10 fun facts about Spain you didn’t know
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Spain is a wonderful country that has much to offer the visitor. Not in vain is the third country in the world that receives more tourists, only behind France and USA. That’s why today we want to tell you 10 fun facts about Spain you sure did not know. And if you still want more, you can travel to Spain with Renfe-SNCF en Coopération trains in the most comfortable and fast way, without long queues or waiting and getting to the center of your favorite Spanish city.
1. The center of Spain
The first of our fun facts about Spain is that Madrid is not only the capital of Spain. It is also the geographical center of the country. And in the center of Madrid you can find the Puerta del Sol (“The Sun Gate”), which is the center of the country and the Spanish radial road system.
2. The first modern novel is Spanish
The fun fact about Spain is that the first “modern” novel, the book translated into more languages after the Bible, and the one that holds the title of best book in history, was written by a Spaniard, Miguel de Cervantes. It is “Don Quixote” and was written in 1605.
3. Around 406 million people in the world speak Spanish.
Peoples in the street. A fun fact about Spanish is the second language in the world with more native speakers. It comes right after Chinese and right before English. Spanish was born in Spain, but today it is spoken throughout the American continent and in some places in Africa and Asia.
4. In Spain, different languages are spoken.
Another fun fact about Spain is that although Spanish is the majority language, Spain has 4 co-official languages. They are Catalan, Basque, Galician and Aranese. There is other Romance minority languages, though not official, that have special recognition, such as the Astur-Leonese group (bable) and Aragonese (aragonés) in Aragon. You can think of it as English and French in Canada.
5. The highest Spanish mountain is not in Spain.
Spain’s higher mountain, Teide, at Tenerife island. Well, it is in Spain, but not in the Iberian Peninsula. A fun fact about Spain is that the highest mountain in the country is Mount Teide (3718 meters). This mountain is situated in the Canary Islands and is an active volcano. As a consequence of its eruptions, the beaches of the island of Tenerife are of black sand instead of white.
6. UNESCO’s third largest heritage country
Another fun fact about Spain is that it has 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Only Italy and China have more. Probably the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona. This building was begun to build in 1882 and is believed to be finished in 2026.
7. The Sistine Chapel of Prehistory is in Spain
Bull of Altamira: Near Santander lies the Altamira cave. In this cave a lot of prehistoric drawings have been discovered of very varied shape and meaning. The fun fact about Spain is that this cave is so impressive and of historical importance that people began to call it the Sistine Chapel of Prehistory.
8. We have chocolate thanks to the Spanish
A fun fact about Spain is that thanks to the colonies that the Spaniards established in the American continent and their relations with North Africa, today we can all enjoy oranges, avocados, cacao, potatoes or sugar. The Europeans did not know any of these things until the fifteenth century.
9. Christmas is very special in Spain
The Three Wise Men, who are believed to give presents to Spanish children on the evening of January 5th. The Spaniards celebrate Christmas, the New Year and also the feast of the Three Wise Men during the winter holidays. This time of the year is very special and they live it very intensely. A fun fact about Spain is that it is traditional to eat twelve grapes at a time to receive the new year. It is more difficult than it seems, but the Spaniards swear that achieving that gives good luck for the rest of the year.
10. The Spaniards tend to speak loudly
This is a fun fact about Spain and Spaniards. You can easily spot Spaniard anywhere, because they are the ones that speak in the loudest voice. It is part of the Spanish character and it is something that contributes to create that special atmosphere.
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