Michael Eaude traces this history and its monuments: Roman Tarragona, celebrated by the poet Martial; Greek Empuries, lost for centuries beneath the sands; medieval Romanesque architecture in the Vall de Boi churches (a World Heritage Site) and Poblet and Santes Creus monasteries. He tells the stories of several of Catalonia’s great figures: Abbot Oliva, who brought Moorish learning to Europe, the ruthless mercenary, Roger de Flor, and Verdaguer, handsome poet-priest.
Catalonia is famous today for its twentieth-century art. This book focuses on the revolutionary Art Nouveau buildings (including the Sagrada Familia) of Antoni Gaudi. It also explores the region’s artistic legacy: the young Picasso painting Barcelona’s vibrant slums; Salvador Dali, inspired by the twisted rocks of Cap de Creus to paint his landscapes of the human mind; and Joan Miro, discovering the colours of the red earth at Montroig.