Famous People From Spain

If you want to know more about the fascinating country of Spain, then you will definitely want to learn about the famous people from Spain.  Ranging from great figures of history (such as kings and queens) to contemporary entertainers and politicians, there have been many famous people who called Spain home.

  1. Queen Isabella- Certainly one of the most famous Spanish people was the Queen Isabella who, along with her husband, was largely responsible for conquering Spain and expelling the Moors (as problematic as that was).  With her husband Ferdinand, she sponsored Christopher Columbus journeys to the New World, and she also oversaw the tragic period of history known as the Spanish Inquisition, in an attempt to enforce Catholic unity on Spain.
  2. Miguel de Cerventes- Miguel de Cerventes is probably one of the most famous authors to have come from Spain, due in large part to his most famous novel “Don Quixote.”  Cerventes led a fascinating life, including a stint as a soldier, a capture by pirates, and several other exploits.  However, he was also chronically in debt, and was twice jailed for being unable to pay them.
  3. Penelope Cruz- Certainly one of the most famous people from Spain is Penelope Cruz, who has established herself as one of the finest actresses to have ever come out of the country.  Born in Madrid, Cruz has shown herself to be an enormously talented actress, and is especially well-known for her collaboration with director Pedro Almodovar in such films as “All About My Mother.”  She is also well-known for her relationships with some of the most talented and sought-after men in Hollywood, including Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey.
  4. Hernan Cortes- This famous Spaniard is renowned for his terrifying conquest of the magnificent Aztec civilization that once ruled a great kingdom in modern-day Mexico.  With a group of about 600 men, a few horses, and some artillery he managed to bring down one of the mightiest civilizations in the New World.  He was well-known for his political acumen, as he used many local tribes against the Aztecs in his bid for conquest.  A great deal of his later life was spent in his native Spain.
  5. Francisco Franco- Perhaps one of the most famous Spanish people of the 20th Century was Francisco Franco, who managed to make his way up from rather humble beginnings to becoming the dictator of all of Spain.  His fascist polices would later earn him the dislike of history, and his death saw the loosening of many of his repressive social and political policies.  Upon his death he passed leadership of the country back to the traditional monarchy, which is still in place today (although in a constitutional form).
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