Music of Valencia | spanish property Costa Blanca

Music of Valencia

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Valencia is one of the musical centers in Spain, and is known for its own variety of jota distinct from the Aragonese version, as well as bandes found in almost every village in the region. Religious and work songs are common in Valencia, many are performed with accompaniment. El Misterio de Elche is a Valencian opera, and is sometimes said to be the oldest opera in the world.

Valencia has a kind of popular dance called “La Jota” that we is also found in other parts of Spain, especially Aragón. Valencia has a reputation for musical innovation, and performing groups called bandes are common, with one appearing in almost every town. The group Al Tall is also well-known, experimenting with the Berber band Muluk El Hwa.

Douro

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The Douro is one of the major rivers of Portugal and Spain, flowing from its source near Soria across central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Oporto. Its total length is 765 km, of which only sections on the Portuguese river are navegible by light rivercraft. In its Spanish section the Douro crosses the great Castilian meseta passing through Soria, Almazán, Aranda de Duero, Tordesillas, and Zamora. There are few large tributaries of the Duero before it enters Portuguese territory. The most important are the Pisuerga, passing through Valladolid, and the Esla, which passes through Benavente.

This region, for the most part, is one of semi-arid plains planted with wheat and in some places, especially near Aranda de Duero, in wine grapes. Sheep raising is also still important. Once the Douro enters Portugal major population centers practically disappear. The Portuguese Douro is a region of canyons and tiny villages, which until recently were relatively isolated from the rest of the country. Except for Porto, at the river mouth, the only population centers of any note are Foz de Tua, Pinhão and Peso da Régua.

Tributaries are small and flow into canyons to enter the larger river. The most important are the Coa, the Tua, the Tâmega, the Balsemão, and the Sousa. None of these small, fast flowing rivers are navigable. Entering Portugal the river passes through a region of narrow canyons making it a historical barrier for invaders from the north and a linguistic dividing line. This isolated area is now a protected area. These upper reaches of the Douro have a microclimate allowing for cultivation of olives, almonds, and especially grapes important for making the famous Port wine.

The region around Pinhão and São João da Pesqueira is considered to be the center of Port wine with its picturesque quintas or farms clinging on to almost vertical slopes dropping down to the river. Many of these quintas are owned by multinational beverage companies and are worth a visit. Traditionally, the wine was taken down river in flat-bottom boats called rabelos to be stored in barrels in cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Oporto. Quite often these boats were lost in accidents and seasonal fluctutions in the river made transport precarious.

In the eighties dams were built along the river ending this river traffic. There are nine dams on the Portuguese Douro alone making the flow of water uniform and generating hydroelectric power. Now Port wine is transported in tanker trucks. Recently, a prosperous tourist industry has developed based on river excursions from Oporto to points along the upper Douro. Boats pass through the dams by way of locks.

Real Zaragoza

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Real Zaragoza are a Spanish football team from Zaragoza in Aragón. Founded on March 18, 1902, they currently play in the Segunda División. They play in white with blue shorts. Home stadium is the La Romareda that seats 35,000 spectators. Originally formed out of two rival teams, Iberia SC and Real Zaragoza CD. By the 1930s, the team was making headway in the leagues, but the Civil War put a brake on a lot of the progress made.

On September 8, 1957 the team left their original stadium (the Torrero) for the La Romareda. It was not until the 1960s that Zaragoza would see their first successes, in the Copa del Rey. Fans of the side had to wait until the 1980s to experience another victory in the cup competition. Real Zaragoza have played the majority of their history, a total of forty four seasons, in the Primera División. Being more of a specialist cup side, they have not managed to win the league, although they have come second on one occasion. In the 2001-02 season they were unfortunately relegated from the Primera for the first time in over a decade.

Tortilla de patatas

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Tortilla de patatas (potato omelette) is also sometimes called tortilla española (Spanish omelette) to differentiate it from the dish commonly known as tortilla francesa (French omelette) or just tortilla, which is made only with eggs. It is a very popular dish at any kind of event in Spain and can be served either cold or hot. Although potatoes and eggs are the basic and in most cases the only ingredients of a tortilla de patatas, other vegetables can also be found accompanying it such as onions and, more rarely, red peppers, chives and artichokes.

Balearic Islands

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The Balearic Islands (Illes Balears Catalan official name, Islas Baleares in Spanish) are an archipelago in the western Mediterranean Sea, forming an autonomous community of Spain. The capital of the autonomous community is Palma de Mallorca. The autonomous community consists of one province. The official languages are Catalan and Spanish. The Catalan name Illes Balears is used by the Spanish government.

The main islands are Majorca (Mallorca), Minorca (Menorca), Ibiza (Eivissa), and Formentera, all popular tourist destinations. Minor islands include Cabrera, the location of the Parque Nacional del Archipiélago de Cabrera. Strictly speaking, Majorca and Minorca are the Balearic Islands proper, with Ibiza and Formentera being the Illes Pitiüses; but both groups are usually referred to as the Balearic Islands.

Valencian Community

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Valencian Community (Valencian Comunitat Valenciana, Spanish Comunidad Valenciana) is an autonomous community (comunidad autónoma in Spanish, or, in Valencian, comunitat autònoma) in the east of Spain. It is historically known as the Kingdom of Valencia (Regne de Valencia in Valencian, Reino de Valencia in Spanish). Some people call the Valencian Community Pais Valencia (Valencian Country) though this has never been its official name. Its languages are Spanish (Castilian) and Valencian.

Major cities and notable towns include: Valencia (Valencian València), capital of the province of the same name, famous festival of the Fallas in March 19. Castellón de la Plana ((Valencian Castelló de la Plana), capital of the province of the same name. Alicante ((Valencian Alacant), capital of the province of the same name, famous for its hard nougat or turrón duro (Catalan torró dur). Jijona ((Valencian Xixona), famous for its soft nougat or turrón de Jijona ((Valencian torró de Xixona). Elche (Valencian Elx), famous for the wood of palm trees called Palmeral, and for the Mystery Play, which has been declared part of World Heritage by the UNESCO. Vilareal, important producer of ceramics and brick. Elda, important producer of shoes. Buñol ((Valencian Bunyol)famous for the Tomatina, on the last wednesday of August.

The Comunidad Valenciana includes the provinces of: Castellón/Castelló Valencia/València Alicante/Alacant Major rivers: Turia ((Valencian Túria) Júcar ((Valencian Xúquer) Segura

Ibiza

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Ibiza or Eivissa is one of the Balearic Islands (Illes Balears Catalan official name, Islas Baleares in Spanish) located in the Mediterranean Sea, and belonging to Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Illes Pitiüses. Major cities are Ibiza Town and San Antonio. Its official Catalan name is Eivissa; Ibiza is the Spanish (Castilian) name, now less used in Spain itself, though still dominant among speakers of English.

