Archive for October 8th, 2020

October 8, 2020

The Brussels stock exchange!

And here is another one just mentioned briefly in previous posts but its an area we love to walk in Brussels. Therefore, here is my rendition of the Bourse de Bruxelles or Stock Exchange of Brussels!

The Bourse or stock exchange of Brussels on Boulevard Anspach/Place de la Bourse was built between 1868 and 1873,part of the city’s sanitation and beautification program, the vaulting of the Senne river and the creation of the boulevards in the center. This imposing edifice fulfils the essential need of the time to create a center in which to do business then in expansion. This monument, which combines grandeur and fantasy, occupies the site of the former butter market, itself located on the remains of the former Récollets convent. The eclectic building combines borrowings from the Neo-Renaissance and Second Empire styles in an abundance of ornaments and sculptures by renowned artists including Auguste Rodin.

Bru Bourse front dec12

The interior pediment includes caryatids symbolising Protection, Trade, Art and Victory. The two monumental lion sculptures on each side of the main entrance’s staircase with one with its head facing up, the other curved back represent the two stock market trends akin to the famous “bull and bear” metaphor, as well as the Belgian Nation. The dome on the pendant, and the pediment or the colonnade of the main facade. On a square plan, the dome is supported by four monumental piles backed by coupled Corinthian columns and capped by a circular lantern with a herringbone. A remarkable stuccoed program decorates the dome itself as well as the double arches, the pendants and the cradles which are traversed by an abundant network of floral garlands, foliage elements and stylized motifs.

bru Bourse jan13

The site is served by the Bourse premetro station. The station originally was built to run streetcars underground before eventually being converted into a heavy metro. The first line was inaugurated on December 20, 1969 and linked the Schuman station to De Brouckère. In the 1970s, three other lines were created: the north-south axis (Gare du Midi-Gare du Nord), the large belt (Boileau-Diamant) and the small belt (Louise-Rogier). In 1976, the Schuman-De Brouckère section served by trams, lines 25 39 and 44 was converted into a heavy metro, giving way to lines 1 and 1B and used since April 2009 by lines 1 and 5 connecting the city center to Auderghem and Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. The small beltway used by the trams 2 18 19 32 101 102 and 103 was converted into a heavy metro on October 2, 1988 giving way to the line 2 to which the line 6 has been added, since April 2009. The north-south axis is still operated pre-metro by lines,3 4 and the nightime 32 line.

In the Place de la Bourse square is one of the city’s key points. For example, in 1957, no less than 32 tram lines circulated around the Bourse or Stock Exchange. Even today, almost all major events take place in this square . On the side of the Place de la Bourse,you have the Bourse or Brussels stock exchange building. The Place de la Bourse lies at the conjunction of Boulevard Anspach with several smaller streets on its such as  Rue Paul Devaux/Paul Devauxstraat, Rue Auguste Orts/Auguste Ortsstraat, and Rue Jules Van Praet/Jules Van Praetstraat. Additionally, two sides streets, running along each side of the Stock Exchange building, lead into it from the south-east; Rue Henri Maus/Henri Mausstraat and Rue de la Bourse/Beursstraat.

There is a whole new arrangement there now as part of the city push towards less cars in town, yet parking for me always remain easy.  A parking for 500 bicycles is provided on level -1 of the fully renovated Bourse metro station. The unique perspective from Rue Auguste Orts street will be enhanced by a water mirror placed on the ground. It will be both a fountain to let the children play, but also a place to enjoy a little coolness in summer. This former automotive hub will become a collection of small places where to spend time together.

The city of Brussels tourist office on the Bourse

However, again, times are changing even on the Bourse and glad I saw before the changes. Now, the former Brussels stock exchange building is to undergo renovation work, with the upper two floors converted into a beer museum due to open in 2023. The lower floors will house a walk-through gallery with a restaurant, shops and exhibition spaces, which will be open to public free of charge. Already, 104 Belgian brewers have so far agreed to participate in the museum project! Ok so now all under one roof, great looking forward to the completion, stay tune!

And now I feel better telling you about this wonderful building in Brussels with perspectives for even better uses and a continue architectural tradition of Brussels. Hope you enjoy the post, and thanks again for reading me!

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

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October 8, 2020

Chiclana de la Frontera!!!

Ok so let me tell you a bit about Chiclana de la Frontera and me too!  I was there but on a business trip , and really need to be back personally. This is a very nice chic area of Cadiz province in Andalucia, Kingdom of Spain.

Let me tell you about my trip and then some things about Chiclana de la Frontera for all!

