Spanish Firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Awarded 2015 Alvar Aalto Medal Reply

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos

Arch–Spanish firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos has been selected to receive the 2015 Alvar Aalto Medal. Awarded every three years, the recognizes an office or architect “with outstanding merit in creative architecture.” Nieto Sobejano and its founders – Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano—were commended by the jury for their profound understanding of the local cultures where they work.

“Nieto and Sobejano were key names in the new wave of Spanish architecture, which emerged in the late 1970s. The roots of their architecture lie in Spain, and its multi-layered history and culture,” the jury wrote. “Their works speak a silent language, proving that the precondition of meaningful architecture is an in-depth understanding of local culture and the context of the design brief.” Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos has offices in both Madrid and Berlin, and is known for their work with exhibition and museum buildings, particularly with renovations and expansions. The jury this year was comprised of architects Rainer Mahlamäki (Finland), Simo Freese (Finland), Wessel de Jonge (the Netherlands) and Dorte Mandrup-Poulsen (Denmark).



The Top 10 Cultural Holidays in Spain Reply

Cantabrian caves Spain–Our experts’ pick of the top 10 cultural holidays in Spain for 2015, including the Dalí Triangle, the Chopin music festival and the best cultural activities for families, in destinations such as Madrid, Costa Brava, Majorca and Malaga

1. Cantabria’s prehistoric caves

It’s been a huge year for Cantabria’s prehistoric, World Heritage-listed Altamira Cave. For the first time since 2002, the original cavern (rather than the replica) has been opened up to five randomly selected ticket holders each week, making it an exceptionally exciting time to visit. But it pays to dig deeper into Cantabria’s lesser-known caves, which is easily done with the independent Caminos by Casas Cantabricas “Short Break Cantabria” itinerary. Its cave-focused option also covers El Castillo (for the world’s oldest cave art) and the eerie Eastern Caves in Ramales. From £240pp for four nights’ b & b, including car hire, Altamira tickets and app guides to the area. Flights not included (01223 328721; Isabella Noble


Living in a Cave in Rural Granada Reply

Cave home Baza

Andrew Allen writes for NY, BAZA, Spain — It was a desire to experience what Danielle Dupeux called a more “primordial” way of living that prompted her and her husband to create a cave house in rural Granada. Primordial it may be, but it is hardly cramped. The house sprawls across more than 800 square meters, about 8,600 square feet, on two levels underground. Ms. Dupeux, an artist and a native of France, and her husband, Andre Malby, an alternative-medicine practitioner, were already living in southern Spain when Mr. Malby convinced his wife that they should look for a cave house.

While such dwellings exist throughout Europe, they are particularly common — and in demand — in Granada Province. A 2007 report by the provincial government, the most recent official tally available, said that in 2002, there were 11,795 such properties in the province and 5,838 of them were occupied.


Exploring Andalusia’s Islamic History Reply

Alhambra Granada Spain

The majesty of southern Spain is testament to a history peppered with cultural and religious differences. Today, those are celebrated as part of its beauty.

Arwa Aburawa writes for–The story goes that when the ruler of Granada, Muhammad XII of Granada, was forced out of the city in January 1492, he took one last look at the Alhambra and wept. Though nobody will ever know for sure what thoughts were running through his mind as he fled into exile, I’d like to think that he shed tears not only because of his bitter defeat, but also because he couldn’t bear to leave the beauty and charm of Muslim Spain – Al Andalus. After almost 800 years, Muslim rule had left an undeniable mark on the rugged, mountainous and fertile lands of southern Spain, but that was now all over.


The Interactive Panoramic Ribera del Duero Reply

Ribera del Duero

Editor’s note: Don’t worry if you don’t read Spanish. This feature is not about text. It’s about Luis Davilla’s marvelous high-res 360º photographs of  the Ribera del Duero wine region. Enjoy!

Recorremos esta ruta enoturística por Castilla y León a través de panorámicas en HD, con paradas en localidades como Peñafiel, bodegas firmadas por Norman Foster o monasterios como el de Santa María de Valbuena.–En esta nueva entrega de imágenes panorámicas, le invita a visitar la Ribera del Duero de principio a fin y, sobre todo, a través de hermosas panorámicas en 360º. Ancestral tierra de vinos, la ruta enoturística amparada bajo la denominación de origen homónima nos muestra bodegas como las de Protos en Peñafiel (Valladolid), diseñada por el arquitecto Richard Rogers; Portia en Gumiel de Izán (Burgos), obra de Norman Foster; la de Rodero en Pedrosa de Duero, también en Burgos, o la subterránea de El Romellón, en Aranda de Duero.


Duchess of Alba: Spain’s Richest Aristocrat Dies Aged 88 Reply

Duchess of Alba

Maria del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart had more titles than any other aristocrat and owned palaces and an extensive property portfolio as well as paintings by Goya and Velazquez. She died at home on Thursday after a short illness. The duchess is survived by her husband of three years, Alfonso Diez, who is 25 years her junior. The Duchess of Alba was the head of one of Spain’s oldest noble families.–Spain’s ‘rebel noble’, by Fiona Govan, Madrid–The frizzy-haired eccentric aristocrat was one of Spain’s most-loved figures whose antics filled the nation’s gossip magazines and gripped the audiences of TV chat shows even during the final months of her long life. Described as the “rebel noble”, she spurned convention to forge her own path in life, following her passion for flamenco and, as a patron of the arts, amassing a private collection of masterpieces said to rival any in Europe. Her exuberant character, complete with squeaky voice and flamboyant dress-sense, enraptured Spaniards who followed the vicissitudes of her 88 years.


How Spain Got the World’s Highest Concentration of Elevators Reply

Elevator record Spain–When you think about Spain, the first thing that pops into mind is undoubtedly one word: Elevators. No? Well, maybe it should be. Compared to other countries, Spain’s elevator supply looks remarkably, well, elevated.

At face value, there’s a pretty simple reason why. Spaniards are some of the world’s pre-eminent apartment-dwellers. In 2012, roughly 65% of the population lived in apartment buildings, much higher than the euro-area average of 46%. (The only other European countries that compare to Spain in terms of apartment-living are Latvia and Estonia, which are both also around 65%.)


Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Spain Reply

Alcazar Seville–A country rich in history, culture, architecture and natural beauty is a country that is rich in happy visitors. Today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Spanish Tourist Attractions and Destinations.

We’ve chosen the monuments, sites, buildings or regions of Spain that attract many visitors each year and are also of historical, architectural or archeological significance.


Video of the Inauguration of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral in 2010 Reply

Sagrada Familia Spain

Josep Maria Llovera Jané on YouTube–Beautiful images emitted by TV3 of Catalonia on the day of the inauguration of La Sagrada Familia (Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familiain 2010. A year later I did this 17-minute summary in order to give more publicity to this unique architectural gem, designed by Antoni Gaudi. (Note: If you have a broadband Internet connection we recommend that you select “HD” and watch the video full screen.)


Game of Thrones to Use Andalusia’s Moorish Fortresses as Season Five Set Reply

Game of Thrones

HBO yet to confirm exact filming spots but Spanish media reports Alcázar of Seville is among sites to appear in the show

Ashifa Kassam in Madrid writes for The–For thousands of years, its lands played host to invasions, conquests and feuds. Now the southern Spanish region of Andalusia is having a return of sorts to its history, as it prepares for the filming of next season’s Game of Thrones. Confirming weeks of speculation, HBO said that season five of its blockbuster fantasy series would be partially shot in the province of Seville, with filming to begin later this year.