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Monday Night Travel: Spain Favorites (with Federico Garcia Barroso)  29:02

Created by Rick Steves' Europe Staff

Published by: Gabe (Rick Steves' Europe)

Join Rick and his co-host, tour guide Federico Garcia Barroso (from Madrid), on a virtual trip to the highlights of Spain. We’ll visit the historic university town of Salamanca (with the finest Plaza Mayor in Spain) and the proud Catalan capital of Barcelona (with its dazzling Gaudi architecture). After dropping by Toledo — the historic, artistic, and spiritual capital of Spain — we’ll head to the southern city of Sevilla, with its lively Flamenco dancing. And we'll ponder Spain's controversial national pastime, bullfighting.

Refer to the "Notes to Viewers" below for a list of comprehension questions, discussion prompts, and project ideas to guide you through the playlist and further your learning.

Watch this playlist along with Rick and hear his behind-the-scenes commentary HERE.

Notes to Viewers
1. Why is the University of Salamanca noteworthy? Would you want to attend this university? Why or why not?
2. Why was University of Salamanca instructor Luis de León thrown in jail? Why were his actions considered dangerous by those in power?
3. Why does Catalunya consider itself a region separate from the rest of Spain? What historical factors contributed to this attitude? How do the Catalan people demonstrate this independent spirit?
4. What is Las Ramblas? Why is it an important part of the city of Barcelona?
5. Why is there a monument to Christopher Columbus in Barcelona? Why does Rick say that this is ironic?
6. Why is Toledo considered Spain’s historic capital? Why did Madrid become the new capital in the 1500s?
7. Which major religions have had an impact on the city of Toledo? How have these religions interacted in the city’s past?
8. Who are the Moors? How does modern Sevilla continue to reflect their influence? Provide a couple examples from the playlist.
9. How did the Moors’ rule in Spain end? What happened to the Moors after they lost power?
10. Were the Moors or the Christians more religiously tolerant? What information from the playlist supports this claim?
11. What common elements of Moorish design do you see in Sevilla’s Royal Alcázar? How is the discovery of the New World reflected in this Old World palace?
12. What is the weather in Sevilla like? How is the city designed to protect people from these conditions?
13. What two important events in Spain’s history occurred in 1492? How did each of these events impact Spain and the world as a whole? How do you think these two events affected the daily lives of those living in Spain at the time?
14. What two important cultural events happened in Barcelona and Sevilla in 1992? What impact did these events have on each city? What does this suggest about the potential impact of cultural events in general? Do you think that this is true of all large-scale cultural events? Why or why not? What cultural events occur in your area, and how do they influence the region socially and economically?
15. What does Rick mean when he says that Catalunya is “a nation without a state”? What do the terms “state” and “nation” mean in this context? What aspects of Catalan culture set it apart from the rest of Spain? Do you think that Catalunya should become a country of its own or remain a part of Spain? Why or why not? Are there any nations without states in your country?
16. Why is bullfighting a controversial tradition today? What reasons do people give to support it? What reasons do people give to oppose it? What’s your opinion? Are there any controversial practices from your culture? Do you support or oppose these traditions?
17. The Moors ruled much of the Iberian Peninsula for over 500 years. What influences of Moorish culture are still visible in Spain today—over 500 years later? The United States has existed as a nation for less than 300 years. If a future civilization occupies North America 500 years from now, what contributions from our American society do you think will survive? Why? What society do you think is most likely to replace ours, and how do you think they will remember us?
18. Pretend that you are writing a guidebook about Spain. Write one or two paragraphs about each city explored in this playlist: Salamanca, Barcelona, Toledo, and Sevilla. Include a brief summary of the city’s history, identify what makes the city unique, and offer recommendations about how prospective travelers should spend their time there. 
19. The government of Sevilla has enlisted you to design a new community center that reflects the history of the city. The building should include elements of Moorish, Jewish, and Christian design. Make an initial sketch of the building and label important aspects of the design. Include color, and provide close-up sketches of a few artistic elements.
20. Imagine that your school has asked you to plan an educational trip to Spain for Spring Break. You have 10 days to provide students with the most fun and informative tour of Spain possible. Create a 10-day itinerary to present to school administrators including what cities students will visit, what sights they will see each day, where they will sleep, how they will get between cities, and what you hope they learn.
24. Watch the Classroom Europe playlist on nations without states. Follow the comprehension questions, discussion prompts, and project ideas provided to consider the relationship between nations and states and the unique challenges facing nations that have no state.
WA SOCIAL STUDIES LEARNING STANDARDS: G1.9-10.2, G2.9-10.4, G3.9-10.1, H1.9-10.2, H2.9-10.2, H2.9-10.4, H4.9-10.1, H4.11-12.3