Archive for August 6th, 2018

August 6, 2018

Plaza de la Villa, Madrid!

In my continuing saga of showing bits and part of my beloved Madrid , I come to a historical old spot of the old town. We have all over sunny hot weather now even reaching 100F  and in  Madrid hot as usual over 100F hot hot hot Summers in Madrid! Just in lots of heavy rain in Madrid just discharging all that heat !! Glorious!

Let me tell you about a hidden gem just off another old spot in my beloved Madrid. I will like to tell you a bit on the Plaza de la Villa or something like City Square. It was not my early hangout but later as a visitor. Some of the wonderful things you will see here are:

The Plaza de la Villa (formerly Plaza de San Salvador) is located in the historic Centro of Madrid, next to Calle Mayor. It has its origin in three small streets, corresponding to the primitive medieval layout of the city: the Calle del Codo appears on the east, the Calle del Cordon for the south and Calle de Madrid on the west. The House of Cisneros (16C), a Plateresque palace that closes the southern part of the square, and the Casa de la  Villa (17C), of Baroque style, one of the headquarters of the city Council of Madrid, located in the western zone of the square, is followed in antiquity. Although in 2007 the Mayor’s office moved to the Palacio de Cibeles.

The Plaza de la Villa was one of the main nuclei of medieval Madrid. Originally called and known as Plaza de San Salvador, by the Church of the same name that also gave the main street, and on whose porch were held the meetings of the city/town hall. By that name, Fuente de San Salvador, would be known popularly the first great ornamental source that the old Council of the town ordered to build in the square, still reigning Felipe III in the 15C, was given its current denomination, coinciding with the award of the title of Noble and Loyal Villa received by Madrid, from the hands of King Enrique IV of Castilla.

Madrid Madrid

Casa y Torre de los Lujanes , These two buildings, built in Gothic-Mudejar style, are the oldest, among those of a civil character, which are currently preserved in the city. Its construction dates from the 15C and its name refers to its first owners, the family of the Lujanes, rich merchants of Aragonese origin. From this lineage are retained several shields, which appear on the Gothic façade of the main facade.  According to tradition, the tower was housed King Francis I of France, made prisoner in the Battle of Pavia (1525). It is currently the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.

Casa de Cisneros ,  It is a house-palace, built in Plateresque style in the year 1537, at the behest of Benito Jiménez de Cisneros, nephew of Cardinal Cisneros, from whom it takes its name. The facade that faces the Plaza de la Villa was raised at the beginning of the 20C, when the City Council of Madrid acquired the property of the palace and proceeded to its reform to integrate it within the dependencies of the Casa de la Villa. The facade that leads to Calle de Sacramento, which was initially the main, is the one that gathers the greatest historical-artistic values, since it was barely modified during the aforementioned works of reform.  According to tradition, this palace served as a prison for Antonio Pérez , secretary of King Felipe II. In it was born the politician Álvaro de Figueroa y Torres, Count of Romanones. General Ramón María Narváez , one of  its inhabitants, died in this house.

Casa de la Villa  , occupies the old lands  of the houses of the Marquis de Vallecerrato, Don Juan de Acuña, president of the Councils of Treasury, Indies and Castilla successively, until his death in 1615, moment in which it is acquired by the Madrid’s City Council which, since older days, met in the bordering  Church of the Savior (San Salvador), now gone. However, its refurbishment lasted until its inauguration in 1692. In this House lived the Duke of Osuna Don Pedro Girón when on the Holy Thursday of 1621 was made prisoner by order of the king.  Old City/Town Hall of Madrid (1693-2007) (when it was moved to the Palace of Cibeles). Its construction began at 1645, and was completed in 1693. The gallery of Tuscan columns of the facade that faces the main street is the work of Juan de Villanueva (1789).

Monumento a Bazán . On the occasion of the third centenary of the death of the Marine Don Álvaro de Bazán, in 1888 the city council decided to erect a monument in the center of the square, which was not inaugurated until December 19, 1891. The bronze statue installed on a pedestal on whose back side can be read the verses that Lope de Vega dedicated to the honoree:

“El fiero turco en Lepanto; / en la Tercera el francés; / y en todo mar el inglés, / tuvieron de verme espanto. / Rey servido y patria honrada / dirán mejor quién he sido / por la Cruz de mi apellido / y por la cruz de mi espada.” Translated looks something like this:  “The fierce Turk in Lepanto; /In the third the French; /And in all the  sea the English,/had to see me in dismay. /served King and Fatherland honored/will say better who I have been/by the Cross of my surname/and by the Cross of my sword. ”

Bazán appears treading a Turkish flag, dressed in half armor and band of Captain General of the Navy on his chest, resting his left hand on the knob of his sword and carrying on the right a flare of general.

