Archive for April, 2017

April 30, 2017

And again Madrid, never enough, Madrid to heavens ….

I am lucky enough to come back to Madrid often in the last few years. I used to lived here for 4,and left an image in my mind of good times, never to forget, or as the saying goes Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! I was back in Madrid last week.

I arrived on Iberia from Nantes France very early and took advantage of some time off to walk the city and enjoy it fully; walking brings back many memories of youth, and my mother. You know the esmadrid tourist office so will skip that now.

I am very happy with Iberia, easy flights, good prices and on time, in addition to the Adolfo Suarez airport Madrid-Barajas has been name the best airport in 2017 by a survey of airport users which they proudly post it in the gate areas.  Here is their link: http://www.iberia.com/?language=en

I had some time before the hotel check in so decided to have lunch on the road. Headed straight for the Atocha area and El Brillante. A wonderful place with great views of the train station Atocha on one side and the Reina Sofia museum on the back. Great chorizo sandwiches and a Mahou 5stars beer and see the world go by you, superb.  More here: http://www.barelbrillante.es/

The Atocha was packed as always and so was the Reina Sofia museum with a line down the stairs all the way to the street at the Plaza Emperador Carlos V!  I did walk Paseo del Prado and saw the Caixa Forum which had some renovation done, as well as the Botanical garden with the entrance doing some work but all open.

The Reina Sofia was showing the great Guernica painting exhibition, so that is why was packed. More here: http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en

Atocha train station here: http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/info/ZonaEmbarqueAtocha.html

The Caixa Forum a great exhibition area right around the triangle of great museums is worth a detour; more here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/caixaforum-Madrid

And the Botanical gardens are one of my favorite spots in Madrid that I have come since a kid…. El Real Jardin Botànico de Madrid.  The official page in English here: http://www.rjb.csic.es/jardinbotanico/jardin/?len=en

You should take a look at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries that conducts tours with the tourist office, this is a great architecture building and gorgeous rooms right around the Atocha train station. El Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca is located in the Palacio de Fomento from the 19C and gone thru many changes in name and uses until the current one. One of your off the beaten path sites in Madrid and worth the detour. More here on the guided visits in Spanish: http://www.mapama.gob.es/en/ministerio/palacio-de-fomento/visitas-guiadas/default.aspx

Up the road from the above and going by Calle  Dr Velasco, you reach the Real Observatorio Astronomico de Madrid or Royal Astronomic Observatory to see the sky!  This is another off the beaten path trips to Madrid and it should be encouraged more, I have come here since school age in Madrid!!! More here on visits in Spanish: http://contenido.ign.es/rom/visitas/reservas.html

You can go by the paseo way before the main entrance to the Prado museum and go by the Puerta de Murillo, the south door entrance of the Prado. The building dates from 1786,and you heard it here! And of course, in Spanish you have the information on it at the bottom of page, it disappear when you change to English ::) More here: https://www.museodelprado.es/visita-el-museo

Here you will see a statue of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo; from which the square and entrance is name after. Golden age of Spanish painting and he was one of the main one;living in the 17C.

See the great façade of the Chapel of the Children’s Hospital on the Avenida de  Menendez Pelayo facing the Retiro park. The hospital is Hospital de Niño Jésus; more info here in Spanish: http://www.madrid.org/cs/Satellite?cid=1142401273116&language=es&pagename=HospitalNinoJesus%2FPage%2FHNIJ_contenidoFinal

And of course, I was able to check in to my usual hotel the Ayre Gran Hotel Colon on Calle del Pez Volador,1 and corner of Calle del Dr Esquerdo, metro Sainz de Baranda line 6 or 9, couple minutes from hotel. Great service, good prices and central to all my needs, very close to Retiro park. More here: http://www.ayrehoteles.com/en/hotels/ayre-gran-hotel-colon/

And just head out for the city on my again usual resto, why change when you found the best ::) Cerveceria Cruz Blanca, on Calle del Dr Esquerdo closer to Conde de Casal metro station but about 10 minutes walking from the hotel. And always the same guys,good service, good food and see the world go by on the inner courtyard facing the street or the terrace tables right on the street! They have another one on the other side of Retiro park on avda Menendez Pelayo that is great too as well as others in different parts of Spain. More info here in Spanish: https://cerveceriacruzblanca.es/local/cervecer%C3%ADa-cruz-blanca-esquerdo

I will stop here on the tour, there is more and more personal for me but Madrid is personal up close and wonderful, it really provides some extra to continue back new home.  And just to think about it, I will be back with the family in summer !!!

Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are and happy travels, remember la vida es chula, la vie est belle, la dolce vita, life is beautiful, enjoy it now. Cheers

 Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid

 

 

 

 

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April 30, 2017

A Coruña, La Coruña; it has been a love story!

And I was back to La Coruña (Spanish), and A Coruña (Galician) again last week. It has become a love affair with several visits all documented in my blog. Since birth , I have known people from here, and once in Europe, I have to know them up close and personal with great gratitude of friendship and sharing of a similar love, football/soccer. I did the same last week.

I took Iberia from Nantes to A Coruña airport direct on an easy and on time flight. I have their pages here for reference:

http://www.iberia.com/?language=en

http://www.aena.es/en/a-coruna-airport/index.html

I took a taxi from airport to hotel for 15,50€ nice ride on the expressway coming down the bay into the Matogrande district where my usual hotel awaited ,the Attica21 Hotel; great room nice views, good service,and a wonderful all buffet breakfast. The hotel is here:

https://www.attica21hotels.com/en/hotel-attica21-coruna/

Once here had the same friendship welcome and went out to a resto bar I already knew not far from the hotel for dinner in good company; the place is Bogart Baar, and it is a modern resto with great service good food,good beer,and friendly chat; we had the 3 cuts of meats dish to share , the jarra or pints of beer,and dessert ,coffee all for 19€ per person. Best ambiance and best deal in town. The resto is here:

https://www.paxinasgalegas.es/bogart-baar-446078em.html

Just enough for a good night sleep on a great landing day.  We took a ride into the country going as far as Curtis and Ferrol towns and driving around A Coruña ,an easy thing to do. See the street photos here.

