After living in Spain for a little over a month now, I’ve been able to see multiple BEAUTIFUL locations within this amazing country. I’ve realized that the United States, unfortunately, doesn’t have nearly as much history as Europe. I feel as if the Spaniards have done as much as possible to keep the heritage and culture of their country alive for as long as possible. Yes, the United States has the Grand Canyon, the White House, and many wonderful museums…but they are a completely different type of beauty compared at all to the places, paintings, and views I’ve seen during my time in Spain. So for this specific post, I decided to share with you all the TOP 8 THINGS I’VE SEEN THUS FAR….I know I will see many other awesome things to add to this list before I leave to go back to the States, but up to this moment…these are my TOP 8:
*Yes, they are in order of preference!
#8. University of Salamanca Facade
Before arriving in Salamanca, I was told many times that I had to see the University of Salamanca Facade and to find the frog for good luck. I had NO idea what those people were talking about. But of course, upon my arrival in Salamanca I was introduced to this incredible structure. Simply put, it is a wall with very intricate detailed items, but it is so beautiful. Well, as previously mentioned, you are supposed to find the frog on this detailed wall to receive good luck. Needless to say, it is a very difficult task, but I have come back to report that YES….I did find the frog and I’m hoping for the good luck in this coming semester! It’s also pretty funny when you walk by and see crowds of people straining their necks looking up at the wall, trying to find the little frog.
#7. Pablo Picasso & Man Ray in the Reina Sofia – Madrid
During my time in Madrid, I was able to visit all of the art museums that the city has to offer. The Reina Sofia was by far my favorite. Unfortunately, I was only able to see the first two floors, but that was perfectly fine with me because I was able to see multiple works of art that I had previously studied. My two favorites were Guernica by Pablo Picasso and El Violín de Ingres by Man Ray. During high school I studied both of these works of art and it was UNREAL to be able to see them in person. Guernica is MASSIVE, which I wasn’t prepared for, and El Violín de Ingres was as beautiful as I had ever imagined it. The Reina Sofia included a lot of modern works, but also a collection of the classics, which is why I enjoyed wandering around there for several hours!
#6. The Plaza Mayor – Salamanca
The Plaza Mayor in Madrid is beautiful, but it doesn’t compare to the one is Salamanca. The golden coloring of the facade of the building accented by the black wrought iron balcony railings is perfect whether its during the day or lighted by night. The Plaza Mayor in Salamanca is also the “hot spot” or the place to be at night. Usually, if you’re meeting up with a group of people, everyone will agree on “debjo del reloj” (below the clock).
#5. View of Toledo
Also, as I previously mentioned in my last blog, Toledo is a sight to be seen. By taking the winding road up the hillside across from Toledo, you will be able to see almost the entire city of Toledo. Many artists have painted this landscape, but of course seeing it with your own eyes makes the experience even more worthwhile.
#4. Cathedrals in Salamanca
No, I am not being biased towards Salamanca….well maybe a little. The cathedrals in Salamanca are absolutely breathtaking. Each day I walk to school, I cannot help but take a long, hard look at the cathedrals on the skyline. Even from a distance they are so intricately detailed and magnificent.
#3. Palacio Real (Royal Palace) – Madrid
I mentioned in my previous post that I was able to see the Palacio Real twice. Each time visiting this building, I learned something new about the royal families that once lived there. The up-keep of the royal palace is to perfection. It looks like the next royal family could move back in tomorrow if they wanted to. I would have to say that my favorite room in the royal palace was the state dining room, which contained an extremely large dining table accompanied by over 100 chairs. I could only imagine throwing a party that big.
#2. Aqueduct – Segovia
I have seen the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia on multiple Spanish text book covers during my younger schooling. Once again….pictures don’t do this structure justice. It was pretty awesome to learn about the construction of the aqueduct in my Spanish Art History class I’m taking in Salamanca, and then to actually see the MASSIVE historical figure. The original purpose for the aqueduct being built was to transport clean, fresh water from the Guadarrama Mountain Range into the Roman city. The aqueduct runs for 9.3 miles before arriving into the city. While standing next to this structure, all I could think about is how long it must have taken the romans to build it and how difficult raising each of the individual stones must have been. Oh, and fun fact…the only thing keeping the aqueduct together…is perfect equilibrium. No concrete or cement present. Truly magnificent.
AND THE ONE YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR….MY FAVORITE SITE I’VE SEEN THUS FAR….DRUM ROLL PLEASE….
#1. Plaza de España – Seville
The pictures taken of the Plaza de España do not do this building or general area any justice…whatsoever. I can’t even describe the feeling that overcame me when I was finally able to see the whole area. The building is stunningly decorated and each province of Spain is represented by a tile alcove on the half-circle structure. The Plaza de España even has a small moat within its grounds where you can rent a row boat. This beautiful structure is tucked away in the Parque de María Luisa, but is by far my favorite site I’ve seen thus far in Spain. I will NEVER forget the Plaza de España in Seville.
When I started writing this post, I was planning on doing the TOP 10 things I had seen thus far, but when I got to the fourth page of typing, I decided it needed to be reduced! As you can see, I have truly fallen in love with almost every aspect of Spain in such a short amount of time. If I have found so many things thus far that I’ve enjoyed in only a month, I can only imagine what else is to come!