Archive for September 5th, 2019

September 5, 2019

Las Ventas of Madrid!!!

Coming right alone , are you with me? It will be several posts on my beloved Madrid coming in the next few days. A bounty of goodness for me and hopefully can be share right with you all. Madrid to heaven and a hole on the sky to look down on it every day!

One of the cultural and historic icon of the city is the Las Ventas bullfight arena (aka Monumental). I came here often while living not far over the M30 ring road and do visit for the memories and to show my young men more about Spain.  I have written before on it with text and more info.


The inaugural poster dates back to 1931. A replica is found in the Puerta Grande ( big entrance gate). On that occasion, eight matadors took part in the first bullfight of Las Ventas on June 16. However, the official opening was in 1934. In 1947 Livinio Stuyck created the San Isidro Fair coinciding with the patron’s Saint day. It is, at present, the fair with the greatest number of celebrations.

Las Ventas is the name given to the bullring in Madrid because it was called the area in which it is located (with metro stop Ventas line 2 and 5). It currently has a capacity for 23,798 spectators, although 23,624 tickets are available at the box office. It is the largest bullring in Spain and the third largest in the world, behind Mexico and Valencia (Venezuela). The round arena of Las Ventas is the second largest in the world in terms of diameter, with 60 meters, behind that of Ronda (Spain). It was built in Neo-mudéjar style, with metal structure and brick façade.


The locations are distributed in 10 lines, grouped into three zones: shadow zone, consisting of lines 9, 10, 1 and 2; sun zone, consisting of lines 4, 5, 6 and 7; zone of sun and shade, composed of lines 3 and 8. These lines are divided in turn into locations of high and low lines, stands and barrage. The most expensive and the cheapest are the shadow entrances, the price decreases as they move away from the ring. The building consists of four floors, with circular galleries that lead to the different locations. More info below

Official Las Ventas bullfight arena Madrid


There is also a nice  Museo Taurino or Bullfighting Museum at the back, inaugurated on May 15, 1951 coinciding with the festival of San Isidro Labrador, patron of the city. Located in the Patio de Caballos offers its visitors a coherent and attractive set of bullfighting history and its relevance in the history of Spain and its culture. Indeed for those confused it should be visited, and for the lovers is a must. More here from the Madrid tourist office:  Tourist office of Madrid on the Museo Taurino


In addition, it has three cultural rooms: the Antonio Bienvenida Room, the Antoñete Room and the Cossío Room, which also houses a library with more than 2,000 volumes. In them exhibitions and informative acts take place throughout the season.


Las Ventas bullring can be visited every day from 10h to 17h30. Except for the days of celebration that the access is closed four hours before the celebration. The tour includes a visit to the Bullfighting Museum , the Grid Gate, Chapel, Nursing Hall, Alley and Arena. There is also an audio guide tour available in 8 languages (Spanish, Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese).More info here in English: Official Las Ventas tours


Another dandy place to visit in my beloved Madrid. More info on the tourist office here: Tourist office of Madrid on Las Ventas Monumental arena Madrid

And there you go, another dandy and we came by to do some historical architectural talk with my sons and had a nice lunch nearby, but that is later. Hope you enjoy it as we do

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

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September 5, 2019

Some news from France, CCXLIII

Well wait! You cannot believe will leave my belle France away for long do you? Here I am with some latest tidbits of my country and sharing with the world. The weather has become cooler now and cloudier with the sun trying to come out, now at we have 16C and only will go up to 18C in the day. This is about 62F  with about the same 64F in Paris.

So therefore, let me get right into the matter shall we!

The Saint-Lazare train station, a must-see for users of the L and J lines, has finally been equipped with validation gates. With one main objective: to fight against the fraud, which represents 63 M € of loss in gain in Ile-de-France region each year. 140 new generation porticos were therefore installed, cordoning off the station on all these accesses: under the arcades, on the transversal platform, the undergrounds and the street access to Rome. It was the last of the big Parisian stations not to be equipped with it. The installation of anti-fraud gates continues in Ile-de-France. Thirty-three other Île-de-France stations will benefit from this new equipment by 2021, ie 1,800 turnstiles replaced in total. Saint Lazare here: Transilien on Saint Lazare

The Théâtre de la Ville is moving to the Place d’Italie. The mythical theater of the Place du Châtelet (1éme) is installed in the 13éme art room, in the basement of the centre commercial Italie-2. (shopping center)More on the theater here:

