Regionalism In Imperial Renaissance Spain

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This regionalism is an obsession and perhaps the most significant change to the country over recent decades has been the creation of seventeen autonomías - autonomous regions - with their own governments, budgets and cultural ministries. The old days of a unified nation, governed with a firm hand from Madrid, seem to have gone forever, as the separate kingdoms which made up the original Spanish state reassert themselves. And the differences are evident wherever you look: in language, culture and artistic traditions, in landscapes and cityscapes, and attitudes and politics.

The cities - above all - are compellingly individual. Barcelona, for many, has the edge: for Gaudí's splendid modernista architecture, the
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Touring Castile and León, you confront the classic Spanish images of vast cathedrals and reconsquista castles - literally hundreds of the latter; in the northern mountains of Asturias and the Pyrenees, tiny, almost organic Romanesque churches dot the hillsides and villages; Andalucía has the great mosques and Moorish palaces of Granada, Sevilla and Córdoba; Castile has the superbly preserved medieval capital, Toledo, and the gorgeous Renaissance university city of Salamanca; while the harsh landscape of Estremadura cradles the ornate conquistador towns built with riches from the "New…show more content…
For most visitors, the landscape holds just as much fascination - and variety. The evergreen estuaries of Galicia could hardly be more different from the high, arid plains of Castile, or the gulch-like desert landscapes of Almería. Agriculture makes its mark in the patterened hillsides of the wine- and olive-growing regions and the rice fields of the Levante. Spain is also one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, and there is superb walking and wildlife in a dozen or more sierras - above all in the Picos de Europa and Pyrenees. Spain's unique fauna boast protected species like brown bears, the Spanish lynx and Mediterranean monk seals as well as more common wild boar, white storks and birds of

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