czwartek, 28 kwietnia 2011

A Paella Culture
Spanish culture is like its famous paella, packed with colour and flavour, and many chefs have stirred the pot during the cooking process, from stone age Iberians, Romans and Moors to Catholic monarchs, enlightened despots and dictators. But the final ingredient was added only a nanosecond ago in its cultural timeline.
Walking through leafy Marbella with its palatial villas, designer boutiques, art galleries, chi chi restaurants and jet set yachting marina, it's incredible to think how much has changed in 35 years. At the time when Franco has been reduced to a frail octogenarian suffering from Parkinson's Disease, one quarter of the adult Spanish population was illiterate, contraception, divorce and homosexuality were illegal, 40 per cent of Spanish homes had no bath or shower and women were barred from working, owning spanish property, opening a bank account or even travelling without their husband's permission.
Today adult literacy is a healthy 98%, many homes have Jacuzzis as well as en suite bathrooms and marriage contracts go so far as to specify that men must do half the housework. Spain is one of only six countries in the world that allow same sex marriage, while women constitute nearly 50% of the workforce and occupy half the position in the Cabinet-more then in any other European government except Sweden. "When I finished law school in 1973, I was incapable. I was a lowyer but had no rights", is a telling comment of the times from Maria Teresa Fernandes de la Vega, Spain's first female Deputy Prime Minister.
When the swinging Sixties was liberating the rest of the westernworld, Spain remained an anachronism. The restoration of democracy after Franco's death changed everything at a stroke, sparking a sexual awakening known as El Destape-literally taking the lid off. Even the Roman Catolic Church was abolished and today Spain has no official religion-unthinkable under Franco or indeed, during the dark of the Inquisition which ordered the deaths of 12.000 nonbelievers over a period of 300 years. Ironically, although the majority of Spanish citizens remain Catholic-in spirit if not in practice-Islam is the second largest religion in Spain, due to the recent wave of Muslim immigrants. History is turning full circle.
During the decade after Franco, La Movida was a socio-cultural movement originating in Madrid that reflected the new Spanish identity, characterised by avant-garde art, literature, music and a zest for the fest which prevails today. Film directors like Pedro Almodovar exported this new openness abroad with films that exposed Spain's history of proud, long-suffering women and feckless, violent men. From a cultural Dark Ages, Spain became a force to be reckoned with in everything from the arts, fashion and design to sport, cinema and cuisine.
Modern Spain has lerned to treasure and preserve its heritage of Roman ruins, Mudejar palaces, Gothic catedrals and castles. Today it boasts more than 400 museums and art galleries, including Madrid's iconic Prado and Bilbao's Guggenheim, and 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites crowned by the Alhambra Palace in Granada-the most in the world, after Italy. It has hosted a Summer Olympics, several Expo World Fairs and numerous other events of international importance, also creating its own-the San Sebastian Film Festival and Granada's International Festival of Dance are world renowned. Spain's calendar creaks beneath the weight of more then 3.000 fesivals celebrated annualy, from the sombre Semana Santa processions and vibrant Sevilla Feria to Bunol's bizzare Tomatina tomato fight. Tourism, Spain's industry without smokestacks', has brought wealth and prosperity and added other ingrediens to the cultural melting pot. Even the costas have shed their image as cultural deserts and resort cities like Marbella can now compete with the best.
In a series shown on BBC Four last year a 1000 year cultural journey entitled The Art of Spain, British historian and broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon said: "Spain has produced some of the most startling and original art ever created... the art we need to know about, because it holds the key to understanding all of Europe and its culture".
It is story that began 32.000 years ago with the Stone Age wall paintings discovered in Cantabria's Caves of Altamira, and continued through Roman Hispania, Moorish Al-Andalus and Catholic Spain to present day Euroland.
Andalucia had a flourishing culture as early as 1000BC, influenced by Phoenecian and Greek traders who introduced the potter's weel, writing, coinage, the olive tree, grapevines, donkeys and hens. The Romans after them gave Hispania a road system, aqueducts, temples, amphitheatres and baths-preserved at Italica, Merida, Tarragona and Segovia-as well as the basis of a legal system and language. The country went on to adopt numerous words and accents from its next conquerors, the Arabs and Berbers of north Africa whose grasps of mathematics overflowed spectacularly into their intricate architecture and waterfilled gardens. Cordoba became the jewel in Europe's crown, with 700 mosques, 60.000 palaces and 70 libraries, the largest of which contained 600.000 books. Spain's oldest epic poem El Contar de Mio Cid, was writen during this period, an anonymous account of the adventures of the warrior El Cid and a fascinating insight into the times.
The Reconquest changed Spain's fortunes again. Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella authorised the expeditions of Christopher Columbus, culture flourished with the wealth brought from the New World and the Golden Age saw some of the most extravagant arts patronage in the country's history. The austerely magnificent monastery of El Escorial near Madrid was commissioned by Philip II, Velazquez received the patronage of Philip IV, other great artist like El Greco, Murillo and Zurbaran and composers such as Tomas Luis de Victoria and Alonso Lobo, whose influence lasted far into the Baroque period, added a rich legacy. Spanish literature blossomed too: Miguel de Cervantes' iconic Don Quijote de la Mancha, Tirso de Molina's El Burlador de Sevilla which introduced Don Juan to the stage, Lope de Vega, who wrote some 2000 plays during his lifetime.
