Archive for September 16th, 2019

September 16, 2019

Monumento a los Caidos por España!

Now this is a monument on a very touristic area of my beloved Madrid with huge important monuments around such as the Prado Museum! However, for folks like me, this is also important to note and walking able to show to my young men sons. There is so many niches around Madrid it will be long the teachings lol!

The Monumento a los Caidos por España or  monument to the Fallen for Spain, called before 1985 obelisk or monument to the Heroes of Dos de Mayo, (heroes of May 2 Independence Day in Spain) is located in the Plaza de la Lealtad, next to the Paseo del Prado.


After several attempts to create a monument in homage to all the anonymous fighters killed during the uprising of May 2, 1808, in 1820 a contest was called for this purpose. It was resolved the following year; on April 21, 1821 the first stone was laid. On November 22, 1985, King Juan Carlos I reopened the monument, going on to devote himself to all those killed for Spain, in whose memory a gas-fueled flame was permanently burned. The work is erected in the same place where General Murat sent numerous Madrid people to be shot after May 2, 1808. A sad story by France’ Napoleon the dictator!

The body that serves as a square base to the monument has on its west face a socket that houses a sarcophagus with the ashes of the Madrid people shot on May 2. Above, the top shot of the base features a bas-relief medallion with the effigies of captains Luis Daoíz and Pedro Velarde (heroes of Madrid in that contest). On the base rests another body of smaller dimensions on whose four fronts there are allegorical statues representing Constance, Courage, Virtue and Patriotism. Finally, a stone obelisk stands 5.6 meters high. On the front base, there is the inscription, in golden letters, “Honor to all who gave their life for Spain”.

Of course, this has no tourist office reference so the above is a simple homage for me and a picture; just for the memories of our family and my blog. Hope you too can take the time and stop by to these old defenders of liberty. After all you will be right there by Prado!

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


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September 16, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral , Update Sep19!

And again on our national treasure of the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris! It is an ongoing effort by many people some not so well known but all working to make it happened as soon as possible. Still guided by the President Macron promise to do so in five years! A big effort indeed! And we count on you visitors to help too

This is an official Notre Dame Cathedral fund raiser site for foreigners: Friends of Notre Dame Cathedral donation site

On the health issues that have been printed on the media be calm all is under control now.

Health authorities announced  last Thursday, September 12, that there is “no warning signal” for children detected. The provisional assessment of lead measurements made among about 750 children attending school near the Notre-Dame Cathedral “does not issue a health warning signal” at this stage, they are indeed estimated. proportion of children exceeding the mandatory threshold for lead poisoning (50 micrograms of lead per liter of blood) remains “slightly lower” than the national average measured during a survey in 2009, according to the analysis conducted by the regional unit of Public Health France.

The huge rebuilding effort is cautiously ongoing but moving in the right direction me think

The Mikado of all dangers … The 300 tons of scaffolding built in 2018 on the roof of Notre Dame were the essential element for the restoration of the spire of the cathedral of Paris. Since the dramatic fire of April 15, this ephemeral built of 50,000 steel tubes has become a threat to the cathedral. One of the most complex aspects of the current construction site is the dismantling of this scaffold heated to more than 800 degrees, as recognize the architects responsible for this perilous operation. While this steel structure was to rise 95 meters above the ground to reach the top of the spire, the carcass that we see today above the cathedral rises to only 50 meters. A protocol of action has just been defined to remove one by one the tubes using rope access.

The prefect of the region applied the precautionary principle. But it is not sure that the lead found in all Paris comes from Notre-Dame. This imposes additional constraints on the work while they are still in an imperious phase of urgency. In these conditions, it is sometimes difficult to reconcile the work to be done because of the fragility of the monument and the optimum protection rules of the teams. Today, blood tests are done every month on workers for blood lead and they are never above average. The same is true for breathing air tests. The results are still well below the dangerous thresholds.

