Archive for January, 2020

January 31, 2020

Sephardic and Councilor museums of Toledo!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain. And many times visited with family nearby over the years, and of course, never enough written on it or pictures! I do have several posts on the city of Toledo, Castilla La Mancha , Spain. I will try to tell you in my next posts the arts and museums of Toledo, but first a bit about the city’s location, good by train and already a post on that over the years the car is my second home.

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42.

The general tourist office information is here:

Tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Toledo: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/toledo/

And continuing in my lovely Toledo and with family not far for yeeears of visits it never get me tired of visiting Toledo, for now its a must when in Spain. In the off the beaten paths and not so beaten let me continue with the wonderful museums of the Sephardic Jews and the Councilors of Toledo.

The Museo Sefardí or Sephardic Museum occupies the old Convent of Knights of Calatrava, annex to the Synagogue of the Transit, and it shows historical, religious aspects and of the customs of the Jewish past in Spain, as well as of the Sephardim, the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian peninsula until 1492. In 19642, it was decided that the Synagogue of the Transit or synagogue of Samuel ha-Leví be the seat of the Sephardic museum, which aims to preserve the legacy of the Hispanic-Jewish and Sephardic culture so that it is integrated as essential part of the Spanish Historical Heritage, a task that it performs until today.

toledo

 

The first room shows the history, geography and culture of the Jewish people in the Ancient Near East, where, according to biblical writings, traditions that last in their daily lives originated. Archaeological objects dated between 2000 BC are shown. and the first century A.D. as well as a wide variety of cultural objects related to what it is and what it means to be Jewish, your beliefs and customs. It highlights a Torah, the sacred book of Judaism, formed by the Pentateuch and other liturgical objects.

In the northern courtyard, as a necropolis, some of the tombstones of Jewish characters from various parts of Spain are exposed. In the east courtyard the archaeological remains of some possible public baths of the old Jewish quarter of Toledo and the floor of the old hejal (main wall) of the synagogue are preserved.

toledo

The women’s gallery, a special room for liturgical monitoring by the female gender that has the synagogue. As in other cultures, Judaism does not allow women to follow the liturgy from the prayer hall. In this space, which preserves part of its original plasterwork decoration, showcases related to the daily life of the Sephardim are shown: their birth, education, main parties, death, etc.

Tourist office of Toledo: Tourist office of Toledo on the Museo Sefardi

Ministry of Culture and Sports of SpainMinistry of Culture and Sports of Spain on the Museo Sefardi

The Museo de los Concilios or Councilor museum and the Visigoth culture, located in the Church of San Román, has Romanesque paintings from the 13C and an important collection, original and replicas, of goldsmith Visigoth, along with other archaeological finds dated between the 6C to 8C. The Visigothic Council and Culture Museum was created in 1969 as a subsidiary of the Santa Cruz Museum. Having its headquarters in the Church of San Román, it is also known as the San Román Museum. The museum opened in 1971.

toledo

The museum in the Church of San Román of which the church origins,are only partial data, could be traced back to the Visigothic period, since a crypt identified as an apse was discovered under the main chapel in 1968 built at that time, although some hypotheses attributed to Roman times by the vaults that support the staircase of the tower. Later it was perhaps used as a mosque since until 1572 Islamic sepulchral lauds were preserved in it. Documentary it is cited as a Latin parish for the first time in the early   12C, in 1125, although the current parish corresponds to the church consecrated in 1221. The tradition places in this church the proclamation of Alfonso VIII as heir of Castile in 1161 by the mayor of Toledo Esteban Illán, buried in one of the chapels.

toledo

 The structure is simple: it has a basilica plan with three naves, the tallest and widest central, separated by horseshoe-shaped arches with alternate segments framed in alfiz. They are supported on columns of Roman shaft attached to brick pillars, on which twelve capitals of different sizes are located, of which five are Visigoths, six Mozarabic 9-10C, and one of Byzantine tradition.

toledo

The materials that are exhibited in the Museum of the Visigothic Councils and Culture, and that testify to the importance of the Visigothic court of Toledo from the last third of the 6C, come from the funds of the Museum of Santa Cruz, (see this post)  coming from excavations taken to out in the province of Toledo (Vega Baja, Bayuela Castle, Carpio de Tajo, etc.). All the exhibited pieces are the only vestige that are conserve of what were the civil and religious constructions of the city in Visigothic time, since no original construction is still standing. Museography distributes the archaeological pieces in different thematic blocks that help us understand the general characteristics of the Visigothic culture and its material expressions. 

It was essential to dedicate a section in the Councilor museum , understood as assemblies of bishops and nobles presided over by the king, continuing the Roman synodal tradition. Although the celebration of the Councils of Toledo begins already under Roman rule, it will be with the consolidation of the Visigothic state when they receive a real boost. In this sense it is necessary to highlight the celebration of the Third Council, in 589, in which King Recaredo formalized his conversion and that of the Godo people to Catholicism, abandoning Arianism. As of this moment the integration of the Hispanic-Romans in the Visigothic state took place!

