Interesting and Entertaining Facts About Spain for Kids
- Spain is situated in the Iberian Peninsula in Europe and is closest to Africa. Its geographical coordinates are 26° and 44° N, and longitudes 19° W and 5° E
- It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, along a coastline that extends to nearly 8,000 km.
- Spain is bordered by France in the northeast and Portugal in the west. It also shares its borders with Morocco and Gibraltar in the south. Its eastern boundaries are flanked by the Mediterranean Sea, in which lie the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands.
- Spain is known to be a country of mountains, with dominant ranges such as the Pyrenees, Cordillera Cantábrica, Sistema Ibérico, Sierra Nevada and Sierra Morena. The country also has many rivers, the important ones being the Tagus, Ebro, Duero, Guadiana, and the Guadalquivir.
- Mt. Teide in the Canary Islands rises to 12,198 ft., and is the tallest mountain in Spain. It is also the 3rd largest volcano in the world, when measured from its base.
- The climate in Spain is predominantly Mediterranean in the peninsular regions, semi-arid or arid in the southeast, and oceanic in the northern and northwestern part of the country. Spain has a wealth of natural minerals, metals and rocks, such as coal, zinc, copper, iron ore, tungsten, mercury and magnesite.
- Madrid, the capital, lies in the exact center of the country, so much so, that a marker has been placed at Puerta del Sol to denote this.
- The Spanish Constitution of 1978 defines the flag of Spain as having three horizontal stripes colored red, yellow, and red, with the yellow stripe between the two red ones and double their size.
- After originating in 1785, the flag was used solely as a marine flag till 1820. Queen Isabella II of Spain made the flag official in 1843. Since its inception, the colors of the flag have remained the same. Only the coat of arms has changed from the naval ensign to the current version.
- The flag is flown during the day. On government offices in the country and outside, it is flown during the day and night and it is mandatory to have it properly lit during the night. For mourning, it is half-staffed or a black ribbon is attached to it.
- Signs of human existence have been found in the Iberian Peninsula dating back to more than 32,000 years. One of the best examples of this can be seen in the cave paintings at Altamira.
- Over thousands of years ago, many cultures entered the peninsula and settled along the coasts or further inland. These early tribes were called Iberians by the Greeks, who came later around 1500 B.C.
- The Iberian Peninsula was called Hispania by the Romans, who invaded it after they defeated Carthage.
- However, by the year 410 A.D., the Roman empire was crumbling, and Germanic tribes such as the Visigoths invaded and captured most of the Iberian Peninsula.
- The Muslim conquest of Hispania began in the year 711 A.D., with the Moorish invasion of the peninsula. They conquered most of the country, except the north, where small Christian kingdoms still held power.
- This was a time of progress and relative stability in the region, and lasted until the 13th century.
- Reconquista or Reconquest of the country began, and slowly the Christian kingdoms were united and took power from the last Arab stronghold, Granada, in 1492.
- Hispania or Spain in the 15th century was ruled by the Hapsburg kings, and was the most powerful nation in Europe.
- Trading with her American colonies gave the country great wealth, but the wars with Britain and France drained its treasury.
- Napoleon invaded Spain in 1808, but could not maintain control as the Spaniards fought for independence. However, Spain's decline as a world power was well underway, and by the late 19th century, after a war with the U.S. in 1898, she lost all her colonies.
- Spain suffered from a brutal civil war in 1936.
- General Francisco Franco, who led an army against the Republicans holding power, defeated them and assumed dictatorship of Spain in 1939.
- Spain progressed economically throughout the '60s and '70s, and when Franco died in 1975, the transition to democracy was made possible by King Juan Carlos I.
- Spain became part of the European Economic Community, what was later to become the EU in 1986, and also hosted the Olympics in 1992.
- It adopted the Euro on 1st January 1999, moving away from the Peseta. Today, Spain is a constitutional monarchy, with King Juan Carlos I as Head of State, and a parliament headed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey.
Spain Facts for Kids
Interesting Facts for Kids
Here are some interesting Spain Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.
- Population: 48 million people live in Spain (2018)
- Capital: Madrid, with 3.3 million inhabitants, is Spain's biggest city.
- Name: Reino de España (Kingdom of Spain), short form: España
- Government: Parliamentary Monarchy
- Languages: Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician, Basque
- Literacy: More than 98% can read and write.
- Religion: mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 94%)
- Currency: 1 Euro=100 cents, before 2001 Spanish peseta
- National Symbol: The pillars of Hercules, short-toed eagle (national bird), red carnation (national flower). The official Spanish anthem is one of only four anthems in the world without lyrics.
- History: From 711 to 1492 Islamic Moors ruled in Spain. In 1492 Christopher Columbus discovers America and the Spanish rulers start forming their empire. In the 16th century Spanish kings ruled over many European countries, Portugal, Netherlands, parts of France, Germany, Italy and Austria. The Spanish Civil War rages in Spain from 1936 to 1939 when dictator General Franco takes over the country. In 1975 Franco dies and Juan Carlos I becomes King of Spain. In 2014, his son Felipe followed him on the throne when Juan Carlos resigned due to old age.
- National Day: 12 October (Fiesta Nacional de España)
Where is Spain? - Spain Map
• Spain lies in Southern Europe, a flight to Madrid take roughly 2.5 hours from London/England, 7 hours from New York/USA
Spain borders the countries Portugal, Andorra, France, Gibraltar and also Morocco, as the two Spanish enclaves (territories) Ceuta and Melilla are located in Morocco.
Spain is the only European country which borders Africa. It is separated by Africa by the straits of Gibraltar and two of the cities belonging to Spain are inside Morocco.