The city of Madrid tourist office has a bit more here: Tourist office of Madrid on the Plaza de la Villa

There you go another bright spot on the many faces of Madrid. Enjoy it as I do!

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

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August 6, 2018

Plaza de Espana, Madrid!

Ok so on my tour of the squares of my Madrid. Told you before, written on it in pieces in several blog posts on Madrid, but never alone, and they deserve an unique entry on their own. These are all memorable plazas of my beloved Madrid.

I like to bring up one that is very popular and better known for the literary history on it. I will talk about the Plaza de Espana. Many times came here with my dear late mother Gladys to seek history of our Spain, and play and get some refreshing afternoon splash on the fountain ::) All again repeated bringing my girlfriend and the then dear late wife Martine, as well as the boys. The ladies always in our hearts.

The square is very central to many nice things to do and gorgeous parks , as well on the ending of the Gran Via and continuation into Calle de la Princesa all the way to the Faro de Moncloa and Arco de la Victoria, many times walk the beat , gorgeous just thinking about it.

Madrid

Let me give you first the tourist office run on Plaza de Espana:  Tourist office of Madrid on the Plaza de Espana

Now let me bring up to date, or past date…

The Plaza de Espana of today was before inhabited by vegetable gardens irrigated by the stream of Leganitos, that started in the nearby fountain of Leganitos between the Gran Vía and Calle de la Princesa. The square  is located in the district of Moncloa-Aravaca and  Argüelles , at the western end of Gran Vía and north of the Royal Palace.  The Calles  de la Princesa, Leganitos, Bailen, Ferraz and La Cuesta de San Vicente can be found in this square, as well as the Gran Vía. And  with 36 900 square meters is among the largest squares in Spain.

Madrid

It is best known for the statue at the center dedicated to the Spanish  writer Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra and for the skyscrapers that border it that are the Edificio Espana (built 1953 with 117 meters/ 384 feet)  and the Torre Madrid (built 1957 with 142 meters/ 466 feet).

Madrid

In front of the statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, a pond of rectangular form is located that forms one of the most typical views of the Spanish capital, since just behind it see the buildings of Torre de Madrid and Edificio España. The constructive part of the monument is elaborated in granite, while the sculptural part was decided to be made in red stone from Sepúlveda ,and with some additions in bronze.This accomplishment was carried out on the occasion of the third centenary of the publication of the second part of Don Quijote, in 1915, and which continued with the centenary of the death of the writer (1616), in 1916.

Madrid

The sculptures that make up this emblematic monument have, on the one hand, a seated Cervantes and at the base of the monument, and under the feet of the writer, are the statues of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza. The set was finalized when the figures of Dulcinea and Aldonza Lorenzo were added, also characters of the Cervantes novel. Alluding to the universality of Don Quixote, the monument also contemplates the five continents, all of them reading the work of Cervantes. On the other side and above the fountains, is represented the Spanish Literature, dressed in period and holding a book with his right hand. The tree that predominates in the landscaping of the square is the olive tree, in homage to the Castilla La Mancha fields in the wanderings of Don Quijote and Sancho.

Madrid

There, you will also, find the House of Gallardo, built in 1911, considered one of the notable examples of the Art Nouveau style of architecture in the city. In the opposite corner is located, the Royal Asturian Mining Company Building, an architectural complex of great beauty; built between 1891 and 1899. Almost at the beginning of the Calle de la Princesa, is the Palace of Liria, an architectural ensemble that belongs to the House of Alba and has some notable gardens. Nearby, in Calle de Ferraz, you will find the Cerralbo museum. A few meters from the museum, another of the obligatory visits is the temple of Debod, a funerary monument of Egyptian origin that moved to Madrid in 1970. The popular Gran Via, or the Senate building.

You get here by Metro station of same name,  located on the eastern corner of the square service by line 3 and 10 and connection with the line 2 Noviciado ,as well as many bus lines. Parking by calle de San Bernardino, 4, between the metro stations Plaza de España and Noviciado good location behind the square.

It is a memorable spot with many families even on weekend, sharing this beautiful spot with the world.  I remembered fondly and do stop by every chance in the city which has been every year since 2003! I could not come to Spain without stopping in Madrid, if won’t feel the same…my family so kindly learned why and I thank them. They too became in love with the city, who wouldn’t! From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!

Visit to the wonderful Palacio de Liria of the Duchess of Alba family:  Palacio de Liria

Temple of DebodMadrid tourist office on the Temple of Debod

Beautiful Cerralbo Museum: Museo Cerralbo

Jardines de SabatiniSabatini Gardens

Popular restaurant and a good place to initiate into Spanish hams is the Museo del Jamon restaurant nearby: Museo del Jamon

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

 

 

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