Archive for May 27th, 2018

May 27, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXIIII

Ok so this is the end of Sunday still with light outside, a bit cloudier but was sunny this afternoon ; now at  20C or about 68F. Today, usually is a rest day here staying with the family. However, we are still mourning the lost of my wife and we have been staying locally on weekends.

Today, we decided to try again to take our dog Rex on a long car ride. The first attempt failed as he vomit and was very nervous to get in the car. He was 5 months old.

Today he is already 6 months old and we did not give him food before and we took off for Vannes. The Conleau peninsula is very nice with a sea pool and walking trails, picnic tables, and just fun for the whole family.  This time he made it alright and we are thrill about it.

Vannes Vannes

Our Rex is a Borador, mix Border Collier and Labrador.  We got it from a local farm here and it has been a pleasure so far. Only sad part, my wife only saw him for 19 days once brought home as she went into the hospital for her cancer treatment that was not good enough. I have posted on that before in my blog.

He was still reluctant to get in the car and needed a bit of help by yours truly to get him in. We covered my car with a dog mat on the seats just in case and came prepare with everything. The ride was perfect.

We arrived late by about 14h30 and thought parking will be impossible with the nice weather we had but lucky once a tour in the parking we found a spot ,free parking.

We then, set out to do the walking along the marshes of the bay from sea water that comes first from the Gulf of Morbihan and beyond the Atlantic ocean. This is a natural setting very nice. The water makes for a protected harbor for pleasure boating and a sea water pool with sandy beach for the families, as well as playground for the kiddies. What is the Gulf of Morbihan well is all of us along the coast, plenty of things to do , here is more in English Gulf of Morbihan

We just took off with Rex on a walk and just stair at every dog he saw passing by except a couple of dames he was ready to go chasing lol!!!  He was on a leash by me ok ::)

Conleau is very tranquil nice quiet and pretty. It really started in the 20C with a couple of hamlets farm lands called the Petit Conleau ,and the  Grand Conleau. One of the farms today houses the Maison de la Nature or the nature house ; more on it in French here: Maison de la Nature

There are areas that we love here in addition to the above. In the Parc du Golfe you have entertainment, hotels, congress convention palace call the Chorus and the Vannes Aquarium as well as butterflies garden. More on these that I have written plenty before in my blog but for ease of location here are the webpages

Parc du Golfe Vannes

The Chorus

Aquarium Vannes

Butterflies Garden

There around the bay between the cruises passenger terminal entering the city of Vannes and the Peninsula of Conleau you have a wonderful park with a history of Brittany. This is the Pointe des Emigrées ,and this is what we did walk starting from Conleau (you can do the other way around too). You have info in French here from the dept 56 Morbihan tourist office: Pointe des Emigrées

In the 18C this place was calle the Pointe Kérero and was called the Pointe des Emigrées in memory of the executions by the French revolution of Bretons landing at Quiberon from England to fight it.  In 1795, 748 persons that were taken prisioners due to the failure of the landing in Quiberon were put upon the firing squad of execution: the leaders were executed in Vannes on the site call Garenne on a high overlooking the ramparts of today. 374 others were executed in the surroundings of Vannes and even some on the site of the Ermitage. To remember this barbaric act this site was symbolically name the Pointe des Emigrées or the Immigrants point. 

The site has been protected by the Coastal Conservatory since 1986. It is composed of several landscapes: Marshes , Moor, Pinewood, Salty meadows, mudflat, Prairies. There are many species of birds: Ash Heron, Snipe, etc. The plants characteristic of the site are the perforated St. John’s Wort, the Musky purple, the buttercup, the wild orchids, the reed, the Saule, etc.  The meadows are grazed by donkeys and sheep.

We love it for a nice peaceful walk while enjoying the different panels of history and the view of the bay,and nice food at the créperie de la guinguette or the cafe le Root at the Best Western hotel or Piano Barge, le café de Conleau also.

We did had to get Rex into the car again but the ride back home was nice as well. We will do this again as we are trying to get confortable with the car rides. Just a simple Sunday outing in the real living in France; sound familiar to your neck of the woods?

And for tonite, my oldest son did a wonderful NY cheesecake with real Philadelphia cream cheese that was very good. In memory of his loving Mom who used to do it for us and taught him well indeed. Good for the memories.

