Spain - is romantic. Freeze delight near the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí's fantastic. Visit the Prado Museum and the house of El Greco. See the fiery flamenco dancing. It's an amazing relationship of Spanish and Russian soul. This hot sun and beautiful sea, a picturesque combination of bright blue sky and the golden beaches...
Spain is located in southwestern Europe and occupies about 85% of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic and Pitiuzskie Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary in the Atlantic Ocean. Country's total area - 504,788 square meters. km. It has land borders with France, Portugal, Andorra and the British colony of Gibraltar. Under the control of Spain are Ceuta and Melilla (in Morocco) and the islands of Velez de la Gomera, and Alusenas Chafaranas. The country's territory in the east and south by the Mediterranean Sea to the west - the Atlantic Ocean. Spain is at the intersection of major sea and air routes linking Europe with the African and American continents.
Most of the country is covered plateaus and mountain ranges, which are located around the plains and lowlands. Forests cover only 10% of the Spanish territory.
Practically the whole of Spain is one of great historical museum under the open sky, surrounded by a ring of beautiful sea beaches and resort areas, many of which are considered the best in Europe.
Madrid is located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, in the center of the Castilian plateau at an altitude of 646 m. Above sea level. The city was founded during the reign of Emir Mohamed I (856-886), who ordered to build a fortress on the left bank of the Manzanares River. For a long time Christian and Muslim countries fought for the right of possession of the fortress, which is reflected in the unique appearance of the capital. Historical heritage of Madrid is huge. Traditionally, the center of the city is the Puerta del Sol with three statues and old Post House (1768), topped with a clock with four dials, under the bells which the inhabitants of Madrid celebrate the Lunar New Year. The area is decorated with the symbol of the city - the bear and the strawberry tree. District Habsburg stands narrow and chaotic streets crossing and plenty of houses and squares of the XVII century. Framed colonnaded central Plaza Mayor served in the Middle Ages as a market square, the site of bullfighting and burned at the stake. Currently, the most notable buildings in the Plaza Mayor are the Baker House, whose facade is decorated with frescoes, and the Butcher House, which is currently located municipal services. In the center of the square stands the equestrian statue of Philip III. On the eastern side of the Plaza Mayor is the Plaza de la Provincia, where the palace of Santa Cruz, which is the Spanish Foreign Ministry. Nearby is a picturesque area with beautiful Villa Town Hall (1640), which met the Consistory and was a prison of La Villa. The nearby medieval streets "scattered" dozens of monasteries and palaces - the Basilica of San Miguel in the Baroque style (XVIII c.), The palace of the Casa de Cisneros (XVI c.), The palace and tower Luhanes (XV cent.) In the Moorish style ("Mudejar"), Temple Carboneras (1607), the church of San Pedro el Viejo (XV c.) with a tower in the style of "Mudejar" XIV century, built over the minaret of the mosque once stood here. On the area Paha is Bishop Chapel - the only temple in Madrid Gothic altar and silver doors which are of great artistic value. Nearby is the area of Los Carros with the chapel of San Isidro in the Baroque style and the area of San Andres, where the baroque church of San Andres. On the area of Marina Española is the palace of the Senate (the end of the XVI century.), The Palace de Grimaldi (1776) and the monastery Reparadoras (1782), and in the eponymous square - Descalzas Reales Monastery (XVI c.) With a beautiful collection artworks.
Puerta de Toledo ("Gate of Toledo") located in one of the ancient quarters of Madrid - La Latina. This area should be a visit to see the Basilica of St. Francis the Great with an interesting collection of paintings by famous artists, the chapel of Cristo de la Venerable, a small park Vistilyas, a panoramic view of the western part of the city with a country estate on the horizon, Segovia Street Viaduct over and Palace of the Dukes de Uceda (1611), which now houses the main captains and the State Council.
Royal (East) Palace - a wonderful example of palace architecture of the XVIII century, surrounded by a park with gardens of Sabatini and Mauritanian field, it is now partially open to the public. Here, in an apartment kings of Spain middle of the XVIII century, exhibited furniture, decorations, carpets, sculptures and other works of art. Nearby is the Almudena Cathedral and the palace in the complex - Royal Arsenal, Royal Museum of pharmacy and coaches. Segovia Bridge - the oldest bridge of the city (the end of the XVI century.), Spread across the river. Manzanares and from it you can watch the beautiful panorama of the Royal Palace and its surrounding gardens.
The Plaza de España are two buildings of 50-ies of XX century - House Spain and Tower of Madrid, as well as a monument of national importance - the Church of San Marcos (1753) Baroque. Nearby is the Museum Cerralbo in green park palace of the XIX century, which is an interesting collection of art as well as Liria Palace, being the residence of the Duchess of Alba and the seat of the Foundation House of Alba with a collection of works by the great masters. Behind the palace is Conde Duque Barracks in the Baroque style, built in 1720, in which there are municipal services, as well as the exhibition halls and the municipal library. Summer in the courtyard hosts concerts and evening performances.
Goddess Cibeles fountain, a symbol of the Spanish capital, is located in the eponymous square, and surrounded by the most famous monuments of Madrid. Here you will find the Palace of Communications (1905), the Maritime Museum, which stores the interesting documents and model ships of the Spanish fleet, and the Puerta de Alcalá in Independence Square. Nearby are the Museum of Decorative Arts, Museum of the Army and the Royal Academy of the Language.
