Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series(Part I and Part II)The Alhambra has long been a byword for exotic and melancholy beauty. In his absorbing new book, Robert Irwin, Arabist and novelist, examines its history and allure.The Alhambra is the only Muslim palace to have survived since the Middle Ages. Built by a threatened dynasty of Muslim Spain, it was preserved as a monument to the triumph of Christianity. Every day thousands of tourists enter this magnificent site to be awestruck by its towers and courts, its fountained gardens, its honeycombed ceilings and intricate tile work. It is a complex full of mysteries--even its purpose is unclear. Its sophisticated ornamentation is not indiscriminate but full of hidden meaning. Its most impressive buildings were designed not by architects, but by philosophers and poets. The Alhambra, which resembles a fairy-tale palace, was constructed by slave labor in an era of economic decline, plague, and political violence. Its sumptuously appointed halls have lain witness to murder and mayhem. Yet its influence on art and on literature--including Orientalist painting and the architecture of cinemas, Washington Irving and Jorge Luis Borges--has been lasting and significant. As our guide to this architectural masterpiece, Robert Irwin allows us to fully understand the impact of the Alhambra.
Spain: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: Peter Bush, Lisa Dillman
Explore Spain's rich literary landscape with some of the country's best contemporary writers. Arranged geographically, these thirty stories — many of which appear in English for the first time — transport the reader through Spain's many enchanting regions: experience a bull-run with Juan Goytisolo in Albacete, join Bernardo Atxaga in a Basque village, travel to the misty woods of Galicia with Manuel Rivas, and reminisce nostalgically with Julio Llamazares over black-and-white photos of his childhood Spain. Contributors include Nuria Amat, Bernardo Atxaga, Julián Ayesta, Carlos Blanco, Antón Castro, Agustín Cerezales, Rosa Chacel, Dulce Chacón, Rafael Chirbes, Miguel Delibes, Lucía Etxebarria, José Ferrer Bermejo, Laura Freixas, Amaia Gabantxo, Federico García Lorca, Juan Goytisolo, Julio Llamazares, José Jiménez Lozano, Javier Marías, Juan Marsé, Quim Monzó, Javier Puebla, Fernando Quiñones, Carme Riera, Manuel Rivas, Germán Sierra, Nivaria Tejera, and Angela Vallvey.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Spain is your indispensable guide to this beautiful part of the world. The fully updated guide includes unique cutaways, floor plans, and reconstructions of the must-see sights, along with street-by-street maps of key cities and towns. The uniquely visual DK Eyewitness Travel Guide will help you to discover everything region-by-region, from local festivals and markets to day trips around the countryside. Detailed listings will guide you to the best hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops for all budgets. Detailed transportation and other practical information will help you to get around easily by train, bus, or car. What's new in DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: New itineraries based on length of stay, regional destinations, and themes. Brand-new hotel and restaurants listings including DK's Choice recommendations. Restaurant locations plotted on redrawn area maps and listed with sights. Redesigned and refreshed interiors make the guides even easier to read. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Spain truly shows you this destination as no one else can.
Spain - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Belén Aguado Viguer
For many, Spain conjures up images of rapacious conquistadors, the unworldly Don Quixote, brave bullfighters, fiery flamenco dancers, and brilliant artists. All true enough—but how does the reality conform to these stereotypes? The Spanish people are certainly distinctive. Visitors are often astounded by their vitality, entranced by their friendliness, and driven mad by their frequent indulgence of their friends and relatives. They tend to be proud, passionate, spontaneous, generous, and loyal; they can also be procrastinators, individualistic to a fault, suspicious, and, not least, very noisy! Spain has had a major impact on European and world history. This is the nation that enjoyed a golden age of enlightenment, that discovered America and gathered in its riches, and that left the great legacy of its culture and its language, today spoken by over four hundred million people. In the early twentieth century, Spain suffered a bitter civil war and a stultifying dictatorship, from which it emerged in the late seventies to become again an integral part of Europe and the international arena. Culture Smart! Spain explores the complex human realities of modern Spanish life. It describes how history and geography have created both regional differences and shared values and attitudes. It reveals what the Spaniards are like at home, and in business, and how they socialize. It prepares you for their boundless energy and widespread religious devotion; and offers practical tips on how to behave and make the very most of your visit. The better you understand the Spanish people, the more you will be enriched by your experience of this vital, warm, and varied country—where the individual is important, and the enjoyment of life is paramount.