On the evening of the 26 of April ,there was the game of Real Madrid vs Deportivo La Coruña and saw it live on a bar call O’Sampaio ,Calle  Bailén, 4 Bajo  in old town ,it has a page in Facebook and the place is loaded, not to mention I saw the game and we won 2X6! Hala Madrid!!! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cerveceria-Osampaio/315124188669066

Each night we went to a different place and another one was A Taberna de Cunqueiro; a nice bar in a lively night street of good ambiance and family oriented with good friends is a must, Calle de la Estrella, tops. More chorizos, squids!! (pulpo)  and beers lol! more on the tavern here: http://www.atabernadecunqueiro.com/es/restaurant

We did stop by an old hangout and very popular at La Bombilla, we had our potato rolls with chorizos and more beer Estrella Galicia here, a must stop on any night in A Coruña,and again the page is in Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Bombilla/176766399019180

Last we went to the beach of Santa Cristina , a nice area in Oleiros, which is full after June; for now we had it all for ourselves and had a beer and tapas at the restaurant Pereiro terrace overlooking the beach in the Santa Cristina Hotel. More here: http://santacristinahotel.com/

I did past by my old hotel AC Hotel A Coruña, the first time I came here back in 2012, I stayed there and was ok, actually they are next to the Attica21 Hotel that I have stayed ever since.  The AC are part of the Marriott group. More here: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lcgco-ac-hotel-a-coruna/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2

More on the beach at Santa Cristina in Spanish here: http://guias.masmar.net/Playas/Galicia/Playa-de-Santa-Cristina-Oleiros-A-Coru%C3%B1a

And the tourist section of Spain on Oleiros and the beach in English here:  http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/destinos-playa/playas/coruna_a/santa_cristina.html

All in all, it was a trip to come back to some repeated wonderful places and to seek new ones, all good ones; A Coruña can be a great experience coming in summer or warmer weather. The nightlife is vibrant and active, and the food is sublime! Hoping not to be the last time there; I am already looking forward to the next time and new places.

Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are; me back at home and ready for another trip by mid to end May ::) Cheers

La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña La Coruña

 

 

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April 29, 2017

Some news from France CLIII

And I am back from a wonderful one week trip to Spain, but back in town is cold and cloudy and lots of rain announce for tomorrow. We are on a three day holiday due to May 1st been Labor Day here. Temps went up only to 17C or about 63F but right now it is 52F or 11C.

Let me tell you of an event mentioned before but it’s worth it if around Versailles, my dear old town. This is the Jumping international du Château de Versailles May 5-7. This is considered a 5 stars event ,the highest in its category. More here: http://jumping-chateauversailles.com/?lang=gb

The roots on horse riding go deep here since 1670, and the king Louis XIV had built the Grande and Petite Ecuries. It is here that Bàrtabas , the founder of the Académie équestre nationale du domaine de Versailles in 2003 . More here: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/royal-stables/national-equestrian-academy-estate-versailles

This event will have over 200 horses with the best 30 jockeys of the world including four French Olympic champions. A course with 1600 spectators will be done in the stables=ecuries, and the visitors will have access to the gallery of Coaches or La Galerie des Carrosses in the Grande Ecurie as well, superb; restored in 2016. You see carriages of Napoléon Ier, the funeral carriage of Louis XVIII, fantasy trainers, etc. More here: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/royal-stables/gallery-coaches

If need to missed this one( a pity), then , Do not forget in July ,the Longines Global Champions Tour de Chantilly, from July 13-16. More info here: http://jumping-chantilly.com/en

The vineyards and our wine is on the lookout, as these last few nights they have been hit by some frost and cold winds that were not expected. The most hit were Bordeaux, Bourgogne, and Champagne, but, also all in general.

At Chablis ,water had to be pumped in to protect from deed freezing ,even with its risks. From eolians tactics to helicopters to heating elements in the fields all has been tried. At Chateau Corbin in Saint Emilion from 13 hectares 10 are totally destroyed!!! Even if the appellation Pomerol is the most affected. The effects are closer to those that happened in 1991. The temperatures going down to -4C  or 23F has affected Gaillac and Fronton where 80% of vineyards were frozen.  There are 20  000 hectares in the Languedoc that were destroyed. This the experts will tell you that in 2018 many will have nothing to offer us to drink!!!

In Champagne ,will have to dig to its reserves. Temperatures going down to 19F or 7C and about 20-25% of vineyards destroyed. In Cognac, 25K over 75K hectares were touch by this freezing 75% or more. Article read in the Le Figaro newspaper of April 29-30 2017.

A bit of history I like, that will enhance your visiting pleasures. Why not know the history is to engage in culture and understanding of the country, France. The traces of the last Bourbons kings is the latest article in Le Figaro magazine.

The article takes notice of the visit of Prince Louis Alphonse de Bourbon (legitimate king of France Louis XX) , last descendant of king Felipe V of Spain in turn grandson of king Louis XIV of France)  to Gorica, Slovania. The visit was to pay respect to the last king of France Charles X, who died in exile here, and whether to bring his body back to the Basilica of Saint Denis, north of Paris.

The current President of France, François Hollande had ordered repair the arrow tower of the basilica of Saint Denis in the north tower in a symbolic act. The question of bringing back the last kings of France is now a possibility.

king Charles X (brother of Louis XVI) ,also known as the Count of Artois,was overthrown in the 3 glorious days or trois glorieuses in 1830(also,known as the July revolution) , and died of colera on November 6 1836 in Gorizia ,the frontier of Frioul-Venetia Julienne and Slovenia. He lies in the Franciscan convent of Castagnavizza ,today call Kostanjevica in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. There, also , lies his son, Duke of Angoulême (short while king Louis XIX) his wife and cousin Mary Theresa of France, also ,called madame royale, the unfortunate daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette freed from the prison of Temple,and the grandchildren of Charles X, also, Henri V, count of Chambord, the last French Bourbon of the branch, and his wife Mary Theresa of Modena, and her sister, Louise of France; duchess of Parma.

The convent has gone thru some tough days that threaten to destroyed the coffins in it. The first was in 1914 facing the Austro-Hungarian empire and Italy ,when the convent was bombed and the coffins were saved due to Zita of  Austria, granddaughter of Louise of Parma, who transferred them to the convent of Capuchins in Vienna until 1932.  At the end of WWII,the monastery of Castagnavizza that is on a hill dominating Gorizia passed to the jurisdiction of Yugoslavia until the independence of Slovenia in 1991; where it change name to Kostanjevica,and kept by the Franciscans Monks in Nova Gorica.

Charles X is the only French king now lying in foreign soil, and there is an association trying to change that. The Association pour le Retour a Saint-Denis de Charles X: more here in French : http://www.leretourdecharlesx.fr/

Victor Hugo,had already asked for the return of the king where he wrote in French: “Moi, je n’affligerai pas plus, o Charles X, Ton cercueil maintenant que ton exil jadis! Repose, fils de France,en ta tombe exile! Dormez,sire! Il convient que cette ombre voile, que ce vieux Pasteur mort sans people et sans troupeaux, Roi Presque séculaire ait au moins le repos.”

