Some news from Spain LIIII

A bit on my Spain, and the treasure heritage that it has to offer. Today is sunny but cold down to 6C this morning here in my neck of the woods, now as I write is up to 9C; however, in Madrid it is 54F or about 12C and cloudy with no rain in sight. A break from my other love , France.

The latest from Spain are the following:

One of the greatest victories in the history of Spain was held at Pernambuco, Brazil.  The naval battle was so big, that upon returning it was ordered to paint scenes from the battle and kept it for later history. The paintings were eventually given as gifts to king Felipe IV as he was able by this victory to avoid the Dutch from taking the sugar production in Brazil.  The naval museum or Museo Naval de Madrid has open an exposition entitled the victory of Pernambuco or  «La victoria de Pernambuco». For the first time since the 18C that these paintings will be shown together. The naval battle pictures were separated in 1734, due to a fire in the Alcàzar de Madrid where they were exposed for the king; the fire took away other valuable paintings by Tiziano, Velàzquez, Rubens, Durero, and Tintoretto.  Someone, put these paintings canvas in roll and threw them from a window!!! The painting were saved but the guides telling about them did not. The naval museum is ,also, showing the standard flag that was carried in the battle on the battleship Santiago. The flag is 4 meters of silk and oleo, having on one side a Christ in crucifiction, the Saint Mary and St John, and below them St James (Santiago Matamoros). More info here: Museo Naval de Madrid

Another valuable showing will be the treasures in the La Caja de las Letras del Instituto Cervantes! . This safebox is always open in the lower floor of the building.  It was created in the year the Instituto Cervantes moved to the new location in the Calle Alcalá 49, where it was before the Central Bank. The story started with the writer Francisco Ayala, who was the first one to occupied one of the 1800 boxes in 2007; he left a handwritten letter and a personal wish that will be made public in 2057.  He was followed by many such as the poets  Antonio Gamoneda and Carlos Edmundo de Ory, and the artist  Antoni Tàpies.  IT continues to grow with the first investigative  of the Scientist Margarita Salas in 2008 while working with Severo Ochoa in New York. The Mexican Elena Poniatowska, left a wrist band that was used by her father while fought in WWII and had the first edition of the night of Tlatelolco.  Nicanor Parra  left a typewriting machine and Fernando del Paso kept a shirt from the poet José Carlos Becerra.  The dnacer and choreographer Víctor Ullate left the vest on which he played the «El Madrid de Chueca» with the Ballet Nacional in 1982, as well as a watch from his grandfather and a ring from his father.  A watch purchased in 1946 was the gift of  John Elliott, the latest member of the Caja and the first Hispanic American in doing so, leaving his gift in box no 1492, next to the one by Gabriel García Márquez, that has dirt from his native Aracataca, as well as a plaque with the first paragraph of his novel «Cien años de soledad». The next gift will be on the 75th anniversary of the passing of Miguel Hernández. Juan Goytisolo left a camera to be developed in 2031.  The wealth of Spain is not in the bank of Spain but in the museums such as the Thyssen, Prado, and Reina Sofía, and others, archives and libraries as well as the architecture heritage. Really ,these are our banks, and it is there where we keep what we are and what we have been . More here! Instituto Cervantes

Telefónica, the great telephone company of Spain is the sponsor and partner of the museum or  Museo Reina Sofía. It has thru their consulting firm  Synertic Partners ,done the first Big Data survey of the museum The technology allowes to process high data volumes with the aim of given information on the public choices while attending the museum.  It is the most exhaustive study done until now and it was done between April 5 to September 4 2017 while the exposition entitled «Piedad y terror en Picasso. El camino a Guernica», was held on the 80th anniversary of the famous portrait. The expo drew 680K persons coming from 189 countries with a median of 4 800 persons per day.  More than  60%  were foreign visitors with 10 countries representing 80% . The most visitors came from Italy  17,4%, then France, Germany, USA, Japan, Argentina, Portugal and the Netherland.  Of all tourists in Madrid in those months  11,5% visited the museum  Reina Sofía.  50% came from Italy and France with each country having a special day for visiting!! The Americans prefer the Mondays, the British, Sunday, Japanese come in groups, the Italians prefers the free periods . There were 111.000 mentions in  Twitter, the most platform used with 97% positive comments!  The study took a volume of information of 157 gb , or 30K more than the complete works of Shakespeare. More in Spanish here: telefonica on Reina Sofia

