The recently deceased writer Gabriel García Márquez is globally renowned, and not just for his excellent works but also because he gave birth to the concept of magical realism, which exists thanks to the narrative and experiences of this Colombian writer who resided in Mexico had throughout his life. To learn more about him and his work, there are three cities which you absolutely must visit, three cities which, without doubt, maintain the spirit of the magical realism so characteristic of the work of the author of the excellent One Hundred Years of Solitude.
The city that has marked a large part of the literary history and life of Gabriel García Márquez is undoubtedly Cartagena de Indias. As he once said about this beautiful city: “it was enough for me to take a step inside the wall to see it in all its grandeur in the mauve light of six in the evening, and I could not repress the feeling of having been born again.” Anyone who sees it for the first time, like him, will surely not be able to repress the feeling of having been born again. And it is because this city is magical. Exploring its streets –particularly those of the old town, inside the wall– it is possible to make two trips at the same time, through the real city and the invented one, in the hope of seeing the points at which they meet.
Cuba, and more specifically Havana, is a mandatory stop-off for those who adore the Colombian’s work. For decades, Gabo had a close relationship with Cuba and was a good friend of Fidel Castro. The Nobel Prize winner was one of the founders of the renowned San Antonio los Baños School of Cinema and he was also the driving force being the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema which is held in Havana. Strolling through Havana is placing yourself in a historical moment full of culture, entertainment and a unique lifestyle.
And last but not least is Mexico City. García Márquez decided make this great metropolis, where he met with other writers such as Carlos Fuentes in historical bars such as La Ópera (highly recommended), his home. The Mexican capital is known as the City of Palaces, as Alejandro von Humboldt baptized it in the 19th century because it was made up of many architectural masterpieces of both the Baroque and neoclassical styles. These include the Palacio del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall Palace), Palacio de Buenavista, Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Palacio de las Comunicaciones… Sufficient grounds for it to bear this name, right? Thus, the Nobel Prize winner decided to set up home in the City of Palaces in 1981 and he stayed their until the end of his life.
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