Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Cadaques and Figueres

Executive summary by darmansjah

Cadaques  is a town in the Alt Empordà comarca, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It is on a bay in the middle of the Cap de Creus peninsula, near Cap de Creus cape, on the Costa Brava of the Mediterranean. It is only a two-and-a-quarter hour drive from Barcelona, and thus it is very accessible and not only attracts tourists but people who want a second home for weekends and summers. In 2002, Cadaqués had an official population of 2,612, but up to ten times as many people can live in the town during the peak of the summer tourism season.

Cadaqués has a special place in art history. Commanding charcoals, by local artist Meifrén, of the 19th century Cadaqués beleaguered by a winter tramontane, can be seen at the Cadaqués museum. Fren was the first modern artist to live in Cadaqués and gave the town many of his works and a marble top table on which he sketched many of its turn-of-the-century fishermen.

Salvador Dalí often visited Cadaqués in his childhood, and later kept a home in Port Lligat, a small village on a bay next to the town. A summer holiday here in 1916, spent with the family of Ramon Pichot is seen as especially important to Dalí's artistic career. Other notable artists, including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Richard Hamilton, Albert Ràfols-Casamada, Antoni Pitxot, Henri-François Rey, Melina Mercouri and Maurice Boitel also spent time here. Cadaqués is mentioned in the story "Tramontana" by Gabriel García Márquez.

The interesting submarine life of this sleepy fishing village was studied for several years by phycologist Françoise Ardré, long before Cadaqués was discovered and transformed into a tourism destination. On Mondays there is a travelling market in Cadaqués, located near the parking lot. This market has a wide variety of products.

Main sights

Salvador Dalí House-Museum
Church of St. Mary (17th century)
Hermitage of Sant Sebastià, a large house located high on Pení Mountain behind Cadaqués. It is a private residence not open to the public. The hermitage is surrounded by cork trees, and is built on a steep slope.
Natural Park of Cap de Creus.

Figueres

Figueres  is the capital of the comarca of Alt Empordà, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain.

The town is the birthplace of artist Salvador Dalí, and houses the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, a large museum designed by Dalí himself which attracts many visitors. It is also the birthplace of Narcís Monturiol i Estarriol, inventor of the first successful machine-powered submarine. Also born here was Mónica Naranjo, one of the best selling Spanish singers of the 1990s and 2000s (decade).

Main Sights:
 
Sant Ferran Castle, built in 1753 during the reign of Ferdinand VI of Spain. It has a pentagonal plan, with a total perimeter of 5.6 km (3.5 mi).
Parish church of St. Peter, in Gothic. It has a single nave with side chapels.
Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí (19th century, renovated in the 1960s). It incorporates a tower from the ancient walls.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Museu Picasso

Executive summary by darmansjah

The Museu Picasso located in Barcelona, Spain, houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. With more than 3,500 works by the painter, the museum has the most complete collection of works. The museum is housed in five adjoining medieval palaces in Barcelona's La Ribera and is located on Montcada Street in the (Bank District) of Barcelona. It opened to the public on March 9 in 1963,[ becoming the first museum dedicated to Picasso's work and the only one created during the artist's life. It has since been declared a (museum of national interest) by the Government of Catalonia.

Highlights of the collection include two of his first major works, The First Communion (1896), and Science and Charity (1897). In particular, the Museu Picasso reveals Picasso's relationship with the city of Barcelona, a relationship that was shaped in his youth and adolescence, and continued until his death.

The Museu Picasso occupies five large houses or palaces of the Calle Montcada Barcelona, dating from the 13th century and 14th century, occupying a total area of 10,628 sqm. The buildings follow the style of Gothic civil Catalan. Each of the 5 buildings are built following a similar pattern, around a patio equipped with an exterior staircase that allows access to the main floors. The buildings that house the collection of Picasso's works also have their own history.

The permanent collection is organized into three sections: painting and drawing, engraving, and ceramics. These cover principally the early years of Picasso’s artistic life, such as his Blue Period from 1901 to 1904, but Picasso, his family, and his friends would bequest or loan other later pieces as well. There are now more than 3,500 works making up the permanent collection of the museum.

The collection is organized into areas that include the early years (Málaga, Corunna and Barcelona, 1890–97), the training period (Barcelona, Horta de San Juan and Madrid, 1897–1901), the Blue Period (1901–04), works in Barcelona from 1917, and the entire Las Meninas(1957) series. Most of the paintings on display at the museum are from the period between 1890 and 1917, an important collection in regard to that portion of Picasso's life. The museum has very few paintings after 1917, with the exception of the Las Meninas, painted in 1957. The collection of lithographs comprises the years 1962 and 1982. Picasso himself gave the museum a copy of each of his works produced after the death of Sabartés in 1968. The collection also includes illustrations made by the artist for various books, as well as ceramics gifted to the museum by Picasso's widow, Jacqueline.

Between 2009 and 2010 the museum began making information on the permanent collection public on their website. As of October 2010, over 65% of the museum's collection was available to view online.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Executive summary by darmansjah

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt to one side. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) after the Cathedral and the Baptistry. The tower's tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure's weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed, and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons).The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from where it would be if the structure were perfectly vertical