Malaga’s English Cemetery and its last guardian

The English Cemetery (also know as the St. George’s Cemetery) is the oldest Protestant cemetery in Spain. It was established 1831 for the British merchants who lived in the city of Málaga and, before that, they were buried on the sea shore at night, since they were mainly Protestants and could not be buried in the Catholic consecrated ground.The reason?In 1787, King Carlos III created a statute that forbade the interment of any non-Roman Catholic during daylight hours and in any of the existing cemeteries in Spain. During those years,…

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Casa Hamilton, the charm of abandonment overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

The island of Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. It is famous for its active volcano, Mount Teide, which is considered the third-largest in the world. But here there is also a place that combines a sense of abandonment and breathtaking views: it is the Elevador de aguas de Gordejuela, better known as Casa Hamilton, a pumping station where hydraulic pumps once transported the abundant waters of the Gordejuela springs to hills and banana plantations, located in the extraordinary area by Los Realejos. This set of ruins, which…

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Okuda San Miguel, the spanish artist that turned an old lighthouse into a vibrantly colored work of art

Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel turned a regular lighthouse in northern Spain’s Cantabria region into an eye-catching work of art. Literally inspired by the “natural wealth of the region by representing local fauna and, with its textures, the cultural diversity of a modern and open Cantabria, which is connected to the world,” he turned the Faro de Ajo lighthouse into a technicolor work, featuring more than 70 vibrant hues. His signature style comprises vibrant geometric patterns that integrate animals, skulls, and religious iconography. He started work on the 16-meter-tall lighthouse…

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Twelve Grapes: a New Year’s Eve tradition of scarfing down 12 grapes for good luck

When clocks strike midnight on New Year’s Eve many revelers are engaged to pop champagne, set off fireworks, or kiss their partner. Others, instead, in Spain and parts of Latin America, as midnight nears on Nochevieja, or “old night,” the last day of the year, are stuffing 12 green grapes in their mouths, as an unusual attempt to ward off bad luck in the new year. Traditionally, the camera of the main national TV channel focuses on the clock tower of the 18th-century Real Casa de Correos in Madrid’s Puerta…

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21# Caganer: the best Christmas souvenir from Spain

The so-called Caganer is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia and neighbouring areas with Catalan culture such as Andorra, Valencia, despite you can also found it in other areas of Spain (where they are called cagones), Portugal (cagões), some areas of Southern France (Père la Colique), and southern Italy, especially in Naples (cagone or pastore che caga) where nativity culture is a must. The name “El Caganer” means, not by chance, “the pooper”. Traditionally, the figurine is depicted as a Catalan peasant…

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Francesc Canals i Ambrós: the Saint of Poblenou

Francesc Canals i Ambrós was born in Barcelona in 1877. He was a very kind young boy who always helped everyone and was consequently very beloved by neighbors and acquaintances. When he was 14 years old, he went to work in the popular Barcelonese store “El Siglo” and quickly earned his reputation as a good person by distributing his salary to the neediest several times. However, this was not the only thing that made him popular: people believed that Francesc had also some paranormal abilities such as guessing the time…

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Tomás de Torquemada: the mad monk burns 2,000 at the stake

On this day, September 16, 1498 a frail, 78-year-old Dominican monk offered his final prayers to God, turned his face to his pillow, then died.And thousands rejoiced. He was Tomás de Torquemada, the first Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, a man responsible for different ways of torture and terror, and an estimated 2,000 burnings at the stake.Born in 1420 and nephew of a noted Dominican cardinal and theologian, he joined a monastery in tender age and devoted himself to education and piety. Impressing his elders, it was not long…

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The Aqueduct of Segovia, a glorious Roman heritage in Spain

If we speak about architecture, the Romans are among the greatest builders of the world’s history. Some of the surviving Roman buildings and monuments are magnificient still today, many centuries after they were built. And one of such creations is the famed Roman Aqueduct of Segovia. The historic city of Segovia is located in north-western central Spain, in the autonomous region of Castile and Leon. This important city is rich in history and sights, as it is located on an important trading route between Merida and Zaragossa. In ancient history,…

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Allegory of “The Tree of Life” in Segovia – Spain

We are in Segovia, Spain. In the local Cathedral, among the colors of the stained glass windows and the splendid Gothic architecture, there is also a curious painting hanging on the wall. It is called The Tree of Life, locally El Arbol de la Vida, and is one of many that hangs in the Immaculate Conception Chapel (Capilla de la Concepción) in Segovia Cathedral. A riotous party is taking place in the bough of a tree symbolizing life, complete with food, live music, and merriment. Meanwhile below, a sinister skeleton…

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Festival Club: Ibiza’s first club

We are in Ibiza. The island wasn’t always the party hotspot it is today. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that it became a tourist destination, with hotels, restaurants and clubs popping up everywhere. In 1969, construction began on this once-lively club. Such a restricted location meant that the owners of the venue were required to build an access road in order to reach the structure, which officially opened its doors in 1972. In any case, back in the early 1970s, tourists were satisfied with being transported around the island…

