September 18, 2019

Cinemas, theater and Lottery! Madrid of course!

And moving right along on my sublime visit to my beloved Madrid and a supercharge charge for the rest of the year I come to you back with some artsy places of old that still looks good. I will go brief because the idea is for you to see them and enjoy them as much as my family has over the years. Let me tell you a bit on the Cines Callao, Cine Capitol, Theater Alcazar and the lottery master Doña Manolita!

The Cines Callao cinema is located in the Plaza del Callao, built in 1926. It is next to the Carrión building, separated from it by the Calle Jacometrezo street. The building was inaugurated as a movie theater on December 11, 1926, broadcasting the movie Luis Candelas, the bandit of Madrid. Together with the cinemas of the Palacio de la Prensa they form Callao City Lights. These cinemas host numerous premieres, and other events.

The building presents academic tendencies with a certain Spanish neo-baroque aftertaste and in its interior decoration Viennese and Art Deco suggestions. Its terrace is designed to broadcast outdoor film sessions. The basement of the building was thought to house a Café or Cabaret, although later it was adapted to the old Xenon nightclub, now closed.

Currently two large digital screens hide elements of its facades, such as three large windows and some oculus. Some sculptures and other original decorative elements, which can be seen in old photographs, have also disappeared. Its corner is crowned by a tower as a lighthouse. On June 13, 1929, the first sound and spoken film released in Spain was screened in this cinema: The jazz singer.

Official Cines Callao


The Cine Capitol cinema is a movie theater located on Gran Vía nº 41. Located in the Carrión building (sometimes called the Capitol building). It was inaugurated on December 2, 1933.

Inside, the marble elements stood out. Outside, the marble, the polished granite, the blue stone of Murcia are combined at the entrance. During the Spanish Civil War, Soviet films were distributed, the first Russian film distributed by Film Popular was The Sailors of Kronstadt (1936) by Russian director Yefim Dzigan, which was released in the rooms of the Capitol cinema on October 18, 1936.

Official Cine Capitol Gran Via


The  Teatro Alcazar theater (formerly called Palacio de los Recreos or recreation palace and Teatro Alkázar theater) is a theater hall on Calle de Alcalá 20 inaugurated in 1925, on the ruins of the old Trianón Palace.

The luxurious theater was inaugurated on January 27, 1925 with the performances of the operetta Madame Pompadour of Leo Fall and capacity for more than eight hundred spectators. Although much of its history has been linked to the genre of the Spanish music reviews (with divas such as Celia Gámez, Lina Morgan or Esperanza Roy), at the beginning of the thirties it functioned as a movie theater, being one of the first rooms that incorporated sound projector. In 2012, the Teatro Alcazar was renamed the Teatro Cofidis Alcazar for its sponsor.

Official Teatro Cofidis Alcazar

Tourist office of Madrid on the Teatro Cofidis Alcazar



Doña Manolita is a lottery management business (number 67) located now at Calle del Carmen 22, probably the most famous in all of Spain. Doña Manolita began her activity in 1904 on Calle de San Bernardo street . Her founders were Manuela de Pablo popularly known as Doña Manolita, who gave her name to the business, and her three sisters

The establishment soon gained enormous popularity, for the amount of awards distributed, among the students of the then neighboring Central University of Madrid. Her fame would spread later throughout the city and Doña Manolita became one of the most popular characters of the moment.

In July 1931 it moved to the Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía 31 after the death of Doña Manolita, the headquarters of the Puerta del Sol, on the corner of Calle del  Arenal street, with the name of Doña Manolita’s it passed to her sister Carmen, who in turn bequeathed to her son to be finally sold to another family in 1987. The headquarters of Gran Vía has been maintained until 2011, when the administration announced its transfer to neighboring Calle del Carmen.

Because it is based on superstition and popular culture, many consider it as a true symbol of the city of Madrid. It has even been mentioned in literary works and songs by famous Spanish performers such as Joaquín Sabina, in his theme A la sombra de un león or In the shadow of a lion (1986 ) or Concha Piquer, en Mañana sale or in Tomorrow it leaves (1958) and its name evokes Madrid’s Christmas parties The current owner is Juan Luis de Castillejo and Bermúdez de Castro, Conde de Cabrillas.

Official Dona Manolita Lottery

Tourist office of Madrid on the Dona Manolita lottery


And there you go plenty of places for fun no matter what your inclinations Madrid has it and has it good. Well we play the lottery but did not win again!!! You need to play to win so we will try again soon. Enjoy the Madrid scene and move on!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 17, 2019

Parque de El Capricho, Madrid!

So this one has a story. I came here when a young teen, then disappear never a chance for pictures. Years went by, my family mentioned it, and friends visited as well. I kept away, until this year as took my young men sons to see the heritage of our Spain and Madrid is it. So therefore, we took the long trek to it on a line 5 metro which was my line when lived there! However, at that time the metro line 5 only reach to Ciudad Lineal than was an electric tramway! (I know because my aunt lived in Canillejas and we needed to take it with my dear late mother Gladys) now the line goes all the way to Alameda de Osuna next to Barajas airport (Adolfo Suàrez International Airport of Madrid)! Ok well a bit more of it now finally!!!

