Archive for January 27th, 2019

January 27, 2019

Plaza de España, Praça de Espanya, Barcelona!

And I bring you out to the Mediterranean again, and lovely Barcelona. I have been here lately a couple times and several years back came in as well from Madrid. It is a complicated city now, but the beauty of it still shines on,and should be a must when visiting Spain.

One of the most known and emblematic places there is the Spain square or Plaza de España (Spa) and Praça de Espanya (Cat).  I like to tell you a bit more on it than the general posts I have in my blog on Barcelona.

barcelona

The Plaza de España in Barcelona is one of the most emblematic squares in the city. It was built during the International Exhibition of 1929. With 34 000 m² of space , it is the second largest square in Spain.

barcelona

It is an important center of the traffic of the city, to converge in it the Gran Vía de las Cortes Catalanas,  the avenida del Paralelo, Calle Tarragona, Calle Creu Coberta and the Avenida de la Reina María Cristina , through which one accedes to the zone of Montjuïc , and where the Feria de Muestras  and the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña are located. Other important buildings of the square are the Las Arenas shopping center (former bullring, Neo-Mudejar style) and the Plaza Hotel, as well as the so-called Venetian towers, built for the exhibition of 1929. There are also the Municipal Institute of Education and a police station of the Mossos.

barcelona

barcelona

As far as transport is concerned, under the square are the station of Plaza de España of the metro lines 1 and 3 ,and another of the railways of the Generalitat of Catalonia. As well as the express bus from the airport stops here; and yes folks I have taken it too !

barcelona

barcelona

The plaza de España was projected as a communication route between Barcelona and the towns of lower Llobregat. After a first project to urbanize Plaza in 1915, the works were finally continued from 1926. They designed a monumental ensemble of circular form, around a hemicycle formed by a colonnade of Baroque style, influenced in the square of Saint Peter of the Vatican city by Bernini. In the access of the square that leads to the Avenue de la Reina Cristina two high towers were placed in the form of Campaniles, inspired by the campanile of San Marcos of Venice.

barcelona

 

In the middle of the square where the end of the city was previously found on the old Madrid road is a monumental fountain with an ornate sculptural decoration. of classical inspiration, the iconographic sense of the work represents a poetic allegory to Spain: on a pond of triangular plant is located a aedicule with three niches with sculptural groups that symbolize the rivers that flow into the three seas that surround the Iberian Peninsula, the Ebro (Mediterranean), the Guadalquivir and the Tagus (Atlantic) and some figures of teenagers for the rivers of the Cantabrian Sea, in the vertices of the pond are located three groups representing the fruits and gifts of the waters: abundance, public health  and fishing and navigation, around the central body are located three columns with various figures and emblems that symbolize religion (a cross with Ramon Llull, St. Teresa of Jesus and St. Ignatius of Loyola), heroism (a sword with Don Pelayo, Jaime I of Aragon,  and the Arts (a book with Ausiàs March and Miguel de Cervantes); Finish the work a censer of fire with three victories, work in bronze. Beautiful all!!!

barcelona

barcelona

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here as usual from me are

city of Barcelona on the square of Spain

Tourist office of Barcelona on the Square of Spain

There you go folks ,another jewel in the crown of Spain ,yes! Plaza de España .One of th sights to be and walk all over, I have stayed lately next near it in nice hotels and it is always a pleasure to see it. You should too!

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

 

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January 27, 2019

Basilica minor San Francisco el Grande, Madrid!

And why not continue this wonderful ride in my beloved Spain and sublime Madrid! Well for the bragging rights, lived there and visit every year for many years, Madrid is it. ahh sorry grands I am a citizen too! And it has so much to offer seldom seen by visitors. Even if Spain is the second most visited country in the world (85 M 2018) according to WTO-UN and many others.

I have several ,many posts on Madrid in my blog. However, consider many to be in the general sense and on some spots deserve a post on their own. This is the case for the Basilica minor San Francisco El Grande. I like to give you a bit more on it now.

