Archive for June 14th, 2019

June 14, 2019

The Gate of the Virgin in Cañete!

And back running to my beloved Spain, I come. This is again in my fav region of Castilla La Mancha and the dreamers of Spain. I have been all over here sometimes not enough pictures but been there, road warrior , or family trips it has been many over the years.

I like to tell you a bit on an off the beaten path area of it. This is Cañete in the Province of Cuenca, a very old place, that needs to be discovered for the uniqueness of my Spain. Let me tell you a bit more on the Gate of the Virgin or La Puerta de la Virgen in Cañete.

This is the kind of town visitors should head first to really feel Spain; its hard without the language and not used to driving, but it is all worth it for the experience. Try it!

The Puerta de la Virgen or  Gate of the Virgin, 12-13C to see it you go parellel to Calle Padre Lorenzo. The Gate of the Virgin is of direct access to the old Muslim wall and the opening is made in the wall itself!


The medieval Muslim wall was departing from the Castle and completely ringing the population. It is in good condition and has interesting entrance gates. This fortress of Cañete lends that intimate and cozy character of all the walled towns. In some sections you can see some windows of the houses open to the outside of the wall. The gate of the Virgin is a small arch of half a point with trim kit, Romanesque type of the 12-13C. Next to it there is a small statue of the same time and belonging to the hermitage of the Virgen de la Zarza, although the rest of this temple is more modern.



It is one of the three major accesses of the population open on the Islamic wall. Muslim work of the 10C, had several reforms after the Castilian annexation of the population, perhaps in the 12C or beginning of the 13C. It takes its name from the immediate hermitage of the Virgen de la Zarza, located next to the square where the pious tradition places the miraculous appearance of the patron Saint of Cañete in an imprecise moment on horseback between the 13C and 14C. It is the south gate of the wall and it facilitated the access to the west of the population, on the other side of the hill of the castle, as well as to the mountainous paths and cattle trails that were heading to the upper basin of the Guadazaón river. The gate, of modest dimensions ,only 2.5 meters of light by 4 meters of height to the key of the arc, was closed with two double-leaf gates, with exterior and interior, whose ranges are still preserved.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Cañete on things to see

Tourist office of Province of Cuenca on Cañete

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Cañete in English

And there you go another off the beaten path wonderful place in my beloved Spain Cañete is old and nice and the Gates there are all wonderful and especially the Gate of the Virgin. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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June 14, 2019

Church of Our Lady of the Assomption, San Clemente:

And I bring you down to my beloved Spain again, this is going south of Madrid into my fav region of Castilla La Mancha, of Don Quijote dreams and stories. The land is arid and long but the views natural and men made are spectacular. One area I was on my road warrior trips to Spain is San Clemente.

I like to tell you a bit more on a nice monument there ,that again needs more showing in my opinion. The Church Monastery of Our Lady of the Assomption or Iglesia Monasterio de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion in San Clemente!

San Clemente is a town located in the province of Cuenca, in the Autonomous Community of Castilla-La Mancha. Historically the region was known as the Mancha Alta, within the Mancha de Montearagón, a place name that would come from the fact that the Castilians who traveled to Valencia (which had already been conquered by Jaime I of Aragón in 1238) rode more so climbed  towards Aragón, when passing through this territory, located at a higher altitude. It is located at 110 km from Cuenca, and 80 km from Albacete, on the banks of the Rus River and at the convergence of the A-43 and AP-36 highways. You can get here on the A-3 (autovia de Valencia-Madrid) taking the regional road CM-3112 and crossing the villages of El Cañavate and Villar de Cantos until you reach the town. The national road N-310 crosses the urban nucleus, a link between the towns of Manzanares (Ciudad Real) and Villanueva de la Jara. All lovely country.