Furthermore, in the city you can find a lot of different samples of different artistic styles of XIX and XX centuries., As well as a large number of parks and gardens. Especially good Retiro Park, built in the XVII century. as a recreation area for the royals. The park covers an area of 150 hectares, which grow more than 15 thousand. Trees, smashed a wide variety of gardens and built many monuments, among which are the Palace of Velasquez and the Glass Palace - a huge greenhouse of glass and steel. The Botanical Gardens were established in the XVII century. by royal decree and is famous for its bars, carved doors and antique conservatory in the neoclassical style. Country estate of Casa de Campo stretches on an area of 1722 hectares on the right bank of the Manzanares River. Here are the Zoo and Amusement Park, there is a rowing canal and other sports facilities - swimming pools and tennis courts.
For lovers of the nightlife of Madrid - paradise at any time of the year. Around the area of Santa Barbara, in the area of Bilbao and Alonso Martínez concentrated a large number of popular cafes, eateries, bars and bistros. On the streets of Huertas and Malasaña, between the areas of Bilbao and San Bernardo, in the Plaza Santa Ana and on the streets around the square on May 2, concentrated numerous cafes and bars with music programs and inexpensive restaurants. In the quarters Arguelles and Moncloa located cheap bars, mostly popular among students and youth. Boulevards Castellana, Recoletos and Prado - areas of expensive restaurants, trendy cafes and bars.
In the vicinity of Madrid are important historical and cultural centers of Spain. San Lorenzo de El Escorial, located in the Guadarrama mountains, 50 km away. from Madrid, is famous for the magnificent palace-monastery Zarzuela, the residence of the Spanish kings. Church, monastery and palace connected in a variety of courtyards, halls and passages, forming indescribably colorful construction. Along the side walls of the basilica is located 43 altar with the painting, and she basilica covered by a dome height of 92 m. With painted arches. Here are also a library with more than 40 thousand. Volumes and manuscripts, paintings and museum Museum of Architecture. Outside the palace is interesting to visit the small palaces - House of the Prince and the Infanta's house.
The ancient town of Alcala de Henares (33 km. From Madrid), the birthplace of Cervantes, famous for its university, founded in 1498 building on the University of San Diego area has a magnificent facade in the style of "Plateresque" and patios (the most famous of which is a "court of three languages"), scenic covered galleries, gardens and the old auditorium. The city also has a lot of great monasteries - Mahistral church (XII century.), Bernardine, the Jesuit church, the monastery of Filipinos and the Archbishop's Palace. On the street La imah located the house where Cervantes was born. He is now restored and furnished and objects relevant to that epoch.
Aranjuez on the banks of the river. Tahoe, 47 km. from Madrid, is famous for its luxurious summer royal residence (XV-XVII c.) and beautiful parks - Ground floor with numerous sculptures, La Isla with wonderful fountains and Principe in the English style. An interesting museum with a collection of Faluas boats and two small silver rails, which are preserved in the memory of the opening in 1851, the second railway line in Spain. Rustic Cabin ("Casita del Labrador") - hunting pavilion in neoclassical style in the back of the garden Principe, famous for the fact that it was here in 1805 was signed by the Spanish-French agreement on the war against Great Britain. In the city of Avila (115 km. From Madrid) perfectly preserved city walls, the cradle of St. Teresa's Cathedral, and the XIV century. Chinchon city (45 km. From Madrid) famed for its beautiful area Real Plaza de Toros. In the vicinity of Chinchon interesting castles Casasola (XIV c.), Poorly preserved de los Condes, closed to the public monastery and former Clarisse convent Augustinian monks, as well as locking the XV century. near the spa Manzanares el Real.
In the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, founded in II. BC. e., preserved almost intact the entire historic center in the Gothic style, as well as an incredible number of architectural monuments. The main attraction of the city is the largest in Catalonia Cathedral of St.. Thecla, built on the site of the ancient sanctuary of Jupiter. The building was built in the Gothic style in the XIV-XV centuries. and integrates into a single ensemble, and three more of the palace - the Casa del Kanonzhes, Degas and Casa de L'Ardiaka.
Old Town - Viola - surrounds the Roman wall, dating from the III. BC. e. Now within the old town is the Palace of Pretoria Museum of the Roman Empire, a beautiful fountain in the Pla de Palau, and a copy of the famous Roman "Capitoline she-wolf," two well-preserved cylindrical tower of the Roman city wall and aqueduct. Gothic Barrio Gotico is located within the protected fortress walls of a Roman settlement, and got its name because of the abundance of monuments in the Gothic style. Within the area there are many landmarks - The Real Mayor (XI-XIV centuries.), Chapel of Santa Agata and the Historical Museum in the Plaza Rey, right next to the walls of which are carried out archaeological excavations. On the square of Sant Jaume, the official center of the city, are the palace Palau de la Generalitat, (XV century., Here now taken the Catalan government) with patio Patio de los Naranjos and the chapel of San Jordi, City Hall (XIV century .) with a beautiful main hall Salo de Ste. In the Piazza San Justa constant attention of tourists are attracted Gothic fountain, palace Moishe (XIII c., The largest private palace of medieval Barcelona) and the Church of Santos Justin and Pastor. Pay attention to the palace Senteles (XVI c.), Cal (Jewish Quarter), the Church of San Severo and Church del Pi with rosette window, is the largest in the world.
Outside the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona "blooms" numerous monuments of all styles and eras - Cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar (XIV c.) Dalmases Palace (XVII c.), The palace of the Marquis de Lio with the Museum of Textile and Costume, Palace Nadal with the Museum of pre-Columbian art, Aguilar Palace (XV cent.) to the Picasso Museum, the Monastery of Sant Pere de les Pueles (945) and the Palace Katalan of Music (1908), made by the UNESCO "heritage site list."