Tourist office of Toledo: Tourist office of Toledo on the Museo de los Concilios

And there you go something unique in my lovely Toledo, both must to see. The museums are great but they are in historical architecturally stunning buildings they are awesome, not to mention the goodies inside. Hope you have enjoyed the Sefardi and Concilios museums of Toledo

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

 

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January 31, 2020

San Clemente and Santa Cruz, events and museum of Toledo!!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain. And many times visited with family nearby over the years, and of course, never enough written on it or pictures! I do have several posts on the city of Toledo, Castilla La Mancha , Spain. I will try to tell you in my next posts the arts and museums of Toledo, but first a bit about the city’s location, good by train and already a post on that over the years the car is my second home.

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42.

The general tourist office information is here:

Tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Toledo: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/toledo/

Ok so it sounds like religious and indeed they are in those old buildings but they are , also, cultural center of San Clemente (St Clement) and Santa Cruz museum (Holy Cross) and I like to tell you a bit more on them from my lovely Toledo and beloved Spain.

The Museo Santa Cruz Museum takes its name from the building that serves as its headquarters, the old Hospital of Santa Cruz, founded by Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza as a general hospital and for the reception of exposed children. The building was built in the first decades of the 16C, after the death of its founder, and constitutes one of the architectural masterpieces of the Spanish Renaissance. It has a Greek cross plan with two floors, a large central cruise open to both floors and a total of eight bays, plus another room above the hall, all covered with wooden roofs. It also has two cloistered courtyards arranged between its arms. Its magnificent cover, dedicated to the devotion of the Holy Cross, the main cloister and the splendid staircase of Covarrubias, in the main courtyard, justify by itself the visit to this Museum.

Toledo

toledo

Tourist office of ToledoTourist office of Toledo on Santa Cruz museum

The San Clemente Cultural Center dependent on the Provincial Council of Toledo is located in the Plaza de Padilla, in the historic center of the city , and is part of the Imperial Monastery of San Clemente.

toledo

Two courtyards appear as organizing elements of the set. The main one is of enormous dimensions and can be considered as the true heart of the convent. It consists of two overlapping floors, with semicircular arches and in the upper architraves. The supports are carved stone columns. The second patio is simpler. The floor below has semicircular arches and the upper architrave with stone columns and brick walls. But what stands out above all is the enormous beauty of the Plateresque cover. In the 12C this convent already existed but in the 16C various modifications are made

In an important part of the Convent of San Clemente, the Cultural Center is installed, where the Library, the Restoration Unit and the Exhibition Center of the Provincial Council of Toledo are located. This Center regularly hosts exhibitions of the works of artists born or resident in our province, although other authors also participate in these exhibitions, less frequently. Sometimes they are already established artists and other young people who begin their artistic career and thus have the opportunity to bring their work to Toledo and many visitors that the city receives in consequence.

toledo

Deputy council of Toledo: Deputy council of Toledo on the San Clemente center

Cultural site on San ClementeTouristic guide of Toledo on the San Clemente center

There you go again some wonderful places to see and visit in my lovely Toledo, beloved Spain, never short of off the beaten path things to see and Toledo has a bookful!! Enjoy it

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

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January 31, 2020

A hospital and a fortress, museums of Toledo, Spain!!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain. And many times visited with family nearby over the years, and of course, never enough written on it or pictures! I do have several posts on the city of Toledo, Castilla La Mancha , Spain. I will try to tell you in my next posts the arts and museums of Toledo, but first a bit about the city’s location, good by train and already a post on that over the years the car is my second home.

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42.

The general tourist office information is here:

Tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Toledo: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/toledo/

Let me give you a bit more on the Alcazar and the Tavera hospital of Toledo! enjoy it so much in my lovely Toledo and beloved Spain!

At the Alcazar rebuilt in the 20C with traces going back to the 16C, and now housing since 2010 the Museo del Ejercito or Army Museum, another must to see in town.

Toledo

The Army Museum of Spain, is the result of the merger of various military museums created throughout the 19C and early 20C. Its founding nucleus is constituted by that of Artillery and Engineers.

Toledo

In 1803, at the request of Godoy (prime minister of Spain), the Royal Military Museum was created in Madrid, the most remote antecedent of the current Army Museum. It is one of the oldest Spanish museums and responds to the interest in Europe of the time for the conservation and dissemination of objects related to military history. Organically it depends on the Institute of Military History and Culture of the Army. The main areas here which is vast to cover on this post are the Old Tercios (army third battalions of Spain), the Royal Room ,Archaeological Remains, the Puerta de   Covarrubias gate , the Courtyard of Carlos V , and my favorite the history of artillery.

Official Army museumOfficial Army museum in English

Tourist office of ToledoTourist office of Toledo on the Army museum

The Hospital of San Juan Bautista is one of the most beautiful and representative monuments of the Spanish Renaissance that, in addition, exhibits, in a palatial atmosphere, an extraordinary pictorial, sculptural and movable collection of the Golden Age and the only hospital pharmacy of that time preserved entirely.

