Spain´s World Heritage Sites: a look at some of the country´s most symbolic sites.
Thanks to its rich cultural and architectural diversity, Spain is home to many World Heritage sites split into various categories. However, some of them deserve special mention because of their international fame, historic importance and impressive appearances.
The Alhambra, located in Granada, is an imposing fort complex made up of palaces and gardens. In short, no other historic attraction in Spain can rival the architectural beauty of this cultural heritage site and as such it is regarded as one of the world´s most beautiful places.
The Alhambra is situated on a hilltop which means that it can be seen from everywhere in Granada. It is also visible both during the day and at night thanks to the recently installed floodlights. It is has become an urban icon which all tourists can´t help but admire.
The Caves of Altamira
The Caves of Altamira (Las Cuevas de Altamira) are located in the Santillana del Mar (Cantabria). They are prehistoric caves with rock art as much as 35,000 years old. This therefore makes the art one of the oldest graphical records of humankind.
Until very recently they were closed to the public because the constant stream of visitors were damaging the paintings. Following several restoration projects to make sure that the paintings would stand the test of time, the Altamira Caves were gradually reopened to select visitors in 2014. Members of the public could enter a draw to be among the privileged few to see the paintings of our ancestor’s with their own eyes. In March 2015 it was announced that this selection system would remain in force.
The historic city of Toledo
Toledo is possibly Spain’s most captivating city due to its global and historic importance. As visitors exploreToledo´s architecture including its winding and paved alleyways and streets they will be taken on a journey back to the Middle Ages.
Toledo´s authorities have put their heart and soul into preserving the city´s reminders of the Medieval period focusing not only on conserving the Gothic characteristics of the architecture but also on establishing tourist sites and businesses which transport visitors back in time. The architectural features of some hotels hark back to centuries gone by and authentic bazaars have sprung up selling swords, armor and shields. The town center seamlessly combines historical architecture with new shops and infrastructure which satisfy the modern needs of the flocks of visitors.
The Teide National Park
The Teide National Park (el ParqueNacional del Teide), a zone of historic, cultural and natural importance, is located in Tenerife. The importance of this park among the Spanish population was reflected in the fact that it was used as the image on the 1,000 peseta banknotes. However, even today, it is one of Spain´s most important destinations because it forms part of the country´s historical legacy.
The Teide National Park is the highest point on the island of Tenerife which gives it unrivalled views. It is also home to one of the world´s biggest volcanos and year in, year out it is recorded as the 9th most visited place in the world.