Is considered the heart of Barcelona Plaza Catalunya, around which is also a great variety of attractions - Columbus Monument, Barcelona Exhibition Centre, the National Palace, the Palace of Marset, the famous Casa Mila, or "A house without corners" by Antonio Gaudi, also a UNESCO World heritage of humanity by UNESCO, the palace Baró de Quadras with the Museum of Music, the Gothic church of La Concepción church and Las Salesas lined multicolor ceramics.
One of the symbols of the city is a lot of tower Sagrada Familia ("St.. Familia" or simply "The Cathedral") in height of 170 m., Whose construction was initiated by Antonio Gaudi in 1883, but has not yet been completed. However, in a lot of other great creations of Gaudi - Palace and Park Guell (declared "heritage of humanity"), home of Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, house Vicens et al. La Rambla - a fairly traditional name for the Spanish streets, but in Barcelona it another symbol of the city - seven boulevards, differing in name and characteristic features, but certainly rich entertainment venues, cafes and restaurants. Closer to the center is the Rambla de Kanaletes with famous source Kanaletes - try it the water would return to Barcelona again.
Rambla del Estudis interesting for its University ("Estudio Zheneral"), the Church of Bethlehem, Baroque palace Moha (XVII century.), Hospital Santa Creu ("Sv. Cross", XV-XVI centuries.) And bird market. Lined with huge plane trees Rambla de les Flores ("Boulevard of Flowers") attracts visitors to the palace Virreyna (XVIII c.), Which now houses exhibition center, lovely Boqueria market and the nearby theaters Gran Teatro del Liceu, - one of the most lush theater halls in the world (restored after a heavy fire). On the Rambla de les Kapuchins interesting College St. Bonaventure (XVII century.), Which now houses a hotel Oriente Palace Güell and Gaudí's early lights. Rambla de Santa Monica - more modern and wide street, it is the church of St. Monica and Exhibition Hall Arts Center in Santa Monica, and a classic palace March (XVIII c.), Is now the Department of Culture of the Government of Catalonia. On Sundays there is open market of handicrafts.
Most of the art galleries of the city is located in the Eixample ('New District "), on the streets Künsel-de-Seine, Passeig de Gracia, and Balmes Mallorca, near the train station and the streets Petrichol France. In the Jewish quarter of Cal, in the heart of Barrio Gotico, the streets of Banes Nous and de la Paglia, near the market Enkants, at the intersection of Arago and Dos de Mach, is a significant number of antique shops.
The surrounding area is beautiful parks - Montseny Park (40 km. Barcelona) declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Park of San Llorenç de Munt and Serra d'Obak - beautiful mountainous terrain with impressive cliffs and natural reserve Font-Grog guards typical Mediterranean forest of pines and holm oak.
And in Catalonia many castles built in the XIII-XIV centuries., Of which the most popular castle in Fortarde Tordera, castle Peralada near Figueres, which hosts the famous music festival and make the Spanish champagne. Montserrat (60 km. Barcelona) is considered the spiritual center of Catalonia, there are the famous Benedictine Monastery of the Basilica of the XVI century., Which houses the image of Our Lady of La Moreneta (XII century.), The patron saint of Catalonia. People come here from all over the world to pay homage to the miraculous Black Madonna, listen to the famous boys' choir, or to make a pilgrimage on foot to the walls of the monastery. The Benedictine monastery was founded Gifre I, the first head of an independent county, and is considered the "cradle of Catalonia."
Costa Brava ("Wild Coast") - the section of the resort, starting at 40 km. to the north of Barcelona and stretches all along the coast of the province. The mild climate, pure water, wind "Tramuntana", which makes the sky cloudless and bright, gorgeous landscapes, alternating rocky coast with small coves and beaches with fine sand - all this makes this place one of the best resorts in the country. Playa de Aro is famous not only golden beach and folk festivals, but also known as a major commercial center. In the resort of Pineda de-Map is an international wellness center "Sport and the sea." Tossa de Mar is located in a cozy cove surrounded by rocky small beaches, cliffs, caves and bays that attract thousands of tourists. Coast is the tourist capital of Lloret de Mar, surrounded by trees and famous for its water park Marineland, kartingdrom and botanical garden Marimurtra (founded in 1928). Blanes - this is one of the oldest resorts on the Costa Brava, is famous for its botanical gardens, which raised a lot of exotic plants from all parts of the world, as well as well-preserved to the present day medieval monuments and buildings of the old Spanish buildings. Its majestic bay, fringed by rocks, has a wide, sandy beaches and is ideal for fishing and water sports. Other tourist centers of the region - Rosas, San Pedro Pescador, San Martin de Ampuriyas, L'Escala, L'Estartit, Begur, Palamos, S'Agaró and Sant Feliu de Giksols.
Costa Daurada ("Golden Coast") is also located to the south of Barcelona. Center of the Costa Dorada and most popular resort in the region - Salou (100 km. South of Barcelona), best known for its amusement park and entertainment "Port Aventura" - the second largest in Europe after Disneyland Paris. Such an abundance of theatrical performances, blooming gardens, "Russian hills" (one of them has three "dead loop", and its height is greater than 60 m.) And other attractions, is not even in the "Disney World". "Port Aventura" provides an opportunity for one day "go" on all continents of the world - here represented by the architecture, culture and even the vegetation of Australia, Polynesia, Asia, Mediterranean Europe and America. Each "country" absolutely independent, down to the clothes of employees and the original "national" menu in cafes and restaurants.
Province of Lleida - is more than 600 km. clear mountain lakes and rivers, on the banks of which are hotels and camping sites for anglers, where you can take equipment and even take a course, it is turbulent rapids and waterfalls "Tortes" many sports centers on the shores of rivers collecting and Nogueira, where the world championships Water rodeo, acrobatics and "freestyle." Landscapes - like the Grand Canyon, and orange rocks of fantastic shapes topped with castles.
