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Spain

Cultural sightseeing in Spain. What to visit - museums, temples, castles and palaces

Barcelona Spain is a culturally rich country. There are more than 40 objects of the UNESCO World Heritage List. The country was built and developed under the influence of three religious confessions - Christianity, Islam, and Judaism - which affected the material and spiritual culture. There is a large number of museums in Spain. The largest of them, the Prado Museum, is situated in Madrid. The building, in which it is located, was constructed in the 18th century. That’s a monument of classicism. The collection of the Museum of Fine Arts embraces pieces by El Greco, Velasquez, Bosch, Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Bassano, and Rubens. The walls of the museum hold a unique collection, which is one of the 20 most visited in Europe.
The relief of Spain is diverse. There are about 400 different national parks and reserves in the country. Here, you can find desert and mountain …
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Not far from the Prado Museum, there are two other iconic museums, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum. Together they create a golden triangle of the capital's art. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum features a collection of paintings by the most famous artists from the 13th century to the present day. These include Memling, Holbein, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Picasso, Dali, and Chagall. The museum of Queen Sofia houses paintings of artists of the 20th century. The most famous among them is the Guernica by Picasso. There is also the Maritime Museum, the Museum of America, the Museum of the Jamon, National Anthropological, Archaeological Museums, and the Museum of Romanticism in Madrid.
Another center of the country's culture is the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona. The most famous and grandiose architectural structures are located there. They are mainly created by the legendary architect Antonio Gaudi. The Temple of the Holy Family or Sagrada Familia is a real landmark of the city and one of its symbols. The construction of the temple began in 1882. It does not stop until now. All elements in the building have a deep religious significance. The building is topped by numerous towers. Other, not less effective constructions of Gaudi are the house of the Batlló and the Mila House. In the house of Batlló, the traveler will not find any straight line, as Gaudi was inspired by the figure of a giant dragon. Mila House belongs to a private organization. Today, it regularly hosts exhibitions. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Spain is located in four climatic zones at the same time, from moderate continental to tropical. Furthermore, the climate is considered to be one of …
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In addition to exploring the heritage of Gaudi, many new cultural discoveries wait for tourists in Barcelona. The National Museum of Art of Catalonia is located in the luxurious National Palace. It has the richest collections of paintings, engravings, frescoes, and coins. The Pablo Picasso Museum is set in the ancient city palace; it has a unique collection donated by the artist's friend. The Spanish village set on 42 square kilometers, recreates the atmosphere of agrarian Spain. The Gothic quarter, located in the old part of the city, is a whole complex of buildings dating back to the 14th to the 15th century. Its main attraction is the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia of the 13th century, as well as the royal square, the Basilica of La Merce, and the Gothic church of Santa Maria del Pi.
In Valencia, travelers will be able to visit the City of Arts and Sciences. This architectural complex is  located on the bottom of a drained river. It embraces a scientific museum, an opera house and a stage for performances, a planetarium, and an oceanographic park. The Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia has one of the richest collections of paintings in the whole country. Like most iconic museums in Spain, it is set in an old building with amazing architecture. One of the most famous paintings in the collection is John the Baptist by El Greco. It is in Valencia, in the Gothic cathedral, that the cup is kept, which is officially recognized by the Catholic Church as the Holy Grail.
Spain is a modern country with highly developed infrastructure. Here you can find practically all the possible means of transportation that tourists …
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Monuments of medieval architecture, historical buildings are most often found in Alicante. The fortress of Santa Barbara is on the mountain in the heart of the city. At various time, it belonged to the Moors, the Spaniards, and even the English. In the vicinity, there are many other castles, including Santa Pola, Forna, Montemar, and Bjar. Tarragona can boasts with monuments of the Roman Empire. The Roman amphitheater was built around the 2nd century; it hosted battles, performances, and public executions. In the Roman Museum, tourists will be able to admire more than 25,000 ancient exhibits. You can look at these and other attractions from the Mediterranean Balcony offering a breathtaking view of the city and its surroundings.
Spain guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Spain

Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Spain
♥   Art museum 'Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art' Barcelona. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Bilbao Fine Arts Museum' Bilbao. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Casa y Museo El Greco' Toledo. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Dalí Theatre and Museum' Figueres. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'El Escorial' San Lorenzo de El Escorial. On the map   Photos
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas in Spain
♥   Catedral de Nuestro Señor San Salvador, Jerez de la Frontera. On the map   Photos
♥   Catedral de la Anunciación, Granada. On the map   Photos
♥   Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Merced, Huelva. On the map   Photos
♥   Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Anunciación, Guadix. On the map   Photos
♥   Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Córdoba. On the map   Photos
♥   Catedral de la Asunción de la Virgen, Baeza. On the map   Photos
♥   Concatedral de San Nicolás de Bari, Alicante. On the map   Photos
Map of all palaces
Palaces in Spain
♥   Palace 'Alcázar of Segovia' . On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Archbishop’s Palace of Alcalá de Henares' . On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Buenavista Palace' . On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Casa Salazar' . On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Casa Solans' . On the map   Photos

Extreme Guinness-type places in Spain

Department of Health of Basque Lands

From the series “Glass Architecture - Impressive Villas and Buildings from Glass”
A unique building of asymmetric form you can see in the Spanish city, Bilbao. This architectural masterpiece looks very good in the city but it is quite hard to imagine how this project could be materialized. In Bilbao design of all new houses is strictly regulated. The rules say that all buildings have to look similar to the buildings in the particular region. More than that, all new buildings don’t have to be higher than the nearby.

Notwithstanding all these restrictions, specialists from Coll-Barreu Arquitectos agency made something unbelievable. They built a unique construction that doesn’t have analogues in the whole world. The wonderful glass building is situated on the beautiful historical street that was built in the 19th century. The unique seven-stored building is taken by … Read all

El Escorial Monastery

From the series “Famous Buildings of Renaissance Architecture”
El Escorial Monastery is a famous Spanish residence of King Philipp II. The monastery is located near Madrid in a picturesque mountain area Sierra de Guadarrama. Philipp II ordered to build this magnificent monastery in 1557. In the middle of the military campaign, the king’s army has destroyed the old monastery named after Saint Lavrenty. This man was born in Spain that’s why the king decided to build a great monastery after the saint’s return to the motherland.

Originally it was built to ensure that the part of the large building could be used as a royal residence. This large construction of the 1584 year reminds a severe medieval fortress. It adores with the area – the monastery length is 206 meters and width 161 meters.

The building is so big that until now people can’t … Read all
All unique sightseeing Spain
Country maps Maps of Spain
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Car rental in Spain
Map of cities Cities map of Spain
Map of sights Map of sights in Spain

Malaysia Shares Its 2020 Tourist Arrivals Data

ASEAN countries (short-haul market) were the biggest source market for Malaysia, accounting for 68.1% of tourist arrivals (2.9 million). East Asia and South Asia (medium-haul market) had a share of 20.1% or 870 thousand arrivals, and the long-haul market had the smallest share of 11.8% or 512 thousand arrivals. The top ten source countries for Malaysia are the following: Singapore, Indonesia, China, Thailand, India, Brunei, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and Vietnam. Read this

13.04.2021

Top cultural sites of Spain: monuments, theaters and churches

Almudena Cathedral, Madrid

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Almudena Cathedral is decorated with the statue of the Holy Virgin of Almudena, which is also called the statue of the Blessed Virgin, who is the patron saint of Spanish capital.
» According to the legend, the figure of the Virgin Mary was found here in the wall of an ancient Arab fortress, and the Cathedral was built at that site. Almudena is translated from Arab as ‘the fortress’.
» The main altar of the Cathedral of Granada is made of green marble.
» According to the legend, the statue of the Blessed Virgin Almudena was brought to Spain by the apostle James, who preached the Christian faith in the Pyrenees in the 1st century.
» The casket containing the remains of St. Isidro is kept in a duct under the altar.

Barcelona Cathedral, Barcelona

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Barcelona Cathedral is dedicated to St. Eulalia, a young girl who was tortured and martyred for Christian faith.
» That’s the main religious building in Barcelona.
» The most valuable relic of the Barcelona Cathedral are relics of Saint Eulalia buried under the main altar; if you push the 50-cent coin in the slot, the sarcophagus will light with fires.
» The painted wooden sarcophagus is set on the stand at the south wall. According to the legend, it belongs to Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona, and his wife.
» The chapel stores the most revered image of Christ, Holy Christ of Lepanto, that was on the ship of Juan of Austria at the battle of Lepanto.

