Wonderful Spain

Spain, a country in Europe and a member state of European Union, is located in south-western Europe. It is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the south and east, by France to the north and by Portugal and Atlantic Ocean to the northwest and west. The capital of Spain is the city of Madrid. The official language of Spain is Spanish with other recognized regional languages being Aranese, Basque, Catalan/Valencian and Galician. The peseta was the old currency in use in Spain. In 2002, it was replaced by the euro.

Spain

Spain by Jelle Oostrom

Spain is the world’s 51st-largest country, with an area of 504,782 square kilometers. The Teide is the highest peak in Spain and it is the third largest volcano in the world, as measured from its base. Tourism is one of Spain’s main national industries and a large source of stable employment and development. The climatic conditions of Spain, its historical and cultural monuments, and its geographic position, together with its top-notch facilities make Spain a wonderful tourist spot. Here are some of the wonderful places to visit in Spain.

Valencia Cathedral:

The Valencia Cathedral is located in Valencia and was built in the Gothic style. It is Valencia’s largest church, and its Miguelete Tower is one of the emblems of the city and also one of its best tourist attractions. Also pay a visit to the City of Arts and Sciences. This complex is situated on the old river bed of Turia. It contains five buildings, each devoted to a specific branch of the arts or a particular type of science.

Museums:

The Prado has the most detailed collection of Spanish art from the 11th-18th centuries. The collection of paintings in The Prado’s collection is renowned for its variety and quality. Thyssen-Bornemisza is one of the world’s finest museums. It is located in Madrid and is said to hold one of the best private collections of paintings in the world. For several generations the Thyssen-Bornemisza family gathered together this art collection which is today exhibited in this museum.

Madrid:

Madrid is a city known for its extensive musical culture. It has numerous bars, discos and cafes. Madrid is a shopper’s paradise. At Plaza Mayor Square you can get anything and everything that is available on earth.

Barcelona:

It is the capital of Catalonia. Barcelona is a place under the amazing influence of the Mediterranean climate. This city has everything to impress both nature lovers and art lovers.

Malaga:

It is a city known for its peaceful environment, a city with soothing hues, the houses and the bougainvillea bushes with their profusions of pink flowers located all through the city adds more beauty to the entire area.

Bilbao:

It is a city famous for the Guggenheim Museum which has a contemporary art collection dating back to the 20th century. The collection of paintings and sculptures exhibited here are of great cultural value.

There is literally so much to see in Spain! Where will you start?

Lots to Do in Lovely Loire

Loire valley is known as the Garden of France and the Cradle of French language. The Loire Valley is an enchanted land of vineyards, flowers and rolling green hills dotted with more than a thousand chateaux. It is perhaps the charm of its gentle pace of life that has, for centuries, made it a sought-after location for poets and writers. It is a step back through the history of some of France’s finest works of art.

Loire

Loire River by Benh LIEU SONG

FACTS OF LOIRE VALLEY:

The Loire River is France’s longest, at over 600 miles. The region commonly referred to as the Loire Valley comprises approximately 100 miles of the river’s most fertile land between Anger to the west and Orleans to the east. The river was historically a primary means of transportation, but today the sandy river is not maintained for motored boat navigation.

The Loire Valley was the site of major warfare between England and France during the middle Ages and the Hundred Years War (1337-1453). The Loire Valley’s golden age started under King Francois I in the 15th century. He hired Renaissance craftsmen from Italy, including Leonardo da Vinci, to aid inconstructing and furnishing grand castles. France’s power base resided here until around 1600.

When the aristocracy moved to the Paris region, many aristocrats continued to build chateaus along the Loire until the French Revolution. Today’s Loire Valley still has hundreds of restored and maintained chateaus from its historical past. It is also known as the “Garden of France,” with renowned wines, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and cuisine.

The entire Loire Valley region is filled with a large number of vineyards, ancient cities, cultural monuments and picturesque landscapes, which are worth visiting when on a holiday to France. The main towns, which are covered by this lush green region of the country, include Amboise, Blois, Chinon, Orleans, Saumur and Tours. One can travel to these historical towns and pay a visit to the numerous architectural monuments and buildings, which consists of castles, chateaus, cathedrals, museum, abbeys and ancient medieval houses.

One can say that the Loire valley is a cultural landscape, as one can find glaring examples of French culture and heritage over here. The biggest attractions of this region are the chateaus. These chateaus are examples of architecture dating back to the renaissance period. Some of the chateaus worth visiting include Chateau de Chambord, Chateau de Saumur, and others.

The Loire Valley provides its visitors with so many diverse attractions and activities that one trip is never going to be enough to sample its delights. The list of things to do covers everything from canoeing down the Loire river and its tributaries, to seeing the Loire chateaux from lofty heights via balloon travel or gently cycling the roads and tracks of this beautiful part of France.