Category: Art and Culture

Land Of My Fathers

I have nothing against the Welsh. After all, as man and boy, I was blissfully happy in this beautiful land of someone else’s father. But not everyone agrees. Their most famous lyricist, Dylan Thomas once said, ‘Land of my Fathers? They are welcome to it.’

There are Successful Poets who get Rich

The British chart-topping 1960s folk singer Donovan was the only pop star poet to receive France’s most prestigious cultural award awarded to him personally by the French Government. The hippy era singer of poetic-style ballads once won the heart of nations and clearly won French hearts too.

The Cathedral of Salamanca’s Astronaut

The ancient Spanish city of Salamanca, situated on the banks of the River Tormes, is one of the oldest university towns in Europe with a rich and elegant collection of Renaissance, Roman, Gothic and Baroque monuments. Among them are two majestic cathedrals built between the 12th and 18th centuries. The New Cathedral, constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries, features late Gothic style with a Baroque styled cupola. The cathedral’s vaulted stone ceilings contain graceful paintings and its sandstone walls are intricately carved. But one element is peculiarly out of place and out of time.

Hostile Façades

The old city of Segovia, about 90 km north of Madrid, is best known for its aqueduct, but this historic city is full of architectural curiosities, such as the ornamental façades and geometric textures on the walls of many of the houses, the strangest of which is Casa de los Picos, or the “House of Peaks”. The façade of this house is covered entirely by granite blocks carved into pyramid-shaped reliefs. There are more than six hundred pyramids jutting out of the walls giving the impression of a giant cheese grater.

A Musical Odyssey

European culture offers a feast of quality music that accompanies the more discerning on a journey from womb to tomb. Perhaps these suggestions will inspire you to explore and enjoy the finest music created by Europe’s most gifted musicians over centuries. Do feel free to YouTube or purchase any of the following titles that will familiarise you with music that will continue to enhance your life. Think of each track as a glass of sublime aphrodisiacal wine. I think you will return again and again.

Amalia Rodrigues’ European Soul

Throughout Europe there is rising ethnic-identity awareness, a cultural revolution that rejects the multi-cultural sub-culture not of Europe’s own. Renewed enthusiasm for national identity expressed through music perhaps lies behind the recent craze for Portugal’s Queen of Fado, Amalia Rodrigues (1920 ~ 1999). The blues singer‘s fame once eclipsed that of the iconic French soul-singing waif Edith Piaf and that of Nana Mouskouri of Greece.

Virtual walks through the world’s finest museums.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the topic of travel is temporarily closed for most of the inhabitants of the Earth. Fortunately, we can still go on virtual walks in stunning locations. Why not take a stroll through the halls of the world’s best museums that have created an interactive version of their exhibits? Let’s go on excursions to visit the best cultural treasures of different countries and people.

Ireland’s Enigmatic Tomb Older Than The Great Pyramids

Older than Stonehenge and more enigmatic and ancient than the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Newgrange tomb in Ireland holds as many mysteries as each of those mysterious structures. The massive complex of Newgrange was built about 3200 BC, yet its existence was not discovered until 1699, when a local landowner wanted the mound dug up for its stones. In fact, throughout Ireland have been so far discovered over 200 such tombs.