Spain Facts: Geography
Spain borders the Mediterranean Sea in the South and East. In the North, the Pyrenees are forming a natural border with the tiny country Andorra and also France. In the northwest lies the Atlantic Ocean and in the west is Portugal.
The Spanish nation is divided in 17 'autonomous communities' which are regions where people have their own regional government. Castilian is spoken in all 17 regions, however, in Galicia also Galician, in the Basque Country also Basque and in Cataluña, Valencia and on the Balearic Islands also Catalan is spoken.
Here are some interesting facts about Spain's geography:
- Longest river: Rio Ebro with 910km/566 miles
- Largest lake: Mar Menor is also the largest salt lake in Europe
- Highest mountain: El Teide on Tenerife (Canary Islands) with 3,718m/12,198 ft.
- Largest island: Mallorca (which is part of the Balearic Islands)
Spain Facts: Animals in Spain
The Mediterranean or Iberian lynx is almost extinct, there are only a few surviving mammals left in the south of Spain and Portugal. The lynx is the most endangered cat in the world.
Other protected animals are the Iberian wild boar, the Iberian fox, the Iberian wolves and the Cantabrian brown bear.
The short-toed eagle is Spain's national bird. The region of Andalusia is home to the Andalusian horses which are known for their speed and strength.
Spain Attractions for Kids
- Madrid: The capital city and the royal palace
- Barcelona: Explore the amazing buildings by the artist and architect Gaudi. Barceloneta is the beach suburb of Barcelona. More than 500,000 visitors from all over the world visit this popular beach every summer. Barcelona is named among the best beach cities in the world.
- Valencia: Famous for the futuristic 'Museum of Sciences' complex. The old town is lovely to explore too!
- The Pyrenees: Go hiking in the mountains between Spain and France
- Santiago de Compostela: Famous for the pilgrimage
- Granada: Go back in time when visiting the historic Alhambra and view the colourful mosaics.
There are so many great places in Spain to visit, just to many to mention here. We will show you more places on a special page here soon.
Some Spain Facts about Spanish People
The Spanish people have their own royal family who lives in the royal place, the 'Zarzuela Palace', outside of Madrid. The Royal Palace, Palacio Real, in the city of Madrid is the place where official functions take place. On 19 June 2014, the son of former king Juan Carlos , Felipe VI, was crowned the new king of Spain. Juan Carlos retired due to old age. King Felipe VI, aged 46, and Queen Letizia have two daughters.
Many Spanish people are soccer fans. The top soccer clubs are: Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
Spain is known for its flamenco dance. In Andalusia, in many towns and villages people dance the flamenco for special festivities. Some of the best flamenco dancers are said to be the Romani people ('gitanos' in Spanish). The gitanos arrived to Spain in the XV century and still conserve their own language and traditions. In the image you can see girls performing the flamenco at a fiesta in Seville.
The Spanish are also known for their great festivals, such as the 'Tomatina' and the 'Running of the Bulls'. The 'Tomatina' festival in the small town of Buñol, to the west of Valencia, is the world's biggest food fight, as the people throw tomatoes at each other. The festival takes place every year in August, but the event only takes one hour, as the people throw tomatoes at each other. Another famous spanish festival takes place in the town of Pamplona in Northern Spain. The highlight of the festival is the 'Running of the Bulls'. Six bulls are chasing people who try to run away in front of the animals. Bullfights also are popular events in the arenas of several cities, but are banned in others.
As summers get very hot in the Spanish cities of the inland, many Spaniards flock to the seaside during summer holidays or go tho the mountainous areas in the north of the country.
Famous Spanish People
Among the most well known Spanish artists are:
- Miguel de Cervantes - Spanish author of 'Don Quixote'
- Manuel de Falla - Spanish composer
- Joan Miró - Spanish sculptur and painter
- Salvador Dalí - Spanish painter who created surrealist paintings such as this one with the clock faces slipping down.
- Antoni Gaudi - see many of his great works in Barcelona, especially in the fascinating Parc Guëll and the still unfinished Cathedral 'Sagrada Familia'. Read more here.
More Spain Facts about Spanish Language
Spanish is spoken in Spain and in various South American countries, among them Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Lots of variations and dialects are spoken; the Castillian Spanish is recognised as 'typical' Spanish and is spoken across the country of Spain. Catalan is spoken in the region around Barcelona, Cataluña, and this language reads and sounds different to Spanish. Basque is spoken in the Basque Country in the north of Spain while Galician is spoken in Galicia, in Spain's northwest.
Palabras en Español -
The Spanish language uses inverted question marks and exclamation marks and letter which have symbols, accents, on them, such as the n with an accent called 'tilde' in: España
Spain Facts: Spanish Food
The Spanish main dishes contain: potatoes, rice, fish, meat, beans, chickpeas and fruit.
Here is some typical Spanish food:
- Paella: A rice dish with seafood or meat such as rabbit, chicken and snails, popular especially in Valencia
- Gazpacho: Vegetable soup or stew
- Coca: A sweet bread
- Empanada: Stuffed bread or pie
- Turrón: Nougat sweet cake made with honey and nuts
- Jamón Serrano: Pork leg ham
- Chorizo: Pork sausage
- Chocolate con Churros: Hot and very thick chocolate drink with sweet fried pastry (as you can see on the right). A popular weekend breakfast in Madrid.
Read more about Spanish food here.
Resources for Spain Facts for Kids
Images on Spain Facts for Kids: shutterstock, sxc.hu, wikicommons and own images.
Thanks a lot to Leyre, Leo and Carla for helping with double-checking the content on this page. Your support is much appreciated:-)
And enjoy learning more great Spain Facts soon!
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Here are some useful Spanish words:
- Buenos días: Good day
- ¡Hola! Hello
- ¿Qué tal? How are you?
- adiós: bye bye
- gracias: thank you
- Te quiero: I love you