The first completely classic building in Castilla, also known as Tavera or Outskirts Hospital, because it is located outside the city, in front of the Bisagra gate, was born in the 16C with a double function: hospital for “the headdresses of different diseases ”and pantheon of its founder, Cardinal Juan Pardo Tavera. Its construction opens, in 1540, the program of architectural and urban renewal that the circle of humanists who surrounded the Emperor Carlos V projected to adapt the image of Toledo to his role as Imperial Capital.   This building began to be built in 1541.

Toledo

The museum exhibits, in addition to an important collection of Flemish furniture and tapestries from the 16-17C, the aforementioned art gallery that gathers works by El Greco, Luca Giordano, Zurbarán, Tintoretto, Pantoja de la Cruz, Carreño de Miranda, Sánchez Coello, etc. In the museum there is a large archive of documents and numerous artistic works of great value are preserved: paintings by El Greco, Ribera, Tintoretto, Luca Giordano, Tiziano, Snyders and Jacopo Bassano, among others. They stand out one of the few portraits painted by Zurbarán and a copy of Carlos V on horseback in Mühlberg, of Tiziano (Prado Museum), painted by Sánchez Coello. Equally exceptional is the sculpture of the Risen Christ, by El Greco. In addition, it houses the building of the old pharmacy of the hospital. The unique spatial richness of the Tavera Hospital is evidenced in its courtyards, in the long bays of the old infirmary, church, sacristy, crypt allowing us to enjoy the beauty of the works of art that it treasures as the Sepulcher of Cardinal Tavera, work of Alonso de Berruguete, or the altarpiece of the Church, iconographic project of El Greco.

Toledo

The Tavera Hospital building also houses the Historical Archive of the Nobility, a center under the Ministry of Culture and Sports (Government of Spain). In 1988, the State signed an agreement with the Ducal House of Medinaceli, owner of the building, whereby a part of it was ceded to house the Nobility Section of the National Historical Archive, which began operating in 1993 in its new offices, through the transfer of various noble funds that were guarded in the National Historical Archive. Since 2017, this center has been called the Historical Archive of the Nobility. It houses 270 noble archives, whose consultation is free and free, from Monday to Friday from 8h30 to 14h30. You can also visit their exhibitions. More on the nobility part here in Spanish: Minister of Culture and sports of Spain on the national nobility archive in Toledo

Tourist office of ToledoTourist office of Toledo on Tavera Hospital

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Tavera hospital and museum: Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Tavera hospital museum

There you a proper combination of army museum and hospital museum in lovely Toledo and my beloved Spain, hope you enjoy it

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

 

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January 30, 2020

Museums of Segovia!!!

So here I am back in one of my favorite towns of my beloved Spain. I don’t have to repeat myself when I came here first and my memories with family here always coming from Madrid where I used to lived.

There are many things to see in Segovia, not just the major tourist attractions that are also major monuments in the history of our Spain. I can only recall the Chapel of Santa Barbara in the Cathedral , who is the Patron Saint of my native town. etc. However,there are museums too and very good ones indeed.

I like to tell you a bit on the museums of Segovia at least my favorite ones.

The Museo de Segovia museum in the Casa del Sol is a cultural institution of the Spanish State managed by the Autonomouse community of Castilla y León, which guards the arts of the province of Segovia. Throughout its history it has had several denominations, Museum of Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts or Provincial Museum, as well as various headquarters from the initial in the episcopal palace in 1842, passing through the Church of San Facundo 1845 and the House del Hidalgo 1967 , until settling in the Casa del Sol or sun house dating from king Enrique IV times.

The building, nestled in a ram in the western section of the medieval wall, is a reform of the old slaughterhouse; the Casa del Sol museum made between 1986 and 2006.  The Museum is made up of some 1,500 pieces with archaeological, ethnological and fine art backgrounds from the Segovian region. The archaeological pieces range from the Paleolithic, through Celtiberian, Roman, Visigoth, Islamic, to the Christian era. The collection of sculptures, paintings and decorative arts come from the Spanish confiscation of the 19C. The permanent exhibition is organized in 7 rooms on 4 floors.

Segovia

They are as on the ground floor: Room A. “Segovia in time. The roots of History” (Geology, Geochronology, Geography and Landscape). Room B. “From the First Villagers to the Altomedieval World” (Prehistory, Ancient History and Visigothic Period). Room C. La Piedra Labrada (Ancient, medieval Lapidary and Barral collection, in the courtyard).

Upstairs: Room D. “The Low Middle Ages. Church, Nobility and Pueblo Llano”. (From Islam to the 16C: Romanesque, Gothic and Mudejar. Painting. The Lord and the War. Castles and Alcázares. Departure to the Adarve. The Grinding and its Measures. Grazing, Mesta and Transhumance Wool and Dresses (Batanes, looms and Knitting Machines).

