Amazing UNESCO World Heritage: Spain
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (or simply UNESCO) manages the World Heritage List, which contains 911 properties with outstanding universal value. As you’ll probably have never heard of most of these World Heritage Listings, Europeish highlights ten amazing properties from a different country every month. This month: Spanish World Heritage.
1. Alhambra (Grenada)
The Alhambra in Granada, in the south of Spain near the Sierra Nevada, is a large medieval palace, built by the former Moorish rulers of the region. This amazing site (it is one of the 7 European Wonders of the World) is home to a lot of Islamic art and architectural beauties. UNESCO has limited the amount of people that can visit the Alhambra every day, so booking your visit in advance is recommended.
Image via Rodante
2. Antoni Gaudí (Barcelona)
Antoni Gaudí, born in 1852 is one of Europe’s most famous architects. His creations have had an enormous impact on the Catalonian region, that UNESCO decided to protect all of his work via the World Heritage Program. Although Gaudí died in 1926, his last (and most famous) work is still under construction: Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Image via Souvik Prometure
3. Vizcaya bridge (Portugalete)
The Puente de Vizcaya (or Vizcaya bridge) is the oldest gondola bridge in the world, and was designed by one of Gustave Eiffel’s students. The bridge is still active, and transports up to six cars and its passengers across the Nervión river, from Portugalete to Las Arenas, every eight minutes.
Image via mundochurrillo
4. The old center of Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the Galicia region in the northwest of Spain, and a true city of students, as about a third of the inhabitants is still studying. You can visit a cathedral, a palace, a monastery and several beautiful squares in the old center of the city.
Image via santcer
5. Archaeological findings of Mérida
The Romans founded the city of Mérida in 25 BC, at around 40 miles of what now is the border with Portugal. The old Roman bridge and the large amphitheater are the most important remains of the former Roman rulers, but a theater, an aqueduct and a fortress are equally interesting. You can learn even more about the history of Mérida and the surrounding region in the local Historical Museum.
Image via Colours of Spain
6. Cathedral and Palace Sevilla
The Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede is not only one of the most beautiful, but also one of the tallest cathedrals in the world, measuring 416 foot (127 meters). UNESCO protects this cathedral, together with the Alcázar (Royal Palace) and the Archivo de Indias (the Spanish Archive) on their World Heritage list.
Image via ShutterbugSean
7. Center and Aquaduct of Segovia
Segovia is a relatively small city in the middle of the country, but the old Romans managed to find their way to this town as well. What they left behind was a half a mile long and 92 ft high aqueduct, and a city wall. Several churches, a cathedral and an Alcázar from following centuries make the center of Segovia an absolute must to visit, when you’re in this region.
Image via Castillerozaldivar
8. Santa María de Guadalupe
The Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe was the most important monastery in the country for over four centuries. The Spaniard built this monastery in the 13th century on the same spot that used to be an important Moorish religious place. Nowadays, the building, that was designed in several different architecture styles, hosts a collection of catholic art.
Image via Wikipedia
9. La Lonja de la Seda (Valencia)
Several centuries ago, the port of Valencia was one of the most important cities in Spain. You can still see this by visiting La Lonja de la Seda, which was the largest Mediterranean silk exchange. Impressive arches, detailed decorations and the use of expensive and luxurious materials still remind you of Valencia’s wealth during the 15th century.
Image via Mariano Marin Atienza
10. Roman walls of Lugo
The western border of the ancient Roman Empire used to be in the northwest of Spain, near the city of Lugo. This small town is unique for it’s perfectly conserved, 50 ft high, city wall, that still surrounds the center of Lugo. Within these walls, you can also find a cathedral, a baroque town hall and a large art museum, making Lugo a must-visit for art lovers and culture fanatics.
Image via Josecadaveira
Europeish will highlight ten new World Heritage Sites in a different European country next month!