Meaning, as close as can make it in English: I will distressed no more, O Charles X your coffin now in your radiant exile, rest son of France in your grave in exile! Sleep Sir, It is convenient that this covered shade,that this old  pastor dead without people or followers; king almost secular has at least a resting place.

The association just wants to reunite the brothers , Louis XVI,Louis XVIII,and Charles X in the Basilique de Saint Denis. For this,they have the backing and support of all the relatives of Charles X living today. That is the Princes Bourbon-Parma born from his granddaughter Louise of Bourbon, and the two daughters of the Duke of Berry (second son of Charles X assassinated in 1820) had with Amy Brown: Charlotte, princess of Faucigny-Lucinge ,and Louise, Baronnesa of Charette de la Contrie. At least 50 descendant has given the ok for the transfer. The only block is that on the Will and Last Testament of the Count of Chambord (Henri V) he asked not to be buried in France as well as his wife Mary Theresa of Modena. He refuse the tricolor flag of the French republic for keeping the white flag symbol of the monarchy in 1871.

The current pretender Louis Alphonse (Alfonso born in Madrid, and legitimate Louis XX king of France), does not want to separate the grandchildren from his grandfather.  The transfer can only be done with the blessing of the French Republic and with all the honors of a sovereign monarch according to Louis Alphonse.

He professed the European unity in this speech that I have translated to English. ” Your city can be proud of being that in Europe, has without a doubt been the most marked by the presence of the princes and princesses of my family, but to the physical presence need to add memory and remembrance that remain still so  powerful. Every year, many pilgrims come from France to visit the  places of exile; I like to see it as a beautiful symbol of our Europe, seeking always to better understand its roots and who find them, just by sharing common memories across borders”

You too can come here, (it is my goal in life) to see the Cathedral where the funerals of the last French Bourbon were held and the palace Coronini Cronberg where Charles X found refuge and finally died. The prince Louis Alphonse tells the mayor of Gorizia, your town welcomed my family seeking exile in desperation ; today you town stays loyal to the Bourbons, and you host me as you did them, if your town stays loyal to the Bourbons ,we will stay loyal to Gorizia , and my sons will come here too. He lays a crown of flowers to the tomb with 3 white lys flowers symbol of the monarchy all shown on local Slovene and Italian TV( not in France).

The palace is here: http://www.coronini.it/en/

The convent where Charles X and family are buried: http://www.samostan-kostanjevica.si/en/tombs-bourbons

The Cathedral were the funerals were held: http://www.turismofvg.it/Religious-monuments/Gorizia-Cathedral

Prince Louis Alphonse, duke of Anjou and Bourgogne, and confirm by the House of France as the heir legimitate as king Louis XX was accompanied on this trip by Stéphane Bern a well know TV commentator, historian and actor. He wrote the piece for Le Figaro magazine.

The other sovereign of France not buried in France is that of emperor Napoléon III.  He is buried at the Abbey Chapel of Farnborough in England. He lied there with his wife emperatrice Eugénie (of the Montijo of Spain), and their son Louis who died in 1879 in a battle with the Zulus in South Africa (he would have been Napoléon IV).

At the Benedictine abbey of Saint Michael founded in 1881 by the emperatrice Eugénie that lived at Farnborough Hill.  There are the tombs of Napoléon III (1873), Eugénie (1920) and Louis (1879). In the 150th anniversary of the unification of the Savoie and county of Nice, many people ask for the repatriation of the bodies to France.

In 2008 during the bicentennial of the birth of the emperor many came here, including a representation of the French Republic by way of its ambassador in UK. Up to this date, the descendant family have always opposed to the repatriation to France.  At least ,at Farnborough the Benedictine monks pray for the emperor, who will do that in Paris? said the Princess Napoléon (I have met her at the Institut de France in Paris, salon Victor Hugo) . Difficult to bring them all as the imperial prince is buried with English military uniform! and the Invalides could not be.

Other place that I know is the Church of Saint Augustin, that has been sought after for many years as a necropolis of the empire.  Napoléon III already have sought of doing a mausoleum Bonaparte here.  The Church is well aligned in the perspective of the baron Haussmann between the Church of the Madeleine (dedicated to the grande armée), and the place Wagram. Nevertheless, the pilgrims here will be less than at Farnborough.

So there you have my historical post on France , again there is lot to see here, a lot more than on travel guides. Enjoy your weekend, Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 23, 2017

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XVI

And yes this is family Sunday in lovely Morbihan Breton department 56 of Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh in la belle France. Today cool and sunny, a great walk in town indeed.

We had our usual errands from yesterday, we had to stop by upon returning from our escapes in the neighborly Finistére, to pick up some plants in our favorite garden shop, the Pepiniére de Penhouet, in Ploeren near Vannes. Right off the expressway N165 Nantes-Brest.

http://www.pepinieredepenhouet.com/

It is huge, all along the expressway, and great friendly expert service. We buy all our plants, trees, dirt from them and very good results so says my other half…. I just the transport guy lol!

We got Three more plants, to cover our desert Breton style garden with lots of stone gravel tiny like stones. We just found our house when it was for sale, and wow looking at it now we sure done a lot work ,yes we did,do, but to see the old picture and compare it to now is awesome. I will put the old picture here.ok.

Then, today it is Sunday April 23rd 2017. This is the first round of the  French presidential elections pitting 11 candidates from all sorts of thinking. I did my civic duty and voted, will see the results. There is a second round with the two top winners from today, and the 2nd round will be Sunday May 7th. Just before another great 3 day weekend on May 8 is Victory 1945 Day here.

My place of voting is on the other side of town about 18 minutes walking from our house which we enjoy doing and did walk over to vote. The place is the Salle Marie-Josèphe LE BORGNE, a big complex for events and sports as well, a picture and more here: http://www.pluvigner.fr/la-salle-marie-josephe-le-borgne/

Of course, we could not go into city center/downtown without picking something like the Euro Millions lotto ticket and a good smelling looking roasted farm chicken from our local supermarket Proxi. Sunday meal is been prepared ::) They are one of the brands of Carrefour on small towns off the beaten path. http://www.franchise-proximite.carrefour.com/nos-enseignes/franchise-proxi/commerce-alimentaire-proxi/

If care to know more about the elections ,and can read French, this is my town webpage: http://www.pluvigner.fr/elections-3/

There is, also, some of the local newspaper take on the elections too.

the Telegramme newspaper: http://agenda.letelegramme.fr/pluvigner-elections-presidentielles/360415

the Ouest-France newspaper: http://www.ouest-france.fr/elections/resultats/morbihan/pluvigner-56330/

We won’t know the results until about 20h and later tonite. See you around Pluvigner ! Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are! Cheers

And me will be off the waves for a week until the next holiday period of Labor Day May 1st. I can’t wait to be back in my lovely Spain and especially a day in Madrid. Hasta pronto !