Mezzanine I: Room E. “Renaissance and Baroque. The Austrias”. La Estampa.Arquitectura: the New Cathedral. Painting. Hydraulic Energy and its Technique: Numismatics in Segovia. Navafría Copper Martinete.

Mezzanine II: Room F. Sculpture of the 15-16C. Room G. “The Bourbons and the Enlightenment. The 20C”. The constructions of the Bourbon Segovia. The Royal Factories: La Granja, El Aserrío de Valsaín and the Cloths of Laureano Ortiz de Paz. Popular pottery (highlighting the Fernando Arranz collection). Traditional clothing Contemporary painting and sculpture.

And great views over Segovia and the Cathedral from the museum!!!

Segovia

Tourist office of Segovia on the Museum

Official museums of Castilla y Leon on the Museum of Segovia

Another wonderful building that I came straight for it is the Casa Museo Antonio Machado , one of Spain leading poet/writer.  He first came here in November 25 , 1919 to hold a place as professor of French in the Instituto General y Técnico where he stayed until 1932.  And even thus he leaves the city in September 1932 to teach French in the Instituto Calderón de la Barca in Madrid. He did came back for visits afterwards; Segovia keeps a very big heart for him. He was actually born in Sevilla in 1875 , and founder of the Spanish Modernismo been part of the famous Generation of ’98 and member of the Spanish Royal Academy.

Segovia

From 1949, Segovian friends of the poet decided to ensure that the building did not disappear. In 1951, they bought the apartment, then in 1974, they bought the whole house. They make it a house-museum. Visitors can view the writings and personal belongings of Antonio Machado. Original objects are still there, such as the iron bed, furniture or the oil heater. A bust of the poet made by the sculptor Ignacio Barral is placed in the access garden. The house-museum is administered by the Real Academia de Historia y Arte de San Quirce. Antonio Machado was a member of this cultural institution, along with other intellectuals from the province. Their webpage is here: Real Academia de San Quince on house museum of Antonio Machado

Segovia

One of the poems I always remember was dedicated to the assassination of another great Poet/writer of Spain, Federico Garcia Lorca in the early stages of the Spanish Civil War, “El Crimen fue en Granada” = Se le vio, caminando entre fusiles, por una calle larga, salir al campo frío, aún con estrellas de la madrugada. Mataron a Federico cuando la luz asomaba” IN short, it translates as, The crime was in Granada.  He was seen walking amongt rifles on a long street, going out into the cold field still with stars of the night. They killed Federico when the daylight looms. One of my favorite poets of Spain.  There is a guide map where you can trace the walks of his daily routines in the city ask the tourist office.

Segovia

Tourist office of Segovia on the House Museum of Antonio Machado

Tourist office of Province of Segovia on the House Museum of Antonio Machado

And there you go , there is arts in Segovia and very good ones indeed. Hope you have the time to enjoy them. My favorite museums of Segovia.

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

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January 30, 2020

Gates of Segovia!

And on my nostalgic run of my beloved Spain, I got out of the vault two nice gates that are in Segovia. Well, a very popular city and on certain times heavily loaded with the hordes of tourists. However, away from the center there are nice curiosities to see.

One of my fond moments is to walk in a city once arriving by car. We walk all over and passed by some interesting monuments like the Puerta de Madrid and Puerta de San Andrés I like to tell you a bit more on them. Hope you enjoy it

First, we go by car from Madrid entering Segovia by Calle de Jose Zorilla and just landed at the underground parking of Ezequiel Gonzalez and then walk all over. The parking is located on Calle Barreros corner of Paseo Ezequiel Gonzalez; more here: http://www.turismodesegovia.com/inicio/servicios-basicos/

The Puerta del Mercado (Market), as the current Puerta de Madrid was first called, began to be built in 1703 and was completed in April 2004, being one of the last Baroque works in the city of Segovia.

The Puerta de Madrid is actually, more than a gate, a triumphal arch made in commemoration of the legendary, heroic and decisive action for the conquest of Madrid, carried out by the Segovian captains Fernán García and Día Sanz. According to legend, when King Alfonso VI was preparing to conquer Madrid, he brought together the council militias, arriving late from the Segovians sent by captains Fernán García de la Torre and Día Sanz de Quesada. When they asked the king to stay in the royal camp, he, annoyed at this delay, told them to do so in Madrid, words they took as an order and, after assaulting the Madrid walls, they alone took the city. Then, they informed the king of their action, telling him that he could already stay in Madrid, being rewarded by the monarch in a remarkable way.

Segovia

The Puerta de Madrid was built around an arch formed by padded ashlars that is framed between straight pilasters. On the ledge, located on a false entablature, are the sculptures that serve as the auction of the monument. In the center, crowned by balls, there are two different shields, one on each side of the door: the royal shield is the one that faces the outside of the city and the shield of Segovia is the one that looks towards the inside of it. On both sides of the latter, there are two dressed figures, armed with spears and protected with medieval armor that represent the captains Fernán García and Día Sanz, who seem to be watching outside the city while guarding the shields located between them. The whole set is built in limestone, with the exception of the lower part of it, the pedestals in the case of pilasters, which is granite. On the sides of this triumphal arch, the presence of two buttresses endow it with greater strength and stability.

