Chapter 5
Spain
Spain
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Country name: Kingdom of Spain, Spain
Capital: Madrid
Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the
Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North
Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains,
southwest of France
Border countries:Andorra, France, Gibraltar,
Portugal, Morocco (Ceuta), Morocco (Melilla)
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Spain includes Balearic Islands, the Canary
Archipelago, and the Moroccan coastal
territories of Ceuta and Melilla.
Government type: parliamentary monarchy
Population: 40,217,413 (July 2003 est.)
Languages: Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%,
Galician 7%, Basque 2% note: Castilian is the
official language nationwide; the other languages
are official regionally
Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
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GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity $21,200 (2002 est.) (32nd in the world) (2002 est.)
Industries: textiles and apparel (including
footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal
manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding,
automobiles, machine tools, tourism
Currency: euro (EUR) (CIA, World Fact Book)
Important Facts
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The second top destination in the world
51,7 million international tourist arrivals (second
highest after France)
 $ 33.6 billion international tourism receipts (the
second after US) (WTO, 2003)
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Coastline: 4.964 km
Terrain: large, flat to dissected plateau
surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in north
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Climate: temperate; clear, hot summers in
interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast;
cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and
cool along coast (CIA, World Fact Book).
Europe’s second most mountainous country
(after Switzerland). Climate varies dramatically
according to altitude. True alpine conditions
prevail from the Pyrenees in the north to the
Sierra Nevada (above Granada) in the south.
Spain is divided into two distinctive regions
(Catalonia and Basque regions), each with its
own culture, history and language.
Selling Points
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Historical sites, lively cities, some of the finest
art in the world, the Alhambra, shopping,
cultural events, beaches, museums, caves,
windsurfing, castles, skiing, water sports, fishing
great food, bullfighting, flamenco, spectacular
Moorish architecture, golf and tennis.
Brief History
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The people who were later named Iberians (or dwellers
along the Rio Ebro) by the Greeks, migrated to Spain in
the third millennium B.C. The origin of the Iberians is
not certain, but archaeological evidence supports the
theory that they came from the eastern shores of the
Mediterranean Sea
The Phoenicians (by 1100 BC), Romans and Germanic
tribes had strong influence
AD 14, Part of the Roman Empire (called Hispania by
the Romans), conquered by Germanic Tribes in 419
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AD 700, The Moors, the Islamic conquerors ruled
Spain for more than half a millennium
1492, Columbus’s exploration of the Americas, start of
the peak of Spain’s power and influence, world empire
of the 16th and 17th centuries. Failure to embrace the
mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country
to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in
economic and political power
Madrid
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Calle and Plaza Mayor (medieval Madrid)
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The city’s oldest church, San Nicolas de los Servitas
Calle Serrano, Gran Via (places for shopping)
Victory Arc
Palacio Real (the royal palace; art treasurers, crown
jewels)
Rastro Flea Market
Plaza de las Cibeles, Puerto del Sol (major intersections:
fountains, monuments and shops)
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Paradise for museum-goer’s.
 15 important museums and dozens galleries
 The Prado Museum (one of the greatest in the
world, 18th century building, features the works of
Rubens, Goya, El Greco, Bosch, Velazquez, Titian,
Murillo, Durer)
 Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (newest
art museum in Madrid, features Picasso’s
masterpiece “Guernica”
 The Palacio de Villahermosa, Lazaro Galdiano
Museum, Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, and
Madrid’s Tiflological Museum, Museum of America.
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“terraza” (outdoor cafes)
parks and lakes (Retiro Park, Victorian greenhouse,
Crystal Palace – small lake and swans)
26th floor of Edificio de Espana (panoramic view of
Madrid)
flamenco shows in nightclubs
Huertas Street (for shows, jazz clubs etc.)
