Archive for March 14th, 2019

March 14, 2019

Colmenar de Oreja, Comm de Madrid!

So as I am in the neighborhood of Comunidad de Madrid why not tell you about another gem not far from the capital and full of the nice things of my beloved Spain, everything under the sun!

Again, written in general about the things to see in Colmenar de Oreja but feel obligated to tell you about some of its best gems such as the Plaza Mayor and the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor. Hope you enjoy the ride as we do.

First, some orientation on the town and region ok.  Colmenar de Oreja  is 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 M-404 by km 50 at Villarejo de Salvanés (see other post) until Belmonte de Tajo and here take the M-303 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 other post).

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 Plaza Mayor was started building it in 1676, as one of the magnificent examples of the typical porticoed Castilian squares when it was finished in 1794. It comprises the city/town hall and the Pósito. Its south cloth gives to a majestic architectonic ensemble formed by the Gardens of Zacatín, the mouth of the tunnel of Stone of the same name (which crosses under the square of part to part), and, the troughs. It has been the framework of a multitude of films and television series. In the popular festivities both in May and September, a portable wooden square with tenders is installed, so that they can celebrate all kinds of bullfighting events, something that the people continue with great devotion and tradition.

Colmenar de Oreja

Colmenar de Oreja

The 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.

Colmenar de Oreja

Colmenar de Oreja

Colmenar de Oreja

In 2008 ,the paintings were restored and the floor changed. In addition, since  2009 it has a prestigious body worth admiring, donated in its entirety by the neighboring Maria Perez Garcia, who wanted to contribute in this way to the patrimony of Colmenar de Oreja. Thanks to his gesture you can enjoy beautiful concerts.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Colmenar de Oreja

Tourist office of Comunidad de Madrid on Colmenar de Oreja in English

Tourist office of Madrid on Colmenar de Oreja in English

There you go another gem in the off the beaten path roads of the Comunidad de Madrid, again just south of the capital , Colmenar de Oreja , an easy ride by car all worth it for a pleasant afternoon away from the city. Hope you enjoy it as we do.

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

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March 14, 2019

Torre del Homenaje and Iglésia de San Andrés in Villarejo de Salvanés, Madrid!

So let’s stick with my beloved Spain and gorgeous Madrid community region that is just wonderful me think. Again, these I have written before a while back on a general passing sense, and I feel they need a bit more exposure in my blog.

Therefore, I will like to tell you a bit more on the Torre del Homenaje (homage tower) and Iglesia de San Andrés (St Andrews’ Church) at Villarejo de Salvanés in the Comunidad de Madrid, just south of the capital city of Madrid!

A bit of orientation first just to tell you ok. Villarejo de Salvanés 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.  Ahh for those in public transport you can easily go from Atocha in Madrid to the town on bus lines 351: Ronda de Atocha (Madrid)  Estremera – Barajas de Melo, bus line 352: Ronda de Atocha (Madrid) Fuentidueña – Tarancón,  and bus line 353: Atocha (Madrid) Villamanrique – Santa Cruz de la Zarza.

The Torre del Homenaje or tower of homage or castle of Villarejo of Salvanés, constitutes a unique architectural site in Spain. It belongs to the town hall of Villarejo de Salvanes. The castle of Villarejo of Salvanes was part of the defensive system that protected the passage by the old way of Toledo, as well as by the so-called Senda Galiana (Roman road that linked the Galia (France) and Hispania (Spain), in use during the Middle Ages). The castle of Villarejo of Salvanes was the seat of the special court of the military orders and, in the 19C, was accommodated as a refugee to Gen. Juan Martín Díez ,the subborn one ( Empecinado). Hero of the Spanish War of Independence, El Empecinado participated in several episodes, which became legendary, where he routed the Napoleonic army.

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. My memories thanks.

Villarejo de Salvanes

Villarejo de Salvanes

The parish Church of San Andrés Apostol 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. At the beginning of the Spanish civil war it lost its artistic heritage. After an earthquake in 1969, the roof and vaults were demolished and completely restored in the 1980’s.

Villarejo de Salvanes

The Church of San Andrés Apostol, consists of a polygonal apse with high buttresses, which make it similar to the castle. It is a single nave and has two side chapels, sacristy and tower, recently topped by a slate spire. In its main façade we see a pediment with a shield of the order of Santiago in the center as in the side door. Other shields, like the Aponte’s, flank the building.  It is presided by San Andrés, patron Saint of Villarejo de Salvanés, the image is framed in a plaster altarpiece inaugurated in 2000. The images of the Blessed Nicanor Ascanio and José de San Jacinto, both illustrious sons of the locality, complete the ensemble, which is crowned by a carving of Christ in its color. In the ample presbytery stands out the neo-Romanesque tabernacle, the altar, the seat and the pulpit in white stone.

Villarejo de Salvanes

The interior of the Church of San Andrés, also has two side chapels. The one on the right or the Aponte chapel is closed by a Renaissance gate and contains two altarpieces with the images of the Immaculate Conception and Jesús Nazareno. In it you can contemplate the founding headstone in addition to the images of the Virgin of Health (Salud), the Resurrected, San José de la Montaña, San Juan Bautista and the Naked Cross, which is called here  “La Sabanilla “. In the chapel on the left we find the baptismal font of 1959 and the altarpieces of Nuestra Senora  Del Carmen, wood carving, and Nuestra Senora De la Soledad with the recumbent Christ. In the nave of the church are the images of Jesus attached to the column and the Holy Christ of the Faith, as well as a Holy Supper. The sacristy, which was one of the old side chapels, is the one that preserves the ribbed vault and there is a size of San Andrés from the beginning of the 17C.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here as an off the beaten path of my Spain are

Tourist office of Villarejo de Salvanés on heritage in Spanish

Tourist office of Comunidad de Madrid on Villarejo de Salvanés in English

Lovely town we love to pass by and come in for a relaxing afternoon and walks on our road warrior ways in old Castile!  Villarejo de Salvanés is a nice clean town with friendly folks! and nice monuments. Hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do.

