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The Spanish people represent a civilization in Civilization VI. They are led by Philip II, under whom their default colors are red and yellow.

The Spanish civilization ability is Treasure Fleet, which allows them to form their naval units into Fleets and Armadas after discovering Mercantilism, increases the Gold Gold, Faith Faith, and Production Production yields of their Trade Route Trade Routes (with tripled yield bonuses for intercontinental routes), and provides cities founded on a continent other than their original Capital Capital's continent 25% extra Production Production towards District Districts and a free Builder. Their unique unit is the Conquistador (which replaces the Musketman), and their unique tile improvement is the Mission.


Starting bias: Tier 3 towards Geothermal Fissures

Similar to England, Spain is a colonialist powerhouse with heavy emphasis on naval power, constantly on the search for new continents to extend their empire's reach. Fueled by Philip II's religious fervor, Spain tolerates no heresy and will charge into battle until every empire shall be united under the same faith.

Treasure Fleet[]

Continent mechanics[]

The number one takeaway for players transitioning from Civilization V is the concepts of "continent" and "landmass" are totally distinguished in Civilization VI. A landmass, in Civilization VI, can contain multiple continents, while at the same time, multiple discrete landmasses can belong to the same continent. In order to know where the continent divides are, the only way is to turn on the Continent lens, an absolute must-do when playing colonialist civilizations like Spain, England or even Phoenicia.

The number of continents scale according to the size of the map, with Duel map having only 1 continent up to 6 continents on Huge map. Although Spain's civilization ability doesn't care about the number of distinct continents the empire can reach like England, it still means that this ability is totally useless on a Duel map, while the bigger the map is, the easier a time you will have in finding new continents. Also, the more continents there are, the more likely you can found a city or find a trading partner on a different continent. Therefore, in terms of power level with regards to map sizes, Spain is less dependent on the size of the map than England, but they still obey the same rule: the bigger the map is, the better.

Spain has a tier 3 starting bias towards Geothermal Fissures. These are the terrain feature commonly found near Mountains or a long Mountain range, which in turn are found near the split of continents. This starting bias increases the chance that Spain will spawn in the middle of two continents, which is one of the best location for any civilization to spawn in. Regardless of who you are playing as, discovering a second continent early triggers the Inspiration Inspiration for Foreign Trade, which is worth a lot of Culture Culture in the early game, and sometimes instantly gives you 4 Era Score for being the first to discover a continent. However, the biggest advantage of spawning on the edge of two continents is the access to twice as many luxury resources as normal. Land-based luxury resources are bound to continents, only 4 land luxury resources will be found on a continent. These resources are unique to the continent and will not be found anywhere else. For this reason, Spain secretly has a very favorable starting bias (even without taking into account any of their bonuses yet) that increases the potential number of Amenities Amenities they can gather during the expansion phase.

Extra yields from Trade Routes, especially intercontinental Trade Routes[]

The base yields of Trade Route Trade Routes are determined by the presence of District Districts in the destination city, as tabulated below:

District Domestic Destination International Destination
City Center City Center 1 Food Food, 1 Production Production 3 Gold Gold
Campus Campus 1 Food Food 1 Science Science
Holy Site Holy Site 1 Food Food 1 Faith Faith
Encampment Encampment 1 Production Production 1 Production Production
Commercial Hub Commercial Hub 1 Production Production 3 Gold Gold
Theater Square Theater Square 1 Food Food 1 Culture Culture
Entertainment Complex Entertainment Complex 1 Food Food 1 Food Food
Water Park Water Park 1 Food Food 1 Food Food
Harbor Harbor 1 Production Production 3 Gold Gold
Industrial Zone Industrial Zone 1 Production Production 1 Production Production
Government Plaza Government Plaza 1 Food Food, 1 Production Production 2 Gold Gold
Diplomatic Quarter Diplomatic Quarter 1 Food Food, 1 Production Production 1 Culture Culture