The Parque de El Capricho (a whim)is a park and green area located in the Alameda de Osuna neighborhood, in the Barajas district and near the airport of Madrid. It was ordered to be built by the Duchess of Osuna between 1787 and 1839. It has an area of 14 hectares. It is credited with English, French and Italian references, from the time it was built, which are a reflection of the artistic influences of the park’s designers. It is the only garden of Romanticism in Madrid. Examples of this are the maze of bushes, buildings, such as the palace, the small hermitage, or the beautiful ballroom, as well as the creeks that run through it and ponds, where you can find swans and ducks.


A bit of history I like

María Josefa Pimentel, Duchess of Osuna, married to the ninth Duke of Osuna, Pedro Téllez-Girón, was one of the most important ladies of the nobility of the time, and patron of artists. In 1783 she bought land on the outskirts of Madrid to build a recreational farm. A year later, an initial project for the garden was exposed. It began to be built in 1787, ending 52 years later, in 1839. The duchess died without seeing the enclosure completely completed, in 1834. She commissioned the design of the gardens from the architect Jean-Baptiste Mulot, from the French court. The duchess ordered the construction of ponds, which connected the main canal that runs through the park with the ballroom, which is where the parties she gave were held. In the 14 hectares that extend next to the former palace house of the Dukes of Osuna with neoclassical architectural style you will find two clearly defined areas, with a French-style garden and another English-style garden.


During the Spanish Civil War, several underground anti-aircraft shelters were built in the Garden, in which the General Staff of the Army of the Center, commanded by General Miaja, the Jaca position. Remains of the shelter ventilation emerge around the palace.

After decades of relative abandonment, in 1974 it was bought by the Madrid City Council. Its beautiful configuration is a sample that once was the scene of the filming of the movie The Doctor Zhivago, and currently since 2005 in summer concerts and dance shows are scheduled in the El Capricho park in what is called the Tardes de Capricho or afternoons of Capricho. Since May 2016 you can visit the bunker of the Jaca position, code name of the Headquarters of the Republican Army of the Center.


With a good map from the city of Madrid you can trace the park or even google! I admit should had taken more pictures but after a long walk we didn’t say long just a primer this time. The points to see there are:

1.Palace 2. Small Temple 3. Swan Pond 4. Saturn Wheel (Obelisk) 5. Beehives 6. Tench Pond 7. Ruin or Gunner’s Home 8. Battery or Cage 9. Playground 10. River 11. Lake 12. Iron bridge 13. Island and monument to the third Duke of Osuna 14. House of reeds 15. Pavilion of mats 16. Kiosk and pier 17. Rollercoaster 18. Dance kiosk 19. Flower garden 20. House of the Old 21. Bullring 22. Parterre 23. Duelist Column 24. Hibernarium 25. Bridge over the ravine 26. Exedra and Emperor’s Square 27. Pond of the Parterre 28. Dolphin Fountain 29. Frog Spring Garden 30 Frog Source Garden Grotto 31. Labyrinth Cave 32. Labyrinth 33. Cows House 34. New Pond 35. Plane Tree Place 36. Hermitage 37. Duck Pond 38. Refuge (Bunker) 39. Powder Magazine 40. Fountain Square 41. Officers’ House 42. Public Washrooms 43. Bunker ventilation Fans.

El Capricho Park is located in Alameda de Osuna, next to Juan Carlos I Park. El Capricho Park, you should know that it is only open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, with schedules from 9h to 21h, from April to September, and from 9h to 18h30 , from October to March. Admission is free although there is a limit to the number of people who can access during a day to avoid crowds. You get there easily on the Metro line 5 direction Alameda de Osuna stop Capricho. Go out and walk about 700 meters to the park on a dirt trail.

The city of Madrid tourist office take on it: Tourist office of Madrid on El parque de El Capricho

And there you go another dandy park, nice historical, with wonderful things to see but need plenty of time which we did not have much as it is recommended 2,5 hours to see it all! Just plan ahead for the Parque de El Capricho of Madrid!

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 17, 2019

Teatro Muñoz Seca, Madrid of course!

Now this was a find, to tell you the truth, never been in it, and passing by several times was not really interested in seeing it…. However, as this time we did a lot of walking to show my young men sons, the heritage of Madrid and Spain we did stop by in several places that show a bit more of the fabric of the city of Madrid!

This is the case of the Teatro Muñoz Seca theater. Hope you enjoy and perhaps one day do a program here , it is a nice quant area of Madrid not far from the Puerta del Sol.

The Teatro Muñoz Seca theater or Pedro Muñoz Seca theater is an old theater hall, located in Plaza del Carmen, 1 that in 1930 took the name of that Spanish playwright. In the same lot there was a popular Chantecler Hall, which between 1922 and 1930 was called El Dorado Hall.


The Chantecler Hall , was acquired in 1919 by Consuelo Portela aka “La Chelito”, at that time maximum diva of erotic. On December 15, 1922, a new neighborhood building with a theater on the ground floor chamfer was opened on the same site, with the name of El Dorado (namesake of the Eldorado summer theater that was next to the Paseo del Prado and was caught fire in 1903). Finally, in 1930 ,it took the name of playwright Pedro Muñoz Seca.

