Archive for May 29th, 2016

May 29, 2016

Iglesias,jardines y plazas de Madrid or Churches, Gardens and Squares of Madrid!

Busy on the blog as getting ready for end of month at work and closing branches, but just back from Madrid….My Madrid took time to be there on weekend and wandered around the city on foot all over. Some of my favorites are again here;

The Catedral de Almudena is wonderful and an even better museum sacristy on calle Bailén, next to the Royal Palace or Palacio Real and extending it to the gardens or jardines de Sabatini is a must. Coming to it by Calle Mayor from the Plaza Mayor is fantastic walking trip.

The Catedral Santa María La Real de La Almudena took yeaars to built and finally done recently in 1993…!  It is a Cathedral of 102 meters long and 73 meters wide built on different styles from neo classic in the exterior to neo gothic in the interior and neo roman in the crypt. The Cathedral was consecrated by Pope John Paul II and it is the first Spanish Cathedral consecrated by a Pope! The official site is in Spanish here: http://www.catedraldelaalmudena.es/

The tourist office has it in English: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/catedral-de-la-almudena

In the Plaza Jesus not far from the Westin Palace hotel and the Fountain of Neptuno there is another Church that stroke my fancy in my walks in the city.  The Basílica de Nuestro Padre Jesús De Medinaceli is small basilica in a nice district and it was built on the site of the convent of trinitian without shoes or Convento de trinitarios descalzos de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación! The new basilica was done in 1930 but did not get the nomination as such until 1973.  It is done in a Latin style and on the Inside the devotées worship the image of Our Father Jesus of Medinaceli. Its official site in Spanish is here: http://www.archimadrid.es/jesusmedinaceli/index.html

The tourist office has it in English: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/iglesia-de-jesus-de-medinaceli

We move on to the Royal Palace or Palacio Real, this is an imposing castle where all dignataries are welcome but the King does not live, rather stays in a more humble castle of the Zarzuela,  leaving the official Royal Palace for visitors and heads of State visits.  The Royal Palace was built in 1734 after the older fortress was razed by fire.  The palace is second only to the Louvre in Paris and this one has 2800 rooms with only about 50 open to the public! It has 3 floors and 3 in between floors on the ceiling of each of the floors.  The façades measure 130 meters long by 33 meters high; with 870 Windows and 240 balcons that open on the street or the patio. The total land area is of 135000 sq meters, with 44 stairs and more than 30 salones or big main rooms. The official site in Spanish is here; http://www.patrimonionacional.es/real-sitio/palacios/6039?language=en

The tourist office has it in English here: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/royal-palace

Right after the Royal Palace you see the Gardens or Jardines de Sabatini, a great wonderful garden. You have a stair like main entrance and another one through a grill gate at the end.  This was done in the 1930’s and has 2,54 ha or about 6 acres. The exact location is between calle de Bailén and Cuesta de San Vicente,on a terrace hanging over the field of the moor or Campo del Moro.  The gardens are in 3 terraces with the most wonderful me think is the second going along the north edge of the Royal Palace.

The tourist office has it in English here: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/jardines-de-sabatini

I came to the small wonderful quaint Catédral Castrense  off the Calle Mayor. The official name is the Iglesia Catédral de las Fuerzas Armadas (Church Cathedral of the Armed Forces), also,known as Catédral Castrense or Iglesia del Sacramento (Church of the Sacrement).  Here was the old monastery  of the Bernadines monks founded in 1615.  Only the Church is left of the original , the monastery was demolished in 1972. The Ministry of Defense used it since 1980 ;official site in Spanish here:  http://www.arzobispadocastrense.com/newarzo/index.php

You can see interior pictures of this armed forces Church here in Spanish text; http://www.arzobispadocastrense.com/newarzo/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16&Itemid=151

There is a small Church in Calle Atocha, 6  name the Iglesia de Santa Cruz, sitting on the site of  the old convent of Santo Tomàs de Aquino of the Dominican order founded in 1583.  The current Church after several fires was built in 1889  and rénovations took part until 1902; done in neo gothic style with stones from nearby Colmenar. The tower facing the street has 80 meters high and on top there is square continuing the tradition of the old tower built in 1660 and known as the “Atalaya de la Corte” OR watchtower of the Court .  Parrish page in Spanish here: http://www.parroquiadesantacruz.com/Santa_Cruz_web/Bienvenida.html