A bit of history I like

An important fact in the history of San Clemente lies in the war that the Catholic Monarchs maintained against the followers of Juana La Beltraneja, aspiring to the throne that Queen Isabel (I) la Católica held between the years 1476-1479, among whose followers was Don Diego Pacheco, Marquis de Villena  In this confrontation, the town of San Clemente decided to support Isabel the Catholic and reveals herself against the power of the Marquis of Villena. Once the war ended with victory for the Isabelite’s side, the support that San Clemente gave her helped the Catholic Monarchs to decide to incorporate the town of San Clemente into the crown, making it a kingdom and granting it independence from the town of Alarcón. It received the visit of the Catholic Monarchs on August 9, 1488, a visit in which, as a symbol of gratitude for the support given, they confirmed the privileges that had previously been granted to them, swearing to save and make order to keep all things and mercies and privileges that said town had . During the War of Succession, it was the headquarters of General Duke of  Berwich, showing with remarkable armed help to show its loyalty to king Felipe V, who granted the town the title of Very Noble, Very Loyal and Faithful Villa. Already in the 19C, during the War of Independence (1808-1814), it was a town very worked by the French, since here Napoleon ordered the Frère division, with orders to reinforce the Moncey detachments that operated in Valencia and of Dupont, who was in Andalusia. However, as several mails and offices intercepted by the French testify, the Frére division was unable to carry out its mission due to the magnitude of the routes and the difficulty of communications as well as the suffering inflicted by the inhabitants of San Clemente, among which the local hero Bibiano Hellín, whom  the writer Pérez Galdós cites in the National Episodes. During the Spanish Civil War, an airfield  was built in San Clemente. The 3rd squadron of Bombers group  12 of  Russians Tupolev SB-2 (katiuska) and some biplane fighters Polikarpov I-15, the flat ones were established there.

And now on the Church Monastery of Our Lady of the Assomption.

The Monastery Church of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion  was founded in 1523 as a convent belonging to the order of Santa Clara. The last Clarisse sisters left it at the beginning of the 21C. It is currently occupied by a small congregation of Carmelite sisters of the Sacred Family (Sagrada Familia). Its interior keeps the most beautiful cloister of all the convents of the town.

San Clemente

It has an irregular floor building consisting of church and convent around a high quality cloister, of which only two sides remain. The façade is composed of a large masonry factory where four ashlar buttresses are visible. The main doorway is a semicircular arch between pilasters that holds a niche. The most beautiful Cloister inside although only two lateral ones remain. Made in masonry, highlight the ashlars of its buttresses, as well as the cover, whose niche can be seen a carving of San Francisco de Asis.(St Francis of Assisi).

San Clemente

The Convent Monastery of Our Lady of the Assomption was born of the devotion of a mysterious local  widow, known by Melchora, who was followed in her ministry by two devout women, called the Toledanas (of Toledo). It has been told of this adventure, with the support of the Provincial of the Franciscans, who sent a religious from Villanueva de los Infantes,  Ana Sánchez, to form the trio of the pious in the Franciscan Observance. The decision was wrong. Well because of differences in interests or because of temperament between the Melchora and the religious of Villanueva, the first cohabitation ended with the expulsion of Ana from the house of Melchora, the first place of residence of the Beatas. A new settlement was sought, this time, without the temperamental Melchora, in the houses ceded by Martín Ruiz de Villamediana, a knight who arrived from Tierra de Campos. In spite of this lodging and some income , the walking of the convent was very difficult. The disagreements continued later; perhaps that was the reason for the departure twenty years after of. Ana Sánchez to Villanueva de los Infantes. The convent would only be consolidated by the retirement and inheritance provided by Mrs. Isabel de Pedrola, which allowed the construction of the convent church in the last quarter of the 16C. Always a nice story behind these old wonderful monuments.

San Clemente

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and its worth the detour are

City of San Clemente on religious monuments

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on the Church Monastery

And there you go ,another dandy in my Castilla La Mancha, Kingdom of Spain, or Spain everything under the Sun. A nice stop at San Clemente indeed , more written in my blog on nice experiences here. Enjoy the Church Monastery of Our Lady of the Assomption.

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





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June 14, 2019

A walk on the train station of Auray and historical walk at the village of Brech

This is a town very close to Auray where I first came to the Morbihan , Brittany and I passed by it almost every day now. Many nice monuments here and historical too, I like to bring it back alive for the pleasure of all. Enjoy Brech, Morbihan, Bretagne, France!
And remember happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


Today while waiting for my kids on their ski trip to the Franche-Comté area, I decided to take a ride by the train station earlier and take some photos, as been by there and yet a photo lol!! Then went around my bourg or village of Brech in pays d’Auray just some nice walks to see nature and some buildings that need to be known to the world by using my blog. Here is the story,

I pick up my boy at the Vannes train station by 18H or 6pm, and was so happy of his trip, and see snow lol!!! He can keep it. Lots of snow and ski, and photos for them, and of course the nice gifts for Dad and Mom and brothers. Always nice indeed….Another successful trip of school in France.