 Ploeren  Ploeren  Ploeren  Ploeren  Ploeren  Pluvigner

 

 

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April 22, 2017

Go Finistére and visit Commana enclos Church

One of the Church religious enclosures in Brittany, this one in Finistére, on the town of Commana. We left early on a wonderful day that saw temperatures go up to 23C or about 72F and sunny.

Commana is about 1h35 from our home and we left by car along the N165 to exit Morlaix , Plouay going into the D764 and D48 ; the town is right in the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique; a natural park passing by the famous Breton historical area of the Monts d’Arrée.

The enclosure or enclos paroissial de Commana  is done around the Church of Saint Derrien. It was built in the 16C to 17C and it is considered one of the most beautiful in Brittany. It includes the Church, the enclosure itself, and the Arc de Triomphe.

The legend about this Saint  Derrien is that he save from drowning the Prince  Élorn  ,by which the river now bears his name. Refusing to be given land in exchange for this good deed, the Saint demand that a church be built in Commana. So this was done in 1645.

The belltower is 57 meters high on one of the best hills of léon which are at 262 meters above sea level. The belltower looks straight , austere arid on the image of the semi desert Monts d’Arrée; the date of 1592 is engraved on the base.

Inside, you have the retables of Sainte Anne, a work of art baroque from the 17C more precise in 1682 ; there are two other retables those of  the Rosary or Rosaire , and the  Cinq-Plaies or Five Wounds.

The chapel retable of Sainte Anne, is a work of art baroque from the 17C, measuring 6 meters by 8 meters high. It is composed of three parts, in the middle the Virgin and Sainte Anne looking at the Enfant Child having in its left hand the globe of the world.  See the two columns twisted and decorated in guirlandes of vines and leaves. The lateral niches enclosed Saint Joseph ,and Saint Joachim. Higher up you see the Sainte Virgin and the Angel Gabriel. Below it the throne of the Eternal Father held by two angels.  At the summit you find Sainte Trinité and God Eternal Father holding his sons ,all built 1682.

The retable or altar chapel of the Rosary or Rosaire shows the statues of the Virgin and the Child offering the rosary to Saint Dominique and Sainte Catherine de Sienne.  The two niches laterally enclosed the statues of Saint Joachim , and Saint Joseph. Below them, you see a figure of the Father and Mother presenting their Child to the Holy Virgin.

The central niche of the  Chapel retable of the Cinq-Plaies shows the Lord showing its wounds.  On the side two angels crowned in roses have a crown of thorns and nails ; showing laterally the statues of Sain Sébastien and Sainte Marguerite.  They are dated from 1852. The image of these to the figures on the boat of the times makes you think that like the retable of Sainte Anne, they are done by the marines of Brest.

The baptismal chapel dates from the 18C.  However, the urn dates from 1656, located at the heart of a column decorated with gadroons, fluted and surmounted by a canopy in wood to five parts carried by five pilasters to which are attached two cardinal virtues (the Justice and Temperance) and the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity). Above the canopy, balusters support the dome above the statue of Jesus holding a cross, sustained three caryatids. This last work dates from 1683.
Coming into the enclosure you pass by an Arc de Triomphe ,closed of a wrought iron grille dating from the 18C. It was open only for wedding or funeral to allow processions, the access to the Church being usually by steps located on the left side of the Arc de Triomphe.
Once through the Arc de Triomphe, you see , immediately on the left, the Reliquary Chapel, improperly called ossuary. Dated 1677 to 1687, this building is very sober, has only one door and four windows each with stouts. Only the rosettes and spitters spiral carved dragons adorn the façade. There are two cavalries; the first one is located between the arc de triomphe and the South porch is dated 1585, however the cross carrying the date of 1742, which suggests that she has replaced a cross dating from the 16C. Dating from 1624, the second Calvary is located more in the cemetery. 
And more in French from the department 29 Finistére here; http://www.finisteretourisme.com/enclos-paroissial-de-commana
You will come enchanted with these wonderful buildings of history and faith in a very faithful Brittany. there is a circuit of these ,see them here briefly in English, a lot more in French: http://www.finisterebrittany.com/discover/unusual-parish-churchyards
Each weekend or most, we tend to go out and see these, the beauty and the choice of Brittany is inmense and a lot more than galettes and cider and or beaches. Enjoy Commana. Happy weekend, Cheers.
 Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana  Commana
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April 20, 2017

The jewels of Paris, Intercontinental Hotels

IParis Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris

 

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April 20, 2017

Some news from Spain XLII

Moving right along, and some sun but still cooler temps even this morning down to 3C and afternoon 14C or 37F to 58F.  However, in my beloved Spain the temps are high, evenings 63F or about 16C and mornings 71F during daytime or about 21C and sunny. La vida es chula ::)

And as I am getting ready to go back to Spain next week, and probably no internet…will be on the road in the countryside… Here are some interesting information me think to make your visit to Spain more enjoyable.

Just to make a nice walk , and yes we walk , you can get ready for that big Feast of San Isidro, the Patron Saint of Madrid with a visit to the Church, and museum/house of his beginnings.

San Isidro or Saint Isidore was a farmer, well maker, Mozarabic peasant and miraculous men. He was from Madrid and canonized in 1622. He was born in 1082AD before the territory came back to Christian hands with king Alfonso VI. San Isidro visited the current site of the Church with his wife, also, a Saint, Santa Maria de la Cabeza; here the roots of moors from the Madrid of the 11C blends in. Next door, is the home of his master, Juan de Vargas, where the Saint and his wife lived and died. It is now a house museum. The Saint is credited with many miracles most of them related to the water,and the city preserves most of the spots.One of the most representative is the Church or Iglesia de San Andrés; in its interiors you have a patio and renaissance well, from the same, he gave a miracle saving his own son according to legend. San Isidro saved his son from been drowned when he made the waters rise only to the mouth. His feast is coming in May ,all about it here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/sanisidro-madrid

And the Church here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/colegiata-de-san-isidro

Moving right along,  you can stop at the square or plaza de la Paja , here there was the city market on the one called the  plaza del Arrabal; the name given before to the now Plaza Mayor. The Plaza de la Cruz Verde ends at the  Calle de la Villa, Calle del Rollo, and the mounted Calle de Segovia, where it was the scene of public executions of the Holy See. The name  ‘Santa Cruz verde’ or Holy Green Cross was the symbol of the Spanish Inquisition and from that came its name.

