Archive for June 14th, 2018

June 14, 2018

And if going to Calatayud, the world!

And here I am roaming again on my beloved Spain. This time we are moving up north to a wonderful old area of my Spain. The town has even been mention in songs Si Vas a Calatayud, or if you go to Calatayud. It is still around in youtube here:

 

It was sang  by my mother when a young boy! Always memories of my Spain. As the years went by was lucky enough to lived in Madrid and finally visited Calatayud. Many years later took my girlfriend and eventually wife to it too. My dear late wife Martine love it. We arrive once when there was a wedding going on in the hotel, the hotel is no longer there as we passed last year. We did put gas/petrol in the station next to it on the NII road.  Things change, but the memories lingered forever. We ,ourselves ,need to come back again.

Calatayud Calatayud

Calatayud is in the province of Zaragoza in the autonomous community of Aragon on the banks of the Jalon river. There are many roads crossing here such as the A2 and the N234 and old N II (which we still preferred to take more in town) ;  The regional roads or autonomous A 1504 to Cariñena , the A202  to Nuévalos and the local road CV 601 to Embid de la Ribera; there is the now wonderful A23 and still away the A24.

A bit of history I like, really started with Augusto, the Roman emperor that raise it to city as Municipium Augusta Bilbilis  and once Tiberio arrived the construction to the temple or forum began , the city even printed money and at this time was born Marcial. Next came the Arabs/Moors and the fortified castle complex is built that eventually gave the name to the town. The town was called Qal’at Ayyub which means Qal’a fortified town or citadel and Ayubb a common Arab name. IN the 12C the Moors here were defeated by the king of Aragon, Alfonso I the Battler in 1120 the feast of St John the Baptist. And in the 15C the infante Fernando II is proclaimed heir to the throne of Aragon in the town in 1461. Here too, it is signed in 1481 the charter of Calatayud between the Catholic Kings (Fernando and Isabel) and Fernando de Guanarteme, the king of Grand Canary that will be incorporated into the kingdom of Castile.

Wonderful things to see here are:

The fortified castle complex from the Arabs period (castles, ramparts wall and gates). It is from the 9C and the oldest in Spain of Arab/moors time. It has five points or castles, all connected by walls and ramparts that comes up and down canyons. At the highest elevation is the Mayor castle or Castillo Mayor and the Castle of the  Torre Mocha (shortened tower).  In the inferior plateau you have the castles or Castillo de Doña Martina, Castillo del Reloj, and  Castillo de la Peña (the most damaged).

The Castillo de Doña Martina is the oldest. The Castillo Mayor or of Ayyub  is the highest. It has two buildings one lower to the north side and other high on the south side. It also has two towers in a octagonal shape where there is still the tank well. There is a complex of  Recinto de la Longía  there are trees that makes it difficult the view and from the Castillo Mayor rampart walls go on towards the south and east, some remaining towers can be seen.  The Castillo Real or del Reloj (Royal or clock castle), you have a wall in the interior of the rampart towards the south that reaches this castle, there is just a section visible today.  There was a wall that connected it to the Castle of  Doña Martina by the canyon of the Barranco de la Rúa,and here it was open to the gate or Puerta de Valencia. The Torre Albarrana came from the Castillo Mayor to the orient with a rampart section with four towers in square shape. At about 150 meters there was the torre albarrana tower separated by a 7 meters but link to the complex, and it is the oldest section of the tower Albarrana. Another complex call the Recinto de la Torre Mocha or shortened tower, is closed, there was a cord chain reaching the castle of Doña Martina. At the center there is an octagonal tower that was used for water tank and the complex as storage.  The Castillo de la Peña, is today in ruins. The gate or Puerta with a horseshoe arc is the only part that has been restored following the model of the Mezquita of Cordoba.

Other wonderful monuments to see are  the collegiale Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, Royal collegiale Church of  Santo Sepulcro, Church of San Pedro de los Francos; Sanctuary or Santuario de la Virgen de la Peña; Church of San Andrés,  and Church of San Juan el Real. Also, the Museum of Calatayud (archeological museum on findings in the area) in the former convent of Carmelites, and the Museum of La Dolores, located in the tavern Meson de la Dolores ( the history of movies, songs of this famous personage of Calatayud) .

