Archive for November 23rd, 2017

November 23, 2017

Some news from Spain LVII

And I am back rather quickly as too much info on my posts do not like.  Spain is everything under the Sun, and I need to tell you more of my beloved Spain. Here are some places you should stop by on your lifetime visiting or living in Spain.

We have to visit Oviedo in the Principality of Asturias, name after the heir to the throne of Spain, the Princess of Asturias currently is Leonor de Borbon y Ortiz oldest daughter of King Felipe VI. On the trip to this wonderful region it is best to leave two days; one day for the west part of the capital city of Oviedo and another for the east side. Most of the trip will be in the Camino de Santiago also call Camino del Norte. Road to St James or the North walkpath.

The road to the west takes you to visit the Church of  San Juan de Priorio, about 10 kms away by taking the road N-634 until the path that takes you to the thermal city of Las Caldas.  This is a Church from the 12C to 13C and additions later from the 18C to 20C. You can continue for 6 km to see the Church of San Esteban de Sograndio, also from the 12C. Following our road, this is all by car of course…. you leave the Valley of the Trubia river that in roman times was the old road between Asturias and Léon to extract minerals; you will reach the Teverga at about 32 kms on the road AS 228; here you will see the Church Collegiale of San Pedro, from the 11C with deco of pre roman style; go on for 5 kms towards the town of Villanueva de Teverga,where it is worth the detour to the Church of  Santa María from the 11C and 12C; come back to Villanueva de Teverga towards Arrojo, at about 23 kms on the road AS-229 and see the rural style Church of San Pedro  from the 12C.  Continue for about 40 kms and reach the town of Cornellana, here you should visit the Benedictine monastery of San Salvador, with a roman Church from the 13C and a monastic complex in baroque from the 17C to 18C.

In the second day, you can do the town of Villaviciosa with its Churches of San Esteban de Aramil and  Santa María de Narzana both of rural style and modest proportions. Continue onwards passing the Alto de la Campa, taken the road leaving the Valley of Valdediós. At the end of the road you will reach the monastery of Santa María de Valdediós, a nice monastery complex in the Cistercian tradition from the 13C and next a Church of San Salvador de Valdediós, pre roman style. Back to the road to Villaviciosa, another road takes you to the Church of San Andrés de Valdebárcena, 12C a rural temple; and finally at the doorsteps of Villaviciosa you need to see the Church of San Juan de Amandi ,13C of the Asturian roman style. You come back to Oviedo our starting and ending point for a total of about 45 km trip.

In Oviedo itself you come to the old Ovetum that since its foundation in the 8C by the Asturian monarchy reaching to be the Capital of the kingdom. The old town is left with a medieval look with an easy modern tracing of the streets.  The old town is pedestrian and easy to walk from the University to the Cathedral and from the Palace of  or palacio del Marqués de San Félix to the  Camposagrado (holy field). The tower of the Cathedral of Oviedo is the start of any walks in Oviedo , done in flamboyant gothic style with a tower, rosary, and arch gate entrance guarding the biggest Asturian symbols.  The Chapel of San Miguel, or Cámara Santa,keeps the holy coffer or Arca Santa, the cross of the angels or Cruz de los Ángeles, and the victory cross or Cruz de la Victoria, also visited by the pilgrims that continue on to Santiago de Compostela.  These symbols are shown in the shield of the city of Oviedo as well as the Principality of Asturias.  Around the Cathedral you see the most important heritage of the city such as the Church of San Tirso, the fine arts museum or  Museo de Bellas Artes or the archeological museum or  Museo Arqueológico. The square or plaza de la Catedral  takes us to the square or Plaza de Alfonso II el Casto, where you can see the palaces of  Valdecarzana and de la Rúa. At Cimadevilla, the oldest part of the old town you find the peculiar square of plaza de Trascorrales, where the old stock house or lonja is located as well as the nice square or Plaza de la Constitución.  The latter has colorful houses that continue into the squares of plaza de Daoíz y Velarde.

At the University of Oviedo the last building before reaching the river  with a plateresque facade of the 16C giving to a cloister hosting cultural events all year. The closeby facades of the palaces of  Toreno and Camposagrado are worth a visit.  From here starts the Oviedo of the end of the 19C around the square or plaza de la Escandalera and the park or parque Campo de San Francisco.  Here are the Palacio Regional,home of the council of the Principality, the bank or Caja de Asturias, and the old bank or Banco Herrero.  All of the latter are in a French style.  Here near, we find the theater or Teatro Campoamor, where each year the prizes of the prince of Asturias are given (Príncipe de Asturias). Also, the modern arts center is located here or Centro de Arte Moderno. You have to continue on the street or Calle Uria to come to the more commercial Oviedo following one of the ending streets such as Gil de Jaz, you reach the provincial hospice or Hospicio Provicial from the 18C today is the luxury hotel or Hotel Reconquista. Nice Oviedo!!!