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

 

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March 14, 2019

Plaza Mayor and Castillo de los Condes, Chinchon!

So keeping up with the rides… heck I am taking you back to my beloved Spain, everything under the sun! And my favorites areas since childhood, Comunidad de Madrid or old Castile, of which Madrid is part and also Chinchon.

I have written before over the years in my blog on Chinchon of course. However, there are two spots I love the most ,and would like to tell you a bit more on them. These are the Plaza Mayor (main square) or Castillo de los Condes (Counts’ Castle). Hope you enjoy it.

First a bit of Spanish geography and directions.  Chinchón is a town located in the southeast of the Comunidad de Madrid , in the region of Las Vegas, 44 km from the capital. From Madrid you can reach Chinchón by the highway A-3 taking the detour of the M-307, shortly before reaching Arganda. From there take the roads M-311 and then the M-313 to Chinchón. It can also be reached by the A-4, taking the turnoff of the M-404, shortly after Valdemoro, which takes us through Ciempozuelos and Titulcia to Chinchón. From Conde de Casal (next to metro station same name) bus stop in Madrid you can take bus line 337, to Chinchon terminus Valdelaguna.

The Plaza Mayor of Chinchón is an example of popular architecture. The first houses with arcades and balconies were built in the 15C, and was completely closed in the 17C. It has a circular shape ,covered with sand, and a simple structure, clear, tidy and hierarchical. The buildings are of three floors, with white houses on arcades, wooden balconies painted in green and red-tiled roofs, it’s like the Middle Ages! And 234 wooden balconies called Claros or clear, supported by standing with shoes type columns offering a breathtaking view of the bullfights and other regularly-held shows on the square. Bars, restaurants and other taverns hide behind the arcades. Since its construction, the Plaza Mayor has hosted numerous activities such as Royal celebrations, proclamations, corral of comedies, games of canes, bullfights, executions, sacramental rites, religious, political and military acts, as well as serving as a set for the  Cinema such as the bullfighting scene of the film Around the World in 80 Days, circus show in The Fabulous World of the Circus.

Tourist office of Comunidad de Madrid on the Plaza Mayor of Chinchon

Chinchon

Chinchon

Chinchon

The Castillo de los Condes or Counts’ Castle or Castle of Chinchon. In Chinchón there were two fortresses; The first, apparently, of the 15C and now disappeared. The current castle was built in the second half of the 16C by order of Diego Fernandez de Cabrera and Bobadilla, third count of Chinchón after being the first destroyed during the communal riots.

A bit of history I like tells us that the Manor of Chinchón, held by the Cabrera family since the time of King Henri IV of Castile. The original castle suffered damages of consideration in the attack made by the communal troops in the year 1520. The square was delivered with all its artillery in 1521. The third count of Chinchón, Diego Fernandez de Cabrera and Bobadilla, decided to demolish the remains of it. On its plot, it ordered to raise a new castle, taking advantage of the materials of the old. It is known that its construction lasted from 1590 to 1598. The Castle of Chinchon was well preserved until 1705, year in which it suffered the consequences of the War of Spanish Succession. At that time it was occupied by the troops of the Austrian Archduke’s army, led by the Marquis of Mines. Its dependencies were used for the installation of abundant artillery. Later, it suffered a fire in its northwest part, as a result of the storage of hemp.  A century later, in 1808, during the three days of siege to Chinchón, it was plundered and burned to the hands of the Polish Brigade of the French Marshal Claude Perrin Victor, in the context of the War of the Independence of Spain.

The castle of Chinchón is built in concerted limestone masonry, filled with mortar and stones. The spans and moldings are made in ashlars, except the access door, partially lifted in masonry. It exhibits the blazon of the Counts of Chinchón, framed by padded ashlars. The building is of two bodies, which overlap each other forming a large rectangular plant. It is topped in cylindrical towers, which are located in the corners of each of the bodies. Its appearance responds to the characteristics of Renaissance architecture. Rugged and very horizontal, he sought to avoid enemy artillery fire. The walls on the slopes are intended to hinder the access of sappers .It is surrounded by a moat, which is partially conserved. The castle was abandoned in the 18C after being the residence of the Counts of Chinchón for two hundred years.  Access to the interior of the castle is not allowed.

Tourist office of Madrid on the Castle of Chinchon

Chinchon

Chinchon

Chinchon

You have a nice day in Chinchon a typical Madrileno town not far from the capital and yet in the country. Some webpages to help further plan your trip here are

City of Chinchon on heritage things to see in Spanish

Tourist office of city of Madrid on Chinchon

And to add, it is good to get lost in the labyrinth of cobbled streets that go up to the Church of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion (Our Lady of the Assumption), which contains a painting by Goya, the Assumption of the Virgin, painted in 1812. Just next door is the superb theater of Lope de Vega, built in the 19C, which sometimes serves as a cinema. The village has thus inspired two great names of the arts: Lope de Vega and Francisco de Goya. A little further is the Torre del Reloj or tower of the clock, which watches over the village. Surrounded of a rampart, the esplanade flanked by its three monuments overlooks the Plaza Mayor and offers a splendid panorama on Chinchon. The village also houses a charming Parador de Turismo (lodging hotel), in the Convent of San Agustin, erected in the 17C.

There you go come on over, nice weather is coming and Chinchon is waiting for you. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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