You can reach as said walking from Puerta del Sol along Calle del Carmen, and the transports that can take you here from all over Madrid are  Metro: Sol lines 1, 2, 3), Gran Vía line 1, 5), Sevilla line 2. Bus lines: 1, 2, 3, 46, 50, 51, 74, 146, and M2. Renfe Cercanias commuter train: Sol C3, and C4.

Official Teatro Munoz Seca

Tourist office of Madrid on the Teatro

And there you go something always popping up in my beloved Madrid; nice area quant shops and especially restos/bars and culture on the square of Carmen, the Theater Muñoz Seca!

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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September 17, 2019

Fuente de Apolo, Madrid of course!

So much to see and do, and so many monuments time is not enough for my beloved Madrid. One thing I did a lot is to walk all over the city sometimes to the limits but it allows me to show my sons my beloved city in all its glory.

We passed by monuments hardly noticeable by visitors but with a great history and architecture on them. These will be a few coming up in my blog. For now this is the Fuente de Apolo or Apollo’s fountain right on Paseo del Prado!

The Fuente de Apolo (Apollo fountain), also called the Cuatro Estaciones (Four Seasons), is a monumental fountain located on the Paseo del Prado. It occupies the center of what was called the Prado Hall, within the urban reform sponsored by King Carlos III in the 18C. It is part of the sculptural ensemble by Ventura Rodríguez for the Paseo , along with that of Cibeles and Neptune. The three fountains are considered masterpieces of Spanish Neoclassicism.


The Apollo Fountain began to be built in 1780 during the reign of Carlos III. The erection of the statue of Apollo was in 1802. The set was inaugurated a year later, 1803, to celebrate the link of the crown prince Don Fernando (future Fernando VII), son of Carlos IV.

The Apollo fountain is composed of a central body with a staircase, with two masks that throw water on three overlapping shells of different dimensions. The pedestal sculptures represent the four seasons by allegorical figures, hence the alternative name of the fountain. The monument marks an effigy of the god Apollo, divinity of light and the arts, with the features of King Carlos III.

Tourist office of Madrid on the Apollo Fountain

Hope you enjoy the walks of my Madrid, there are several in my blog. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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September 16, 2019

Monumento a los Caidos por España!

Now this is a monument on a very touristic area of my beloved Madrid with huge important monuments around such as the Prado Museum! However, for folks like me, this is also important to note and walking able to show to my young men sons. There is so many niches around Madrid it will be long the teachings lol!

The Monumento a los Caidos por España or  monument to the Fallen for Spain, called before 1985 obelisk or monument to the Heroes of Dos de Mayo, (heroes of May 2 Independence Day in Spain) is located in the Plaza de la Lealtad, next to the Paseo del Prado.


After several attempts to create a monument in homage to all the anonymous fighters killed during the uprising of May 2, 1808, in 1820 a contest was called for this purpose. It was resolved the following year; on April 21, 1821 the first stone was laid. On November 22, 1985, King Juan Carlos I reopened the monument, going on to devote himself to all those killed for Spain, in whose memory a gas-fueled flame was permanently burned. The work is erected in the same place where General Murat sent numerous Madrid people to be shot after May 2, 1808. A sad story by France’ Napoleon the dictator!

The body that serves as a square base to the monument has on its west face a socket that houses a sarcophagus with the ashes of the Madrid people shot on May 2. Above, the top shot of the base features a bas-relief medallion with the effigies of captains Luis Daoíz and Pedro Velarde (heroes of Madrid in that contest). On the base rests another body of smaller dimensions on whose four fronts there are allegorical statues representing Constance, Courage, Virtue and Patriotism. Finally, a stone obelisk stands 5.6 meters high. On the front base, there is the inscription, in golden letters, “Honor to all who gave their life for Spain”.

Of course, this has no tourist office reference so the above is a simple homage for me and a picture; just for the memories of our family and my blog. Hope you too can take the time and stop by to these old defenders of liberty. After all you will be right there by Prado!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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September 16, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral , Update Sep19!

And again on our national treasure of the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris! It is an ongoing effort by many people some not so well known but all working to make it happened as soon as possible. Still guided by the President Macron promise to do so in five years! A big effort indeed! And we count on you visitors to help too

This is an official Notre Dame Cathedral fund raiser site for foreigners: Friends of Notre Dame Cathedral donation site

On the health issues that have been printed on the media be calm all is under control now.

Health authorities announced  last Thursday, September 12, that there is “no warning signal” for children detected. The provisional assessment of lead measurements made among about 750 children attending school near the Notre-Dame Cathedral “does not issue a health warning signal” at this stage, they are indeed estimated. proportion of children exceeding the mandatory threshold for lead poisoning (50 micrograms of lead per liter of blood) remains “slightly lower” than the national average measured during a survey in 2009, according to the analysis conducted by the regional unit of Public Health France.