The island was conquered by James I of Aragon in 1235. Ibiza is a very popular tourist destination, especially due to its legendary riotous nightlife (mainly in Ibiza Town, the island’s capital on the eastern shore).

Real Club Deportivo Mallorca

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Real Club Deportivo Mallorca are a Spanish football team from Palma de Mallorca. Founded on March 5, 1916, they currently play in the Primera División. They play in red shirts and black shorts with black socks. Home stadium is the Son Moix that seats 26,500 spectators.

The oldest club in the Balearic Islands, Mallorca was originally formed by Adolfo Vázquez, a republican engineer, who named the club Junta Directiva del Alfonso XIII FBC after the then king. The first stadium, inaugurated on March 25, was called the Buenos Aires, with a match against FC Barcelona (which Barcelona won 8-0).

By the next year, the club had changed its name to Real Sociedad Alfonso XII, which remained until the club was renamed in 1931, for political reasons, Club Deportivo Mallorca. The Real prefix was added in 1949. In its history, the team has spent 20 seasons in the Primera, 29 in segunda, 2 in segunda B and 11 in tercera. Probably the greatest achievement in the club’s history was to win the Copa del Rey in the 2002-2003 season, scoring 3 goals to nil against Recreativo de Huelva.

Antoni Gaudí

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Antoni Gaudí (he is sometimes referred to by the Spanish translation of his name, i.e. Antonio Gaudí), (25 June 1852 - 10 June 1926) was a Catalan architect who is famous for his ground-breaking, modernistic designs. He was born at Reus and educated, and worked all his life in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. His first works were influenced by gothic and Catalan architectural modes but he developed his own distinct sculptural style.

In the first years of his career, Gaudí was strongly influenced by a French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc who promoted the return to an evolved form of gothic architecture. But Gaudí surpassed Viollet-le-Duc, and created buildings and designs that were highly original - irregular, fantastically shaped with intricate art nouveau-like patterns. Some of his masterworks, most notably, La Sagrada Família have an almost hallucinatory power.

He brings the parabolic arch, the organic shapes of nature and underwater into architecture. He also uses the Catalonian trencadís technique of broken tiles to decorate surfaces. He was ridiculed by his contemporaries, at his beginning being supported only by the rich industrialist Eusebi Güell. His fellow citizens referred the Casa Milá as La Pedrera ("the quarry"). George Orwell, who stayed at Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, very much disliked his work.

As time passed, though, his work became recognised and he is considered one of Catalonia’s best and brightest. Japanese tourists are especially fond of his work. Politically, he was a fervent Catalan nationalist. (He was once arrested for speaking in Catalan in a situation considered illegal by authorities.) In his later years, he left secular work and devoted all his time to Catholic religion and his Sagrada Familia.

He was run down by a tramway and his corpse was thought a tramp’s because of his careless attire and the obscurity of his last years. Though acknowledged as a genius, there is a theory that Gaudí was color blind and that it was only in collaboration with Josep Maria Jujol, an architect 27 years his junior whom he acknowledged as a genius in his own right, that he produced his greatest works.

Basque music

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The Basque are an ethnic group living in parts of France and Spain, with the majority in the latter country. They are unrelated to their immediate neighbors, and their origins are unknown. Trikitrixa is the most widespread and well-known form of Basque folk music, though there are also singer-songwriter and choir traditions. Euskadi, or Basque Country, is home to a lively style of folk music called trikitrixa, based on a diatonic accordion. Kepa Junkera and Joseba Tapia are probably the most famous performers of trikitrixa. There has been influences of Tex-Mex artists like Flaco Jiménez.

Other Basque instruments include the alboka, a difficult wind instrument made with horns, the txalaparta wooden beams and the txistu (similar to a tin whistle). There is also a tradition of choral music, like the Orfeón Donostiarra and Mocedades. Basque artists singing in Spanish have a wider market sometimes reaching Spanish America, examples are Luis Mariano, La oreja de Van Gogh and Duncan Dhu. Other Basque artists singinn in Basque include Oskorri, Benito Lertxundi, Fermin Muguruza and Azala.

Balearic Islands

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The Balearic Islands (Illes Balears Catalan official name, Islas Baleares in Spanish) are an archipelago in the western Mediterranean Sea, forming an autonomous community of Spain. The capital of the autonomous community is Palma de Mallorca. The autonomous community consists of one province. The official languages are Catalan and Spanish. The Catalan name Illes Balears is used by the Spanish government.

The main islands are Majorca (Mallorca), Minorca (Menorca), Ibiza (Eivissa), and Formentera, all popular tourist destinations. Minor islands include Cabrera, the location of the Parque Nacional del Archipiélago de Cabrera. Strictly speaking, Majorca and Minorca are the Balearic Islands proper, with Ibiza and Formentera being the Illes Pitiüses; but both groups are usually referred to as the Balearic Islands.

San Fermín

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The festival of San Fermin is deeply rooted celebration held annually from 6 July to 14 July in the city of Pamplona in north-eastern Spain. While its most notorious event is “the running of the bulls” (the encierro), the weeklong celebration involves numerous other traditional and folkloric events. It is known locally as Sanfermines and is in honor of Saint Fermin, the patron saint of Pamplona; its events were immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in his book Fiesta. It has become the most internationally renowned fiesta in Spain. The festival’s origins are not clear. When certain relics of the saint were brought back to Pamplona in 1196, the city decided to mark the occasion with an annual event. Over the centuries, the saint’s festival, the ancient annual fair and the running of the bulls and subserquent bullfights have all melded together.

Archives document the bull runs only as far back as the late fourteenth century, but even if one does not know that the bull is a sacred animal in the Mediterranean world, or is unaware of the bull-dancers in Minoan frescos, an unprejudiced outsider still may detect the remnants of an ancient pre-Christian ritual. At Pamplona the martyrdom of Saint Fermin who was martyred at Amiens, is now sometimes said to have met his end by being dragged through the streets of Pamplona by bulls. Up to the 15th century, the festival was held on Saint Fermin’s feast day, September 25. The Pamplona fiesta was transferred to July in 1591.

