Those of you, who identify Spain with nothing beyond bull fights and Flamenco, wake up! The ancient monuments left by Moors and Romans, the medieval castles of the Interiors and the contemporary hybrid architecture- everything is downright jaw-slacking and magical here!
With an overwhelming number of UNESCO World Heritage sites and museums, it’s easy to fall prey to dilemma. But give your confusions a rest; our custom list of the 7 best monuments in Spain is sure to alter your Spain bucket list once and for all:
1. La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
This Roman Catholic Church can compete for the most frequented site in the world! Millions of travel bugs tour their way through this Gaudi-built marvel, one that features scale and ambition so beautifully offset, using delicate features and soft muted lights. A testament to the vision and tenacity of Catalonia’s most famous son, the architecture of this spire is registered in the UNESCO list. Climb atop the fantastic Nativity and Passion Facades to get a bird’s eye view of the vicinity
2. The Mezquita, Cordoba
The Mosque, a whopping 23,400 m² of property can compete three soccer pitches with its magnanimity. Built back in 788 AD, the Mezquita has undergone a large number of modifications since. What fascinates the most about this place is that it is a mosque in a church monument! Its gigantic size, varying architectural styles and colliding cultures make it the perfect monument to capture in your shutterbugs. If you are lucky enough to visit in May, be a part of their Patio Festival!
3. Park Guell, Barcelona
Again, designed by Gaudi for the Catalan entrepreneur Eusebi Guell, this park was donated by Guell’s family to the govt. Located in a perfect setting on the outskirts of Barcelona, Park Guell has earned such recognition for offering excellent views of the city. Travelers keen on witnessing Guell’s offbeat exterior and interior architecture flock in millions every year. The wild combinations of Romanesque, Gothic and Moorish influences boast some really unique mosaic animals, curved paths, benches and bridges crossing over each other at different levels.
4. Royal Palace, Madrid
Palacio Real of Madrid is the official residence of King of Spain, and is primarily used for state ceremonies. Best known for its painted frescoes and artworks, history and art lovers will find the works of Goya, Rubens, Caravaggio, El Greco and Velazquez here. Then there are some really significant and gorgeously ornate private rooms of the then kings, besides the much applauded Royal Armory. The gardens circumscribing this Palace are beautifully landscaped, as are the overall interiors. The Chinese Room boasts lovely colors, showcasing the style and décor followed in those times.
5. The Alcazar, Segovia
As you go from Madrid to Bilbao, head down on the station of Segovia in between, and take a cab to reach the City Centre. Then walk to the Golden Wall streets to get to the awe-inspiring 11th century Alcazar, a residence to many Castile’s monarchs including Phillip II. Now a museum and a house of Military archives, it looks pretty much like a Disney castle, but only from the outside. The armory displays inside are a sight for historians, as is the 16th century Gothic Cathedral for kid. Visit the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia that is just around the corner from this place; it’s beyond spellbinding!
6. Burgos Cathedral, Burgos
A majestic, Gothic cathedral, the only one to have gotten itself listed in UNESCO list, Burgos Cathedral is a magical site for monument lovers. Boasting grand proportions and an impeccable collection of religious artworks, Burgos Cathedral dates back to 13th century AD. The paintings, reredos, choir stalls, stained glass windows and tombs exhibit stunning carvings, with craftsmanship so overwhelming! On either side are its 84 m towers, crowned by excellent 15th century stonework traceries. The most revered group of sculptures is on the Purta del Sarmental Façade, showcasing the image of Pantocrator surrounded by evangelists and apostles.
7. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
To the north of Spain is the modish, design driven city of Bilbao, with an industrial and seafaring past. Guggenheim Museum is actually an interpretation of the city by Frank Gehry, a titanium-clad art museum that has become a world famous reference point for urban regeneration as the Guggenheim Effect. An excellent building with walkways, sculptures. Cafes, playgrounds and parks make it the ideal picnic spot for local and tourist families. The Huge Puppy by Jeff Koons can be spotted in many selfies. Walk along the riverbank and capture the funky grass-lined tram tracks to Siete Calles in the Old Quarter.
The landscapes of this nation are as widely varied as the monuments. So make sure you have enough time in your hands as you traverse the gorgeous land of Espanol!