31 Aug The Indians of Begur: the history of one of the most beautiful villages on the Costa Brava
Begur, one of the most charming villages on the Costa Brava, hides a secret about the origin of its Indian houses and their special relationship with Cuba. In the nineteenth century many families in the area had been ruined by the plague of phylloxera in agriculture and the drop in the price of coral due to the discovery of large deposits in Italy. Many young men in the area decided to emigrate to America, and Cuba had become the leading sugar producer and was one of the richest regions in the world.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many Catalans who had emigrated and prospered in their businesses, returned to their hometowns influenced by life in Colonial Cuba. They brought new ideas, invested in the cork industry and local coral divers, built ostentatious mansions characterized by their elegant arcaded galleries, fresco paintings with floral designs, balconies, and carved wood ceilings, very typical of colonial architecture. Known as Indian houses, their gated gardens with tropical vegetation and always with palm trees, evoked life in Cuba.
These houses today still convey style and elegance. Some of them have been transformed into hotels, apartments and restaurants, but all maintain their charm. The first weekend of September, during the Fair of the Indians, Begur celebrates its “American” legacy with exhibitions, concerts, guided tours, street theater and a variety of cultural activities.