The huge rebuilding effort is cautiously ongoing but moving in the right direction me think

The Mikado of all dangers … The 300 tons of scaffolding built in 2018 on the roof of Notre Dame were the essential element for the restoration of the spire of the cathedral of Paris. Since the dramatic fire of April 15, this ephemeral built of 50,000 steel tubes has become a threat to the cathedral. One of the most complex aspects of the current construction site is the dismantling of this scaffold heated to more than 800 degrees, as recognize the architects responsible for this perilous operation. While this steel structure was to rise 95 meters above the ground to reach the top of the spire, the carcass that we see today above the cathedral rises to only 50 meters. A protocol of action has just been defined to remove one by one the tubes using rope access.

The prefect of the region applied the precautionary principle. But it is not sure that the lead found in all Paris comes from Notre-Dame. This imposes additional constraints on the work while they are still in an imperious phase of urgency. In these conditions, it is sometimes difficult to reconcile the work to be done because of the fragility of the monument and the optimum protection rules of the teams. Today, blood tests are done every month on workers for blood lead and they are never above average. The same is true for breathing air tests. The results are still well below the dangerous thresholds.

It is difficult to consider an end date of this consolidation period of the Notre Dame Cathedral. They will not be really reassured until mid-2020. It’s always worrying. The monument remains in danger on two levels: that of the vaults that can always fall and that of the scaffolding, which can collapse. There are nearly 200 to 300 tons of  scrap metal. As a result, during the fire, the scaffolding did not fall. But the tubes welded to each other, and were deformed. Only the side on which the arrow fell was deformed. All this makes the structure fragile. It is even miraculous that it still holds.

The finish on the laying of the floor that rests on the walls drips It already exists above the choir and above the two transepts. They will then encircle on three levels the weakened scaffolding. Then ,they will build a new scaffolding that will culminate at 50 meters and on which will rest a set of beams. This is where cord trappists can go down and cut all the tubes, one by one, from top to bottom. This operation could be completed in January 2020. That is the goal. Once past this delicate phase of dismantling the scaffolding, they  will put a first umbrella and a large umbrella higher than the existing roof before to rebuild the structures of the future frame, regardless of the chosen technique, wood , concrete or other.

And the fund raising is moving by many famous and unknown alike including yours truly!!!

In an on going effort to fund the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral forty-two works of art were auctioned this past Sunday  at Château de Chambord for a total of more than 43,000 euros for the benefit of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Among them, two manuscripts by Alain Souchon. The first of sentimental crowd, released in 1993, and the second of Hello mom, bobo in 1977, were awarded 2,200 euros. A painting by the painter Grégory Cortecero, On the road to reconstruction made using the sumi-e technique, a traditional Japanese painting movement in ink and water, was awarded 2,600 euros. In total, 21,690 euros were collected, matched at the same height by the County Council of Loir-et-Cher. The works were donated by thirty or so artists from the Val-de-Loire. This sum will enable Goudji to produce the evangelical of Notre-Dame Cathedral , a cover in which it is place the liturgical book of Christianity which contains the totality of or part of the Gospels read during the celebrations!

Louis Philippe’s carpet saved from the waters. When the huge richly woven carpet inaugurated under Louis-Philippe for the Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Paris was evacuated a few days after the fire, the fear of the Mobilier National was a rapid decay by the water. But delicate operations have saved it, before a restoration that will restore its luster .So another item saved!!!

In all, again huge effort but all worth it for a National treasure of world proportions that goes beyond faith, all are giving! And I thank you. merci de fond de mon coeur à tous!

Be there, see it feel it, share it Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris, eternal as the city of lights. And remember, happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 16, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXXIIII

Ok so not so much time from my last visit to my beloved Madrid, Spain but already some good information like to pass on to you all! And there are still some goodies from Madrid to post stay tune!!!!

There is so much to see that after living and visits there still a whole of Spain left to see; all wonderful. From the Royal Palace of Madrid to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona there are many tourist claims that have made Spain, for the third consecutive year, the best tourist destination in the world according to the Economic Forum based in Switzerland. But the country also hides other architectural jewels, many times unknown even to the natives themselves, such as these ten palaces, which despite being inhabited, can be visited. Indeed they are glorious and I have been to half of them in my years in my beloved Spain and sentimental Madrid!

The Vela de los Cobos palace, in the Renaissance style, is one of the jewels of Úbeda, Jaén owned by the Sabater family since 1873. It was designed and built in the 16C and offers visitors the opportunity to know their collections of works of art, its library, the French lounge, the gala dining room or the main staircase among other rooms. On its exterior facade three levels can be observed. In the first one a door adorned between Corinthian columns, on which two warrior sculptures are drawn that hold the heraldry of the promoter Francisco Vela de los Cobos. On the second level, balconies are located with columns that are topped with an entablature and pediment, and decorated with wrought iron railings. And in the highest zone, there is a column gallery supported by pilasters. You can book a group visit at Semer, a tourist services company located in front of the palace. Duration: 1 hour Prices: General (guided by the palace owner): 4 euros. Contact information: Telephone:+34  953750034 / 953757916 Email:  Web:

In my nostalgic heraldic area in the municipality of Viso del Marqués in Ciudad Real ,region of Castilla-La Mancha is the Palace of the Marquises of Santa Cruz, It was built between 1564 and 1588 by order of Álvaro de Bazán, first Marquis of Santa Cruz and admiral of The Navy, who, due to his long stays in Italy and influenced by the tastes of the time, hired a select group of Italian artists for the work of these 8,000 square meters. The Palace consists of two floors and most of its rooms, as well as the high and low galleries, including the staircase, are painted in fresco. It currently houses the Archives of the Museum of the Navy Don Álvaro de Bazán. Contact information: Telephone: +34 926 33 75 18 or email: and web:

In Meirá parish of La Coruña, there is the Pazo de Meirás, a stately mansion built at the end of the 19C on the ruins of an old fortification that was destroyed by French troops in 1809 during the War of Independence. It consists of three uneven crenellated towers linked by a lower building body. The whole pazo is surrounded by a large estate with forests and gardens. The property was originally from the family of Emilia Pardo Bazán where the writer spent long periods and had, in one of the towers, her private library. In 1939 it was donated to the Franco family, (Gen Franco with great controversy) that has used it since then as a summer residence. open to the public four days a month for at least four hours. To arrange a visit can be made by phone +34 686612717 or email  Web:

Dueñas Palace is undoubtedly one of the best known in Seville owned by the house of Alba since 1612. Built between the 15C and 16C, the Dueñas Palace takes its name from the disappeared monastery of Santa María de las Dueñas, located in the adjoining site and demolished in 1868. In the 19C Dueñas was converted into a house of neighbors, its rooms compartmentalized with partitions and coffered ceilings covered with ceilings. Curiously, one of the tenants, and administrator of the Palace, was Antonio Machado Álvarez whose circumstance allowed the birth of one of the greatest Spanish poets, Antonio Machado in 1875!   In the 20C Las Dueñas has been a meeting place for members of European dynasties and diverse personalities from the world of culture, politics and international art. They have visited the palace, or resided there, such illustrious characters as Empress Eugenie de Montijo, the English politician and hispanist, Lord Holland, Edward VIII and his brother George VI, Alfonso XIII, Jacqueline Kennedy, Wallis Simpson, Grace Kelly and her husband Prince Rainier of Monaco, among others. Web:

The palace of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia is located in the Spanish city of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in the Andalusian province of Cádiz. It is currently home to the Casa Medina Sidonia Foundation. It was built in Renaissance style by the house of Medina Sidonia in the sixteenth century, on the structure of what appears to be an old Andalusian ribat or Alcazar of the twelfth century. The former palatine chapel of the Medina Sidonia, founded in 1493, was located. At present, there is a hostel located in the west wing of the old Muslim ribat that has nine rooms integrated in the former offices of the dukes and administrators of the House. The lodge, which is open all year and has a tea room surrounded by gardens and arched galleries, all located in the area of ​​the Arab ribat at the end of the 11th century.

In Madrid of 1753 ,when  in the capital of Spain there were still orchards and plots where to build, the Palace of Fernán Núñez stands as the house of Blas Jover, a member of the Ferdinand VI Council, at Calle de Santa Isabel ,44. In 1769, after several transfers of the property, Miguel José María de la Cueva, XIII Duke of Alburquerque and IV Marquis de la Mina, acquired and transformed the house. In 1803 he dies and, due to inheritance problems, the building is used as a barracks, hospital and housing. In 1815, Felipe María Osorio de la Cueva, VII count of Cervellón, inherited the palace by reforming it into the current romantic-style building articulated in two areas: the noble and the service that is now destined for offices. Currently, the palace, owned by Adif and Renfe, and is the headquarters of the Spanish Railways Foundation. Guided tours for organized groups with a maximum of 25 visitors per group. Price of the guided tour: € 125 / group. For more information about the visits or about spaces for the organization of events you can call tel.+34  91 151 10 82 or send an email to: web:

The palace of the Duques (Dukes) of Villahermosa rises in the town of Pedrola, Zaragoza. In the Renaissance style, the palace was built on the site of a 12C castle. The palace was carefully restored by Pilar Azlor de Aragón and her children. Currently it is intended for housing and the celebration of weddings and banquets. Guided tours can be done in two ways: By contacting the City of Pedrola at +34 976 61 91 88 (House of Culture) or, in case you want to arrange a visit outside the hours offered by the town hall, sending an email   indicating name and contact telephone number. Also for info use this email:  Web:

The Marivent Palace is the summer residence of the Spanish Royal Family in Palma de Mallorca and although the interior of the palace is not open to the public it is possible to visit the Marivent gardens. Visitors can walk through an area of more than 9,000 square meters through which you can see more than 40 species of flora characteristic of the Mediterranean garden. Admission is free and the Government of the Balearic Islands, owner of the complex, has accommodated benches and info panels for visitor enjoyment. Like any public garden, they are open all year except the 15 days that coincide with Holy Week and from July 15 to September 15 coinciding with the visit of the kings.More info on this hotel chain Barcelo on the palace in english:

