Find out some interesting facts about Spain's geography, history, food and famous citizens! Then scroll down for our colouring page of the Spanish flag and more useful flag printables.
Alcazar Castle, Segovia, Spain
Geography of Spain
- The Kingdom of Spain, a nation of 47 million people, occupies the majority of the Iberian Peninsula in south west Europe.
- Spain has a long coastline. Inland it is mainly high plateau, with the Pyrenees mountain range to the northern border with France. Portugal forms its western border.
- Spain is the world's largest olive oil producer with a market share of 44%. It has the most land planted with vineyards.
- Spain has 44 Unesco World Heritage Sites, the third highest number after Italy (49) and China (45).
- Spanish is the world’s second most common native language,spoken by around 400 million people, just ahead of English. It is often called Castilian because it originated in the Castile region.
- Tourism is a major industry with millions attracted each year to the sunny coastal resorts and Baleric islands.
- Roman Emperors Hadrian, Trajan and Marcus Aurelius all came from the Iberian Peninsula, which was called Hispania
- Muslim Moors from northern Africa invaded in 711 CE and were finally evicted in 1492 CE. They called the territory Al -Andalus, which is the origin of the southern region now called Andalucia. They built magnificent palaces such as the Alhambra in Granada although they failed to totally conquer northwestern Spain, which remained Christian.
- Spain was a global power, and the world’s most powerful empire in the 16th century. Today the empire consists of just 2 settlements in north Africa called Cueta and Melilla.
- The capital Madrid was established in the heart of the country when King Philip moved his court there in 1561.
- Cadiz was once a Phoenician port and claims to be Europe’s longest continuously inhabited city.
- Puerta del Sol has a stone to mark the exact centre of Spain.
- Real Madrid are the world’s richest football club and have won the most European Cups.
- Madrid residents, or Madrilenos, are also known as gatos (cats) . It is said that a guard once climbed the city walls and his family were called Gato because of his agility.
- Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is home to F C Barcelona football team whose stadium Camp Nou is Europe’s largest club ground with a capacity of 85,500, possibly rising to 105,000 by 2021. Lionel Messi is Barcelona’s star goal scorer.
- Each year Valencia plays host to 'La Tomatina,’ the world’s largest tomato fight. It involves 30,000 people and 140,000 tomatoes! Everyone must squash the tomatoes before throwing them and it gets very messy.
- Valencia, Spain's third city, is also home to ‘paella’, a rice and seafood dish. Local chef Juan Galbis holds the world record for making the biggest paella, which fed an astonishing 100,000 people.
- Alcazar castle in Segovia has wonderful fairy tale turrets which are said to have inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
- The Pamplona Bull Run is called the ‘Encierro' in Spanish. It takes place each July. The bulls only take 3-4 minutes to complete their run, and there are thousands of people involved, running and watching.
- Among the many world famous Spaniards are tennis player Rafa Nadal, golfer Sergio Garcia, actress Penelope Cruz , footballer Andres Iniesta and singer Julio Inglesias.