During its "golden age," Spain was a political giant whose influence spanned the world from Germany to the Western Pacific. Rich on American gold and silver, Spain was able to send the Armada against England, defeat the Turks and challenge France for the hegemony of Europe. This book will unlock the secrets of Spain's vibrant and colorful past, its people and culture for the interested traveller. It takes the reader on a journey from the earliest settlements on the Iberian Peninsula, through the influences of the Romans, the Goths and the Muslims, the traumas of expansion and the end of the Empire, right up to the present.
Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire
By: Roger Crowley
In Empires of the Sea and City of Fortune, New York Times bestselling author Roger Crowley established himself as our generation’s preeminent historian of the great European seafaring empires, and the go-to author for post-Crusade clashes of East and West. Now, in Conquerors, Crowley gives us the epic story of the emergence of Portugal, a small, poor nation that enjoyed a century of maritime supremacy thanks to the daring and navigational skill of its explorers—a tactical advantage no other country could match. Portugal’s discovery of a sea route to India, campaign of imperial conquest over Muslim rulers, and domination of the spice trade would forever disrupt the Mediterranean and build the first global economy. Crowley relies on letters and eyewitness testimony to tell the story of tiny Portugal’s rapid and breathtaking rise to power. Conquerors reveals the Império Português in all of its splendor and ferocity, bringing to life the personalities of the enterprising and fanatical house of Aviz. Figures such as King Manuel “the Fortunate,” João II “the Perfect Prince,” marauding governor Afonso de Albuquerque, and explorer Vasco da Gama juggled their private ambitions and the public aims of the empire, often suffering astonishing losses in pursuit of a global fortune. Also central to the story of Portugal’s ascent was its drive to eradicate Islamic culture and establish a Christian empire in the Indian Ocean. Portuguese explorers pushed deep into the African continent in search of the mythical Christian king Prester John, and they ruthlessly besieged Indian port cities in their attempts to monopolize trade. The discovery of a route to India around the horn of Africa was not only a brilliant breakthrough in navigation but heralded a complete upset of the world order. For the next century, no European empire was more ambitious, no rulers more rapacious than the kings of Portugal. In the process they created the first long-range maritime empire and set in motion the forces of globalization that now shape our world. At Crowley’s hand, the complete story of the Portuguese empire and the human cost of its ambition can finally be told.Praise for Conquerors “Excellent . . . Crowley’s interpretations are nuanced and fair.”—The Christian Science Monitor “In a riveting narrative, Crowley chronicles Portugal's horrifically violent trajectory from ‘impoverished, marginal’ nation to European power, vying with Spain and Venice to dominate the spice trade.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Brings to life the Portuguese explorers . . . perfect for anyone who likes a high seas tale.”—Publishers Weekly “Readers of Crowley’s previous books will not be disappointed by this exciting tale of sea battles, land campaigns and shipwrecks. . . . Crowley makes a good case for reclaiming Portugal’s significance as forger of the first global empire.”—The Daily Telegraph “Crowley has shown a rare gift for combining compelling narrative with lightly worn academic thoroughness as well as for balancing the human with the geopolitical—qualities on display here. The story he has to tell may be a thrilling one but not every historian could tell it so thrillingly.”—Michael Prodger, Financial Times “A fast-moving and highly readable narrative . . . [Crowley’s] detailed reconstruction of events is based on a close reading of the works of the chroniclers, notably Barros and Correa, whose accounts were written in the tradition of the chronicles of chivalry.”—History Today
Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past
By: Giles Tremlett
âPart modern social history, part travelogue, Ghosts of Spain is held together by elegant first-person proseâ¦an invaluable bookâ¦[that] has become something of a bible for those of us extranjeros who have chosen to live in Spain. A country finally facing its past could scarcely hope for a better, or more enamored, chronicler of its present.ââSarah Wildman, New York Times Book Review The appearance, more than sixty years after the Spanish Civil War ended, of mass graves containing victims of Francisco Francoâs death squads finally broke what Spaniards call âthe pact of forgettingââthe unwritten understanding that their recent, painful past was best left unexplored. At this charged moment, Giles Tremlett embarked on a journey around the country and through its history to discover why some of Europeâs most voluble people have kept silent so long. In elegant and passionate prose, Tremlett unveils the tinderbox of disagreements that mark the country today. Ghosts of Spain is a revelatory book about one of Europeâs most exciting countries.