I came in and stayed 4 days secluded in the most gorgeous resort in the area. The wonderful Barcelo Sancti Petri Spa Resort. A wonderful pool and waterfall with jacuzzi and japanese style garden lake, disco Siddhartha with an Indian decoration and the Dublin Bay bar Irish Pub. Great amphitheater outdoors, and the buffet resto Almadraba,restaurante Atunante and Spa of course. Just a place not to leave but then again, you do not want to miss the wines!!

chiclana de la frontera barcelo back fr pool oct15


chi-barcelo-pool-oct15And of course, the reason of the post principally is that the hotel has new owners and new name Royal Hideaway Sancti Petri , and I like to keep my memories in my blog. You can visit the new , same installations like the Almadraba and Atunante but , the new restaurant Bahia Beach Club, La Brasseria, and the La Zumeria . Webpage in English:



And of course, I took off from Nantes to Jerez de la Frontera La Parra airport with is 9 km from city center and near Cadiz as well as of course Chiclana de la Frontera

The best to get there by the highway is the AP-4 Autopista del Sur through Puerto Real  at 20 km connects with Jerez de la Frontera 40 km and Sevilla 124 km. There is bus service in Summer, line 16 to Novo Sancti Petri, La Barrosa and the night line 14 to La Barrosa to Novo Sancti Petri. And the bus  line I took for this business trip the M 020 Cádiz-Chiclana; it links Chiclana with Cadiz passing by four stops in Chiclana,  Río Iro, Avda. Del Comercio, Los Esteros, and Pinar de Los Franceses. By train, Renfe has made available to travelers a schedule that includes 22 daily trains, distributed between the C-1 Jerez La Parra-Cádiz International Airport, and MD Sevilla-Cádiz. I say I came by air, then took the C1 or cercanias 1 train to Cadiz train station and bus to 020 to Chiclana , finally, taxi to the resort above and going out just the taxi…. Just saying.

jerez airport arriv entr oct15

The Jerez airport

And as promise, here tourist and general info on Chiclana de la Frontera which I just found out a good high school friend we are in touch married a local girl as he was at the US air force base at Rota, now thinking of retiring there, more power for a visit. This is a primer to help me out too, and hope it helps you plan a trip here , well worth it me think.

Chiclana de la Frontera is a city in the province of Cádiz, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. The town borders with San Fernando (the current mayor of Paris was born here…), Puerto Real; along the coast with Conil de la Frontera and by land it borders Medina Sidonia and a small part of Vejer de la Frontera.

The founding of the current Chiclana took place in 1303, when King Ferdinand IV of Castile handed over the Chiclana lands to the Casa de Medina Sidonia. The current urban area was built during the 18C.  Today the Chiclana economy depends on a modern industry and tourism, especially on the beaches and golf courses located mainly in Novo Sancti Petri, an urbanization that has the largest number of hotel rooms in the province of Cádiz and in the entire Costa de la Luz (yes my resort was base here) and also part of the so-called Wine Route. Its coastline is extensive in beaches: Sancti Petri, La Barrosan and El Puerco. Playa de la Barrosa is 8 km long, from the cliff that separates it from Sancti Petri beach, to Loma del Puerco. Sancti Petri Beach is famous for its naturalness as it is located in a natural park. It is separated by another important beach in this town as above La Barrosa by a cliff. In front of this beach you can see the castle of Sancti Petri where it is said that the temple of Melkart or Hercules from Cádiz and the point of Boquerón was located.

The city of Chiclana on its beaches in Spanish:

The Novo Sancti Petri tourist complex, located south of the coast, communicates with Cape Roche. Currently, Novo Sancti Petri has eight 4-star hotels and four 5-star Grand Luxury hotels (including mine above).
Sancti Petri is an old tuna fishing village belonging to the town of Chiclana de la Frontera. It consists of a natural harbor, the Puerto Deportivo Sancti Petri formed by the mouth of the Caño de Sancti Petri, on the edge of which it is located. Since 2018, between the months of July and August, the Concert Music Festival has been held in the town of Sancti Petri, which welcomes great national and international music artists. In 2019, this festival is awarded an Ondas Award.

Some of the things to see here which are on my list to do are (text from tourist office of Chiclana, Cadiz, and Andalucia historical heritage institute.

