What is Spain’s National Anthem?

Spain’s national anthem is called the Marcha Real (‘Real March’). As its name implies, it is a military march in 4/4 time. The full version last around two minutes, though the version played at sports events is around 40 seconds long.


Who wrote the Spanish national anthem?

We don’t know for sure. It first appears under the title of La Marcha Granadera (‘March of the Grenadiers’) in the Libro de la Ordenanza de los Toques de Pífanos y Tambores que se tocan nuevamente en la Ynfant Española, a guide to new military marches compiled by composer Manuel de Espinosa in 1761. It seems reasonable to suggest that Espinosa wrote it himself.

When did it become Spain’s national anthem?

From around 1770, Carlos III (1716-88) decided that he liked hearing La Marcha Granadera played to mark his arrival, and from then it became it became adopted as a state anthem. It was formally declared as Spain’s national anthem during the reign of Isabella II (1833-68).

What are the words to the Spanish national anthem ?

There are none! Words have been added on a couple of occasions in the past, not least during Franco’s rule in the mid-20th century, but none have lasted. Today, trying to write a set of words that will prove equally acceptable to the country’s diverse population of Castilian Spaniards, Catalans, Basques etc has been wisely left alone.

Is it the only national anthem with no words?

No. Spaniards share common ground with the people of Bosnia, Kosovo and San Marino in having to stand in silence (or at best hum) while their national anthem is played.


Find the lyrics to the different national anthems


Jeremy PoundDeputy Editor, BBC Music Magazine

Jeremy Pound is currently BBC Music Magazine’s Deputy Editor, a role he has held since 2004. Before that, he was the features editor of Classic CD magazine, and has written for a colourful array of publications ranging from Music Teacher to History Revealed, Total Football and Environment Action; in 2018, he edited and co-wrote The King’s Singers: Gold 50th anniversary book.