Normally, when you unlock your first Trade Route Trade Route with Foreign Trade, this is before you or foreign cities near have a chance to build any District District, so the yields for this Trade Route Trade Route will either be 3 Gold Gold or 1 Food Food, 1 Production Production, quite mediocre. The Spanish civilization ability grants 3 extra Gold Gold, 2 Faith Faith and 1 Production Production to all Trade Route Trade Routes, which more than doubles the yields of this first Trade Route Trade Route. In the Ancient Era, a Trade Route Trade Route that grants either 6 Gold Gold, 2 Faith Faith, 1 Production Production, or 3 Gold Gold, 1 Food Food, 2 Faith Faith, 2 Production Production is massive. It alone can jumpstart your economy quite early, help you sprint toward a pantheon faster, and allow your city to be productive much earlier. If you manage to discover a second continent, not only you will unlock Foreign Trade earlier, but the boost to this first Trade Route Trade Route will be overwhelming. 9 extra Gold Gold, 6 Faith Faith and 3 Production Production will be added on top the base bonus depending on whether this is a domestic or international Trade Route Trade Route, giving you a powerful headstart that can hardly be caught up for quite a while.

Spanish Trade Route (Civ6)

Spanish Trade Route Trade Routes can be incredible with the right policy cards and Democracy, and they can be totally broken if you are the Suzerain of Kumasi and Chinguetti.

If you are lucky enough to find a second continent early on, your job is to populate both sides of the continental splits with cities. Make sure all Trade Route Trade Routes sent are intercontinental to maximize the yields. One way to guarantee this condition met without having to turn on the Continental lens all the time is to settle cities totally on the foreign continent and send all Trade Route Trade Routes to and from your Capital Capital. This will help your Capital Capital grow at an accelerated speed, also allows the Colonial Taxes and Colonial Offices policy cards, and the Casa de Contratación and Torre de Belém Wonders to be much more effective. Later in the game, Trade Route Trade Route yields can be amplified even further through policy cards like Triangular Trade, Trade Confederation, Wisselbanken, and Market Economy.

Free Builder and extra Production towards districts for cities founded on a foreign continent[]

As if the Trade Route Trade Route yields aren't enough to incentivize settling away from the Capital Capital, Spanish cities founded on a foreign continent also have a really strong start. They start with a free Builder and receive 25% extra Production Production towards building District Districts. The free Builder mechanic stacks with the Ancestral Hall, which is the recommended Tier 1 government building for a civilization that requires rapid expansion and colonialization like Spain. With two free Builders, it is recommended that you run Land Surveyors to reduce the cost of purchasing land plots, since you most likely will buy a lot of land just to use up all the Build charges (Civ6) build charges and get the city up and running quickly.

Extra Production Production towards building District Districts is just a cherry on top. Spain requires a combination of many District Districts, similar to how Poland works. They need Commercial Hubs or Harbors for Trade Route Trade Routes, Holy Sites for their religious pursuits, Campuses for scientific endeavors and to buff their Missions, and Encampments to prepare for the arrival of their Conquistadors. This bonus is impactful in establishing Spanish presence on a new continent, pushing new cities to a good start and allowing them to colonize new continents more quickly than other empires.

This ability takes effect when Spain captures a city that isn't on their Capital Capital's continent, which seems to be an unintended feature. There's no limit on the number of free Builders per city either, which means that capturing a city, losing it, and recapturing it will grant Spain a Builder every time they gain control of the city.

Can form Fleets and Armadas with Mercantilism[]

Inarguably the least impactful part, this aspect rarely has any game-changing consequences. At first, it may sound comparable to the Zulus' ability (which is undoubtedly very strong), but in reality, it isn't. Even without going into details that navies generally carry less significance than land armies, forming Fleets and Armadas is not cost effective. The Zulus' Ikanda allows them to build Armies and Corps outright without the Military Academy, whereas Spain still requires the Seaport to build Fleets and Armadas like a normal civilization.

