Spain – a country in Europe, the capital of Madrid. Population – 47,370,000 people, the area – 504 782 sq. km.
Major cities in Spain: Barcelona, Seville, Malaga, Valencia, Zaragoza, Cartagena, A Coruña, Oviedo, Gijón, Burgos, Bilbao, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Santander, Leon, Salamanca, Valladolid, Tarragona, Badalona, L’Hospitalet, Terrassa, Sabadell, Murcia, Alicante, Granada, Córdoba, Jaén, Albacete, Cádiz, Huelva, Palma, Ceuta and others.
It has the Portuguese border in the west, France and Andorra to the north, by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the east and south.
Alcazar of Toledo
Spain attractions. Alcazar of Toledo – the former residence of the kings of Castile; majestic castle in Toledo, Spain. Located on a hill and is visible from any part of the city. This is one of the oldest buildings in Spain, with a rich and interesting history.
According to scientists at this place it was located the fortress city that the Romans erected as early as the 3rd century BC In the Middle Ages, on the orders of the Catholic rulers it has been restored and updated. Some elements of the old buildings have been preserved in the eastern facade. The main architect of the new palace was appointed A. Covarrubias – a prominent supporter of the style “plateresque”.
Externally, the Alcázar of Toledo looks like a quadrangular structure the correct form, in which the edges of the four towering bastion. The chief architect was able to soften the austere fortress style building with the help of numerous ornaments, pediments and pilasters on the facade. Receiver Charles V that style seemed too frivolous, and was followed by a change of architect. New master Juan de Herrera gave the construction a little rigor. The resulting style is a result of “erreresko” was named.
At different times in the Alcázar of Toledo lived a widow or ex-wives of kings, but the actual monarch residence was moved to Madrid. Over the years and centuries of its existence, the Alcazar suffered a lot of destruction. In particular, in the 18th century, the palace fortress has suffered from the Anglo-Portuguese wars in the 19th century – from the invasion of Napoleon, in the first half of the 20th century – from the siege of the Republicans.
After the war it was rebuilt and today is the greatest monument of the national history and architecture. Today, the walls of the Alcázar of Toledo is located a military museum and a large collection of books. there is a great viewing platform in the eastern side of the fortress. From the bus station Estación Sur at Madrid regular services in the direction of Toledo.
Royal Palace of Madrid
Royal Palace of Madrid – the official residence of the monarchs of Spain, located in the west of Madrid; the largest existing royal palaces of Europe. Now the palace is used mainly as a tourist attraction and as a venue for official ceremonies of the King.
Construction of the present palace began in the 18th century. Prior to that, in its place was the first Moorish fortress, then residence of the Habsburgs. It was only in 1735 by Philip V wished to build a palace in Madrid, like Versailles. Baroque adherents – For this Italian architects were invited to Spain. The first resident of the palace became Charles III. By 1764 the building was completely built, but its interior decoration continued for many years.
In the premises of the Madrid Palace you can see the work of Caravaggio, Velázquez. There is stored a unique, nowhere else encountered the great collection of violins Stradivari. Other values of the palace include a collection of neo-classical furniture. With the interior, the Royal Palace is not inferior to many of the major museums in the world.
Among the halls Throne stands out in the Rococo style. In it you can see the striking beauty of crystal chandeliers and silver work of Venetian masters. No less ceremonial Gala dining room, decorated with Flemish tapestries of the 16th century. It should be noted that every corner of the structures has a unique design. The Armory assembled one of the best collections of royal armor in the world.
Outside the royal palace surrounded by gardens. It is open to visitors daily from 9.30 or 10 am, depending on the season. Every Wednesday at 11.00 you can watch the changing of the guard ceremony. To get to the sights of the easiest on the subway. From Ópera stations need to walk 5 minutes on foot. Also, in the direction of the palace buses 3, 25, 148.
Fountain in Barcelona
Spain attractions. Fountain in Barcelona – a fountain of magical beauty on the hill of Montjuïc; one of the most beautiful sights of Spain. These singing fountains today are included in any program on the Review of Barcelona. The idea to create them belongs to K. Buygasu. This enterprising engineer fountain changes color and shape spurting.
The fountain at the foot of Mount Manzhuik appeared in 1929, and the musical mechanism has already been launched in time for the World Expo. Over time, the fountain became known as the “magic” of extraordinary shows and features. For a long time the fountain was working without reconstruction, and just before the 1992 Olympics, he was upgraded.
Once upon a time there was a team of employees, regulating light and musical effects facility, exposing the degree of force jets and the possible forms. Today, it is an automated process. Tourists This fountain is the most vivid emotions.
Next to it you can get a real aesthetic pleasure. During the day, hundreds of small streams are intertwined into one whole, and at night they are illuminated by light beams and dancing to the music of Tchaikovsky or Beethoven.
Depending on the season of the show, singing fountains starts with 19.00 and 21.00 and lasts for half an hour. This show is absolutely free. It is available to viewers from Thursday to Sunday. To get to the object can be a metro (the stop. Plaza España), and on the tourist bus.
Prado Museum – one of the largest museums of fine arts in Europe; an outstanding monument of classical architecture in Spain. The museum is located in Madrid and is considered one of the most popular attractions of the city. The museum collection is represented by unique paintings of Spanish, Dutch, Flemish, Italian art schools.
This title has appeared in the museum through the park in which it is located. Grand opening for the general public took place in the first half of the 19th century with a collection of all 300 paintings. Today his collection includes more than 8,000 paintings, 400 sculptures and objects of jewelery worth. Unfortunately, not all the exhibits put on display as a museum in the building has enough space.