The Royal Basilica of San Francisco El Grande is in the district of Palacio, within the historic center of Madrid. It presides over the western face of Plaza San Francisco , set by the intersection of Calle Bailen  and the Carrera de San Francisco street. It is part of the Franciscan convent of Jesús y María, founded at the beginning of the 13C, on a now gone  hermitage dedicated to Saint Mary.  The current Basilica was built in neoclassical style in the second half of the 18C. The Basilica stands out for its dome, considered as the third largest diameter circular plant in Christendom. For its sumptuous interior decoration, made in eclectic style at the end of the 19C, and for its art gallery, representative of the Spanish painting from the 17C to 19C, with paintings by Zurbarán and Goya. Its management corresponds to the pious work of the Holy Places of Jerusalem, an autonomous body dependent on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

madrid

A bit of history I like

The place was previously occupied by a convent-Franciscan hermitage, which, according to the legend, was founded by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1217. When king Felipe II converted Madrid into the capital of the kingdom, in 1561, the convent was gaining in wealth and importance and came to receive custody of the holy places conquered by the Crusaders, through a protective Junta of the pious work of Jerusalem, and the curated General of the Indies. In 1760, the Franciscans demolished the primitive building to built, on its plot, a larger temple which the works had to be suspended in 1768, due to the technical complications , the cupola, finally was done in 1770. The Basilica  as a whole was finally completed in 1784. Eventually, it was converted into a hospital, according to decree of  1812. In the year 1836, the Franciscans were expelled and the Basilica was in the hands of the Spanish State, through the Royal Heritage Organism (Patrimonio Real). In 1838, it served as headquarters to an infantry barracks, while recovering the religious cult.  In 1869 the idea of the national pantheon was resumed. During the next five years, it housed the mortal remains of different personalities of Spanish history, including those of Calderón de la Barca, Alonso de Ercilla, Garcilaso de la Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Ventura Rodríguez, Juan de Villanueva and Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (The Great captain). They were deposited in a chapel and returned in 1874 to their respective places of origin.

The rehabilitation period  was used to decorate its interior, in a process that extended from 1880 to 1889 and in which different Spanish artists specialized in mural paintings and decorative arts participated. In 1926, King Alfonso XIII returned the temple to the Franciscans. On June 30, 1962 was declared a Minor Basilica by Pope John XXIII and on November 8, 1962 it was under the patronage of Our Lady of the Angels, after a new consecration. In November 2001, after decades of work, the church reopened to the public.

madrid

A bit on the construction and external look:

The Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is a central and circular plant, with vestibule and apse. The roof is solved by a large dome, guarded by six small domes, which surround the base of the building by the north and the south. The dome of San Francisco el Grande is 33 meters in diameter and 58 meters high (72 meters from the ground level). As far as the circular plant domes are concerned, it is the third largest diameter of Christendom. It is made of solid brick, made on a single sheet. At its start, the leaf has a thickness of three meters, which goes down to the coronation, where the thickness is lower than the meter. The dome is crowned by a circular lantern, with spire and wrought iron cross over the arrow.

The main façade is east-facing, and presents two bodies. At the bottom are three arches of half a point, fastened by Doric pilasters. The Ionic order dominates the second body, consisting of three roofed windows.  The façade is dominated by two towers, one at each end, slightly recessed. They are covered with wavy spires, topped with vanes. In its vanes, 19 bells are lodged, eight of them in the South Tower and the remaining eleven in the North Tower. The bell towers are framed with paired pilasters. The dome and its lantern protrude between the two towers, dominating the whole.

A bit more on the interior:

The most notable parts of the hall are the seven doors that allow entrance to the enclosure, which were carved in walnut wood in the 19C. The interior roundabout is paved with marbles, as well as its plinths, sumptuously decorated, its main artistic values are concentrated in the mural paintings of the cupola, the result of the renovation and refurbishment works, in the last third of the 19C. The main chapel is installed in the apse. Until the reform of the late 19C, it was presided by a canvas depicting the appearance of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary to St. Francis of Assisi.

The six secondary chapels are distributed symmetrically, three on the northern side of the roundabout and three in the Southern. They are separated from the large circular space by means of pillars, which are supported by different half-point arches, which allow access. The chorus is installed in the upper part of the lobby. It was ornamented with the Gothic ashlars of the Cartuja de Santa María de El Paular, carved in walnut wood. The Basilica of San Francisco El Grande house a museum formed by 51 paintings, among other artistic pieces. The most valuable pictorial works correspond to the Spanish and Italian Baroque. Other romos are the Ante-Sacristy and the Sacristy.

