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LOOK INTO THE ART AND CULTURE OF EMPORDÀ THROUGH ITS CHARACTERS

Cap Roig

THE DREAM OF AN ENGLISH ARISTOCRAT AND A RUSSIAN COLONEL
By Emma Aixalà Photo Fundació ”la Caixa”

History is full of fascinating spots just waiting to be discovered. When this happens, time stops and a handful of characters, landscapes, and passions come to life and captivate us forever. The Cap Roig castle and gardens in Calella de Palafrugell are one of those stories now shining with their own legendary tale. This is possible thanks to the archival work that the ”la Caixa” Foundation has carried out with an impressive range of archives that reveal the extraordinary Empordanese adventures of the couple Dorothy Muriel Webster and Nicolau Woevodski.

A decorator who was fond of archeology and gardening, she was an English aristocrat whose husband left her to marry her best friend. Passionate about drawing and architecture, he was a Russian colonel who was exiled to London shortly before the 1917 revolution in Russia. This was the second marriage for both, which set off a major scandal in the tabloids of the era, so they decided to leave England. They discovered the Costa Brava, fell in love with the capricious rocks on Cap Roig, and bought a steep and rugged estate on the sea there in 1927. They made their dream come true here, building a castle and creating a botanical garden. The construction lasted a few decades due to the interruptions caused by the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War but the project was completed and the Woevodskis enjoyed it until they passed away. Afterwards, and to ensure the preservation of this architectural and landscape heritage, the couple transferred the entire property to the Girona Savings Bank. Over time it fell under the ”la Caixa” Foundation’s ownership, and since then, the entity has been in charge of indexing the documents, personal letters, professional correspondence, engravings, maps, drawings, and plans drafted by Nicolau Woevodski. Some herbariums from the early 20th century were even discovered, proof of the couple’s firm intention to design a large garden.

A creative and inspiring setting 

It seems that destiny reserves creative and inspiring moments for Cap Roig as the gardens have been transformed into a first-rate summer music scene since 1990. Since 2011 it has been known as the Cap Roig Festival, one of the most important musical events in southern Europe. When the festival lowers the curtains, visitors to the gardens can enjoy the environment and explore all the paths, shortcuts and hidden corners of the estate. 


www.fundacionlacaixa.org