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Stories, characters, legends... have shaped the essences of being and feeling of these cities, in which daily life now has another rhythm. They are living cities in expansion, which have the responsability of conserving a heritage thar belongs to us all. They are in debt to tht past, but they are building a dynamic present and hope-inspiring future upon it. The Spanish World Heritage Cities are not watertight compartments in a museum for remembering. The traveller, during his journey, will not feel as if hi is exploring the closed spaces of something definitive. He will see the Hispanic vitality set free in squares and streets, cinemas and theatres, museums and art galleries, at work and during the fiesta, in restaurants and bars, in clubs and discotheques, in small shops and large shopping centres, in factories and craftsmens's workshops.

The rehabilitation of historical spaces has led to the restoration of life in interesting enclaves. Palaces now transformed into Tourist "Paradores" and hotels -Hotel de los Reyes Católicos in Compostela, Casa Gótica del Comendador Alcuescar in Cáceres, convent of San Pablo, in Cuenca, Palacio de Benavites in Ávila, Palacio de Castellanos in Salamanca...- enable us to conjugate the past into the indicative present. Others house universities, institutions, museums, parliaments, autonomous governments...

Patio de las escuelas menores

The eight Heritage Cities are experiencing an important increase in their cultural and university life. The traveller will discover that they are young centres where the traditional café get-togethers -professors, writers, artists,- coexist with the drinking and appetizer routes of mid-morning workers, office workers, passersby-, and the nocturnal itineraries of clubs and discotheques -students, tourists, urban tribes. The crossword of existence interwines functions and functionalities splendidly in these capitals, where the visitor should use his leisure time wisely in order to enjoy them fully.

Festive tradition has its dates. Cultural activities are carried on all the year round by way of exhibitions, museum and university activities, cinema series, theatre, music and dance... The seven cities, used to offering quality tourism and hospitable by tradition, have placed their most outstanding achievements in the creation of cultural infraestructures. The restoration of theatres -Teatro Rojas in Toledo, Principal in Compostela, Gran Teatro en Cáceres, Teatro Juan Bravo in Segovia...-; the creation of congress and exhibition facilities -Auditorio de Galicia and Palacio de Congresos in Santiago, Convento de San Francisco in Cáceres, Casas Colgadas in Cuenca, Palacio de Congresos in Salamanca...-; these are some examples which invite the visitor to program his stays well, adjusting them to the calendar or unique festivals, appointments with folk, opera, "zarzuela", classical theatre, scientific and literary congresses...

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