And all this tour, centered around the Plaza Mayor, the center of it all rivaling the Puerta del Sol. Mayor is older and wonderfully decorated on its façades with a great equestrian statue of king Felipe III done in 1616 but place here since 1848; the square measures 129 meters by 94 meters.It dates from the 1580 until finished by 1619.  Some other things to look up here is the  Casa de la Panaderia with the shield of arms of Carlos II,and the very famous Arco de Cuchilleros or arch of cutleries street. The tourist office has more in English here; http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/plaza-mayor-Madrid

One novelty on my walks was passing by the Cuesta de Moyano and see the lineup of libraries with books of many diverse universe ready for sale and expecting the Feria del Libro de Madrid that began May 27th to June 12th, 2016.  Tourist office on the libraries at Moyano here in English: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/librerias-de-la-cuesta-de-moyano

And the association of libraries that form the Cuesta de Moyano group in Spanish here: http://www.cuestamoyano.es/index.asp

And the Feria del Libro at Retiro park here: http://www.ferialibromadrid.com/

This is Madrid and you can search more on my post by typing Madrid in the search space on the right column in my main page of the blog. Enjoy Madrid , I always do ::)

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May 29, 2016

The muséums triangle of Madrid…

Well ,not my cup of tea once seeing them once, but very popular for visitors to the city ,are the triangle of the top 3 muséums of Madrid. Namely the Prado, Reina Sofia,and Thyssen-Bornemisza.

There is so much to see in Madrid and many more nice muséums seen over the years but these 3 gets the most visitors. Their official webpages are here:

http://www.museothyssen.org/en/thyssen/home

http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en

https://www.museodelprado.es/en

My initial visit as a yound teenager was the Prado(Paseo del Prado) and has remain the favorite of the big ones. The vast collections of top historical and social value are uneaqual in the world and so deserving one of the top muséums in the world. A must to see at least once totally.

It houses the greatest collection of paintings from the 14C to early the 19C of famous painters from the school of Flanders, Spanish, French, Italian,and German ;with a small collection of English paintings, collected by the royal branches of the Habsbourg and Bourbons. The museum started as a natural science building design from 1785.

The Reina Sofia(  is named in honor of Queen Sofia, wife of former King Juan Carlos I. It is house in the old Hospital San Carlos done in the end of the 18C.  It is a modern art and contemporary collections dating from the period of 1900 to our days.  The museum opens in 1990 and with a permanent collection in 1992.

We reach the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum, (Paseo del Prado); the museum is house in the Palace de Villahermosa ,in the angle of Paseo del Prado and Carrera de San Jeronimo and dedicated to  ancient art, modern, and contemporay in one.  It was done in 1993 after the reunification of works ,most given by the family of Thyssen-Bornemisza and other from collections already held in Spain.

The site of Spanish Culture has more on them such as

http://www.spainisculture.com/en/museos/madrid/museo_nacional_centro_de_arte_reina_sofia.html

http://www.spainisculture.com/en/museos/madrid/museo_thyssen-bornemisza.html

http://www.spainisculture.com/en/museos/madrid/museo_nacional_del_prado.html

There is a smaller museum that is getting attention lately from local friends and that is the Caixa Forum(Paseo del Prado). It was design from an old industrial electrical plant into several levels/floors.  And an unique green wall on its side. it houses mostly contemporary  works but also, exhibits retrospectives of artists from earlier time periods.

official link: https://obrasociallacaixa.org/en/cultura/caixaforum-madrid/que-hacemos

and more on Spanish culture here:  http://www.spainisculture.com/en/museos/madrid/caixa_forum_madrid.html

A rich choice of culture , arts, and history to show the world the many facets of a wonderful modern city with traditions of old intact; Madrid. See it.

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May 29, 2016

Arrival in Madrid ,always heaven on earth!