However, before that time, I was alone,and decided to do some walk or drive or…

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June 14, 2019

Museum of the Cistercian Convent of San Bernardo ,Alcalá de Henares!

So let me swing back at my beloved Spain, and tell you a bit on a highly cultural city near my beloved Madrid. I have several posts on Spain, Madrid, and even  Alcalà de Henares but darn have not written a deserving post on this museum. Therefore, here is my take on it.

I would like to tell you a bit more on the Museum of the Cistercian Convent of San Bernardo for the long official name, simply for short a Religiuos Arts museum. It is located in Alcalà de Henares, in the region of the Comunidad de Madrid.

alcala de henares

alcala de henares

The Cistercian Convent of San Bernardo in Alcalá de Henares was founded in 1613 by Cardinal Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas. The Plaza de las Bernardas (square) formed by the Convent of the Mother of God, the Archiepiscopal Palace and the Convent of San Bernardo constituted during the rebirth an engine of urban transformation of this zone of the city, that previously was the Arab district during the Middle Ages.

Cistercian Convent of San Bernardo, was destined to a Cistercian community of nuns, popularly called “Bernardas “. The patron of the work was the Cardinal and Archbishop of Toledo Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas, a great reformer of artists and writers of fame such as Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Góngora and Miguel de Cervantes. The works began in 1617, in the old Plaza de la Verdura (vegetable), inside the Moslem district of the medieval Alcalá. Leaving the old Puerta de Burgos(gate) inside the garden of the convent and making disappear the old Calle de Segovia; So it had to build the current gate of Calle Santiago , which also has a statue of St. Bernard (San Bernardo).

The convent suffered many malfunctions in the fire of 1939, so several restoration works were carried out in the following decades. The closing of the Bernardas nuns was finished in 2000, leaving the building today as a Museo de Arte Religioso (religious art museum). In 2013 the Casa de la   Demandadera (house) and the lesser Cloister of the Convent of San Bernardo was restored, hosting an exhibition hall and the diocesan residence.

A bit on the construction

Its main facade, of curtain type with a central line decoration from top to bottom, separated in three bodies and finished in red brick, corresponds to the classic model of the Complutense Baroque, in which the use of the brick is combined as constructive material with the cover stone. In the central niche, on the door, appears the image of the titular Saint Bernard of Clairvaux surrounded by large shields of the founder Cardinal Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas and mirrors. The different bodies are traversed by an impost with three parallel and horizontal inscriptions describing the historical characters of the moment and the dedication of the convent. The church, with elliptical floors and six side chapels, of which the diagonals repeat the model of the great central space, covered by a superb dome with a false vault , equally oval, the largest in its kind made in Spain. The exempt Baldachin, where the tabernacle is located, is located in front of the main altar. At the closing there are two cloisters, the convent file and the chapter house.

In January 1997 the Museum of the Cistercian Convent of San Bernardo of Alcalá de Henares was inaugurated, with headquarters in the Convent of the Bernardas. It consists of an important collection of Italian paintings from the 17C, the work of master Angelo Nardi. It stands out in the Presbytery of the church an exempt altarpiece or baldachin made of wood stewed and polychrome, raised by Francisco Bautista, at the time the architect of the Collegiate Church of San Isidro in Madrid. The silver and ebony ark of Emperor Carlos V, ordered done by his son king Felipe II, with beautiful embossments representing victorious scenes of the emperor. The armchair of Cardinal Sandoval is a unique piece of its kind, in which the carpentry is mixed with the jewellery, enriched the piece with the inlay of rock crystals decorated as if they were gemstones. In the closing is guarded a beautiful size of the immaculate, by Antonio de Herrera Barnuevo.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Alcala de Henares on the Plaza de las Bernardas

Tourist office of Alcala de Henares on the convent museum

Tourist office of Comunidad de Madrid on the convent museum

And there you go, all set for a nice visit on a beautiful architectural building and in a very nice square with full of things to see some already mentioned in my blog. Enjoy the Museum of Religious Art of Alcalà de Henares!

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



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