The Encierro involves running in front of bulls down an 825-metre stretch of cobbled streets of a section of the old town of Pamplona. The biggest day is 7 July, when people in their thousands accompany the effigy of Saint Fermin along the streets of Pamplona, accompanied dancing and street entertainers, such as carnival giants. Each morning’s event starts at 8 A.M. Competitors are clad in white, with a red handkerchief tied about their necks. The racers gather in an area beneath a church, where they sing three times an ode to Saint Fermin:

A San Fermín pedimos, por ser nuestro patrón, nos guíe en el encierro dándonos su bendición. ("We ask San Fermín, as our Patron, to guide us through the Bull Run and give us his blessing.")
Anyone who survives a close encounter with a panicky bull is said to have been protected by San Fermin’s cloak. The fiesta begins with the letting off of a rocket, an event known as the “Chupinazo”. A firecracker announces the release of the bulls from their corral, and a second firecracker advises that the last bull has left the corral.

The event is dangerous. Since 1924, 14 people have been killed (the most recent, a 22-year-old American in 1995), and 200 have been injured. Most injuries nowadays, however, are caused by the stampede of participants seeking to run from the powerful bulls. The organisers release multi-lingual guides (with safety tips) to running the event: it is strongly recommended that this be read beforehand. It must be said that in more recent years, beginning with the publication of Ernest Hemingway’s novel in 1926 about the event called The Sun Also Rises, a large percentage of runners are tourists. Tourists have made the event much more dangerous due to them lacking the understanding and skill needed to run safely in the Encierro.

Stray bulls become extremely agitated (they are herd animals who do not like to be separated from the pack), and so the organisers arrange for a “second wave” of calmer and older steers to run through the streets after the “first wave,” on order to collect any stragglers. The shops and residences along the course are boarded up to prevent damage by either bull or human during the race. One particular stretch of the course, called Mercaderes, is particularly notorious for injuries: on rainy days the bulls cannot turn well on the cobblestones, and often collide into the wall; Tear marks from the sharpened horns against the pulp wood barriers give an indication as to the events of days before. While locals are always keen to avoid this corner, it is not uncommon to see tourists getting trampled and serioulsy injured there.

The course concludes at Pamplona’s Plaza de Toros (bullfighting stadium), and the bulls are herded inside the Corralillos to participate in the afternoon’s Corrida. The participants of the Encierro are left in the stadium, and smaller bulls (with wrapped horns) are released into the arena and toss the participants, to the general amusement of the crowd. Once all of the bulls have entered the stadium a third rocket is released while a fourth firecracker indicates that the bulls are in their bullpens and the run has concluded. During the days, the town has a carnival with rides and ferris wheels, as well as an abundance of sangria sold by bars and restaurants.

At night, the town erupts into an enormous party, and the thousands of tourists find themselves asleep in parks. The Comparsa de Gigantes (Company of Giants) parade the streets— enormous puppets accompanied by brass bands. The streets are filled with drunken revellers. The city hall is offered by the town as a storage facility for backpackers’ gear. After nine days of partying, the people of Pamplona meet in the Plaza Consistorial at midnight on July 14, singing the traditional mournful notes of the “Pobre de Mí” (’Poor Me’), in a magical, candlelit ending Nowadays on the 15th of the month, after the fiesta is over, some diehards assemble once more at 7 a.m. and run one last time, pursued this last time by the early-morning commuter bus.

Gazpacho Soup

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Gazpacho Soup also known as Gazpacho is a cold tomato-based Spanish soup that is popular in warmer areas and during the summer. It is usually spicy but a milder variant has also become popular.

Ingredients
1 lb /450 g tomatoes
1/2 lb / 225 g green peppers
1/2 cucumber
clove of garlic
a few coriander leaves (cilantro)
1/4 chilli pepper, seeds removed (optional, leave out if you want a milder soup)
2 oz / 50 g white bread, 2-3 days old (also optional, leave out for a thinner soup)
1/2 mild Spanish onion

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 pt iced water
Sea salt and black pepper
Ice cubes

To Garnish:
2 tomatoes, skinned
1/2 green pepper
1/4 peeled cucumber
2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed

Method
Skin the tomatoes and cut into quarters. Remove seeds and stalks from peppers (obviously!). Peel the cucumber and cut into chunks. Tear up the bread and soak it in water for 30 minutes and then squeeze it dry. Cut up the onion.

Blend all the ingredients until roughly chopped, not too fine, because the soup should have texture and discernible vegetable bits. Pour into large bowl with some ice, add salt and pepper. Then prepare the garnishes. Dice the bread and fry it in a little olive oil until brown. Chop the other vegetables finely. Serve in separate little bowls on the table, so that guests can sprinkle on their own toppings.

Serve chilled, preferably on a hot day and within sight of the sea.

Madrid

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Madrid is the capital of Spain. Built on the site of a Moorish fort called Magerit, Philip II of Spain chose it to replace Valladolid as the capital in 1561. (The capital returned to Valladolid during 1600-1606.) Due to this status, it grew into a flourishing city. Today it is culturally rivalled only by Barcelona. Madrid is the capital not only of the country but also of the province and autonomía of Madrid.

Important cultural and tourist spots include the famous Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (where Pablo Picasso’s Guernica hangs), the Casón del Buen Retiro, the Palacio Real, the Templo de Debod, the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, the Puerta del Sol, the Parque de Retiro, and the gay village of Chueca. Other nearby towns are popular as day trips from Madrid, including Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Aranjuez, Alcalá de Henares, the monastery and palace complex of El Escorial, and the Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos.

Madrid is particularly noted for its nightlife and discotheques; it’s not uncommon for madrileños to dance all night, head to the Chocolateria San Ginés for chocolate y churros at dawn, go home, shower, shave, and go to work. This nightlife, called la movida, flourished after the death of Franco. Madrid is served by Barajas International Airport. Despite the city’s population of some four million (the Madrilenians or madrileños), the Madrid metro is one of the most extensive and fastest-growing metro networks in the world.

La Rioja

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La Rioja is a province and autonomous community of northern Spain. Its capital is Logroño. Other cities and towns are Calahorra, Arnedo, Haro, San Asensio, Navalsaz, and Najera. See List of municipalities in La Rioja.

It is bordered by the Basque Country (province of Álava), Navarre, Aragon (province of Zaragoza), and Castile-Leon (provinces of Soria and Burgos). The Río Ebro flows through this region, as does the Río Oja, for which it is known. The territory of La Rioja (formerly known as the province of Logroño) was disputed between the kings of Navarre and the kings of Castile starting in the 10th century; the region was annexed to Castile in 1173.