That being said, this ability reduces the pressure of having to have a lot of Culture Culture if you want to be competitive in the oceans, and Spain probably will be behind in Culture Culture. The only naval class that this ability can be useful for is naval ranged, most likely Frigates, considering the time this ability becomes available. Naval raiders are mainly used for coastal raiding, merging multiple units into one defeats the purpose of the class, and the only purpose of naval melee is to capture coastal cities. An Armada of Frigates will have 72 Ranged Strength Ranged Strength without suffering 17 Ranged Strength Ranged Strength penalty for attacking cities, which is really powerful if you want to invest Production Production into. As mentioned above, the main downside of trying to use this ability is how expensive Fleets and Armadas are when trying to train them from scratch, so anything that can reduce the cost of building individual ships is welcome, such as policy cards or even the Venetian Arsenal. Try to form at least one Armada of Frigates if you have a good coastal city with high Production Production, and use it to assist your Conquistadors in conquest. By doing that, you will also unlock for historic moments for the first Fleet and first Armada in the world.

Circumstances of unfavorable continental divisions[]

Your starting bias does not guarantee you will easily find a second continent. After all, this is only a tier 3 starting bias, and long Mountain ranges do not have to be splitting two continents. The good thing about Spain, when compared to England, is that Spain does have other bonuses that do not depend on the continental split to be effective. In unfavorable situations, your Trade Route Trade Routes will not be as powerful, so scale back on Harbor and Commercial Hub's priority, and focus on Science Science and Faith Faith output through Campuses and Holy Sites.

While it is true that all Trade Route Trade Routes of Spain will receive 3 Gold Gold, 2 Faith Faith, and 1 Production Production, but as cities develop, base yields of Trade Route Trade Routes also scale up. However, without a continental split, these yields will stay the same, so its effectiveness will taper off rather quickly. By divesting resources into Campuses and Holy Sites, you can unlock Conquistadors a lot earlier and change the direction of your empire from trading to conquering. Conquistadors are incredibly strong, which will be analyzed in great details down below. In terms of Faith Faith, Spain does not have any significant bonus towards generating Faith Faith, so it can never win a Religious Victory in a traditional way. If it does, it will have to combine it with Domination, so the purpose of building Holy Sites is, first, to get you a religion, and second, to generate a decent amount of Faith Faith to purchase Conquistadors (with the Grand Master's Chapel), and some religious units to assist your Conquistadors in combat. Also, Holy Sites grant Science Science to adjacent Missions, and the combination of Holy Sites and Campuses is extremely busted during a Dark Age, when you can run Monasticism. Therefore, in this situation, the Campus is your number 1 District District that should be present in every city, while the Holy Site takes a secondary supporting role. You can still throw in Harbors and Commercial Hubs here and there to boost your Gold Gold output a little bit to prepare for the arrival of your Conquistadors.

El Escorial[]

Religion as Spain[]

Spain's first priority under Philip II should be to found a religion as quickly as possible, because his leader ability is useless otherwise. They should research Astrology first, get a Holy Site up and running fast and run a few Holy Site Prayers projects. If you don't want to run projects, aim to build at least 2 Holy Sites and 2 Shrines, or 2 Holy Sites and get the Divine Spark pantheon.

Spain is slightly more versatile than other religious civilizations, so that even in the case of failing to secure a religion, they still have other trade bonuses to rely on; even the Conquistador is really powerful even without the presence of a majority religion in your empire. Spain is different from Byzantium, another domination-religious civilization, because failure in getting a religion doesn't totally break your game, but managing to found one makes you significantly stronger. Therefore, since Spain doesn't have any bonus towards getting one, you should act quickly.

When founding a religion, you should pick an Enhancer belief to go with the mandatory Follower belief, since there are a lot of great Enhancer belief options for Spain. They are:

  • Crusade: it goes without saying that every domination-religious civilization loves this belief, although for Spain, it can be quite counter-synergistic with both Philip's ability and the Conquistador. More analysis on this belief down below.
  • Defender of the Faith: quite powerful in combination with the Conquistador, also provides Spain a little defensive mechanism before the arrival of their unique unit.
  • Holy Order: cheaper Missionaries mean you can spam more of these units to support your Conquistadors. This belief doesn't make Inquisitors any cheaper though.

