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Rooftops As Cultural Spaces in Spain

by John Bascombe on Thursday, January 29, 2015

The rooftops of buildings in Spain , as elsewhere, are generally not used for much beyond accommodating satellite dishes and laundry lines. But in urban areas where attractive event space gets spendy and space itself is limited, some groups and communities have begun to rethink the usefulness of rooftops, particularly in the warm southern Andalusia region, where outdoor activity season extends much longer than in the north… read more »

Fiesta de Santa Tecla - Tarragona

by John Bascombe on Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Spectacular Festival in Spain Of the numerous festivals and celebrations for which Spain is famous, the Santa Tecla Festival , which floods the streets of Tarragona , in Catalonia, with music and dance towards the end of September, is perhaps among the best. Taking place just an hour away from the cosmopolitan and cultural hub of Barcelona, and often considered a slightly smaller scale version of the main Fiesta Mayor , the Fiesta de Santa Tecla lines Tarragona's streets with 'human towers', music, and dances by mythical characters in procession, with Devils, Giants, Dragons and a Bull for folkloric allusion. The peak of the festivities involves an impressive fireworks display along the beach at nightfall. Last year's festival saw over 80,000 visitors each day descend upon the streets of Tarragona… read more »

10 Must-See Semana Santa Processions

by John Bascombe on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Semana Santa in Spain Signaled by the full moon, Semana Santa (holy week) launches us on an annual journey of reflection and tradition. It’s a time celebrated by both the religious and those who simply welcome a few days off from work or school to watch the spectacular recreations of scenes representing the passion of Christ. No matter what it is that attracts visitors, Semana Santa in Spain offers an incredible amount of celebrations which center mostly on processions that take place throughout the country… read more »

A look back at 2013 in the Spanish Speaking World

by John Bascombe on Thursday, January 02, 2014

Spanish Language Movies Two 2013 Mexican films broke box office records. Nosotros los nobles became one of Mexico’s highest grossing films of all time, a comedy about a wealthy Mexico City business man who decides to give his grown children a taste of the real world without the comforts that his fortune affords… read more »

Top Ten Museums in Spain

by Abigail on Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spanish Art: Broadening your cultural horizons Although stereotypically associated with sun, sea and sand, Spain offers much more than just a summer glow. From Velázquez to Dalí, Ribera to Miró and El Greco to Picasso, Spain has produced some of history’s most influential, revolutionary and highly-esteemed artists. So why not mix things up this year during your holiday to Spain and replace a day of soaking up the rays with a day of cultural enrichment!? In alphabetical rather than preferential order, the featured Top Ten Spanish Museums below will simply give you a taster of a country proud to exhibit and celebrate the enduring talents of its internationally-acclaimed artists… read more »

The North American Academy of Spanish Language

by Tyson on Thursday, November 14, 2013

Besides Spain’s Royal Spanish Academy, there are 21 other official Spanish academies around the world that promote and regulate the Spanish language, including the US’s misleadingly named North American Academy of Spanish ( Academia Norteamericana de la lengua española , known by its initials ANLE ).  … read more »

Top ten Designation of Origin wines

by Lauris on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spanish Wines As a salute to wine harvest season, we're listing our top ten wines that bear the prestigious label of Denominación de Origen , an official classification granted by the Spanish Department of Food and Agriculture to the country's finest food product s and particularly to its wines… read more »

Bullfighting in Spain - soon declared National Heritage?

by Robert on Thursday, April 04, 2013

The popularity of bullfights in Spain is past its peak. Nowadays, protests against the event are on the increase; fewer people purchase tickets for the bullfights and more and more arenas have closed down due to financial problems. To prevent the tradition from dying out, Spain’s conservative government wants to protect the controversial spectacle by law. The Conservatives plan to declare bullfighting a “National Heritage”… read more »

Top 10 Places to Experience Flamenco in Spain

by Lauris on Thursday, March 21, 2013

If there's one sound associated with Spain, it's the dramatic melodies of flamenco. Read on and discover must-include spots for your flamenco tour in Spain… read more »

The Castles of Spain

by Dilek on Wednesday, February 27, 2013

According to the RAE (Royal Academy of Spanish,) the definition of castillo (castle, fortress) is: a place surrounded by walls for defense. Castles are not only former residences of kings and nobles, they also present images of the cities in which they are located. Spain, with its well-preserved, splendid castles, is a like living museum, where visitors can experience the country’s rich history and culture… read more »

