"I recently attended the SpainLifestyle class called 'Understanding Spanish Royal Renaissance Architecture'... Having seen a large number of buildings of this era, 1500s and 1600s, it was enlightening to hear how the styles evolved and why. The explanations of the decoration and design of the buildings by the different architects has given me a better knowledge. The lecture was full of information and a real sense of that time. The lecture has prompted further research into various points mentioned for example... how saints are represented in art. I have said it before... I like Karla's natural everyday language when teaching. It makes the information easier to retain. I most definitely recommend Karla and SpainLifestyle.com to my friends".
*Wendy Loxley - Javea
"In this class, I learned lot about the painter, his life and work. I love his paintings; most of them are so colourful, vibrant, lively - with beautiful scenery. As I lived in Jávea for 14 years I appreciate the places Sorolla loved (me too!!), and painted, almost all of them those close to or by the sea. I concluded by the way he painted and lived that he must have been a happy person! I just love Karla's liveliness, directness, and huge knowledge. I Absolutely recommend her classes!!!"
Angelika Goette, Benitachell
"Not understanding Dali's paintings at all, I learned there was a code; language to understanding the man, therefore his paintings. What an experience! Karla Darocas taught, as usual, in her casual style of speaking, while pouring forth a fountain of information. I have recommended her to many people already"
*Josette Jouas, Denia
"I have been to Karla's lectures on Dali before. He is a complex man, as are his paintings, and as always I learnt even more. The pleasure of being able to appreciate his art is beyond price. Karla Darocas's teaching style is relaxed but so much information and research is shared.
Most certainly I recommend Karla Darocas's teaching and events to others"
* Lizzie Clayton, Benitachell
"Oh, what two wonderful presentations about Dalí. I learned so much about his life, his problems with his father, but - most importantly - his work. When I now look at one of Dalí's paintings my understanding and perception will be totally different than they were before. Great lectures. I always like Karka deep knowledge & her humour. I always recommend her to others!"
* Angelika Goette, Benitachell
"I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Karla's first book on the history and architecture of Jávea. It reads as Karla lectures, with enthusiasm, knowledge and fun. This is a must for anyone interested in knowing more of how Jávea has changed over time. I have ordered more to give as Christmas presents and what a fabulous addition to be put into rental properties. I love the knowledge I have gained from reading this book. A great read."
- Lizzie Clayton, Benitachell
"I have been here almost 30 years and was absolutely delighted to have more in depth information on the history of Javea. A great presentation and written in a style very clear and precise! Thank you Karla for such a very interesting book!
Congratulations, loved it!!!"
- Diana Santiago, Javea
*Angeika Goette, Benitachell
on May 31, 2019
"Just wanted to thank you again for the very informative guide of Javea yesterday. We both really enjoyed it.
I was telling our friends last night about the architecture of the church and how it came about regarding relations of Queen Isabella. Also, how Isabella had her own architectural style and what the symbols meant around the door of the church.
And, about how there was a convent where the Mercat is now and how it came about and about mother superior Gallart and how she died at the lookout tower.
Also about the “broke” period and the civic arches, etc...
Ooh I remember lots. It was so interesting."
Kind regards, - Eileen and Donal
on May 18, 2019
"Many of Goya's works are well known, and learning why or in what circumstances he painted them was interesting and informative. But what was most interesting for me was his outlook on life around him, his feelings for the absurdity of events happening at the time like the hypocrisy of religion and superstition, nobility, the inquisition.... And his ability of "showing" what was going on - whether it be everyday scenes for tapestries or more political reactions to the French invaders.
Karla is a treasure chest of anecdotes and details which give added interest to her subject. I truly recommend her lectures."
* Josette Jouas, Denia
"Now I am a LOT more knowledgeable about Goya and the history of his time, his life, his painting style and his feelings. Really got to know the man and his work. Two hours flew by as usual. After learning about the various masters I can go into the Prado Museum in Madrid with more confidence and purpose!
Karla has amazng knowledge and her ability to include humour and fascinating titbites, together with her personality makes for a lively and interesting lecture. I would definitely recommend her."