Spain: The Root and the Flower: An Interpretation of Spain and the Spanish People
By: John A. Crow
This is the late John A. Crow's classic study of the cultural history of Spain and its people, which he last updated in 1985 but which seems as fresh and pertinent as when he first wrote it. Crow devoted a lifetime to Hispanic studies and here provides a historical interpretation of Spanish civilization from its earliest beginnings to the present. The scope of this study is remarkable and includes chapters on Roman Spain, the Jews in Spain, the Moors, life in medieval towns, and the Golden Age of Spain, plus a view of Franco's legacy.
The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
By: Maria Rosa Menocal
Widely hailed as a revelation of a "lost" golden age, this history brings to vivid life the rich and thriving culture of medieval Spain where, for more than seven centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in an atmosphere of tolerance, and literature, science, and the arts flourished. of photos. 3 maps.
No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check. Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain. That was the easy part.Lush with olive, lemon, and almond groves, the farm lacks a few essentials—running water, electricity, an access road. And then there's the problem of rapacious Pedro Romero, the previous owner who refuses to leave. A perpetual optimist, whose skill as a sheepshearer provides an ideal entrée into his new community, Stewart also possesses an unflappable spirit that, we soon learn, nothing can diminish. Wholly enchanted by the rugged terrain of the hillside and the people they meet along the way—among them farmers, including the ever-resourceful Domingo, other expatriates and artists—Chris and Ana Stewart build an enviable life, complete with a child and dogs, in a country far from home.
Spain is an immemorial land like no other one that James A Michener the Pulitzer Prize winning author and celebrated citizen of the world came to love as his own Iberia is Michener s enduring nonfiction tribute to his cherished second home In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark he not only reveals the celebrated history of bullfighters and warrior kings painters and processions cathedrals and olive orchards he also shares the intimate often hidden country he came to know where the congeniality of living souls is thrust against the dark weight of history Wild contradictory passionately beautiful this is Spain as experienced by a master writer Praise for Iberia From the glories of the Prado to the loneliest stone villages here is Spain castle of old dreams and new realities The New York Times Massive beautiful unquestionably some of the best writing on Spain and the best that Mr Michener has ever done on any subject The Wall Street Journal A dazzling panorama one of the richest and most satisfying books about Spain in living memory Saturday Review Kaleidoscopic This book will make you fall in love with Spain The Houston Post From the Paperback edition
Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture
By: José Saramago
When José Saramago decided to write a book about Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other books on the subject, and in this he has certainly succeeded. Recording the events and observations of a journey across the length and breadth of the country he loves dearly, Saramago brings Portugal to life as only a writer of his brilliance can. Forfeiting the usual sources such as tourist guides and road maps, he scours the country with the eyes and ears of an observer fascinated by the ancient myths and history of his people. Whether it be an inaccessible medieval fortress set on a cliff, a wayside chapel thick with cobwebs, or a grand mansion in the city, the extraordinary places of this land come alive.Always meticulously attentive to those elements of ancient Portugal that persist today, he examines the country in its current period of rapid transition and growth. Journey to Portugal is an ode to a country and its rich traditions.