The Best Theme Parks in Spain

by Dilek on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When we think of Spain, we often think sun, sea, delicious tapas and flamenco. Spain however also offers some of the best theme parks in Europe , where you can discover another side of this wonderful country. Take a look at some of the fun theme parks you can visit here:… read more »

Spanish Christmas Lottery: A 200 Years Tradition

by Dilek on Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Spanish Christmas Lottery (la Lotería de Navidad) is the most widely played chance game and every Spaniard dreams of being rich at the end of December. It is another trademark of Christmas traditions that one must live the excitement whether “El Gordo” (the biggest prize) will touch him this time… read more »

Read Comics to Learn Spanish

by Dilek on Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To learn Spanish by reading comics and improve yourself in such a short time is not a dream and %100 fun guaranteed. Some students are good at recalling what they hear, some what they write, and some of them what they read. The last group is usually better at learning a language with visual aid, and comics might be the perfect material for them to study Spanish … read more »

Top 10 Spanish University Cities

by Tyson on Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The school year's kicking off soon, and if you're considering the possibility of taking a course in a Spanish university, it may help to have a little information on the most interesting university locations. Remember, university life is not just about classrooms and libraries. This is a time to get out, meet people and explore the "cultural" life the city has to offer..… read more »

Fun Facts about Spain!

by John Bascombe on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

With powerful images of bullfighting , flamenco and sizzling paella on the beach, many people know of Spain. And more still know of Spain’s rich culture, from Picasso to Almodóvar , Gaudí to Barcelona FC . Added to all the news coverage about the difficult economic situation, there is a lot of information about Spain flooding the media at the moment. But! Did you know… … read more »

A Spanish Phenomenon - Gran Hermano

by Dilek on Monday, May 28, 2012

If George Orwell were alive today, he would want to learn the mystery behind how Big Brother has never lost his charm amongst Spanish people and has been on duty in Spain for 12 seasons. … read more »

What's the Difference between European and Latin American Spanish?!

by John Bascombe on Thursday, May 03, 2012

Well, how long is a piece of string?! While this is a very common question amongst Spanish learners (the regional differences, not the string one I hope!), there really is no definite answer. Do Americans not understand Aussies?! Can Canadians and Brits not communicate?! It’s the same principal with Spanish; yes there are differences, but linguistic variety is the spice of life! … read more »

EuroVegas Complex in Spain

by Dilek on Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Further meetings and discussions are about to come to an end about the construction of EuroVegas Complex in Spain . … read more »

Will Ferrell dives into Spanish in "Casa de Mi Padre"

by Dilek on Monday, March 26, 2012

The American actor, is mainly known for his comedy performances, comes with another movie and makes a remarkable move. In his new movie Casa de mi Padre, he not only speaks Spanish but also sings in Spanish… read more »

Viva el Football !

by Hannah Ryan on Friday, March 23, 2012

For my first blog post I’m going to write on a subject about which I am completely ignorant; football. But since I am here in Spain to learn the language , I may as well pick up some of the culture too… read more »

Las Fallas - The Bonfire of Valencia

by Dilek on Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring has come and there is a bunch of things you can enjoy in this wonderful weather. One of the things you can do in Spain , is to check out "Las Fallas" in Valencia … read more »

The Sound of Tacones in USA

by Dilek on Wednesday, March 07, 2012

New York welcomes the eleventh edition of the Flamenco Festival, that after a year of delay the sound of “tacones” come back with all its glamour. … read more »

Helpful Tips For Zero Spanish Learners

by Dilek on Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Many people travel to Spanish speaking countries depending on several reasons such as study, work or live. If you have no idea about the language before coming, it is pretty sure that you will have problems for a while. If you think you can communicate with your native language or in English as a common langauge, let’s make something clear you are wrong. So it is a necessity to know the basic words at least… read more »

Delicious Flavors Hidden In The Pages

by Dilek on Friday, February 24, 2012

'Ñ' is maybe the most significant letter in Spanish. The Cervantes Institute has published a delicious book with this letter which is a glossary of food and literature… read more »