The two best Follower beliefs for Spain are:

  • Choral Music: to be fair, everyone loves this belief. For Spain, they often lag behind in Culture Culture generation, especially if Monasticism is used to generate Science Science, so this is especially helpful.
  • Jesuit Education: Spain can develop a strong scientific foundation thanks to the Mission, so this belief plays into the fact that Spain already wants to build a lot of Holy Sites and Campuses.

There is no need to evangelize your religion as Spain; there are definitely great Founder belief and Worship belief options for Spain, but they are a lot less important. You can do it if you have a generous amount of Faith Faith. A few recommendations to look at are Cross-Cultural Dialogue, Tithe, World Church for Founder, and Wat, Meeting House or Mosque for Worship, depending on what your empire needs.

Extra Combat Strength when fighting against civilizations that follow a different religion[]

Note that this ability only takes into account the majority religion (the dominant religion that 50% cities in the empire follow) of Spain and their enemy, not the religion of each individual city where the battle takes place. If either empire doesn't have a majority religion, the bonus will not be activated. While there is little you can do if the enemy doesn't follow a different religion (since you can only hope a third empire will spread their influence into the empire you want to conquer), you need to make sure your religion has established itself in your empire.

You can stack both the Strength Combat Strength from this ability and from Crusade belief, by converting cities one by one. By doing that, the majority religion of the empire stays different, while the city you are attacking will activate Crusade. This ability also stacks perfectly with Wars of Religion, adding an extra layer of Strength Combat Strength on top. However, it is worth remembering that conquering using Conquistadors will gradually convert the enemy into your religion, so Philip's ability (as well as Wars of Religion) is more likely to work in the beginning of the conquest, and most likely stops working halfway through. If a Domination Victory is what you are seeking, make sure to scout out and include the original Capital Capital in your battle plan early on. If a Religious Victory is on your agenda, then you don't need to worry about that, as all you want is to reduce the number of cities following a different religion than yours.

The best thing about this ability is that it works on every Spanish unit, land armies, navies, airplanes, even religious units.

Stronger Inquisitors[]

Inquisitors and Gurus are much less important religious units than Missionaries and Apostles, but Philip's ability gives you a little bit more incentives to use Inquisitors. First, in order to get access to Inquisitors, you need to expend an Apostle by Launching an Inquisition, then any city with a religion and a Temple can purchase Inquisitors of its respective religion. In vanilla, Inquisitors remove 100% foreign religions, while from Rise and Fall forward, they remove 75%; however, Philip's Inquisitors always remove 100% and have an additional charge.

Compared to other religious units, Inquisitors are cheaper and stronger at defending your religion on your home turf. They are crucial in ensuring your empire is following one religion only, which plays into the strength of Philip's other ability. Their cheap cost and an extra charge means they are a good economical choice to assist your Conquistadors in battle. Not only that, they receive 5 Religious Strength Religious Strength when fighting a theological combat against other religions' units, which makes them stalwart defenders of your religious stronghold.


The Conquistador is a great way to push Spain's main agenda: Religious Victory through conquest. It is quite underrated as a unique unit, despite the potential for outstanding damage output. Thanks to Spain's religious fervors under Philip II, the Conquistador is one of the easiest unique unit to stack many layers of bonus Strength Combat Strength on. These are just a few most common ways to give additional Strength Combat Strength to your Conquistadors:

  • +10 Strength Combat Strength when within one tile of a religious unit.
  • +9 Strength Combat Strength when fighting a unit (or city) belonging to an empire of a different religion (5 Strength Combat Strength from Philip and 4 Strength Combat Strength from Wars of Religion).
  • +10 Strength Combat Strength from Crusade belief or 5 Strength Combat Strength from Defender of the Faith belief.
  • +4 Strength Combat Strength from Oligarchy or its legacy policy card.
  • +5 Strength Combat Strength from a potential Great General Great General. (clearly the least common one here, but it is worth pointing out)

Except for the Great General Great General, everything else is quite easy to get, which allows your Conquistadors to boast an absurd level of Strength Combat Strength that fares well one or two eras after it becomes available, and this unit already has a built-in 3 extra Strength Combat Strength over the standard Musketman. All of that costs only 10 extra Production Production!

