The Good Friday procession of the miraculous "Cristo de los Gitanos", in Granada, Spain, is one of the most beautiful and intense manifestations of religious pageantry, blending traditional elements of the Catholic faith and the Gypsy culture such as dancing, singing, and bonfires.
History tells that the name of el "Campo del Príncipe" in Granada derives from the fact that a Christian prince fell off his horse and died here. Today, evenings and nights are full of life and activity thanks to the bars and pubs located around the main square.
Cordoba's mosque-cathedral was the first monument built in Western Islam, and is one of the most beautiful in the world. Its archaeological history encompasses the complete evolution of the Omeya architectural style in Spain.
During "Las Fallas", festivities related to Saint Joseph's day in Valencia, women from all ages dress up as "falleras". Quite a bit of effort, time, and money go into these outfits, as being a "fallera" is considered a symbol of social status and pride.
The best way to get to know Spain is to walk through its markets, observe what's being sold and what's not, and taste samples of the freshest products. Ask for cooking tips and recipes and the butchers, vendors, and local farmers will gladly give you their advice.
The Alhambra, which means "the red one", overlooks the city of Granada and stands out as the most famous example of Moorish architecture. It is perhaps the most well-known Muslim construction in the World.
The 20 hectares of the Madrid Zoo are divided into areas for each continent, and also have special areas for sealife and aviaries. It is home to animals as diverse as dolphins, koalas, and rhinoceros. The Zoo takes part in many international breeding programs and is considered to be one of the world's leaders for certain species.
Is not easy to define what constitutes Ibizan architecture, but undoubtedly terms such as "simple" and "clean" could describe the impossible white of the Ibiza buildings, the reason for which Ibiza is called the " white island." The whitewash technique is always used in the walls of houses and churches, though in occasions it is applied directly in the stone.
Easter is observed as a religious occasion by the people of Spain, who commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ with fanfare, devotion, and pageantry. Parades are organized throughout the country, and people dressed as members of ancient brotherhoods are out on the streets carrying heavy floats with religious images, fresh flowers, and candles.
Carrer Montcada in old Barcelona is lined up with medieval mansions with small courtyards that open up to airy sunlit staircases. Most of these mansions have been taken up by small bistros, museums, or art galleries that are some of the best places to lose yourself in a glass of wine or in local works of art.
When the Moors were driven out of Spain by Christian rulers in the fifteenth century, they fled to the mountains and took to living in the caves thus starting the cave culture. In the town of Guadix, in Southern Spain, there is an area known as La Barriada de las Cuevas, where every hill has a cave with a painted white façade and a front door occupied by many local families.
Barcelona's Gothic works are naturally concentrated in the Ciutat Vella, the medieval old part of the city that prospered among vestiges of Roman temples and walls. This marble-carved mailbox with the Catalan Empire Coat of Arms can be seen at the Arch-Deacon's mansion near the Cathedral.
The Madrid Zoo is surrounded by a forest of tall alcornoques [Al`cor·no'ques], Quercus ilex or cork trees, which provide a pleasant environment to relax and enjoy the wonderful views of the city and across the valley.
"Las Fallas" are celebrations that take place during March 15 through 29 in Valencia, Spain, in honor of Saint Joseph, patron saint of the carpenters. The "fallas" actually refer to the artistic constructions such as the one in the image, made out of flammable materials so they can be easily burned at the end of the festivities.
The monumental architecture of "Plaza de España" in Seville is so grand that it was used as the set for the Royal Palace of Nabo, in George Lucas' Start Wars: Episode II. One can easily spend at least an hour just walking around the plaza's half circle with its fifty eight benches decorated with tiles, depicting historic episodes for each province of Spain.
Finding a parking space in the historic center of Spanish cities is almost impossible. Walking is of course easier, but under the severe heat it is also very uncomfortable and even dangerous. As a result, the popular horse-drawn carriages have become one of the most widely used modes of transportation.
It is tradition that in the morning of the Patron Saint's day in Cala San Vicente, Ibiza, there are typical folkloric dances or "Ball Pages" on the main church square of the village. During these traditional dances one can observe how the performers are dressed up in the typical Ibizencan clothing.
Old architecture detail of a window in the Barrio de Lavapiés, in Madrid. Lavapiés was the Jewish quarter of the city until the expulsion of the Jews in1492. The name literally means "wash feet", and some say it refers to the ritual washing of one's feet before entering the temple.
Every June, the Corpus Christi festival takes place in all of Spain but it is most famous in Granada. The city was the last Spanish town to be reconquered by the Christians and the Muslim religion was most rooted here, so Corpus Christi was taken very seriously by the Catholic kings. Although the history of Corpus Christi is religious, today the festival is celebrated in carnival style, with plenty of feasting and dancing, parades, and the annual Feria.
The streets of Spanish smaller towns are empty and silent during siesta time, a short nap taken in the afternoon often after the midday meal when shops and businesses may be closed for a good part of the afternoon. But at least in Spain's major cities, the siesta is gradually disappearing, giving way to the influences of globalization and economic pressures.
There is nothing more Spanish than jamón serrano - literally, "ham from the mountains". Cured for at least a year in salt and under special conditions of humidity and temperature, it has a a deep flavor and a firm texture and it is served sliced a 'tapa' with cheese and olives, or in your favorite Spanish recipe.
A visit to Palacio de Carlos V is a must for visitors to the city of Granada. This palace was started in 1526, but was never actually finished. The Renaissance design is a treat for tourists, especially because it is located at the entrance to the Muslim palace of La Alhambra.
The Alpujarras, small villages nested in Granada's surrounding mountains, have kept their traditional spirit and the quiet, slow-paced life still survives. One can stroll around the quiet backstreets full of whitewashed houses and see the older generations sitting outside their houses sewing, chatting, and watching the time pass by.
The "boina" is a soft round hat with a flat, soft crown, generally made out of felt or wool, and worn around the head slightly tilted to a side. It is generally associated with peasants of Spain's northern regions.
The "Plato Alpujarreño" is a dish typical of the Alpujarras, the hills that surround the city of Granada. The ingredients of this dish are fried breadcrumbs, chorizo, blood sausage, green peppers, eggs, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil.