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After intense research, and several prospection visits to places all over the world, the Spanish mountainous Alpujarras (South of Granada) turned out to be the best location for the realization of the culture ark. Searching in the region for months, the most unique high mountain property was bought to support the library's construction. Situated at the very end of a green lush valley, overlooking the Mediterranean sea and the mountains of Africa.

Las Alpujarras is a 70km long collection of valleys along the Southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. It is a mixture of dramatic mountains, deep ravines, sloping hillsides, huge gorges, and the most breath-taking views. It is full of clusters of beautiful white washed villages, often seemingly clinging together on the side of a steep mountainside, which are a traditional feature of this area. The villages' pre-oil age transport infrastructure is still intact and not affected by modern urbanization projects. They breath the health and peace of the human scale, favoring going on foot, or by horse. The settlements are interconnected with a fast network of walking paths. These tracks have been attributed to any particular culture, perhaps because they seem to have been there for ever. Las Alpujarras has often been described as 'magic' due to its natural uniqueness, and old-world quality. It has a sense of timelessness and its own pace of life. The Alpujarran people are very welcoming and new settlers are soon made to feel part of the colorful community, living in the belly of the Sierra Nevada.

The Sierra Nevada is an extensive mountain range in the region of Andalusia in Spain. UNESCO has declared the whole range to be a biosphere reserve, in recognition of its exceptionally diverse plant, bird and animal species. There are over 20 peaks over 3000 meters above sea level, which makes it the second highest mountain range in Europe after the Alps. The area boards the Mediterranean, and is predominantly known for its warm temperatures and abundant sunshine. By its foothills lies the beautiful historic city of Granada and the ports of Málaga and Almería. Granada has some of the most remarkable architecture from the Muslim[1], Jewish and Christian past, and is situated where the Sierra Nevada mountains meet the lower fertile plains.

The Sierra Nevada, is part of a greater mountain system, the Baetic Cordillera. An ancient range, steeped in history, where man's hominid ancestors first settled in Europe a million years ago, having passed across the Strait of Gibraltar. The Sierra Nevada range was formed during the geological upheavals that also formed the European Alps and the Atlas Mountains of Northern Africa. The range as observed today was formed 65 to 1.8 million years ago, during the Tertiary Period, from a collision of the African and Eurasian continental plates. As regards a potential cooling of the North Atlantic region, triggered by weakening of the gulf stream[2], the Sierra Nevada is positioned at a favorable latitude since it lies at a safe distance from the polar regions. Archaeological and genetic evidence strongly suggests that Southern Spain acted as one of the major refugia, from which Northern Europe was repopulated following the end of the last ice age,10,000 years ago.

The Alpujarras is an excellent location due to the absence of volcanoes and nuclear power plants in the wider vicinity. However, from a nuclear perspective, Europe remains one of the most critical locations on the planet because of its extensive arsenal of nuclear facilities. Europe fortunately still has an area like Southern Spain that is nuclear free, yet with a good transport network, and a current stable democratic society, unlike some other suitable areas in lesser-industrialized countries.
The Alpujarras in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is chosen, so as to locate the library in a remote and low populated mountain region, close to the coast. The overall height provides abundant pure natural drinking water and fresh natural breathing air. The Alpujarras region is one of great natural beauty. The Alpujarras is famous throughout Europe, for its unique mini-ecology. Because of its warm Southerly climate combined with a reliable supply of water from the rivers running off the Sierra Nevada. Its farmlands are constantly watered by the melting snow from above, constituting a high-altitude oasis of greenery, which stands in great contrast to the arid foothills below.
The valleys of the Alpujarras are among the most fertile in Spain, though the steepness of the terrain means that they can only be cultivated in small terraced fields, so that many modern agricultural techniques are impractical. In general, however, the impossibility of mechanizing agriculture in the Alpujarras, means that there will never be competition from industrial agriculture, under modern intensive conditions. Greatly favoring extensive and organic farming, such as permaculture[3], which method is widely been used very successfully along the hills of this ideal transition land. Seen by many to become a sanctuary for humanity.

 

1 Granada contains the world famous Moorish Alhambra palace.
2 Weakening or even shutdown of the gulf stream is a postulated effect of climate change.
3 Permaculture is a design philosophy, which develops sustainable architecture and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.

 

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