A wonderful town, full of nice memories needed to post in my blog stand alone, for the souvenirs of always. Some webpages to help you plan your trip here including a wine tasting route

City of Calatayud tourist info in Spanish ; http://www.calatayud.es/turismo/visitar

The wines of Calatayud : http://www.docalatayud.com/en/wineries/

Tourist office province of Zaragoza on Calatayud; https://www.turismodezaragoza.es/provincia/pueblos/calatayud.html

Tourist office of Aragon in Spanish; https://www.turismodearagon.com/es/ubicacion/zona-turistica/monasterio-de-piedra-y-calatayud.html#.WyF0W-6FPIU

Community region of Calatayud in Spanish: http://comarcacalatayud.com/index.php/zonas-de-la-comarca/calatayud/

There you go another jewel in Zaragoza province, region of Aragon; the famous Calatayud, yes indeed. We shall meet again if you are going by Calatayud ,si vas por Calatayud.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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June 14, 2018

The triangle, Colmenar de Oreja, Chinchon, and Villarejo de Salvanés!

I like to put these three again together.  It’s in my wonderful Comunidad de Madrid , the region of Madrid ,and flashes already begin as I write. I had great memories here especially of Chinchon, and later with the family on all three ,sometimes coming back to back to them. My dear late wife Martine really enjoyed it and we love it together. Memories forever and I like to share it with my readers . Of course, I repeat the triangle; Colmenar de Oreja, Chinchon, and Villarejo de Salvanés.

Oh yes this is south of Madrid and a wonderful area my dear late wife Martine enjoyed very much; we were thinking of even retiring here ; life is too short.  Memories now of what could have been, sad yes. No words yes.

I wrote a bit on them previously in my blog, here is the entry. https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/08/25/chinchon-colmenar-la-oreja-and-villarejo-de-salvanes-comunidad-de-madrid/

Colmenar de Oreja   as all the others are in the Comunidad de Madrid region and Colmenar is only about 50 km from Madrid and you can only come here by car ,no train station. You come by the expressway A3 Madrid-Valencia and take the entry into the road M404 by km 50 at Villarejo de Salvanés (see below) until Belmonte de Tajo and here take the M303 to Colmenar de Oreja.  There is another way from the A3 take the M307 at Km 21 before reaching Arganda del Rey, and by it follow continuously the M311 and before reaching Morata de Tajuña the M313 to Colmenar de Oreja (also take you to Chinchon, see below).

A bit of history I like is that between the years 1500 to 1700 the successive kings of the Habsburg (Austria) ordered the most important works in this town such as the enlargement of the Church of  Santa María la Mayor (1517), repairs to the wall ramparts  (1517) the irrigation of the fields of Vega  (1572), and the foundation of the Franciscan Monastery of San Bernardino de Siena (1570) , and the founding of   the Monastery of the Incarcanation of the recollects Augustinians (1685).

One of the nice things to do and see here are the building of the Plaza Mayor in 1676, a wonderful example of Castilian squares finished in 1794 and on it you find the Casa Consistorial ( served as city hall)  and Posito (old food depot). The Teatro Municipal Diéguez, built on top of the former charity hospital. In the 19C, it was called the comedy theater and later Charity theater,currently bears the name in memory of Antonio Diéguez Cruz, a famous cinema and theater actor born here at Calle Pérez,2. The Museo Ulpiano Checa museum, the most ample collection on the work of this painter of historic paintings from the end of the 19C, oriental paintings etc. You get to the building by a nice garden where you can see a bust of the painter and a monument to items typical of the town such as the stone and the earthenware.

Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, built by the order of St James in the third part of the 13C, enlarged in second half of the 16C. A beautiful organ with great concerts here. The Chapel of the Christ or Ermita del Santisimo Cristo del Humilladero, patron Saint of the town , different architectural styles and periods with a beautiful chapel of the 16C, all in a Latin Cross and a small dome. The Convent or Convento de la Encarnacion del Divino Verbo, belongs to the sisters Recollect Augustinians and known locally as the convent of the sisters. It has an area of almost 7K sq meters and done with three bodies and a garden, built around the 17C even if founded the order in 1536.

Colmenar de Oreja Colmenar de Oreja

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to this nice quaint town

Regional tourist office on Colmenar de Oreja: http://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/colmenar-de-oreja.html

City of Colmenar de Oreja tourist office http://colmenarte.colmenardeoreja.com/

Villarejo de Salvanés on the same region of course; is located at the km 48 of the expressway A3 Madrid-Valencia.  Some anecdote on the town I like on my history was that here in 1866, General Prim rose up against the government of O’Donnell and the Isabeline regime, failed coup.

Some of the things to see and do here are

The sanctuary of our Lady of the Victory or the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Victoria started built in 1573 in memory of the victory against the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 where the admiral  Requesens, asked for the intervention of the Virgin del Rosario to win promising to built a Church in her honor if victorious; and so he was and so was built the Church. The Third house or Casa de la Tercia, built in the 16C name as such because he guarded a third of the tribute for personal use of the Commander; it has two floors and a patio with columns as well as caves with earthenwares of great size used to house the wine of the commanders, with subterranean galleries that communicates with the Church and Castle.

