A Cuban legacy in Begur, Spain

If you were looking for a chic respite from all the high-octane action of the back-to-school scenario in France, you could have considered Begur, Spain. A quaint catalan town located just an hour away from the French border. Its striking medieval castle and its numerous and truly remarkable colonial-style houses bear traces of a long history of pirates, sailors, fishermen and…wealthy emigrants returning from Cuba. At the beginning of September, the village of Begur hosts the «Fira d’ Indians» and celebrates a period of history that has become part of its DNA: the emigration of the local people to Cuba and the Americas in the 19th century and their subsequent return. The “Indianos” who had struck it rich tried to recreate their lifestyle in Cuba and built gorgeous mansions that still evoke the elegant languor of Begur’s 19th century heyday today.

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Once you get past the entry of those villas you are greeted with a sense of authenticity, classicism and history. The moldings, cornices, murals, the colors, the patterns, the details and baseboards are a story in themselves.

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…Words that come to mind: opulent, extravagant! To me, a lesson in more is more!

The fish which adorns a vaulted ceiling refers here to the name of the owner, the Indiano Pere Roger.

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Two-in-one boutiques are proliferating all over Begur, with sometimes odd but often interesting pairings of goods and antiques.

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Shabby chic is part of the game in my favorite boutique!

During the festival, Begur’s main streets and squares host a food market and craft demonstrations. After sunset you can stroll through the lively scene of cafés and bars and enjoy musical performances, whether they be cuban bands, ” havaneres” -a capella groups singing shanties brought back from Cuba-, or historic street shows.

Don’t miss out on this exciting event next year!

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