Spain, that beautiful country in Europe‘s Iberian Peninsula, attracts millions of visitors each year. With its amazing culture, food, warm climate and history, Spain has been loved by tourists for ages. However, here are some amazing facts you didn’t know about Spain.
Or maybe you do. We’ll see about that.
Today we’ll the talking about the top five facts you probably don’t know about España. Some of them might amaze you, but all of them are surely going to make you want to grab your bags, book your hotels, and head to Spain!
5 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Spain
Different names of the country
Throughout history, Spain has had a lot of names — many of which you’ve probably never heard about. For example, its first North African inhabitants called it Iberia, which meant the “land of rivers.”
Many years after, the Greeks invaded the peninsula, and called the area Hesperia, which directly translates to the “land of the setting sun.”
Then, once again, Spain was renamed when the Carthaginians arrived and ruled around 300 BCE. These people named the region Ispania, which in their language meant the “land of the rabbits.”
And theeeeeeen, the Romans conquered the country and Latinized the name to Hispania. Over time, this name was tweaked to simply España.
Nudists’ beaches are the thing
Although naked bodies in public spaces are not that common, Spain has a few laws that actually allow people to, errm, showcase their naked bodies in public beaches.
That is pretty easy to understand: with more than 3,000 hours of sunlight each year, everyone will do everything to get that great full-body tan!
So, if you are a free spirit, you will certainly enjoy this carefree attitude towards nudity and the fact that on many beaches it is common to see other sunbathers (particularly women) flaunting what they got.
A pooping Christmas log
One of the oldest, and also one of the most religious, countries in Europe has one weird Christmas traditional you might actually love.
Or find it hilarious as heck.
The so-called Tió de Nadal is a popular Christmas custom among many Valencianos and Catalonians during the winter’s holiday season. It translates into “the Christmas Log in English.”
However, the Spanish tradition is also nicknamed Caga Tió (meaning ‘shitting log’ or ‘poo log’). The story behind it is pretty simple – children during Christmas beat the hollow log with various sticks until it “defecates” various treats out. You know, poo-looking edibles such as chocolate or dark candy.
Kids love it and tourists get weird about it. Either way, this is definitely one of the most unique Spanish Christmas traditions known to date.
The never ending construction of an iconic church
I don’t know how about you, but when I was in school, we were taught that Barcelona’s La Sagrada Família Church is the record holder of the longest construction in the history of the world.
How much of this story is truth is hard to tell, but some facts are proving this for sure. Spain’s most iconic church has been in construction since breaking ground in 1882 – and it looks like the development is nowhere close to ending.
The expected completion date of Sagrada Familia is sometime in 2026, after some 140 years in the making. Despite ‘s ongoing construction, the church is open to the public and managed to get into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list due to its extraordinary beauty and unique architectural features.
The oldest working restaurant in the world
Another one of the most unique facts you didn’t know about Spain (probably) is that the Mediterranean country is home of the world’s oldest restaurant.
In Madrid, you can find the Restaurante Botín. It opened its doors in 1725 and since then has set the bar for traditional Spanish cuisine.
Nowadays, you can still enjoy old Spanish dishes such as cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig) and old style roasted lamb there.
Dishes which will take you away to those golden Spanish ages when this fabulous European country was one of the most powerful empires in the world.
The following was a guest post. Please contact me to contribute!