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Getting to know Spain   By:

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Extensive research found no evidence that the copyright on this book has been renewed

Getting to Know

Spain illustrated by


Getting to know


by Dee Day



All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publishers. Published simultaneously in the Dominion of Canada by Longmans, Green & Company, Toronto.


The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance and hospitality of Direccion General del Turismo in all its offices in Spain, the Spanish State Tourist Department in New York, and Iberia Air Lines of Spain, without whose co operation the gathering of much of the material and the personal experience reflected in this book would have been impossible. A majority of the pictures were drawn from photographs by Herb Kratovil, taken especially for this book.

New York, 1957 Dee Day

Editor of this series: Sabra Holbrook

Seventh Impression

Library of Congress Catalog Number: 57 7427


For My Parents


You probably know that it was a Queen of Spain, Isabella, who made it possible for America to be discovered in 1492. It was an Italian sailor, Christopher Columbus, who first had the strange new idea that he could sail westward from Spain in order to reach the Far East. He came to Spain to tell people about his idea, and everybody he met thought he was crazy because they knew, or thought they knew, that the northern corner of Spain, jutting out into the Atlantic, was the very end of the world. Even the most daring sailors and fishermen wouldn't go very far from that shore for fear they would drop over the rim into nothingness.

But Queen Isabella didn't think Columbus was crazy. She took time to listen to him and decided she wanted to help him. She didn't have any money to buy ships for his expedition, so she ordered a little fishing village, Palos, to build three ships as a way of paying a fine they owed her. The fishermen of Palos knew how to build good, sturdy sailing vessels, and they soon had the three ships ready for Columbus and his brave sailors.

That is why, in August of 1492, the daring expedition started from this little Spanish village. What a sight! Three little ships, the Niña (Small Girl), the Pinta (Spotted), and the Santa Maria (named in honor of the Virgin Mary) cast off from the wharf of Palos. Flags fluttered in the breeze as the sails billowed out from the masts. All the villagers were lined up on the shore to pray and to cheer, and the bells in the church rang as Columbus and his crew sailed off "the rim" to the west in search of wealth and glory for Spain!


Many Spanish explorers followed Columbus to the New World, and even sailed all the way around the world, west to east, but the Spanish people today are mostly "stay at homes." Sometimes they leave home for a little while to make money, like the Spanish shepherds who are so good at handling flocks of sheep that American ranchers in California, New Mexico, Nevada and other western states pay them a lot of money to come and work for them. But those who leave always go back to their beloved land as soon as they have earned what they need.


If you were to meet a Spanish person, you would find that he would be interested in America and other countries, but he couldn't imagine living the rest of his life anywhere except in Spain. "Why should I ever live anywhere else?" he would ask you. "Everything beautiful and good in life is right here." He would feel this way even though he might be very poor and might even have to leave for a little while, like the shepherds. To him, the important things in life are his family, his friends, his church and his country.


His country is a large, squarish, mountainous land at the southwesternmost tip of Europe... Continue reading book >>

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