Outside Madrid (El Escorial – summer house of Philip
II; tapestry, sculpture, and painting collections; tombs
of Spain’s kings for the last 500 years)
Barcelona
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charming port along the Mediterranean coast, art and
design centre, best quality nightlife
Picasso Museum (his drawings at the age of five)
Miro Museum
La Sagrada Familia (surreal church designed by Catalan
architecture Antoni Gaudi, not finished yet,
combination of a dragon’s cave and a castle made from
whipped cream)
Eixample (upscale shopping district, has some art
nouveau buildings of Gaudi)
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Palau de Musica - Music Place – (famous concert hall
designed by Domenech i Montaner, another artnouveau great)
Las Ramblas (pedestrian street with dozens of outdoor
cafes, best place to people watch)
Placa Real (bars and restaurants)
Medieval Gothic quarter
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Els Quatre Gats (Picasso’s old hangout)
Barceloneta (waterfront, beach area, full of restaurants)
Montjuic (lovely hill on the edge of the city with
attractions)
Balearic Islands
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Mallorca, Ibiza, Formentera, Menorca
sit in the western Mediterranean, 45 minutes flight from
Barcelona
have Greek, Roman, Moor influences
excellent shopping, nice climate, great food, beautiful
scenery, not very good beaches
favorite place for package tours from Northern Europe
Ibiza is the most crowded, and popular
Formentera and Menorca are more quite.
Basque Region
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Begins in France, stretches west along the Bay of Biscay
(north of Spain, Iberian Peninsula)
a picturesque region with its own language
Bilbao and San Sebastian are the major towns to visit.
Bilbao;
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the largest city in Basque region, industrial, not a tourist
place
there are some nice museums for museum goers
(Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Museum of Archeology and
Ethnology)
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14th century Gothic Church of Santiago
Ensanche Park
San Sebastian;
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picturesque, expensive, fashionable place in Spain to spend
the summer
nice beaches, beautiful old town center, good bars and
restaurants (Basque cuisine)
film festival in September
town of Pamplona, in July, there is the famous running of
the bulls, bookings should be made a year in advance.
Canary Islands
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Names of the islands: Fuerteventura, Gomera, Gran
Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote, El Hierro, La Palma
they are 96 km west of Africa
all year springlike climate, fairly good beaches of white,
gold and black, casinos, golf, tennis, fishing.
Fuerteventura;
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diving, white-sand beaches
Gomera;
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Historic sites related to Columbus, lush scenery, least
accessible (do not have airport), ferry from Tenerife, not
much entertainment
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Gran Canaria;
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Lanzarote;
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white, black and gold beaches, 300 volcanoes, crowded
Tenerife;
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the most visited, golfing, yachting, shopping, casinos, beaches
Las Palmas, the principal city of islands
beaches, mountains
Carnival celebrations
La Palma
El Hierro
Costa Blanca
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Southeast Mediterranean shore with popular
resort towns
Alicante, Benidorm, Altea, Denia
Benidorm;
center of action like Miami Beach or Waikiki
 high rise buildings, bars and restaurants, party
atmosphere
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Costa del Sol
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The famous coastal are running along the
Mediterranean from east of Malaga to Gibraltar,
finest beaches in Spain
overdeveloped,
spreads inland and include some lakes, beautiful
fishing and agricultural villages, cobble-stone
streets, flowers every windowsill, whitewashed
houses
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known for flamenco dancing, reflects Arab
influence
Malaga;
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Marbella;
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pleasant large city with great scenery, polluted sea
whitewashed buildings, shopping, good nightlife,
acceptable beaches, strong Arab influence
Some other towns; Estepona, Mijas, Nerja and
Torremolinos
Granada
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main attraction is the 13th century Moorish
Alhambra
palaces (open at night in warmer months),
fortress and gardens
Court of the Lions in moonlight
The Generalife Gardens and the Royal Chapel
(the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella)
Sierra Nevada; ski station
Seville
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most important city during Spanish colonial
period
one of the world’s largest Gothic style cathedral
with Christopher Colombus Mausoleum (some
say he is buried in Dominican Republic)
Santa Cruz Jewish Quarter - twisting medieval
streets, clubs, bars and restaurants
famous for its festivals - Semana Santa, La Feria
Toledo
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was the capital of Roman Spain
place where El Greco lived and painted, El
Greco’s home (now museum)
especially beautiful at night
Things to Remember
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Prado Museum is closed on Mondays
Dinner is eaten after 10 pm
Vineyards are present more than anywhere else
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Chapter 5