Spain. The kingdom of the sun

Spain is a kingdom under the Southern sun. Its history, sights

Spain is a kingdom located in the southeastern part of Europe and occupies most of the Iberian (Iberian) Peninsula. This kingdom of the southern sun and the traditional bullfighting, many museums and unique architectural structures, causing for many years the burning interest of tourists all over the world. The capital of the Kingdom – the city of Madrid. The country is located above sea level at 660 m and is washed by the Atlantic Ocean from the west, and the Mediterranean Sea from the south.

spain kingdom

History of the Iberian Peninsula

Spain is one of the oldest kingdoms in Europe, because the Iberian island began to be inhabited by Iberians (ancestors of the Basques) about 35,000 years ago. Later Celts, who were one step higher in the level of cultural development, came to this territory. In the 2nd millennium B.C. the Greeks and Phoenicians arrived and settled on the coast of the peninsula from the Mediterranean Sea, who gradually began to migrate to the East, where they actively mixed with the local population, introducing their cultural traditions.

In the 2nd-5th centuries A.D. the peninsula was occupied by the Romans, who brought Christianity here, then they were replaced by the Visigoths who ruled the Pyrenees until the 8th century. They were replaced by Arabs and Berberians from the coast of North Africa.

spain three kingdoms

Several states with Muslim traditions were founded on the peninsula. It was the Arab culture and agricultural techniques that gave a strong impetus to the development that led to the creation of the Kingdom of Spain: under their guidance, fields were irrigated, rice and dates were grown, wine-making and weaving were initiated, mining and the active working of metals began. During this period there was an active growth of the population of the cities of Valencia, Toledo, Seville and Cordoba.

Founding of the first state of Asturias

The next stage in the history of the Spanish state, called the Reconquista, was caused by the protracted military liberation actions of the Christians, who by the end of the 15th century had cleared the island of the Muslim conquerors. The whole indigenous population (craftsmen, merchants, knights and others) took part in the liberation of the Spanish State, leading to the establishment of the Spanish State of Asturias.

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The 15th century was the period when the kingdoms of Spain (1479) and Portugal (1492) were formed. Before the formation of a unified empire, the Spanish kings ruled several separate kingdoms: Aragon, Andalusia, Castile, Leon and Navarra. The year 1479, when Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Aragon, married Queen Isabella of Castile, is considered the year in which the United Kingdom of Spain was founded. Although the process of unification and centralization of power itself took several more years and ended in 1492 with the annexation of Granada.

Beginning in the 15th century. The Spanish state gradually became a powerful European power, taking an active part in the conquest of other territories (the discovery of North and South America by Columbus and the conquest of North Africa). The flowering of the Spanish Empire came in the 16th century after the conquest of colonial possessions in America and Africa, which ensured the promotion of the Catholic religion in the conquered lands of the New World.

UNITED KINGDOM OF SPAIN

However, as early as the 17th century, after the defeat in the war with England, the separation of Portugal and the Netherlands, and the active work of the Inquisition, Spain entered an era of decline. There was a sharp decline in handicrafts and agriculture, and the amount of gold imported from the American colonies declined.

The subsequent development of the Spanish state was marked by five revolutions (19th century), which took place in order to reduce the influence of the Catholic Church and feudal laws. But it was not until the accession to the throne of Queen Isabella the 2nd that a fundamental change occurred in the polity: Spain is now a kingdom with a constitutional monarchy.

The 20th century – the period of defeats and dictatorships

The next sad stage in history was the Spanish-American War, which ended with the fall of the Spanish Empire and the incorporation of its American colonies into the United States. In the next 20-30 years of the 20th century the Spanish state went through the years of dictatorship, then republic, civil war (1936-1939), and only after dictator Franco came to power the situation stabilized.

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Franco was in power until 1975, and during these 35 years, the state in a severe economic downturn was able to survive only because of the active tourist interest, which showed all those who wanted to know this interesting and original country. After the death of Franco, Spain began its revival, thanks to the democratic path chosen.

In 1977, after the first free elections of government, positive changes began to take place in the state. One year later the Constitution was adopted and 8 years later Spain joined the European Union.

21st century

Spain is a kingdom that today has a developed industry, agriculture (wheat, tobacco, olives, citrus fruits and grapes are grown) and the tourism business. Every year, it is visited by millions of tourists from all over the world.

The area of the state is more than 500 thousand square kilometers of the Iberian Peninsula, and it is the third largest in Europe. It also includes the Canary and Balearic Islands, some coastal areas in Africa. Its population is about 47 million people.

The modern King of Spain (22nd in number) Philip the 6th has ruled since 2014 (after the voluntary abdication of his father Juan Carlos the 1st from the Spanish throne in favor of his son) and is the youngest in Europe. On February 2, 2017, Philip the 6th turned 49 years old.

Kingdom of Spain: attractions

The tourist who is going to visit all the Spanish sights, expects a very difficult task. Because a huge number of them in different cities and autonomous regions of this state cannot be bypassed and bypassed even in a few months.

To facilitate the traveler with all the famous places of the country, tourist organizations have developed many routes to visit the largest cities and popular objects.

The most popular itinerary is “Three Kingdoms. Spain” is a tour that plans to visit three major cities, the capitals of the former kingdoms: Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.

