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Spain

If the planet has a crossroads, Spain has to be it. Although it is part of Europe, it is very close to Africa, with which it has a long history. It also has connections, mostly via trade, to different parts of Asia. Spain’s relationship with the Americas is, of course, the stuff of history. Spain was a key part of the Roman Empire, found itself on the front lines of the conflict between Islam and Christianity that still simmers today, and built its own Empire in the New World. The Empire fell, and Spain lost everything. By the middle of the twentieth century, Spain was a smoking ruin, having ripped itself apart in a bloody Civil War. But the indomitable will of the Spanish prevailed, and the nation reinvented itself out of the ruins of war and rot of Fascism. Now a modern, thriving nation, the people of Spain can be excused for believing that the best is yet to come for this crossroads, located where all of Earth’s roads meet.







By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
23 Apr 2010

Top Activities in Spain

El Escorial

114624Located about 30 kilometers away from Madrid, El Escorial (full name: The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo el Real) is a majestic royal palace and monastery. This is, in part, what makes it unique: ...
Historical Building
Madrid, Spain

The Alhambra

110865In 711, Islamic forces crossed into southern Spain, spreading the word of Mohammad and establishing Caliphates and kingdoms of their own. Before they were through, they had conquered all of the ...
Historical Building
Granada, Spain

Giralda Tower

110890One of the jewels of world architecture, the distinctive Giralda Tower has stood watch over Seville since 1198, when it was built on the orders of a powerful Moorish Caliph. It was designed as a ...
Historical Building
Sevilla, Spain

Real Alcázar

114449The Alcázar of Seville was once a Moorish palace not unlike the Alhambra in nearby Granada, bit its history is significantly different. It was a palace-fortress under the Moors, specifically the ...
Historical Building
Sevilla, Spain

El Prado Art Museum

The greatest art museum in Spain and one of the best in the world, the Prado is a can’t miss Madrid stop for any art aficionado. Even if you’re only vaguely interested in art and art history, the ...
Museum
Madrid, Spain

Sevilla's Archaeological Museum

110895One of the best museums of its kind anywhere, Seville’s Archaeological Museum features relics from all of the civilizations that dominated this area, from the Phoenicians and Carthaginians to the ...
Museum
Sevilla, Spain

Flamenco in Sevilla

110898A traditional dance from southern Spain, Flamenco is famous for colorful, flowing dresses, athletic spins and dips and Spanish guitar music. Seville is one of the best places in the world to see ...
Entertainment
Sevilla, Spain

Reina SofĂ­a Art Museum

Opened in 1990, the Reina Sofia is one of the world’s top modern art museums. Built on the former site of Madrid’s hospital, begun in the 16th century, the Reina Sofia art museum pretty much ...
Museum
Madrid, Spain

Sacromonte Abbey

Located on Valparaiso Hill outside the city, the Sacromonte Abbey was founded in 1600 and built over extensive catacombs, which had been established in an abandoned mine that dated back to Roman ...
Historical Building
Granada, Spain

Torre de Belém

113358Situated on the Lisbon waterfront, the bleached-white Belém tower is a local landmark and one of the city’s must-sees. It is a monument to Portugal’s glory as a great maritime nation. ...
Historical Building
Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon Oceanarium

113347Lisbon’s new Oceanarium is a true marvel of modern engineering. Built as part of Nations Park for the 1998 Expo, the Oceanarium has become one of Lisbon’s most popular tourist draws. Inside the ...
Museum, Entertainment
Lisbon, Portugal

Top Hotels in Spain

Hotel YH Giralda

YH Giralda hotel is located in the heart of the Santa Cruz quarter in Seville. The hotel is housed in a building dating back to the 18th Century, which is still nowadays preserving its unique ...
Hotel
Sevilla, Spain

Pension Vergara

Seville is one European city where you can still find a cheap hotel bang in the middle of the historical centre, and it won’t be a featureless budget chain. Pension Vergara is one of the best ...
Hotel
Sevilla, Spain

Hotel Alhambra Palace

Built to resemble the original ancient Moorish Castle, the Hotel Alhambra Palace is perched gracefully on the hilltop of Peña Partida, above Campo de Principe, giving a glorious view of the city. ...
Hotel
Granada, Spain

Hotel BĂ©cquer

Hotel BĂ©cquer is extremely well located, right in the heart of all of the best that Seville has to offer. The current hotel was built in 1972-3, but they used some fixtures from an older hotel, ...
Hotel
Sevilla, Spain

Le Meridien

Charming hotel in the middle of the busiest and livliest area of Barcelona. Clean rooms, helpful staff (Anthony was wonderful!), bright and cheery; a great choice if you want to be centrally located ...
Hotel
Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain

Top Places to Visit in Spain

AndalucĂ­a

111911Andalucía is the southernmost region of Spain, and one of the larger ones. It contains the provinces of Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Sevilla and Málaga. Andalucía is one of ...
Region
Spain

Granada

110457Cave-living gypsies. One of the front-runners for the new seven wonders of the world. Flamenco dancing in centuries-old taverns. The remains of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Great food. All of ...
City
Granada, Spain

Valencia

114828Located on the sunny Mediterranean coast, the region known as Comunidad Valenciana consists of three provinces: Valencia, CastellĂłn and Alicante. Valencia was once a powerful Kingdom, and it ...
Region
Spain

Castile-La Mancha

114684Castile-La Mancha is a large, sparsely populated region in central Spain comprising the provinces of Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara and Toledo. The region, of course, is home to La ...
Region
Spain

Madrid

114613The bustling modern capital of Spain somehow manages to defy and define the nation at the same time. The Madrileños are quintessential Spanish, in everything from their love of fútbol and ...
City
Madrid, Spain

Toledo

114536The city of Toledo is history incarnate. Get off a bus in the center of town and you can’t go three blocks in any direction without passing a half-dozen genuine historical sites. Here’s a ...
City
Toledo, Spain
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