Once again in Madrid the city of my youthful movida and Lucky enough to visit often nowdays; this time was a short 3 days but did I had fun.

Landing in T4 Adolfo Suàrez Barajas airport on Iberia; and taken that quick trip on the metro line 8 to Colombia connecting with the line 9 to Sanz de Baranda and my hotel as usual lately the Ayre Gran Colon Hotel.

http://www.aena.es/csee/Satellite/Aeropuerto-Madrid-Barajas/es/Page/1237554326802//Transporte-publico.html

http://www.ayrehoteles.com/en/hotel-colon/

It was a Saturday so the night of Bruce Springteen concert at the Bernabeu stadium, he was staying in the Westin Palace,the hotel of my business conference and all was busy trying to get a glimpse in vain. http://www.westinpalacemadrid.com/en

I took the plunge to go out at night walk those wonderful lively great Madrid night time always busy never a dull moment. Madrid just breathing its air feels great, rejuvenating, stronger; I walk all over km after km it was fantastic. Stopping here and then for a caña or jarra (bigger glass of beer) looking for that Mahou or Miau!

Getting my typical real souvenirs at Arte Toledano in Prado, you find the finest of Toledo and Madrid here with medieval armor museum and ceramics, portraits etc gifts for all tastes and genuine Spanish. http://www.artetoledano.com/index.php?leng=_en

Took a look at Atocha train station always imposing from the glorieta del Emperador Carlos V, and the many restaurants around it. It was the station closest to my piso or apartment when living here and a must to stop by.

In my walks I past by the Fuente de las Cibeles and Fuente Neptuno the main venues in victory for the Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid. On Sunday took part in the outside festivities of the  King’s Cup or Copa del Rey, between Sevilla and Barcelona at the Calderon stadium. Sevilla maravilla was short and Barcelona won but the ambiance was great. A point to make is seeing all those Catalans taken pictures in front of the Congreso de los Diputados (Spanish parliament) lol! And the great statue to Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra the writer of Don Quijote!

Moving along in my walks passing the Cine Ideal ,founded in 1916 in the site of the convent of the Trinity with shoes (sp?) or convento de los Trinitarios Calzados; later in 1932 was adapted to do teatrical shows and Spanish Zarzuelas theater plays , and finally in 1990 came back as a cinema. My mother used to bring me here as a kid !!! It is at calle del Doctor Cortezo,near the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, but you can see it from Calle Mayor,http://www.yelmocines.es/cartelera/madrid/yelmo-cines-ideal

and the Teatro Calderon who was built in 1917; before it was call Teatro Odéon,   located at Calle Atocha, 18 just in front of the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente. Theater and Spanish Zarzuela with performers like Plàcido Domingo, the city tourist office; http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/teatro-calderon

You see wonderful architecture and places to see Madrid from above and eating out right on Calle Alcalà like the Instituto Cervantes, a wonderful place to expose the Spanish language and culture all over the world; the building is a fantastic architecture marvel.  http://www.cervantes.es/default.htm

You go on to the Plaza de España and the complex in honor of Miguel Cervantes Saavedra the writer of Don Quijote and the elements of Sancho Panza on one side and Dulcinea on the other. The Plaza de Oriente with its marvelous Teatro Real; actually a bit further back in the Plaza de Isabel II.

http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/plaza-de-espana

http://www.teatro-real.com/en

Not to forget the small quaint medievel Plaza de la Villa off Calle Mayor, this is the govt city hall annex of the city of Madrid. You can see here the Casa Lujanes with its tower, Casa de Cisneros ,and Casa de la Villa where the city hall is located ,with the statue to Alvaro de Bazan,hero of Lepanto amongst others. http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/plaza-de-la-villa

Just a wonderful town, a must to see in Europe, the No 2 most visited country and city in the world according to UN WTO statistics, and well deserved. See it to believe it. From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

ps. not to mention my team the Real Madrid became last night the winner in penalties kicks of the 11th Champions league title, the most in history, the greatest of all time. Hala Madrid for eternity. The French coach Zinadine Zidane became the first Frenchmen to ever won the Champions as player and coach! the link in my blogroll below is here for info: http://www.realmadrid.com/en

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