It is difficult to consider an end date of this consolidation period of the Notre Dame Cathedral. They will not be really reassured until mid-2020. It’s always worrying. The monument remains in danger on two levels: that of the vaults that can always fall and that of the scaffolding, which can collapse. There are nearly 200 to 300 tons of  scrap metal. As a result, during the fire, the scaffolding did not fall. But the tubes welded to each other, and were deformed. Only the side on which the arrow fell was deformed. All this makes the structure fragile. It is even miraculous that it still holds.

The finish on the laying of the floor that rests on the walls drips It already exists above the choir and above the two transepts. They will then encircle on three levels the weakened scaffolding. Then ,they will build a new scaffolding that will culminate at 50 meters and on which will rest a set of beams. This is where cord trappists can go down and cut all the tubes, one by one, from top to bottom. This operation could be completed in January 2020. That is the goal. Once past this delicate phase of dismantling the scaffolding, they  will put a first umbrella and a large umbrella higher than the existing roof before to rebuild the structures of the future frame, regardless of the chosen technique, wood , concrete or other.

And the fund raising is moving by many famous and unknown alike including yours truly!!!

In an on going effort to fund the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral forty-two works of art were auctioned this past Sunday  at Château de Chambord for a total of more than 43,000 euros for the benefit of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Among them, two manuscripts by Alain Souchon. The first of sentimental crowd, released in 1993, and the second of Hello mom, bobo in 1977, were awarded 2,200 euros. A painting by the painter Grégory Cortecero, On the road to reconstruction made using the sumi-e technique, a traditional Japanese painting movement in ink and water, was awarded 2,600 euros. In total, 21,690 euros were collected, matched at the same height by the County Council of Loir-et-Cher. The works were donated by thirty or so artists from the Val-de-Loire. This sum will enable Goudji to produce the evangelical of Notre-Dame Cathedral , a cover in which it is place the liturgical book of Christianity which contains the totality of or part of the Gospels read during the celebrations!

Louis Philippe’s carpet saved from the waters. When the huge richly woven carpet inaugurated under Louis-Philippe for the Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Paris was evacuated a few days after the fire, the fear of the Mobilier National was a rapid decay by the water. But delicate operations have saved it, before a restoration that will restore its luster .So another item saved!!!

In all, again huge effort but all worth it for a National treasure of world proportions that goes beyond faith, all are giving! And I thank you. merci de fond de mon coeur à tous!

Be there, see it feel it, share it Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris, eternal as the city of lights. And remember, happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 16, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXXIIII

Ok so not so much time from my last visit to my beloved Madrid, Spain but already some good information like to pass on to you all! And there are still some goodies from Madrid to post stay tune!!!!

There is so much to see that after living and visits there still a whole of Spain left to see; all wonderful. From the Royal Palace of Madrid to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona there are many tourist claims that have made Spain, for the third consecutive year, the best tourist destination in the world according to the Economic Forum based in Switzerland. But the country also hides other architectural jewels, many times unknown even to the natives themselves, such as these ten palaces, which despite being inhabited, can be visited. Indeed they are glorious and I have been to half of them in my years in my beloved Spain and sentimental Madrid!

The Vela de los Cobos palace, in the Renaissance style, is one of the jewels of Úbeda, Jaén owned by the Sabater family since 1873. It was designed and built in the 16C and offers visitors the opportunity to know their collections of works of art, its library, the French lounge, the gala dining room or the main staircase among other rooms. On its exterior facade three levels can be observed. In the first one a door adorned between Corinthian columns, on which two warrior sculptures are drawn that hold the heraldry of the promoter Francisco Vela de los Cobos. On the second level, balconies are located with columns that are topped with an entablature and pediment, and decorated with wrought iron railings. And in the highest zone, there is a column gallery supported by pilasters. You can book a group visit at Semer, a tourist services company located in front of the palace. Duration: 1 hour Prices: General (guided by the palace owner): 4 euros. Contact information: Telephone:+34  953750034 / 953757916 Email:  Web:

