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Granada – La Cartuja

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After the city cathedral and royal chapel, the most important religious building in Granada is La Cartuja, on the grounds of the University.


The name derives from monks of the Carthusian order. Very serious, very austere and, apparently, very given to be murdered in the most barbaric ways imaginable. If you are into Monk Torture… well, you should probably get some serious counselling, but before you do: indulge in one last fling at La Cartuja. Stabbed, shot, disemboweled… the complex is decked out in paintings of holy brothers being slain.

Besides the awesome Monk Death paintings, the Cartuja is worth visiting for its chapel and sacristy, constructed in the 18th century.

The Carthusians are some kooky mother fuckers. Even today, they live a life of seclusion and quiet prayer, as cut off from the outside world as possible. Their order in Granada is no longer active, but there’s one near Valencia — the Porta Coeli Charterhouse. If you’re interested, a recent movie about Carthusians won a lot of awards: Into Great Silence, by Philip Gröning.

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February 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm Comment (1)

Historic Valencian Neighborhood to Be Destroyed?!

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It seems as though the city government has plans to extend a huge boulevard through the historic Valencian neighborhood of Gran Via. Over 400 buildings will be torn out of the ground and the area left unrecognizable.

Oh… wait a second. Gran Via is the home of Valencia’s wealthy elite, and the destruction of their neighborhood to improve transit would be absolutely unthinkable. I must have my facts wrong… let’s see…


Ah yes, here it is. It’s the historic neighborhood of Cabanyal which is to be gutted for the extension of Boulevard Blasco Ibáñez. The Ayuntamiento is planning to rip up hundreds of houses apartments (thanks ReinderVLC), in order to speed access to the sea. Yes, yes, all in the name of progress. Only poor people actually live in Cabanyal, so who cares?

Turns out a lot of people do. Cabanyal is one of Europe’s most unique and important seaside neighborhoods. The battle over its future has been going on for about a decade. Recently, further development has been blocked by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, which recognized Cabanyal as a site of cultural heritage.

As you can guess from the tone of my writing, I’m opposed to the extension of Blasco Ibáñez. In the past, it’s been suggested that I “keep my mouth shut” on political matters, since I’m a foreigner. But tough. Especially because I’m a visitor, I’m well aware that the historic district of Cabanyal is one of the city’s top highlights. The government doesn’t seem to recognize the treasure right under its nose. They should be restoring the neighborhood, not destroying it.

Events in and around Cabanyal: Semana SantaBeach ProcessionMascleta Napolitana

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January 13, 2010 at 11:16 am Comments (6)

Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias / City of Arts and Sciences

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The City of Arts and Sciences is almost certainly the most photographed area in Valencia. Found at the end of the Turia riverbed park, I’ve been to the CAC numerous times for jogging, sightseeing, the ATP Open 500 Tennis, the science museum, the oceanographic, and the IMAX in the Hemisferic, but for some reason, I never had a big urge to take a ton of pictures. However, yesterday’s sunset inspired me and I couldn’t hold myself back from photographing the CAC.

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November 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm Comments (16)

Valencia Open 500 & The New Agora by Calatrava

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The inaugural event for Calatrava’s Agora is the ATP Open 500 tennis tournament, which is on right now until November 8th. I went to see Alberto Martin play Andy Ram but was mostly interested in the brand new Calatrava building. The Agora is stunning but on the second look it’s apparent that the tennis event snuck up fast on the organizers. On a closer look things seemed unfinished and compromised. Hopefully, this will change after more time has passed by.

Altogether, the Agora is breathtaking from the inside and out. The interior feels very organic and reminds me of Noah’s Ark. Kind of like the Marriott hotel in Atlanta.

I’m going again for the final on the 8th, but might cover some other events. I would love to see Ferrer but don’t see anywhere when he is playing.

There are still tickets available, even for the final. So if you are interested in going yourself act fast.

More info & Tickets: Open Tennis 500

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November 1, 2009 at 7:17 pm Comments (8)