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  1. 1. Spain
  2. 2. Country Profile • Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union • Its mainland is bordered by France, Andorra, and by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. • Spain is a constitutional monarchy, with a hereditary monarch and a bicameral parliament • The Prime Minister, nominated and appointed by the monarch and confirmed by the Congress of Deputies following legislative elections. • Prime Minister of Spain : Mariano Rajoy Brey, elected 20 November 2011 • The Spanish State is integrated by 17 autonomous communities which are further divided into provinces
  3. 3. • Spain's EU membership represents an important part of its foreign. Also member of NATO (north Atlantic treaty organisation) • Distinct traditional regional identities within Spain include the Basques, Catalans, Galicians, Cantabrians and Castilians, among others.] • It is this last feature of "shared identity" between the more local level or Autonomous Community and the Spanish level which makes the identity question in Spain complex and far from univocal. • On average, the Spanish high-speed train is the fastest one in the world, followed by the Japanes e bullet train and the French TGVh. Regarding punctuality, it is second in the world (98.54% on-time arrival) after the Japanese Shinkansen (99%) • The busiest one is the airport of Madrid (Barajas), with 50 million passengers in 2011, being the world's 15th busiest airport. • Other main airports are located in Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) (11 million passengers), Alicante (10 million passengers) and smaller, with the number of passengers between 4 and 10 million, for example Tenerife (two airports), Also, more than 30 airports with the number of passengers below 4 million. • Spanish (español)—officially recognized in the constitution as Castilian (castellano)—is the official language of the entire country • Roman Catholicism : the main religion of Spain.
  4. 4. Art and Culture • Spanish music is often considered abroad to be synonymous with flamenco • Thousands of music fans also travel to Spain each year for internationally recognised summer music festivals Sónar • Benicàssim features alternative rock and dance acts. • Both festivals mark Spain as an international music presence and reflect the tastes of young people in the country. • The most popular traditional musical instrument, the guitar, originated in Spain. • Spanish cuisine is heavily influenced by seafood . Several cold soups like gazpacho; and many rice-based dishes like paella are famous • Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona are two of the most successful football clubs in the world. The country's national football team won the UEFA European Football Championship in 1964, 2008 and 2012 and the FIFA World Cup in 2010, and is the first team to ever win three back-to-back international tournaments. • The tourism industry has led to an improvement in sports infrastructure, especially for water sports, golf and skiing. • Rafael Nadal is the leading Spanish tennis player and has won several Grand Slam titles including the Wimbledon 2010 men's singles
  5. 5. • There are many Spanish painters in the modernism. The most famous are Pablo Picasso • Actresses as Sara Montiel or Penélope Cruz are among those who have become Hollywood stars. Art and Culture
  6. 6. Major cities in Spain • Barcelona: Barcelona is the most cosmopolitan and economically most active city in this country. • Barcelona has an old history, and there are monuments of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods or still before, but most characteristic is what has been built during the last, say, 100 years. Barcelona has been a center of Modernist architecture and is distinguished specially by the works of genial Antoní Gaudí, who together with his great contemporaries gave new and exciting looks to it, but has remained since then at the top of modernity.
  7. 7. SEVILLE: "Charm and Joy" • It is the very heart of Andalusian culture, the center of bullfighting and Flamenco music. Take yourself time and take life easy, as Andalusians use to do, and interrupt sightseeing from time to time to have a few "tapas", those typical "small spanish dishes", and a glass of Sherry wine in one of the probably thousands of bars in this city, and consider a few of the hints on the following pages to make your stay a memorable one.
  8. 8. Valencia • Valencia is trade and culture, cinema, theatre, museums, magic, business. It is the centre of international design, and one of the most active cities in Europe regarding fairs and conferences. • There are outstanding beaches and dunes at Valencia which are famous for its restaurants and eating joints.