In my nostalgic heraldic area in the municipality of Viso del Marqués in Ciudad Real ,region of Castilla-La Mancha is the Palace of the Marquises of Santa Cruz, It was built between 1564 and 1588 by order of Álvaro de Bazán, first Marquis of Santa Cruz and admiral of The Navy, who, due to his long stays in Italy and influenced by the tastes of the time, hired a select group of Italian artists for the work of these 8,000 square meters. The Palace consists of two floors and most of its rooms, as well as the high and low galleries, including the staircase, are painted in fresco. It currently houses the Archives of the Museum of the Navy Don Álvaro de Bazán. Contact information: Telephone: +34 926 33 75 18 or email: and web:

In Meirá parish of La Coruña, there is the Pazo de Meirás, a stately mansion built at the end of the 19C on the ruins of an old fortification that was destroyed by French troops in 1809 during the War of Independence. It consists of three uneven crenellated towers linked by a lower building body. The whole pazo is surrounded by a large estate with forests and gardens. The property was originally from the family of Emilia Pardo Bazán where the writer spent long periods and had, in one of the towers, her private library. In 1939 it was donated to the Franco family, (Gen Franco with great controversy) that has used it since then as a summer residence. open to the public four days a month for at least four hours. To arrange a visit can be made by phone +34 686612717 or email  Web:

Dueñas Palace is undoubtedly one of the best known in Seville owned by the house of Alba since 1612. Built between the 15C and 16C, the Dueñas Palace takes its name from the disappeared monastery of Santa María de las Dueñas, located in the adjoining site and demolished in 1868. In the 19C Dueñas was converted into a house of neighbors, its rooms compartmentalized with partitions and coffered ceilings covered with ceilings. Curiously, one of the tenants, and administrator of the Palace, was Antonio Machado Álvarez whose circumstance allowed the birth of one of the greatest Spanish poets, Antonio Machado in 1875!   In the 20C Las Dueñas has been a meeting place for members of European dynasties and diverse personalities from the world of culture, politics and international art. They have visited the palace, or resided there, such illustrious characters as Empress Eugenie de Montijo, the English politician and hispanist, Lord Holland, Edward VIII and his brother George VI, Alfonso XIII, Jacqueline Kennedy, Wallis Simpson, Grace Kelly and her husband Prince Rainier of Monaco, among others. Web:

The palace of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia is located in the Spanish city of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in the Andalusian province of Cádiz. It is currently home to the Casa Medina Sidonia Foundation. It was built in Renaissance style by the house of Medina Sidonia in the sixteenth century, on the structure of what appears to be an old Andalusian ribat or Alcazar of the twelfth century. The former palatine chapel of the Medina Sidonia, founded in 1493, was located. At present, there is a hostel located in the west wing of the old Muslim ribat that has nine rooms integrated in the former offices of the dukes and administrators of the House. The lodge, which is open all year and has a tea room surrounded by gardens and arched galleries, all located in the area of ​​the Arab ribat at the end of the 11th century.

In Madrid of 1753 ,when  in the capital of Spain there were still orchards and plots where to build, the Palace of Fernán Núñez stands as the house of Blas Jover, a member of the Ferdinand VI Council, at Calle de Santa Isabel ,44. In 1769, after several transfers of the property, Miguel José María de la Cueva, XIII Duke of Alburquerque and IV Marquis de la Mina, acquired and transformed the house. In 1803 he dies and, due to inheritance problems, the building is used as a barracks, hospital and housing. In 1815, Felipe María Osorio de la Cueva, VII count of Cervellón, inherited the palace by reforming it into the current romantic-style building articulated in two areas: the noble and the service that is now destined for offices. Currently, the palace, owned by Adif and Renfe, and is the headquarters of the Spanish Railways Foundation. Guided tours for organized groups with a maximum of 25 visitors per group. Price of the guided tour: € 125 / group. For more information about the visits or about spaces for the organization of events you can call tel.+34  91 151 10 82 or send an email to: web:

The palace of the Duques (Dukes) of Villahermosa rises in the town of Pedrola, Zaragoza. In the Renaissance style, the palace was built on the site of a 12C castle. The palace was carefully restored by Pilar Azlor de Aragón and her children. Currently it is intended for housing and the celebration of weddings and banquets. Guided tours can be done in two ways: By contacting the City of Pedrola at +34 976 61 91 88 (House of Culture) or, in case you want to arrange a visit outside the hours offered by the town hall, sending an email   indicating name and contact telephone number. Also for info use this email:  Web:

