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Description of Destination : spain









Barcelona, one of the Mediterranean's busiest ports, is more than the capital of Catalonia. In culture, commerce and sports it not only rivals Madrid, but also considers itself on a par with the greatest European cities. The success of the 1992 Olympic Games confirmed this to the world. Although there are plenty of fine, historical monuments in the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), Barcelona is best known for the scores of buildings of the Modernista movement, the immensely imaginative Catalan variant of Art Nouveau spearheaded by Antoni GaudÝ. Barcelona continues to sizzle with creativity, with bars, public parks and outdoor sculpture all displaying bold contemporary design. From the renovated Port Veil ( Old Port ), thronged with cafes, it is pleasant stroll up the lively Rambla to the medieval heart of the old town, with its narrow, traffic-free streets.

La Rambla

The historic 2 km Avenue of La Rambla, leading to the Port Vell ( Old Port ), is busy around the clock, especially in the evenings and at weekends. Newsstands, cadged bird and flower stalls, tarot readers, musicians and mime artists, throng the wide, tree-shaded walkway. Among its famous buildings are the Liceu, the second biggest opera house in Europe which reopened, fully restored, in1999 after being gutted by fire, and La Boqueria food market, one of the best in Europe , with towering, artistically arranged piles of fruit and vegetables at the front and fish and meat at the back. Some grand mansions also grace La Rambla, interspersed with shops and hotels.

La Sagrada Familia 

Europe 's most unconventional church, the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia is an emblem of a city that is well known for its individualism. Crammed with symbolism inspired by nature, it is the greatest work of Antoni GaudÝ (1852-1926). In 1883, a year after work had begun on a Neo-Gothic church on the site, the task of completing it was given to Gaudi, who changed everything, extemporizing as he went along. It became his life's work and he lived like a recluse on the site for 16 years. He is buried in the crypt. At his death only one tower on the Nativity fašade had been completed, but work resumed after the Spanish Civil War and several more have since been finished. Work continues today, financed by public subscription.


Cadiz can lay claim to being Europe's oldest city. Legend names Hercules as its founder, though history credits the Phoenicians with establishing the town of Gadir in 1100 BC. It later thrived under the Carthaginians, faded slowly to obscurity under the Romans and Moors, but rose to prosperity again after the Christian Reconquest of 1262. Today, Cadiz is a busy port, with an historic city centre crammed onto a peninsula at the end of a narrow isthmus. In surprising contrast to the tightly packed houses are the well-tended gardens and open squares on the northern and western seafronts and the vast, spacious cathedral, with its eye-catching, yellow-tiled dome, on the southern seafront. The church of San Felipe Neri (1719 is where Spain's first liberal constitution was proclaimed in 1812, while the Museo de Cadiz displays archaeology, paintings and puppets made for Andalusian village fiestas.


The capital of Andalusia, Seville has a rich cultural heritage. In 12th century Moorish Spain it was the capital of the Almohads from Morcco, and both the famous Giralda (cathedral bell tower) and Torre del Oro are from this era. After the Christian Reconquest of 1492, Seville was granted a monopoly on trade with the New World and became on of Europe's richest ports, acquiring some splendid Renaissance and Baroque buildings. The historic district of Santa Cruz is a delightful maze of whitewashed, narrow streets surrounding the awe-inspiring cathedral. Close by is Calle de las Sierpes, Seville 's most popular shopping street.


Native Gibraltarians are descendents of Britons, Spaniards, Genoese Jews and Portuguese who remained after the Great Siege (1779-83), when Spain attempted, unsuccessfully, to recapture the Rock. Britain had seized Gibraltar during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704 and been granted it in perpetuity by the Treaty of Utrecht nine years later. As the gateway to the Mediterranean, the Rock was essential to Britain in colonial times, and the treaty is still invoked in response to Spanish claims to Gibraltar . Each year, around 4 million people stream across the frontier at La Linea to visit this speck of England bolted onto Andalusia. Pubs, pints of ale, fish and chips, pounds sterling and bobbies on the beat all contrast with Spain Most visitors are Spaniards, who cross the border to go shopping.


Since Phoenician times (when it was known as Malaca) Malaga has been a busy commercial port. It flourished especially in the 19th century, when sweet Malaga wine was one of Europe's favourite drinks until phylloxera ravaged the areas vineyards in 1876. Now Malaga is again a popular dessert wine. The most interesting sight in this large city is the Moorish Alcazaba, behind which are the ruins of another Moorish castle, the 14th century Castillo de Gibralfaro. The old town radiates form the cathedral, which was begun in 1508 and is a bizarre mix of styles. The Museo de Bellas Artes ha paintings by Murillo, Zurbaran and Ribera and childhood sketches by Picasso, who was born in Malaga; the Casa Natal is where he spent his early years. Nerja, east along the coast, is an attractively situated resort and is famous for its cave paintings.


This small island, the nearest of the Balearics to the Spanish mainland, was untouched by tourism until the 1960s, when it began to appear in Europe's holiday brochures. Its modern reputation for wild nightlife is justified, Ibiza town has a greater concentration of clubs and discos than anywhere else in Europe. However, the island has not completely lost its character. The countryside, particularly in the north, is a patchwork of groves of olive, fig and almond trees and wooded hills, and the coast is indented by innumerable rocky coves. In the south, flamingos populate the salt flats. The cathedral in the capital Ibiza, or Eivissa (a dialect of Catalan is spoken in all the Balearics), dates from the arrival of the Catalans on the islands in the 13th century. Two notable 16th centry monuments are the Portal de ses Taules, a gateway in the old city wall, and the Esglesia de Santo Domingo with Baroque frescoed walls and ceiling. Sant Antoni, the second town, is now a lively resort, while Santa Eularia has retained more of its old centre intact.








Excursions Available at spain
    • Barcelona by Wheels
    • Barcelona Highlights
    • Barcelona Gothic Quarter & City Drive
    • Montserrat
    • Picasso Museum & Gaudi's La Pedrera
    • EZ Barcelona
    • Gaudi's Barcelona
    • A Taste of Barcelona
    • Montserrat Monastery & Codorniu Cellars
    • Leisurely Barcelona
    • Girona, Figueres & the Dali Museum
    • Barcelona on a Bike
    • Picasso & the Gothic Quarter
    • Deep Sea Fishing
    • Jerez de la Frontera
    • Seville Full-Day Tour
    • Cadiz, Sherry & Horses
    • Cadiz Walking Tour & the Flamenco Dance
    • A Taste of Cadiz
    • Cadiz City Tour
    • Legendary Seville
    • Sherry Tasting & Andalusian Horse School
    • Cadiz Walking Tour
    • Gibraltar Highlights & Cable Car Ride
    • St. Michaels Cave & Ape's Den
    • Walking Tour of the Rock
    • Upper Rock Walking Tour
    • Gibraltar - A city Under Siege
    • Top of the Rock & Shopping
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