Regarding whether Crusade or Defender of the Faith is the better Enhancer belief, it depends a lot on your Faith Faith generation. Crusade undoubtedly allows city captures to go a lot faster, since another layer of 10 Strength Combat Strength can make Conquistadors unstoppable. However, it is susceptible to enemy Inquisitors and it renders the conversion ability of Conquistadors worthless, since you have to establish the presence of your religion in the city before the capture. Crusade is recommended when your Faith Faith is good enough to purchase a lot of Apostles to bring along on a conquest, since they are the only religious unit that can effectively counteract enemy Inquisitors and stand their ground against them in theological combat, and Missionaries are too weak to be able to quickly and reliably convert a religious city to another religion. If your Faith Faith generation is lacking, Defender of the Faith is the better choice. You can cheaply purchase Missionaries or Inquisitors to bring along to combat, of course you will have to forgo a good chunk of Strength Combat Strength when trying to capture enemy cities, but they will be instantly converted to your religion, thanks to the Conquistador's ability. This will make it harder for the enemy to re-capture their own settlements, thanks to the newly gained 5 extra Strength Combat Strength. Holy Order is also a worthwhile Enhancer belief if you have low Faith Faith, but it is worse than Defender of the Faith, since Missionaries with 30% discount are roughly the same as a normal price Inquisitors anyway, and you don't have the extra Strength Combat Strength to prevent city re-capture.

The ability to convert enemy cities into your religion can be redundant if you pick Crusade, but can be very useful otherwise since you can push closer to a Religious Victory without expending any Faith Faith. You can also print out Era Score very rapidly by converting foreign cities during a war, similar to how Byzantium works. If these cities have a Holy Site with buildings inside, they can also instantly purchase religious units of your religion to further support your army. Note that the Conquistador will convert captured cities into your majority religion, not your founded one. Therefore, if you do not have a majority religion in your empire, the Conquistador will convert captured cities into atheism (similar in function to an Inquisitor removing an alien religion), or if your majority Religion is different from your founded one, that alien religion will be adopted instead.

Similar to other domination-oriented unique units, the sooner you unlock your Conquistador, the better. Try to train Men-At-Arms to upgrade them into Conquistadors. Mercenaries is an important civic to reach, since it provides Retinues and Professional Army, allowing you to upgrade your army at a discount in both Gold Gold and Niter Niter.


The Mission is also another underrated piece in the Spanish arsenal, considering its potential Science Science output being the highest in the game while also providing a great mix of Faith Faith, Food Food, and Production Production.

The base yield of a Mission is 2 Faith Faith, quite mediocre, but if it is built on a foreign continent, this goes up to 4 Faith Faith, 1 Food Food and 1 Production Production, more than twice as much. The extra Food Food and Production Production may sound minor, but they are decent compensations for Farms and Mines, This is what makes this improvement superior to a lot of other "spam-able" improvements (like Kurgan, or Sphinx), since it doesn't completely stunt the growth and productivity of the city if you want to focus on one type of yield and go completely overboard with it. For this reason, Spain urgently needs to discover another continent before Medieval Era hits, to ensure the maximum potential of this improvement when it is available for use. Also, cities on a foreign continent will receive 2 Loyalty if they have a Mission next to the City Center. The amount of Loyalty provided isn't huge and on its own cannot prevent colonies from revolting, but it is something to prolong the period of peace, giving you more time to act on the matter.

