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Xilitla was a small, little-known town, until it suddenly set foot on the world stage, as word began to spread about a “castle”, built there by an eccentric English aristocrat. By that time, the high point of surrealist movement in art (painting, sculpture, literature, etc.) had passed. Nonetheless, magazines published articles and photographs of a strange place in the Huasteca Potosina, where there was a series of very “weird” structures, with stairways which had no beginning or end, a magical place nestling deep in nature’s own exuberance. Little by little, people began to visit that place, giving rise to what are now the legends surrounding “The Surreal Castle” or “Edward James’ Pools”.

It is not, in fact, a castle, but there is a house, built by the artist, and in the gardens there are numerous refreshing pools; the whole place has been the subject of different types of study and there have been all kinds of interpretations. For many people, this is an unfinished architectural landscape, unfinished, because its creator designed it that way. It is a place where virgin nature entwines with human creativity, integrating into a single shared landscape. It is a sculptural space, dreamed up by a mind whose creativity exceeded the wildest of fantasies.

Sir Edward James was a British aristocrat who discovered Xilitla, immediately perceived it to be a paradise on earth and decided to make it his home. He was an art collector and a patron of many struggling artists of the early surrealist movement, who later found international fame, thanks to his initial patronage.


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