The one minute summary on Spain

This is it: one minute to the best info on Spain. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Spain, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

Spain’s powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power. Spain remained neutral in World War I and II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, and rapid economic modernization (Spain joined the EU in 1986) gave Spain a dynamic and rapidly growing economy and made it a global champion of freedom and human rights. More recently the government has had to focus on measures to reverse a severe economic recession that began in mid-2008. Austerity measures implemented to reduce a large budget deficit and reassure foreign investors have led to one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

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  2. Does my current phone work in  Spain ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Spain
  3. Local food you should try in  Spain and No miss drinks in  Spain

Now, cheers to the most Spain aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Spain?

Once the center of a global empire with territories in North, Central and South America, Africa (e.g. Equatorial Guinea or Western Sahara), and Asia (e.g. the Philippines), contemporary Spain has overcome civil war and fascism in the 20th century to stand proud and centered in itself.

The one minute summary for Spain geography

Best places to see in Spain

The most popular beaches are the ones in the Merranean coasts and the Canary Islands. Meanwhile, for hiking, the mountains of Sierra Nevada in the south, the Central Cordillera and the northern Pyrenees are the best places. Itineraries Via de la Plata Route Historic 800km route from Gijón to Sevilla. Way of St. James Historic cities Historically, Spain has been an important crossroads: between the Merranean and the Atlantic, between North Africa and Europe, and as Europe beginning colonizing the New World, between Europe and the Americas. As such, the country is blessed with a fantastic collection of historical landmarks – in fact; it has the 2nd largest number of UNESCO Heritage Sites and the largest number of World Heritage Cities of any nation in the world. In the south of Spain, Andalusia holds many reminders of old Spain. Cadiz is regarded as one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in Western Europe, with remnants of the Roman settlement that once stood here.

Nearby, Ronda is a beautiful town situated atop steep cliffs and noted for its gorge-spanning bridge and the oldest bullring in Spain. Cordoba and Granada hold the most spectacular reminders of the nation’s Muslim past, with the red-and-white striped arches of the Mezquita in Cordoba and the stunning Alhambra palace perched on a hill above Granada. Seville, the cultural center of Andalusia, has dazzling collections of sights built when the city was the main port for goods from the Americas, the grandest of which being the city’s cathedral, the largest in the country. Moving north across the plains of La Mancha into Central Spain, picturesque Toledo stands as perhaps the historical center of the nation, a beautiful medieval city sitting atop a hill that once served as the capital of Spain before Madrid was built.

North of Madrid and an easy day-trip from the capital city is El Escorial, once the center of the Spanish empire during the time of the Inquisition, and Segovia, noted for its spectacular Roman aqueduct which spans one of the city’s squares. Further north in Castile-Leon is Salamanca, known for its famous university and abundance of historic architecture. Galicia in northwestern Spain is home to Santiago de Compostela, the end point of the old Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) pilgrimage route and the supposed burial place of St. James, with perhaps the most beautiful cathedral in all of Spain at the heart of its lovely old town. Northeastern Spain has a couple of historical centers to note: Zaragoza, with Roman, Muslim, medieval and Renaissance buildings from throughout its two thousand years of history, and Barcelona with its medieval Barri Gòtic neighborhood.

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Photo by Leshaines123

Visitors should be aware of the limited hours and likely entrance fees at many historic Spanish churches. With entry fees averaging €8, families will need to take the expense of religious sightseeing in Spain into account. Another important consideration when planning your trip to Spain are the limited hours of access to Spanish churches. Unlike neighboring countries Italy, France and Germany, churches in Spain are only open for mass once or twice a day and thus, only open to the local worshipping population. While large cathedrals are open all day, these only represent some of the significant christian legacy of Spain.

When combined with the high entry prices and bans on photography levied against you to visit most of the large cathedrals of the country, a trip to Spain to indulge yourself in Christian history can be challenging. Art museums Spain has played a key role in Western art, heavily influenced by French and Italian artists but very distinct in its own regard, owing to the nation’s history of Muslim influence, Counter-Reformation climate and, later, the hardships from the decline of the Spanish empire, giving rise to such noted artists like El Greco, Diego Velázquez and Francisco Goya. In the last century, Spain’s unique position in Europe brought forth some of the leading artists of the Modernist and Surrealist movements, most notably the famed Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Today, Spain’s two largest cities hold the lion’s share of Spain’s most famous artworks. Madrid’s Museum Triangle is home to the Museo del Prado, the largest art museum in Spain with many of the most famous works by El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya as well as some notable works by Italian, Flemish, Dutch and German masters. Nearby sits the Reina Sofía, most notable for holding Picasso’s Guernica but also containing a number of works by Dalí and other Modernist, Surrealist and abstract painters. Barcelona is renowned for its stunning collection of modern and contemporary art and architecture.

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Photo by o palsson

This is where you will find the Picasso Museum, which covers the artist’s early career quite well, and the architectural wonders of Antoni Gaudi, with their twisting organic forms that are a delight to look at. A day trip from Barcelona is the town of Figures, noted for the Salvador Dalí Museum, designed by the Surrealist himself. Outside of Madrid and Barcelona, the art museums quickly dwindle in size and importance, although there are a couple of worthy mentions that should not be looked over: Many of El Greco’s most famous works lie in Toledo, an easy day trip from Madrid. The Disrobing of Christ, perhaps El Greco’s most famous work, sits in the Cathedral, but you can also find work by him in one of the small art museums around town. Bilbao in the Basque Country of northern Spain is home to a spectacular Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry that has put the city on the map.