Castles and Dreams: Created by ‘Greatness’

disturbed her to learn that few of the

foundations, universities and social clubs

she networked with would organize trips to Spain.

Sadly, the problem was cultural; Spaniards were rarely taught to appreciate their heritage or encouraged to preserve it. Recruiting the help of her cousin Gonzalo, who helped to fund the project, Isabel set out to change this bleak perspective. She reached out to the owners of extraordinary

properties; many of them descendants of

noble families with fascinating stories to

tell. The result was an unprecedented behind-the-curtains glance at of the finest historical residences Spain has to offer.

The aforementioned palace with the stunning grounds, Pazo de Oca, is located in Pontevedra, Galicia, just a short distance from Santiago de Compostela – the final stop of the fabled St James Way pilgrimage. Nicknamed the ‘Galician Versailles’ for its

spectacular gardens and hidden

passageways, it originated as a 12th

century fortress eventually turning into the stately home of the Marquis de Camarasa – six centuries later. Today, visitors can arrange for meals, events and cultural tours meticulously organized to suit their needs.

For a slightly more authentic experience, the 16th century Duques de Villahermosa Palace, located in Zaragoza, is available for short-term stays. Home to one of Spain’s

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