The first ruler, passion for painting was Carlos I. He had a refined taste in the fine arts. The tradition of collecting paintings continued his successor Philip II. These rulers facilitated transport in Spain all the best pictures of the states belonging to them. Thanks to them, in the Prado were the work of great masters such as Titian, Velazquez, Rubens, Raphael, Dürer, etc. Every year there is more than 2 million visitors.
In addition to the permanent exhibition, the Prado regularly hosts temporary exhibitions of works brought from all over the world. In turn, some of the paintings from the museum and sent to the various exhibitions. It provides the building opened a cafe and a gift shop. Getting to your destination can be both metro and bus. Nearest metro station – Banco de España and Atocha. Buses towards the park Prado – 9, 10, 27, 34, 45 and some others.
Agbar Tower – the universally recognized symbol of Barcelona; The original 34-storey skyscraper in Spain, became one of the tallest buildings in the world. This is the third tallest building in Barcelona, so it is impossible not to notice, passing through the city.
The name of the tower was given in honor of the management company “Agbar Group”. The main architect was the Frenchman Jean Nouvel. That’s his idea of building to take shape resembling a giant cucumber, although the value invested more. He wanted the tower resembled the famous monoliths mountain of Montserrat.
The entire building is made of 142 meters of alternating glass blocks. All in all it 38 floors, four of which are located underground. Facade of the tower is decorated with 4,500 LED elements. To visit the construction tourists can absolutely free.
In addition to the many floors of the offices of the largest Spanish companies, is a cozy cafe. In the lobby of the building often hosts exhibitions and other public events. Admiration Jean Nouvel, Sagrada Familia is reflected in some way in the architecture of the tower. Its north side is designed in such a way as to get the best view of the temple. Getting to your destination can be on the subway red line to Glories station or the tram T4, T5.
Montserrat Monastery – a recognized symbol of Catalonia; Center of Catholic pilgrims from around the world, situated in Spain on the mountain of Montserrat. This is one of the most significant attractions of the region and the residence of the Benedictine monks. The monastery was built in the rock mass over a thousand years ago in honor of Our Lady of Catalan.
Geographically, the monastery is located in the 1.5 hour train ride from Barcelona. Travelers tend to use local train from the “Plaza de España” station, next to the station “Montserrat”. From there to the monastery is a funicular. Abode is surrounded by the natural beauty. Through the mountain pass scenic hiking trails that offer wonderful views of the rock formations and the Catalan countryside.
Today about 80 monks live in Montserrat. The surrounding rock monastery does not interfere with its unique shape, and only add grandeur. The construction of the monastery led the great Abbot Oliba Ripolsky. He was not only an architect, but a man who made a great contribution to the development of the national architecture. By the time it happened in the 11th century. Over the past century, the monastery was rebuilt several times, but Benedictine carefully preserved its shape, sometimes adding new elements. Today its permanent residents – a local monks and guests and visitors can stay in a special hotel.
The special pride of the monastery is a wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary, dating back to the 12th century. In the world it is called the “Black Madonna” or “Black Virgin of Montserrat”, due to its characteristic dark color. Statue, height almost 1 meter, was entirely made of black poplar. Other attractions include the monastery a large collection of paintings by prominent artists. Among them you can see works by Picasso, El Greco, Caravaggio. The church has traditionally been a boys’ choir, famous throughout the world.
Bellver Castle – a unique cylindrical shape Gothic castle in Spain; symbol of Palma de Mallorca. It was erected in the first half of the 14th century during the reign of King Jaime II. Castle differs unusual forms, are oriented to the four cardinal points.
The main tower points to the north, and three others, the smaller – to the south, west and east. Bellver looks like a castle in a castle. Since it is located on a hill, it is visible from all parts of the city. And the proximity to the sea makes it possible to swim in the bay to any ship to admire the silhouettes of the castle. In ancient Catalan word Bellver meant “favorite”, which certainly suits to this construction.
Throughout its history, the castle and managed to get a royal residence and a military fortress, and even a prison. One of the most famous prisoners was a famous writer, GM de Jovellanos. Bellver today serves as a popular tourist attraction. According to the decision of local authorities antique art museum was opened in the castle. The exhibition has archaeological remains, pottery and many other ancient artifacts.
To get to the castle is possible by public transport, next to Gomila Square. Then you need to walk through the pine thickets. On the top floor of the castle there is a large circular area, where visitors can admire enchanting views of Palma.
Spain attractions. Sagrada Familia – a monumental church in Barcelona, designed by the great A. Gaudi; One of the most attractive sights of Spain. This cathedral is considered one of the most famous long-term construction in the world. The stages of its construction occurred at different times, but the final result was worth it.
According to the approved project in the Cathedral of the Holy Family had to be three facades dedicated to the Christmas, Sunday and Passion of Christ. However, during the life of Gaudí was able to complete only one facade. This Nativity facade, which today can be seen on many postcards and souvenirs associated with Spain. Finally, the facade was completed only in the 20th century. At the same time the great architect’s followers took up the construction of the facade of the Passion of Christ. On the main doorway quoted lines from the Bible in various languages, including Catalan.
Today, the Sagrada Familia rises clearly above the city, its bell outwardly resembling cave stalactites. Someone called modernist style of Gaudi, but looking at this magnificent temple, can be seen in it an organic mixture of several styles: a little Gothic, Baroque European and Arab architecture. Construction of some parts of the temple continues to this day. The story of this painstaking process is represented in the museum, located in the crypt.
The Cathedral can be reached every day from 9 am ticket. During religious festivals the special operating mode. Each facade has one tower, open to upgrades. A bird’s-eye you can enjoy magnificent views of Barcelona. To get to the attractions can be both metro and bus. In both cases, stop where you need to go – Sagrada Familia.