The origin of the name – Spain, is not clear and causes lots of scientific discussions. Anyhow, the most generally accepted theory is the following: the name, given by the Carthaginians, was – Hispania, which means – “land of the rabbits”. The toponym was later latinised by the Romans and became its existence as Hispania; finally, it turned to be – Spain. Till nowadays, we call this wonderful country with this wonderful name – Spain!
The following facts on Spain seem to be very demonstrative as to the Spanish inquisitive character and love for sea adventures. In 1492, the Catholic Kings paid the historic travel to “the New World”, undertaken by an Italian sailor of genius – Christopher Columbus. In 1519, the King Charles I of Spain financed the first circumnavigation, organized by a Portuguese explorer and naval officer Ferdinand Magellan.
Isaac Peral y Caballero was a Spanish naval officer – engineer. In 1888, he designed the first submarine (Peral submarine), which used electric power.
The following interesting fact on Spain is its language. The Spanish language, used by various International organizations and spoken by 400 million people all over the world, is officially called Castellano. It has been originated from the literary norm of the Castillan (royal) Spanish. Starting from the VIII century, the language has been strongly influenced by the Arabic language. All Spanish words, beginning with “al-“,are considered to come from it: almohada (pillow), alabanza (praise), alacrán (scorpion), álamo (poplar), alameda (alley) and so on, and so forth.
Spain was the first to invent a pen – more, than 1400 years ago.
Belles-lettres and Fine Arts
Interesting facts about Spain concern belles-lettres and fine arts. Really, the world-wide known Spanish writer don Miguel de Cervantes de Saavedra created his commonly recognizable, literary characters -don Quijote de La Mancha and the true squire Sancho Panza, who have been devoted, commonly recognizable, sculptures and portraits, to.
Every year, on the 23-rd of April, all round the clock, the immortal novel by Cervantes, “El Don Quijote de La Mancha” is being read all over Spain: in bookshops, town halls, theatres, schools, etc. Any person may participate in this national celebration – everybody, starting with the Ray and finishing with a schoolchild. In Alcalá de Henares (Cervantes birth-place), The Miguel de Cervantes Prize is annually awarded by the Spanish Kings, to the best book, written en la lengua castellana.
Every year, this day in Spain, they celebrate the International Day of the Book. The idea was presented by a writer from Valencia – Vicente Clavel Andrés, in order to honour don Miguel de Cervantes de Saavedra.
Don Miguel de Cervantes de Saavedra died in April 23, 1616 – the same year and the same date, as William Shakespeare (April 23, 1616)! Awe… Still more…
Federico Garcia Lorca was born in 1898 – 05 of June. Exactly, a hundred years earlier, Alexander Sergeevitch Pushkin, was born in 1799 – 06 of June. Lorca was killed in 1936 – 19 of August – the hottest season, in the south of southern Spain. Exactly, a hundred years earlier, in 1837 – 29 of January (10 of February), Pushkin was killed, in the coldest season, in the north of northern Russia. Awe…
The most famous and typical Spanish music style, as it is considered, is flamenco. Flamenco, however, is not only music and dance. It is a profound music culture, based on cante jondo. The latter is characterized by the Arabic and Spanish folk melodic elements, on the one hand, and by the vestiges of Byzantine, Christian and Jewish religious music, on the other.
One of the most interesting facts about Spain and most fun facts about Spain is that Spanish cuisine does not exist… The reality, nevertheless, is much richer: each Autonomous Community has its’ own cuisine! Each one is known because its’ own characteristic dish, or wine; but mostly, because of many things, at a time. We know gazpacho Andaluz, fabada Asturiana, jamón de Extremadura, (cheese) queso Manchego de Castilla – La Mancha etc., etc., etc.
Wine (some examples): Cataluña (Priorat DOQ, “Les Terrasses” Velles Vinyes, Mas Perinet Gotia); Castilla – La Mancha (Elviwines, “Clasico”, Ribera del Jucar DО, Arrayan, “Selección”, Mentrida DO); Andalucía (“Montilla-Moriles” DO, “Condado de Huelva”) etc., etc., etc.
Spain produces 44% of all olive oil in the world.
One of the fun facts about Spain is the folk feast, called Tomatina. It is a grandiose, popular battle, where people throw tomatoes at each other.
There is really too much, that could be spoken about.