The 1912 palatial hotel was built on the former site of the palace of the Duke and Duchess of Medinaceli. A string of famous guests have stayed here from Salvador Dali to novelist Isabel Allende and movie director Richard Attenborough, but well-heeled business travelers tend to dominate. The entrance hall, decorated with murals of Italian [...]
Category: Spain tourist attractions
The sanctuary at Lluc is the spiritual centre of Mallorca and has been a place of pilgrimage for over 800 years. The main point of interest is the little statue of the Virgin (La Moreneta de Lluc), which, so the story goes, was found in a cave by an Arab shepherd boy who had converted [...]
Antonio Gaudi is Barcelona’s patron architect. Much of the city bears his stamp. Nowhere is this more evident than in his unfinished masterpiece, The Temple of the Holy Family. Work began in 1883 but halted after the architect’s untimely death from a tram accident in 1926.
Madrid has a long and complex history. Center of power of a monarchy that for centuries ruled half the world, it is now one of the major tourist spots of Europe. Once ground zero of the Spanish Inquisition it is now best known for its zestful nightclubs, outstanding shopping centers and life-celebrating art.
At the base of Montjuic in Barcelona, while standing in the Placa d’Espanya, visitors see before them two majestic towers. Constructed in 1929 as part of the Palau Nacional for the World Exhibition, they form the entrance to this Spanish city’s magnificent hilltop park.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Parc Guell is yet another of architect Antonio Gaudi’s great gifts to the city of Barcelona. Built between 1900-1914, this 20-hectare park sits on the hills to the north of Barcelona’s main areas. It provides a peaceful oasis of lush greenery and outstanding architectural elements.
Once exclusively a flower market, the bustling Las Ramblas area of Barcelona is the perfect place for shopping and people watching. Once lined with convents and churches, the streets are now thronged with performers, magazine vendors and a hundred other things. The convents and monasteries were all closed by 1830.
During the centuries the Moors ruled most of Spain, including Andalucia, they built numerous palaces and fortresses in the style of their original country (Morocco, hence the name Moor). But no example is more magnificent than the Alhambra citadel in Granada. The series of palaces and gardens, including the famed Generalife at the base outside, [...]
The name may be a challenge for English speakers, but Madrid’s newest art museum is very easy to love for individuals of any nationality. Drawn from the possessions collected over generations of a wealthy family, the contents form one of the greatest gatherings of paintings in the world.
The church of San Francisco is one of Madrid’s most important buildings and offers a fascinating tour. With a dome larger than that of St. Paul’s Cathedral it is an architectural marvel. Filled with paintings and sculpture, it is also an art lover’s treat.
As well as museums, Alicante also has a great monumental heritage. Examples include: Santa Bárbara Castle overlooking the Mediterranean atop Mount Benacantil and providing unrivalled sea views; the Santa María Church, a 14th century Gothic temple that houses a priceless documental and artistic collection whose oldest piece is an incunable dating back to the 13th [...]
From a bird’s eye view, it seems to be a star. It is a perfect pentagon enclosed by walls, bastions, moats and other fortifications. The castle of San Pedro or Ciudadela (Citadel) is a military building that Felipe II ordered to build around 1592 in Jaca as a defense against a possible French invasion. However, [...]
The capital of the island is situated in the municipality of Ibiza with its impressive walled centre which was named World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. This international distinction recognizes the historical, cultural and architectural importance of the best-preserved coastal fortress in the Mediterranean. The acropolis of Dalt Vila is full of narrow streets [...]
Majorca is renowned for its caves that are carved out of the island’s limestone rocks. Many of them were well-known by local people for centuries and they once offered protection for the earlier settlers, or functioned as hiding places from marauding pirates, dens for smugglers or religious sanctuaries.
Founded by the Romans in the foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana, Pollen has retained much of its old-world charm with narrow, twisting streets, some good restaurants and a lively Sunday market. The remains left by the town’s founders include Pont Romu, a bridge spanning the banks of the Torrente de Sant Jordi river, at [...]
Cabrera (“goat island”) lies just 18 km (11 miles) from mainland Mallorca. A rocky, bare place and virtually uninhabited, it nevertheless has a rich history. It served as a prison camp during the Napoleonic War and was used as a base by Barbary pirates. Since 1991, Cabrera Island, together with an archipelago of 157 sq [...]
Situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Andalucia, Granada is a smallish city of fewer than half a million. Yet there are more things to see and do here than in some cities ten times its size. Once part of the kingdom of Castile, it is now one of Spain’s best tourist [...]