Spanish Culture, History & Famous Things
History of Spain
The history of Spain goes back to the times Before Christ. The first tribes to populate the region was divided into two groups called Celts and Iberos. This was the Pre Roman era, then in 218 BC Romans arrived and conquered the peninsula under the leadership of Augustus. The Romans founded many cities in the area like Emerita Augusta, Italica, and Tarraco. They expanded their culture for almost 7 centuries. After Rome ended up collapsing, in the 5th century Visigoth warriors from North invaded Spain and dominated the peninsula for almost 200 years.
Then came the Muslim period. In year 711, Muslims from the North of Africa conquered the peninsula and called it Al-Andalus. The Muslims stayed for 7 centuries before the Christians started reconquest in 722. In the era of Christians, many kingdoms were formed like the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Aragon, Kingdom of Castile and Kingdom of Portugal. In 1469, Isabelle of Castile and Ferdinand of Kingdom of Aragon got married and unified both crowns. They also captured Granada in 1492 and unified it into one peninsula. The crown then played a monopoly and sponsored Christopher Columbus in the discovery of the New World. The conquerors like Francisco Pizarro and Hernan Cortes expanded the Spanish dominions all over America.
Spain became the main European power under the reign of Charles the 1st of Spain and 5th of Germany, who started the Austrian dynasty. The whole peninsula stayed unified for 60 years under his family’s reign. The Dynasty of Bourbons of Spain inaugurated by Phillip V after the death of Charles II. The old crises again started with the invasion of Napoleon. The war of independence against French ended with the formation of the constitution of 1812 which ratified that sovereignty would exist in the nation.
Spanish culture is unique in its own way. It is a mixture of a variety of traditions, customs. Cultural diversity can easily be found in Spain.
Language and dialect
Spain’s national language is Spanish or Castilian Spanish. Some of the population also speaks Catalan, Galician and Basque. Basque is the only language that was spoken in Spain prior to the colonization by Rome and has remained in use in the twenty-first century. Others have vanished with the passage of time.
Cuisine and Food
Spain is a country with many regions and each region has their own version of traditional cuisine Spanish cuisine is a mixture of plant-based like wheat, rice, legumes, vegetables, orchard fruits, etc. and seafood. Some famous dishes in Spain are
As Spanish cuisine is a mixture of seafood and vegetable, here is Spain’s most famous dish called Paella. Paella is a Valencian word originating from the old French word Paella. It is basically a rice dish made with meat or seafood. It is seasoned with various spices and Saffron in some cases.
Pincho is also famous in Spain. It is a type of small snack that is usually taken in bars along with friends while having fun.
Tapas are a dish made up of Patatas bravas (pieces of potato fried in oil and served in a tomato sauce), spicy lamb meatballs, ham and cheese, and chorizo. They are also served as snacks in bars etc.
Another famous dish is a type of omelette that is made with potatoes and onions called Tortilla Espanola.
With the passage of time, Spain has become modernized and they no longer wear those traditional dresses more often. However, Spanish culture has a variety of traditional dressings that are now worn on special occasions.
Farthingales were bell-shaped hoop skirts made up of whalebone, cloth, and intricate cages of wire underneath women’s clothes.
The mantilla is a light lace or silk scarf that is worn over the head or shoulders on a high comb and held in place by pins. It is usually worn at weddings.
Flamenco performers, men, and women also wear traditional dresses like women wear dresses in red, black, or white with their hair in a bun and sometimes a rose behind their ear. Male performers often wear a tuxedo.
Things Spain is famous for
It is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Burnol in the East of Spain. It is held on the last Wednesday of August, during a week of festivities in Buñol. In this festival, people get involved in fighting using tomatoes. Everyone throws tomatoes on others and all the area gets covered in tomato debris. The fight lasts for about one hour, after which fire trucks come down in the streets and participants use hoses to clean themselves.
Spain is famous for bullfighting game that has been taking place since Roman times. Bullfighting is also known as Fiesta Brava. This sport involves humans and animals attempting to publicly subdue or kill a bull, using a set of rules and guidelines. In some parts of Spain, there is a serious conflict going on to ban this sport as some feel it is mere cruelty to animals and according to few it’s a tradition that must not be forgotten.
Spain is famous for the famous Football league known as La Liga. La Liga has world-famous clubs called Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Spain is also famous for the huge amounts of wine produced there. Spain has more vineyards than most of the countries which makes it the third-largest producer of wine in the world. The country’s most famous drink is Sangria, which is in dark red color.
Picasso is the world’s most influential artist, painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, and poet of the 20th century. Guernica is his most famous artwork. It was inspired by the brutal 1937 bombing of the Basque city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.
Flamenco is a unique performance type that involves singing, guitar, dance, vocals, hand-clapping, and finger-snapping. Men and women both perform flamenco. It is now widely famous and now practiced worldwide.