The culture of any country or group is best understood as a sort of continuous flow, with the creative energies of new talents contributing to change. At any single moment, culture is a complex amalgam of past glories and the current avant-garde.
This is true of any society, but there are few whose culture is in such close contact with present-day reality, so deeply rooted in popular tradition, as the Spanish. The great names in Spanish arts have all been strong characters, with the confidence to break away from established mores, and have always been closely involved in the society in which they lived and which they portrayed. Think of Goya and Velázquez in painting, Cervantes and Quevedo in literature, Falla and Albéniz in music...
This very Spanish characteristic has given rise a very Spanish culture, in a nation whose cultural heritage has been enriched by the many external influences to which it has been subjected in the course of its long history. The Iberian Peninsula's geographical position has made it a natural bridge between cultures of the north and the south of Europe and Africa. The vicissitudes of its history have transformed it into a crossroads for many different cultures. For this reason, its cultural heritage offers enormous wealth and diversity, and perceptible in it is the human imprint of an agitated and intense past.
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