Barcelona The Great Enchantress by Robert Hughes

By Robert Hughes

Starting with a vibrant description of his marriage ceremony within the most suitable medieval ceremonial chamber in Barcelona's urban corridor, Hughes launches right into a energetic account of the background, paintings, and structure of the storied urban. He tells of architectural treasures abounding in 14th-century Barcelona, constructing it as one in every of Europe's nice Gothic towns, whereas Madrid was once infrequently greater than a cluster of huts. town spawned such nice artists as Antoni Gaudi, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Casals. Hughes's deep wisdom of the town is evident--but it's his own reflections of what Barcelona, its humans, and its storied historical past and tradition have intended to him over the a long time that units Barcelona the good Enchantress except all others' books.

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He asked his friend Sheikh Mahmoud Tabari (so called after Tiberias, which in Arabic is Tabariah) for a horse and was given a sturdy steed. His plan was to ride first to Tiberias. The route took him through the towns of Ableen and Hittin, passing through A’yn Mahel. Hittin, eight kilometres north-west of Tiberias, was a particularly attractive village with breathtaking views. Its houses stood on descending terraces. Built of stone, with roofs made of arched wood, these dwellings were surrounded by orchards.

Jaffa was the Mecca of Palestine to which all roads led, much like ancient Rome. In Haifa, Jaffa Road was the town’s principal artery, originally connecting the eastern and western gates. This was also the main market street, divided into sections, each housing a specialised trade. It was by following this road that Najib fled the city. The covered marketplace he passed had been cleaned just before the start of the war, its roof repaired, its alleyways paved with tile. Further east along the seashore were to be found the oldest public buildings: the post office and government house, which 17 A Rift in Time was locally referred to as the saray (Persian for house).

Najib listened intently. He was now convinced that he must not give himself up. He had to go into hiding. Once he had made the decision, he began to feel that all eyes were upon him. I know that feeling also. In its early days the offices of the human rights organisation I had helped establish, Al Haq, were stormed by the Israeli army. After that they kept us under surveillance. On one occasion I went into the office to smuggle out some files and as I walked into the street with them I felt that everyone was looking at me.

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