Sagrada Familia and the genius of Gaudi

Not all the photos, descriptions and guidebook texts could prepare me for the wonder of Sagrada Familia, the most famous church in Barcelona, maybe even Spain, maybe even Europe. The most imaginative and creative one, that is for sure. Continue reading “Sagrada Familia and the genius of Gaudi”

Splendid Sevilla, pt. 2: A Palace of Sun and Lace

After leaving the monumental Catedral de Sevilla, we continued our tour of the city with a visit to another magnificent complex – Real Alcázar de Sevilla, a stunning palace that will stay in my memory as the most beautiful place I have visited during our trip to Andalucia.

Continue reading “Splendid Sevilla, pt. 2: A Palace of Sun and Lace”

Splendid Sevilla, pt. 1: A Warm Welcome and a Town-Within-a-Town

I expected so much from Sevilla – it is one of those towns whose name alone is so laden with expectations and images inspired by literature, music and art that you actually think you know what the city will look, feel, smell and sound like. Finally arriving to the city after years of creating your own ideas about it and realizing – yes, we really are in passionate, romantic Sevilla, the very heart of Andalucia – was immensely exciting. Continue reading “Splendid Sevilla, pt. 1: A Warm Welcome and a Town-Within-a-Town”

Baroque grandeur of the Palace of Caserta

Prior to the visit to the Palace of Caserta, I felt a bit conflicted, expecting at the same time a lot and not much at all. On one side, extreme figures that the palace boasts with sent chills down my spine: volume of over 2 million m2, area of almost 50 000 m2, 120 ha of royal gardens… How large could this place be? On the other hand, the palace was modeled after the Palace of Versailles, and since I have seen “the original”, I did not expect this palace to surpass it. Continue reading “Baroque grandeur of the Palace of Caserta”

What Naples is not

I don’t think I have ever visited a city that people have such drastically polar opinions about as Naples: for some, this is one of the most beautiful cities not only in Italy, but in entire Europe, while for some, the city is simply not their cup of tea. While everyone, of course, has a right to their opinion, it seems that people who don’t like Naples are extremely strict in their judgments, accusing the city of being dangerous, dirty, soulless or boring. Continue reading “What Naples is not”

Mont Saint Michel: A Wonder of Nature and Human Skill

It is a wonder of nature and human skill that attracts more than three million visitors each year. Recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site, with 61 of its buildings protected as historic monuments, it is among the most famous touristic places of France and the entire Europe. Through history, this island inspired artists such as Henry Adams and Claude Debussy, and even became a part of contemporary culture when it was used as an inspiration for the design of Minas Tirith in Lord of the Rings’ Return of the King. Continue reading “Mont Saint Michel: A Wonder of Nature and Human Skill”

Monet, Giverny and thinking that creativity is contagious

There are certain names in history that are irretrievably connected with certain places. Michelangelo and Rome, Joyce and Dublin, Fitzgerald and New York, Toulouse-Lautrec and Paris, among many others, come to mind.  Ties between these names and places are strong, and you find it virtually impossible to imagine one without the other. Places have inspired these individuals and filled them with creative force. And in return, people made the places eternally famous. Continue reading “Monet, Giverny and thinking that creativity is contagious”