On top of that, the Mission grants 1 Science Science for each adjacent Campus or Holy Site, regardless of the continent it is on. This is what fuels the Spanish Science Science game, since the sheer amount of Science Science generated by this improvement can tiptoe on the "absurd" territory. 1 Science Science per adjacent District District may not sound as much, but that doesn't take into account that this improvement virtually has no special placement restriction, beside common restrictions that every improvement has (it cannot be built on Floodplains or Volcanic Soil, for example). It can be built on all terrain types, including Desert and Tundra, which allows great potential for a Desert Petra city or a Tundra St. Basil's Cathedral city (incredibly powerful if that city is on a different continent, since in that case each Mission provides 4 Faith Faith plus Food Food and Production Production for these barren terrains). Missions can be built next to one another, meaning you can build Holy Site and Campus in every city one tile away from one another, and then completely surround those two District Districts with Missions. But the fun doesn't stop there. With Cultural Heritage, each Mission earns 2 additional Science Science, effectively doubling or tripling the amount of Science Science every Mission has if they are built next to a Holy Site and/or a Campus! The major strength of this improvement lies in its ubiquity, so make sure you put it down everywhere, especially to surround Campuses and Holy Sites or when the city is on a foreign continent. This is also the reason why Choral Music is the number one Follow belief choice for Spain. Spain most likely will lag behind in Culture Culture since their focus will be on trade, Faith Faith and Science Science, but they do have crucial civic benchmarks they need to hit, such as Mercenaries or Cultural Heritage, and Choral Music grants Culture Culture for a District District Spain would like to build anyway.

The April 2021 Update made this improvement even more powerful by moving its prerequisites from Exploration to Education. Not only that is one whole era earlier, Education is a technology while Exploration is a civic, meaning now Spain will have a much easier time unlocking their Science Science prowess.

Victory Types[]

Religion and domination go hand in hand for the Spanish, as a significant part of their gameplay resembles that of Byzantium. For that reason, Spain skews towards both a Religious Victory and a Domination Victory, and it requires you to perform well in both fields in order to win on either path. However, Spain has an additional layer of versatility, as they can compete very well for a Science Victory if they focus on building Campuses and Industrial Zones and use domestic Trade Route Trade Route to boost their cities' Citizen Population and Production Production potential. Their high Faith Faith output can be converted into Science Science easily if they pick the Jesuit Education belief.

Counter Strategy[]

Many Spanish bonuses take a while to kick in at all - and the ones that don't rely on getting lucky enough to spawn on a continent split. If you spawn next to them, they can definitely be a priority early war target, perhaps with a Horseman rush (as their speed will help them capture Builders or plunder Trade Route Trade Routes). Or you can just forward-settle them if that keeps them stuck to their home continent.

Note that the Spanish are highly incentivized to get a religion from Philip II's leader ability and Conquistadors, but lack direct bonuses towards founding one. If you can rush your own religion, you might be able to deny them one. Beware, though, as if both you and Philip II get a religion, his agenda will kick in and often push you towards a war with him. If that's during the height of Conquistador power, load up on garrisoned Crossbowmen, focus fire to expose religious units that you can then condemn, and pray.

Civilopedia entry[]

Federico Garcia Lorca wrote, “In Spain the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world.” Certainly there were many of them in Spain’s bloody history. Born at the end of the Reconquista with the union of Castile and Aragon, Spain would survive devastating wars and centuries of political unrest, as well as golden ages and religious movements. From its (re)discovery and colonization of the New World, to its world-spanning empire, to its contributions to culture and the romance of life, to its involvement in countless wars, Spain is one of the few nations which can claim an encompassing influence on global civilization.

In 711 AD, the Islamic Umayyad dynasty crossed the Straits from North Africa and swept across Iberia in seven short years, converting or killing the Visigoths there. Despite a shared religion and purpose (profit), the invading Moors were hardly unified; several Moorish kingdoms arose by the onset of the 11th Century, notably the powerful ones centered on Valencia and Granada. The Islamic rulers were fairly tolerant of other faiths, allowing the Jews and Christians in their lands to continue their heathen ways, provided they pay special taxes to do so and submit to a few discriminatory practices. Despite these minor – for the times – discomforts, many locals began to convert to Islam.

But the Moors were a contentious lot, and warfare among them was not unusual. Unfortunately (for them), this in-fighting allowed some of the remaining Christian kingdoms in the north to expand their borders … and ponder “freeing” Iberia from the Muslim yoke. And thus began the Reconquista, a few hundred years of bloodshed as the Christian kingdoms – Leon, Navarre, Aragon, Castile and eventually Portugal – led the crusade to expel the Muslims, encouraged by the Papacy and good Catholics everywhere. Of course, these Christian kingdoms fought among themselves without cessation as well, so Iberia was a muddled mess … until the fateful union of the kingdoms of Castile-Leon and Aragon, joined by the marriage of Isabella I and Ferdinand II in 1469. The two monarchs led a concentrated attack against the last Islamic stronghold of Granada, and in 1492 finally ended the 781-year presence of the Muslims in Iberia.