The Marivent Palace is the summer residence of the Spanish Royal Family in Palma de Mallorca and although the interior of the palace is not open to the public it is possible to visit the Marivent gardens. Visitors can walk through an area of more than 9,000 square meters through which you can see more than 40 species of flora characteristic of the Mediterranean garden. Admission is free and the Government of the Balearic Islands, owner of the complex, has accommodated benches and info panels for visitor enjoyment. Like any public garden, they are open all year except the 15 days that coincide with Holy Week and from July 15 to September 15 coinciding with the visit of the kings.More info on this hotel chain Barcelo on the palace in english:

It is worth visiting in Salamanca  the Monterrey Palace, located in the city center just 50 meters from the Plaza Mayor, owned by the Casa de Alba. The palace was built by the will of the third count of Monterrey, Don Alonso de Acevedo y Zúñiga, who commissioned the project in 1539. The architectural style of the palace responds to one of the greatest exponents of the Spanish plateresque, formed of three bodies crowned with two towers and decorated with beautiful crests and chimneys. In the upper corners of the towers are the coats of arms of the III Earl of Monterrey. The built and preserved part shows a lower body of medieval imprint that contrasts with the beautifully decorated upper part.  Part of the collection of the Casa de Alba Foundation, decorates the halls and spaces of the tour, such as the landscapes of José de Ribera, the portrait of the III Duke of Alba by Sánchez Coello, that of the Santa Teresa de Carreño de Miranda or oil paintings of Salvatore Rosa, Titian and other Spanish and foreign artists. The gallery is accompanied by a rich set of decorative arts from porcelain pieces and tiles from Talavera de la Reina to confectioners with heraldic shields, family busts, taracea furniture, baroque furniture mixed with Italian pieces and Mudejar coffered ceilings, among many other works of Art. The visits will be guided and with previous reservation that can be made in the Tourist Information Office. Group visits, always accompanied by an official guide. Email:  Telephone:+34  923 21 83 42. Web:

Last but not least, and my nostalgic favorite in Madrid. The Palacio de Liria, of the Casa de Alba, is one of the most important private residences in Madrid. It was built between 1767 and 1785 by order of the III Duke of Berwick and Liria, Mr. Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Colón under the direction of the architect Ventura Rodríguez. In November 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, the palace suffers several fires that destroy the entire interior, leaving only its four facades standing. Most of the collection was saved and protected in different places in Madrid, such as the British Embassy, ​​the Prado Museum and the Bank of Spain, among others.

The reconstruction was carried out by the XVII Duke of Alba, Mr. Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, work that culminated in the XVIII Dukes, Mrs. Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart and Mr. Luis Martínez de Irujo. The architect Manuel Cabanyes, was in charge of building the new Palacio de Liria, who, using the original plans, modified its main staircase, the chapel and the hallway. Today it is the residence of the 19th Duke of Alba, Don Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, and headquarters of the Casa de Alba Foundation, and is one of the most important architectural buildings in Madrid, housing one of the most outstanding private art collections in the world. I have already said in my post about it that will open to the public since September 19!  But take it from the Duke itself «I live in Liria since 1956, when the house was inaugurated for my first communion. Now it may sound a little … 19C, right? But that is what happened, I came on the day of my first communion and I have been here since then ». Who remembers that day of his childhood is Carlos Fitz-James Stuart and Martínez de Irujo, the 19th Duke of Alba, The Duchy of Alba was born in 1472 and its six centuries are of the greatest historical relevance in Spain. Between these walls the Empress Eugenia de Montijo died (Empress of the French wife of Napoleon III). With the money of the tickets, 14 euros (reduced, 12), it will help its conservation. Indeed all worth it, enjoy it.

This is the Alba foundation site for the two last properties listed here.

Hope you enjoy the post and think of things to do in Spain on your next visit, I have mine already lol!! Spain everything under the Sun!

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

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