Tourist office of Segovia on the Puerta de Madrid

We walked passed the Puerta San Andrés . The Puerta San Andrés allows access to the city through the wall. It is located near the old Jewish quarter. It gave way to the orchards and planting lines of the Clamores valley. Its current aspect is due to the reform that was carried out in the construction at the time of the Catholic Monarchs. That happened between the end of the 15C and the beginning of the 16C.  From this point we will clearly see, right in front, the Jewish cemetery popularly known as “El Pinarillo”.

Segovia

The Puerta San Andrés gate retains Romanesque-Mudejar remains. It is formed by two towers: one of square plant, that is united to the wall; and another polygonal plant with cross bolts, which is exposed to the outside. Between them there is a passage crowned by a semicircular arch with an embedded royal shield. There is also a tall body with windows and battlements. On the top there is a cornice of pyramid balls and battlements. On the inside of the arch there is still a small chapel with the image of the Virgen del Socorro, which is why the Gate is also known as the Arco del Socorro (Helps gate) , and also has been known with the names Puerta de la Juderia or Jewish quarter gate. From there it is possible to see one of the sides of the Cathedral of Segovia and its tower.

Tourist office of Segovia on the Puerta de San Andrés

So there you go if you want to see the lovely Segovia and away from the main points of popular monuments (that you must see as well) than do a bit of walking and see these wonderful monuments of the Puerta de Madrid and Puerta de San Andrés.

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

 

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January 30, 2020

Events and Theater at Toledo! Spain that is!!!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain. And many times visited with family nearby over the years, and of course, never enough written on it or pictures! I do have several posts on the city of Toledo, Castilla La Mancha , Spain. I will try to tell you in my next posts the arts and museums of Toledo, but first a bit about the city’s location, good by train and already a post on that over the years the car is my second home.

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42 .

The general tourist office information is here:

Tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Toledo: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/toledo/

On this post let me bring you/me up to date on the wonderful building we find there and often overlook by the hordes of visitors, as I call it , the off the beaten paths sites. Let me tell you a bit more on the Circulo de Arte and the Teatro Rojas of Toledo.

The Circulo de Arte or Circle of Art in Toledo is located in the Plaza San Vicente, 2 in the Old Parish of San Vicente which was founded by King Alfonso VI after conquering the Moors the city of Toledo for the kingdom of Castile.

Toledo

The building has undergone, for centuries, different reconstructions, transformations and additions. Its current main façade, in which Roman reliefs and embedded Visigoths can be noticed, either as an ornament or as reused materials, conceals the originality with added constructions, being its oldest element preserved a splendid apse, from the 13C, of which already in the 15C by a recess of the street, was discovered its foundation platform, giving it its current slenderness and appearance of the Mudejar tower. In the Baroque era, a large stone shield and two openings were incorporated on the axis with the purpose of illuminating the main chapel and a lower chamber, being blind only a third crypt and sepulchral located in turn under both underground level to the current street. This peculiar apse is known in Toledo as “cubillo de San Vicente” (or cubism) , being one of the most valuable Mudejar remains of the ancient city. The temple consists of a single nave, the original of the Mudejar building, with side chapels on one side, separated from it by rectangular pillars on which semicircular horseshoe arches lean towards the ship and semi-circular townhouses towards these chapels that had to be added towards the second half of the 14C.

The church was desacralized in 1842 and, once the parish was abolished, it acquired over time various uses such as the museum of religious art, municipal warehouse, or classrooms of the University of Toledo, currently being the headquarters of the Toledo Circle of Art, and serving for artistic expression, cultural promotion, nightlife and the exercise of free thinking.

The central nave (Green) has an area of 222 m2, with a capacity for 450 standing persons and about 150 seated. The lateral nave (Purple) has an area of 53 m2 where the cafeteria is located. The stage (Blue) has an area of 54 m2, prepared with the appropriate technologies to carry out any type of event.

Official Circulo de ArteOfficial Circulo de Arte de Toledo

The Teatro Rojas Theater first opened in 1879 on the old comedy corral called Mesón de la Fruta and several architects participated in its construction. It is named in honor of the Toledo playwright Francisco de Rojas. The theater was inaugurated on October 19, 1879, with the representation of the work of Francisco de Rojas, drama de honor Del Rey abajo ninguno. Or the drama of honor of the King below none.

Toledo

Talía, the muse of the theater, and a series of medallions in which we see great authors of Spanish theater, such as Tirso de Molina, Calderón de la Barca or Francisco de Rojas, who gives name to the theater appear in the paintings on the ceiling. The sills of the boxes, the thin iron columns, the mouth of the stage with the stage boxes and, finally, the spectacular curtain, make this room an important piece within the particular panorama of the Spanish municipal theater of the 19C.

