Spain is often known for its good food, great people, its scenic beauty and its vast coastline. The country has become a favorite destination especially for the food-loving, wine-chugging and siesta-loving people and these aspects are exactly what describe Spain the best. Apart from these, there are many things that Spain is famously known for. The following is the list of top 10 things Spain is famous for –
10. Things Spain is Famous For: Wine
Spain is the third largest producer of wines in the world. This fact seems rather confusing if you consider the other fact that Spain is the most widely planted wine producing nation of the world. A whopping 2.9 million acres of the land is Spain is dedicated to grape plantations which are owned by wineries. But unlike their French and Italian counterparts, the Spanish have an inkling towards drinking native varieties of wine. The wine that is produced is consumed by the Spaniards itself, leaving very little scope for export. The world-famous wine Sherry finds its roots in Jerez in Spain. The Spaniards have an obsession for wine, it is rarely considered as an alcohol. Wine is always accompanied with olives.
9. Things Spain is Famous For: Spanish Football
No one, who hasn’t been living under a rock, needs an introduction about what a football-crazy nation Spain is. Football is the most popular sport in Spain and needless to say, the Spaniards excel in it. La Liga is the national football tournament of Spain in which all the football teams from around the country take part. La Copa Del Rey is also another famous tournament. Real Madrid and Barcelona Football Club are the most successful football teams in Spain. They both are arch-rivals and are constantly looking for opportunities to outshine each other. The recent signing of Gareth Bale and the renewal of Christiano Ronaldo’s contract with Real Madrid has given it an upper hand in the 2013-14 football season.
If one has the slightest knowledge about the Spanish food culture, then that person will say that paella is the national dish of Spain. But this is a misconception. Paella is a rice dish which is served in the main course which originated in the Valencia province of Spain. It mostly consists of rice cooked with beans, vegetables, meat. It has many variations and can be cooked with seafood as well. Olives and saffron are the important ingredients which give it the rich taste. Paella can be found in all major cities of Spain today but the real, authentic and the tastiest paella has to be eaten in Valencia.
7. Gaudi’s Barcelona
Antoni Gaudi was a Catalan architect who is famous all around the world for his brilliant works of architecture in Barcelona. All throughout his work, his intense faith in religion is a common theme and so, he is often known as ‘The God’s Architect’. He has built many famous landmarks around Barcelona. Some of his most famous attractions include Park Güell, Bodegas Güell, Casa Calvert, Finca Miralles and Casa Batllo. Although these are some of his most famous works, his magnum opus remains La Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada Familia is a Roman-Catholic Church in Barcelona whose construction has been going on since the year 1882. The piece of modernism architecture is one of the biggest and the most beautiful buildings in the world. Seven of Gaudi’s works in Barcelona have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
6. Calat Alhambra
Calat Alhambra is a fortress in the picturesque Granada, Andalusia. It was built by the Moorish king Badis Ben Habus of Spain which was then a Moorish empire for many years. The fortress was originally a small one and was built in 889. But it was rebuilt and many additions were incorporated in it in the year 1333. In the same year, the fortress was converted into a royal palace. What is extremely different about Alhambra from the other historic buildings in Spain is its style of architecture. Spain is replete with architecture but Alhambra is a marvelous piece of Islamic architecture in a predominantly Christian country. Its interiors are breathtakingly beautiful and one can easily get lost in the eye-soaking beauty of Alhambra for hours together.
Spanish culture is that one of a bar-ing culture. You will find the life of Spain in its bars, pubs, and lounges which line streets after streets. Spain is the country which has the highest number of bars in all of Europe. It is a country where people love and adore their alcohol. So with this bar culture comes a side-dish of tapas. Tapas are small portions of snacks or appetizers which are served in all the bars, alongside the alcohol. These tapas can be served hot or cold. Some of the famous tapas include cheeses, olives, fried squids, chorizos (sausages) etc. Tapas are something that is exclusive only to Spain and some select Latin American countries.
Flamenco is a world-famous dance form which takes its roots back to Andalusia in Spain. Now, Spain is a land of very many dance and song forms of art but what sets flamenco apart from the rest is the sheer difficulty of it. It looks very elegant to watch but the amount of practice that goes behind a great flamenco performance will make anyone sweat! It consists of 4 main components- cante (song), baile (dance), palmas(handclaps) and toque (playing of the guitar). One has to co-ordinate all these 4 components carefully to make a great flamenco performance. In 2010, UNESCO declared Flamenco as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
3. Ibiza’s Parties
Ibiza is a small island off the east coast of Spain. It is the third largest island of the autonomous community of Balearic Islands. What put this small island of Ibiza significantly on the world map is its party culture. Over the recent years, all the teenagers from Europe and America rush to Ibiza for summer. Moreover, the recent spur in Electronic dance music(EDM) which is produced mainly by Scandinavian people, took birth in these shacks of Ibiza. Amnesia, which has been voted as the best nightclub of the year 2013 is in Ibiza.
2. La Tomatina
La Tomatina is a Spanish festival celebrated with tomatoes. It is essentially celebrated only in the city of Bunyol in Valencia. It is a festival that is celebrated on the last Wednesday of August every year. People take to the streets and indulge in what is basically a food-fight, but only with tomatoes. The tomatoes used in the festival are grown especially for it and they are very inferior in taste. The festival lasts only for roughly about an hour and there are rules. In 2013, The Town-hall of Bunyol decided that they will allow only 20,000 revelers this year to participate in the festival.
Bullfighting is known as Corrida de Toros in Spanish. It is a traditional Spanish practice where bulls are let into a ring and fight a matador. In the Spanish style bull-fight, three matadors fight two bulls each out of six bulls. Traditionally, there are three stages of a Spanish bull fight- Tercio de varas (lances third), tercio de banderillas (banderillas third) and tercio the muerte (death third). The Bullfighting season in Spain lasts from March to October. Although bullfighting has been going on in Spain since ages, it is under great pressure today due to excessive animal cruelty as the majority of times, the bull suffers injuries and faces a slow death. Nevertheless, it is one thing that Spain is known for throughout the world and people from all over the world come to see this spectacle.