Spanish Culture Has Been Shaped by Numerous Civilizations

By: Corbin Newlyn

The Spanish culture for a long time has been well known for the warmth and welcoming that friends, visitors and foreigners have always enjoyed. Their spirit of friendliness as well as generosity is part of what draws many people to the Spanish-speaking people and why learning Spanish is such a favorite topic of study.

Additional Spanish Contributions

In addition to the many things known about the culture of Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, the world has also been affected in numerous ways by Spanish influences. Some of these cultural influences from the Spanish language and the Spanish people come in the different forms of art, poetry, cuisine, music, dance, and architecture.

The Spanish culture could really be regarded as a vibrant mosaic from a number of other various cultures who captured or visited the Iberian peninsula. This large peninsula, that constitutes a large portion of the south western part of the continent of Europe, could be regarded as the cradle from which the Spanish culture was fostered.

Throughout the centuries, the Iberian peninsula, which was the cradle of the Spanish culture, was encroached upon, conquered and influenced by numerous different people. There were pre-Latin influences of culture and language from the Greeks, the Basque as well as the Celts. Later, moving into the 5th century AD, an invasion of the region by the Visigoths introduced some Germanic influences, plus contributed some German words to the Spanish language. In addition, the Visigoths introduced some components of architecture, which as the centuries past, evolved into the familiar forms of Gothic architecture which is so ordinarily seen in buildings across Hispanic cultures.

History's Further Influence On Spain

During the 8th century AD, Spain assimilated a number of elements of Moorish culture, with the conquest of the area by the Muslims. Moorish artistic and architectural influences can readily be seen all over the country. Another unique contribution from the Moorish culture are the attractively designed gardens.

An Islamic garden contains four elements which make them unique and stunning: water, shade, variations in color as well as fragrance, and sound. The Spanish vocabulary was again augmented from this time period with many Arabic words, all of which started with the "al" prefix.

Next, in the early half of the 11th century, there was significant influence on the culture from French pilgrims and ecclesiastics who traveled through Spain. This cordial interaction brought about a considerable inflow of French words and phrases, as well as touches of cuisine, spiritual traditions and art.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the culture was further influenced by an infusion of factors from the Italian language and society. This grew from the domination of Aragonese influences in Italy and due to the huge popularity of Italian poetry in Spain, throughout this period. This influenced the Spanish language again with additional words to the vocabulary, including Spanish verbs. In addition, art, cuisine, music and thought were affected by Italy at this time.

Over the course of numerous centuries, the Spanish culture has undergone quite a bit of changes, as new influences were assimilated and added. Numerous creative and artistic forces of the different ages have either sprang from the culture of Spain, or have had an affect on it. When someone starts to learn how to speak Spanish, they are often astonished with the vast and rich culture which they also learn about through their Spanish lessons.

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