It is worth visiting in Salamanca  the Monterrey Palace, located in the city center just 50 meters from the Plaza Mayor, owned by the Casa de Alba. The palace was built by the will of the third count of Monterrey, Don Alonso de Acevedo y Zúñiga, who commissioned the project in 1539. The architectural style of the palace responds to one of the greatest exponents of the Spanish plateresque, formed of three bodies crowned with two towers and decorated with beautiful crests and chimneys. In the upper corners of the towers are the coats of arms of the III Earl of Monterrey. The built and preserved part shows a lower body of medieval imprint that contrasts with the beautifully decorated upper part.  Part of the collection of the Casa de Alba Foundation, decorates the halls and spaces of the tour, such as the landscapes of José de Ribera, the portrait of the III Duke of Alba by Sánchez Coello, that of the Santa Teresa de Carreño de Miranda or oil paintings of Salvatore Rosa, Titian and other Spanish and foreign artists. The gallery is accompanied by a rich set of decorative arts from porcelain pieces and tiles from Talavera de la Reina to confectioners with heraldic shields, family busts, taracea furniture, baroque furniture mixed with Italian pieces and Mudejar coffered ceilings, among many other works of Art. The visits will be guided and with previous reservation that can be made in the Tourist Information Office. Group visits, always accompanied by an official guide. Email:  Telephone:+34  923 21 83 42. Web:

Last but not least, and my nostalgic favorite in Madrid. The Palacio de Liria, of the Casa de Alba, is one of the most important private residences in Madrid. It was built between 1767 and 1785 by order of the III Duke of Berwick and Liria, Mr. Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Colón under the direction of the architect Ventura Rodríguez. In November 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, the palace suffers several fires that destroy the entire interior, leaving only its four facades standing. Most of the collection was saved and protected in different places in Madrid, such as the British Embassy, ​​the Prado Museum and the Bank of Spain, among others.

The reconstruction was carried out by the XVII Duke of Alba, Mr. Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, work that culminated in the XVIII Dukes, Mrs. Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart and Mr. Luis Martínez de Irujo. The architect Manuel Cabanyes, was in charge of building the new Palacio de Liria, who, using the original plans, modified its main staircase, the chapel and the hallway. Today it is the residence of the 19th Duke of Alba, Don Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, and headquarters of the Casa de Alba Foundation, and is one of the most important architectural buildings in Madrid, housing one of the most outstanding private art collections in the world. I have already said in my post about it that will open to the public since September 19!  But take it from the Duke itself «I live in Liria since 1956, when the house was inaugurated for my first communion. Now it may sound a little … 19C, right? But that is what happened, I came on the day of my first communion and I have been here since then ». Who remembers that day of his childhood is Carlos Fitz-James Stuart and Martínez de Irujo, the 19th Duke of Alba, The Duchy of Alba was born in 1472 and its six centuries are of the greatest historical relevance in Spain. Between these walls the Empress Eugenia de Montijo died (Empress of the French wife of Napoleon III). With the money of the tickets, 14 euros (reduced, 12), it will help its conservation. Indeed all worth it, enjoy it.

This is the Alba foundation site for the two last properties listed here.

Hope you enjoy the post and think of things to do in Spain on your next visit, I have mine already lol!! Spain everything under the Sun!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 16, 2019

Monumento Isabel I, Madrid!!

So much to see and do, and so many monuments time is not enough for my beloved Madrid. One thing I did a lot is to walk all over the city sometimes to the limits but it allows me to show my sons my beloved city in all its glory.

We passed by monuments hardly noticeable by visitors but with a great history and architecture on them. These will be a few coming up in my blog. For now this is the Monument to Isabel I, the Catholic queen of Spain right in the Paseo de la Castellana! 


In 1881, the city council of Madrid decided to create a monument dedicated to queen Isabel I, the Catholic. The first location was in the middle of the Paseo de la Castellana just before arriving at the Plaza de Santa Cruz on the right hand side, and not on the side where it is located from the 1960. The sculpture measures about 4 meters and the original pedestal measured another 4. It consisted of marble columns of different colors. The monument was inaugurated by king Alfonso XII, accompanied by his sisters, the infantas Isabel and Eulalia and the imperial prince of Germany, Frederic Wilhem.

Queen Isabel I the Catholic is sitting on horse wearing armor. In her hand she carries the Covadonga Cross. On his left is Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza, who carries the Gospels in his right hand. To his right is Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, the Great Captain, with his sword. In the chamfers, the shields of Castilla, León, Granada and Aragón

For many years the monument was linked to events related to the Feast of Hispanity (October 12) and also with visits by personalities from Latin American countries that presented floral offerings before it. But it stops as too controversial from the discovery part.

In the new, simpler pedestal, you can read the original dedication: To Isabel the Catholic, under whose Glorious Reign the National Unity and the discovery of America was carried out .The town of Madrid, 1883. Although this unity per se is not achieved until the 19C maybe.

Maybe that is one reason there is no referencing in the Madrid tourist office on it! However great architecture for a historical figure of great importance me think and a great walk up Paseo de la Castellana!

Hope you enjoy the walks of my Madrid, there are several in my blog. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 16, 2019

Glorieta Emilio Castelar, Madrid!

So much to see and do, and so many monuments time is not enough for my beloved Madrid. One thing I did a lot is to walk all over the city sometimes to the limits but it allows me to show my sons my beloved city in all its glory.

We passed by monuments hardly noticeable by visitors but with a great history and architecture on them. These will be a few coming up in my blog. For now this is the square of Emilio Castelar right in the middle of traffic prone Paseo de la Castellana!

