Catalonia: A Cultural History by Michael Eaude

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By Michael Eaude

Squeezed among extra robust France and Spain, Catalonia has continued a violent background. Its medieval empire that conquered Naples, Sicily and Athens was once overwhelmed by way of Spain. Its geography, with the Pyrenees falling sharply to the rugged Costa Brava, is tormented, too.

Michael Eaude strains this historical past and it monuments: roman Tarragona, celebrated through the poet Martial; Greek Empúries, misplaced for hundreds of years underneath the sands; medieval Romanesque structure within the Vall de Bo:i church buildings (a international background sequence) and Poblet and Santes Creus monasteries. He tells the tales of numerous of Catalonia's nice figures: Abbot Olivia, who introduced Moorish studying to Europe, the ruthless mercenary, Roger de Flor, and Verdaguer, good-looking poet-priest.

Catalonia is legendary this day for its twentieth-century paintings. This publication makes a speciality of the innovative artwork Nouveau constructions (including the Sagrada Família) of Antoni Gaudí. It additionally explores the region's creative legacy: the younger Picasso portray Barcelona's brilliant slums; Salvador Dalí, encouraged by way of the twisted rocks of Cap de Creus to color his landscapes of the human brain; and Joan Miró, researching the colours of the purple earth at Montroig.

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Additional resources for Catalonia: A Cultural History

Sample text

Even 2,000 years ago these had al l passed through . Such thought s o f greate r dept h an d fulle r histor y do no t hel p you eat , but hav e bee n comfortin g t o Catala n nationalist s i n lon g decade s o f being dominate d b y the Spanis h state' s power . Wetlands: the Emporda Unlike Portbo u amon g it s blac k cliff s o r Tarragon a o n it s fortifie d hill , Empuries lies on a flat coast , t o th e sout h o f the lon g curve of the Ba y of Roses. To the nort h o f the ruin s are the wetlands o f the Emporda , wher e two rivers , th e Te r an d Muga , ru n int o th e sea .

Afte r h e ha d lef t th e city , though , th e sycophant s le t a palm tree sprout o n hi s neglected altar . "Ho w littl e you hav e sacrificed to me, " Augustus commented dryl y on hi s return. The Vi a Augusta, name d afte r him, ra n dow n throug h th e cit y fro m Gaul , newl y conquere d b y 19 CATALONIA Augustus' time , fo r th e legion s t o marc h int o Spain : stil l i n Barcelon a there is a major street called the Via Augusta. The coas t and th e hills were scattered with villas , muc h a s they are now.

Onc e ont o th e grea t mai n square, th e utilitaria n bric k i s n o longe r visibl e an d th e rebuil t Benedictine churc h wit h it s rounded arche s echoe s th e hug e bar e boul ders lik e nail-les s fingers pointing a t th e sky . Montserrat ha s been on e of the Christian world' s great place s of pilgrimage. Legen d ha s it that th e statu e o f th e Blac k Virgin revered a t th e shrine was carved b y St. Luke, brought t o Catalonia b y St. Peter and the n hidden durin g th e Mooris h occupation .

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