The so calle black years or  «années noires» of París, the years of the Nazi occupation (1940-1944)  as told by Spanish Fernando Castillo, that has already written on theses periods in «Noche y niebla en el París ocupado» (2012), and «París-Modiano» (2015)-, now completes the work with the «Trilogía de la Ocupación» . A short essay on having the exile Spaniards as witnesses of those days with more than 40 artists telling in newspapers, or fiction stories talked about the period when they passed by Paris.  There in the Republican universe you read about the communists José María Quiroga Plá, and Emilio Gómez Nadal), in the planet of the persecuted with Victoria Kent, and Consuelo Berges , and the Catalan galaxy of Rafael Tasis, and Sebastià Gasch, Just Cabot, Ferrán Canyameres, Mercè Rodoreda…etc ,and the independent stars such as Max Aub, Corpus Barga, Manuel Viola, and Carles Fontserè, together with the resistant meteorites of Jorge Semprún.  In another place you have the satellites of spies with Antonio Zuloaga, and Joan Estelrich), the Astros of journalism in Enrique Meneses, Mariano Daranas, José R. Alonso, and Jesús Suevos), and the origin of the universe with Gregorio Marañón, Manuel Chaves Nogales, Carles Soldevila, and Josefina Carabias. The last planet of Luis de Armiñán), and an astro of its own star  C. G. R. (César González Ruano).  Some were there just passing such as Chaves Nogales-,and other lived off the Clandistine movement and other held newspaper positions with squaling and gossips  in the Spanish community where they hide from a scary policemen Pedro Urraca, that took away Lluís Companys , and Julián Zugazagoitia, killed by firing squad later in Franco’s Spain. Victoria Kent passed as a diplomatic service and refugee without papers avoided the police raids of Urraca ,and when the Nazis arrived lived in hiding in a modest apartment without even go out into the streets; there wrote four years of  my life or «Cuatro años de mi vida (1940-1944)», All the suffering until the arrival of the liberating Spaniards in the Leclerc free French division. María Casares, daughter of the last president of the ministry council of the Republic could not escape to London but her father could and return to Paris in the summer of 1940 where she published «Résidente privilegiée»  finally in 1980,a work of exile living.  Different to others her friends were mostly French including Albert Camus ;she exposed the false heroes after the triumph of the war; read the book in Spanish if you can , recommended.  The book title is «Españoles en París» by Fernando Castillo Ensayo. Fórcola, 2017. 156 pages. 17,50€; good book:more in Spanish here: Españoles en Paris book

Much has been written on who took the first ear of a bull in a bullfight in Madrid. The writing by Antonio Díaz-Cañabate: there is no precedent on the arena by the Puerta de Alcalà but in 1876 two years after opening on the old plaza de la carretera de Aragón,(today Calle Alcalà) the third bull name black sox or «Medias Negras», the ears were taken by the matador Chicorro with a great courage took the ears and offered them to the Princes of Bavaria in attendance with king  Alfonso XII. So  José Lara «Chicorro» took the honor of been the first. However, the records give this gesture to be the first time later in 1910 , the previous ones did not count so said some experts ; to them the first one was Vicente Pastor, that did it on the 4th bull of the day name «Carbonero» or charcoal maker. More here:  Chicorro

The etnographic museum or  Museo Etnográfico de Castilla y León (Mecyl) will show in their next exposition the photographic collection obtained from negatives of Roberto Kallmeyer  from a series of engraving by painter  Francisco de Goya on the subject of the tauromaquia (toro art).  The exposition entitled  «Del trazo a la luz. La tauromaquia de Goya en las fotografías de Kallmeyer», opened this past Friday and will be on until January 14 2018 in the Mecyl of Zamora ; it can be visited free in the temporary exposition room of the  Etnográfico de Castilla y León,; it includes 42 photos part of the  serie that Roberto Kallmeyer (Madrid 1915-Madrid 2004) did from the engraving of Goya for the first edition of the La Tauromaquia that Rafael Casariego published in 1960. More here: Mecyl La Tauromaquia

Let’s imagine that Bartolomé Esteban Murillo is the host and decides to walk the streets of Sevilla, take them in with is eyes, discovered them like him saw them, and painted on his work. The same city four centuries later. But his was in the 17C of Sevilla, then the gate to Europe and America and capital of the Western world. This would be the year of Murillo or the  Año Murillo,and make this anniversary like him the presence in the city to have a dialogue between the past and the present.  To see his paintings in the Churches as they were originally done, and travel in the city of which he was inspired, imagine how the personages lived in his paintings and listen to the music that plays in the paintings he did. All this in 6 expositions until January 2019 will displayed him with 600 of his work. The main collection will be at the museum of fine arts or Museo de Bellas Artes, will allow for the first time to reunite the majority of his work coming from Germany, France, USA etc, The work the jubilee of the  Porciúncula, is already in the museum for its restauration from last June. Two centuries later the work that was at the retable of the convent of Capucins returns on loan from the museum of Cologne (Koln) Germany until April 2018.  The size of it allows for some reason to escape the French troops and went to private hands in 1814; later by different owners until 1876 became part of the collection of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, where it is housed until now.  IT is part of the 24 works of Murillo that will go a renovation by the team of the fine arts museum of Sevilla. More info here! Murillo in Sevilla

And late but celebrating Halloween in Spain is more and more visible. Happy Halloween !!!