The Plaza Emilio Castelar square (formerly Plaza de la Fuente Castellana and Plaza del Obelisco), is a roundabout (glorieta) on the Paseo de la Castellana, between the Chamberí and Salamanca neighborhoods of Madrid. The Calle del General Oráa and the Paseo del General Martínez Campos converge on it. Since 1908, it is named after the 19C speaker and president of the First Spanish Republic Emilio Castelar.


The roundabout occupies the space that in 1833 housed, on the edge of the Paseo Nuevo de las Delicias de la Princesa, the monumental Fuente Castellana, also called the Obelisk promoted by king Fernando VII to celebrate the birth of Princess Isabel Luisa, later queen Isabel II. The Obelisk of this fountain, which gave its name to the Paseo de la Castellana, today adorns the Madrid Río park(see this post later).

The monument has the speaker, erect and with an eloquent gesture, in his seat of Parliament, at his feet, a woman listens arrogantly. Historical speakers, such as Demosthenes and Cicero speakers of ancient Rome and classical Greece, and a large group in which a worker, a soldier and a student, protected by an artilleryman, sitting on his arm, can also be seen outstanding in his speech. Complete the lower set a bas-relief representing the abolition of slavery. The work is crowned by three naked goddesses representing, as read on the label, at their feet, the motto of the French Revolution: Freedom, Equality, Fraternity.

A nice piece of architecture to see and a nice history to it; Glorieta de Emilio Castelar in my Madrid

Even the tourist office has a piece on it! Tourist office of Madrid on Emilio Castelar square

Hope you enjoy the walks of my Madrid, there are several in my blog. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 15, 2019

Museo Sorolla, Madrid of course!

And back to the cultural trail in my beloved Madrid. I believe my mother took me here many years ago…. but in my rounds with my young men sons decided to give them an instroduction to Spanish culture and visits to museums is the best way of it. Especially so Spanish as the Sorolla Museum of Madrid. Therefore here is my take on it and my sons were impressed!!! A bit long post but worth it me think, hope you enjoy it !


The Sorolla Museum is a Spanish state museum located in a palace of the Paseo del General Martínez Campos, no. 37 a site that would serve as a workshop and housing for Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida with his wife and three children. The building was built in 1911, built with the wishes of the painter to create a space that merged the work area and his home and also had a garden space. The house retains the original atmosphere of many of the spaces, in addition to housing a wide collection of Sorolla’s works, as well as numerous objects that he collected as a collector during his life. It is also one of the best preserved artist houses in Europe! Indeed!


A bit of history I like

The creation of a museum in the building that served as a family home, was the idea and express desire of Clotilde García del Castillo, Sorolla’s wife, as recorded in her 1925 will, where she gave the house and her collection of works to the Spanish State in order to perpetuate the memory of her husband.  On May 29, 1931, the Board of Trustees would be created to ensure that the ends of the newly instituted Foundation came to fruition. This was initially composed by the children of Sorolla; María, Joaquín and Elena; representatives of various state institutions; the Head of State, who held the presidency; the Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts; as well as the president of the Hispanic Society of America, for which the painter had made one of the most ambitious projects of all his artistic production.

On July 26, 1945, the first floor rooms would be opened to the public for the first time after a previous rehabilitation. These corresponded with the personal rooms of the marriage and the children. Joaquín Sorolla García , the then director (and son of painter) of the Sorolla Museum, commented that precisely because of their intimate nature they had wanted to give a purely intimate and familiar flavor, hence the family’s portraits, painter’s belongings or medals won in Its many exhibitions.   Joaquin Sorolla García died on March 2, 1948 and as expressed in his will, his properties went to the Museum Foundation and three years later, by a Ministerial Order of July 16, 1951, his legacy is accepted and added to that of his mother, adding 156 more works to the Foundation’s funds. The direction was assumed by Francisco Pons-Sorolla, grandson of the painter and son of María Sorolla García and Francisco Pons Arnau. Under his administration a room dedicated to the drawings, gouache and watercolors of the Valencian artist (Sorolla) would be created and the first catalog of the Museum, Life and Work of Joaquín Sorolla, by Bernardino de Pantorba would be published. It is not until 1990 that the museum participates in an international project for the first time since its establishment, the Zorn-Sorolla exhibition, inaugurated on November 7, 1991 in Sweden and which would later be taken to the Sorolla Museum itself on March 4 of 1992. Since then, the division, on the one hand, of the Sorolla Museum that would depend on the Ministry of Education and Culture (see webpage now Culture and Sports) and on the other, the Foundation, which would continue its path as a Private Cultural Foundation.

A bit on the house I like

On November 17, 1905 Sorolla acquired  the first land of the house,  that corresponds to the living and study area, as well as the back garden. Four years later, in 1909, he would buy the surrounding land, giving him additional space to expand his studio and build the rest of the garden. Thus, the construction of the house would begin as early as 1910 and would extend until 1919, although it is known that the family would begin to inhabit it already in 1911.