Hellos and Goodbyes in Spanish

by Dilek on Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Often foreigners have doubts or hesitations when they greet or meet someone in Spain. Should they give a kiss on the cheek? Is it appropriate to give hugs?… read more »

Speak like an Argentine

by Dilek on Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Although Argentina's official language is Spanish, Argentine Spanish is different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. In some ways it sounds more like Italian than Spanish and it is called Rioplatense Spanish or River Plate Spanish . It is a dialect spoken mainly in and around the areas of Buenos Aires , La Plata, Mar del Plata, Santa Fe and Rosario in Argentina, Montevideo in Uruguay, and far south of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil… read more »

El Clasico - football’s greatest rivalry

by John Bascombe on Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Having been brought up in a football mad household that, if my Dad had his own way, would be a shrine to Arsenal FC, I thought I was fairly football-literate, well at least for a girl. However, coming to Spain , I soon began to realise, the fervour instilled by the Premiership is pathetic when compared with the sheer passion surrounding football’s most famous rivalry… read more »

Surprising Spanish inventions!

by John Bascombe on Monday, December 05, 2011

When most people think of the greatest Spanish contributions to the world, perhaps the most immediate things to spring to mind are flamenco music , tapas , and siestas. The Spaniards are not famed for the inventors. Painters , writers and poets perhaps; but it is a little known fact that Spain is responsible for some incredibly important, and some rather wacky innovations. Here is a rundown of 10 of the most significant and some of the most unusual inventions to come from Spain :… read more »

Studying in Salamanca- a student's standpoint

by John Bascombe on Thursday, November 24, 2011

There are obvious benefits to studying Spanish . The fact that it is the world’s second most widely spoken language, in terms of native speakers, is reason enough for most people to try their hand at it. And with an ever increasing presence on a global scale, knowledge of Spanish is an incredibly useful tool that can offer speakers a range of employment opportunities… read more »

The Hermitage in the Prado

by John Bascombe on Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Yesterday marked the first day of the fantastic ‘ The Hermitage in the Prado ’, the biggest cultural project yet between Spain and Russia… read more »

Velázquez masterpiece discovered after mix-up

by John Bascombe on Thursday, November 03, 2011

A portrait originally thought to have been by a largely forgotten British painter, Matthew Shepperson, has been unveiled as the work of one of Spain’s great masters, none other than Diego Velazquez … read more »

Ruta Quetzal BBVA 2010 sponsored by don Quijote!

by Stephen Maher on Monday, February 15, 2010

Geared towards gifted Spanish students, don Quijote schools will participate in sponsoring the 2010 annual adventure with Ruta Quetzal BBVA to Spain and Mexico. The Ruta Quetzal BBVA excursion will fuse cultural experiences on a mission to explore Spain´s Camino de Santiago and the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula. The trip will bridge the gap between Spain and Latin America and connect exceptional students from Spain , Portugal, Brazil, South America , and Central America … read more »

They grinned when the waiter spoke to me in Spanish

by Stephen Maher on Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Perhaps you´ve seen this type of headline before, maybe substituted for a language other than Spanish . The fact remains that Spanish is one of the worlds most widely spoken languages. And if you can read this you already have 1 of the top 3 languages spoken worlwide, the first one being Mandarin Chinese..… read more »

don Quijote contributes to Haiti victims

by Stephen Maher on Monday, February 01, 2010

Gloria de Castro, professor at don Quijote Salamanca , along with other local poets and musicians performed at the Automobile Museum this past Friday night in Salamanca, Spain . The recital brought close to 30 performers with nearly 100 in attendance. Proceeds went to the victims from the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti January 12th, 2010… read more »

Cervantes Institute to celebrate world's first

by Stacey on Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 20th, 2009 marks the first annual Día del español "Spanish Language Day" celebration in all of the Instituto Cervantes branches throughout the world. The purpose of this day is to establish a meeting point for Spanish speakers and to increase the visibility of the Spanish language, validating it as aninternational means of communication. An event to be enjoyed by the whole family family and visitors, Instituto Cervantes has organized a series of activities around Spanish words, their diversity and how they are perceived which begin at 11am local time of each branch… read more »

Discover our Spanish and Latin Culture section!

by Stacey on Monday, March 09, 2009

We are proud to announce the updating and translating of our Spanish and Latin culture section... You can now read all of the English texts in Spanish and vice versa! … read more »