It was made into an autonomous community during the reorganization following the democratic transition, owing to its economic distinction from the surrounding regions. It is the second-smallest autonomous community in Spain and has the smallest population; fully half of its 174 municipalities have populations under 200. Nearly half of its citizens live in the capital. It is best known for its production of the well-known Rioja wines.

Ceuta

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Ceuta is a Spanish exclave in North Africa, surrounded by Morocco, on the Mediterranean coast near the Straits of Gibraltar. It is known in Arabic and French as Sebta. Its area is approximately 28 km2. Ceuta over the centuries was subject successively to Carthaginian, Roman, Visigothic and Arab domination, until it was captured by the Portuguese on August 14, 1415.


Portugal yielded Ceuta to Spain on January 1, 1668, at the signing of a peace treaty at Lisbon between D. Afonso VI of Portugal and Carlos II of Spain, by mediation of Charles II of England. Ceuta is known officially in Spanish as Ciudad Autónoma de Ceuta, the Autonomous City of Ceuta, having a rank between a standard Spanish city and an autonomous community. Before the Statute of Autonomy, Ceuta was administratively part of the Cádiz province.


It does not form part of the customs territory of the European Union. The city is a free port. As of 1994 its population was 71,926. The government of Morocco has calls for the integration of Ceuta and Melilla, into its national territory, drawing comparisons with Spain’s territorial claim to Gibraltar, but the Spanish government rejects these.

Pyrenees

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The Pyrenees in Spanish Pirineos, or French Pyrénées, and Catalan Pirineus, are a range of mountains in south-west Europe that form a natural border between France and Spain. They separate the Iberian Peninsula from France, and extend for about 430km from the Bay of Biscay to Cap de Creus, or, if only the main crest of the range be considered, to Cape Cerbère, on the Mediterranean Sea.

For the most part the main crest constitutes the Franco-Spanish frontier, with the principality of Andorra sandwiched between them; the principal exception to this rule is formed by the Val d’Aran, which belongs orographically to the north face but politically to Spain. Also there are the minor orographical anomalies of the Cerdanya fall, and the Spanish exclave of the town Llívia.

Asturias

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The Principality of Asturias (Asturian: Asturies) is a province and an autonomous community of Spain on the north coast facing the Bay of Biscay (Spanish: Golfo de Vizcaya). The capital is Oviedo; Asturias was formerly called the province of Oviedo. Other noteworthy cities are the major seaport Gijón and the industrial city of Avilés. Other cities include Cangas de Onís, Cangas del Narcea, Grado, Langreo, Mieres, Villaviciosa. See also List of municipalities in Asturias.

The autonomous community is bordered on the east by Cantabria, on the south by Castile-Leon (Castilla-León) (province of León), on the west by Galicia (province of Lugo), and on the north by the Bay of Biscay. At one point, Asturias was one of the last remnants of Christian Spain; for this reason, the heir to the Spanish throne automatically takes the title of Prince of Asturias, much as the heir to the British throne is the Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay. Asturias shares the Parque Nacional Picos de Europa (in the Picos de Europa mountain range) with Cantabria and with León province.

Melilla

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Melilla, known in Arabic as Melilia is a Spanish autonomous city on the coast of eastern Morocco, in North Africa. It is a free port, and the principal industry is fishing. Cross-border commerce (legal or smuggled) and Spanish and European grants and wages are the other income sources.

Melilla was the frontier of the kingdom of Tremecén and the Kingdom of Fez, when Spain conquered the city in 1497. Since the foundation of Morocco in 1640, it has issued claims to the city. The Moroccan government claims Ceuta, Melilla and some small Spanish islands by the African shore (Plazas de Soberanía). As of 1994 the population was 63,670.

Saragossa

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Saragossa, named during roman times Caesar Augusta, and in Spanish: Zaragoza is the capital city of Aragon, Spain, and located by the Ebre river. Saragossa is also the capital of the province of Zaragoza. It was founded by the Romans. It is linked by legends to the beginnings of Christianity in Spain.

According to legend, Virgin Mary appeared miraculously to Saint James The Greater in the 1st century. This fact is commemorated by a famous Catholic basilica called El Pilar ("The Pillar [upon which Mary appeared]"). This is celebrated on 12 October which is a holiday for Zaragoza, Spain. Since it coincided in 1492 with the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, that day is also celebrated for Hispanics worldwide.

Zaragoza was the scene of two famous martyrdoms: those of Saint Dominguito del Val, a choirboy in the basilica, and Pedro de Arbués, an official of the Spanish Inquisition. Zaragoza was the see of a Moorish taifa in the Middle Ages. It suffered combats during the Peninsula War (See Agustina de Aragón). It contains an important military officer academy, and formerly a USAF airbase.

Alhambra

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The situation of the Alhambra is one of rare natural beauty; the plateau commands a wide view of the city and plain of Granada, towards the west and north, and of the heights of the Sierra Nevada, towards the east and south. Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds,” in allusion to the brilliant colour of its buildings, and the luxuriant woods round them.

The park (Alameda de la Alhambra), which in spring is overgrown with wild-flowers and grass, was planted by the Moors with roses, oranges and myrtles; its most characteristic feature, however, is the dense wood of English elms brought hither in 1812 by the Duke of Wellington. The park is celebrated for the multitude of its nightingales, and is usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades. These are supplied through a conduit 5 m. long, which is connected with the Darro at the monastery of Jesus del Valle, above Granada.

In spite of the long neglect, wilful vandalism and ill-judged restoration which the Alhambra has endured, it remains the most perfect example of Moorish art in its final European development, freed from the direct Byzantine influences which can be traced in the cathedral of Cordova, more elaborate and fantastic than the Giralda at Seville. The majority of the palace buildings are, in ground-plan, quadrangular, with all the rooms opening on to a central court; and the whole reached its present size simply by the gradual addition of new quadrangles, designed on the same principle, though varying in dimensions, and connected with each other by smaller rooms and passages. In every case the exterior is left plain and austere, as if the architect intended thus to heighten by contrast the splendour of the interior.

Within, the palace is unsurpassed for the exquisite detail of its marble pillars and arches, its fretted ceilings and the veil-like transparency of its filigree work in stucco. Sun and wind are freely admitted, and the whole effect is one of the most airy lightness and grace. Blue, red, and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colours chiefly employed.

The decoration consists, as a rule, of stiff, conventional foliage, Arabic inscriptions, and geometrical patterns wrought into arabesques of almost incredible intricacy and ingenuity. Painted tiles are largely used as panelling for the walls.