Official Teatro Rojas: Official Teatro Rojas de Toledo

A culture site of Castilla La Mancha with a wonderful picture of it: Culture of Castilla La Mancha on Teatro Rojas of Toledo

And there you go two wonderful buildings to add to your long list of things to see in my wonderful Toledo. Hope you enjoy it as we do

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

 

 

 

 

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January 29, 2020

Torre del Reloj or clock tower, Jaca!

So let me bring you back to my vault of memories in my beloved Spain. I just happened to see a program on TV about it and told me hey I have pictures and very little coverage in my blog so here I am to tell you a bit more on it.

I like to tell you about the Torre del Reloj or clock tower of the wonderful Jaca, near the Pyrenees! And our road warrior architecturally, historically wonderful trips to my Spain.

Jaca is in the province of Huesca in the autonomous region of Aragon, On the axe Pau Zaragoza passing by the Somport tunnel (way back when I started coming here just pushing 2nd gear over the mountain trails!). It is in the heart of the Pyrénées in the valley of Aragon, parallel valley to the axis of the Pyrenees, at the foot of Mount Oroel. The city is on a depression of the Canal of Berdùn 818 meters below sea level. It is part of the metro area of the north of Aragon in the Jacetania.

By road as we do, we take it from France under Somport tunnel with the N134 France and then come out with the N330 Spain to direction Huesca, Zaragoza taken the panels for Jaca. (future expressway under construction as we passed last year with the new A21 linking all the major towns in Aragon, Navarra, and beyond. Stay tune for this

You can see the quaint Torre del Reloj or clock tower built in 1445 in Gothic style on the same spot of the Palace of the Aragonese kings that was destroyed by fire in 1395. It was once used as a prison. Then a work office of the region of Aragon, and since 1986 the HQ of the European Council Pyrenean Work Community. It can be seen Inside too by Calle(street)  Sancho Ramirez.

Jaca

It is a rectangular tower, built with irregular stones and great slenderness. It is divided internally into four floors, illuminated by Gothic windows, some with tracery or geminates. The entrance gate is located on the north face at ground level and consists of a semicircular arch. In the recent restoration both the spire (currently covered with a four-sided roof) and the clock were removed.

Jaca

It is in a nice walkable area of many things to see which I have written in my blog before and great places to eat , take a look. The clock tower is imposing as you turn the corner on the street and it is worth a detour to see it me think. Hope you enjoy

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Jaca on the clock tower

Tourist office of Jacetania on the clock tower in English

There you go a nice monument me think on wonderfully beautiful old Jaca a must to visit while in my beloved Spain.

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

 

 

 

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January 29, 2020

Village de l’An Mil at Merland!!

And of course, there is always one major site or event that brings me out to these back woods of my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne in my belle France. I was out shopping with my Dad and boys, and why not just a bit more and we reach a curiosity spot for me.

I have passed by this place many times and always intrigue by the name Village de l’An Mil or town of the year one thousand……so I put my car to good use and follow the signs to it at Melrand. (See previous post on the little town).

Actually to get here by car is easy for me. Just go northwards on the road D768 past Baud and into the D142 to St Barthélemy, here you hit right on the town of Melrand and on its city center take direction Village de l’An Mil on the rural road D2 and we get there in about 32 minutes ;nice country ride up hills and vast flat farms all around you, the good life!

melrand

Oh yes and the Village de l’An Mil is the main thing to see and come here me think .

The Village de l’An Mil or village of the year 1000 is an archaeological site and a village-museum reconstructing the 11C habitat, located in Lann Gouh (the exact country site and village) in the town of Melrand . The archaeological site occupies an area of approximately 1.5 ha, on a plateau peaking at 112 meters above sea level. It is a deserted medieval village of seventeen buildings. The ruins, clearly visible and perfectly preserved, show only the walls of the houses, the hearths and the floors, delimiting circulation spaces or private courtyards. The houses are at most 11 meters long and 6 meters wide. The walls had an average height of 80 centimeters for a width of 60 centimeters. In local gray granite, they were very well built, an interior facing and an exterior facing enclosing an internal blocking of all comings.

melrand

In the center of the houses is the foyer, which is in the form of granite blocks drawing a circle, a rectangle or a square. The floors of the houses are very slight. They are therefore mixed houses, humans housed in the upper part when the animals are in the lower part. This configuration allows the heat of the animals to warm humans and to avoid the inhabitants from wading in the excrement. The living never having to go through the same door as a dead person, this door was only dismantled on the occasion of a death to take the unhappy out without the living having to suffer. Inside the buildings, a layer of granite arena restores the ground surface in order to differentiate it from the outside of the houses. The remains of a common bread oven, collapsed vault in a circle of about 3 meters in diameter in granite surmounted by a heap of earth, are still visible. This vault was in cob, mixture of very clay soil and crushed plants.

melrand

Near the ruins, an experimental archaeological farm occupies ten hectares, presenting to the public the life of a medieval farm. The garden presents plants (medicinal, dye, vegetable) cultivated or harvested in the Middle Ages.

