Spain has always been a beloved nation to visit, but recent figures suggest it’s growing even more attractive for international tourists. If you’re one of them, it’s time to start planning your itinerary. In between the sangria, tapas and salsa dancing you’ll want to squeeze in a spot of sightseeing. We’ve picked our top 5 Spanish monuments you have to see when you’re on holiday to help you make the most of your time here.
Aqueduct of Segovia
History buffs, look alive. The Aqueduct of Segovia is so old it dates back to around 50 A.D, yet somehow it’s stood the test of time and remains a gorgeous feature of the Segovia landscape. It features two tiers of arches and spans more than 800 metres in length, making it both imposing and impressive. It’s also fantastically well preserved despite its age and stands to showcase a prime example of civil engineering.
You don’t need to be religious to worship this Roman Catholic church. It’s hard not to be impressed by its gorgeously dramatic towers, especially when you learn it’s been under construction since 1882 and shows no signs of being complete. The impressive structure was originally based on Gothic and Byzantine cathedrals, with plenty of Christian symbolism to look out for (the middle tower is dedicated to Jesus Christ). Architecture darling Antony Gaudi spent more than 40 years designing the building before his untimely death.
Tower of Hercules
If you find yourself looking for something a bit special in north-western Spain, visit the lighthouse at the entrance of La Coruna harbour, also known as the Tower of Hercules. You can’t miss it – not only is the tower 55 metres tall, but it’s perched atop a 57 metre-high rock to create a truly imposing sight. It’s been around since 1 A.D. and had some major done in the 18th century (along with regular smaller updates since), and today it almost looks as good as new.
Mezquita of Cordoba
Also known as the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, this building is fancy. It’s located around two hours south of Madrid and is one of the oldest remaining structures from the times when Muslims ruled Al-Andalus in the 8th century. It’s believed to have served as a temple, church and mosque after numerous conversions and these days it serves as a gorgeous architectural tourist attraction featuring pillars and arches that will leave you speechless.
Some may say we’ve saved the best until last, and there’s no doubt Alhambra is in a league of its own when it comes to being visually spectacular. It’s a fortress, palace and garden all in one, and also boasts sweeping views of the southern city of Granada. These days it’s a major tourist attraction and for good reason – it’s absolutely incredible.