Val d’Aran

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Val d’Aran (official name in Gascon) is a small valley (620.47 km2) in Spain. It is the comarca located on the northwestern part of the autonomous community of Catalonia, on the North face of the Pyrenees. It borders on the North with France, with Aragón on the west and with the Catalan comarques of Alta Ribagorça to the south and Pallars Sobirà to the east. The capital of the comarca is Vielha, with 3,692 inhabitants (1996). The entire population of the valley is about 7,130 (1996).

The region is characterized by an Atlantic climate, due to its peculiar orientation, which is different from other valleys in the zone. Inhabitants speak a dialect of Gascon called Aranès, strongly influenced by Spanish and Catalan, and with its own orthography. It has been regularly taught at school since 1984. The local Aranese speakers are also fluent in Spanish, Catalan and French. As with other minority languages in Europe, Aranese is probably experiencing a renaissance, as, up until comparatively recently, minority languages were on the decline in most areas, typically spoken only by the older members of a given society.

The area is divided in six administrative divisions, called terçons (meaning “thirds", as the divisions were formerly three in number). The current arrangement of the divisions dates from the 15th century. The main income is from ski resorts in the winter, and from tourism in the summer. Other primary sectors of the economy include forest products, cattle raising and apiculture, all of which have become less and less important since the opening of ski resorts.

The valley used to be without direct communication with the south side of the mountains during winter, until the construction of a tunnel, opened in 1948. Spanish Republican guerrillas controlled the area from the end of WWII until the opening of the tunnel. The name itself is a tautology, as it means Valley of the Valley (val in Gascon and aran from Basque haran )

Tourism in Spain

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Spain is the second largest tourism destination in the World after France. Spain welcomes about 52 million tourists per year. Tourism in Spain includes the two largest cities of Madrid and Barcelona. Very interesting places are Cordoba, Sevilla, Granada (cultural places) and Malaga, Huelva, Cadiz, Almeria (beaches) in Andalusia. Santiago, Salamanca, Toledo, Segovia are beautiful places in the rest of the country.

Important touristics places (with beautiful beaches) are Salou, Benidorm, Mallorca, Ibiza (Balearic islands), Canary Islands, Valencia, Catalonia and The Cantabrico (north of Spain). Spain’s national airline is Iberia (or Iberia Airlines), but the country can also be flown into on many international passenger and charter airlines, both of which fly to many tourist spots in the region. There are good trains, for example AVE (spanish high velocity) or Talgo. There are good freeways to the most important cities.

Athletic Bilbao

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Athletic Club de Bilbao are a Spanish football team from Bilbao in Vizcaya. Founded on 1898, they currently play in the Primera División, where they have resided since the formation of Spain’s national league in 1928. Of the founding league members, only Athletic, Real Madrid, and FC Barcelona have never been relegated.

Known as the Rojiblancos, because of their strip colour: red with white stripes and black shorts. Home stadium is the San Mamés also known as La Catedral (the cathedral of football) that seats 46,500 spectators. Athletic are one of the great names of Spanish football. They have been consistently successful over their history, although since the 1980s, championships have eluded them, finding it hard to compete against the great spending power of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

This was compounded by a policy of only signing Basque players, which limits the scope of transfer targets. The only non-Spanish player ever signed by the club was Bixente Lizarazu, a French Basque. At one time, Pais Vasco was a breeding ground of great Spanish players, and this worked in their favour. In the competitive world of modern football, it is not such an advantage.

Spanish Cuisine

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The Spanish Cuisine is made of very different kinds of dishes due to the differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by the variety of seafood available from the waters that surround the country. As Spain has had a long and vast history and had many different cultural influences, the richness and variety of its cuisine is overwhelming, but all these ingredients have made up a unique and differentiated Spanish cuisine with thousands of recipes and flavours.

The international influences are nowhere more obvious than in Barcelona. Next door to a shop selling ready made falafels is an Asian food restaurant, which is next to a tradicional tapas bar, and on and on in amazing variety. Daily meals eaten by the Spanish are still very often made traditionally, by hand from fresh ingredients bought daily from the local market. This is more common in the rural areas and is of course much less common in the large urban areas like Madrid, where supermarkets are beginning to displace the open air markets. Even in Madrid food can be bought from the local shops, bread from the paneria, meat from the carniceria, etc.

One very interesting custom when going out is to take tapas with your drink (beer, wine, coke…). In some places like Granada tapas are given for free with your drink and have become very famous for that reason.

Club de Golf La Sella

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This golf club at the Costa Blanca has an attractive course on a technical high level. The golf course is offering anybody who enjoys playing as well as watching the players. The Costa Blanca Golf Course is situated nearby the national park Montgó. The course offers a splendid panorama reaching far beyond the greens and fairways with beautiful views to the mountains and the Costa Blanca.

The par 72 golf course reaches over a distance of more than 6.000 meters and was opened in February 1992. Juan de la Cuadra was encharged with the project and thanks to the technical assistance and survey of Chema Olazabal the course reached good quality. It was designed to enable the players to use the entire range of strokes.

Holes: 18 Course: 6.028 m Par: 72
Ctra. La Xara-Jesus Pobre s/n
03749 Jesus Pobre Denia / Alicante
Tel. 966454252 Fax: 966765158

Salvador Dali

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Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904, at number 20 Monturiolin street in the town of Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. Salvador Dali was the son of Salvador Dalí i Cusí. He attended Municipal Drawing School, where he first received formal art training. In 1916 Salvador Dalí discovered modern painting on a summer vacation to Cadaques with the family of Ramon Pichot, a local artist who made regular trips to Paris.

The next year Dalí’s father organized an exhibition of his charcoal drawings in their family home. He had his first public exhibition at the Municipal Theater in Figueres in 1919. In 1921 his mother died of cancer, and his father married his aunt, which the younger Salvador somewhat resented. In 1922 Dalí moved to Madrid, where he studied at the Academy of Arts (Academia de San Fernando). Dalí already drew attention as an eccentric, wearing long hair and sideburns, coat, stockings and knee britches in the fashion style of a century earlier. What got him the most attention from his fellow students were his paintings where he experimented with Cubism (even though in these earliest Cubist works he arguably did not completely understand the movement, for his only information on Cubist art came from a few magazine articles and a catalogue given to him by Pichot, since there were no Cubist artists in Madrid at the time).