Basilica de Begona, Bilbao

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Believers came to the Basilica de Begona to worship the patroness of sailors, the Virgin Mary.
»  Services are daily held in the religious institution. Grand festivals dedicated to the Virgin are held here twice a year.
»  The church for her glory started to be built in the 16th century. The construction lasted a hundred years. That is why the exterior of the building combines Gothic and Baroque architectural styles.
»  In the 19th century, the clock tower was attached to the facade. There are 24 bells on the belfry. They make seven different sounds. The whole instrument weighs 1 ton.
»  The walls are decorated with convex ornaments and small shaped pillars.
»  There is a Baroque altar inside. It is gilded. The memorial statue is the wooden sculpture of the Virgin Begona.
»  In the hall, there are high drop arched doorways. They are decorated with complicated patterns. They make an impression that the petals of weird plants surround worshipers.
»  There is a tradition to call ships “Begona” or “Saint Virgin Begona”. This encourages a long voyage and protects sailors from misfortunes.

Castillo de La Mota, San Sebastian

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» On the mountain slope, there is a medieval fortress at a height of 120 m above sea level.
»  “Slope” is “mota” in Spain and that is why the Castle of La Mota is called like that.
»  The fortress was used for protective purposes in a particular period of time. The castle held down the siege of the enemy. The quite small object includes cannons.
»  The first defense barriers were constructed here in the 12th century. They have survived to this day. Over the centuries, the castle has been reconstructed and updated for better defensive capacity. Most of the rooms were inhabited by people once but now the castle is empty.
»  Nowadays, the building is an architectural monument. Inner rooms house museum exhibits. You can trace the city development through the layouts of buildings, old outfits, audio and video materials.
»  In 1950, the sculpture of Christ was placed in the center of the castle square. It is very high and seen from any district of the city. At night, the statue of Jesus is illuminated with colorful lamps.
»  You can go up the stairs to the castle within 40 minutes. When going up there, tourists can admire the flora of the park with benches.

Church of the Sacred Heart, Barcelona

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Church of the Sacred Heart is located at the top of Tibidabo and is visible from any point of Barcelona. Above the temple stands the statue of Christ embracing the whole world.
» The Church of the Sacred Heart at the moment is the building consisting of at least two parts. The lower part looks like a fortress wall (it’s built of Montjuic stone), and the upper is a church in the Gothic Revival style.
» Due to the fact that the facade of the temple is constructed in a special way, it seems that the building tends directly to heaven. The building of the church is decorated with magnificent statues of the Apostles, the Virgin Mary and patron saints of Catalonia.
» The place for the erection wasn’t chosen occasionally, as the name of the mountain Tibidabo comes from the Latin phrase ‘give you’ and is a string of the Gospel. It means all earthly pleasures and wealth offered when Satan tempted Christ.

Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Hospital de Sant Pau is the hospital complex in Barcelona designed by the Catalan modernist architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner. In 1997, the unique complex was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
» Although the current building dates back to the 20th century, the Hospital de Sant Pau was founded in 1401 by combining the six medieval Barcelona's hospitals. In 1991 it was awarded with the cross of St. George by the Government of Catalonia.
» The complex consists of a main building and 27 pavilions. All the buildings are connected by underground passages adapted for transportation of patients.
» Names of the best doctors in the hospital from the very beginning are seen on tiles on the facade of the main building.
» Symbols of apostles were used in design of the hospital. For example, the bull is the slowest animal, and the lion is more spiritual, but not yet capable to understand the idea of God.

Iglesia de San Vicente, San Sebastian

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The new church was built in the 15th-16th century at the site of the temple destroyed by fire. It is located in the historic quarter.
»  Over the centuries, San Vicente belonged to the other church. It gained independence in 1940.
»  In its exterior, you can see some elements of the destroyed building. Later, the covered gallery, prayer rooms, and a place for choirs were added to the main building.
»  The altar panels depict Christ. The altar was made in 1586. At the church, you can see the organ of 1868. There are wheel windows on the outer wall of the temple. The religious building is characterized by the late Gothic architectural style.
»  The inner space is divided into 3 sectors. Cross beams are attached to outbuildings and additional pedestal for worships. Tower pillars support the ceiling.
»  San Vicente is officially named The Basilica de los Santos Hermanos Martires, Vicente, Sabina y Cristeta.
»  According to the historical chronicles, martyrs Vicente, Sabina and Cristeta were sentenced to death upon the order of the Roman ruler Diocletian. They were buried in the rocky soil.

