Spain is often recognized as the single greatest historical museum in the open, surrounded by beautiful beaches and resort areas, perhaps the best in Europe. Also a true miracle of nature in terms of animal species variety and the beauty of its landscapes, Spain is a perfect place for aesthetic recreation away from city bustle.
Spain is a country with glorious history. The most ancient monuments of culture in Spain belong to the Paleolithic period. These are rock paintings on the cave walls of Altamira. The architecture of the Iberians is represented by the ruins of the gigantic stone walls in Tarragona. The Romans left mainly civil constructions in Spain, such as water mains, bridges, aqueducts, amphitheatres, and arches. One of the Roman bridges, the Alcantara River Tagus, is perfectly preserved. This bridge features six arches with the middle one being a triumphal arch. The ruins of the Roman amphitheater for 6,000 spectators in Merida and Sagunto are simply majestic. Also, there are ancient arches in Medisaneli and Bar built in 107-102 BC.
The Arabs exerted a great influence on medieval Spanish art and architecture. The Alhambra palace-fortress in Granada, the Mosque of Cordoba, La Giralda minaret in Seville are world-famous tourist destinations. Alhambra is the palace-fortress of the 13th century, a fine example of Muslim architecture. Depending on the light, its walls and towers change color during the day. Especially beautiful is the Lions courtyard, surrounded by columns of white marble. In the courtyard, there is a fountain, with its huge marble bowl resting on 12 lions. In the palace, there are some great halls, including the Hall of Ambassadors; the Royal Hall with gold lace arches resembling stalactites, the Hall of Secrets with amazing acoustic effects.
The Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba is the largest mosque in the world, second to the famous Kaaba in Mecca. With its 19 aisles with 32 arches, it occupies a large area. Moreover, it is a double monument since it combines a mosque and a cathedral. In 1236, after the city had been captured by the Christians and the Muslims had fled to North Africa, King Ferdinand III ordered to turn the mosque into a Christian church, and the minaret was transformed into a bell tower.
Numerous medieval castles, Paradors, have survived in Spain. They are usually located in the quiet corners and provide excellent opportunities for leisure and for work. Now they form a complex of buildings that combine strict architectural lines with modern interiors and provide a swimming pool, tennis courts, and gyms.
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is famous for its Prado National Museum of painting and sculpture, the museums of Modern Art and Natural Sciences, Archaeological and Ethnographic museums. Tourists will be thrilled to see the Royal Palace of the 18th century and Sabatini gardens, the Church of San Francisco el Grande, Buena Petiro Park, and the Zoo.
Barcelona is another major tourist destination which attracts tourists with its Marine and Archaeological Museums, the Cathedral of the Holy Family, the Museum of Catalan Art and Pablo Picasso, the Montjuic Castle, and the Church of San Pablo del Campo.
Zaragoza is famous for the residence of the Aragonese kings of Castillo de la Alyaferis. Toledo will help you to get acquainted with the architecture of the Moorish period, including the Alcazar castle, Gothic church of San Juan Delos Reyes, and Square Plaza del Zoko.