Lleida, capital of the province, staggered up the hill on top of which is preserved magnificent citadel with the Cathedral (XII-XV centuries.) In the center. National Park Aiguis-Tortes - Reserve "stormy waters" with a capacity of 200 glacial lakes and countless waterfalls, interspersed with small villages, such-as old as the mountains.
Valencia - the capital of the homonymous province and the third largest city in Spain. The city has preserved remarkable architectural monuments, among which the most remarkable old Exchange and bell tower of the cathedral Miguelete, famous Serrano Towers, Flats and others. Nearby lies the picturesque Plaza de la Virgen to the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin, is the patroness of Valencia, the majestic Gothic palace Valencian Government, modernist Central Market and pearl Valencia's architecture - the fish market Lonja. Thursdays at noon, runs a weekly session of the court of elders - the Water Tribunal, which is considered the most ancient body of democratic self-government in Europe, is one of the most beautiful sights in Spain.
Interesting monumental Ayuntamiento area with City Hall, the North Station and the Main Post Office, as well as pedestrian zones, the mass of banks, shops and cafes. Ultramodern Palace Music with amazing acoustics regularly holds concerts of the best musicians in the world.
In the city of Sagongtuo (20 km. to the North from Valencia) the remains of powerful antique fortress with the Roman theater of an era of Punic wars - Sagunt remained. Fortress became famous for that maintained some months a siege of armies of Hannibal, and her defenders preferred to delivery death in fight. Fortress in charming, taken cover in a shadow of magnificent plane trees the town Hativa in 50 km isn't less interesting. to the southwest from Valencia, on a saddle of the ridge from which amazingly beautiful view of adjacent valleys opens. Majestic mountain landscapes around Maestrango, adjoining on the a ragonese province Teruel are fine also. One more place of interest is located in 10 km. to the South from the city, absolutely near the sea, Albufer's lake - the biggest in Spain.
Well-equipped resorts are located throughout the 500-kilometer coast of Valencia. Area of the Costa de Azahar ("Orange Beach flavor") in the north is famous resorts in Peniscola, Alcossebre Oropesa, Benicassim and others. Costa de Valencia the most famous resorts Balvarosa, Saler Perelonet, coolers, Gaga and Oliva.
The famous Costa Blanca ("White Coast") in the south - one of the main tourist centers in Spain. This well landscaped beach, with magnificent beach of fine sand and a variety of hotels and entertainment centers. The world-famous resort of Torrevieja, Denia, Javea, Benidorm, Moraira, Calpe, Santa Pola, Guardamar de Segura, Torre Vyeha and Campoamor. Torrevieja ("old tower") but of excellent conditions for recreation, and is famous for its famous festival of "Habanera" in August.
Alicante, located to the south of Valencia, in the heart of the Costa Blanca is famous for its two large beaches and a large Arab fortress of Santa Barbara on a rock Benakantil (166 m.), Which can be seen from the walls of the city. The Gothic church of Iglesia de Santa Maria (XV-XVI centuries.) Was built near the castle on the site of a Muslim mosque. Nearby is the Museum of Art of the XX century with an interesting collection of paintings. Cathedral of San Nicolas de Bari built in 1662, in honor of the patron saint of Alicante and is considered one of the most important historical monuments of the city, and on the opposite end of the city lies the castle Castillo de San Fernando (1808-1814 g) above wonderful municipal park.
Benidorm is not only considered one of the most popular holiday destinations in Spain, but also has the title of "tourist phenomenon in Europe" - so he quickly turned from an obscure fishing village to the biggest tourist complex of the country. The city is located on the shores of the beaches Playa de Levante and Playa de Poniente, connecting with small rocks, which is an observation deck with stunning views. The main place in town - the embankment with a total length of about 6 km. - A series of a variety of shops and souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes and bars offering traditional dishes every kitchen in the world. In the center of Benidorm is a huge water park "Aqualandia", with swimming pools, water slides and caves.
Altea - a small town 10 km away. Benidorm, well preserved architecture of bygone days. Most Altea boasts numerous art galleries, "colony" of artists and rocky beaches, and in the evening - many café tables on the cathedral square and friendly lights more than 30 restaurants and bars.
Calpe is located approximately 12 km. from Altea at the foot of the mountains jutting into the sea Ifach a height of about 300 m., old lookout tower on top of which is a kind of symbol of the Costa Blanca. At the foot of the mountain is a protected park area, where more than 300 species of plants, among which you can see the unusual carnations and orchids.
Javea resort - one of the oldest cities in the Iberian coast is about 27 km. north of Calpe. The town is situated between two headlands - Nao and San Antonio and is known for its excellent conditions for a quiet and relaxing family vacation, as well as their original churches - an unusual church in the XV. in the Gothic style, and the modern church in the form of a ship. Historical and Ethnographic Museum of Javea offers an interesting collection of objects from the Paleolithic to the Moorish period, as well as ceramics of different periods. Denia is 10 km away. from Javea. Here are preserved walls and towers of the castle, built by the Moors more (now here is the Archaeological Museum), and the Plaza de Constitucion stands the church of the XVIII century. Denia is located close to the water park "Safari Park", famous for its "dolphin show."
