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!

canete

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.

canete

canete

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.

canete

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

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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