I spent the summer of 2005 studying abroad in Spain. My classes included Spanish grammar, composition, conversation, and culture. During my time there I visited many cities including Valencia, Toledo, Segovia, and Madrid. Here are some pictures of my favorite places with a short explanation of their significance.


The Cafeteria / Classrooms

The building in this picture has a cafeteria on the top level and classrooms on the bottom level. Besides the dorm, it is where we spent most of our time.




The Gardens of the River Turia

We spent many Sabbath afternoons on nature trips. One of my favorite ones was to thisbeautiful garden that used to be a riverbed. Trips like this gave me the opportunityto get to know some of the other 52 students that came from all over America.I made many good friends during my time in Spain.


The Royal Monestery of San Lorenzo El Escorial

King Phillip II ordered the construction of this massive building, which is both a monestery and a palace.He said that he wanted to build "a palace for God and a small apartment for myself." His living quartersare located on beside and behind the stage. During his later years, when he suffered from illness, he couldopen his bedroom door and both hear and see the service while laying in his bed.

The Library

My favorite room in the monestery was the huge library. Notice the beautiful paintings on the ceiling. Each section depicts one subject of learning - geometry, astronomy, theology, history, etc. The oldest book in this library is over 1000 years old.


The Royal Pantheon

Perhaps the most fascinating rooms in the entire building, these tombs containthe remains of the rulers of Spain and their extended family from the last five centuries.

The Cross of the Valley of the Fallen

This gigantic stone church is the gravesite of the former dictator of Spain, Fransisco Franco. It was constructed according to Fransisco's orders, to honor all of the people killed during the Spanish Civil War.On the other side of the hill and cross is a monestery, and the tombs of thousands of Nationalist soldiers.

The Cathedral of Valencia

I think this cathedral has a very beautiful exterior. It is made of severalarchitectural styles because it has been changed multiple times from acathedral to a mosque and back again. Inside are famous paintings by Goya, beautifully illustrated calligraphic Bibles, and, supposedly, the Holy Grail.


The Cathedral of Toledo

In times past, Toledo was famed for it's religious tolerance. This cathedral represents the peaceful coexistance of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Spain. I was amazed by the intricate detail of the paintings and engravingsthat cover the building both inside and out.