BOOK REVIEW - Spanish DOGS - History Book


"Spanish Dogs is a fabulous journey. The author, Karla Darocas, had me look at dogs in Spain from the Stone Age through to Modern Day. Along the way she showed me cave drawings, artefacts, pictures and portraits from great masters, depicting man's interaction with dogs. The result is a fascinating adventure with dogs intertwined with Spanish history and humans. The sad part was the shocking realisation that in many parts of Spain, dogs are not protected and are often badly treated.

This book tells of many interesting and diverse facts that I had never considered before like how Egyptians worshipped a dog-like god, Anubis, and how the Roman legions trained dogs to be warriors and wear fighting armour.

It also explained how both the Greeks and the Romans kept small dogs as pets for their children and often buried the pet dog along with the child, enabling them to be together in the afterlife.

I also learned how the Muslim Conquest of Spain introduced the Berber water dogs that would assist them in fishing and bringing in the nets.

I didn’t know that in Spain during the Renaissance, companion dogs were kept as sleeping partners in order to attract the fleas that were common on Catholics who did not wash because they might be mistaken by the Inquisition as a Muslim and tossed in prison.

It was interesting to see what kind of dogs the Spanish Habsburg Kings kept for hunting and how dogs would aid beggars and blind street performers.

Even into the 19th and 20th centuries, dogs took their place in the portraits of famous people.

I found the whole of this book informative and engrossing. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good read and interesting humanist knowledge."

- Judy Dicken, Scotland

TOLEDO History & architecture in 3 parts


"I attended all three of the Toledo lectures and was glad I did. Although I knew a little about the subject, Karla always brings more depth to the subject and you walk away knowing so much more then you imagined. I love learning about Spanish artists and architects, and this is the class to gain that knowledge. I feel fortunate that Karla is doing Zoom, otherwise I would be too far away physically to attend the classes. I am eager and look forward to attending more lectures. Karla always has a backstory or two that adds so much to the subject she is discussing. I definitely would recommend Karla Darocas as a teacher of all things Spanish."

* Mimi Carrera, Valencia, Spain



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TOLEDO History & architecture in 3 parts


"Goodness! So much information about architecture, art, Toledo... These lectures are a fascinating history of the city. Karla introduced us to many architectural styles and terms, illustrating everything with excellent photographs. I can't wait to see Toledo again after learning so much more about the history and architecture of the city. Karla's lessons are informed organised, and enthusiastic. I absolutely recommend her classes."

* Denise Bayes, Barcelona


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TOLEDO History & architecture in 3 parts



" I recently attended a 3 part class about Toledo, and its history and architecture and its Cathedral.

Why I took this class is difficult to sum up in a few words. Basically, I decided to take the course because I knew Toledo was a special, unique place but did not really know exactly why. I had visited Toledo and yet really knew very little about it. 

The teacher, Karla, led me on a trail of historical adventure through the high points of the city and that really helped put everything into perspective. I think what surprised me the most was the layers and layers of history that she revealed.  

What I found especially interesting was how things were built up and upon by the changing cultures and people in power. There was an incredible wealth required to do that much restoration. It surprised me to discover just how much I had missed on my trip or had looked at with out understanding what I was looking at. 

The course was totally fascinating with just the right balance of information and photos. I particularly like the group chat after when we could clarify any points or express ideas with other course mates and Karla. I am hooked and look forward to taking some other classes! 

I am impressed by the teacher's own passion for the subject and her ability to bring an event from the past back to life with humour so that you get it! 

I would happily recommend taking a class. "

* Rhonda Jager, Switzerland

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TOLEDO CATHEDRAL


"I just attended the SpainLifestyle lecture on Zoom about the Toledo cathedral. Karla gave us a very privileged guided tour of the cathedral, which is one of the most ornate cathedrals I have visited. Her knowledge of its history and architecture (inside and out) is immense. Karla's teaching style is easy and natural without elitist, hard to understand language. I would recommend you try her lessons."
* Josette Jouas, Denia



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Karla Darocas as Educator

 










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TOLEDO CATHEDRAL


"I just attended the lesson on the Cathedral of Toledo. I learnt to appreciate enormously the beautiful art portrayed in the Cathedral, the history behind every facet..all very interesting particularly when described in Karla's inimitable enthusiastic and knowledgeable way. Karla always puts her vast knowledge and enthusiasm into every class or lecture. I absolutely 1000% recommend her lessons."

* Diana Santiago, Xàbia

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