Some of my favorite Cathedrals in Spain, and there are many nice ones, are these.

The one in Oviedo of course, call the Sancta Ovetensis for the amount and quality of its relics. The Santa Iglesia Basílica Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador de Oviedo is of a Gothic style; from the the road to St James/Santiago in the times of king Alfonso II el Casto, the Cathedral started to be built in the 12C and lasted until the 16C even if later in the 17C  some Chapels were added to the lateral nerfs. More info :

In the year 916 king Ordoño II gave its royal palace to built a Church thanking God to allowed him to beat the Arabs/moors in the battle of San Esteban de Gormaz ; and here his remains lies.  The stained glass are from the 13C to 20C and add up to about 1705 meters of superficie; the Cathedral of Leon is the best and purest example of gothic in Spain. More info here:

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is the last trip of the pilgrims that covers their pathways or caminos.  The construction in the roman style started in 1075 and has a latin cross and three nerfs with amplications later on in gothic, baroque, plateresque and neo classic styles.  Its porch or Pórtico de la Gloria built in 1188 shows 200 figures of the Apocalypse. More info here:

The only Cathedral declared world heritage by UNESCO was built between 1221 and 1765 with a predominant gothic style added to others. The gate or Puerta del Perdón is located in the façade of the Catedral de Burgos, where you can see a rosary on both sides two towers of 84 meters high, crown by arrows from the 15C. More info.

The Cathedral of Sevilla was built over that which in the 12C was the great Mosque or Gran Mezquita, of which still is preserve the prayer tower or alminar, known as the Giralda , the patio de Abluciones and the gate or Puerta del Perdón.  It was converted Christian in 1248 after the conquest of the city by king Fernando III.  In the Cathedral there are five nerfs, with elements of the moorish or mudéjar, gothic, renaissance, baroque, and neo classical. More info here:

Converted to the Christian cult in 1236 after the conquest of the city by king Fernando III, the Cathedral of Córdoba is built over the old mosque ; the most important Islamic monument in town.  The Cathedral shows the complete evolution of the Omeya style in Spain including other styles such as gothic, renaissance, and baroque. It was in the 16C that in the middle of the mosque a great renaissance Christian nerf was built. More info here:

Built over a mosque, that at the same time was raised a Church in the times of Recaredo, the Primate Cathedral of Toledo or Catedral Primada de Toledo began to be built in 1226. The floorplan has five nerfs on which ceiling hold 88 columns and 72 coffins as well as stained glass polychrome from the 14C 15C and 16C. In a gothic style with French influence, its choir is considered the biggest in Christianity. More here up once maintenance is done to the site:

Attach to the old, the new Cathedral or Catedral Nueva de Salamanca started building it in 1513 and open in 1733.  The construction began in the tardo gothic style but has elements of newer periods.  The Cathedral is rectangular with 3 nerfs and oven style Chapels cover with coffins etc. More here:

OF gothic architecture style and related to the Anglo Normand arts as well as Franco Normand of the 12C, the Cathedral or Catedral de Santa María y San Julián de Cuenca began to be built from 1196 and finished in 1257.  The Cathedral has three nerfs, five sloping absides ,transept and triumphorium with windows decorated with statues of angels. More here:

Known as the dame of the Cathedrals or La Dama de las Catedrales for its dimensions and elegance, the Cathedral or Santa Iglesia Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción y de San Frutos de Segovia was built between the 16C and 18C in gothic style with renaissance influences.  It was built after the old Cathedral or Catedral de Santa María de Segovia was replaced during the war of communities or Guerra de las Comunidades in 1521,works began in 1525.  It has three nerfs with windows and gothic coffins of 30 meters high as well as a tower that reaches 90 meters. More info here:

IT is considered the first marian temple in Christiniaty, the Cathedral or Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza with a baroque style of three nerfs ,covers with coffins and canon, cupolas and pillars.  At the same spot there was already existance of another Church in a moorish style dedicated to St Mary , therefore its origins goes back to the 9C.  The Basilica has four towers built between 1715 and 1961. More here:

Hope you enjoy the ride brief but essential to indulge in the history and beauty of Spain, now it’s your turn to seek them out. It will be worth your time. Happy travels to all, Cheers

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