Spain is definitely a country that has a long, interesting history. There are many different intriguing aspects of it that make travelers excited to visit the Land of Paellas. If you are searching for the fun facts about Spain, then you are in the right place!
These fascinating facts about Spain will definitely broaden your knowledge of this great country.
Spain Wasn’t Involved in World War I or World War II
One of the interesting facts about Spain is that the country did not participate in either world wars. They stayed out of the conflicts despite the ideologies of their leaders lining up with the Axis powers. Many people from Spain did fight in the second world war, though.
Spanish citizens who were opposed to what was going on in World War II wound up traveling to France and enlisting to fight under their banner. Even though Spain wasn’t officially involved in these wars, it would be disingenuous not to acknowledge the sacrifices of the brave Spanish men who fought and died during the conflict.
Spanish Is One Of The World’s Most Widely Spoken Languages
There are over 500 million Spanish speakers in the world. The language is official in 20 countries including:
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Costa Rica
- Puerto Rico
Number #1 on the list of the most widely spoken languages in the world is Chinese, with English as a runner-up. Then it’s Hindu, Spanish, and Arabic.
It’s Technically Legal to Go Nude in Spain
One of the fun facts about Spain is that while you don’t necessarily see people walking around without clothes all the time, it is technically legal to go nude in Spain.
With the weather being very hot and dry in the summer, it is certainly appealing to be able to walk around with as little clothing as possible. It would take someone truly uninhibited to enjoy going completely nude but it is interesting to know that there is no law against it.
This is a far cry from most places in the world as indecent exposure laws would see someone locked up rather quickly in most other European nations and North America.
There Are Many Weird Festival In Spain
Have you heard of El Colacho? It’s also called the Baby Jumping Festival and you will probably never guess what’s it all about! Men dressed as the Devil jump over babies that were born during the past 12 months of the year. They lie on mattresses in the street waiting to be cleansed of original sin. Watch this video for more.
Want more weird festivals? Check out San Fermín, where the bulls are running down the streets of the old part in Pamplona. Or Tomatina where people from the town called Bunol throw tomatoes at each other.
Spain Used to Have the Youngest Legal Marriage Age in Europe
One of the weird facts about Spain is that before 2015, the age you had to be to marry someone legally was fourteen. This was the youngest marriage age in all of Europe. Hearing this will come as a bit of culture shock to many people as that would be considered completely inappropriate by the standards of many cultures. Spain seems to have changed their tune on this issue as in 2015, they increased the legal marriage age up to sixteen years of age.
To go along with this, another of Spain interesting facts is that the legal age for consensual sex before 2015 was only thirteen years old. When the laws were changed in 2015, it brought them in line with what the rest of the European Union was doing. Now the legal age of consent is sixteen years old, as it is in a majority of European countries.
Spain Is the Second-Largest Country in the European Union
One of the interesting facts about Spain is that it’s a pretty populous country with slightly under forty-seven million people calling it home. The vast majority of the people in Spain live in urban residential areas.
The largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, are home to millions of people. These cities have populations that are larger than many countries so you can definitely see why Spain is one of the biggest countries in Europe.
Many World’s Famous Painters Were Spanish
One of the interesting facts about Spain is that the country was home to the best artists of all time. Famous painters such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, or Francisco Goya were all Spanish.
Recreation Time Is Very Important to the Spanish
The next fun fact about Spain is that a 2013 report showcases one of the more intriguing Spain fun facts on this list. You see, the Spanish really love to devote as much of their time to recreation as they can.
According to a 2013 report, the Spanish try to devote sixteen hours out of the day towards rest and recreation. This would put many people working a little less than full time by North American standards.
With so many people in North America putting in workweeks that are so long and arduous, it’s easy to get jealous of the Spanish philosophy.
People in the United States of America often work jobs that last for ten to twelve hours a day. The Spanish also have a very high life expectancy so perhaps their increased rest and recreation time has had a lot of benefits for them physically. This is definitely one of the best fun facts about Spain.
The Spanish Have a High Life Expectancy
As I mentioned before, Spaniards live longer than their neighbors. They have an average life expectancy of eighty-two years.