melrand

The Village de l’An Mil, particularly well preserved, was occupied between the 10C and the 14C. Some studies, however, make it possible to trace the occupation of the site to the 8C. The site was rediscovered in 1902 and was the subject of excavation campaigns from 1977 to 1992. The archaeological material discovered during these years amounted to a thousand of pieces, mainly shards of pottery. However, note the presence of fragments of earthenware cakes, pitchers, pots and pans, a fragment of a knife blade, several manual grindstones (standing and rotating), sharpening stones etc.

melrand

The museum area opened in 1985 A threshing floor was built at the end of the 1990s. An area was dedicated to metalworking: quarry, forge fixed on the ground and low furnace reconstituted and used gave the experimenters the possibility of study the work of metallurgists in the Middle Ages.

melrand

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Melrand and the Village de l’An Mil

Tourist office of the Center of the Morbihan on the Village de l’An Mil

Tourist office of Brittany on the Village de l’An Mil in English

A very interesting wooded backward area of my Bretons, and off the beaten path par excellence. In Summer or warmer month will be super indeed. Remember, the inward town of Melrand and the wonderful Village de l’An Mil. Hope you have enjoy it

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

 

 

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January 28, 2020

Little Melrand and St Barthélemy!!!

So , here we are again driving around my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne/Brittany in my belle France. There is so much to see I had said will take me a lifetime and won’t be enough.

Folks do come in hordes here and including other Europeans but usually they all concentrate on the wonderful Gulf of Morbihan south of me (or the sea side). However, there is so much on what we call côte ou en terre or inland that will amazed you . Of course  ,you need to like architecture and history as I do.

Let me take you to two small gems in the Morbihan. Hope you enjoy the off the beaten path sites.

The town of Melrand is located in the department of Morbihan,56 in the region of Bretagne/Brittany. The oldest mention of the name of Melrand is attested in 1125 in the cartulary of Redon, in the form of Melran parrochia. In 1273, the name is written Melrant, in 1387 we find the current form of Melrand.

Melrand is a rural town belonging to the community of towns of the Pays de Baud. The village is located 14 km from Pontivy, 15 km from Baud, 32 km from Lorient and 45 km from Vannes. The town is bordered to the east by the Blavet valley. It is crossed by the Sarre, Houée, Brandifrout and Blavet rivers (D142). It is traditional to make Melrand a Breton town resulting from the emigration of Bretons driven from Great Britain by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5C and who settle along the coasts and rivers by clearing sparsely inhabited lands. How Bretagne or Little Britain can to be way back….

melrand

Some of the things to see in town and around it are in no particular order:  Cross of Kerentrec’h., Well of Kerhoh. Motténic stone burial mound (tumulus). It was excavated at the end of the 19C , and is located in a heath dependent on the village of Locmaria. It is 27 meters in diameter by 2 meters in height. The Calvary on base and altar on the road to Guémené-sur-Scorff 19C, and located on the road to Guémené at the exit of the town. Other bigger monuments are the Flamboyant 16C Locmaria Chapel: bell tower, 16C stained glass windows, 17C altarpiece, statues, 16C baptismal font. Flamboyant 15C Saint-Fiacre chapel: 16C rood screen one of the last four still in place in the Morbihan, painted panels, 17C wooden altarpiece elements and two statues, holy water baptismal font. And the Notre-Dame du Guelhouit Chapel and its 17C scala: located in the hollow of the valley where the Sarre river flows and at the foot of a hill with wooded slopes. The chapel is dated 1683.

The main church is the Church of St. Pierre (Peter) 15-17C with a granite bell tower from 1733. The parish church dedicated to Saint-Pierre is a complex church that has been altered many times over the centuries. It retains, on the south side, part of the nave from the first half of the 15C, pierced by a broken arch window as well as two molded doors on balusters with capitals. The southern porch and the interior arcade of the north chapel, located at the entrance to the choir, are also a survival from medieval times, probably from the first half of the 16C. The date 1661 written on the porch corresponds to a late modification. Five half-chapels, two to the south and three to the north have been grafted onto the long nave. The chevet with sides is flanked by a sacristy on the south wall. The southern porch is preserved. The bell tower has a massive square tower with octagonal drum and polygonal spire in masonry.

melrand

melrand

You need a car to reach these small in land town but the quant beauty of their natural habitat will entice you as me to come back. I saw posting for the Taxi Nicol tel +33 (0)6 80 20 33 48, and even by the city/town hall. The train station closest is Vannes, and the airport is  Lorient Lann Bihoué the exact location but also officially known as the South Brittany airport or Bretagne Sud. Of course, I always come by car and up my alley on the road D768 put you in touch with this world very easily, you connect with the road D142 to reach Melrand and St Barthélemy.

A bit on the history in French of MelrandCity of Melrand on history and heritage

Saint-Barthélemy is located on the way to Melrand on the road D142 up from the D768 from my house in about 45 minutes. Old truce of Baud erected in town on July 17, 1867 . There is a nice looking modern Church of Saint-Barthélemy 19-20C. In the shape of a Latin cross, it was built near the old chapel of Saint-Barthélemy which has become a parish church since 1871. The old chapel which dates from the 16C was demolished, and in 1891 gave way to an ordinary modern Gothic style chruch. It is a large nave ending in a semicircular apse. The current church was blessed on October 27, 1895. The bell tower was built in 1913.

