Edward James’ Surrealist World in Xilitla

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We are in Xilitla! Xilitla is a mountain town in the Huasteca region in the state of San Luis Potosi. In spite of its beautiful surroundings and fertile land it is mainly known for Las Pozas. Las Pozas is a surrealist world built in the rain forest just outside of town. The guy behing it all was Edward James. Edward James was born into immense wealth in Great Britain and spent much of his money supporting surrealist artists. Between 1949 and 1984 he built a total of 36 different concrete structures in Las Pozas to an estimated cost of US$5 million. It has been said that Las Pozas is the biggest surrealist monument in the world. All I know is that it is huge, crazy and utterly surreal!

While Sir Edward James stayed in Xilitla he lived with his friend Plutarco Gastelum and his family. They had built a massive mock-goth house a block away from the town square. The building is still there today. It serves as a hotel – and this is where we have been staying! We threw down the honeymoon card and got a great deal on a room. We got the room down from 1780 pesos to 1000 pesos for two nights.

Plutarco Gastelum’s daughter gave us a tour of the house as we arrived. La Posada el Castillo, as it is called, is an incredible and inspiring place. It has staircases going left and right, balconies, towers and weird shaped windows.

The hotel has incredible art work from various artists, including Edward James himself. The walls are also decorated with the formwork used in the creation of Las Pozas.

The entrance to the hotel is decorated with these concrete steps. Very Las Pozas. Very Edward James. Very easy to come, not quite so natural to leave.

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