“Small Memories is a . . . nourishing last gift from a great writer.”—Washington PostShifting back and forth between childhood and his teenage years, between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this is a mosaic of memories, a simply told, affecting look into the author’s boyhood: the tragic death of his older brother at the age of four; his mother pawning the family’s blankets every spring and buying them back in time for winter; his beloved grandparents bringing the weaker piglets into their bed on cold nights; and Saramago’s early encounters with literature, from teaching himself to read by deciphering articles in the daily newspaper, to poring over an entertaining dialogue in a Portuguese-French conversation guide, not realizing that he was in fact reading a play by Molière.Written with Saramago’s characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist fascinated by words and stories from an early age who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world’s most respected writers.“Like a nostalgic progenitor bestowing his wealth of life experience upon a younger generation, Saramago digs deep into his peasant roots to sketch a rough outline of the little boy who would become one of the greatest Portuguese-language writers”—Portland Oregonian
In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight," For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Your journey starts here. We've reimagined and updated our iconic DK Eyewitness travel guides. This brand new Lisbon guide, now in a lightweight format, has been expertly curated with all new photography plus DK's much-loved illustrations and maps.Explore the maze of narrow lanes in historic Alfama, soak up views of the city from the Castelo de São Jorge, or admire spectacular palaces and scenery in Sintra: everything you need to know is clearly laid out within color-coded chapters. Discover the best of Lisbon with this indispensable travel guide.Inside DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Lisbon: • Gorgeous, all-new color photography so you can imagine yourself there • Reasons to love Lisbon: picture-perfect views, quirky museums and iconic pastries - what will yours be? • See Lisbon from a different angle: 12 pages of fresh ideas for exploring this spectacular city • A year-long calendar of events in Lisbon gives a selection of local events and festivals for all seasons • Expert advice covers the practical stuff: get ready, get around and stay safe • Detailed, color maps help you navigate the country with ease • Expert tips to make memories that last - where to snap and share the perfect photo, take in stunning views and escape the crowds • The most authentic places to stay, eat, drink and shop • Easy-to-follow walks and itineraries take you on a tour of each area, with plenty of food and drink stops en route • Hand-drawn illustrations show the inside of the must-see attractions, including the spectacular Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, tile-filled Museu Nacional do Azulejo and Sintra's Palácio Nacional da Pena • Covers Alfama, Baixa and Avenida, Bairro Alto and Estrela, Belém, Beyond the Center and the Lisbon Coast DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Lisbon is a detailed, easy-to-use guide designed to help you create your own unique trip. Want to explore beyond Lisbon? Try our DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Portugal.About DK Eyewitness Travel: For 25 years, DK's beautifully practical Eyewitness guides have been combining inspiring ideas and expert advice with easy-to-read maps and vivid photography to inform and enrich your holiday. Now they have a stunning new look that you will love even more. DK is the world's leading illustrated reference publisher, producing beautifully designed books for adults and children in over 120 countries.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Barcelona and Catalonia
By: DK Eyewitness
An unbeatable guide to the buzzing city of Barcelona and the rural region of Catalonia, packed with photos and maps, insider tips, useful advice, and information.Inspiring itineraries will help you discover the best things to do in Barcelona and Catalonia, from marveling at Barcelona Cathedral and Gaudí's Sagrada Família and Park Güell, to enjoying the sun on the Costa Brava and visiting the peaceful monasteries, such as Montserrat, in the hills of Catalonia. You'll find listings for a variety of Catalonian hotels and restaurants, as well as a guide to help you find the best tapas in Barcelona. Unique illustrations, stunning photography, and detailed maps make this guide the essential companion to your trip to the region. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Barcelona & Catalonia truly shows you this city as no one else can.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.