Continue meandering along these gorgeous streets full of history and architecture and you come to the street or Calle de San Justo, where the wonderful Basilica Pontifical of Saint Michael or Basilica Pontifica de San Miguel. This is one of the oldest parishes and the one with more history in Madrid. A wonderful example of the Italian Baroque of the 18C ordered built by the queen Isabel de Farnesio. The old temple here was that of San Justo built in 1738 and later damaged by fire on the Parish Church of San Miguel. Today ,most know it by the wonderful market or Mercado de San Miguel here. The Basilica at Calle de San Justo keeps very nice historical persons buried inside, such as the father of Francisco de Quevedo as well as maternal grandparents, and a brother. In the parish archives it is kept the death certificate of  Rodrigo de Cervantes,the father of  Miguel de Cervantes. More here:  www.bsmiguel.es/esp-contenido/historia.html

You should not miss coming to the convent garden or El Jardín del Convento, a store selling all goodies done in the convents and monasteries from different parts of Spain. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/el-jardin-del-convento

You continue on the Madrid of the Austrias to the Catedral Castrense .  The previous monastery of the Bernadine monks founded in 1615.  Built by  Juan Gómez de Mora, one of the architect of the Plaza Mayor.  The Church belongs to the Armed Forces of Spain since 1980. More here:  http://www.arzobispadocastrense.com/index.php/arzobispado/iglesia-catedral-de-las-fas

You come to one of favorite spots lately. And not many know the underneath the Cathedral of the Almudena you have resting about 1500 souls, all in a gorgeous crypt supported by 558 columns, keeping the soul of many nobles and important families of the time. All at the feet of the Patron of Madrid, the Virgin of the Almudena or La Virgen de la Almudena ( ramparts in Arabic) ,and enclosed in 712AD upon the fall of the city to the moors. It was taken back by the Christians in 1085AD when  San Isidro only was 3 yrs old. The wall or ramparts fell apart and the Virgin was discovered; after many centuries later, She was put in the now gone Church or Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Almudena, the oldest temple in Madrid until it was demolished by 1868. From these ruins, the current Catedral de Santa Maria de la Almudena was built and finally consecrated in 1992. The crypt, that however,was done in 1911. Meanwhile the Almudena was built and consecrated , the Real Colegiata de San Isidro served as the provisional Cathedral of Madrid. More here:  http://www.catedraldelaalmudena.es/

And as we are now getting hungry ,why not stop in one of the classic restaurant of old and new  Madrid. La Bola, serving always the dishes of Madrid such as ropa vieja (old clothes), pisto manchego (ratatouille of the Mancha) , special croquettes, and bunûelos de manzana con helado ( bakers paste with apple and ice cream) ,and of course the cocido madrileño ;more here:  http://labola.es/

Where are buried the kings of Spain? Well studies have shown that even if they more or less know where the Visigoth, moors, and others are, they have no proof they were put there. However, we do know where the Christian kings are, and they are here:

Royal Pantheon of the Cathedral of Oviedo or Pantéon Real de la Catedral de Oviedo, where most at least 8 and their families are buried in six baroque niches in the new chapel of Our Lady of the King or Capilla de  Nuestra Señora del Rey Casto  that was built early on the 18C.  The great exception was king Pelayo who was buried in the Holy Cave of Covadonga or the  Santa Cueva de Covadonga. More here: http://www.oviedo.es/la-ciudad/cathedral

Royal Pantheon of San Juan de la Peña or Pantéon Real de San Juan de la Peña.  They are in the old sacristy of the high Church or Iglesia Alta  in the old monastery , where there is a reformed pantheon ordered by king Carlos III in 1770, lies the remains of some of the Navarrene kings of  Aragon , the first Aragonese counts and the three kings  of the ramirense dynasty such as Ramiro I, Sancho Ramírez, and Pedro I, together with their wives.  Then, in the Iglesia San Pedro el Viejo de Huesca you have the continuation in kings  Alfonso I el Batallador ,and Ramiro II el Monte (in a Roman coffin from the 2C). More here:  http://www.monasteriosanjuan.com/real-monasterio.php  ;and the second Church here: http://www.huescaturismo.com/en/monumental-detalle/8/the-church-and-cloister-of-san-pedro-el-Viejo

Royal Pantheon of Royal Saint Mary of Nàjera or Pantéon Real de Santa Maria Real de Nàjera. In this Riojan monastery you have the burials of the kings of the kingdom of Nàjera-Pamplona; the predecessors of the Kingdom of Navarra that held power from 918AD to 1135AD. Some of these coffins are in Roman style. More here: http://www.santamarialareal.net/es

Royal Pantheon of San Isidore of Leon or Pantéon Real de San Isidoro de Léon. This is romance style that keeps the burials of the reign of king Fernando I in the 11C; the remains of the kings of Leon and their families from Alfonso IV  that reigned in the 10C to García, king of  Galicia who died in 1090AD. Nearby in the Cathedral of Léon you have the burial of king Ordoño II that lived until 924AD. More here:  http://www.museosanisidorodeleon.com/inicio-eng  ;and more on the Cathedral here: http://www.catedraldeleon.org/index.php/catedral-informacion/breve-resena-historica

The Cathedral of Toledo, also, has burials of six kings of Castille. Three in the old chapel or Capilla Vieja, including kings Alfonso VII El Emperador, and the first three Trastamaran kings in the chapel or Capilla de los Reyes Nuevos:such as kings  Enrique II, Juan I and Enrique III. More here: http://www.catedralprimada.es/

The Cathedral of Sevilla, in the Royal Chapel or  Capilla Real  houses the burials of three kings , the most charismatic of Spanish history such as  Fernando III El Santo, his son, Alfonso X El Sabio , and Pedro I El Cruel, as well as consorts and some family members.  On the other Church or Iglesia de San Hipólito de Córdoba , it keeps the burials of the successors kings such as Fernando IV ,and Alfonso XI. More here:  http://www.catedraldesevilla.es/  ;and more on the Church here: http://english.turismodecordoba.org/seccion/royal-collegiate-church-of-san-hipolito

The Monastery of Poblet or Monasterio de Poblet. A Cistercian temple in the province of Tarragona, was the Royal Pantheon of the crown of Aragon until the 15C. There you will see the burials of their principal kings; only kings Pedro III, and Jaime II rests on the nearby monastery or Monasterio de Santes Creus. More here: http://www.poblet.cat/index.php?&&&&ZW4%3D  ; and more here on the Santes Creus: http://patrimoni.gencat.cat/en/collection/royal-monastery-santes-creus