Real estate: at more than 10,000 € per m2 in Paris, families are fleeing the heart of the capital. Nearly 60,000 Parisians left Paris between 2011 and 2016. Mostly families pushed to the periphery by soaring property prices. And not only Paris ,also at + 61% in Bordeaux, + 55% in Lyon, + 39% in Nantes, + 34% in Lille and Toulouse, + 31% in Rennes … According to,  And this is due to less available spaces due to restrictions on rentals bureaucracy. More here :

In Hauts de Seine 92 , Courbevoie, the generalized “turn to the right” for cyclists. Are on in the city.  The authorized crossing of the red light to turn right was successfully tested rue Jean-Pierre-Timbaud. Other traffic lights will be equipped with this sign in the coming months . More on the city of Courbevoie next to La Défense :

In Val de Maine  94 : With Heineken, Gallia craft beer will also be brewed in Sucy-en-Brie. The Dutch behemoth will invest several million euros to offer a second site in Gallia, Sucy-en-Brie (Val-de-Marne). Beer production will be multiplied by five . And more on who is Gallia here in English :

In Val d’Oise 95 at Garges-lès-Gonesse, the future of  Fort du Stains is in question. The former military base offers the city its main green space. Slightly landscaped, the fort has potential that the mayor wishes to explore. Great ideas bump into a dilapidated reality. You can enjoy the Fort du Stains for its nature but would like it more secure. The fortification dating from 1874 that was created for the protection of Paris. It was built in Garges-lès-Gonesse. The construction was completed in 1878. More in French here :

In Seine et Marne  77 at my beloved Meaux  Julien Rappeneau,  the director of “Fourmi” (Ant) who was released yesterday Wednesday  including  actor François Damiens, presented the day before the UGC feature film shot in part in the town. Julien Rappeneau, director of the cinema Mathieu Nicolas and the president of the film club Jérôme Tisserand, premiered his film “Fourmi” at the UGC Majestic. The cinema here that I came first with my dear late wife Martine on her native town !

At the Yvelines 78 in Poissy  ,the reconstruction of the Maison Eiffel (house) to be  completed in December 2019. The reconstruction of the Maison Eiffel is entering its last phase. The metal house or iron house of Poissy or Maison Eiffel, is one of the ten iron houses listed in France and built according to the process of stamped sheets made in 1889 by the Belgian engineer Joseph Dauby according to the same methods of assembly than Gustave Eiffel for the famous Parisian tower. It was abandoned in the 1980s and suffered major damage before being damaged by the storm of 1999. It was dismantled in 2016 by the technical services of the city of Poissy for a reassembly in the park Meissonier to the horizon end of 2019 and the installation of an interpretation center for architecture and heritage within its. More info in French here :

Also, in the Yvelines 78:  the A13 viaduct in Guerville is open to motorists. The commissioning was carried out this past Tuesday morning, in the direction Province-Paris. The construction site continues in the other  traffic direction Paris-Provence . More in French here :

In the Oise 6O at Compiègne  to celebrate its 40th birthday, the Espace Jean-Legendre is putting out all the guns. The end of the cultural year in the Oise dept 60  will be marked by a lively week for the largest theater in the department. It hosts an extraordinary show to celebrate its 40 years . More in French here :

Conceived as a series of explorations of a day, the walks will allow to visit the cultural places that make the Greater Paris. So put on your sneakers, and go! The Grand Paris Express rides are: (for better interpretation will put the French names afterward)

Saturday, September 7th: In the East, new cities. Pedestrian exploration (À l’Est, des villes nouvelles. Exploration pédestre)

Saturday, September 14: Between lake and river, drift through an architectural utopia (Entre lac et fleuve, dérive à travers une utopie architecturale)

Saturday, September 21: Banks of the Seine to the ghost of the Bievre (Des berges de la Seine au fantôme de la Bièvre)

Saturday, September 28: A balcony on the Seine. Ascension in the south-west of Paris (Un balcon sur la Seine. Ascension dans le sud-ouest parisien)

Saturday, October 12: The walk from line 14 north (La Balade de la ligne 14 nord)

Wednesday, October 23: The Pedestrians of Greater Paris. Walking in the metropolis (Les Piétons du Grand Paris. Marcher dans la métropole)

More info in French here :

To celebrate the TV show Friends’ 25th anniversary, USA Today has announced exclusively that the Central Park Orange Sofa will be coming to cities across the United States, Canada and Europe, including Paris! True symbol of Friends, the famous sofa in orange velvet has known many mythical scenes and cult replicas. So to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the cult series, what better than to install it directly in Paris? In total, thirty sofas made of waterproof fabric will be presented in the cult places of every major city in the world. Regarding Paris, you can find it  September 12  2019 in … the garden of the Royal Palace!  The Palais Royal web here in English :

