Apr 272012
 
Spain's world class cultural heritage, something for everyone!

One aspect to Spain that is often overlooked is its world class heritage.  In fact, it may surprise you to know that Spain is second only to Italy for its UNESCO World Heritage sites, of which it has 42 to Italy’s 47.  By comparison the UK has 28. I say that Spain’s World Heritage position may be a ‘surprise’ because, for most people, Spain is perceived as little more than a country with some excellent […]

Mar 152012
 
Jason Webster, author of five books about Spain and expert on the culture of Spain

Few people know the complexities of Spain better than Jason Webster, who has written five books about Spain – four of which have been factual.  In fact, Jason is an acknowledged expert on the complex and fascinating culture of Spain and writes for a number of quality newspapers in the UK, as their expert on the country. Jason’s first book was Duende, which has become a standard work for anyone interested in flamenco, one of […]

Feb 182012
 
Holidays in Spain and the four top tourist attractions in Spain!

So, what are the  four top tourist attractions in Spain – the ones that have the most visitors per year? Well, as of 2011, they were: 1.  The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia (3.7 million visitors). 2.  The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (3.2 million visitors). 3.  The Prado in Madrid (2.9 million visitors). 4.  The Alhambra in Granada (2.3 million visitors). What a terrific cross-section of the old and new, dispersed right across Spain! […]

Sep 302011
 
Women in Spain, scary (to men!) kind and traditional

Before I moved to Spain, I’d heard a lot about the macho society here. About how men rule the roost and the home – not to mention the businesses. I had been told so much about this, that I was a little worried about how I’d fit into society here. After all, I had worked in a professional position my entire working life, in a very difficult industry. I had worked in IT, managing mostly […]

Sep 232011
 
Lady writers of Spain – you are needed!

Are you a lady writer living in Spain or a female writer who knows Spain well and wants her voice to be heard? If you are – then at Culture Spain we should be interested in hearing from you!  We are looking for lady writers in Spain who can give the female version of what living in Spain is like.  Can you write about: –          the good and bad aspects to living in Spain from […]

Jul 072011
 
Spanish culture, emigration and bad weather!

A few days ago I had a fascinating conversation with a couple of Spanish friends of mine in Valencia – and then saw, by pure chance, in a different location altogether, a most remarkable photograph.  The interesting thing is that both the conversation and photograph threw some new light (for me) on the culture of Spain and, most particularly, the culture of the Valencia region of Spain. What on earth am I talking about? Well, […]

May 282011
 
Spain, rabbits and the Iberian Lynx

Did you know that there is a really interesting connection between the name España and rabbits – and that the devastating decline of the Iberian Lynx is intimately bound up in both? Well, there are good reasons to believe that the name of Spain (España) derives from the Phoenician word ‘ispanihad’ which evidently means ‘land of rabbits’.  This word was adopted by the Romans who called Spain ‘Hispania’ which, over time, became España. No-one is […]

Feb 212011
 
The culture of Spain, alive, vibrant and the best reason to come to Spain!

After eight years living in Spain, I remain convinced that the best reason to come to Spain (either as a holiday maker or for permanent life) remains the intrinsic culture of Spain.  This may seem odd when most people’s focus on Spain is centred upon the wonderful weather, great beaches and cheap(er) housing than Northern Europe. In fact, the culture of Spain is what sets it apart from many other countries that also have a […]

Feb 022011
 
Bullfighting in Spain, the beginning of the end?

So, is it all change for one of the most emblematic symbols of culture in Spain – bullfighting? I ask this because recently RTVE (the national Spanish state TV channel) has decided that they will no longer show bullfighting in Spain at prime time.  In fact, from now on they intend only showing bullfighting for half an hour on Saturday mornings.  This is almost the equivalent of the BBC declaring that cricket will only be […]

Dec 162010
 
Living in Spain with officialdom (‘make ‘em larf!’)

It is a moment of relief tinged with dread!  You are living in Spain and encounter officialdom.  This a part of Spanish culture that can challenge the best of us.  However, if you are living in Spain then, somehow, you will need to find a strategy that works… Imagine, after waiting for what usually seems like hours, your number finally comes up in lights and you walk across that large space separating the waiting area […]

Nov 152010
 
El Cid, Spanish national hero and extraordinary soldier

El Cid is one of the great heroes of Spain and, unlike Britain’s beloved King Arthur, he is someone who really existed. Born sometime in 1040, close to Burgos in the kingdom of Castille, El Cid was a true adventurer who had an extraordinary life, during which (somehow) he managed to survive despite fighting, at various times, for both the Moors and for the Spanish.  By the end of his life, this remarkable soldier had […]

Nov 142010
 
Burgos, birthplace and final resting place of the 11th century hero ‘El Cid’

Burgos is a city in the northern part of the country, and one which is not necessarily at the top of anyone’s list if you ask them to name prominent and well-known Spanish cities. Lying almost directly to the north of Madrid, it is one of the historical capitals of Castile and is now the capital of the province of Burgos in the community of Castile & León, with a population of slightly under 200,000. […]