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¡En español! Level 1
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Return to book index Unidad 5 : Barcelona, España: Preparaciones especiales
More about España

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) is the most well-known Spanish author. His tumultuous life was the inspiration for his humor and satire. He lost the use of his left hand in battle, he was captured by pirates and held as a slave for five years, and he was imprisoned by the Spanish government for suspicious tax-collecting activities. It was during his imprisonment that he conceived the idea for Don Quijote, considered to be the first modern novel. What plays or movies are based on this book?

For an interactive journey following the steps of don Quijote:

JOAN MIRÓ Joan Miró (1893-1983) is one of Barcelona's most famous artists. His surrealist style is based on subject matter from the realm of memory and fantasy. You can see his surrealist works at the Fundación Miró. How would you describe this piece by Miró?

EL MONUMENTO DE CRISTÓBAL COLÓN El Monumento de Cristóbal Colón is a tribute to the adventuresome spirit as well as to Christopher Columbus. The design on the column includes the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The monument commemorates Columbus's meeting with the king and queen of Spain after his first voyage to the Americas. They met in Barcelona in 1493. Who were the king and queen of Spain then?

ACEITUNAS Aceitunas, one of Spain's major exports, are harvested both when they are green and later when they turn black. One of Spain's most important products, their oil is used to cook Spanish specialties such as paella and tortilla española. They are also often eaten as tapas. What dishes made with olives or olive oil have you eaten?

LA SAGRADA FAMILIA La Sagrada Familia is a church begun by architect Antonio Gaudí (1852-1926). The church, Gaudí's greatest project and dream, is not yet finished. He wanted it to be large enough for a choir of 1500 singers, 700 children, and 5 organs. The church is a blend of neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles. What do you think about its style of architecture?

For more on the life and work of Antonio Gaudí:

LAS RAMBLAS Las Ramblas is a well-known street in the heart of Barcelona that has it all! Artisans, performers, and vendors sell everything from parakeets to newspapers here. Rambla means torrent in Arabic. The location of the current street is thought to be a former stream bed outside the old city walls. Where might you find a similar street in the U.S.?

PAELLA Paella is a typical Spanish dish that contains rice, vegetables, and meat or seafood.

LA TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA The traditional tortilla española is made with eggs, potatoes, onions, and olive oil. It is cut into wedges and may be served either hot or cold.

TAPAS The small portions of food, or tapas, are squid (calamares), olives (aceitunas), ham (jamón), and sausage (chorizo).

For more about tapas and other Spanish dishes: