What to See in Spain
Not a single capital of Western Europe has changed over the past twenty years as dramatically and rapidly as Madrid. Madrid, often mocked as a stronghold of bureaucrats and a cultural desert, decisively shook off the dust of the Franco era. The city moved irresistibly forward. Metropolitan chic, world-class museums, vibrant nightlife, the cheerfulness of Madrid magically attract tourists from all over the world. But the multi-million dollar capital has also retained its calm features, hiding them in the quiet streets of the old Moorish quarter. Visiting the capital of Spain is of great interest to tourists. La Puerta del Sol (“door of the sun”), one of the central squares of the city, is decorated with the symbol of the city – a bear and a strawberry tree. There is a special sign on the pavement in front of the seat of government, marking the “zero kilometer” of all Spanish roads. On New Year’s Eve, residents of the capital gather here to eat the traditional 12 grapes while the clock strikes.
According to ITYPEJOB, Plaza Mayor was the first “monumental” square in Madrid, where bullfights began to be held. Prior to this, bullfights took place on improvised sites, which for such an occasion were fenced with wooden shields. In the vicinity of Madrid there are important historical and cultural centers of Spain such as Alcala de Henares, El Escorial. Not far from the city rises the Zarzuela Palace, the residence of the Spanish kings. Fine art galleries, historical monuments and at the same time a unique nightlife distinguish this beautiful city. The most famous museum in Spain – the Prado – is located in the center of Madrid.
The Prado Museum is located in Madrid. It is so huge and contains so many works of art that it deserves a separate tour. It houses the largest art collection in Spain. The lion’s share of it is the royal and church collections.
Barcelona was founded by Hannibal’s father, Hamilcar Barca, hence the name of the city. The city tour begins with a visit to the world-famous stadium of the football club FCBarcelona, from where, past the modern district of Barcelona – Sants, tourists get to Plaza España (Plaza Eapanya). It belongs to the monumental Montjuic complex, erected during the World Exhibition of 1929 and including the National Palace, the pavilion of exhibitions, the Palace of the Nation, fountains, and gardens. Here, on the slope of Mount Montjuic, there is an open-air museum “Spanish Village” (Poble Espanyol), which presents the most characteristic types of houses, buildings, streets and squares of different Spanish provinces and regions. Here you can relax in one of the many cozy cafes, as well as buy traditional products of Spanish artisans. At the port, on the “Gate of the World” square, there is a monument to Christopher Columbus, reaching a height of 60 meters. In the same square are several buildings of the Royal Dockyard dating back to 1270 and which are an example of Catalan civil Gothic architecture.
The “visiting card” of Barcelona is the Sagrada Familia (La Sagrada Familia), which is one of the most famous works of the modernist sculptor Antonio Gaudí (1852-1926). With the construction of this cathedral, the “Redemptive Temple” of the twentieth century, founded in 1884 and dedicated to the Holy Family and Saint Jose, the patron saint of carpenters and cabinetmakers, Gaudí sought to atone for the sins of the modern material world, to proclaim the brotherhood and unity of peoples. Then the path leads to the old, or Gothic, quarter, where the most valuable and monumental monuments of the Middle Ages are still preserved. This is the heart of Barcelona – Las Ramblas, the center of public and social life, with many shops, cafes, the El Liceo Opera and Ballet Theater, the Viceroy’s Palace and much more. Plaza Catalunya, overlooking Las Ramblas, is richly decorated with fountains, statues and sculptural works by contemporary Catalan masters.
When traveling to Barcelona with children you can visit the zoo. It is located on an area of 14 hectares of the Ciutadella city park and is planted with various plants and trees, decorated with sculptures, divided by paths and walking boulevards. You can also get around the zoo by tram or four-wheeled bicycles. The zoo peacefully coexists with wild animals from the Amazon rainforest and various species of Doñana birds, crocodiles and snakes from the terrarium with dolphins from the Aquarama, there are also many representatives of endangered and unique animal species, such as, for example, Snowball, the only albino gorilla in the world. Live in the zoo and domestic animals. On a very small urban area, the greatness of our world is painstakingly recreated.
Excursion “Knight’s Tournament”.
The castle is located near the resort areas of the Costa Brava (about 15 minutes by bus). During this tour, all spectators are guests of the Waltorder Castle. They are invited to a medieval dinner. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by Count and Countess Waltorder. Before that, a crown is placed on every tourist. Everyone sits down along the battle arena and the show begins. All those present are witnesses of an amazing, real knightly tournament with horse and foot battles on spears, swords, maces, as well as a ritual of expelling evil spirits.
Bullfighting is the most favorite sport among the Spaniards, along with football. Bullfighting is a duel between a man and a fighting bull specially bred for this spectacle.
Bullfights are held in round amphitheatres, where several thousand spectators are present. It is often said that a bullfight is a tragedy in three acts with a prologue and an epilogue. It begins with a prologue – a parade of brightly and beautifully dressed bullfighting participants. In the first act of the tragedy, the picador infuriates the bull with pricks of his lance, and the bullfighter provokes the animal with his cloak at its very horns, gracefully dodging attacks. In the second act, the banderillero deftly has to plunge the bull into the spine during his attacks on the torero, two banderillas each. The third and final act is the duel between the matador and the bull. In the epilogue, depending on whether the audience liked the work of the matador, according to tradition, he is rewarded with one or two ears, and sometimes the tail of a defeated bull. The bullfight is held from mid-spring to mid-autumn, in the open air, so that the spectacle is the most complete. One performance lasts approximately 15-20 minutes, four performances – 2 hours. For a Spaniard, bullfighting is a high art, the subject of which is death. It captivates like music. Children under the age of 14 are not allowed in the bullfight.