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Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes.

Монастырь Sant Pere de Rodes
On the northern slope of the most prominent east point of the Iberian Peninsula, сape Cap de Creus, on a spot with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, is the once mighty Benedictine monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. By the way, this place is considered as one of the most visited places in Spain!
The first monks, attracted by the stunning views, great climate and almost walking distance to the beautiful sandy beach in the nearby town of Port de La Selva, settled here in the 9th century. Already in 944, the monastery had abbey status and became a center of pilgrimage for wandering monks from all countries of the Christian world.
As is usually the case, the issues of money and land ownership have long spoiled relations between the fraternal Spanish and French peoples, and problems arose, as always, among the unfortunate Catalans who found themselves in the middle. Numerous wars, attacks by North African pirates, as well as terrible epidemics that raged in the Middle Ages led to the fact that the monastery gradually began to decline, starting from the 14th century. Even the flourishing of winemaking in this region in the 17th-18th centuries could not change the situation and mood. Since the middle of the 19th century, the monastery has been systematically destroyed and was literally plundered in parts by zealous peasant neighbors and greedy collectors of antiques.
Fortunately, in 1930 the monastery was declared a National Historic Artistic Monument. Since then, numerous restoration works have been carried out on its territory in an attempt to revive the former appearance of this impressive creation of human hands. Today we have the opportunity to visit the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes and understand what made the Benedictine monks acquire real estate in this particular area of Catalonia.

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Darnius Boadella Reservoir

Водохранилище Дарниус Боаделья Reservoir Embalse Embassament Darnius Boadella
Darnius Boadella Reservoir. 
Today we would like to tell you about another wonderful place where you can spend time pleasantly on a weekend.
This is the Darnius Boadella reservoir, located in the foothills of the Pyrenees densely covered with green forests.
The reservoir was created in 1969 after the construction of a dam on the Muga River, which flows into the Mediterranean Sea in the city of Empuriabrava.
Two settlements fought for a long time for the honor of giving its name to the reservoir – Darnius and Boadella; The Generalit of Catalonia, by a wise decision, put an end to this dispute, and now the reservoir bears the names of these two cities.
On the reservoir you can swim, fish, sail, paddle, and even take a motor boat. And most importantly – incredible landscapes. That is why foreign tourists can often be found at the reservoir – most often they are Swiss, Germans and Belgians.
We invite you to take a virtual trip to the Darnius Boadella reservoir.

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Gualba Natural Park

Природный парк Гуальба; Gualba Natural Park; Parc naturel de Gualba; Parque mediambiental de Gualba; Parc mediambiental de Gualba
Gualba Natural Park.
The Montseny Natural Park-Reserve, spread over a huge area of 30,000 hectares in the homonymous mountain range and located halfway between Barcelona and the Costa Brava, is a great place to spend a day off in the fresh air! UNESCO declared Montseny a biosphere reserve in 1978 due to the incredible beauty of the surrounding landscapes and the rich diversity of flora and fauna. Among the innumerable sights on the territory of the Montseny Nature Reserve, today we would like to tell you about the Natural Park of Gualba. It was named after a small town located on the banks of the mountain stream Riera de Gualba. This stream flows from the Santa Fe artificial reservoir located at an altitude of about 1,000 meters, after which it falls down in the form of a waterfall called Salt de Gualba. At the end of the 20s of the last century, it was planned to build a hotel with more than a thousand rooms near the reservoir, and a narrow-gauge cogwheel railway – cremallera in Spanish – was to pass to the hotel from the located below town of Gualba; unfortunately, these plans were not destined to come true. Today, on the territory of Gualba Park, tourists are offered to use local camping, to enjoy picnic / barbecue area and to swim in the pool in summer, in addition to a walk to the waterfall and along the river bed.

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Carnival in Playa de Aro 2020

Карнавал в Плайя де Аро 2020

Carnival in Playa de Aro 2020.

Attention, attention! The Mayor’s Office of Playa de Aro warns all residents and visitors of the city – from February 15 to 26, 2020 a merciless and uncompromising carnival will fall upon us. To prepare in advance for this natural disaster holiday, please read its program on the Playa de Aro website (unfortunately, the program is available only in the Spanish and Catalan versions of the site); at the bottom of the page there is a Descarga PDF link – you can download a file with more detailed information in Catalan.

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Live nativity scenes in Calonge

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In a Christmas time there are traditional performances based on biblical subjects, live nativity scenes (pessebres vivents in Catalan), many cities of Catalonia. Typically, these performances take place in the old part of the city in the evening to add medieval flavor and achieve complete immersion in the atmosphere of the era of the birth of Jesus Christ. Local residents dressed in clothes of those times depict both biblical sketches and everyday plots from the life of peasants of that era.
We have already informed our readers about similar performances that took place in the cities of Castell d’Aro, Pals, Tossa de Mar, Perelada and Brunyola. This year we visited the live nativity scenes in Calonge, it took place on the site around the ancient castle of the XII century. We bring to your attention a small photo report.

