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Located here, is the royal palace, the largest in Western Europe.
It became the royal residence in 1561, was rebuilt after a fire in 1734 and today, is used only for ceremonial purposes.
In 1975, after 35 years of General Franco’s Fascist regime, King Juan Carlos I took power and propelled Spain into an era of freedom and democracy.With origins dating back thousands of years it is both ritualistic and ceremonial. Another deeply Spanish cultural performance is Flamenco.While protested by some as a cruel pastime, brave souls who wish to experience bullfighting firsthand should venture to a Plaza de Toros, or Bullring, the most famous of which are in Madrid and Seville, where only the best matadors are allowed to flaunt their artistry. Flamenco is a form of song, guitar playing and dance that embodies the complex soul of Andalucia, a region in southern Spain.If you listen closely, you can hear Arab, oriental and gypsy influences blending together to produce this world renown sound.And if you’re really lucky, you might catch a dash of flamenco not on a stage but in its rawest, most authentic form as a spontaneous outburst late at night in a backstreet bar.