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Spain, May 2009, July 2012 et September 2013

+ The place


+ My feeling and historical part

I made 3 trips to Spain: Marbella in May 2009 then Rosas in July 2012 and finally in September 2013 Empuriabrava, near Rosas.
Rosas and Empuriabrava, two seaside towns where you rub shoulders with Catalans and French. We are in Spain but the road signs are often written in Catalan, which surprises the first time. To understand this, just read the headlines of the latest newspapers and the demand for autonomy/independence of Catalonia, you can consult Wikipedia. Marbella, also by the sea, is more English than Spanish. The English settled there and almost imposed part of their culture there.
Visits to Barcelona, ​​Malaga, Seville, Gibraltar gave me an overview of this country that I adored when I was young through many trips with my parents. I must have been around 12 years old on my 1st trip. A magnificent place, where mass tourism was not yet really present. Entire beaches were starting to be bought by foreigners. I still have magnificent images in mind: the peasant taking a nap under an olive tree after hard work and a hearty lunch, the women fetching water from the fountain. Spain has changed a lot between what I saw when I was 12 and what exists from 2009.
If you are going to Spain, do not miss Seville with the Cathedral of Our Lady of the See or the Alcazar, Madrid the capital and Granada.
Historical part
Spain is a country steeped in history. Because of its location, the Spanish territory has been subject to many external influences, often simultaneously. The Romans left their mark by many vestiges. The Arab-Berbers led by Tariq ibn Ziyad conquered the country in 711 and did not abandon it until 1492. 7 centuries of colonization that marked the country with the Alhambra of Granada or the Alcazar in Seville or the typical architecture houses with a patio surrounded by the house.
This country was also a colonizer where was born great explorers like Christopher Columb (the Americas but it was believed in India), Francisco Pizarro (Peru) or Hernán Cortés (Mexico). The Spanish colonial empire was immense. But all these colonies have also ensured the decline of Spain. Spain’s power declined gradually not only because of the costly wars it waged and the revolts that erupted, but also because of an artificially prosperous economy due to wealth from the New World.
Spain lost most of its colonies in the XIXth century, especially from the 1820s and its later colonies in 1898 (Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam). This monarchical country briefly became a republic. But soon became a monarchy. In 1931, the Bourbons are driven out by the 2nd republic. In 1936, the Popular Front was victorious and the era of General Franco began. When Franco died in 1975, the monarchy was restored and Juan Carlos I, the new king, quickly restored representative democracy.