And to insure that the new realm of Spain stayed Christian, at the urging of the pope Ferdinand and Isabella (mostly the latter) established the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. The office was under the direct control of the Spanish monarchy, with the Church advising. A succession of Grand Inquisitors commencing with de Torquemada diligently sought out unrepentant Muslims, Jews, Protestants, Moriscos and anyone else who denied – or might challenge – the rule of Rome. And crimes such as witchcraft, blasphemy, bigamy, sodomy and freemasonry also fell under the Inquisition’s purview. In tribunals across Spain (and spreading to other European kingdoms in diluted form) the accused were tortured, tried and often found guilty. If condemned (and most were), their property was confiscated and they were given the choice of an auto-de-fé (a public return to the true Church) or execution. Of the roughly 150,000 “processed” by the Inquisition until its abolishment in July 1834, some 5000 were put to death. The Inquisition also oversaw the fight against heretical texts, and burned those books censored by the papal indices (but such pyres were not near as entertaining as burning heretics and sodomites, and thus drew far less attention).

Isabella – Ferdinand was more skeptical – also funded a Genoese madman who thought that he could reach the fabulous Far East by sailing west across the open ocean rather than contending with greedy Portugal, which had reached there already by sailing around Africa. In 1492, Christopher Columbus bumped into the New World, and Spain would become the first true “world power” in history. He was followed by adventurers of all ilk, including conquistadors such as Cortez and Pizarro just out for a quick buck, as well as missionaries and colonists with longer-term plans. The Spanish led the world in this “Age of Discovery,” accumulating vast amounts of wealth from their numerous colonies and principalities. At its height, the Spanish Empire counted holdings across the entirety of the known world, from large chunks of North and South America and small pieces of Europe, to various cities in North Africa and the entirety of the East Indies. It was said, and rightfully so, that the sun always shone somewhere (despite the hurricanes, volcanos and smoke from slash-and-burn farming) in the Spanish Empire.

Spain’s new holdings not only provided precious metals, spices and agricultural bounty, it also brought new knowledge and culture to Europe. This Spanish “Golden Age” likewise saw the creation of intellectual and spiritual reforms as well, starting with the rise of humanism, beginnings of the Protestant Reformation (despite the Inquisition’s best efforts), and the founding of the School of Salamanca. But, Spain would expend a lot of treasure and blood to hold its empire together – perhaps more than it was worth in the long run.

With great power comes great burdens, at least if one doesn’t want Barbary pirates and English sea dogs conducting raids along the empire’s coastal holdings. Besides the growing British and Ottoman threats, Spain found itself routinely at war with France. Religious unrest and wars shook the Catholic empire, as the Protestant Reformation dragged it into an increasing number of military engagements across Europe. The Hapsburg monarchs faced revolts in such uncivilized places as Mexico and the Netherlands … and a lot of other locales. What unrest and religious fanaticism didn’t touch, the plague did, and in the 1650s the entire empire was rocked by the Great Plague of Seville.

From this point forward, Spain’s power and influence went into a gradual, and then not-so-gradual, decline. Spain even began to lose her European holdings, primarily the separation of Portugal and the Netherlands, and then suffered military setbacks from the highly destructive Thirty Years' War. Wars and more wars threatened and decimated the once proud empire for the next two centuries. The War of Succession saw the Hapsburgs toppled from the throne and the coming of the Bourbons. The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 gave the British Gibraltar, an anachronism that continues to this day. At the end of the 18th Century, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded the country by guile, claiming he was on his way to Portugal. Then in the early 19th Century, a nationalist revolt to overthrow their French-occupation government led to the Spanish War of Independence (better known as the Peninsular War). Despite their eventual victory over the French (mostly due to Napoleon’s disastrous Russian campaign) the country was thrown into political turmoil … and so they restored the Bourbons to the throne.