Enjoy your Sunday,now I go back to work and no holidays until the Bastille or National Day of July 14. Stay tune for my travels in …….

Enjoy your Sunday everyone, and remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all.

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May 27, 2018

The amazing Aqueduct of Segovia

This is another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain, or is one of many I think. From an early age , I think first time was when I was 10 years old with my mother; I keep coming back over the years, then with my wife, and then with the family and boys and parents and and ….lost count but each time is like the first time. The  Aqueduct of Segovia is awesome, a must to see.

Well I admit only once did took the bus as always came here taken or on my own by car from Madrid. The roads are good if hilly and curvy even if now they have expressways such as the AP 6 and AP 61 but my all time favorite is the N603; from Madrid you can come on the A1.  I drive around to find a parking either at 14 Paseo Ezequiel Gonzalez next to the tribunal , you walk past the statue to famous restaurantor Candido and onwards to the Cathedral and Aqueduct nice walk and car is very safe or  the Alcazar or by the Aqueduct and then walk all over the city. By intercity bus you come from the bus depot at Moncloa and the Sepulvena line ,there are suburbian trains such as cercanias by changing trains in Cercedilla. The fast trains or AVE can be taken at the station Segovia-Guiomar and for cheaper slower trains you can do the Avant trains.

I have written quite a bit on Segovia and all its attractions before, but this one is the Aqueduct, needs a stand alone post. To me , the Aqueduct is in essence my third choice here after the Alcazar and the Cathedral of the tops things to see in Segovia.

According to experts, the Aqueduct of Segovia was built in the second half of the 1C AD or early 2C AD  during the reign of Adrian to Trajan. It is  813 meters long, with about 728 meters visible in the city. It has a maximum height of 28.5 meters and a minimum of 0.5 meters out of the city. The water transported, is on a slope of 1%, to make runs freely into town from the source in the Frio River , 17 km from Segovia ,bringing it to the area of Acebeda 15 km further. The exact location according to experts is from the Aceveda river , a small stream of the Frio river in a pine and oak forest in the northern slopes of the sierra de Guadarrama at 1255 meters altitude.

It has in all 20400  granite stone taken from the Guadarrama area , 120 pillars or columns and 167 arcs of which 75 are simple arcs , 44 double arcs all in the main area to see and some beyond the city.  The granite stone bound only by their own weight, without any mortar ,thanks to a perfect balance of forces. The stones have small cavities necessary for the use of the self tightening pliers for lifting the blocks The most beautiful part is when crossing the Plaza de Azoguejo square

To see the best is to position yourself on either side of it , either on the Azoguejo square on the left or the Plaza de Artilleria or Artillery square on the right, as you notice that the aqueduct seems to divide the city in two.

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At the time of the Catholic monarchs the first great work of reconstruction of the aqueduct was carried out. Later, in the 16C, it was when the statues of the Virgin of Carmen and San Sebastián were placed in the central niches. The Aqueduct of Segovia is special in that it has been used almost without interruption since Roman times to the present day.

If you are daring and would like to follow the path from outside the city you can. I have gone by car as much as possible and some walk but not done it completely. You have to be in good shape as it is hilly.

Not far from the source (locally call the Azud) , the aqueduct channel had to cross the small brook of Valdeconejos (valley of rabbits). Here is an interesting structure in the form of a small bridge of 5 granite plates that still serve their original purpose of leading the water of the small creek of Valdeconejos over the top of the aqueduct channel.  Both the Azud (the source) and the Valdeconejos bridge can be reached on foot in about 1 hour (3km) from the village of Revenga.  We parked here in Revenga or  you can too at the entrance of the road that runs along the north side of the Embalse the Puenta Alta Lake. However, we stop here, you can continue on the road  from the parking beyond the end of the lake and then follow the yellow aqueduct signs up the hill. There is a track that goes up steeply and passes through the fence, follow this to above the creek on the north side until the track reaches some meadows; cross the creek here, and follow the yellow signs steeply up the hill until reaching the aqueduct channel this can be recognised by the box-shaped maintenance shafts that have been installed on the water pipe in the early 20C. Follow the track now along the contour lines towards the captions upstream (to the right, sign to “azud”).  On the way back, the aqueduct can be followed past Valdeconejos until reaching the track that descends again to Revenga. It is even possible to follow the aqueduct all the way to the city. The tourist information in Segovia can organise trips to the aqueduct source, and has a brochure (in Spanish) describing three walks along the course of the conduit, from the mountains to the city.

