How Spanish Toledo Revived European Civilization

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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.

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Why You Should Visit Cuba Immediately

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Do you like national reserves? Yes? Cuba is one of the biggest reserves in the world. The whole country is a reserve. Many people live here. They get their food, not luxurious, but enough to live on. The management of that national reserve gives them some clothes. The weather in Cuba is always good; there may be only three rainfalls during the whole winter. So, one T-shirt, one pair of shorts, and a pair of slippers for every inhabitant of the reserve are quite enough. However, if you are a very fashion-conscious citizen, you can have two T-shirts, two pairs of shorts, and two pairs of slippers of different colors.

All inhabitants live inside a strictly guarded area and cannot leave it to see the outside world. What for? The socialist paradise is right here; be grateful and live happily and freely inside it.

It is not possible to know how the rest of the world lives by looking in Google because there is no Google here, and there is no Internet. Almost none. Some officers of hotels or universities can get Internet, but through a dial-up connection. Do you remember what that is?!

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Quinta da Regaleira as My Internal World in Sintra

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Quinta da Regaleira. Sintra, Portugal.

Quinta da Regaleira. Sintra, Portugal.

Good evening. I am Doctor António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, and I am one those people who are called a lucky man. Right from my birth in Brazil, I had all that a human being needs for a happy life. My Portuguese parents were rich and healthy, and I was a rich and healthy boy. Later, I was sent to my historical motherland, Portugal, to study in the University of Coimbra. Graduated in law, I returned to Brazil to make from my parents’ money, much more money, by trading in coffee and precious stones. One day, people gave me the nickname, Millionaire. Was it enjoyable? Maybe, but every day I remembered my student life in Coimbra; it was more enjoyable and interesting.

My friend Luigi Manini and I often sat in a cafe talking about Templars, Rosicrucians, Masons, etc. Esotericism is a very interesting topic. No one knows for sure what is it, where is it, and how is it. Everyone can say what he thinks and no one can catch him in a lie. How could we know that in the future all our conversations would result in the birth of the unique garden, villa, and chapel in the town of Sintra, Portugal; our Palácio da Regaleira would be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and people would remember me not as Monteiro the Millionaire, but as doctor Carvalho Monteiro, the creator of one of the most unusual and mystical gardens in the world?

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