Gala Dali’s Pubol: the Castle, the Home, the Grave

By Irina

The throne of Gala Dali in the Castle of Pubol in Catalonia, Spain.

The throne of Gala Dali in the Castle of Pubol in Catalonia

Of course, we would like to visit all the museums of the world associated with the name of the most extravagant of Spaniards, but a more realistic option would be to see Salvador Dali’s museums at least in his native Spain. Several years ago, we visited Figueres, and this time, returning to Catalonia, we thought: why not visit Pubol—the castle presented by Salvador Dali to his wife Gala Dali?

We were a bit confused by the fact that blog posts about visits to the home of Salvador and Gala Dali were extremely controversial in the Internet, but our friends advised unequivocally, “Go by all means!” And here we are in the actual Spanish province, a hundred kilometers from Barcelona, among fields of blooming poppies and a slight smell of manure. Thirty years ago, one of the most notorious couples in Europe lived in this castle.

Read the rest of this entry »

How Spanish Toledo Revived European Civilization


Toledo, Spain.

Toledo, Spain.

From 712 to 1085 the Spanish city Toledo–now one of the most visited tourist cities of Spain–belonged to the Moors, who called it Tulaytula. By that time, Europe had slowly forgotten all the achievements of the Greeks and Romans, having deteriorated into some muddy backwater of overall illiteracy and grubbiness, but the Arab world kept rapidly developing. Nowadays it’s hard to imagine that back then science prospered in Bagdad, Cairo, Cordoba, and Toledo, rather than in Rome, London, or Paris.

In 1055, the Russian knyazhna Anna, married to the French king, wrote in horror to her father, Yaroslav the Wise, the Grand Prince of Kiev, “Dear Father, they wash themselves only once a year here!… The dwellings are gloomy, the churches are ugly, and the mores are terrible… No king here is able to read… Where did you send my sinful soul? To this stinking hole, to France, to this damned city of Paris!…”

By the way, Anna Yaroslavna knew three other languages apart from Russian: Greek, Latin, and French.

Meanwhile the work of translating all writings of the Greek scientists that could be found during trips to Asia Minor was in full swing in the Arab Muslim Caliphate. All the bright minds of the empire assembled in Bagdad. They were well paid only for a single purpose–to keep developing science and art. Moreover, nobody ever demanded proof that the research would result in practical use.

Read the rest of this entry »

Isla La Gomera or Christopher Columbus’s Love Story


Teide volcano, the highest mountain of Spain, 3,719 m. Island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Teide volcano, the highest mountain of Spain, 3,719 m.

During the night, La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands, is mystically blinking with lights in the black ocean, and in the daytime it is often hidden by clouds and cannot be seen at all. This is the very piece of land from which the great conqueror of the oceans, Сhristopher Columbus, departed in search of the sea lane to India, but accidentally discovered America.

At the end of the 15th century, Isla La Gomera, lost in the Atlantic Ocean 1500 km away from the Peninsula, had become the last European station of Christopher Columbus’s ships before the trip from the Canary Islands, Spain, to the shores of an unknown continent. That is why the island has the second name, Isla Colombina. Plus, this historical event is supplemented by the love affair of Columbus and Beatriz de Bobadilla, governor of the island!

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,530 other followers