Once in Segovia, at the junction of the Calle del Coronel Rexach and the Avenida del Padre Claret (this later takes you right into the aqueduct in your car !) is a small monument that marks the start of the most spectacular section of the Segovia aqueduct. The cylindrical stone ( Roman lettering are on it)  is a monument from the 17C, found close to Segovia. It has been placed on the wall that originally supported the Roman aqueduct channel, and  which now carries its narrower successor, the channel from the 15C. This wall, 141 meters  long and 1,4 meters wide, runs up to a building that covers the second and final cleaning basin before the aqueduct bridge. This building, is known locally as the Casa de Aqua. Inside is a basin with an entry and exit of the aqueduct channel. Contrary to the Casa de Piedra, there is no channel at the base of the basin, so that any sediment that accumulated had to be removed by hand, and could not be flushed out. Any dirt would be extremely difficult to remove. The building is at least partly Roman. Once entering the city the aqueduct bridge of Segovia starts at the Casa del Aqua.

There you have a brief to the point story on one of the most emblematic buildings of Spain, the Aqueduct of Segovia. Some webpages to help you plan your trip in addition to searching my blog for my previous posts on it are to follow.

Tourist office of Segovia on the Aqueduct in English : http://visitsegovia.turismodesegovia.com/es/monuments/aqueduct

Region of Castilla y Leon on the Aqueduct in English: http://www.patrimoniocastillayleon.com/en/segovia

Oh yes for the memories, a 1990 picture at the Aqueduct taken by now my late dear wife.

 

Segovia

me in the aqueduct 1990 take by my late wife

 Hope it helps. Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!! Enjoy your Sunday, here is sunny now with 64F or about 18C. Cheers

 

 

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May 27, 2018

The wonderful Cathedral of Segovia!

This is another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain, or is one of many I think. From an early age , I think first time was when I was 10 years old with my mother; I keep coming back over the years, then with my wife, and then with the family and boys and parents and and ….lost count but each time is like the first time. The  Cathedral of Segovia for short is awesome, a must to see.

Well I admit only once did took the bus as always came here taken or on my own by car from Madrid. The roads are good if hilly and curvy even if now they have expressways such as the AP 6 and AP 61 but my all time favorite is the N603; from Madrid you can come on the A1.  I drive around to find a parking either at 14 Paseo Ezequiel Gonzalez next to the tribunal , you walk past the statue to famous restaurantor Candido and onwards to the Cathedral and Aqueduct nice walk and car is very safe or  the Alcazar or by the Aqueduct and then walk all over the city. By intercity bus you come from the bus depot at Moncloa and the Sepulvena line ,there are suburbian trains such as cercanias by changing trains in Cercedilla. The fast trains or AVE can be taken at the station Segovia-Guiomar and for cheaper slower trains you can do the Avant trains.

I have written quite a bit on Segovia and all its attractions before, but this one is the Cathedral, needs a stand alone post. To me , the Alcazar is tops for the history of it, then the Cathedral and then the Aqueduct.

The history of the Cathedral is very interesting and I like it.

The Cathedral of Segovia, known as the Lady of the Cathedrals, by its dimensions and its elegance or officially as the Santa Iglesia Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción y de San Frutos.  The works of construction of the Cathedral, built in the 16C, were begun during the reign of  King Carlos V and the bishophy of Diego Ribera of Toledo.  It had become indispensable to replace the ancient Romanesque Cathedral, which was badly damaged during the Community war, which shook the kingdom of Castile between 1520 and 1521. While Spain, through its Italian possessions, was gradually opening up to Renaissance architecture from Italy, the late Gothic style continued to flourish, gradually integrating the elements of Renaissance art. The work of the Cathedral was entrusted in 1525 to Juan Gil de Hontañón, who had already intervened on the new Cathedral of Salamanca, as well as his son Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón. The architect was able to incorporate some innovations of Roman architecture into the Gothic isabelline, characterized by its ornate and slender style, very inspired by the achievements of northern Europe. He developed a three-aisled plan with a semi-circular bedside with radiant chapels. Juan Gil de Hontañón was expelled in 1529; After its departure, the elevation of the naves was continued to finish in 1542. It was then that the original architect made his return to complete the Cathedral, including the bedside, until his death in 1577. His departure from Segovia had enabled him to carry out several projects, thanks to which he was able to refine his knowledge of Renaissance art, at the palace of Monterrey in Salamanca and at the University of Alcalá de Henares (1537). On his return, he was able to demonstrate these new skills, particularly at the Sacristy portal. The Cathedral of Segovia is therefore a transitional building between two periods of Spanish architecture. It is also, with the new Cathedral of Salamanca, the last great Gothic achievement in Spain.

