Cultural Info: Spain

Did You Know...

The official language of Spain is Castilian Spanish (74%), though Catalan (17%) Galician (7%), and Basque (2%) are also spoken throughout the country.

 One of the most famous in Spain is the Running of Bulls. It occurs on St. Fermin’s Day in July in the northern town of Pamplona. Over 1 million people attend the festival. Injuries often occur.

Spain is the largest producer of olive oil. In fact, 45% of the world’s total olive oil production comes from Spain. Additionally, Spain has some of the largest gold, marble and granite deposits in Europe.

Over 4,000 Arabic words and Arabic-derived phrases have been absorbed into the Spanish language. Words beginning with “al,” for example, are derived from Arabic. For example, algebra, alcohol, chemistry, nadir, alkaline, and cipher.

The Moors ruled Spain for 800 years. During that time they brought advancements in science, medicine, and astronomy. At it's height, Córdoba, the heart of Moorish territory in Spain, was the most modern city in Europe, with streetlights and running water.

Several different peoples have settled in Spain throughout history, most notably the Iberians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, Celts, Basques, and the Moors (Muslims who came from North Africa).

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Page last modified January 24, 2020