Friday, April 29, 2011

Magic Castle

On the day of the Royal Wedding in London, it seemed fitting for my friend, Gloria Castano and I to walk to Museo El Castillo.  

I had no idea we've been living so close to a magical castle that made me feel like I was in Europe.  Gloria explained the castle and estate belonged to an important industrialist, who lived there with his wife and daughter.
The pathway to the castle was breathtaking

Don Diego Echavarria Masses, the industrialist who had the castle built in 1930 was kidnapped and murdered in September 1971 by Pablo Escobar's cartel. Gloria remembers the country being in shock as it was the first kidnapping and murder -- sadly it was only the beginning.
After his murder, his wife returned to her homeland of Germany (the daughter had died earlier), and the castle and grounds were donated to the city.  The estate continues to fund organizations, including Clinica Infantil Santa Ana where Gloria and I volunteer each week.
The Museo El Castillo hosts concerts, conferences, classes, weddings and other special events.  As with many of the cultural attractions in Medellin, it is accessible to everyone and is often a place where families come for Sunday picnics.

 It looks like Romeo and Juliet could come around the corner!
Although Gloria and I usually talk to each other in Spanish, she speaks English so can rescue me if words fail me, and understands me when I get off track!

 An oasis in the middle of a big city.

Walking off the beaten track this week has opened my eyes to some of Medellin's best kept secrets. And with Gloria's help, I'm sure I'll find some more.

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