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The Cathedral of Segovia is built in the form of a Latin cross. It has a nave of five bays consisting of three ships, the central ship and two collateral, a chorus and a transept. The two collateral or aisles are each equipped with five lateral chapels. The choir, with its semicircular apse, is surrounded by an ambulatory, on which are opened seven absidiales or radiant chapels. The choir was built in its time on part of the old Jewish quarter of the city. The cathedral also features a tower or steeple with a small dome, as well as a cloister. The ensemble, Gothic, is covered with arches of warheads. Above the cross of the transept rises a dome. The high walls of the nave, like those of the choir, are supported by buttresses. The latter are surmounted by high pinnacles very well worked. At the level of the choir and the bedside, these give a great elegance to the sanctuary.

The building is open to the outside by three gates or gates (Puertas). The Puerta del Perdón (Door of Pardon) opens on the Great Western façade, the Puerta de San Frutos (Porte de Saint Frutos) is located at the north end of the transept and the Puerta de San Geroteo at its southern end. The dimensions are 105 meters long, 50 meters wide, highest point interior is 33 meters and the bell tower is 88 meters high.  Its entrance is in the chapel of San Blas . At the time of its construction, it was entirely Gothic in style, and ended with a pyramid-shaped arrow of Caoba  wood brought from the American colonies. It was then the highest tower in Spain, higher than the Giralda of Seville, but the lightning destroyed the spire in 1614. The architect Juan de Mugaguren, in charge of the restoration, instead built a dome, which caused him to lose 12 meters.

The current altar was ordered done by king Carlos III with a designed by Francisco Sabatini (of the gardens in the Royal Palace). it was begun in 1768 ,and finished in 1775 on the shops of the Royal Palace of Madrid. In front of the main altar it is closed wity a wrough iron grille done in 1729.  The ashlars were brought from the old cathedral, and placed in 1558 by Juan Gil and Jerónimo of Antwerp, and finished in the year 1790 by Fermín Huici. It is in Flemish Gothic style, from the end of the 15C and was sent by the Bishop Don Juan Arias Dávila.

Basically you have chapels on both side of the main nave, north and south. These are in brief comments.

North Side Chapels are the Chapel of Piety or La Piedad, also known as the Chapel of the Holy Burial, was founded in 1571 . St. Andrew’s Chapel or San Andrés was founded in 1618 , similar to the chapel of Santiago, with the coat of arms of the founder at the top.  The Chapel of San Cosme and San Damián, carvings of the Immaculate conception (17C) as well as the Saints. San Gregorio Chapel , Altarpiece of the late 17C; the gate is baroque; Capilla de la Concepción at the foot of the Cathedral and next to the so-called door of forgiveness, it was built in 1531.

The South side Chapels are San Blas Chapel, Chapel of Christ Recumbent, Santa Barbara Chapel,( my native town patron Saint), Chapel of the Christ of Consolation, Chapel of Santiago, was the first chapel of the cathedral given to a civilian, granted by the Cabildo of Segovia in 1577 , Senior accountant of king Felipe II and Commander of the Order of Santiago. The altarpiece that presides the chapel is of Baroque style, is dedicated to the Apostle James and is the work of Pierre de Hertogenbosch in 1595, Chapel of San Antón, was granted to Antonio Idiáquez Manrique, Bishop of Segovia, with destination to a family pantheon. It preserves a baroque altarpiece done  between 1696 and 1697, and dedicated to San Antón, whose image presides the whole.

