FIGUERES: HOME OF SALVADOR DALI
Figueres is a city in the north of Barcelona, in the province of Girona. This is where Salvador Dalí was born, and it´s a place that had a deep influence on his painting. Tourists have the opportunity to visit the Teatro-Museum Dalí, which has a plethora of surrealist art on display.
The cultural offerings include museums, year-round traditional events and medieval monuments, such as the Sant Ferran castle or remnants of ancient walls. Figueres has a magical combination of modern and traditional, and indeed, it´s located in an extraordinary area next to the Costa Brava and their amazing beaches.
The highlights are the Sant Ferran Castel, with its colossal dimensions (3km) that make it one of the biggest castles in Europe; the old Jewish quarters; the rambla, spine of the city, a commercial avenue with modern architecture to admire; Teatro-Museum Dali, located in an old theater that Dali redesigned and that includes the Galatea tower, where the great painter died.
How to get there?
**By train With the new high-speed AVE train from Barcelona to Figueres, the journey now takes just 53 minutes. Book Train Tickets in Spain. The train departs from Barcelona Sants station, but you can pick it up at Passeig de Gracia. Read more about Barcelona Bus and Train Stations. With little else of real significance in Figueres, it is a good idea to get an early train to the town and be out again by lunch time so you can still enjoy the afternoon back in Barcelona.
**By car, the excellent train connection now makes hiring a car less attractive, but it is still a good alternative. You could then visit, for example, the town of Portlligat, where there is another Dali museum, or relax on the beach (in Roses, for example). This wouldn’t be possible in a day by public transport.
**By bus, but is not practical.
Where to eat?
** Taberna Velli bell, next to the Teatro-Museum Dali. Good traditional Spanish food.
** 9 Supreme, cozy restaurant in Figueres City Center, excellent mediterranean food.
Transport information: http://gospain.about.com/od/catalonia/qt/barcadtfigueres.html
Pictures from: http://www.castillosasociacion.es/es/vpirineocat
17 Aug 2016. Almudena I.
REAL MONASTERY EL ESCORIAL
The artistic expression of Spain’s Golden Age.
This beautiful place is just 30 minutes north of Madrid. It‘s a historical, cultural and architectural jewel that’s worth visiting.
El Escorial was built at the end of the 16th century. It stands in an amazing location at the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, making the palace exceptionally beautiful. King Felipe II had the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo, who was worked on the basilica of St. Peter’s in Rome, collaborate with him in order to design the site.
Felipe II made this Spanish royal palace the centre of political power at the time, and a monument to Spain’s role as a centre of the Catholic world as it reacted to the Protestant Reformation. After that the building became a monastery for the Order of San Agustín.
El Escorial contains the Pantheon of the Kings, where the Habsburgs and Bourbons have been interred; the residence of Felipe II; the Hall of Battles, where some beautiful frescos can be admired; the Basilica of San Lorenzo el Real and its monastery, which is the central building in the El Escorial, and its library with more of 40,000 volumes in its own impressive hall.
On 2sd November 1984,UNESCO declared The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo del Escorial a World Heritage Site.
Information from http://www.destination-spain.com/
Pictures from http://www.monasteriodelescorial.com
16 Aug 2016. Almudena I.