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Christmas Tree Fair in Espinelves.

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Christmas and New Year are approaching fast, and it means that soon a Christmas tree will appear in your house, and the best place to buy a live Christmas tree in Catalonia is a fair in the small town of Espinelves, lost among the mountains in the Montseny nature park, between Girona and Vic.
The traditional Christmas fair in Espinelves is already held 39 times, people seriously come here from almost all of Catalonia to buy not only a Christmas tree, but also a wide variety of home decorations, in order to prepare for the celebration of Christmas – the most beloved holiday for children and adults. And well, how can a Catalan fair do without traditional stalls with yummy and products of local artisans?
So if you don’t even plan to install a live Christmas tree at home, then you can just walk along the narrow streets of a medieval Catalan village (and the village is really aged – the Espinelves church has been mentioned in historical chronicles since 943!) – it’s a great opportunity to spend a wonderful weekend with your family!
Keep in mind that the fair is open until December 8, the weather forecast promises cooling, and in the evening, after sunset, the temperature in the mountains decreases rapidly, so it is better to dress warmer!

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Montsoriu Castle

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In the eastern part of the Montseny Natural Park, on a high hill, proudly rises one of the best Gothic castles of Catalonia – Montsoriu Castle (Castell de Montsoriu). People lived here since ancient times, the ancient Iberians built their settlement here, realizing the benefits of the convenient location and security of this place. The first written evidence of the presence of a fortified settlement dates back to 923, and the heyday of the castle’s glory dates back to the 14th century – it was then that the Viscount family of Cabrera lived here – one of the powerful families of the Catalan-Aragonese kingdom. According to contemporaries, the castle was a practically impregnable fortress thanks to stone walls and towers built according to the canons of fortification art, as well as an ingenious system for storing drinking water. In the troubled times of the Middle Ages, the castle gave shelter to other noble families of Catalonia, as well as to residents of surrounding villages.
Restoration work in the castle began in 1993, and they continue to this day.
According to one legend, three snakes live in one of the dungeons of the Montsoriu castle, and each of them holds a diamond in her mouth, and only in order to quench the thirst, snakes lay diamonds aside. The daredevil who can secretly steal a diamond from a snake while she drinks water will be rich and happy😃.

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Salvador Dali House-Museum in Port Lligat

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Without a doubt, all the real fans of Salvador Dali’s work, as well as true connoisseurs and experts on the Costa Brava, have already visited (and some, probably more than once!) The Salvador Dali House-Museum located in the small fishing village of Port Lligat, which is part of to the city of Cadaqués. We were also lucky to visit here, so today we will share information that may be of interest to those who are just going to pay a visit to Port Lligat.
A short story – in 1930, the Dali couple acquired a miniature fishing shack in a deplorable state, a neighboring house was purchased a few months later, and since then the almost non-stop process of transforming the space, adding new rooms, ennoblement of the adjacent territory has begun . It was here that Salvador Dali constantly (with a break from 1937 to 1948) lived and created his imperishable masterpieces until the tragic 1982, the year of the death of Gala, his permanent Muse. Then he was forced to move to Pubol in the castle of Gala-Dali, and then, having received serious burns during a fire in the castle in 1984, he moved to the Galatea tower in the Dali Theater-Museum in Figueiras, from where he was not destined to return to his beloved Port Lligat…

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Walk through the park with animals in the Pyrenees – Molló Parc

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Walk through the park with animals in the Pyrenees – Molló Parc.

In a picturesque mountain region of the Pyrenees, near the town of Camprodon, at an altitude of about 1,100 meters above sea level, there is a small Molló Parc in which live animals typical of this region of Catalonia, as close as possible to natural conditions.
According to the website of the park, here you can find several species of deer, wild boar, brown bear, wolf, fox, wild goats. There are also night and day birds of prey, marmots, otter, squirrels, lynx, wildcat, geneta. Also in the park there is a small farm where they live ducks, hens with roosters, domestic goats, guinea pigs, rabbits, calf, horse and foal, as well as a pair of obedient kind ponies ready to ride your kids for 5 Euros.
In addition to animals, in the park there are the main representatives of the local vegetation – almond, apple, spruce, ash, mountain ash, birch, hawthorn, fern, oak, cherry tree and many others. If you got tired during your walk, there are two picnic areas in the park, and if you didn’t take food with you, you can buy it in the mini-bars located here.
Great place to spend the day in nature with children!

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Fireworks Festival in Blanes 2019

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To the attention of vacationers and residents of the Costa Brava!
From July 23 to July 27 (Tuesday-Saturday next week) in the city of Blanes, right on the beach, the annual International Fireworks Competition of the Costa Brava will be held for the 49th time (the  official name in Catalan is – Concurs Internacional de Focs d ‘ Artifici de la Costa Brava).
According to the requirements to the contestants set by the town council, the action should begin at 22:30, with three warning shots at 22:15, 22:25 and at 22:30, the duration of the fireworks should be at least 18 minutes, not counting the very first and the latest shots.

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