Galician (Galego) that also all have official status in their regions.

So if you’re thinking of learning Spanish in one of our Spanish courses then you’re in good company! With so many native and second-language speakers around the world, we think Spanish is one of the best languages to learn to open doors to careers, great holidays and good communities! As interesting facts about Spain go, we love this one…

Paella Isn’t As Popular As You Think 

While for many international Spanish enthusiasts Paella is the national dish of Spain, for many native Spaniards it isn’t! This is because Paella is seen as a Valencian dish, rather than a national dish for Spain. Though you’re still very likely to find Paella lining the streets from vendors and in the restaurants – and who can blame Spain, it’s delicious.

The ‘First’ Novel Was Written In Spanish

One of our favourite interesting facts about Spain is that way back in 1605, the novel Don Quixote was written in Spanish by Miquel de Cervantes. And while the very first novel is difficult to pinpoint through the rich and convoluted history of literature, Don Quixote is considered to be the world’s first ‘modern’ novel. It’s also seen as one of the most important works of Spanish literature ever written, is usually studied in Universities all over, and is very often seen as a founding work of Western literature.

Spain Has A Tomato Throwing Contest Each Year

We didn’t say these interesting facts about Spain would all be educational! What’s life without a little fun? And Spain knows that very well – because every year, there is a Valencian event called ‘La Tomatina’ or ‘the throwing of tomatoes’ held on the last Wednesday of August in the town of Buñol. This amazing festival is messy, fun and something you will never forget!

The town provides around 150,000 kilograms of tomatoes and while the food fight actually only lasts an hour, the party afterwards last all day!

Spain Has 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites 

Made official in 2019, Spain boasts a huge 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – which is the third-highest in the world! This is testament to the rich cultural history of Spain, which all its historic cities, monuments, archaeological sites, churches and so much more.

So when you’re daydreaming up your next trip to Spain, you can thank this interesting fact about Spain for all the cultural fun you’ll have when you do go.  

Spain Was Once A Number Of Separate Kingdoms

Like many countries, Spain has a varied political past, and its current state as a unified country wasn’t always the case! The modern-day Spain that we know and love was once a number of individual kingdoms, and each of which had their own language too! 

This changed in the 15th Century when Fernando of Aragon and Isabel of Castile married and then these kingdoms were united.

Bonus ‘fun’ fact:

Driving In Flip Flops Is Illegal

You did read that right. And okay, maybe illegal is a slight overstatement but if you’re spotted driving without a shirt or in flip flops in Spain, you could leave with a fine of up to €200! So that’s one to remember for Summer…

 

So, now you know a little more about this gorgeous country, its people and its customs, why not dive headfirst into learning the equally gorgeous Spanish language? 

Whether you’re a native or fluent speaker and want to practice your Spanish conversation or beginners Spanish classes are more your type of thing, we’re excited to meet you and learn together.