If 17 century Spain was a hive of creativity in which art consumed 5% of the nation's income, the next two centuries were distinguished by far costlier war and destruction. Thank hevens for Goya, who recorded the violent times in his sombre Black Paintings and Disasters of War aquatins and brought light relief with his comically unflattering portraits of royalty. It took until the beginning of the next century of Antoni Gaudi, the Father of Modernism, to find renewed cause of hope, expressed throught the natural curves of Park Guell and the Pedrera apartment block in Barcelona. His incomplete Sagrada Familia shows how tied he was to the Catolic past, while looking to the art of the future.
Perhaps culture thrives on violence and despair, certainly, the period between the start of the First World War and the end of the second saw an unprecedented flowering of the arts in Spain, influenced by the writer Lorca, the film maker Bunuel and artists of world renown such as Juan Gris, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Antonio Tapies and Pablo Picasso whose macabre masterpiece, Guernica, was inspired by the German aerial bombing of the Basque town.
With notable exceptions, such as the prolific film maker Carlos Saura, art was stifled under Franco. Some 100.000 people were killed or died in prison after the war, among them many intelectualls, teachers and artists. But El Desarollo-The Spanish Economic Miracle-was preparing the ground for change. Spain surpassed the per capita income that differentiates developed from underdeveloped countries and the rise of a dominant new middle class hastened the return of democracy.
Something else was happening. The role model for the now wealthy Spaniards was prosperous western Europe, whose citizens increasingly came for holidays and were the forerunners of residencial tourism and the property boom. Along with their money they brought western values. So did returning Spanish citizens who had fled the Franco regime to work in the more industrialised and liberal countries of northern Europe. Censorship was history. Playboy hit the newsagents' stands and bikini clad girls the beaches, sex films were shown in government-licensed theaters, gay-themed bars opened in large cities and brothels freely advertised their services in even the most serious press. The change in the status of women was even more dramatic, advancing sexual equality and changing machista behaviour in the boardroom and the bedroom, including get tough measures on domestic violence wchich Prime Minister Zapatero has called Spain's greates national disgrace.
Today, Spain is a leading contributor to the global Who's Who of creative talent. In music it has given the world two of the "three tenors", Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, world class soprano Montserrat Caballe, Andres Segovia who did more then any other musician to establish the guitar as a serious classical instrument, and a host of pin-up pop stars, from Chenoa to Alejandro Sanz. Andalusian flamenco has been steeped in Spain's culture for three centuries and remains popular through icons such as Paco de Lucia, dancer Joaquin Cortes and flamenco fusion exponents such as Ketama and Nina Pastori. Spanish acting talent has been exported to Hollywood by the likes of Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Paz Vega, directors like Pedro Almodovar and Alejandro Amenabar are keeping Spanish cinema in the public eye. Woody Allen, receiving the prestigious Prince of Asturias Awards in 2002, remarked: "When i left New York, the most exciting film in the city at the time was Spanish, Pedro Almodovar's one. I hope that Europeans will continue to lead the way in film making because not much is coming from the United States".
Contemporary architecture is being driven by geniuses such as Santiago Calatrava whose iconic bridges and buildings, Valencia's City of Art and Scientes, the Los Ysios Winery in La Rioja, are world class. Cocina Nueva has taken the world by storm, with three star Michelin chefs Ferran Adria of El Bulli on the Costa Brava and Jose Maria Arzak of Arzak in San Sebastian introducing a scientific approach to food in the culinary laboratories. Spanish viticulture has taken up the gountlet thrown down by France and now produces some of the finest wines in the world.
Spain has hosted top sporting events, ranging from the 1992 Summer Olympics to the 1997 Ryder Cup. La Liga soccer teams like Real Madrid and Barca have a huge international following and Spain won the Euro 2008 and Worl Cup in 2010. Rafael Nadal's kudos on the world tennis circuit, Carlos Sastre's Tour the France victory. Fernando Alonso's Formula 1 succes and the achievments of Sergio Garcia, Severiano Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabar and Miguel Angel Jimenez on the golf fairways are other sporting feathers in the nation's cap. Madrid is pitching to host the 2016 Olympics and at least 13 Spanish cities are vying to became European Capital of Culture the same year.

wtorek, 19 kwietnia 2011

Godziny otwarcia podczas Swiąt Wielkanocnych
Biuro Ibermaxx nieczynne od 21 do 25 kwietnia 2011.

poniedziałek, 4 kwietnia 2011

Biuro IBERMAXX w Torrevieja.
Nasze biuro znajduje się w przepięknej miejscowości wypoczynkowej na Costa Blanca o nazwie Torrevieja. 50km na południe od lotniska w Alicante.
Najlepsze oferty w IBERMAXX. Dlaczego?
Nie kooperujemy z agencjami w Polsce. Nasze nieruchomosci pochodzą bezposrednio z hiszpańskiego rynku nieruchomości. Ibermaxx w Hiszpanii.
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Biuro Ibermaxx po prawej

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Szczęśliwi pracownicy Ibermaxx podczas przerwy na kawę w pobliskiej cafeterii