Around the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande are some interesting buildingns. One of the most important is the Capilla del Cristo de los Dolores or Chapel of the Christ of Sorrows for the venerable Third Order of San Francisco, located in an adjoining building, next to the northern facade of the Basilica. It was built between 1662 and 1668. In the year 2007, it was inaugurated the Dalieda of San Francisco, which extends to the south of the Basilica, where, in the Middle Ages, was located the cloister of the primitive convent on which the temple rises. To the west of the building, extends towards the Almudena Cathedral, the next door parque de La Cornisa, so called by its location to the edge of the hollow that forms the valley of the Manzanares river.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Madrid on the Basilica

Tourist office of Madrid on the Basilica

There you have it in a nutshell , one of the nicest off the beaten path sites in Madrid, even if in an area very much frequented near the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral. Enjoy the Basilica minor San Francisco el Grande.

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

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January 27, 2019

Plaza Mayor of Trujillo!

And coming back at you from my beloved Spain, on an area seldom travel by visitors backward but full of history ,architecture, and interesting places to visit. This is pure Extremadura and my best there is Trujillo. I have written before posts on the city, but would like to showcase its main square, Plaza Mayor.

Therefore ,here is a brief introduction to something that is a must to see in my beloved Spain. The Plaza Mayor of Trujillo.

The Plaza Mayor of Trujillo, province of Cáceres, autonomous Region of Extremadura constitutes an architectural space of great beauty and monumentality, is the neuralgic center of the city where all the roads converge, in it dominates the architecture of the 15C  and 16C and is surrounded by buildings of great tourist interest. It is a beautiful Renaissance square that occupies a huge space!

The old town contains many medieval and Renaissance buildings. Many of these were built or enriched by the Conquistadors born in the city. These include, the conquerors of Peru, Francisco Pizarro and his brothers,  as well as Francisco de Orellana and Hernando de Alarcón. In the center of the square the statue of Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Peru made in bronze in 1927.

The plaza Mayor is surrounded by beautiful and historic buildings like the Casa de Las Cadenas; called as is because of the chains that hangs from the lintel;  allegedly deposited by Christians liberated from the moors. Palacio de los Marqueses de Piedras Albas;on the Support of the balcons of the square renaissance style. Palacio de los Vargas-Carvajal; with a corner balcón on the square and two eagles. Palacio de los Chaves-Cardenas; with a facade in columns in spiral gothic style .Palacio de la Conquista; plateresque style , with a wonderful corner balcón.This building was for many years for people who enlisted to go to Peru and raised by Hernando Pizarro, the brother of the Conquistador of Peru. The Church of  San Martín ; 14C and 16C it has a a door of Gothic strokes called of the files because it is decorated with them, which houses an interesting altarpiece. The Church de la Sangre (blood); baroque style, where it is buried Gabriel, in it stands out a dome of brick.

trujillo

trujillo

trujillo palace of pizarro , pl mayor sep12

trujillo

trujillo

The noble houses, generally less ancient (16-17C), are here lightened with arcades, loggias or corner windows. The Plaza Mayor, original by its irregular layout, its successive plans connected by wide staircases and the wide variety of noble houses that border it, is evocative of an ancient art of life such as the gates or Portal del Lienzo,and  Portal del Pan.  The Palacio de los duques de San Carlos 17C today houses a convent of cloistered nuns.  The Torre del alfiler (Needle tower), superb Mudejar steeple occupied by a stork of course!

trujillo

trujillo torre del alfiler sep12

There is rare to see so much history,architecture of great beauty preserved in just one square! Love it!!!  This is Trujillo, a must to see I am telling you!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip as my usual support are

City of Trujillo and the heritage

Tourist office of Extremadura on Trujillo

official Spain Ministry of Culture on Trujillo

wonderful site in Spanish on things to see in Trujillo

Trujillo is nice all around and on previous post told you about what to eat;and others. I just leave you with the main square, Plaza Mayor ,and hope that you too come to see this marvel of my beloved Spain.

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

 

 

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