Iglesia de Santa Maria del Coro, San Sebastian

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Roman Catholic Church was built in the late 18th century. Historically, it is located in the city center. The construction lasted over 20 years.
»  The basilica has survived in its original form. The central entrance is between two decorated towers. You can see church symbols on the facade. There is a clock at the top of the church. Above the doorway, there is the statue of revered Sebastian. You can also see the picture of him in the basilica.
»  The Christian follower was brutally murdered in 288. He was pierced with arrows upon the order of the Roman Emperor. The city is named after him.
»  There is the emblem of the city on the wall. There are sculptures in semicircular niches with a relief base. Octagonal 15-meter columns support the vault inside. The hall with a total area of 48x33 m is divided into three sectors.
»  The altar is devoted to the patroness of citizens, the Holy Great Martyr Mary. The image of the Virgin Mary is carved out of wood. The sculpture was made in the 15th-16th century.
»  At the end of the summer month, you can listen to the famous choir Orfeón Donostiarra in Santa Maria del Coro.

Culture and monuments in popular cities of Spain

Barcelona
Music lovers should definitely visit Palace of Music, the hall of which can accommodate up to 1700 guests. The building of the palace is of a great interest from an architectural point of view as well. The unique design of its rooms implemented in a modern style deserves only the highest praise. The palace is the venue for various concerts for over a hundred of years. Among other monuments worth mentioning is Batlló House (Casa Batllo), which facade is distinguished by the unusual decoration. … Read more
Madrid
Art lovers should not forget to visit Museo Lazaro Galdiano, in 37 rooms of which are exhibited collections of priceless sculptures, paintings, folk costumes and weapons. The museum is located in a beautiful mansion of the 19th century, which itself is an object of a great value. Among the famous architectural buildings of Madrid we should definitely distinguish Goya Pantheon (Panteon de Goya). The great artist directly participated in the decoration of the dome of the chapel. There are also … Read more
Sevilla
Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Sede is an important religious attraction. Several centuries ago a beautiful mosque stood on the site of the church. Nowadays only a cozy patio, which simply dives in the greenery of orange trees, reminds of the original building. Church of St. John is a great building made in the gothic style. Its construction was completed in the middle of the 17th century. The main decoration of the temple is a sculpture depicting Saint John and the Virgin Mary. Among the … Read more
Benidorm
Of course, there are many natural attractions in the city. Puig Campana Mountain is definitely one of them. Even tallest skyscrapers look tiny in comparison with this mountain. Its picturesque hills are great for hiking, and excursion routes cover the most interesting and attractive destinations. The names of many historic streets and avenues speak for themselves - Uruguay Avenue, Beijing Street, Mediterranean Sea Avenue. Each of these streets is home to numerous historic buildings, colorful … Read more
Granada
Arabic Wall is a no less interesting architectural attraction of the city. The line of walls, which have survived till our days in a great state, starts not far away from Triunfo Square. The walls are decorated with skillful painting and stone carving, which fully convey the splendor of culture of first settlers of the city, who lived here in the 9th century. The above-mentioned area is also the location of another very interesting excursion object - Puerta de Elvira Gate, the construction of … Read more
Valencia
Serranos Gates are a no less striking tourist attraction. The gates were built in the beginning of the 13th century. They act as a symbolic entrance to the street with the same name. Originally the gates belonged to a massive system of fortifications. All the buildings and the wall, which had surrounded the city, were destroyed in the 14th century, so today only Serranos Gates remind of magnificent buildings of the past. Vacationers should definitely not forget to visit Science Center, which … Read more
Salou
A part of the tower is now taken with the Contemporary Enamel Art Museum performing a collection of unique items made of extremely fragile but amazingly beautiful material. The ancient fortifying construction is embraced with a marvelous garden, a stroll though which will turn into the greatest unforgettable experience. Apart from age-old trees the garden offers an exciting collection of unique sculptures by local masters of statuary art. Another remarkable historical landmark is the Catalan … Read more
Lloret de Mar
El monasterio de Santa Cristina is the sight of the earlier period. It was established more than seven centuries ago. Today anyone can visit the abbey and walk through its vast territory enjoying the renovated constructions of the abbey. Some of them have totally preserved the atmosphere and scenery of the foregone centuries. A strange object makes the coast line peculiar. A majestic castle proudly overlooks the sea. This is one of the youngest sights of the holiday resort. The castle was built … Read more

Spain map of cultural and historical sites

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