Dalí also experimented with Dadaism, which arguably influnced his work throughout his life. He became close friends with poet Federico García Lorca and with Luis Buñuel at this time; he would later become Lorca’s lover. Dalí was expelled from the Academy in 1926 shortly before his final exams when he stated that no one on the faculty was competent enough to examine him. That same year he made his first visit to Paris, where he met with Pablo Picasso, whom young Dalí revered; the older artist had already heard favorable things about Dalí from Joan Miró. Dalí did a number of works heavily influenced by Picasso and Miró for the next few years, as he groped towards developing his own style. Some trends in Dalí’s work that would continue throughout his life were already evident in the 1920s, however: Dalí omnivorously devoured influences of all styles of art he could find and then produced works ranging from the most academic classicism to the most cutting edge avante garde, sometimes in separate works, and sometimes combined. Exhibitions of his works in Barcelona attracted much attention, and mixtures of praise and puzzled debate from critics.

1929 was an important year for Dalí. He collaborated with Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel on the short film Un Chien Andalou and met his muse and future wife, Gala Eluard, born Helena Deluvina Diakinoff, a Russian immigrant eleven years his senior who was then married to the surrealist poet Paul Eluard. In the same year, Dalí had important professional exhibitions and officially joined the Surrealist group in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris (although his work had already been heavily influenced by Surrealism for 2 years). In 1934 Dalí and Gala, having lived together since 1929, were married in a civil ceremony.

Upon Franco’s coming to power in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Dalí came into conflict with his fellow Surrealists over political beliefs. Dalí was a strong supporter the fascist coup by Franco. He applauded the repression of the new regime, congratulating Franco for his actions aimed “at clearing Spain of destructive forces". Dalí sent telegrams to Franco, praising him for signing death warrants for political prisoners. As such Dali was officially expelled from the predominantly Marxist Surrealist group. Dalí response to his expulsion was “Surrealism is me.” Breton coined the anagram “Avida Dollars,” by which he referred to the Dalí after the period of his expulsion; the Surrealists henceforth would speak of Dalí in the past tense, as if he were dead. The surrealist movement and various members (such as Ted Joans) thereof would continue to issue extremely harsh polemics against Dalí until the time of his death and beyond.

As war started in Europe, Dalí and Gala moved to the United States in 1940, where they lived for eight years. In 1942 he published his entertaining autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí. He spent his remaining years back in his beloved Catalonia. The fact that he chose to live in Spain while it was ruled by Franco drew criticism from progressives and many other artists. Some think that the common dismissal of Dalí’s later works has more to do with politics than the actual merits of the works themselves.

In 1958, Dalí and Gala were re-married in a Roman Catholic ceremony. Gala died on June 10, 1982. In Dalí’s later years, young artists like Andy Warhol proclaimed Dalí an important influence on pop art. In 1960 Dalí began work on the Teatro-Museo Gala Salvador Dalí in his home town of Figueres; it was his largest single project and the main focus of his energy through 1974. He continued to make additions through the mid 1980s. After Gala’s death in 1982, Dalí lost much of his will to live. He deliberately dehydrated himself–possibly as a suicide attempt, possibly in an attempt to put himself into a state of suspended animation, as he had read that some microscopic animals could do.

He moved from Figueres to the castle in Pubol which he had bought for Gala and was the site of her death. In 1984 a fire broke out in his bedroom under unclear circumstances–possibly a suicide attempt by Dalí, possibly a murder attempt by a greedy caretaker, possibly simple negligence by his staff– but in any case Dalí was rescued and returned to Figueres where a group of his friends, patrons, and fellow artists saw to it that he was comfortable living in his Theater-Museum for his final years. Salvador Dalí died of heart failure on January 23, 1989 at Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. He is buried in the crypt of his Teatro Museo in Figueres.

Pablo Picasso

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Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain and he is probably the most famous as the founder, along with Georges Braque, of Cubism. However he produced a wide and varied body of work, the best-known being the Blue Period works which feature moving depictions of acrobats, harlequins, prostitutes, beggars and artists.

While Picasso was more a painter, as he believed that an artist must paint in order to be considered a true artist, he also worked with small ceramic and bronze sculptures, collage and even produced some poetry. “Je suis aussi un poete,” as he quipped to his friends.

Picasso hated to be alone when he wasn’t working. In Paris, in addition to having a distinguished coterie of friends in the Montmartre and Montparnasse Quarters, including Andre Breton, Guillaume Apollinaire, writer Gertrude Stein and others, he usually maintained a number of mistresses in addition to his wife or primary partner.

Picasso’s most famous work is probably his depiction of the German bombing of Guernica, Spain. This large canvas embodies for many the inhumanity, brutality and hopelessness of war. The painting of the picture was captured in a series of photographs by Picasso’s most famous lover, Dora Maar, a distinguished artist in her own right. A Nazi officer is supposed to have come to his door brandishing a postcard and demanding, “Did you do this?” “No,” Picasso is supposed to have replied, “you did.” The Guernica hung in New York’s Museum of Modern Art for many years, and is now in Madrid – Picasso stipulated that the painting should not return to Spain until democracy was restored in that country.

As certain works, for example the Cubist pieces, tend to be associated in the public mind with Picasso, it is important to realize how talented Picasso was as a painter and draughtsman. He was capable of working with oils, watercolours, pastels, charcoal, pencil, ink, or indeed any medium with equally high facility. With his most extreme cubist works he came close to deconstructing a complex scene into just a few geometric shapes while at the same time being capable of photo-realistic pen and ink sketches of his friends. Picasso had a massive talent for almost any artistic endeavor he turned his mind to, despite limited formal academic training (he finished only one year of his course of study at the Royal Academy in Madrid), and a ferocious work-ethic.

Club de Golf Ifach

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The Ifach golf course is situated on a country estate on the coast road between Moraira and Calpe with the best views in the Autonomous Region of Valencia. It has a round of nine holes, has par 60, and is a 3,540 m course. The Ifach golf course is set in a fertile valley with surrounding views of the most prestigious properties of the Costa Blanca.

The famous golf course designer Javier Arana created the Ifach club to be short and tricky but with numerous obstacles. Allot of golfers have already said how difficult it really is, making it ideal for the holiday golfer who has little time but appreciates the challenge. The Ifach course was designed in a way as to make it necessary to use all of the clubs, not only on the drive but also in the short game.

However, two rounds can be managed easily and players will be able to enjoy their game while admiring the view of the Peñón de Ifach rock and the sun sparkling on the Mediterranean Sea. In short, a great place for a round of golf. The position of the trees and bunkers makes some holes more difficult and introduces variety into how the holes have to be played. There is a club bar with snacks , the Micheta restaurant, a large swimming pool and tennis courts. Villa San Jaime and Casa Tauroare very close by and available for holiday rentals.

