5 of the Best Heritage Cities of Spain

WE all know of Spain as the country that colonized and Christianized our own country, the Philippines for 300 years. And although this period in our history imprinted in us Filipinos much of our culture, it is all in the past. Today, there are so many things we don’t know about Spain especially in terms of tourism.

For example, did you know that Spain is the only country in Europe with 15 World Heritage Cities—making it the country with the third greatest number of World Heritage sites and cities in the world?

This piece of trivia was shared at a recent dinner hosted by Turespaña, the Spanish Tourism Office, in its efforts to “reintroduce” Spain as one of the best destinations in Europe to the Philippine market. You can read more about Turespaña through the story (link here) I wrote for Business Mirror.

In this post, however, I would like to highlight five of the most stunning and picturesque and most culturally and historically intact World Heritage Cities of Spain.

Santiago de Compostela: An Important Catholic Site

 In the city of Santiago de Compostela stands the majestic St. James Cathedral, which is the third most important Catholic site in the world after Jerusalem in Middle East, and Rome in Italy. Why? Because here lie the remains of the apostle James. As such, it serves as the final destination for thousands of pilgrims who take the Way of Saint James every year. It is also an example of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical making it a magnificent structure altogether.

Ibiza: More than its vibrant nightlife

A part of the Balearic islands, Ibiza is coveted for its vibrant nightlife but let us not forget that it is also a World Heritage City thanks to its famed archeological treasures exhibited in different museums like the important Archaeological Museum of Ibiza. The place showcases 3,000 years of history of this important island in the Mediterranean Sea. Also credited for its Unesco recognition is its architecture, biodiversity and culture.

Cordoba: A Center of Power and History

Cordoba is also a city where one of the world’s most important monuments is found: the Great Mosque, which is an icon in the middle of the historic center. It once served as the seat of power when the city was under the Muslim rule in the 8th century. It was then converted into a cathedral as ordered by Ferdinand III in the 13th century. Today, it is still considered one of the Caliphate's most spectacular works.

Avila: ‘The City of Saints and Stones’

Avila is one of the most beautifully preserved walled city in the whole of Europe. Its City Walls, built in the 11th century as protection from Moors, remains as strong (3-meter thick) and grandiose today. And within this walls was where Saint Teresa was born and Grand Inquisitor Torquemada was buried. Inside and outside the walls are seven Romanesque Churches are part of the Unesco heritage inscription. All this makes it truly the City of Saints and Stones.

Segovia: An Old Town with an Ancient Aqueduct

At the historic city of Segovia, an ancient Roman aqueduct is found. Built in A.D. 50, the engineering marvel is well-preserved to this very day. With two tiers of arches, it is made only of blocks of stone without mortar. What’s holding the aqueduct together? Simply “a perfect, ingenious balance of forces”! Other important monuments in the city include the Alcázar, begun around the 11th century, and the 16th-century Gothic cathedral.

PHOTOS: Pixabay

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