The tower or Torre del Homenaje of the  Castle of Villarejo de Salvanés was part of a defensive network that protected the old way to Toledo as well as before the Galiana way in Roman times that link Gaul with Hispania (France and Spain) during the middle ages was still in use.  The castle had many uses and the point of uprising of Gen Prim. This is where we parked and walked around and my dear late wife Martine found a lady who told her where to buy groceries just around the corner….She could talk Spanish too. The parish Church of San Andrés Aposto or St Andrew the apostle. Built in the 14C has high towers and on the front the shield of the order of St James (Santiago) as well as on the lateral door. The Church is on the Plaza del Castillo square.

Villarejo de Salvanes Villarejo de Salvanes

a webpage of tourism in the region on Villarejo de Salvanés to help you plan your trip here is : http://turismomadrid.es/es/descubre/las-vegas/7168-villarejo-de-salvanes.html

And last but not least in this wonderful ride by car in my favorite of my beloved Spain.

Chinchón  only 44 km from Madrid.  The unique find here is that in 1638, the properties of the skin of the Quina was discovered by the Countess of Chinchon wife of the vice king of Peru ,observing the healers working on treating fever.  In 1738, the county passed after purchase to the House of Bourbon and Farnese and later it was given the title of Very noble and loyal city for its fidelity during the War of Succession.

Easiest way to get here A-3 to Arganda’s bridge with right signposted in the M-311-313 road, which passes near Morata de Tajuña to Chinchón, winding route on its last sections. From Madrid there is a good bus service every hour, by the carrier “La Veloz”, which starts in Plaza Conde Casal, head of the highway N-III Madrid-Valencia. This is the 337 bus line Madrid-Chinchón-Valdelaguna.

Some things to see and do here at Chinchon are

The wonderful Plaza Mayor of Chinchón.  The first houses had supports and balconies built in the 15C and became enclosed in the 17C.  The buildings are of three floors and indented galleries as well as 235 balconies in clear wood supported by pillars. The square has hosted several events like Royal feasts, proclamations, comedy theater, beer games, bullfight corridas , executions, sacrificial acts, religious acts, political and military as well as a cinema filming like the corrida shown in the movie The tour of the world in 80 Days and circus acts in the movie The fabulous world of the circus.

Chinchon

The Church of our lady of Assomption or Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, began built in 1534 as a Chapel annex to the County Palace in a gothic style and finished in 1626. The current Church is a reconstruction of gothic, Plateresque, renaissance, and baroque styles.  The main retable altar has a painting of the Assomption of the Virgin painted in 1812 by famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya on orders by his brother Camilo, priest of the Church.

Torre del reloj  or clock tower from the 15C restored in 1808 but not the Church that remained enclosed in time. We love to come up here the Castle of the Counts or Castillo de los Condes,  built in the second half of the 16C with a renaissance style but very robust and horizontal in order to avoid the artillery fire. The castle was abandoned in the 18C after the counts residing here for over 200 years. The Imperial troop of the Marquis of Mina attacked it and destroyed it, it’s last used was a factory of liquors. Yet the views from it are impressive over the city in addition of stepping into history.

Chinchon Chinchon

The convent or Convento de San Agustin, currently house the tourist hotel Parador Nacional de Chinchon after been rebuilt and restored in 1982 once given by the city to the regional government. The first convent here was founded in the end of the 15C and built in 1626 during the war of Succession where it was lived by the Archduke Carlos of Austria. During the 18C and 19C was a training center of humanistic approach to theology, grammar, and latin. In 1842 it was the courthouse and later prison. In the 20C, it housed tribunal of justice. Today, it is a parador  and on the Church it is the Chapel of the Our Lady of Rosary or Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Rosario.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must are

City hall of Chinchon on culture, theater etc http://www.ciudad-chinchon.com/ayuntamiento/concejalias/cultura/presentacion.php

Tourist office of Chinchon http://www.ciudad-chinchon.com/turismo/en/conoce-chinchon/lugares-interes/edificios-historico-artisticos.php

And the ride is over folks. Very nice area to drive around, and see wonderful towns ,some off the beaten path ways. Enjoy it as we did/do.

And remember as always my dear readers, happy travels, good health and many cheers!!! And even if not always posted you know I always thank you from the bottom of my heart you reading and accompanying me in my journey, better together. Cheers!

 

 

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