Places to Visit in Spain
The spectacular palaces and gardens comprising La Alhambra speak volumes about the centuries of Islamic grandeur in Granada. Peruse the elaborately decorated rooms, tranquil courtyards, bubbling fountains and spectacular gardens and you'll quickly see why it's Spain's most visited attraction which narrowly missed out on being voted one of the new "wonders of the world".
"Avenue of the Arts"
The Paseo del Prado, fittingly nicknamed the "Avenue of the Arts" is home to Spain's three most prestigious art museums: the Prado, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza.
The Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela
The stunning cathedral of Santiago de Compostela has long been a welcome sight for weary pilgrims as the final destination of the Way of Saint James, a religious pilgrimage that's over 1,000 years old... and counting!
City of Arts & Sciences
When world-famous architect Santiago Calatrava was chosen to head up the construction of the City of Arts and Sciences, he certainly did not disappoint! The massive and ultra-modern complex, comprised of sleek, white structures rising dramatically from an aqua infinity pool, includes an interactive science museum, a state-of-the-art opera and performing arts center, an IMAX theater and planetarium and Europe's largest aquarium.
La Mezquita in Córdoba
The Andalusian city of Córdoba is best known for its spectacular Mezquita, a sprawling mosque that dates back to when Córdoba was the capital of Spain's once dominant Islamic caliphate. When the Muslim stronghold eventually succumbed to the Spanish Reconquest, an entire cathedral was plopped right in the middle of the mosque's sea of candy cane-striped arches, resulting in one of the world's most historically symbolic and visually impressive religious complexes.
The Cathedral in Seville
Built between 1402 and 1506, Seville's enormous Gothic cathedral is one of the world's largest and most spectacular. In a rather symbolic act, the cathedral was built right upon the site of the city's mosque once the ruling Moors succumbed to the aggressive Catholic Reconquest; in fact, the cathedral's famous belltower and symbol of Seville, La Giralda, was once the otherwise destroyed mosque's minaret. Take the ramps all the way to the top for unbeatable panoramic views of Seville.
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Along with being one of Barcelona's top attractions, this colorful, nature-inspired and undeniably funky church is Moderniste architect Antoni Gaudí's greatest masterpiece. He dedicated a huge part of his life to its construction which, believe it or not, has yet to be completed.
Mount Teide in Tenerife
Spain's highest mountain, Mount Teide, is located on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. Its soaring peak is visible from practically anywhere on the island and the often snow-capped mountain during the winter months, along with the unspoiled wilderness surrounding it, has been declared a national Spanish park.
The Roman Aqueduct in Segovia
Segovia's famous and perfectly intact Roman aqueduct, which runs right through the center of the city, is proof yet again that the Romans certainly knew how to build things to last. Staring up at the arches, it's hard to believe that not a single ounce of mortar or other material was used to hold the stones together; nevertheless, it has remained intact since roughly the first century, A.D. thanks to the Romans' impeccable grasp of weight and proportions.
Historical center of Toledo
The centuries-old city of Toledo, long ago the capital of Spain, was historically, culturally and religiously unique in that three very different religious - Catholicism, Judaism & Islam - managed to peacefully coexist for centuries while other cities were marked by religious and cultural division and persecution. The eclectic collection of monuments and buildings that compose Toledo's historical center speak volumes of the city's history; you'll find cathedrals, mosques, palaces, synagogues, monasteries and much more.
Medieval Walls of Ávila
While most of Spain's old cities were once enclosed within defensive walls, little if any of those walls remain intact today. That is, except the city of Ávila! Modern-day Ávila is still completely surrounded by its medieval walls, an impressive construction built between the 11th and 12th century boasting several monumental gateways to the city and a whopping 88 watchtowers.