A bit of info in French on the town of St Barthélemy is here: City of Saint Barthelemy on heritage

And there you a wonderful ride off the beaten path into deep Morbihan, what a pleasure it is always.  And of course the shopping local is simply the best and when it goes along with the sights it is what my idea of my belle France , beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne is all about.

Enjoy the ride thru Saint Barthélemy and Melrand! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 28, 2020

The Poul Fetan at Quisinic!

Here we are in back country Morbihan dept 56 of my Bretagne in my belle France. I have passed by here several times but never got in too inland me thought but trying to see it all and with my boys decided to go in into nature and see a wonderful site that in Summer should be awesome.

Let me introduce you Poul Fetan in the small town of Quistinic. Of course in winter it is closed but I got a special peek inside ::)

Poul-Fetan means the washhouse of the fountain in the Breton language. It was built in the 16C, Poul-Fetan is located on the top of a steep valley overlooking the Blavet valley. As in many villages, the modernization of agriculture has little by little made traditional agriculture disappear, the peasants left the countryside to gain the city, and Poul-Fetan fell into oblivion in the 1960s -1970.

quistinic

Poul-Fetan was acquired by the town of Quistinic in 1977. Thanks to the tenacity of a team of volunteers, supported by the town, the village will escape the announced death and will be reborn from its ashes. The restoration of the buildings began in 1979 and as of 1985 the village opens to the public.   Today, the numerous activities offered on the site allow you to rediscover this rural life of yesteryear. A leap in time which is an enchantment for both young and old!

quistinic

A journey between nature and traditions in Morbihan. With family or friends share a good time in a village that lives to the rhythm of the 19C. Take part in daily life activities such as washerwomen, pancakes, butter, etc. 17 Breton games such as stilts, skittles, pucks, etc. Discover the shops and the craftsmen of the village.

Quistinic

Welcoming and generous, the artisans perpetuate here ancestral gestures: making butter, spinning wool, feeding farm animals , so many unique moments in which you are warmly invited to participate. If the work is sometimes rough, you will laugh out loud at the tasty gossip of the washerwomen. After the effort, you will feast on good dishes at the Auberge Ti Fanch ‘ such as the soup cooked in the fireplace, farz with bacon or vegetables etc. Here, you can taste the specialties with a wooden spoon and the flavors are incomparable. At the edge of the village, typical Breton games to challenge yourself with family or friends, and the beautiful chestnut forest which invites young and old to have fun in the company of facetious korrigans. In Poul-Fetan, each house tells the soul of Brittany through the families who lived here over a hundred and fifty years ago!!

quistinic

Some webpages in English to help you plan your trip here are

Official Poul Fetan village

City of Quistinic on Poul Fetan village in French

Tourist office of Morbihan 56 on Poul Fetan village

tourist office of Brittany on Poul Fetan village

In town, and around you have apart from the seven chapels scattered throughout the countryside, the town has the particularity of hosting two religious buildings side by side. The Saint Pierre Church dates from the 18C, its bell tower is wonderful. Next to it stands the Saint Mathurin Chapel, the current chapel dates from the 18C, but another chapel or an oratory stood in the same place from the 15C.

Some directions to get to his inland wonderful area full of nature of my beloved Morbihan. You go there on the expressway N165/E60 direction Lorient, get off at the expressway N24 direction Rennes, exit/sortie at La Gare de Baud. The old train station no longer in use of Baud! I go from Pluvigner on the road D102 direction Languidic past this town continue on the D102 and on the site of Kerantarf take the road D23 becoming same road the D327 and signs will take you up hilly road to Route de Kerfec to the Poul Fetan village. This is all country inland nature and narrow hilly roads ok.

Some info on public transport , of course , never taken it here just for info ok.You can go with a bit of effort by bus from Lorient Gare d’échange, CTRL network on line 42E until Kergonan, then bus line 46  until Quistinic , you walk about 1km to the village. Info on buses here: https://www.ctrl.fr/mes-lignes/ligne-42e

Bus Line 46 : Quistinic Centre <> Languidic- Kergonan. From Paris Montparnasse you can take the TGV to the Gare de Lorient and do the bus as above. Also, there is an airport in Lorient Aéroport de Lorient Bretagne Sud that regular flights from Paris and Lyon, and need to take a bus to the above Gare d’échange (bus terminal) and then as above. Info on the airport here: https://www.lorient.aeroport.fr/en

Here is the town of Quistinic on the heritage things to see there: Town of Quistinic on heritage

And there you go, another wonderful spot now bette known in my wonderful Morbihan 56 which never stops to amaze me on its beauty and diversion of things to see and do. Hope in family you can enjoy it too, the Poul Fetan village. 

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

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