Murcia is located between Valencia and Andalusia, known for its fruits and vegetables, and its coast - another tourist area of Spain. Cartagena, founded by the Carthaginians in 221 more BC. e., and still retains its value. Its landmarks are unique imprint many epochs, "swept" through the city, and the Cartagena Museum has a magnificent collection of Roman and Iberian objects testifying to the important historical role of the city in ancient times. The resort area of the Costa Calida has a mild climate and beautiful beaches with fine sand. Here is located the salt lake of Mar Menor, is connected to the Mediterranean sea - a perfect place for water sports. The most important tourist centers - Santiago de la Ribera, Manga del Mar Menor, Puerto de Mazarron, Aguilas and Cartagena itself.
Andalusia - southern region of Spain, where there are well-preserved to the present day monuments - the medieval fortress and the Arab tower of the XI century, cathedrals and ancient Andalusian villages in the mountains. Here is the warm sea, the hottest and longest summer (3000 hours of sunshine a year), an attractive landscape and numerous bullfighting arena. Andalusia is the birthplace of flamenco and a particular style of "Sevillano".
The capital of Andalusia Seville - extremely unique city on the banks of the Guadalquivir. More impressed the former Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz, an ancient Arab fortress Alcazar (1350-1369), the 93-meter minaret quadrangular Giralda Arab mosque (XII century.), Which was converted into a bell tower of the magnificent Gothic cathedral, Torre del Oro - an ancient bastion of Arab city wall, the monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas, where the original was buried Columbus, and the park is open to the Isla de la Cartuja. Seville Cathedral (1402-1506 g, 116 m. In length, 76 m. Wide), built on the site of a former mosque, is the third largest Christian church in the world. Situated next to the walls of the cathedral of America Archives (formerly the "Archive of the Indies") contains about 36 thousand. Document folders on the discovery and conquest of the New World, gathered from 1785
Maria Luisa Park and Plaza de España - symbols of the city. Plaza de España is surrounded by a number of arches that crown the emblems of all the provinces of Spain. In the beautiful buildings around the square now has a military and civil administration. Palace "House of Pilate" (XVI c.) Is named after the biblical governor and built with the repetition of some elements of his house in Jerusalem. Its architecture reflects the mix of filigree style "Mudejar" Renaissance elements presented wonderful tiles and stucco. Nearby, a former monastery, is the Museum of Fine Arts. "Magic Island" - the world's first theme park, located directly in the city, in the historical part. In addition to the rides are given the opportunity to discover the history, culture and art of different times and the people, enjoy the water performance, high-speed ride on the roller coaster, and during lunch or dinner, listen to the exotic songs performed by numerous musical groups. The park is open trendy planetarium, funicular, a monorail, a large concert hall and hosts a variety of entertainment events - from laser shows to concerts of flamenco and rock.
Gorgeous Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the Middle Ages it was the center of the last and longest-existing Muslim state in Spain. In the old quarter of Albaicin was first Moorish fortress, here was the last refuge of the Moors, when the Christians took the city by storm.
Fortress of the Alhambra ("Al Kal'a al-Hambra" - "Red Fortress") - the only remaining monument of art of the Moors in Granada, located on a steep ridge above the wooded hill. Regarded as one of the wonders of the world, elaborately decorated castle represents the pinnacle of Moorish art and culture. The center of court life in the Alhambra was "Yard lions" (28 m. 15m.) With a fountain in the center of which rests on the backs of 12 small lions of gray marble, and "Patio myrtle" - open air (110 m. 78 m .) to narrow the pool, which is surrounded by bushes and myrtles. Each end of the courtyard are decorated with niches with arches, and at the northern end of the courtyard is "Hall of Ambassadors" - reception of the Moorish rulers. All this magnificence completes the dome of cedar wood. North of the "Hall of Ambassadors" lies "Hall of the two sisters" with the graceful arch of the Alhambra honeycomb - argue that it is composed of five thousand. Cells. From the walls of the Moorish fortress of Alcazaba (IX cent.) Breathtaking views of the palace, the Generalife districts, the Albaicín, Sacromonte and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Near the Alhambra, and towering over her, and over the town, is the old summer palace of the sultans with a variety of pools and fountains - the Generalife (1250). Between 1506 and 1521 there was built a Royal Chapel, where now lie the remains of many of the Spanish kings of the past, put up the crown jewels, and in the sacristy of the chapel houses many works from the personal collection of Queen Isabella, including paintings by Flemish, Spanish and Italian artists XV century. Artsy Cathedral (1523-1714 g) is adjacent to the Royal Chapel and surprises intricate and tasteless view. To the east of the Royal Chapel located tiered gardens and wonderful portal tower Dame. In Fuente Vaqueros, birthplace of Lorca, now a museum, is also open and the Huerta de San Vicente - an old farm in the vicinity of Granada, where Lorca wrote some famous works.
The first mention of Cordoba refers to the year 206, but "blossomed" it under the Arabs - are wonderfully combines Arabic, Jewish and Christian styles: the palace of the caliphs, landscaped gardens with fountains, Arab Mezquita (785-985) - the second largest after Mecca, turned later to the church of the Assumption of the Virgin, the Roman bridge, the Jewish Quarter, "El Cristo de los Faroles" - a crucifix standing on a completely closed on all sides of the square, and the Archaeological Museum (the largest collection in the world lead sarcophagi and capitals) in the palace Jeronimo-Pass. About 8 km. to the north-west of Cordoba, in the Old Cordoba, the remains of a vast palace complex Medina Azahar (about 936).
Malaga - a friendly town on the southern coast. Above the town rises a magnificent Alcazaba, interesting Cathedral (XVI c.) And its treasures, Bulls Area and Gibraltar fortress. Nerja, lies at the foothills of the Sierra de Almiharra, interesting prehistoric caves with halls and galleries. In Cártama, 25 km. from Malaga is "Kokodriles Park", which is inhabited by more than 300 reptiles in a specially recreated areas of natural habitat.
