What Spain is Famous for..
Spain is home to a world of culture. Spain has a rich past where each region was in right their own country. Each region, period in time and religion has bought culture spacing this nation.
I am sure I have just scratched the surface of the Spanish Culture, but this list is what inspired me the most in my travels and what I believe to be the core of their Rich History in Spain.
Modernism in Barcelona
Antoni Gaudi is the father of the Modernism movement in Barcelona. His iconic works include Park Güell, Casa Batllo, Casa Vicens, La Pedrera, Palau Güell and La Sagrada Familia. Seven of his works have now become listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Gaudi took his inspiration from Nature, using the structure of Flora and inspiration of Animals from the skeleton of a snake or the Bees beehive. He used curved lines, asymmetry, energetic forms and plant motifs to create his style. This created a unique style of modernism and art nouveau. Barcelona has become a iconic and unique city due to the vibrant passion of Gaudi's Work.
“Nothing is art if it does not come from nature…”
The Moors, came into Spain in 711AD from Morocco. They ruled for 800 years in Southern Spain bringing new techniques to Europe like Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics and Geography to name a few. They also bought new crops such as Oranges, Lemons, Pomegranate and Saffron which influenced much of the Moorish Life.
Moorish Architecture is known for its decorative Arches, Starry Sky Ceilings, Courtyards filled with Oranges and decorative tiles. It is an intoxicating feast for the eyes.
The Greatest Moorish palace is 'Alhambra' in Granada. Set up ontop of a hill over-looking all of Granada it is the Red Crown Jewel for the Moorish Kings. It is a perfect monument to Moorish life, when you will get lost in this world for hours.
Other Moorish Architecture can be found at La Giralda and The Alcazar in Seville, La Mezquita in Córdoba and The Alcazaba, Málaga in Southern Spain. This mixture of Culture makes Southern Spain one of the most breathtaking places to visit.
Bullfighting known as Corrida de Toros dates back to 711 AD, in honour of the King. It is Spain's Gladiator game when the Aristocracy would fight on Horseback, then the Common folk took to establishing the Sport on Foot. The fight now consist of a Matador and a bull. The Matador wears a vibrant decorative three piece suit topped with a cape with the lining in red to tease the Bull. As a costumier I look into this world as the stage is made with Bright vibrant colours, the venue is a great architectural Amphitheatre to compare with the Romans and the Matador's Costume being an extremely detailed piece of history.
Bullfighting now divides the Nation, the argument against Culture and History versus Animal Cruelty.
**(I have chosen not to go into detail about the sport as it can be an upsetting history for the reader. If you wish to learn more please refer to this site for the detailed history of the sport)**
Andalusia is home to Flamenco. Full of passion, colour, singing, hand-clapping and dancing. The best Flamenco in the world is in Seville, where Carmen made her mark on the world.
Flamenco consists of Cante (song), Baile (dance) and Toque (guitar). It is a wonderful experience to watch, the passion of each performer expressing themselves in each moment they are on stage. The art of Flamenco became an UNESCO’s Representative List of intangible cultural heritage items in 2010.
Flamenco Dancers wear a beautiful Dress full of colour and passion. The dress shows off the curves of a woman. Originally thought to follow the shape of a guitar with a low neck. There are two dresses in main use for dancing, one follows the curves to the ankles, covered in ruffles. The second dress much the same but with a long train layered in ruffles which allows the dancer to express her passion with the flick of a heel. All Costumes are completed with a embroidered shawl and a decorative hair comb. The costumes are made with rich bright colours, along with the famous look of a polka dot dress.
My first memory of a Spanish Woman using a fan was when I was 8 years old. She seemed like a strong woman, leaning out her house window and flourishing to a pattern. It is something I will never forget and still this day still replica. Spanish fans have been used by all Woman, from cooling down in the Summers to Flamenco Dancers in their performance and even more to trying a secret language between each other.
The Origins of Paella come from Valenica. With Valencia being a large Port on the Mediterranean, the Moors were able to ship Saffron and Rice into Spain. Paella started off being made by local farmers until the dish became desired by more and more, making it great to share.
This popular dish is a rice dish made with Vegetables, Meat and Seafood depending on your desire. Each city in Spain offers a variety of Paella depending on the local produce making this Spain's National Dish where ever you go.
Tapas are a range of small dishes of all the best food Spain has to offer. In Spain tapas is known as a bar snack, for every drink you get you get a dish of tapas. Tapas are used to keep you going from siesta to your late night dinner. Tapas change between cities from local dishes to a full meal of just lots of little nibbles. You are unlikely to ever go wrong with your choice, as it is something for every one.
Sangria is the perfect mixture of Wine and a cool delicious drink for those summer nights. Sangria's punch recipe includes Red Wine, Fruit Juice, Soda Water and Fruit Pieces.
Being on the Mediterranean Sea, days become extremely hot. After a big lunch and to avoid working in the hot sun, it is best to have a nap in the afternoon. It is a traditional I personally love and often have Siestas in the afternoon.