  9. 9. Costa del Sol • The Costa del Sol literally, "Coast of the Sun") is a region in the south of Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, comprising the coastal towns and communities along the coastline of the Province of Málaga. • Severe economic contraction in the 1880s and 1890s. • It led to the end of the iron industry in 1893, and weakened the trade and textile industry. The agricultural sector suffered a deep depression that affected the raising of livestock and all the major crops. • The social disruption caused by the crisis and its aftermath of job loss, business collapse and general decline in economic activity, led many residents to consider other means of livelihood. • Some of them envisaged tourism as an alternative source of income, but years passed before initiatives were put forward to develop Málaga as a tourist resort. • Propagation Society for the Climate and Beautification of Málaga was founded in 1897 by a pioneering group of influential Málaga businessmen who saw the potential of tourism as a generator of wealth, and tried to organise a rational planned development of this sector of the economy. Their promotional campaigns extolled the mild climate of Málaga, attracting enough tourists and winter visitors to help relieve the economic slump somewhat. • At the beginning of the 20th century, the Baños del Carmen beach was developed and opened in the east of Málaga. • In 2012 there were 651,517 passengers visiting the city on board cruise ships calling at the port, including those who started or ended their cruise in Málaga.The development of the cruise industry is proceeding with a new passenger terminal, port museum and environmental education centre planned for inclusion in the cruise ship facilities at Quay 2 • AVE (Alta Velocidad Española, AVE), a high-speed rail service operated by Renfe. Designed for speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph) • Tortillas, Spanish omelettes made with potatoes and served cold, are typicalwith a glass of sherryor Málaga wine is a traditional combination. • The Ir de Tapas (tapas tour), a Spanish expression meaning to make the rounds of bars drinking and eating snacks, is an important social activity for Spaniards. • Some bars will serve a tapa for free when one orders a drink. Churros, fried-dough pastries served hot and dipped in café con leche or hot chocolate are a typical breakfast food.
  10. 10. Paradores Of Spain • Spanish Paradores, luxury hotel accommodation in Castles, Palaces, Convents, Monasteries, Fortresses and other historic buildings. The group also has a few modern Spanish hotels, built in the traditional style, in areas of outstanding beauty. The Parador hotels are throughout Spain, from Galicia in the North to Andalusia in the South, also in the Canary Islands and in Ceuta and Melilla, the two Spanish cities in North Africa. The building is often part of the heritage of Spain although there are some modern hotels in a spectacular location. As the state maintains the buidings, it tries to locate Paradors in areas where it is not in competition with the private sector and many are in smaller medieval towns and villages first inhabited long ago. The Spanish Paradors were set up by the government to use the income from Spain Hotels to make a contribution to the upkeep of the buildings owned, and to help beautiful regions with few economic resources. The group is renowned for the high standard of service given to guests while the prices are lower than expected especially to those taking advantage of a promotional rate.
  11. 11. Palace of El Par do • Located in Monte del Pardo (Pardo Mount), one of the most extensive woodlands in Madrid, this Royal Palace has been monarchs’ residence and besides it was the official dictator Francisco Franco’s residence. • We can see its medieval heritage at the corner towers and in the moat that surrounds the palace. The building has rectangular plan and has two courtyards, the interior is richly decorated with some of the works made at the Royal Tapestry Manufacture of Madrid (Real Fábrica de Tapices). • It houses also interesting works of art like portraits of the rulers of the times • Nowadays, the Palace houses official receptions and ceremonies and it is used also as the residence of foreign Monarchs and Governors, when they carry out official visits to our country. • There is also the Palace Gardens, the Prince’s Little House (La Casita del Príncipe) and La Quinta del Duque del Arco.
  12. 12. Museo de América • Spanish vessels crossed the Atlantic to the Spanish colonies in Latin America carrying adventurers one way and gold and other looted artefacts from indigenous cultures on the return journey. • These latter pieces – at once the heritage of another continent and a fascinating insight into imperial Spain – are the subject of this excellent museum. • The two levels of the museum show off a representative display of ceramics, statuary, jewellery and instruments of hunting, fishing and war, along with some of the belongings of the colonisers. • The display is divided into five thematic zones: El Conocimiento de América (which traces the discovery and exploration of the Americas), La Realidad de América (a big-screen summary of how South America wound up as it has today), and others on society, religion and language, which each explore tribal issues, the clash with the Spanish newcomers and its results. • The Colombian gold collection, dating as far back as the 2nd century AD, is particularly eye-catching.
  13. 13. Plaza Mayor • The Plaza Mayor, a grand arcaded square in the center of Madrid is very popular with tourists and locals alike. • Since its creation, the Plaza Mayor has been the center of festivities, bull fights, royal coronations and executions. These would be attended by as many as 50,000 spectators. It is still used today for public celebrations. • At the center of the square is a bronze statue of King Philips III, constructed in 1616 by the Italian sculptors Giovanni de Bologna and his apprentice Pietro Tacca. In 1848 it was moved from the Casa deCasa de la Panaderia • Campo to the Plaza Mayor. Around the same time, the plaza was redesigned with gardens, but those were removed in 1936. • At the center of the square is a bronze statue of King Philips III, constructed in 1616 by the Italian sculptors Giovanni de Bologna and his apprentice Pietro Tacca. In 1848 it was moved from the Casa deCasa de la Panaderia • Campo to the Plaza Mayor. Around the same time, the plaza was redesigned with gardens, but those were removed in 1936.
