Spain is one of my favorite places, somewhere I return to over and over again. I particularly love the Sagrada Familia and the beachside tapas of Barcelona, the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, the chilled vibe of Malaga, and the cultural heritage of Granada and Cordoba.
But Spain has a darker side.
Bloody religious statues and relics fill the Catholic churches, resonant with the history of the Inquisition and the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, who forced the Jews to convert, leave, or die. Their empire took the faith to Latin America in search of gold and converts … at any cost.
Much later, Spain suffered during the Spanish Civil War with torture, killings, and mob violence. The fight against fascism characterizes memorials around the country and still scars many of those left behind.
The deep religious and cultural history brings beauty in the strange and wonderful places that you can still visit and many writers find inspiration there. My ARKANE thriller, Gates of Hell, delves into sites related to Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, while Dan Brown’s novel, Origin, has scenes in Madrid, Seville, Barcelona and Bilbao.
So which of Spain’s strange places should you visit?