Spain was the springboard for World Book Day, at the initiative of Vicente Clavel Andrés who proposed designating a Spanish Book Day to honor Miguel de Cervantes, author of the world’s first modern novel, Don Quixote de La Mancha. It took decades but in the end UNESCO took up the gauntlet.
Vicente Clavel proposed the designation of the 7th of October as Book Day to honor Miguel de Cervantes of the DON QUIXOTE fame on his birth anniversary. As a result, in February 1926 King Alfonso XIII signed the Royal Decree for the purpose. Decades later, UNESCO waded in and moved Book Day (World Book and Copyright Day) to 23 April, both Cervantes and Shakespeare's death anniversary. But the original idea behind Clavel's Book Day remains.
Sure, Spain is known for all that sun. Summer weather persists all year round in places like the Canary Islands. But Spain is actually a land of contrasts and a country blessed with almost every imaginable natural and cultural treasures. Never mind the Spaniards' alegría de vivir!
In 2010, UNESCO inscribed the flamenco of Spain in its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The only agency within the United Nations system with a specific mandate in culture, UNESCO says flamenco is an artistic expression fusing soulful song, dance and musicianship that embraces a gamut of feelings and states of mind: grief, joy, tragedy, rejoicing, fear.
The Versailles of the Middle Ages, a dazzling series of palaces full of treasures never seen before, the largest known city built from scratch in Western Europe, the most beautiful Islamic monument in Al-Andalus
Did you know that El Escorial was built starting in 1563 to be the final resting place for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, the father of the Spanish King Phillip II? It was finished in 1584 as not only his palace but as a Hieronymite monastery--hence its somber shadows and design.
What’s the use of coming to Madrid if you don’t snatch the chance to experience Spain’s star writer of all time and the world’s first novelist ever?
Spain’s ten intangible cultural treasures
Cervantes, the world's greatest novelist in the Spanish language, contributed significantly to the building of the Spanish nation, considering that language is a crucial element of a nation. The Spanish language is la lengua de Cervantes