Bullfighting

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Bull fighting or in Spanish tauromaquia, is a spectacle whose variations are popular in Spain, Portugal, some countries in Latin America, and in the south of France. Bullfighting goes back to ancient Rome, when many people-killing-animal events were held as a warm-up for gladiatorial sports. The event’s earliest roots are most probably religious.

The Spanish version of the event, called a corrida de toros, begins with a procession accompanied by band music. Next, the bull enters the ring, to be tested for ferocity by the matador (toreador or torero) and banderilleros with pink and gold capes. After a period of time, picadores on blinkered horses go past the bull and put lances into the bull’s neck, further enraging and weakening the bull, and, crucially, weakening its neck muscles. The audience often objects to excessive use of the lance to tire the bull too much.

Next is a suerte de banderillas, in which three banderilleros goad the bull so they can stab the bull’s shoulders with coloured, sharpened sticks. Finally, in the suerte de matar (death act), the matador reenters the ring alone with a small red cape. Having dedicated the bull to an individual or the whole audience, he uses his cape to attract the bull in a series of passes, demonstrating his control over it. He then attempts to manoeuvre the bull into a position to stab it between the shoulders and through the heart. This often fails, and the toreador must cut the bull’s spinal cord with a second sword, killing it instantly. Very occasionally, a particularly resilient bull will be spared.

A typical bullfight will involve three matadors fighting two bulls each though, occasionally, a mano-a-mano confronts two matadors fighting three bulls each. Trophies and prizes (usually a bull’s ear, or both ears, or both ears and the tail) are awarded to matadors, mostly according to the reaction of the crowd to the fight. The Portuguese version is conducted on horseback and does not involve injuring the bull.

The aesthetic of bullfighting, which is regarded as a deeply ingrained part of the culture and an art in the countries where it is practiced, is based on the interaction of the man and the bull. Rather than a competitive sport, the bullfight is more of a ritual which is judged by its aficionados based on artistic impression and command. Animal rights campaigners object strongly to bullfighting on account to the slow, painful death the bull suffers, and kill bullfights are banned in most countries. “Bloodless” variations, though, are permitted and have attracted a following in California. A number of animal-rights activist groups undertake anti-bullfighting actions in Spain and other countries (see links).

However, these views are not widely understood in the countries where Spanish bullfighting is practiced; the argument is that bulls are bred for the ring, live well before they are killed, and if the bullfight went, the bulls would too. Furthermore, part of the artistic impression of a corrida is based on the “cleanliness” of the kill; prolonged suffering is regarded as part of a very poor performance, and experienced bullfighters are able to avoid it.

Spanish bullfighting is a traditionally male sport. Only recently have a very small number of women ever been toreadores, such as Cristina Sánchez. Many bullfighters have met their deaths on the horns of a bull, including one of the most celebrated of all time, Manolete. Especially prominent bullrings are to be found at Madrid, Sevilla, and Mexico City.

Time in Spanish Culture

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Punctuality is practiced in the north of Spain especially in the industrialized regions. The south of the country, in comparison, is not as regimented by time and they tend to adopt an attitude which may be perceived as “lax". The people in the south of Spain do not perceive time as a crucial element, which may be reflected in delays in meetings or a lack of distinct time schedules. These two regions value time differently and business in the south may not be deemed to be as reliable.

Many business people may not arrive to the office until 11am. They may take the ‘siesta’ but do not leave their desks until 8-9p.m at night. With Spain under pressure to adjust to richer neighbors’ timetables, the ritual three-hour break for lunch and a nap is disappearing. In private business, breaks longer than an hour are becoming rare as Europe’s single currency, the euro, draws Spanish companies, stock traders and multinationals onto similar schedules with clients across the continent

The ‘siesta’ has been hindered due to the fact the traditional housewife role of women has changed and they are now a valuable part of the workforce. There no one at home making the traditional hot meal for mid-day. In Spain, siesta is not a time to sleep but a time to eat, talk and relax. This is in line with the fact that they are a high context culture and value family and relationships. Shops and businesses are usually opened from 9 or 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and from 4:30 or 5 pm to 8 or 8:30 pm, though it has become more and more common for businesses to stay open through the traditional ’siesta’ hours. Business establishments are usually closed for a day-and-a-half per week, most often Saturday afternoon and Sunday, although many shops will close only on Sunday.

Sherry

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Sherry is a fortified wine originally produced in the Jerez de la frontera region of Spain. The name Sherry resulted from a mispronunciation of Jerez in English. Spanish producers have registered the names Jerez / Xerés / Sherry and will prosecute producers of similar wines from other places using the same name. However the name Sherry is used as a semi-generic in the United States where it must be labeled with a region of origin such as American Sherry or California Sherry.

Three types of grapes may be used in Spain for making sherry: Palomino, Pedro Ximenez, and Muscat (Moscatel). Sherry made in other countries often uses other grape varieties. Sherry differs from other wines because of how it is treated after fermentation. It is first fortified with spirits and then if destined to be fino style a yeast called flor is allowed to grow on top. Oloroso style is fortified to a strength where the flor cannot grow.

Sherry is then aged in the solera system where new wine is put into wine barrels at the top of a series of 4 to 9 barrels. Each year half of the wine in a barrel is moved into the next barrel down. At the end of the series only half the barrel is bottled and sold. So the youngest wine going into the bottle is as old as the number of barrels in the series and every bottle also contains some much older wine.

Paella

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Paella (meaning frying pan, pronounced “pah-eh-yah") is a typical dish of Valencia, Spain, where it is eaten especially on Sundays. There are of course many variations of it with different ingredients.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 500g chicken
  • 500g rabbit
  • 480g rice
  • 350g paella vegetables (big haricot beans “garrofó", small haricot beans “tavella", green beans “bajoqueta (de ferradura)"/"judías verdes", red peppers and green peppers optional)
  • 24 snails (optional)
  • 120g tomatoes
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • Olive oil, salt, paprika ("pebre roig"/"pimentón dulce"), saffron, rosemary.
  • Preparation


    Clean well the snails, the chicken and the rabbit. Cut the chicken and the rabbit in small pieces. Put olive oil in a paella pan, and when hot, stir-fry the chicken and the rabbit pieces. When that is all sofregit, add the tomato and stir-fry til well sofregit, then the vegetables and stir-fry til they reduce. Add a little bit of paprika and, preventing it from being burnt, then add the water, as described next.