Costa del Sol around Malaga - one of the most important tourist areas in Spain, with the famous resorts of Marbella, Torremolinos, Calahonda, Torre del Mar, El Polo, Benalmádena, Benalmádena Costa, Fuengirola, San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona.
Castile and Leon - a vast area, which is located on a vast plateau Meseta, fun gorgeous scenery and a brilliant historical and monumental heritage.
In Segovia, except the Roman aqueduct, and there are many other monuments of different eras - some magnificent Romanesque churches, a large Gothic cathedral and the Alcazar fortress amazing Arab origin. Avila - the birthplace of Teresa de Jesus, in perfect condition, preserved medieval walls, a powerful military fortification and Romanesque basilica of San Vicente, built right into the walls. Soria is particularly notable Romanesque buildings Santo Domingo Church and Monastery of San Juan de Duero (XII-XIII cc.). Homeland Sid - Burgos, no less notable for its Gothic cathedral, exceptional beauty (one of the best in Spain), magnificent churches and palaces in the old part of the city. Palencia has a distinct medieval character, with a beautiful cathedral in the late Gothic style and wonderful archaeological museum.
Valladolid - the capital and largest city in the region, famous for its gardens and the cathedral-style "Plateresque" College of Santa Cruz and San Gregorio, and sculpture museum with a great collection of works by leading sculptors of Spain XVI-XVII centuries.
Leon - the ancient capital of the kingdom of the same name, has three outstanding monument - the Church of San Isidoro (XII century.) In the crypt decorated with Romanesque frescoes, gothic cathedral with numerous stained-glass windows, which are rivaled only by the stained glass windows of the cathedral of Chartres, and the old monastery of San Marcos - magnificent building of the Renaissance, converted now into a tourist parador luxury. Salamanca was famous already in the Renaissance for its university - one of the first in Europe. Now the city is famous for its beautiful Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, picturesque main square with arcades and the building of the University of the Renaissance.
Canary Islands - an autonomous region of Spain, located in the Atlantic Ocean 1,500 kilometers. from the Iberian Peninsula and 100 km. off the coast of Africa. The islands are of volcanic origin, but each island is very different from the next, so there is a strikingly diverse landscapes, a variety of green valleys, beautiful mountains, bizarre lava forms and many beautiful beaches. The islands are unique climatic conditions, their flora and fauna are extremely diverse and have retained a number of relict plants. Due to the constant trade wind, the weather on the islands invariably favorable and is not inferior to the famous Hawaii.
Tenerife - the largest (2 thousand. Sq. Km.) And the most popular tourist island of the archipelago. Here is the National Park Canadas del Teide, located at the snow-covered peaks of Mount Teide - Spain's highest mountain (3718 m.). This is one of the most interesting places in the country - an extinct volcano located inside the other ancient crater diameter of 9 km, the top of which can be applied to the cable car or take a jeep tour. Here, among the fantastic "lunar landscape" and multi-colored lava fields, many of the films from the series "Star Wars." In the north of the island, in the botanical garden of the Orotava Valley (founded in 1788), you can see the nature of the five climatic zones, there is a monument of national importance - the old town of Orotava, beaches and popular resorts of Puerto de la Cruz, Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas, as well as the village in the mountains of Anaga Chinamada with carved into the cliffs inhabited caves. In the south of the island always Sunny and dry, ancient lava fields are iridescent and vegetation framing the famous beaches, desert. The best beaches are located north of Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Tenerife's capital. Fine sand in a protected artificial reef bay of Playa de las Teresitas was brought here from the Sahara. District of El Medano - the best place for windsurfing. Very picturesque small sandy cove near Playa de las Americas, as well as the Lido de San Telmo. In Laura Park near Puerto de la Cruz is the world's largest colony of parrots (about 230 species) and a giant aquarium.
In the center of the island of Gran Canaria towering mountains up to 1950 m, and the hot and dry south is an endless string of resorts - San Agustin, Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, overlooking the dune beach of Maspalomas, included in the list of 100 best beaches in the world. Colorful facades of houses the island's capital - Las Palmas, turn the town into a veritable kaleidoscope, and its Columbus Museum (former house of the Governor) attracts lovers of history. In town Teror be sure to go for the sake of the beautiful local beaches, water park and of excellent conditions for snorkeling.
Lanzarote - the fourth largest island of the archipelago - the result of joint activities and the nature of the artist Cesar Monrike, turn the island into his workshop. The most striking landmark Lanzarote - Mountain Fuego ("Fire") in the National Park Timanfaya, whose valley covered with multi-colored volcanic ash and surrounded by black obsidian wasteland. Monrike "a hand" and the famous cave Jameos del Agua, which the sculptor has turned into a symbol of living here unique "blind crab" and the cave Cueva de los Verdos he filled sounds fantastic music and lights. Both caves - part of a giant tunnel punched lava about 5 thousand. Years ago, originating in the crater and going off into the ocean. Lovely white houses Mosagi, yellow sand of the famous Papagayo Beach and lookout, Mirador del Rio. The best resorts in the island - Playa Blanca, Puerto Calero, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Teguise.
Fuerteventura ("strong wind") - yet least known island in the Canary archipelago. More than half of the island is bordered by the magnificent beaches of white or golden sand, in Vol. H. Famous Playa de Corralejo. It is interesting to visit the capital and main port of the island - Puerto del Rosario, Antigua and windmills in the village of La Oliva, Pajara and Betancourt, arena "Terrero" in Tarajalejo and competitions in traditional fight in the sand. Every year in July and August are held world championship windsurfing, and the strait between the Lobos and Fuerteventura is the best place for diving in the islands.
