SPAINLAND AND LANDSCAPEThis part of our project is a collection of places – landscapes: beauty and history!Europe provides the planet’s majority of interesting historical past as well as gorgeouslandscapes and beautiful artwork selections, cultural values and archeological beauty.This part of the world is exquisite which is beyond a match.Our Turkish partners emphasized that Turkey is a unique country because of itsgeographical location. Turkey is situated at the corner of Europe. The country straddlesthe straits that divide Europe and Asia - the Dardanelles and the Bosporus - as well as theSea of Marmara. The enormous Asian part, known as Anatolian, shares borders on theeast and south with Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. As a result, tracesof centuries of history remain to be found. The region has been under the control ofmany, including Mongols, Romans, Iranians, Arabs, Byzantines, Ottoman Turks,Russians and Turks. The country is built on old and rich history, at the same time is amember of modern world. Turkey represents a cultural mixture, a synthesis of east andwest, while it geographically bridges Europe and Asia. It combines natural beauties withits 10,000 year-old heritage. We found out that Cappadocia is a picture drawn on the earth by nature, it is a poem. It is situated in a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage. Cappadocia contains several underground cities largely used by early Christians as hiding places before Christianity became an accepted religion. We were fascinated by Pergamon that was an ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey. The Theater of Pergamon, one of the steepest theaters in the world, has the capacity to include 10,000 people and had been constructed in the 3rd century B.C. Mardin, one of the oldest settled areas in upper Mesopotamia, captured our attention as it looks as an open air museum due to its historical architecture, most
of which uses the beige colored limestone rock which has been mined for centuries in quarries around the area. The Roman ruins in Ephesus, in fact the largest collection in the eastern Mediterranean, gave us some idea of the city’s original splendor. Ephesus is believed to be the city of the Seven Sleepers. The story of the Seven Sleepers, who are considered saints by Catholics and Orthodox Christians and whose story is also mentioned in the Qur’an, tells that they were persecuted because of their belief in God and that they slept in a cave near Ephesus for centuries. Kekova, a small uninhabited Turkish island of only 4.5 km² displays the sunken ruins of Dolchiste/Dolikisthe, an ancient town which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century. The Kekova region was declared a specially protected area by Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forest in 1990 All kinds of diving and swimming were prohibited and subject to special permits from governmental offices. Side, constructed on a peninsula, a Hellenistic and Roman town contains an important buildings – a 15,000 spectator theater. The difference between this Roman theater and other antique theaters in the region is that it is not built against a hillside. The 2 storey theater, built on a series of arches, is 20 m. high. Side has colonnaded streets, a triumphal arch, a harbor, baths, fountains, cisterns, aquaducts, temples and an agora.From the Spanish presentation we learnt that Spanish territory also includes the BalearicIslands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the Africancoast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that borderMorocco plus Alborán Island, the Chafarinas Islands, Alhucemas Island and Perejil. Aglobal empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe and theleading world power for a century and a half and the largest overseas empire for threecenturies. It took the Romans nearly two centuries to complete the conquest of the Iberianpeninsula, though they had control of it for over six centuries. Roman rule was boundtogether by law, language, and the Roman road. In the 8th century, nearly all of the
Iberian Peninsula was conquered by largely Moorish Muslim armies from North Africa.Spain is full of charm and history. Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide) is a national park located in Tenerife (Canary Islands). It is centered around 3,718m Mount Teide, the highest mountain of Spain and the islands of the Atlantic (it is the third largest volcano in the world from its base). It was declared a National Park on 22 January 1954. The park has an area of 18,990 hectares and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on June 29, 2007. The similarity between environmental conditions and geological Teide National Park and the planet Mars have turned this spot volcanic reference point for studies related to the red planet. La Ciudad Encantada The Ciudad Encantada (Enchanted City) is a geological site near the city of Cuenca, in Castile La Mancha, Spain in which the erosive forces of weather and the waters of the nearby Júcar River have formed rocks into distinctive and memorable shapes. On almost 200 hectares, the erosion gave free rein to all its extravagance, with a strange result – a forest of rocks with fantastic forms: monsters, animals, giants. Altamira cave is famous for its Upper Paleolithic cave paintings featuring drawings and polychrome rock paintings of wild mammals and human hands. Its special relevance comes from the fact that it was the first cave in which prehistoric cave paintings were discovered. When the discovery was first made public in 1880. The cave with its paintings has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Several painters were influenced by the Altamira cave paintings. Picasso is often quoted as having declared "after Altamira, all is decadence". St. James way is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried. Legend holds that St. Jamess remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. The Way of St. James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem. The route
was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in October 1987; it was also named one of UNESCOs World Heritage Sites. The compostela is a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims on completing the Way. To earn the compostela one needs to walk a minimum of 100 km or cycle at least 200 km. The Segovia Cathedral is in late Gothic style and it was built between 1525 and 1577. Gothic vaults rise to 33 meters high and measures 50 meters wide and 105 long. The bell tower reaches almost 90 meters.The Italian team marveled us with their presentation, too. The name Italia originallyapplied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy. The Greeks gradually came to applythe name ‘Italia’ to a larger region, but it was during the reign of Emperor Augustus (endof the first century BC) that the term was expanded to cover the entire peninsula until theAlps. Ancient Rome was at first a small agricultural community founded in the 8thcentury BC, that grew over the course of the centuries into a colossal empireencompassing the whole Mediterranean Sea, in which Ancient Greek and Roman culturesmerged into one civilization. National parks cover about five percent of the country. Italy,as a country, seems to us a real museum. Alberobello is known as the Capital of the Trulli. The trullo is a fascinating architectural feature of this area of Puglia, a building with conical roof made without mortar. Alberobello has special status internationally - designated a UNESCO world heritage site - because its collection of some 1,500 trulli in an urban environment is unique. Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city near Naples. Pompeii was partially destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Pompeii was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy.