Shrine of the Tabernacle or Capilla del Santuario is symmetrical to the chapel of San Antón, and is divided into two different spaces: on one hand the so-called Chapel of the Christ of Agony, and on the other the chapel of the Ayala.  Christ Chapel of the Agony or Cristo de la Agonia, is the first stay of the chapel of the Tabernacle, and gives access to the sacristy of the Cathedral. The space, two vaults of crosses, contains a chest of drawers, and different canvases are dealt of several bishops of Segovia by their walls.  Others are the Capilla de los Ayala, Chapels in Girola, St. Peter’s Chapel, Capilla de San Ildefonso here There is a wooden statue with the Virgin and the Child in a way to bless. Chapel of San Geroteo, San Frutos Chapel, Chapel of San Antonio de Padua, Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, San José Chapel,  and San Antón Chapel.

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The stained glass windows of the cathedral are one of the most important ensembles of the Spanish glassmaker heritage. The set consists of 65 pieces that are distributed over time in three different phases.  The first phase corresponds to the 16C, forms one of the most important series of stained glass made by the workshop of the Pierres (Pierres de Holanda and Pierres de Chivarri, together with Nicolás de Vergara, Nicolás de Holanda and Gualter de Ronch), and are one of The most important Renaissance groups in Europe.  The second phase was executed in the 17C by Francisco Herranz, who made a theoretical programming of the stained glass in a manuscript titled Order of the Ystorias to be put in the windows of the Church Mayor of Segovia, preserved in the archive of the Cathedral of Segovia. This set consists of 33 pieces and is the broadest phase. Finally, a third phase took place in 1916, when seven stained glass windows were included for the main chapel made by Casa Maumejean in Madrid.

From the year 2010 was commissioned to begin the integral restoration of the Cathedral.  stained glass windows ,and the work was still ongoing in last visit in August 2017. The nice Cloister is in flamboyant Gothic style and was moved stone by stone from the former old Cathedral of Santa Maria, destroyed during the war of the communities, and constitutes the only part of the old temple that has come to our days. It is accessed by a beautiful cover decorated with the theme of piety, from the same origin and time.

There you have in a nutshell , the wonderful unique Cathedral of Segovia; where queen Isabel La Catolica or Isabel I came to pray many times in the Chapel of  Santa Barbara so says the legend.   First stay of the Infanta in Segovia (future queen Isabel I) is recorded in 1467, coinciding with the revolt provoked by her brother Prince Don Alfonso and the Marquis of Villena, staying with his ladies in the royal Palace of San Martín, while the queen Doña Juana of Portugal did it in the Alcazar, in the absence of the king who was in Coca. In 1471, being the warden of the Alcázar Andrés de Cabrera, married to Beatriz de Bobadilla, Lady of Doña Isabel, on December 29 was  celebrated in the Alcazar the famous interview between the Monarch and the princess, The next day the Prince Don Fernando of Aragon(future king)  entered the city . In the night of 11 to December 12, 1474, the King Henri IV died in the fortress castle of Madrid, immediately brought the news to his sister the princess who was in the Alcazar of Segovia, waiting for events. From there comes the 13th to be proclaimed Queen of Castile at the gates of the Church of San Miguel !! The next documented stay of the Queen in our city  was on August 4, 1476, on the occasion of the serious disturbances that occurred in the Alcazar in which was innocent victim Princess Isabel, first born of the Kings. The Queen remained in the palaces of San Martín until the 23rd of September of that year, not returning to our city until ten years later, in March 1486, staying then in the Alcazar, which became the preferred  stays in the city. Between August 10 and November 26, 1503, resides the Queen in the city, seeking rest for her delicate state of health.  She stayed in the  Alcazar and then in the  royal apartment of the Monastery of El Parral, to then spend the majority of her stayed in the apartment of the convent of Santa Cruz.  Isabel de Trastamara , Isabel I , Isabel the Catholic died at only 53 yrs old from an uterus cancer in 1504 at Medina del Campo after 30 yrs as Queen.

Some webpages to help plan your trip here in addition to my many posts.

Official page of the Cathedral in wordpress ! https://catedralsegovia.wordpress.com/

Tourist office of Segovia on the Cathedral! http://visitsegovia.turismodesegovia.com/es/monuments/cathedral

Region of Castilla y Leon tourism on the Cathedral https://www.turismocastillayleon.com/turismocyl/en/art-culture-heritage/cathedrals/cathedral-segovia

And the story goes on in beautiful historical quaint Castilian Segovia. Enjoy the trip. And remember, happy travels , good health ,and many cheers to all!!

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