Spain historical travel guide
This article takes a look at some of the best places to visit in Spain for travel enthusiasts particularly interested in the history and historical contexts of their destinations. Below is a short summary of our top three sites of historical importance across Spain, with essential travel and tourist advice included.
Top three historical sites in Spain
Santiago de Compostela
The capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela is of particular interest to Catholics and enthusiasts of Medieval history, having developed a reputation in the early 9th century as the resting place of St James the Great, one of the Twelve Apostles, and subsequently a role as the final stage of the Way of St James pilgrimage. There are numerous routes which call themselves the Way of St James, most of which start in Spain, but some travel across the border from France. Tourists visiting the city ought to see the majestic Cathedral, housing the supposed tomb of St James, and the Pilgrimage Museum.
Overlooking the city of Granada, this last Moorish stronghold in Spain is one of the top tourist attractions in Spain, and was a home to the Nasrid sultans as well as a fortress and government city. La Alhambra is actually a large complex of many sites and structures, but most tourists are keen to visit the Generalife (the exquisite gardens of the sultans), the Palacious Nazaries (the palace of the Nasrids), the Alcazaba fortress, and the Palacio de Carlos V. Information regarding access from within Spain, travel and tourist resources and other insights can be found online in English at alhambradegranada.org/en.
Judged to be the largest church in the world according to the volume of the structure, the Cathedral of Seville is a marvel of a tourist attraction, constructed during the 15th century over the site of a 12th century mosque. It's also home to the remains of the great Christopher Columbus. Visitors to Seville ought to purchase a "Sevilla Card", which will save you money on travel and admission costs to the city's various attractions. Information can be found at sevillacard.es.
Other Places of Interest
Of course, historically minded visitors to Spain should travel to many more sites besides the above three, even if they do represent particularly highlights. Other gems include Madrid's Prado Museum (museodelprado.es/en), the famous sword-making town of Toledo (go-toledo.com), and Cadiz, the oldest city in Europe, having been founded by the Phoenicians (andalucia.com/cities/cadiz.htm).