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  • Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    Art around Sant Cugat

    One difference from Raleigh is that there is a lot more art out and about the area. Not to take anything away from the giant acorn, but I prefer the pieces I’ve seen here. They tend to be abstract and modern, but very well done (unlike the welcome tower coming down Capital Boulevard into Raleigh that is practically indistinguishable from a cell phone relay station). On the way to driving the kids to school, I pass a cinema that has 3, twelve foot abstract heads. My wife didn’t even recognize them as heads the first time that she saw them, but I think that they are quite good.

    Art isn’t just in Sant Cugat, but seems to have been sprinkled about practically everywhere. As we travel about the area, large sculptures seem to be about as common as rest stops. I like the entrance to Universidad Autonama which is adorned with 4 massive columns, all of different sizes, and all between 6-8 stories tall. These towers are built up of square concrete slabs that are gradually rotated, making it look like there are stairs spinning up the sides of the towers.

    Modern art is also added to almost every historic site. We recently took a trip to Costa Brava, which is the ritzy, vacation area in Spain. In Begur, there is a big hill, with the remains of a castle/lookout tower that watches over the coast for miles around. We hiked up the ancient crumbling stones, wrapping around the hill 4 times to finally reach the tower. You climb in and in the parapet you not only have a great view, but there is also an 8 foot sculpture made out of metal gears and rods. I actually liked the sculpture; I just found it a little odd to be stuck in the middle of an ancient rock structure.

    There was another example that was even odder in Besalu, a historic town about 45 minutes inland from Begur. Beselu is a great town that has been preserved for who knows how many years. To get into the city, you park you car and then walk across a giant stone walking bridge, passing giant iron gates designed to keep out the invading hoards. Once inside the town there are restaurants, shops, and apartments all in the ancient stone structures. As an aside, one of the shops that we passed specialized in flat screen TVs. I wonder who has the brilliant business plan to rent a space in an ancient city to sell modern electronics. I’m pretty sure the store tries to compensate by offering free delivery, but my Spanish is still not good enough to know for sure. Back to the point…while walking down one of these narrow streets we noticed that someone had welded a metal chair 2 ½ stories up on the side of one of the stone walls. After we noticed the first one, we started to notice that, every once in a while you would turn a corner and there, welded way above your head, would be another vertical chair.


    Blogger Ilona said...

    In Germany also, I loved the public art everywhere. It sounds like you are having a great time, seeing cool things and getting along well. Hope the kids are as well. I agree with the "wife" on the cereal issue. :-)

    7:35 AM  
    Blogger Emigrante en USA said...

    Hi there!
    The 4 columns in fornt of the Universitat Autonoma represent the 4 stripes in tha Catalan flag.
    Please continue with your adventure and keep posting!

    12:47 AM  

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