The house is built around two floors, to which is added the already named garden level. The main floor or noble floor, has two accesses, the main and the other side. This floor also houses the painter’s three studios and the living-dining room, all illuminated through large windows that fill the rooms with abundant light, just as he wanted. Through this level the basement was accessed, where the kitchen and other units were located among which was the home of the guardians. For its part, the first floor corresponded to the most intimate area, where the bedrooms of both the family and the staff of the house were located. Finally, the garden, which is divided into three different spaces, was the painter’s work in its design and layout

To enable the building as a museum, much of its internal structuring was renovated, except for part of the ground floor. Thus, the rooms currently corresponding to (map layout in the museum)  I, II and III, at the time formed the three studies of the painter. Room I was used as a warehouse, II for the exhibition of works by the artist and room III was the studio itself. This room communicated with the family area, which corresponds to a room that communicates with the main entrance of the house, today leaving the museum; a room that precedes the lunch room and a staircase that leads to the first floor, where temporary exhibitions are currently held rooms from IV to VI. From this, through another staircase, you access the second floor, service area at first, then Joaquín Sorolla García’s room since 1941, after which in 1982 it would be used as the museum offices and currently, as a place where the workshops organized by the institution are developed. For their part, the gardens have remained true to how they were at the time in which the family lived in the house thanks to the restorations carried out between 1986 and 1991. The Andalusian style would be especially present in this space. The Alhambra of Granada ,and the Alcazar of Sevilla were the monuments that would most inspire the painter in his eagerness to design the exterior space of his home. For this company, Sorolla was made with different elements such as fountains, tiles, columns, statues, plants and trees, all from Andalusia.


The collections! Fantastic !!! love it!!! Some photos as again memory in the blog!

The museum’s collections are composed of works by Sorolla himself, personal belongings, as well as many others that he collected during his life as a collector. Similarly, among the collection are works by his closest relatives, such as his daughters Maria and Helena Sorolla, and his son-in-law, Francisco Pons Arnau. Most of this comes from the legacy and donations made by the painter’s own relatives, such as his wife and three children.

The painting collection is the most representative of the museum with 1294 works by Sorolla, which cover different themes and formats, such as his famous color notes, preparatory paintings he made as a study prior to the realization of a larger format work. It also has 164 works by other painters such as Aureliano de Beruete, Anders Zorn or Martín Rico Ortega


The drawings collection of 4985 drawings made by Sorolla includes designs for the facade of the building, its gardens or interiors of the house, as well as charcoals from the painter’s daily life. They are usually quick notes of the natural that he takes for entertainment or as ideas prior to his paintings


The sculpture collection is composed of 289 works from different eras and mainly of Spanish origin that enriched the family’s home. Its origin is unknown, although there is evidence that some were gifts made to Sorolla himself. Pieces of Rodin, Troubetzkoy as well as friends of the artist such as Mariano Benlliure, Josep Clarà, Miguel Blay, José Capuz or his daughter, Elena Sorolla stand out

The ceramic collection that houses the Sorolla house-museum is a clear testimony of the painter’s taste for this type of element. This inclination could be due to the artist’s Levantine origins, as well as the constant trips he made to southern Spain to carry out his commission for the Hispanic Society, which led him to use ceramic tiles, plates and vases in the decoration of his own housing In addition, this collection offers a broad view of peninsular ceramics from the 15C to the 20C, with works by peers such as Daniel Zuloaga or Mariano Benlliure

The collection of jewels consists of 269 pieces, among which are popular jewels from different regions of Spain, with the Valencian jewelery being the one with the greatest presence. Likewise, it also includes pieces of Berber origin as a result of family trips

This textile collection is mainly made up of those pieces acquired by Sorolla in her travels for the commission of the Hispanic Society and which mostly correspond to traditional clothing from different regions of the 19C and 20C. It also includes the family’s household furniture and other fragments of ancient fabrics acquired by the painter during his life


The furniture collection consists of 184 pieces that served the family in their home and that are mostly preserved in situ. As the tastes of the time marked, this is characterized by its eclectic character, in this way you can find furniture of varied invoice dating from the twelfth century, as well as other elements of modernist cut such as lamps that light different rooms, designed by Louis Confort Tiffany, or the Arabic-style canopy bed that was in the painter’s studio



In the Sorolla Museum’s collections there are valuable personal belongings to both the painter and the family. These respond to different natures, so that we can find from Sorolla’s own belongings, such as their brushes, palettes or medals obtained in different national and international exhibitions, as well as a collection of metalwork and other glass objects from different eras.

This photo collection is the most extensive in the Sorolla Museum, with 7167 photographs of original paper copies, original negatives or modern positives. This photographic collection is due, in large measure, to Antonio García Peris, Sorolla’s father-in-law, who portrayed family members multiple times. The painter himself would also use photography as an instrument of documentation for some of his projects, as commissioned by the Hispanic Society. Similarly, in this collection you can find works by other famous photographers of the time, such as Christian Frazen, Ragel, Laurent, Campúa or Kaulak among others.


The official webpage of the ministry of culture and sports on the Sorolla MuseumMin Culture and Sports on the Sorolla Museum

The tourist office of MadridTourist office of Madrid on the Sorolla museum in English

And at last, there you go a long post indeed but worth it me think. This is a very nice little museum loaded with wonderful things to see and admire, highly recommended when in Madrid.I know we will be back again! Sorolla museum is Madrid!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




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