  14. 14. Royal theatre • Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Teatro de la Opera garnered a reputation as one of Europe's great opera houses. It was especially well known for performances of operas by Verdi and Wagner as well as musical performances of great works by 19th century composer Igor Stravinsky. The Russian ballet also appeared there on a regular basis. • Located on the Plaza de Oriente, all the great European opera singers of the 19th and early 20th century appeared on stage at this grand theater and, for decades, it was at the center of Madrid's cultural scene. • Reflecting the décor of 19th century Spain yet with plenty of modern amenities, the Royal Theater is a wonderful place to enjoy opera or ballet. Music-loving visitors can choose from a full season of musical offerings.
  15. 15. Teleférico • The Teleférico, Madrid´s spectacular cable car, offers locals and tourists alike the opportunity to soar high above the city and look down over some of its most historic buildings and some of its greenest quarters. Monumental structures, interweaving road networks and parks and gardens are laid out below in one of the most spectacular views to be seen in the city. • Madrid’s most unique tourist attraction, the Teleférico, dates back to 1969 • This is a completely ecological method of transport that rises high above the traffic jams, enchants both children and their parents, and attracts a huge number of tourists. • The technology behind the Madrid Teleférico, which in its day represented a revolution in the way this kind of construction was built, is still at the cutting edge as far as reliability and safety are concerned. • The eighty cabins carry their passengers the 2.5 kilometres between the Teleférico’s two stations in eleven minutes, reaching a maximum height of 40 metres above the ground.
  16. 16. • The Paseo del Prado is one of the main boulevards in Madrid, Spain. • The Paseo del Prado is the oldest historical urban in Madrid. • This densely tree-lined, wide and centric avenue is a landmark for the city residents and the location of important cultural and tourist spots in the city • Paseo del Prado boulevard includes several monuments and enclosures that are of historical and artistic interest, erected in the eighteenth century for the Hall of Prado urban project
  17. 17. Costa Blanca • Costa Blanca literally in English "White Coast") refers to over 200 kilometres of Mediterranean coastli ne in the Alicante province of Spain. • It has a well-developed tourism industry and is a popular destination for British and German tourists.
  18. 18. Costa Brava • The Costa Brava (Rugged Coast) is in Catalonia, in the northeast of Spain. It has rocky cliffs and a mix of pebble beaches and sandy beaches. • In the early 2000s many Russians acquired villas around Costa Brava, inflating restaurant prices, and bringing many expensive cars to the region. • The unknown gem of the Costa Brava is Tossa de Mar. This beautiful little fishing village is one of the least developed on the northern Spanish Mediterranean coast. Tossa is still a fishermen's town, with the quaint very-narrow cobblestoned streets, white houses, and beautiful coastline. Tossa also boasts some very well-preserved medieval ruins -- including walls and towers which protected the town between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. • If you like casinos and more luxurious accommodations, go to Lloret de Mar. However, if you prefer the less developed beaches, and don't mind less ostentatious accommodations, Tossa de Mar is for you. • Also see Girona - old city and Jewish quarter, Cadaques - Dali museum and marine park.
  19. 19. Canary Islands • The Canary Islands are located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. • The Canaries are one of Spain's 17 autonomous communities • The islands's beaches, climate and important natural attractions, Gran Canaria and Mount Teide in Tenerife (the third tallest volcano in the world measured from its base on the ocean floor), make it a major tourist destination with over 12 million visitors per year, especially Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. • The islands have a subtropical climate, with long warm summers and moderately warm winters • The capital of the Autonomous Community is shared by the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  20. 20. SKI RESORTS IN SPAIN • Spain isn't most people's first choice when it comes to skiing. But with ski resorts in five distinct regions of the country, skiing in Spain is popular. • Skiing in Spain is popular in the Pyrenees • The Sierra Nevada is perfect ski location. • There are also ski resorts near Madrid, in the north-west of Spain (in Galicia, Leon and Cantabria), La Rioja and Teruel. • Why Ski in Spain? • Hardcore skiers in Europe will always head to the Alps to hit the slopes, but ski resorts in Spain have several advantages over their more famous cousins in Switzerland and Austria: • Skiing in Spain is cheaper than in most European resorts • Combine culture and skiing in a resort close to one of Spain's iconic cities • With numerous budget airlines flying to Spain, it is often more convenient to get to a Spanish ski station than to resorts in other countries • The ski schools have an excellent reputation and their warm friendly approach is guaranteed to encourage even the most timid of skiers. • It is less crowded