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World heritage sites in Spain

Guadalupe Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe

Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe
Province of Caceres, Autonomous Community of Extremadura
The monastery is an outstanding repository of four centuries of Spanish religious architecture. It symbolizes two significant events in world history that occurred in 1492: the Reconquest of the Iberian peninsula by the Catholic Kings and Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas. Its famous statue of the Virgin became a powerful symbol of the Christianization of much of the New World.

Laguna San Cristobal de La Laguna

San Cristobal de La Laguna
Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
San Cristobal de La Laguna, in the Canary Islands, has two nuclei: the original, unplanned Upper Town; and the Lower Town, the first ideal 'city-territory' laid out according to philosophical principles. Its wide streets and open spaces have a number of fine churches and public and private buildings dating from the 16th to the 18th century.

San Millan San Millan Yuso and Suso Monasteries

San Millan Yuso and Suso Monasteries
San Millan de la Cogolla, Province and Autonomous Community of La Rioja
The monastic community founded by St Millán in the mid-6th century became a place of pilgrimage. A fine Romanesque church built in honour of the holy man still stands at the site of Suso. It was here that the first literature was produced in Castilian, from which one of the most widely spoken languages in the world today is derived. In the early 16th century the community was housed in the fine new monastery of Yuso, below the older complex; it is still a thriving community today.

Santiago Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)

Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)
Province of A Coruna, Autonomous Community of Galicia
This famous pilgrimage site in north-west Spain became a symbol in the Spanish Christians' struggle against Islam. Destroyed by the Muslims at the end of the 10th century, it was completely rebuilt in the following century. With its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque buildings, the Old Town of Santiago is one of the world's most beautiful urban areas. The oldest monuments are grouped around the tomb of St James and the cathedral, which contains the remarkable Portico de la Gloria.

Alcala University and Historic Precinct of Alcala de Henares

Alcala de Henares
Province and Autonomous Community of Madrid
Founded by Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros in the early 16th century, Alcalá de Henares was the world's first planned university city. It was the original model for the Civitas Dei (City of God), the ideal urban community which Spanish missionaries brought to the Americas. It also served as a model for universities in Europe and elsewhere.

Vizcaya Vizcaya Bridge

Vizcaya Bridge
Basque Country, Province of Bizjaia
Vizcaya Bridge straddles the mouth of the Ibaizabal estuary west of Bilbao. It was designed by the Basque architect, Alberto de Palacio and completed in 1893. The 45-metre-high bridge with its span of 160 m, merges 19th-century iron–working traditions with the then new lightweight technology of twisted steel ropes. It was the first bridge in the world to carry people and traffic on a high suspended gondola and was used as a model for many similar bridges in Europe, Africa and the Americas but only a few of which survive. With its innovative use of lightweight, twisted steel cables, it is regarded as one of the outstanding architectural iron constructions of the Industrial Revolution.

Gaudi Works of Antoni Gaudi

Works of Antoni Gaudi
Seven properties built by the architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) in or near Barcelona testify to Gaudí’s exceptional creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Parque Güell, Palacio Büell, Casa Mila, Casa Vicens, Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of the Sagrada Familia cathedral, Casa Batlló, and the Crypt in Colonia Güell represent an eclectic, as well as a very personal, style which was given free reign in the design of gardens, sculpture and all decorative arts, as well as architecture.

Donana Donana National Park

Donana National Park
Provinces of Huelva and Sevilla, Autonomous Community of Andalusia
Donana National Park in Andalusia occupies the right bank of the Guadalquivir river at its estuary on the Atlantic Ocean. It is notable for the great diversity of its biotopes, especially lagoons, marshlands, fixed and mobile dunes, scrub woodland and maquis. It is home to five threatened bird species. It is one of the largest heronries in the Mediterranean region and is the wintering site for more than 500,000 water fowl each year.

Garajonay Garajonay National Park

Garajonay National Park
Island of La Gomera, Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
Laurel forest covers some 70% of this park, situated in the middle of the island of La Gomera in the Canary Islands archipelago. The presence of springs and numerous streams assures a lush vegetation resembling that of the Tertiary, which, due to climatic changes, has largely disappeared from southern Europe.

Ibiza Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture

Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture
Ibiza provides an excellent example of the interaction between the marine and coastal ecosystems. The dense prairies of oceanic Posidonia (seagrass), an important endemic species found only in the Mediterranean basin, contain and support a diversity of marine life. Ibiza preserves considerable evidence of its long history. The archaeological sites at Sa Caleta (settlement) and Puig des Molins (necropolis) testify to the important role played by the island in the Mediterranean economy in protohistory, particularly during the Phoenician-Carthaginian period. The fortified Upper Town (Alta Vila) is an outstanding example of Renaissance military architecture; it had a profound influence on the development of fortifications in the Spanish settlements of the New World.

Pyrenees Pyrenees - Mont Perdu

Pyrenees - Mont Perdu
Autonomous Community of Aragón, Province of Huesca, Communes of Torla, Fanlo, Tella-Sin, Puertolas, Bielsa, and Broto
This outstanding mountain landscape, which spans the contemporary national borders of France and Spain, is centred around the peak of Mount Perdu, a calcareous massif that rises to 3,352 m. The site, with a total area of 30,639 ha, includes two of Europe's largest and deepest canyons on the Spanish side and three major cirque walls on the more abrupt northern slopes with France, classic presentations of these geological landforms. The site is also a pastoral landscape reflecting an agricultural way of life that was once widespread in the upland regions of Europe but now survives only in this part of the Pyrénées. Thus it provides exceptional insights into past European society through its landscape of villages, farms, fields, upland pastures and mountain roads.
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