Venice is one of the most interesting and lovely places in the world. This sanctuary on a lagoon is virtually the same as it was six hundred years ago, which adds to the fascinating character. It is an engineering marvel, with marble churches built atop ancient posts driven deep into the barene (mud banks) Acqua alta (high water) has become a fact of life in Venice. The lagoon water level occasionally rises above the level of the squares and streets, flooding them. Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It was considered a divinity of the Genius type at the time of the eruption of 79 AD: it appears under the inscribed name Vesuvius as a serpent in the decorative frescos of many household shrines, surviving from Pompeii. The last major eruption was in March 1944. The area around Vesuvius was officially declared a national park on 5 June 1995. The summit of Vesuvius is open to visitors and there is a small network of paths around the mountain that are maintained by the park authorities on weekends. Amalfi coast is a mixture of history and nature, with a lot to discover: the Cathedral of Amalfi, the villas in Ravello and the many churches. The Amalfi coast features two wonderful places, the natural reserve of the ‘Ferriera’, and the marine reserve of ‘Punta Campanella’. There are many traditional events on the Amalfi coast: Saints days, and festivals and celebrations for everyone.Europe is abundantly rich in natural attractions that contain old and valuableconstructions. The European continent is the second smallest continent in the world aswell as the sixth largest continent. It is very populated and it has an amazing array ofhuge open spaces, some of which are remarkably unspoilt. Europe is considered as thewealthiest continent of the world and it is the place where the western culture born. It isalso a place where the tourist from all over the world would like to visit at least one timein their lifetime.“When I first heard about this Comenius programme, my school got involved into, I wasvery excited to be part of it because I was given the opportunity to meet other cultures.
During the stay in Spain we worked a lot on the project together with the other studentsbut we also had fun. After these activities we all came closer to each other.But all good things end some time. Our return home was somehow our return back to reallife because the time we spent there was amazing, fantastic I might say. Theseexperiences made all of us better human beings. And now that all of this is over we allhave made friends outside our country’s borders and one day maybe we will find them infront of us saying to us “Hi !” I am looking forward to doing a new project, maybe nextyear, why not?” Mihai“The partner schools in this project are located in the following countries: Italy, Spainand Turkey. At first, I must say, I was highly skeptical about it. Now, I’m very happy Idecided to participate in this project and I certainly would suggest to future studentgenerations to chase such an experience, if it’s possible.Through this program I was given the opportunity to visit beautiful places, to meet nicepeople, to make new friends, to discover new cultures, in a word to see new places andnew faces. I was in Melilla where we spent for a couple of days. I learned about theirhabits and lifestyles. I learned to think and judge people and situations with multiculturalcriteria. I learned to respect the particularities of the people we met there. I realized thatwe are all humans first and only then Italian, Romanian, Turkish and Spanish. On myreturn from this visit I knew that I had become more sensitive than I used to be.Comenius mobilities are the most educational activities the European educational systemscan offer. It would be nice if I could work on a new project in the future.” Dania“My stay at the host family was something very interesting - they became my secondfamily. I have learnt to make Spanish traditional dishes, some I‘ll make for my familywhen I get back. I liked the school, its friendly atmosphere, and the teachers who arefriendly to all students. I understood how important is to learn English. The projecthelped me to improve speaking skills and to become more self-confident.” Flaviu
“The exchange trip to Melilla – Spain which I was on has been very interesting for me. Ireally think that it is an experience that everyone should have, because it is a fantasticway to meet another culture and other people. I was pleasantly shocked when I learnt thaton that reduced territory three groups of people - Christians, Muslims and Jewish - canfriendly live together and contribute to the flourishing of this small piece of Spanidh landon the African continent. I do not think that I will ever forget this journey and it will be avery good memory. I also think the project about the beauties of our countries – Land andLandscapes – was very good, and it was interesting to discuss topics related to thissubject and to admire the wonderful landscapes presented by our partners in theComenius exhibition. In conclusion, I liked Spanish food and the Spanish lifestyle.” Alexandra