The Monastery of the Huelgas or Monasterio de las Huelgas. Mostly gothic temple has well preserved burials of the kings  Enrique I ,and Alfonso VIII as well as other members of Castilian Royal family of the 12C, 13C,and 14C.  Nearby, you can visit the chartreuse or  Cartuja de Miraflores , where Queen Isabel Católica, (the Catholic or I) ordered built a wonderful burial pantheon for her parents and brother Alfonso. More here:  http://www.monasteriodelashuelgas.org/  ; more on the chartreuse in Spanish here: http://www.cartujadeburgos.org/cartujos/historia-cartujos/

The Royal Chapel of Granada or Capilla Real de Granada. It was ordered built by the Catholic Kings (Fernando and Isabel ), and represented a trend in the architecture as well as funerary sculptures.  The burials of the Catholic kings were done by Domenico Fancelli,while those of daughter Juana together with that of Felipe El Hermoso were done by Bartolomé Ordoñez. They are all surrounded by exceptional works of arts of the times. More here:  http://www.capillarealgranada.com/

The Royal Crypt of the El Escorial monastery or la Cripta Real del Monasterio de El Escorial, built in the 17C a,and housing all the kings and many of their family members from king Carlos I  to Juan III (did not reign).  The only exception on this period were kings Fernando VI,and Barbara de Braganza that are in the convent at Madrid or Convento de las Salesas Reales (Iglesia de Santa Barbara); and king José I (Joseph Napoleon) whose remains are in the Les Invalides of París , as well as king  Amadeo I  that is with his wife at the basilica or Basílica de Superga de Turín (Torino, Italy). More here:  www.patrimonionacional.es/real-sitio/palacios/6172

More on the convent Salesas Reales here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/iglesia-santa-Barbara

Invalides de Paris; http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71310/Hotel-national-des-Invalides

And the basilica of Superga, Turin, http://www.basilicadisuperga.com/en/

A wonderful event not to missed if in Spain, the 80th anniversary of Guernica by Pablo Ruiz Picasso, and the 25th anniversary of its arrival at the Museum or Museo de la Reina Sofía . It will have a momentous exposition and the exhibition of an interesting documentation that tells us how the portrait was ordered by the II Republic, and the trips the portrait took to raise funds for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War.  It shows the history of this portrait by showing an emblematic interpration of it thru a series of about 180 works by the master Picasso , many on special loans, that will help trace the history and execution of this master piece as we know it today; it will be exposed until September 4, 2017. More here:   http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/exhibitions/pity-and-terror-Picasso

I told you, Spain, everything under the Sun, and a lot more. Enjoy the post,and have a great end of week, tomorrow is TGIF ::) Cheers

 

 

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April 18, 2017

Some news from France CLII

And once again that pep talk about France. The sun tried to come up today but was up and down with temps in the 15C or about 62F. We have a nice four day week and then its the weekend again ,and my trip to Spain !!!

For now let’s keep cool in la belle France shall we:

Flixbus , bus service intercity is offering the La Défense.  From May 18 it will serve the business district from the underground bus terminal of terminal Jules-Verne on the line N 709 that will be extended to Rouen.  This night line will have daily connections towards Lyon  with a departure at 23h15  from the La Défense.  There will be two stops in Lyon, one at  the  gare de Vaise at 5h15 and the second at the gare La Part-Dieu at 5h50.  On the trip back from there the bus will arrive at  La Défense at 6h45 and will leave from gare La Part-Dieu  at 23h59 , and the gare de Vaise at 00H35. Of course check the times as from now to then they may change. More here: https://www.flixbus.com/

As already mentioned in my previous post, the Villages Nature, has started construction, due to finish by June 30 2017.  This is the entertainement activities park done by Pierre & Vacances(Center Parcs)  ,and Euro Disney  at Villeneuve-le-Comte, a few kilometers south of Disneyland Paris. The park should open to the public by mid August 2017.  It consists of a park divided into five themes, such as Aqualagon, Ferme BelleVie, Forêt des légendes, Jardins extraordinaires ,and the Promenade du lac. More in French here:  http://www.centerparcs.fr/fr-fr/villages-nature_ms

Another update coming from the Domaine de Méréville. About 50 guided visits are planned this year.  To start , they are limited to the picturesque garden ,one of the last examples in Europe of a Anglo-Chinese passages park as we would have seen them in the 18C.  There is a castle where lived the Marquis Jean-Joseph de Laborde,but still not ready to welcome visitors. However, the almost 400 hectares of park are done. You can ask update if passing by to visit it, worth the detour at  tourist office or office de tourisme d’Étampes, tel +33 (0) 1.69.92.69.00 or email:  tourisme@caese.fr.  The next dates available for the guided tours are April 22, 23, 29 , 30, and May  6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28.  More here: http://www.etampois-sudessonne.fr/fr/evenements

And more info in French on the Domaine from the dept tourist office of the Essonne ,dept 91.

http://www.tourisme-essonne.com/jardins/jardins-historiques/fiche-tourisme/domaine-departemental-de-mereville/?cHash=7e5a19d803a50e975595d15fcbe97e15

For it’s 70th anniversary the Festival de Cannes,has played with the cards on the selection of films. It is expected that Michael Haneke will have his 3rd palme d’or, that will be historical. However ,even if the idea is to bring the lesser known artists to the Festival, you can’t escape to think folks like Sofia Coppola, Jacques Doillon, François Ozon or Michel Hazanavicius are not your type of unknown artists as such.  The rest that were kept for the competition are indeed less known and with great projects such as Naomi Kawase, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lynne Ramsay, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Hong Sangsoo, Todd Haynes, Noah Baumbach, and Fatih Akin.  More info here: http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/
The house of Louis Vuitton continues it’s incursion into the world of Arts. Associating with the plastic artist Jeff Koons to reveal the collection where the master word is transmission.  The American artist will inspire here by the « Gazing Ball » a series of reproduce works of arts by the great masters,and to post on the great bags and small leather goods of the Louis Vuitton. The works that will appear are such as  « La Joconde »(mona lisa) of  Léonard de Vinci, the  « La chasse au tigre » by Rubens, the  « La Gimblette » by Fragonard,  the  « Champ de blé avec cyprès » by Van Gogh and as well the « Mars, Vénus et Cupidon »  of Titien.  The famous « Rabbit » of Jeff Koons  will ,also be there in accessories.  The artist even played with the famous monogram letter of Louis Vuitton by signing the works as « J.K. ».  All ready to become collectors items and shown from April 28. More here: http://fr.louisvuitton.com/fra-fr/histoires/masterscampaign#section-masters
We have great cold cuts here , all over the country, and Paris is central;  you can have a wonderful saussages too like from black pigs of Bigorre done by  Pierre Matayron,;just the meat, pepper, and dry as wanted for 12€ Boucherie Terroirs d’Avenir : 6, rue du Nil, 2eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 85 09 84 48.  More info here, the real thing of my belle France: http://www.pierre-matayron.fr/fr/points-de-vente

Another is known for his wonderful hams, with a great taste at 9,45€; this is at Lastre Sans Apostrophe : 188, rue de Grenelle, 7eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 60 70 27.no webpage but worth a detour You will find it near the école militaire.

