The quill pen is thought to have originated in Spain about 1,400 years ago.
The most enduring contribution of Spain to the world is its language, which was imported to the Americas with the expansion of the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. Now, more than 400 million people speak Spanish in 22 countries, including 35 million who speak it in the United States.
Since the Pyrenees Mountains were such a significant barrier in the north, and Spain is just 9 miles from Morocco in the south, Spain shares much of its early history with Africa.c
The official name of Spain is the Kingdom of Spain.
The Iberian Peninsula was one of several refuges during the last ice age, so it was largely from Spain that northern Europe was repopulated after the ice age ended.
Famous Spaniards include Seneca, Hadrian, Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Salvador Dalí, El Greco, Pablo Picasso, Francisco de Goya, Jose Carreras, and Plácido Domingo.
visit Spain Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world
In 2006, 58 million tourists visited Spain and its islands. Foreign tourists spent $51 billion in 2006. Spain is second most visited country in the world after France.
Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo (1499-1543) discovered California.
In 1603, Spanish sailor Gabriel de Castilla (1577-1620) became the first the man ever to see Antarctica.
Spanish sailor Juan Sebastián Elcano (1476-1526) was the first man to circumnavigate the world.
Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa (1475-1519) was the first European to see the Pacific Ocean.
The first novel, Tirant lo Blanc (1490), was written by Spanish author Joanot Martorell (1413-1468). Translated as Tirant the White, it played an important role in the development of the Western novel.
The Phoenicians who entered Spain in the 8th century B.C. called the peninsula Span or “the hidden land.”
The official language of Spain is Castilian Spanish (74%), though Catalan (17%) Galician (7%), and Basque (2%) are also spoken.
Tomás de Torquemada (1420-1498) was the first Grand Inquisitor in the Spanish Inquisition. His name has been associated with the Inquisition’s horror, fanaticism, and bigotry.
Ironically, he was a descendent of a converso, or someone who had converted to Christianly from Judaism or Islam. In 1832, his tomb was raided and his bones were stolen and burned.
During the last ice age, most of Europe was covered in glaciers, but most of Spain was far enough south to escape the ice. Consequently, plants that were wiped out across Europe survived in Spain. Europe as a whole has 9,000 plant species; there are over 8,000 plant species in Spain alone, with 2,000 of them being unique to the country.
Spanish inventor Manuel Jalón Corominas (1925-2011) invented the mop in 1956.
Spanish sailor and engineer Isaac Peral (1851-1895) designed the first fully operative military submarine.
Spanish surgeon and scientist Miguel Servet (1511-1553) was the first European to describe pulmonary circulation.