This is one of the highest life expectancy rankings in the entire world! As you might expect, the women have longer life expectancy than the men with women living until eighty-five years old on average and men living until seventy-nine years old.
The Monarchy Controls Spain
There are not that many monarchy systems of government in major countries of the world these days. Spain is a constitutional monarchy, though. Their current ruler is King Felipe VI and he came to power in 2014.
In practice, the country isn’t run all that differently from the other countries in the European Union.
Spain Has One Of The Highest Numbers Of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Here is the full list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain. The most frequently visited places are Gaudi’s Works in Barcelona, the nature of Ibiza, and Alcázar of Seville.
Wind Power Is Very Important to Spain
The next fun fact about Spain is that this country is an early adopter of wind-based power technology. They built many wind turbines years ago and have made excellent use of this power source ever since. The numbers revealed in 2013 showcased that Spain receives one-fifth of its power from wind-based sources. This actually makes it the method that they get the majority of their power from.
Many European nations are doing their best to embrace renewable energy technologies. It is likely that the amount of power Spain receives from sources such as wind will increase even more in the years to come. Spain has certainly proven that wind-based power can be quite viable for a country with a large population.
The Spanish Have a Substitute for the Tooth Fairy
One of the most interesting facts about Spain is that Spaniards don’t use the character of the tooth fairy. Instead, they have someone known as Ratoncito Perez that takes children’s lost teeth and gives them gifts in return.
This functions pretty much exactly the same way that the tooth fairy does. The biggest difference is that this character gives out presents instead of money.
Many Spanish People Have Two Surnames
One of the fun facts about Spain is that things are certainly done a little differently in Spain when you’re used to how everything is in your country.
In Spain, the average person has two surnames. One of the surnames comes from one’s father and the other from his or her mother. The way that this is structured is confusing to some but generally speaking, a child will receive two surnames to honor both the mother and father.
Madrid, The Capital Of Spain Is One Of The Largest Cities in Europe
The capital of Spain, Madrid, is home to over three million people, making it the third-most populous city in Europe (after London and Berlin). This city is a popular tourist destination for its legendary nightlife and incredible art museums. You will always be able to find something interesting to do when visiting Madrid.
If you want to know a few more Spain facts concerning the origins of Madrid, then it’s interesting to look at what the land was called in the past. The Romans referred to Madrid as “the land of bears” because it had a large population of bears during this time. When Spain was being occupied by Arabic forces, they referred to the land as the “place of abundant water.”
Check out this post to read more –> interesting facts about Madrid.
The Majority of Spain Is Catholic
As you can see, there are many interesting facts about Spain. The next one is about religion. Catholicism has a very deep history in Spain and over seventy percent of the population identifies as Catholic.
This is an astonishingly high number and it goes to show just how deep Spain’s Catholic roots are. As a country, Spain is very much a place that holds traditions in high regard. Catholic traditions are a large part of Spanish culture because of this and you will find many beautiful churches in the country.
One of the most popular is the Cathedral of Valencia where you can see the elusive Holy Grail. According to the legend, Jesus used this cup during the Last Supper. There is no proof that the Spanish Holy Grail is original, however, it’s still worth going to Valencia to see it.
What’s interesting, even though so many Spaniards claim to be Catholics only 13% of them are attending weekly Sunday masses. That clearly shows that the religion in Spain is becoming part of the culture, rather than life’s signpost.
Football Is Insanely Popular In Spain
Another interesting fact about Spain is that football is really popular there. Spain has many of the world’s best football teams, such as Real Madrid,
On top of this, the national Spanish football team was ranked very high in the global competition for many years. Football is something that has captured the hearts and minds of the Spanish population as nothing else.
More Than Half of the Olive Oil in the World Is Produced in Spain
One of the fun facts about Spain that you almost certainly didn’t know is that the country produces over half of the world’s olive oil. They produce more than 1.5 million tons of olive oil on a yearly basis.
For the most part, their olive oil production is centered around Andalusia in the southern region of the country. If you are traveling to Seville, the capital of this region, be sure to book Olive Oil Tour. You will have a chance to taste it and see how it’s produced.
Olive oil is an extremely important export for the Spanish and they see great profits from it every year.
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Do you know any other interesting facts about Spain? Share your thoughts in comments!