And to show all in Paris is not glitter here is one example of changing plans on the restaurant scene

In the tranquility of the neighborhood  of Auteuil,district 16 of Paris, it is impossible to miss this double electric blue door from which music escapes. This is the entrance to Daroco, the new temple of Italian cuisine that opened on September 1st. In a decor that manages to be both chic and warm.  The story goes that In the summer of 2018, at the same location, the same entrepreneurs inaugurated Zebra with a new investor. A completely different concept of restaurant, since it was a traditional French brasserie , turn the aging brasserie into a chic and trendy place, all in marble and velvet. So what has happened to make Zebra a failure, so much so that one year after the opening, everything has to change? As the products of Zebra are provided by the cream of the producers (the meat comes from Terroirs d’Avenir, the coffee of Coutume, the salmon carries the Red label …), the prices are felt there. The average ticket is around 50 euros. In the summer of 2019, the team that originally had about fifty employees was reduced to about twenty. And the accounts are still in the red. After a market study, the three entrepreneurs note that the 16éme arrondissement is desperately short of good pizzerias. They decide to replay their trattoria on rue Vivienne to put a paint job, green plants and a pizza oven.

Webpages :

There you go France is always in my mind/ enjoy the latests and see you around soon ok. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 5, 2019

Church of Saint Sebastian, Madrid of course!

So let’s continut shall we !! Madrid is it. In my walking tours of my beloved city and with the coming of age to keep alert on the architecture all around me i come to see many buildings usually overlook. This is the case of the Church of San Sebastian  and what of history it has this little church indeed!

The Church of San Sebastián is one of the churches in the historic center of Madrid, located on Calle Atocha No. 39. It is known for housing the mortal remains of playwright Lope de Vega, although its exact situation is unknown today, and for the famous characters of all kinds that were counted among its parishioners.


The origin of its name is due to a hermitage that was on the road to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Atocha, on which it was founded in 1541. The current plot of calle Atocha was purchased in 1553, and from 1554 to 1575 the church was built. This church, retained the right of asylum, that is, those who feared the persecution of justice could take refuge in it!



Over the years, new chapels would be added: the chapel of Bethlehem or the Architects, designed by Ventura Rodríguez in 1784; the one of the Actors, projected by Silvestre Pérez; or that of the Guards, according to the Pedro Arnal project of 1793. As for the main chapel, it was carried out by Julián de Barcenilla between 1787 and 1788.


In more details these are

The Chapel of Our Lady of Bethlehem or the Architects. In it are notable architects such as Ventura Rodríguez or Juan de Villanueva. The chapel is to the right of the entrance, protected by a glazed fence. The Chapel of the Sacred Heart located to the left of the entrance. The Chapel of Our Lady of the Novena adopted by comedians (theater actors) for their devotion. The Chapel of Maravillas de Jesus (wonders of ) dedicated to the Saint Maravillas de Jesus.


Some of the famous baptisms here were those of Ramón de la Cruz (1731) Leandro Fernández de Moratín (1760) José de Echegaray (1832) Jacinto Benavente (1866) and Tirso de Molina (1579). As to funerals here were some such as Miguel de Cervantes (1616); Lope de Vega (1635) Juan Ruiz de Alarcón (1639) Ventura Rodríguez (1788) Ramón de la Cruz (1794) , and Juan de Villanueva (1811). These along should be a welcome visit by many interested in famous burials etc!

The Church of San Sebastian cemetery was located behind it, where today Calle Huertas and Calle San Sebastián meet. After its disappearance due to the remodeling of the area, it was replaced by a florist shop that has not closed even during the bombing in the Spanish Civil War. In it Lope de Vega was buried, but it is also famous because it was the scene of an overwhelming scene, then after burying the body of the well-known actress María Ignacia Ibáñez aka la Divina, her lover the writer José Cadalso, unable to withstand the loneliness that the death of her beloved produced, returned one night to the cemetery to dig up her body, being surprised by a full police action, and thanks to which he resigned to continue and return home. Interesting indeed!

The tourist office of Madrid has more on the church here: Tourist office of Madrid on the Church of Saint Sebastian

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) it is sacked shortly after its beginning, to be destroyed on the night of November 19 to 20, 1936 by a Franco’s aviation bomb. At the end of the contest it was restored between 1943 and 1959,with the changing of the orientation of the church and leaving the old tower, which was one of the highest in Madrid, sadly unfinished.

You have so much to see in this wonderful city, been coming to it since 1970 but each time it amazes me with the things to see and do, full of life vibrant lively, gorgeous just feeling need to go back lol! Enjoy the Church of Saint Sebastian at Calle Atocha Madrid!

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


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