    Optionally, in another container, water must have boiled alone for half an hour. You can also pour cold water directly, but the important thing is that the water is calcarean, as it is in Valencia. After that, throw the (boiling) water to the paella (double volume than the rice, use a cup for measuring). Add the saffron and salt to taste, and at last add the snails. Let lively boil for around 10 minutes. Correct the evaporated water during these minutes by adding a little more water. Then add the rice and stir. The rice must hard cook to slow fire 10 minutes and 10 minutes to slower fire. Set the fire off, put some small branches of rosemary over the rising rice, and let the rice soak the remaining liquid in. Remove from fire and cover with some newspaper sheets for about 10 minutes. Once the rice gets dry the paella is ready to be served.

    Some lemon juice may be poured over the paella. The magic words “bon profit” must be said. Paella dish is usually eaten on the very paella with a spoon. As a local rule says, no bread must be eaten if the paella is to be finished.

    Flamenco

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    Flamenco is about two hundred years old and it is known worldwide as a Spanish folklore music. The four basic types of flamenco are: the “tonas” which are the oldest, the “soleá", the dramatic “seguiriya", and the “tangos". Flamenco since its origins has been deeply rooted in the talent and experiences of the gypsies from all over Andalucia mainly, and to a lesser extent from other areas of the Iberian peninsula. The lyrics of flamenco treat any imaginable theme, from up to date stories, to politics, to love, to history, to humor, and so on.

    Flamenco music comes from the soul, there are many varieties of flamenco, from the cante jondo (the Deep Song) to bulerias (thirty different varieties in all). Some of those can tear your soul to shreds; others can bring you ecstatic ebullience. The ideal in flamenco is called “duende” (demon or elf), this refers to a state of emotional involvement, of group communication at a deeper level and a feeling of sympathy, between musicians, dancers and listeners.

    The most common dance and cante of the eight Andalusian provinces is the sevillanas. They can be easily heard and watched during the Feria de Abril de Sevilla and the Romería of the Virgin of the Rocío. In their origin the sevillanas counted with only one part, until the Reyes brothers, a group of sevillanas from Castilleja de la Cuesta, “invented” the sevillana as we know it today with four parts quite differentiated with its distinct steps dance in couples. From that moment on, the sevillanas took on a character of their own which is renewed each year around April, when the new trends of compositions appear setting the pace for that year.

    There are different types of sevillanas: the classical, “rocieras", “corraleras", and more; each depending of the geographical zone and the peculiar style of the interpreter. An important feature of this from of art can be appreciated in the Carlos Saura’s film “Sevillanas". In the film, sevillanas are studied for their different types of cante, dance, and “touch".

    Costa Blanca - Javea

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    Javea on the Costablanca is a small, historic town , it is free of high rise buildings.
    Javea with its variety of landscape, ranging from sandy coastlines to rugged mountain areas, the mild year-round climate, and its careful property planning policies, is a jewel on the Costa Blanca, combining beauty and modern facilities with the charm of an ancient fishing village.

    Javea is situated between the San Antonio and La Nao capes, enjoying the impressive and magnificent protection of the Mount Montgó. Dominating the fishing port is the modern silhouette of the church of Nestra Senora de Loreto. Outside the town, following the road to the San Antonio cape, the architectural sites include the monastery of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles, a series of small hermitages clutching the slopes of the mountain and some ancient windmills.

    Javea old town is steeped in history, with tosca stone porticoes, gothic bay windows, wrought iron window bars and balcony railings. The church of San Bartolemé in the town centre is an example of late gothic with a defensive character. The “Soler Blasco” Archaeological Museum is close by in the narrow streets and offers a wealth of information about the Iberian history. Nearby you can find the covered indoor market selling all sorts of household goods and fresh fish brought up from the Port daily.

    Valencia - Fiesta and Folklore

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    The city of Valencia is best known for its rollicking festivals and especially for its spectacular fireworks, which have developed here to an art of its own. In Valencia people spend a whole year building a pyrotechnical work of art which then will burn down in one single night. This shows the character of the population, who really enjoy the moment and celebrate each festival as if it were the last one.

    The most important of the festivals in Valencia is certainly the Fallas de San José, a celebration of the beginning of springtime. In all the town one will see impressive cardboard constructions which will be burned on the last day of the festival (19th March).

    For Feria de Julio (in July) all Valencia is decorated with a sea of flowers. Again there are dancing parties, fireworks and some of the most important bullfights of Spain. At October, 9th, the Day of Comunidad Valenciana, there are commemorations of the reconquest of the town from the Moors.

    Another typical festival is the “Fiesta de la Mocaorá", an event in particular beloved by gourmets: specially for it are prepared those traditional specialities of marzipan, Piuletes and Tronadors.

    Calpe - Costa Blanca

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    Calpe

    Calpe is a place where famous writers such as Hemingway spent their summers in the thirties. Now, after more than seventy years, Calpe’s attractions makes the village an attractive spain real estate destination for home owners from all walks of life. You can experience the best views of the Costa Blanca from an enormous rock in Calpe known as the Peñón de Ifach rock. The summit of this limestone, recorded as the highest rock in the entire Mediterranean at 332 metres high, can be visited in organised groups.

    The area surrounding the Peñón has many archaeological and historical qualities. Prehistoric, Iberian, Phoenician and Roman remains are reported to have been discovered here and on the piece of land which links it to the coast. At the foot of the Peñón is the site of a Roman ‘factory’ for the drying and salting of fish and is known as the ‘Baños de la Reina’, which translates ‘The Queen’s Baths’.

    There are 11 kilometres of sandy beaches, such as the Levante and Arenal beaches, and coves like the one at La Manzanera where there are three buildings designed by Ricardo Bofill, and the Les Urques cove where scuba diving and fishing are possible.

    Culture in Alicante Costa Blanca

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    Cultural Activities in Alicante


    Alicante the main centre on the costa blanca is a university city, with various faculties and a series of technical colleges. During the summer time a variety of Spanish courses for foreigners are held.

    The City of Alicante offers an interesting range of cultural activities. Those activities taking place in various centres around town; for example at the Casa de la Cultura (cultural centre), which has also a well-stocked library and a historical archive. These facilites keep locals and visitors abreast of cultural movements by staging expositions, conferences and films.

    A number of financial entities also have their own Cultural Centres, offering a diverse programme throughout the year. The Teatro Principal, a neo-classical building of the middle 19th century, offers an extensive programme a the exhibition centre Lonja del Pescado. In the month of September the National Theatre Meeting “Alicante a Escena” is held, along with the International Contemporary Music Festival. In December there is an International Puppet Festival.