* Ally, Javea
Thank you Karla for a very informative lecture on Teruel prior to our departure. Karla is a wealth of information and her presentations are well-detailed and well-explained. Having gone to this lecture prior to our visit enabled us to appreciate the beauty, architecture and history of this wonderful city. It makes a huge difference when visiting some of this unique historical cities/towns in Spain having prior knowledge of their history. Thank you Karla for expanding our knowledge.
*Pat & Dennis
"I learned so much about the social and economic history of this part of Spain and how the architectural styles developed and were implemented using existing buildings over the centuries. Karla brought it all to life. I loved Karla's talks because they are so animated and enthusiastic and full of interesting and amusing anecdotes. I definitely recommend her."
* Michelle Johnson
As always, Karla thoroughly prepared for this excursion with a lecture on Gandía first.
A group ride share was organised and after picking up several members ‘en route’ we arrived in Gandia, a town in th southern part of the Valencian province, which was buzzing with the preparations for the Falla Fiestas on March 19th.
We visited the Santa Clara museum, where we were the only visitors. We strolled around enjoying the explanations by Karla about the religious works of art roughly from the 15th till the 17th centuries. There was Gregorian music playing in the atmosphere that made the visit extra special. All this heritage had been kept by the nuns of Santa Clara’s Monastery since the 1400's and only shared with the public in 1915 in this museum, which was the medieval hospital.
Needless to say, the famous Spanish Borja family who were patrons of the arts, were presented in paintings and murals as well.
Gandía sits on the shores of the Serpis river, now dry as a bone, but still a grand sight to view from the mirador.
After a quick cafe con leche accompanied by the parade of children, men and women dressed in the traditional Valencian costumes with bands playing the typical music that many of us have heard in these regions when fiestas are celebrated, we went on a pleasant walk to the Palau Ducal dels Borja.
This is where Francisco de Borja, the great grandson of Pope Alexandre VI, was born and raised. Long after his death, he became Saint Francisco de Borja and his great grandson Pascual de Borja brought the beauty of Italian baroque to the palace by building a series of rooms that celebrated in art and design the canonization of Francisco.
Our group lunch was catered by friendly couple at their charming Restaurant called EL GUSTO. It was a great end to an uplifting and educational day. Great stuff!"
* Trudi van Dorp, Cumbre del Sol
"Steve and I joined Karla on her Javea Walk on 1st March. Having been to many of Karla's lectures and so very familiar with her wide ranging knowledge, we were still amazed at how much there was to learn about this small area of Javea. Karla's delivery as always tempered with humour and small details. We highly recommend these walks to anyone interested in where we are living or just staying on holiday."
* Lizzie and Steve Clayton
* Margaret Den Hartog
"Wonderful to learn how a series of races such as Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, Jews and Christians became the dominant culture with each lasting for a few centuries. Each having their own style for religious buildings often based on religious mythology, often adapting and extending existing buildings using roman materials. Very interested to hear that Christians did not wash (for some reason) whereas for Arabs and Romans it was an important ritual. Attended presentation because we are planning to visit Toledo. I like Karla's visual aids and relatively small group."
*Andrew & Michelle Johnson Pedreguer
"Extremely interesting talk - made sense of a lot of the places I had visited in Toledo last year. Clarified and contextualised in Karla's usual enthusiastic and informative way. Karla's talks are always accessible and enjoyable. Can't wait to re-visit Toledo with the deeper understanding of the history of the city and it's buildings gained from this talk. Karla's teaching is enthusiastic and packed with information."
* Nicola Clark, Javea
"Having lived in Javea for a number of years, I wanted to learn about the old town of Javea. I now walk the streets looking up not just eye level. Karla has opened my eyes to the beautiful buildings and history of the lovely town I live in. I have already sent neighbours on the walk, who loved it as much as me. Karla’s treaching is filled with extensive knowledge and passion about Spain. Also she injects humour. Most definitely I would recommend Karla.
* Lisa Wood, Javea