Balearic Islands, consisting of five islands - Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza (Ibiza and Ibiza), Formentera and Cabrera are in the Mediterranean Sea 240 km. east coast of Valencia. Due to its climate, beautiful beaches and tourism development, the archipelago has become the most prestigious and attractive holiday destination in the Mediterranean. Palma de Mallorca (Palma) - the capital of the archipelago and one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean. The city has many monuments - Bellver Castle (XIV c.) Rare round shape of a Gothic cathedral, the old Mercantile Exchange and the Palace of the Archbishop. Along the coast are drawn first-class beaches of Palma Nova, Pastilla et al. (Length of coastline is 554 km!). Mahon, the capital of Menorca, is attractive for its picturesque port, the city hall and the churches of Santa Maria and San Francisco. Ciutadella, Menorca's former capital, - a small, picturesque town with magnificent palaces and medieval churches. Ibis (Ibiza or Ibiza) - the capital of the eponymous island and famous for its witting morals of youth resort, famous for its distinctive neighborhoods, stratagem which even gave rise to the concept of "architecture Ibises." The city is dominated medieval fortress, and not far from it, in Puig des Molins, is an ancient Punic cemetery. And of course - the beaches, beaches and more beaches times.
Despite the variety of climatic zones, the dominant subtropical climate is Mediterranean-type, with soft, short winters and hot dry summers. In the center of Spain in the summer the temperature during the day rises to 30 degrees, and at night drops to 15 degrees. The best time for tourists from other countries - between March and June, and from mid-September to late October. On the coast, the sea temperature controls, and always warm. Mediterranean climate of Spain is very soft. Even in winter the temperature does not fall below the mark of 10 degrees Celsius. In summer the temperature rarely rises above 32 degrees Celsius. The beach season lasts from June to October. In spring and autumn evenings are pretty cool. Rain does not happen often, but if it is, it can be heavy.
Less 2:00 in relation to Moscow time, when in Moscow 12:00 - 10:00 in Spain.
Spanish (Castilian version) - throughout. In some regions - Catalan, Basque (euskera), Galician and Valencian.
Since 2002, the currency - the euro. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 euro coins - 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents on March 1, all calculations are performed only in this currency. Orientation Course - 1.10 euro for 1 dollar. Currency exchange is available at the bank (time - from 9 to 14 hours), or exchange offices will not be charged a fee for the exchange (NO comision). At any time you can change money at the reception in the hotel, although the rate at the hotel is always less profitable. All cities have ATMs where you can use credit cards VISA. MASTER CARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS.
Spain is part of the Schengen zone. To enter Spain must have a passport and a Schengen visa. For standard (flight - hotel - flight) guided tour up to 30 days is usually issued Schengen visa is a one-time "C" with a corridor:
- 30 (formerly 45) of day and length of stay of 30 days (feeding through a travel agency in VISA-TOUR).
- For a period of accommodation reservation and ticket when filing on their own or by proxy.
To obtain a visa with double entry (with the exception of a trip to Andorra), move to the destination by train or car, or for a period exceeding 30 days, the documents must be submitted individually or by proxy.
Period of consideration:
- 3-4 working days, if the duration of the trip to 30 days,
- 10 working days, with a term of 30-90 days trip.
Documents required to obtain a tourist visa:
• Passport (valid for at least 4.5 months at the time of the trip). If a passport is clean (does not have any marks on the visa), then you should provide additional old passport (if any) or its copy. If there are two valid passport, you must provide both the embassy
• Certificate of employment with the obligatory indication of the position and salary (original). For non-working (students, housewives, pensioners) - help with the work the person paying for the trip and sponsorship declaration from the person
• Document confirming the financial viability: a certificate of purchase of foreign currency (based on $ 50 per day of stay in Spain) or, in the presence of a bank account - the account statement.
• A photocopy of all pages of internal passport, a photocopy of the first page of the passport.
• 2 photos 3x4.
• Reservation confirmation of payment of the hotel or the tour operator Spanish (photocopy, if the trip is less than 30 days, if more than - the original).
• Air tickets or confirmation of booking flights there and back.
• Medical insurance for all kinds of help for the entire stay with a minimum coverage of $ 30,000 dollars. The policy should be extended to all countries of the Schengen zone.
• personal data. When filling out the line "contact or work phone" indicates the validity of business phones. Consulate of Spain reserves the right to exercise control calls on these phones and visa refusal in the event of false information.
• For students and students in secondary, secondary, special and technical schools must provide a copy of the certificate from the educational institution. During the holidays - a copy of your student card.
• For pensioners - a copy of the pension certificate.
• Copy of birth certificate of children under 18 years (if a child is traveling with their parents, and their names do not match, or if the child is traveling with one parent).
• Original notarized permission from a parent (if the child is traveling with the other parent).
• The original notarized authorization from both parents (if the child is under 18 years of travels accompanied by another person).
Attention! Notarized consent from a parent or guardian to travel unaccompanied minors of both parents or accompanied by one of them taken in the original and only in the presence of an apostille (a special stamp on legalization. Moscow placed in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation - on the documents issued by organizations and institutions directly subordinated to the Ministry).
For visa minor child and leaving accompanied by a parent, you must provide the original notarized power of attorney from the 2nd parent in the form specified by the Spanish consulate.
If the marriage is dissolved, necessarily requires authorization from the second parent. If, in other circumstances, this power of attorney is not possible to get, you must provide a document showing the reason for the lack of power of attorney.
Visa for children entered in the passport, issued free of charge. Visa for children with his passport, issued in the same manner and at the same value as that for adults. If the child is entered in the passport of one of the parents, and attained the age of 6, the passport should be pasted his picture. If the child has reached the age of 14, he must have his passport.