Spain soon found itself on the opposite side of the cause of freedom due to multiple independence movements in its own foreign colonies. Spanish America was swept by wars of “liberation” (most of the new nations ended up under dictatorships and military juntas) from 1808 through 1833. To the long list of native revolts could be added those in the Philippines, Cuba and others in Africa and Asia. Towards the end of the 19th Century, the United States of America decided to rip off a few pieces from the tottering empire for itself; hence the Spanish-American War.

Although there had briefly (1873-1874) been a Spanish Republic, the monarchy was restored and “constitutional” kings of the Bourbon ilk continued to sit on the throne until 1931. During this period, besides (or perhaps because of) losing the remnants of their empire, the Spanish dreamed of days of cultural glory past – artists such as El Greco and Goya, authors such as de Cervantes and Lope de Vega, composers such as de Sarasate and Fernando Sor underwent a rediscovery and resurgence in popularity. Regional diversity in language and cuisine was celebrated. But the people proved rather more passionate about politics, unfortunately.

With the elections of April 1931 it became evident that a deep rift existed between the Monarchist and the Republican parties. When crowds gathered in the street to protest the economy and the continued Monarchist control of the Cortes Generales, friends advised King Alfonso XIII (fittingly unlucky) to flee, which he promptly did. The Second Spanish Republic did give women the right to vote and acceded to Basque desires for more autonomy, but it didn’t solve the economic or social woes, and so only lasted five years. A rising tide of bloodshed and violence finally resulted in a military coup and a bitter three-year civil war against the democratic, leftist republic … a conflict that devastated the country, caused an estimated half-million casualties, involved contending European powers, and ended with Fascism, in the guise of General Francisco Franco, the law of the land for the next 36 years.

Franco’s death in 1975 gave rise to the restoration of the constitutional monarchy in the person of Juan Carlos I de Borbon y Borbon. The Bourbons were back, this time to stay. With a hand-picked council of advisors and popular backing, the young king proved himself a sensible agent for change. As a result, the Cortes adopted a new mostly-democratic constitution, ratified by popular vote in December 1978. The Spanish could again return to long siestas and dreams of past glory, and celebrating their rich heritage with world-famous festivals and holidays… despite rampant urbanization, industrialization and pollution.



Males Females Modern males Modern females
Bernardo Agacia Alejandro Benita
Gualterio Carmita Carlos Dolores
Leandro Joaquina Duarte Evita
Maurio Lupita Ernesto Florida
Naldo Paloma Fidele Ignacia
Ramiro Ramona Hernando Madalena
Rufio Suelita Javier Nevada
Teodoro Ursulina Pancho Seina
Vicente Ventura Pepe Tabora
Xavier Zanetta Santos Yoana





CIVILIZATION VI - First Look- Spain

First Look: Spain

Related achievements[]

Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition
Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition
Launch an Inquisition as Spain
A reference to the catchphrase in the Monty Python skit 'The Spanish Inquisition'.
Non Sufficit Orbis
Non Sufficit Orbis
Win a regular game as Philip II
An inscription on medals given in Philip II's reign, meaning 'the world is not enough'.

See also[]

Civilization VI Civilizations [edit]
AmericanArabianAustralian1AztecBabylonian1BrazilianByzantine1Canadian GS-OnlyChineseCree R&F-OnlyDutch R&F-OnlyEgyptianEnglishEthiopian1FrenchGallic1Georgian R&F-OnlyGermanGran Colombian1GreekHungarian GS-OnlyIncan GS-OnlyIndianIndonesian1JapaneseKhmer1KongoleseKorean R&F-OnlyMacedonian1Malian GS-OnlyMāori GS-OnlyMapuche R&F-OnlyMayan1Mongolian R&F-OnlyNorwegianNubian1Ottoman GS-OnlyPersian1Phoenician GS-OnlyPolish1Portuguese1RomanRussianScottish R&F-OnlyScythianSpanishSumerianSwedish GS-OnlyVietnamese1Zulu R&F-Only
1 Requires DLC

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.