And get on with steakhouses rare but some good ones here too. One of them is the Greffeuille ,120 rue Saint Denis, metro Etienne Marcel line 4 as closest. If you like the sausages such as the Andouillette ,lamb from the Aveyron, serving the great chefs of France with quality meats and good tasting on site in a butcher shop.  Here is their store in Paris, http://www.allaiton.com/boutique/content/15-la-boutique-greffeuille-aveyron-a-paris

Another one is Clover Grill,  6 rue Bailleul, nearest metro line 1   Louvre – Rivoli. The steak here is king with the famous Entrecôte beef black from the Baltic  , aged in oak with the aromas of whisky, or try the undercut of beef from Kansas,USA, tender to please the most of the  globetrotters or the amateurs of the ancient sauces. More here: http://www.clover-grill.com/

Finally , see the Café des Abattoirs,  10 rue Gomboust , metro pyramides lines 7 or 14 as closest. The last one of the Rostang family, setup in a crowded resto with tables very close to each others, again the entrecôte, come to be the king. The best beef coming from the Breton Côtes-d’Armor, dept 22 of Nantes or Armoriques races of 400 grams of beef at least. More info here: http://www.cafedesabattoirs.com/

The next exposition at the musée Ludique that is at 34 quai d’Austerlitz in the 13eme of Paris will be dedicated to the super heroes of DC Comics. The expo will be until September 10 2017 and it’s entitled L’art de DC -L’aube des super héros. You will find about 250 originals models created by Bob Kane, Frank Miller or Alex Ross. More than 300 works recherché for the cinema and costumes and accessories from films. You will see the original costume for Superman worned by Christopher Reeves and the series Wonder Woman done by Lynda Carter, Batman from 1989 of the Joker, and accessories from the batman vault. the visitors to the exposition will recreate the history of their super heros from the 1930’s to our days. More info here: http://artludique.com/index2.html

The high gastronomy is not just for the restaurants but, also ,in hotels of Paris and France. The hotels deluxe with their codes sought of by Auguste Escoffier, the genius that opened in the end of the 19C the Ritz on the place Vendome and Savoy of London.  Now we have Christian Le Squer to continue the legacy. At the  Au Cinq, the restaurant in the Four Seasons Hôtel George V, he show you the traditions of the trade. M.  Le Squer has reinvented the gratinée à l’oignon.  Instead of serving it liquefy in a deep plate he presented it solid on a pure white dish with small caramels onions around it. It is served with a Madeira 1986 Verdelho d’Oliveiras.  You can indulged at the Le Cinq. Four Seasons Hotel George V: 31, avenue George-V, 8eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 49 52 70 10. Of course be prepare to pay dearly but the very top of French cuisine.  More here: http://www.fourseasons.com/paris/dining/restaurants/le_cinq/

And on the continuing elimination of the auto from Paris, the mayor Hidalgo keeps bringing more bicycle lanes to Paris. This time is the section from Nation to République . This is the future lane that will be created along boulevard Voltaire. The work will be for 3 kms and will have the day before 2020. IN the plan there is work to do for 700 kms of bicycle lanes in all Paris. Several publication such as Le Parisien. and see the photo from Le Parisien newspaper showing losing as much as 90 hours in traffic jams in the Paris area;which couple with the pedestrian ideas cutting off traffic into Paris on the voie Georges Pompidou is just creating more traffic havocs.

Paris

You have the exposition of “De Zurbaran à Rothko – Collection Alicia Koplowitz – Grupo Omega Capital“; Until July 10 2017. the collection from the Spanish business women Alicia Koplowitz to be seen in the musée Jacquemart-André.  There is nice works of arts here such as the “the Virgins” of  Zurbarán , and from Luis de Morales,a portrait of the 16C of Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, but, also, of  Goya, Picasso, and Toulouse-Lautrec. You can see as well masters such as De Kooning, Rothko, Lucian Freud, Louise Bourgeois, and Miquel Barceló.  A very nice presentation in a wonderful place. More here: http://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/en/node/2050

Great libraries in Paris, some of them down right historical. However, many not as well known and just as historical and nice. One of my favorites is the La librairie du cinéma du Panthéon ,15 rue Victor-Cousin, metro line 10 or RER A Luxembourg.  Taken the works from the library Ciné Reflet and under the patronage of the Thé des Ecrivans, you come to a cine club library open since 2013. You have all novels, travel , youth books here. An oasis of calm and knowledge in Paris.  More info in French here: http://cinelitterature.fr/

And last, pay tribute to a great one of Paris and the world, Colette. Actresse, dancer, mimic, romancier, newspaperwomen (in 1914-18 WWI) , creator of a cosmetic line, the leading figure of women avant garde with a strong connection to nature. The first women president of the Académie Goncourt.  Today, her maternal home reborn with her youthful days; open to the public since 2016 at the  rue Colette (before  rue de l’Hospice). It is done loyal to the writing of the actor with bourgeois decoration and the status of a rich family whose members were musicians or music lovers;  Colette played the piano, and mom went to the Opéra. The house or La Maison de Colette, 10, rue Colette, Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye ; guided visits of the house and gardens  from Wednesdays to Sundays from 10h-19h and Fridays to Sundays from 10h-17h ; from November 1st to March 30th. Reservation is recommended at tel +33 (0) 3 86 45 66 20. admission is 9€ adults open every day from 10h to 18h . IN the castle of the town ; small Library. you can go by car in about 1h30 from Paris . By train from gare de Bercy, to Joigny or Auxerre. More info on the house here: http://maisondecolette.fr/   and on the museum  Inside castle here: http://www.musee-colette.com/index.php?id=110

Enjoy France, is as a whole a movable feast ::) Cheers!

April 16, 2017

And another football/soccer day at Vannes

And another nice day in the Morbihan Breton as we were back at Skellig for a day of football/soccer.

This is indeed a nice sports bar and friendly service where the folks recognize right away on the second coming. It is in the Atlantville business park in Vannes right next to the cinéville or cinema parc lann .  More on it here: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/activities/with-children/195981-cineville-parc-lann

The Atlanville area restaurants where Skellig is located is here: http://www.atlanville.fr/le-skellig

The place is open everyday from 17H or 5pm and closes from midnight to 2h on Fridays and Saturdays to 01h on Sundays to Monday. The selection of drinks and specially beers is great and TV sport screens are all over with a big one in the central galley.