Payment of the application is made prior to the filing of documents in the case of failure, no refund. The Spanish Embassy reserves the right, in exceptional cases (and only when documents are presented to stay only in Spain) instead of Spanish Schengen visa issue (without the right to travel to other Schengen countries).
The state religion of Spain - Roman Catholic. The majority of the Spanish population - Catholics. However, as noted by sociologists Spanish, the official church is increasingly losing its former influence on daily life in Spain. Now only about 30% of Spaniards consider themselves active supporters of the Catholic Church.
Spaniards welcoming, friendly, hospitable and always ready to entertain. No country in Europe has as many holidays as Spain. The main ones were purely religious, but eventually turned into a joyful occasions with singing and dancing. In the days of national holidays in Spain banks, shops and museums are not working. Each province and almost all cities in Spain have their own traditional festivals, details of which can be obtained from the local tourist information office.
National holidays in Spain:
01 January - New Year
06 January - Day of the Magi
March 19 - Day of San Jose
Day of Corpus Christi
01 May - Labor Day
July 25 - Day of Santiago
August 15 - Assumption of Mary (Assumption)
October 12 - Day of Unity of the Spanish
November 1 - All Saints' Day
06 December - Constitution Day
December 8 - Day of the Immaculate Conception
December 25 - Christmas
It is recommended to store the documents and various money values, including passports and airline tickets in the hotel safe. Do not leave things in the tour buses.
Traditional cuisine Spain
Spanish cuisine is famous not only as one of the best in the world, but also has an extraordinary diversity, as on the development of culinary arts in different regions affect climate, geography, history and national characteristics that are unique to the region or province. Aboriginal same Spanish cuisine, in essence, a peasant simple. Its basis is the onion, garlic, peppers and herbs. Spices are used sparingly, but the saffron - profusely. It is not possible not to mention the "tapas" - specific snacks. In any bar or beachside cafe serves them at any time of day or night - beer, wine, cider, or as an appetizer before dinner. Special mention should be fine wines of Spain, where there are about sixty wine-growing regions, and produced wines are subject to special monitoring by the state.
Political system Spain
From 1978 to the present day Spain is a constitutional monarchy. Head of state - King Juan Carlo I. The highest executive body - the government. Legislative functions and, consequently, control over the activities of the government carried out the Cortes Generales (Parliament), consisting of two chambers: the Senate and the Congress of Deputies. King represents the country in international relations, has the right to dissolve the Cortes, also endowed with other important powers.
The population is about 40 million people. Spain is recognized as one nation, formed on the basis of various historical regions and ethnic groups, the main ones are: the Catalans (15.6%), andalusiytsy (15.6%), the Castilians (11.1%), Valencians (9.7% ) Galicians (7.4%) and Basque (5.6%).
In Spain duty-free access: cigarettes - 400 g (300 units); wine - 5 liters; spirits - 1.5 liters; Coffee - 1 kg; Tea - 200 g; food items and household items - within the limits of personal needs. The export imported into Spain of foreign currency. Large amounts must be declared upon entry.
Banned the import into Spain of drugs, weapons, ammunition, explosives. Banned the export of arms and ammunition without permission.
Radio, video, photographic equipment must be declared. Import permit cinetechnics should be issued at the Consular Section of the Embassy of Spain.
Medical aid Spain
Medical insurance for all kinds of help for the entire stay with a minimum coverage of $ 30,000 dollars. The policy should be extended to all countries of the Schengen zone.
Before the trip to the Canary Islands is recommended to pre-vaccination against hepatitis A.
Working hours Spain
In all tourist areas of Spain has shops, working around the clock, while the majority of shops open from 10 am to 20 pm with a lunch break from 13:30 to 16:30.
Small shops in the resort areas, are usually open until 22.00 hours. Large department stores are open from 10.00 to 21.00 hours (Monday - Saturday) without a break. In the department of customer service possible to issue ticket tax free, providing discounts to foreigners.
Currency exchange offices in banks: from 9.00 to 14.00 on Saturday - from 9.00 to 12.00, Sunday - closed. On the main streets of Madrid banks are open around the clock. Be careful when getting information about the rate of exchange, as very often in the course of the posters stated, excluding commissions, which are taken from the top. Credit cards accepted, developed network of ATMs.
Madrid. Buses run from 6 am to midnight. You can buy a ticket for 10 trips. Tickets should be celebrated in a special machine in the bus. At each stop, there is a route map. Subway in Madrid - a fast and efficient mode of transport. Ticket for one trip, the distance is not limited. Ticket for 10 trips should be celebrated at the turnstiles at the entrance to the subway. Free map of public transport is available at the kiosks in the Placa de Catalunya, in the department store El Corte Ingles and other places. Buses run from 5.30 am to 23.30. You can buy a ticket for 10 trips. It is valid also for the metro, funiculars and cable cars. At each stop, there is a map of bus routes. Red band have buses that stop in the central squares - Catalunya, Universitat or Urquinaona, blue band - night buses. From June to October the area of Placa de Catalunya in Barcelona, all major attractions are tourist buses.
Usually, the supply voltage is 220 volts, but sometimes in small settlements and villages, it can be 125 or 110 volts.
The system extends to tip waiters in restaurants and bars, maids in hotels, taxi drivers and tour guides, and 5-10% of the order value. Payment tipping is not mandatory, but if a client is happy with the service, a tip - a sign of good taste.
Helpful information Spain
National Police - 091, local police - 092, Cruz Roja (Red Cross) - 22-22-22, urgent care - 061, fire service - 080, the exact time service - 093, reference service on the city streets, the movement of buses on duty pharmacies, etc. - 098.