BENISSA HAS A NEO-GOTHIC TREASURE


Benissa is one of those hidden treasures to be found on the Costa Blanca. You need to find the car park at the back of town, get out of your car and start your journey.

* Report by Karla Ingleton Darocas, Hons. B.A. (c) no part of this text or photographs may be reproduced

PICASSO'S PERVASIVE MOTHER AND CHILD PAINTINGS

The most frequently reproduced motif throughout the history of art, especially in Western art, is the subject of the mother with child. The earliest recorded depiction and the best known Mother and Child is the Byzantine icon of Mary and Jesus. These icon images were venerated by both the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Picasso was raised Catholic and knew the emotional power of the image of Mother and Child. These works, which run throughout his life, are some of my favourites. They are all different, depending on which visual form he was experimenting with at the time.

Let us take a look at a few of them and consider Picasso's different styles that he added to this powerful, universal theme of mother and child.

** Report by Karla Darocas, Hon. B.A. (KarlaDarocas.com)
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BEAUTIFUL BAROQUE MASTERPIECE SHOWS OFF ITS ARTISTIC PECULIARITY IN PEDREGUER


In Pedreguer sits the Parish Church of the Holy Cross (Iglesia de la Santa Cruz). It has taken me several months to get inside this church, as I kept going at the wrong times. It is a popular church and not a tourist monument, so one must go when it is open for the congregation to enjoy their mid day mass. I have discovered that 11:30 is the best time to get inside these historical works of artistic architectural brilliance.

When I arrived, a well dressed elderly lady took my hand and asked my interest in "her" church. I explained that I was a fine arts historian and teacher upon which she welcomed me and explained that "her" church was "very important".

I agreed and began my search to find out the artistic secret that makes this church so famous!

MARVEL IN THE MYSTERY AND FACE THE FAMOUS RELIC OF ALICANTE


Spain is indeed a wonderful place to explore religious relics. An adventurous traveller does not necessarily have to be dedicated to a relic to discover its resting place, but on your journey you can be enlightened by the wonderful art and architecture that surrounds it.

One such great example is the Catholic relic of Santa Faz (Holy Face), protected and venerated in the monastery of Santa Faz in the municipality of Santa Faz in Alicante. This relic is the destination of an annual pilgrimage attended by more than 260,000 relic lovers.

Since visiting monasteries and searching for relics are both great ways to spend a Sunday morning, I set out to witness the historical past and admire a few mysteries myself.

* Report by Karla Ingleton Darocas, Hons. B.A. (c) no part of this text or photos may be replicated

PONDER PROVINCIAL PRIDE FROM MEDIEVAL TO MODERN IN MURLA



Castle fortress and architecture aficionados will truly enjoy a trip into the mountains of the Marina Alta for a closeup look at a proudly preserved parish church that speaks to a precarious medieval past. Documents state that this castle/fort became a Christian parish church in 1317.

Murla's architectural structures range from medieval to modern and its historical past has been plagued with cultural and structural grievances. This all combines to make Mural a very interesting place to visit.

DECORATIVE AND DISTINCTLY HISPANIC IN SUECA


One of the most original, romantic and stylishly Spanish architectural genres of the late 19th century modernist movement is the decorative and distinctly Hispanic "Neomudéjar" style. Its enduring characteristic use of bricks, as the main constructive element, gives this architectural method its versatility and the power to be pretty.


ANNA'S SPECTACULAR STRUCTURE IS A SERIES OF HISTORICAL MILESTONES


Anna is a peaceful town in the Valencian hinterland along the Sellent river. It is a pleasant village away from everything and everyone where you can easily walk about seeking unpretentious scenic spaces. What you will find are lots of life affirming water channels crossing streets and sprouting forth from fountains. This abundance of multiple water sources gives origin to this town's Almohade name of "Yanna ", which means "water garden".

There is however, a spectacular grandiose structure of a castle palace that is an architectural milestone of continuous glorious history and purposeful restoration. Once a dilapidated worthless structure, today the Counts of Cervelló Palace is a prominent vestige of Anna's past and pride.

The history of this special palace marks a pendulum of abandonment and restoration as it moved from one famous owner to another and finally to a devoted town mayor whose actions from 1995 to 2007 give us the marvel that we explore today.