You walk in thru a narrow entrance after passing the small terrace outdoors and upon entering the bar is on your left, the big screen TV is in the central galley and there is another section in the back and right hand side, the toilets are in the back right back area and very clean.

Of course, we were there for the big Premier league match between Manchester United and Chelsea, 6th and 1st in the league respectively. My oldest son is a fan of MU, so we went for the go. He came out happy as MU won 2×0 dominating the entire game! Happy camper indeed!!!

They offered lunch and dinner and have formules menu. We dad the beers Guinness, Affligem, Kilkerny, and cold cuts sausages of wild pigs. There is a variety of sausages to go alone with your drinks.

The area is family oriented and very safe, we go there a lot to eat in the restaurants around it like Tablapizza, Brooklyn Café, Hippopotamus, and Kergalette.  More on them here: http://www.atlanville.fr/

In all a wonderful evening ,night or late afternoon to share with your family; I did with my 3 boys , a lovely time to spent together. A nice place to stop by when around Vannes, Morbihan, Brittany, France ::)

Something more to bring you over ,Vannes

http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/vannes

Have a great Sunday y’all, Cheers.

Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes

 

 

 

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April 16, 2017

Why not the Temple of Debod, Egyptian and very much Madrid!

Thinking already on Spain which will be back last week of this month, I thought of something unique and semi hidden in Madrid, but a must to visit. This is the temple of Debod in the parque del Oeste and more precisely in the parque de la montaña (where an old Civil War hq was ).

It dates from the year 200 AD and known also as the temple of Amon a gift from Egypt to Spain for helping in the flooding of the Nile in the 1950’s.  I have written a bit on it way back in my early days of blogging. Here is that post:

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/26/the-temple-of-debod-in-madrid/

The pieces of this temple were brought to Spain by boat over a long period finally reaching Spain by Valencia harbor; coming on the ship “Benisa”, a total of 90 trucks moved the 1356 blocks of stone to the current site but some stone from Villamayor in Salamanca was needed to filled in the missing parts lost on the retrieval of the stones in Egypt. It finally was assembled in its current location in July 18, 1972, while I was still living in Madrid.

From the exterior the best moment to see it is as the sun goes down in the evening, eerie nice silhouettes indeed. The interior is superb and a must see in Madrid like I said.

You must see inside the Capilla de Adijalamani or of the reliefs. It has scenes that represent the king adoring the gods and offering sacrifices.  The motifs are related to the cult of the gods in the area and link to the sacred monarchy. In it’s chapel you have the god Amon de Debod that received the cult with other divinities such as Isis, Hathor, Osiris, Horus, Apset, Mut, Satis, Anukis, and Horajty. Imhotep occupies a priviledge site in the access to the chapel.

You then, come to the room of  Mammisi.  The word Coptic signify “place of birth” and makes the point of the room where the goddess of the temple gave birth and celebrating the mystery of the divine birth.

There are other rooms below, these are:

The Vestibule ,decorated with Augusto and Tiberian today mostly erase due to the last earthquake of the 19C and stealing.

The antechamber de Naos, small room that allows you to wandered in the 3 chapels ,here the only light entered the temple that reach the main Chapel as above and the Naos

The room of Naoi, or central chapel has the only naos preserved. it is in ptolemic style and dedicated to gods Isis and Amon de Debod.

The south hallway on which in it’s wall you see a solar clock.

The Osiris chapel, relics of Osiris, in the terrace . It is a roofed chapel in the terrace of the sanctuary as in Egyptian temples. It was done to stop the rain water to entered the god Osiris that was not beneficial.

The Terrace, this is the place where important ceremonies were held, especially the ritual of the new year. The karma of the god Ra combine with the divine statues of the temple that were taken to the terrace by priests the night before the Egyptian new year.

The headroom Chapels, on each side of the Chapel of Naos you have two Chapels attributed to Osiris and Mahesa.

The Uabet, the purification site of the priests of the temple. Opens its doors to the Vestibule.  this area was damaged when the archeologist that worked here in the 20C saw it.

The Crypts, one of the few ptolemic temples that had crypts open in the Chapels. The main one is the treasure crypt that opens to the chapel of Mahesa , where the statues of the gods were kept. The other was probably a laboratory where the perfumes of the divinities were kept; this one, opens to the inferior chapel of Osiris.

You see several graffiti’s in the temple. Thanks to these graffiti’s we know the temple was visited by Barbarians, nomads or semi nomads that later could have been converted into a Christian Church or refuges of hermits. In the Muslim period it was ,also, occupied and was visited from the West. Amongst the graffiti’s in the Debod , it is found caravans and herds of camels, gazelles, a boat with oars, Coptic crosses, accounting symbols, Greek inscriptions, also Coptic, Arabic (religious characters),and several signatures from travelers!

In the terraces of the Temple of Debod you find several blocks these are:

The blocks of Apedemak, this is a monument that has three horizontal lines with ancient lettering  texts divided by a ankh (symbol of eternal life) entitled Adijalamani. In one of the lines you have the epitaph well like of Apedemak referring to the king been Apedemak the principal god of the temple.

You see the stalls in stone of a Lion and a Greek urinerium; it is very damaged but on the laterals you have an urinerium with the feet back of the lion. Difficult to understand today.

The Madrid tourist office here tells you more in English,on how to get there, free admission ,but limited numbers at one time allowed in, something like 60 at one time.  Also, depending on the weather as the temperature below can get really hot and the AC don’t always work. There has been episodes of high humidity as well that have created problems to keep it open. So my recommendation is to contact the tourist office and ask if open when you are there. email: templodebod@madrid.es

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/templo-de-debod

It tells you of a specialiased site for the Temple here in Spanish:  http://templodedebod.memoriademadrid.es/

Another view from the city of Madrid webpage in Spanish: http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Cultura-ocio-y-deporte/Cultura-y-ocio/Templo-de-Debod?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=46caa0d03aa8b010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD&vgnextchannel=c937f073808fe410VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&idCapitulo=1251721

So enjoy this beauty now, it is old and you never know, but it is wonderful. I remember in my youth going around the park as kids playing and then going inside all sweaty so nothing feld on the heat hehehe! Then, have come back each time with my girlfriend , then wife, then the boys and again this summer always a nice stop in Madrid. Something awesome historical and beautiful in a very nice park as well, right there not far is the cable car to Casa de Campo or teleférico. Enjoy it, and Happy Easter y’all!! Cheers

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