Joy Eslava  calle Arenal, 11, Metro: Ópera , admission 15€ with one drink or 12€ with flyer contacting email  listas@joyeslava.com. The Tuesday night will be filled with zombies, blood clowns as well as masks with a terror look!. More here: Joy Eslava Halloween

And to go at with scary hamburgers in Madrid, two leading places to do so. Even if late reporting ,sorry.You can try these places anytime, they are good…::)

Tommy Mel’s. A chain with a 50’s décor offering a bloody dish, the Halloween Angus Burger, with bourbon sauce and sweet chili you can try it tonite in all restaurants of the chain. Tommy Mel’s

Hard Rock Café Madrid. Paseo de la Castellana, 2. Another chain for the addicts to burgers. Here you have scary figures creeping out with a Halloween Vodoo  until today. It has pork, squash with black breads and also the Evil Eye,a cocktail with white rum, and a editable eye. All deco like a prison with prisioners included lol! Hard Rock Cafe Halloween

Now, let’s take a nice easy walk in sublime spaces. It is easy entry level really, we did it and we are not walkers.

You go the beautiful forest of the horseshoe or  Bosque de La Herrería. At San Lorenzo de El Escorial. You first need a car by taking the expressway A6 direction A Coruña , until exit or salida 18. Continue on the road  M-505 to San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Once in town, you take the road or street of the carretera de la Estación, then, Avenida de los Reyes Católicos, and then Avenida de la Constitución  until the traffic circle of the road  M-600. Take this road , take first to the right and continue until next traffic circle  take the first exit on the right on road  M-505, direction Puerto de la Cruz Verde. Follow this road for 4 km until km marker 32, where you take the road on the left to the Silla de Felipe II (a monument the chair of king Felipe II ). Leave your car in the parking space in front of the Church or  ermita de Nuestra Señora de Gracia.

Then on foot to find the Cueva del Oso, you have indicators map at the  Silla de Felipe II. You start from the Church or ermita de Nuestra Señora de Gracia, with a recreation area around it. From the panel in the front next to the road you go up to the Silla de Felipe II on asphalt road about 12 meters then take a right on a road you see on your right reaching the heigh of a door on the left next to a panel on the pole you see the red white sign of the walkers trail. Go up until a curve in the road to the Silla de Felipe II. Finally, there is no more asphalt road and you cross an area of banks follow this road on the left and see various stones of different sizes (big) where you can see on the distance the Monastery of San Lorenzo. Continue walking you come to a V on the road take the road on the right next to the descend on the road and find space amongst the rock-stones, this is the most difficult part on the walk but easy i am telling you!!! You reach the flat area and on the right you see the circle on the foot of a hill on which the tops you find that chair again, the Silla de Felipe II.  And no , you are not going in circles its easy. HEre you can get refreshments on the weekends . The road ends here and you go down the hill a few meters to continue on another road below it on the left behind a barrier gate; easy downward walk leaving behind the fountain or  Fuente de los Hermanos, (fountain of the brothers) you see another wooden panel indicating a few meters more on the right in an area of trees you see the mouth of the cave of the bear or the Cueva del Oso. IT has two stones on top given a triangular roof, and long at the end you see a small cavity space with part of the roof open and just in front of the cave there is another area of rest on the ecological pathway with several panels that tells you about the flora and fauna of the area.

Returning by the same road you will do nice to finally go to that chair ,the Silla de Felipe II , there is a metallic panel and it is worth reading it as it tells you how the king saw the area in his times.  Now time is different to different folks but like I said we are not walkers and the time is right on the one told in the site , about 1hour to 1h30 we took less in between ::) this is roundtrip time on foot not counting any stops you might do; the trip is 3 km on pretty flat terrain except the Chair lol! the highest point is if you go up to the Church or ermita Nuestra Señora de Gracia, at 1000 meters; and the top of the chair or Silla de Felipe II, 1 120 meters. Of course, you need walkers shoes or boots and a coat if on cool periods we did it in August so t shirt will do lol!! More info here: Cueva del Oso

Enjoy the natural and artistic beauty of my beloved Spain. It’s everything under the Sun and more !!! Cheers

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2 Comments to “Some news from Spain LIIII”

  1. If only one had the time to go and see all these things…👍

    Liked by 1 person

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