Spain has a rich and diverse culture. Home to some of the world’s most impressive buildings and a long history, Spain is the home of many great places to visit. The following list will highlight just a few of the best and most famous locales.
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
One of the most famous sites in Spain and perhaps the world, this iconic structure is certainly a sight to behold. Its incredible gothic architecture gives the Cathedral an unforgettable appearance, making it stand out and dominate that part of Barcelona’s skyline. The cathedral itself is still under construction despite construction having begun in 1882. The famous architect Antoni Gaudi began work on the building a year later in 1883. He worked on the cathedral for the rest of his life, and redesigned the initial structure into the radical design that is seen today. Gaudi worked on the project until his death in 1926 putting the cathedrals construction on hold for many years. Work resumed in the late 1940s and is not expected to be finished until 2026.
The cathedral makes a spectacular sight all year round.
As one of the world’s most important sites for culture, architecture and art, the Alhambra is one of the most impressive historical buildings in the whole of Spain. The Alhambra is a late medieval fortress situated in the South of Spain in Granada. Its name translates as the ‘Red Palace’ which is apt due to the colours of the walls. The palace was constructed by the regions Muslim rulers the Berbers in the mid fourteenth century. Alhambra fell to the Christian forces of the Reconquista in the 1400s. The palace is home to amazing artworks and architecture which brings any visitor back in time to the late medieval age making the Alhambra a must to see.
The Guggenheim Museum
Regarded as on e of the most important architectural structures in Spain the Guggenheim museum is an amazing site to see before you even step through its doors. It stands on the banks of the Nervion River that runs through the city of Bilbao which is located in the North East of the country. The museum is made up of eleven thousand square meters of exhibition space and spread over nineteen galleries. The museum plays host to a range of Spanish artists but instead of hosting more traditional art it houses installations and more abstract art. For a strong dose of culture the Guggenheim museum is a must visit.
The Running of the Bulls, Pamplona
The world famous seven day long festival of Sanfermines takes places every year in the North Eastern city of Pamplona. The running of the bulls sees a small group of Bulls released through a closed section of the towns streets. Initially the festival was a chance for young men to show off their bravery.
The participants have to run in the same direction as the Bulls, and do their best to not get trampled. Anyone over the age of 18 is allowed to take part but they must not be under the influence of alcohol. In Pamplona a bull run takes place every morning of the festival. It’s recommended that as a visitor you watch rather than participate, but if you have the courage why not enter and prepare for the thrill of your life.
The festival takes place every year from the 6th to the 14th of July.
The Great Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba
Photo by Mihael Grmek.
This magnificent building was constructed by the regions Muslim rulers in the year 987. In previous centuries the building had been a church built by the Visigoths. In 1236 the city of Cordoba was captured by the Catholic Kings of the Reconquista who then restored the building to the Catholic Church, converting it from a Mosque into a Cathedral. The buildings most striking feature is the hypostyle hall which has 856 columns made of jasper, marble, granite and onyx. The structure is a must see for fans of history and culture.
The ancient city of Toledo is one of the most important cultural sites in Spain. UNESCO named the city a world heritage site in 1986 for its cultural and heritage. The city is full of medieval and roman structures that are sure to please any sightseer. Like many of the towns and cities in the South of the country Toledo was once a Muslim controlled area and combines both aspects of Christian and Muslim influences.
Nou Camp Stadium, Barcelona
If you’re a fan of football then a visit to Barcelona’s Nou camp stadium is a must. The impressive stadium is the fifth largest football stadium in the world with a capacity of 99,000 supporters. Visiting the ground when a match is on is highly recommended as the atmosphere is incredible.