Alhambra in Granada

6 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

© panoramio.com - Sergey Ashmarin/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – Sergey Ashmarin/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Alhambra (lit. ‘The Red One’) is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It is one of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture and one of the best-preserved palaces of the historic Islamic world, in addition to containing notable examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture.   read more…

Campo de Criptana in Castilla–La Mancha

28 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

© Lourdes Cardenal/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Lourdes Cardenal/cc-by-sa-3.0

Campo de Criptana is a municipality and town in the province of Ciudad Real in the autonomous community of Castilla–La Mancha (Spain). It is found in the region known as La Mancha. Until 1999 the municipal area also included Arenales de San Gregorio, which was situated 13 kilometers southeast of the main core, and had 700 inhabitants. After that date San Gregorio constituted an independent municipality. The area surrounding Campo de Criptana has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Prehistoric implements of hunting, gathering, and agriculture have been found in various locations, as have ceramics, particularly from the Bronze Age. From historic times, the most plentiful remnants have been IberoRoman.   read more…

Girona in Catalonia

9 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

© Patronat de Turisme Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Patronat de Turisme Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona/cc-by-sa-3.0

Girona is a city in northern Catalonia, Spain, at the confluence of the Ter, Onyar, Galligants, and Güell rivers. The city had an official population of 103,000. Girona is the capital of the province of the same name and also capital of the comarca of the Gironès and the vegueria of Girona. Since much of the old quarter of this ancient city has been preserved, Girona is a popular destination for tourists, and film productions have used it as a filming location (Game of Thrones). The city is located 99 km (62 mi) northeast of Barcelona City. Girona is a popular destination for tourists and Barcelona day-trippers – the train journey from Barcelona Sants to Girona takes approximately forty minutes on express trains. The old town stands on the steep hill of the Caputxins to the east of the river Onyar, while the more modern section stands on the plains to the west. The city has a number of Art Nouveau buildings including the Farinera Teixidor by Rafael Masó.   read more…

Macaronesia in the Atlantic Ocean

31 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

Cámara de Lobos, Madeira © Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez/cc-by-sa-4.0

Cámara de Lobos, Madeira © Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez/cc-by-sa-4.0

Macaronesia is a collection of four volcanic archipelagos in the North Atlantic Ocean, off the coasts of the continents of Africa and Europe. Each archipelago is made up of a number of Atlantic oceanic islands, which are formed by seamounts on the ocean floor and have peaks above the ocean’s surface. Some of the Macaronesian islands belong to Portugal, some belong to Spain, and the rest belong to Cape Verde. Politically, the islands belonging to Portugal and Spain are part of the European Union. Geologically, Macaronesia is part of the African tectonic plate. Some of its islands – the Azores – are situated along the edge of that plate at the point where it abuts the Eurasian and North American plates. Macaronesia consists of four main archipelagos. From north to south, these are: the Azores, an Autonomous Region of Portugal, Madeira (also including the Savage Islands), an Autonomous Region of Portugal, the Canary Islands, an Autonomous Community of Spain and Cape Verde, an independent West African country.   read more…

Coria in Extremadura

26 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Plaza de San Pedro © Zarateman/cc-by-sa-4.0

Plaza de San Pedro © Zarateman/cc-by-sa-4.0

Coria is a Spanish municipality in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura, formed by the city of the same name and the towns of Puebla de Argeme and Rincón del Obispo. The whole municipality has 12,500 inhabitants and a population density of 120 inhabitants/km², which makes this city the capital of Vegas de Alagón and the fourth largest city in the province of Cáceres.   read more…

Portrait: Salvador Dalí, world renown Spanish surrealist

22 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  9 minutes

Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot Babou in 1965 © Library of Congress - Roger Higgins

Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot Babou in 1965 © Library of Congress – Roger Higgins

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquess of Dalí of Púbol was a Spanish surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship, and the striking and bizarre images in his work. Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts in Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a young age, he became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements. He moved closer to Surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the Surrealist group in 1929, soon becoming one of its leading exponents. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931, and is one of the most famous Surrealist paintings. Dalí lived in France throughout the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) before leaving for the United States in 1940 where he achieved commercial success. He returned to Spain in 1948 where he announced his return to the Catholic faith and developed his “nuclear mysticism” style, based on his interest in classicism, mysticism, and recent scientific developments.   read more…

Sagrada Família in Barcelona

1 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Basílica de la Sagrada Família (Spanish: Basílica de la Sagrada Familia; ‘Basilica of the Holy Family‘), also known as the Sagrada Família, is a large unfinished Roman Catholic minor basilica in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Designed by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), his work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On 7 November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church and proclaimed it a minor basilica.   read more…

Seville Cathedral

10 February 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Ingo Mehling/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Ingo Mehling/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See (Spanish: Catedral de Santa María de la Sede), better known as Seville Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Seville, Andalusia, Spain. It was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the adjoining Alcázar palace complex and the General Archive of the Indies. It is the fourth-largest church in the world (its size remains a matter of debate) as well as the largest Gothic church.   read more…

Theme Week Asturias – Oviedo

30 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  17 minutes

Parliament building of the Principality of Asturias © flickr.com - vicenmiranda/cc-by-2.0

Parliament building of the Principality of Asturias © flickr.com – vicenmiranda/cc-by-2.0

Oviedo (Asturian: Uviéu) is the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain and the administrative and commercial centre of the region. It is also the name of the municipality that contains the city. Oviedo is located approximately 24 ;km (15 mi) southwest of Gijón and 23 km (14 mi) south of Avilés, both of which lie on the shoreline of the Bay of Biscay. Oviedo’s proximity to the ocean of less than 30 kilometres (19 mi) in combination with its elevated position with areas of the city more than 300 metres above sea level causes the city to have a maritime climate, in spite of it not being located on the shoreline itself.   read more…

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