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La Mola Lighthouse – Illes Balears, Spain

We are at the eastern edge of Formentera, the most southern of the Balearic Islands. The “Far de la Mola”, also known as Far de Formentera) was drafted by the architect and engineer Emili Pou y Bonet. It was inaugurated in November 1861, at the time of Isabel II, and until 1973 it was not electrified and it used to work with wicks and oil vapor. The lighthouse is 21 meters tall and stands fiercely upon a 258-meter high cliff, the highest point of the island. According to some locals,…

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The sad story of the half-constructed abandoned resort at Cala d’en Serra – Ibiza

We are in Spain. In the far north of the island near Portinax is a beautiful little horseshoe shaped beach called Cala d’en Serra, surrounded by high pine covered cliffs with crystal clear waters. This beach was also named one of Europe’s top beaches, according one of lot reports onlline. Despite it is much like many of the smaller beaches across Ibiza, what makes this truly special is the abandoned resort situated just meters above the beach. In 1969, a luxury hotel resort was planned for construction on one of…

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#March 30, 1282: when Sicilian’s bells rang out for freedom

On this day, March 30, 1282 Sicilians decided that they had had enough and in a brutal uprising known as the War of the Vespers turned on their oppressors: the result was a conflict lasting 20 years and a balance of power shift that went on for 400 years. French King Charles I invaded the Italian island of Sicily in 1266 and through conquest became the King of Sicily. As a result, the French imposed a rule of iron with high taxes and the Sicilian population were constantly insulted and…

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Torre Nueva: The defensive tower in Spain built centuries ago to warn locals of pirate attacks.

We are on the South of Spain, where a series of centennial towers are spread along the whole coast, some of which still standing. One of the best preserved towers is in La Linea de la Concepcion, the Spanish town that borders the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The sea-facing structure has one room some four meters above ground, the place were soldiers kept a constant eye to the south, where Africa is just about 15 kilometers away. The guards who manned the tower sent smoke signals to warn the…

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Pheasant Island: the only territory in the world that changes sovereignty every six months

You are not allowed to visit Pheasant Island, which lies near the Atlantic Ocean terminus of the French-Spanish border. But “it can easily be seen from the Joncaux bank, on the Bay Path,” the Web site for the local tourist office suggests, without a hint of irony! About six kilometers before the Bidasoa River flows into the Atlantic Ocean, its waters, which in the last stretch mark the border between Spain and France, bathe the tiny Pheasant Island, almost a wooded rock in the middle of the river. It was…

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10 bizarre Easter traditions around Europe

As Christmas, Easter is one of the most important religious festivities for Christians and it’s the day when religious people celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and culminates in the commemorations of Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday that this year is celebrated exactly today. Easter is very popular in many states of the globe and in some countries, especially Christian-Orthodox ones, it represents a more heartfelt feast than Christmas, unlike Christian-Catholic ones. For the ancients, this period represented instead…

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Popcorn Bay: Fuerteventura’s beach with Pop-Corn-like sand

On the island of Fuerteventura, near the town of Corralejo, in the Canaries, there is a beach whose sand seems to be made of Pop Corn. The place is known as “Popcorn Beach” or “Popcorn Bay”, and from a distance it is not unlike any other beach on the Spanish island, but when you approach it you can see millions of small pebbles shaped like a pop corn. The strange fragments are actually small pieces of white coral coming to the shore. These mix with the volcanic rocks and the…

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Murcia, Spain: Entierro de la Sardina

In Murcia, Spain, the three-day long Entierro de la Sardina, also know as “Burial of the Sardine”, celebrates the end of Lent, and the welcome return to a less abstemious lifestyle. Beginning the Thursday following Easter and culminating on Saturday with setting fire to an enormous papier-mâché sardine, the event also includes parades featuring with various of mythological creatures. Throughout the weekend, classic popular characters such as El Gran Pez, a fish-headed mascot, wave from eccentric and colorful floats flanked by musicians, scantily clad dancers, acrobats, of course, in true…

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Morteruelo: the Spanish pâté which inspired someone write a poem about it.

Here we are: We are in a little municipality located in the bare landscape of Cuenca, Spain, where, every year, people gather to answer a very important question: who makes the most delicious morteruelo in the world? There are differet varieties of morteruelo, but in its most basic form, is a pâté, sometimes called pâté de fois gras Manchego, consisting of pork liver, spices, and a variety of meats ranging from rabbit to partridge to quail. The name come from the tool most usual for making it: in fact, chefs…

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Enriqueta Martì Ripólles, the story of the “Vampire of Barcellona”

It’s normal, in every culture, than if children misbehave, they are told the bogeyman will get them. But not in Spain, where they’re threatened with Enriqueta Martí i Ripollés the ‘Vampire of Barcelona’, a psychopath woman who would kidnap children, offer them to paedophiles and then kill them, using their remains to make cosmetics and beauty product. The story of one of the most sadistic women in Spain is intertwined with that of the “Semana Tragica” in Barcelona, ​​in 1909. During that week a brothel was discovered by a self-styled…

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