ANDALUSIA Region of SPAIN
Andalusia opens out onto two seas. Separated from the Central Plateau by the great natural barrier of the Sierra Morena mountain chain, which, in historical times, made communication with the rest of Spain difficult, it is, however, open and easily accessible from its coasts. Connecting the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, astride between Europe and Africa, the richness and fertility of its lands, the variety of its landscapes, the generosity of its climate, its towns and its people have made it a land of welcome, and a place for the merging of ethnic groups and cultures.
More than a crossing point, Andalusia has been a meeting point, a place for settlement and fertile interchange. Tradesmen, conquerors, colonists, travellers all have come and gone. Andalusia has assimilated, absorbed, but has not copied: it has adapted. It has thus created a culture with an extraordinary personality,unique and diverse in its many local nuances. A region of sharp contrasts and of extremes, one is surprised by its landscapes and its light, its history, the originality and beauty of its monuments and the joy of its fiestas (festivities).
The Autonomous Community of Andalusia is divided for administrative purposes into eight provinces, three of them inland: Jaen, Cordova and Seville, and five of them on the coast: Almeria, Granada, Malaga, Cadiz and Huelva. Three of them, Granada, Cordova and Seville, have been declared Heritages of Mankind.