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Madrid

The name, given by the Arabs, translates as “source of full waters. The capital of Spain is considered an open-air museum for the variety of architectural and artistic attractions. In the old part of the city is located the Golden Triangle of museums:

  • The Prado, which holds the greatest masterpieces of artists from Spain (Goya, Velázquez, El Greco), Holland (Rubens, Brueghel, etc.), Italy (Botticelli, Caravaggio, Veronese) and Germany (Dürer, Cranach, Green) in its collection.
  • Queen Sophia, presenting a collection of contemporary art (Picasso, Kandinsky, Dali and many other 20th century artists).
  • Thyssen Bournemis, including works by famous European artists (Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, etc.).

kingdom of spain sights

There are other interesting sights and museums in Madrid:

  • The Royal Palace with its arsenal of medieval weapons and knightly armor.
  • Plaza Mayor Square, where bullfights used to be held, with a statue of King Philip the 2nd.
  • Archeological Museum, presenting archeological finds from all over the Iberian Peninsula, tracing the entire history of the country.
  • Museum of the Americas, including exhibits of American culture during the conquest of the Americas by the Spanish conquistadors.

Catalonia

Barcelona is the capital of the former Kingdom, now an autonomous region of Castile. Located on the Mediterranean coast in north-east Spain, it has a population of over 1.6 million people. Barcelona is considered the famous cultural capital of Spain, where artists Picasso and Salvador Dali, the architect Antonio Gaudi lived and created beautiful masterpieces of art and architecture. Listed only some of the most popular attractions of the city:

  • Boulevard Rambla – a 1.2 km long pedestrian street beloved by tourists, leading from Plaza Catalunya to the seashore, right to the Columbus monument located there.
  • The Gothic Quarter – located on the left side of the Rambla, a quarter of narrow ancient streets with small churches and buildings.
  • This is the city where Gaudi lived and all the buildings Gaudi designed – the Sagrada Familia church, the Güell palace and park, the Casa Milà and the Casa Batlló – form the unmistakable face of Barcelona.
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when were the kingdoms of spain formed

  • The fortress, the National Palace and the singing Magic Fountain are located on the Montjuïc hill, where the Olympic sports facilities, built in 1992, are also concentrated.

kingdom of spain kingdom of the sun

Valencia

The tour program “Spain. Three Kingdoms” in one of the oldest cities in Spain, founded as far back as the 2nd century BC Valencia is home to many interesting sights of the Renaissance and the latest unique Oceanographic Center, which has become the largest museum in Europe, representing the various ecosystems with the animals there.

creation of the kingdom of spain

Also worth seeing:

  • The Cathedral, the main church of the city’s Christian community.
  • The Silk Exchange, a building where trade once took place.
  • The towers of Serranos and Micalet.
  • Museum of Ceramics and many other interesting places.

the three kingdoms of spain tour

For anyone who wants to get a bird’s-eye view of the country, Spanish filmmakers in 2015 made a documentary “Spain. Sunny Kingdom”, which tells about the friendly and sunny country.

Spain. The kingdom of the sun

Spanish color, the smell of citrus fruits and dancing – this country can attract from different sides. That is why tourists adore it and visit almost any time of the year. Spain is especially popular in summer, because the local beaches in the hot season and beckons.

In order not to spoil the rest in this wonderful country, the tourist must be aware of some of the nuances and what not to do.

Spain. Solar Kingdom - Photo 2

Spain. Sunny kingdom.

So, those who want to travel to Spain, you should take care of the following beforehand.

Tourists should necessarily have cash in different denominations, as in most places (in the transport or at the market) to pay by card simply can not work, but such a need may arise quite often.

Spain. Sunny Kingdom - Photo 3

Spain. The kingdom of the sun

Most tourists always carry all necessary documents, as they are in another country, but when visiting Spain it is recommended to leave the originals in a hotel or other safe place, and to move around the city with electronic copies (if necessary you can use paper ones).

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If a tourist, going for a walk, wants to visit some specific places, he should make a route beforehand, because otherwise he will not see even a small part of what he wants.

Spain. Sunny Kingdom.

Spain. Sunny kingdom.

The country has a fairly hot climate and therefore for the walks should be dressed lightly, but not very openly, as it is, firstly, indecent, and secondly, contributes to severe burning in the sun.

In the daytime, tourists are often caught during the siesta, which should be taken into account, deciding all the important issues in advance.

Spain. Sunny Kingdom.

Spain. The kingdom of the sun

When buying souvenirs it is impossible to do without bargaining, because the price for the goods, as a rule, is inflated several times.

Although the country adheres to the rules of the road, there are quite a lot of people who like to move very quickly and without observing the rules, so if you’re near the road or crossing it, the tourist should be careful.

Spain. Sunny Kingdom.

Spain. Sunny kingdom.

Some beaches and attractions are quite far from civilization, so you need to find out in advance if it is possible to have lunch nearby. If not, it’s worth taking water and food with you.

Spanish cuisine can be quite spicy (depending on the dish), so when trying something new, you need to do it carefully.

Spain. Sunny Kingdom.

Spain. The kingdom of the sun

In a restaurant, some items on the menu (bread, water, etc.) can be put on the table regardless of your wishes, but they will be included in the bill, so do not be surprised.

Prohibited activities and decisions may include the following.

In public places and social events it is necessary to dress accordingly.

Spain. Sunny Kingdom - Photo 8

Spain. Sunny kingdom.

You can not break even the smallest laws like smoking in the wrong place.

Do not litter on the beaches or otherwise damage them.

Otherwise, it is important to comply with generally accepted laws, as in any other country.

Also do not forget about pickpockets, which can be quite a lot in crowded places, so it is definitely undesirable to carry all means at once.

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