Official language: Spanish
Coofficial languages: Galician, Basque, Catalan, Aragonese
Government: Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: Felipe VI
Head of Government: Mariano Rajoy
Surface: 504.750 km2
Population: 46.439.864 (July 2015 - INE)
Tourism: 65 Million of tourists in the year 2014
Religion: mainly Catholics
National Celebration: the 12th of October - El día de la Hispanidad
There are 17 Autonomous Communities "Comunidades Autónomas":
Spaniards are commonly known for their strong character and their pride, and I dare to claim that this statement is not for nothing. In general terms speaking, Spanish people love their country, their culture and everything related to their way of living. And they have many reasons to be proud of their country and themselves.
The main focus of the daily life of a Spaniard is the family "LA FAMILIA", which is usually quite big in number. They spend lots of time in the bosom of the related and have strong bounds to each member. Connections and relationships are hereabouts also highly influenced by this criteria.
Generally Spanish people use to function as gregarious animals, and wherever there is one Spaniard you there are several of them! The location doesn't matter. You will always find them in groups of two or more: in the Tapasbar, in the restaurant, on the street or any other public place. People here are very outgoing and even after a long work day, you can see them strolling through the streets, looking for the next bar to socialize. Spaniards have some intrinsic need and desire to share live, crowded open places and bars. There can evidence usually lot of racket, because Spanish people are commmonly noisy and temperamental and they love to feel the atmosphere, el ambiente, of their Tapasbars.
The amazing repertory of swear words, los tacos, which many of them masterly mingle with their daily conversations are employed with an extraordinary skill, stunning naturalness and a particular charm. Foreigners often feel tempted to imitate this, but usually with less accuracy and success. You need to have a good command of the Spanish language to be able to follow colloquial conversations, which are full of sayings, proverbs and many times their way of speaking is very metaphorical. People here are passionate when communicating and they use to speak and gesticulate eagerly, what they call "having character!" It is indeed not always easy to follow their conversations, at least not in the beginning, but this is only a question of time until you get the hang of it.
Spain has its own way of ticking, it is a beautiful country with and with an incredible and particular culture. That's why Spaniards love to say "Spain is different".
Der North of Spain in notes: Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, The Basque Country
Here stands Chathedral of Santiago de Compostela, being the final destination of the pilgrims of the Way of St James, the roman walls of Lugo, La Muralla de Lugo, the Tower of Herkules in A Coruña and the central place La Plaza de María Pita, etc., furthermore you can see all over the region the beautiful Galician granaries, called orrios gallegos, listen to celtic music (like Irish Folk) and observe the typical glas facades of the housings, the galerias de cristal
Interesting cities are Gijón and Avilés, famous is the roman bridge in Canga de Onis, the lakes of Covadonga, here are idyllic villages of fishermen, the national parque Los Picos de Europa. They have Asturian granaries, called horreos asturianos, Sidra-wine, a white bean stew, the Fabada, edible see-urchin, the herizo del mar, and the famous anchoas of Santoña
The prehistorical Altamira-Caves, Las Cuevas de Altamira, declared UNESCO World Heritage due to the cave paintings of the stone-age close to Santillana del Mar, pintoreque villages of fishermen such as Comillas, where you can find the Villa Quijana or El Capricho, a summer house of Antonio Gaudí, der Palast Sobrellano, beautiful coastal villages such as Laredo, San Vicente de la Barquera among others; the heavy dish Cocido Montañes, a stew with chickpeas, Quesada (sweet dessert made of cheese and milk)
the famous Guggenheim-Museum in Bilbao, the bay of San Sebastian, La Playa de la Concha, paleolithic cave paintings of Altxerri, Santamamiñe and Ekain, fisherman villages such as Hondarribia and Mundaka, basuqe Pintxos, Stockfish, der bacalao al pilpil, a tuna fish stew, called marmitako
What is worth visiting in Extremadura
Extremadura: Die Provinzen sind Cáceres & Badajoz, the capital is Cáceres
Castile and León in a few words: They have more than 500 castles in this region of Spain
Provinzen Salamanca, Ávila, Burgos, León, Zamora, Valladolid, Segovia, Palencia, Soria, the capital is Valladolid
The Northeast: Navarra, La Rioja, Aragón
Zaragoza: here stands a beautiful palace, el Palacio Aljafería, the cathedral La Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar, a natural parque El Monasterio de Piedra, with stunning lakes, grots and cascades
Spains Capital Madrid: "De Madrid al Cielo"
The royal palace, El Palacio Real, the royal theater, El Teatro Real, La Puerta de Alcalá, the City Hall of Madrid, El Palacio de Comunicaciones, in front of the La Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid's La Puerta del Sol, the central place, La Plaza Mayor, the Templ of Debod, a real Egyptian temple aging more than 2000 years, the fashionable and popular districts Chueca, La Latina and Lavapies, Madrid's biggest flee market El Rastro (open every Sunday), the Santiago de Bernabeu football stadion. Madrid's main streets: El Paseo de La Castellana, El Paseo de Recoletos, La Calle Serrano, die Gran Vía,
the Retiro-park, El Parque del Buen Retiro, ein riesiger Park im Zentrum Madrid's the glas palace, El Palacio de Cristal, a rose garden, artificial ponds and a lake with boat hire, the recreation parque La Casa del Campo with a lake with coffee bars, a zoo, an amusement parque, a cable railway, el Teleférico, and wide green surfaces. Madrid Río: a modern instalation in the centre of Madrid, dedicated to spare-time and cultural events
Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, el Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, u.a.
San Lorenzo El Escorial, Chinchón, Patónes de Arriba, Manzanares El Real, Lozoya de Buitrago, Alcalá de Henares, Aranjuez, etc.
The provinces of Castile-La Mancha are: Toledo, Cuenca, Ciudad Real, Albacete, Guadalajara, the capital is Toledo
Special routes: the route of the Don Quixote (La Mancha and its white wind mills), the route of the saffron fields (Spains "soft gold"), the route of the castle of La Mancha
Catalonia in a few words:
The provinces are Barcelona, Taragona, Lerida and Girona, the capital is Barcelona
Monuments and important streets: Gaudí's Sagrada Familia, the street La Rambla, it is Barcelona's most famous street in the centre of the city, the market hall, El Mercado de la Boquería. The gothic quater, el Barrio Gótico, the cathedral Santa Maria del Mar and the more than 700 years old real monastery, El Monasterio de Pedralbes, declared historical and artistic monument. In the avenue María Cristina lies the royale palace, El Palacio Montjuic with its unique musical fountain, la fuente de Montjuic. Gastronomically the people of Catalonia consume cooked snails, los caracoles, the sausage speciality la botifarra and in the winter time los Calçots, a bulbous plant.
Antonio Gaudí's urban parque El Parque Güell, reflecting Gaudí's dream of urban arquitecture as well as the buildings La Casa Milá and La Casa Batlló, the palace El Palacio Güell, the tower La Torre Bellesguard.
Valencia: Valencia, Castellón, Alicante
Murcia: spring festival El Bando de la Huerta in Murcia (tipical food el paparajote)
The provinces of Andalusia are Seville, Granada, Córdoba, Málaga, Cádiz, Jaen, Huelva, Almería, the capital is Seville