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Lost in the Arms of Ancient Cities

钟彤悦 Anna Zhong 2018-04-08 12:53

Spain is a vibrant, genteel country, simultaneously ancient and modern. Bull fighting, Flamenco, and guitar music are all the essence of the nation’s glorious art. Meanwhile, she also celebrates her history through the splendid palaces, solemn churches, and magnificent castles. 


Madrid 


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Madrid is the capital city of Spain. Here visitors are able to see the most genuine historical relics of the nation: Plaza de la Independencia, Puerta del Sol, and Plaza Mayor to name but a few. Madrid is a living museum where a tourist can visit the historical relics freely amid the streets and alleys. The architecture could be dated back to more than 400 years ago, and they are still standing firm, waiting for you to explore. 


If Madrid in the daytime is compared to an elegant lady, then in the night, she is a dancing queen. In weekend nights, karaoke, disco clubs, pubs, jazz bars, clubs of all sorts, music halls and ballrooms, are the paradise for party animals.



Toledo


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Then we come to the former capital city of the country – Toledo. This ancient city, with a history of more than two thousand years, still keeps its glory from the Middle Ages. It thrived under the rulings of Arab in the 8th century, when Arabians, Christians and Jews live in the city harmoniously and cultures of all origins gathered and communicated here. Toledo hence became the “city of three cultures”. The city itself is a piece of history, a legend, and a legacy.


Crossing the magnificent city gates and wandering in the archaic streets is like time travel. Looking ahead you will find the solemn castle standing on the hill, which witnessed the ups and downs of the whole metropolis. Grand churches located in different spots of the city present different architectural styles.


Apart from the magnificent buildings, the metal ornaments called “Damascene” will amaze you. The renowned metal craftsmanship inlays gold and silver lines onto jewellery and silver plates. In the craftsman's shop, you will be lucky enough to witness how the technique is celebrated through their wonderful hands. 



Cuenca


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Cuenca, in terms of historical relics and modern arts, or craftsmanship, is not inferior to any other cities in Spain. Rivers, with several bridges to offer access, enclose the “magical” city. The whole city is built upon slopes, which are the natural defensive devices. The architecture and the natural surroundings coexist harmoniously and eventually create a marvellous scenery. UNESCO named the slopes along with the well-kept medieval architecture as World Cultural Heritage sites.


You will marvel at the first Gothic cathedral in Spain and the prestigious “Hanging House”. The house seems to be hanging on the cliff. It overlooks the metropolis and attracts all the attention of the town.


Monuments and symbolic buildings are everywhere in the city. You can also choose to admire the art collections in the museum, to discover the past, present and future of the nation. The Museo de Arte Abstracto Español collects astonishing pieces of Spanish abstract art, while in the Provincial Museum you will find the archaeological discoveries in the prehistoric Cuenca. Lastly the Museum of Science of Castile-La Mancha is dedicated to present the development of the Earth and human beings.




Valencia


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Seaside Valencia is known as the pearl on the west coast of the Mediterranean. She is home to historical relics, beautiful beaches, abundant sunshine, and an array of festivals. The coastline here is generally straight and flat, while the north part is comparatively rocky. The beach is enriched with white sands, and thus known as “White Coast”. Some parts are now party destinations for the youth, some prides with glorious natural sceneries, and many others are known for recreational facilities.


The most famous destination on the coast is Benidorm. It used to be a tranquil fishing village but now, it’s a hotspot for summer travellers. The town is enclosed by mountains and hills. Classical and new style villas, resorts interlace in the palm forests. Yachts, one after another, cruise in the quiet Persian Gulf. Swimmers, in groups, jump and plunge into the blue ocean.



Barcelona


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Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, also the capital city of Catalonia. Browsing in the old town of Barcelona means a walk from Plaza Catalunya through the crowding La Rambla to the Plaza de Colon featured with the 50-metre-high obelisk. Besides, Montjuïc Hill is also a must-visit place of interest. Near the hill lie the Plaza de España, Palau Nacional and the 1992 Olympic arena. Moreover, here is also the home of the 1929 World Expo site and the marvellous Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, which is still unfinished after a century, as well as the Park Güell designed by the master architect Antoni Gaudí.


From west to east, this selected Spanish travel route takes you back to the past, present and also the future of the amazing country – Spain. 



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