All the traces of the protohistoric past and of Old Age found in Chiclana are distributed between the Archaeological Museum of Cádiz (the original pieces) and the Museum of Chiclana (the replicas) During the 17-18C it lived through moments of economic boom caused by the intense activity of the port of the city of Cádiz in its trade with America. In 1755, the 9.0-magnitude Lisbon earthquake caused a strong tidal wave that hit the Chiclana coastline and left dozens of people dead. In 1811 the French troops entered Chiclana producing the Battle of Chiclana, which left at least 2,380 dead. In 1876 it was granted the title of city by King Alfonso XII. In 2010, Chiclana is surprised by a 4.5 earthquake. Very slight damage, initially in the Chapel of Santo Cristo, although less than in the previous time in 2006, a 6.3 earthquake in the Atlantic ocean.

Church of San Juan Bautista (main church)  is a masterpiece of the 18C of Cadiz neoclassicism. It is built on a previous church, of which a 16C Flemish altarpiece is preserved in one of its chapels. It has valuable carvings and several paintings from the Zurbarán school. It is here where the icon of San Juan Bautista (Patron of the city) is found, dating from the 18C, around 1750. The Hermitage of Santa Ana , considered one of the 7 Magic Points of Chiclana, it is located at the highest point and is visible for several kilometers around. It was built by Torcuato Cayón in the 18C. It is an original octagonal chapel, surrounded by a portico with an octagonal arcade. Its interior houses the icon of Santa Ana and the Virgen Niña, carved in the 18C. Convent of Jesús Nazareno, is a 17C baroque convent that was founded by Mother Antonia de Jesús in 1666, it has a beautiful baroque white marble façade with outstanding Solomonic columns, made in Italy around 1690. Inside it is the processional carving of Jesús Nazareno, from the 16C. In the cloister of the convent is the icon of the Divine Indian, a carving of Americas’ origin that in the 17C was donated to the convent by a wealthy man from Cádiz to preside over the main altarpiece of the church.
Church of the Holy Trinity  or San Telmo was built in the 17C. In its interior, its main altar stands out, in a baroque style in gilded wood, dated 1740, presided over by the icon of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Patron Saint of Chiclana). On the outside, the angular steeple of a very unique conception stands out.

The Ermita de la Vera-Cruz Chapel of Santo Cristo, is the oldest religious building in the city, dates from the late 15C, inside it houses the brotherhood of Vera Cruz, whose owner is the Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz, to which Mexican origin is attributed, which sometimes went out in procession as a prayer for rain in times of drought. The current facade of the church, product of the numerous reforms that it has undergone throughout its history, is very simple. Its latticed atrium and the huge cross that presides over it stand out. The clock tower or Torre del Reloj aka Arquillo del Reloj, it is one of the most emblematic buildings in Chiclana. It was built in the 18C on one of the old gates of the city, which originally formed part of the old Cabildo. The City/Town Hall of Chiclana de la Frontera  was one of the first buildings built with reinforced concrete in Spain, although it is built on the Palace-House of Don Alejandro Risso, which dates from the 18C, in 2011 the new building was inaugurated. The
House-palace of the Count of Torres, located in the Plaza del Retortillo, named in honor of José de Retortillo, Count of Torres according to a noble title granted in 1738 by the then reigning monarch Felipe V. Two-story high palace and a trapezoidal plan that rises during the last third of the 18C.  The Plaza Mayor is the oldest and most historically interesting public space in Chiclana. It was the urban center of the town and during the 15C to 18C, they were located around the Plaza Las Casas Consistoriales, the only parish and the prison.

The Chiclana Museum is in the  Casa de los Briones, and located in the Plaza Mayor. In the different rooms, the public will be able to observe diverse contents such as the prehistory and antiquity of the city, its formation, the battle of Chiclana and the contemporary era. Spaces also dedicated to the wine industry, horticulture, salt flats, fishing, etc. The Francisco Montes Paquiro Municipal Museum is dedicated to the figure of the bullfighter Francisco de Paula Montes y Reina “Paquiro”, born in Chiclana on January 13, 1805. It is considered the most important bullfighter of the 19C, not only for its magnificent conditions of fighter but for his great contribution from the world of bullfighting contained in his treatise on the art of fighting both on foot and on horseback.

A bit apart, the best for me  is that Chiclana has different wineries in which fine, fragrant and muscat wines are grown. The Bodega Cooperativa Unión de Viticultores Chiclaneros is the largest winery in the city, established as a cooperative since 1992. The wineries of Vélez, Manuel Aragón, Barberá, Collantes, and Miguel Guerra also enjoy a certain prestige in the city.

The tourist office of Chiclana de la Frontera in English:

Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico or the Andalucian Institute of historical heritage. With all the above and more in Spanish:

The city of Chiclana and its history in Spanish with a pdf file to download and print:

And now I have it all pack in this post for reference for the future and my memories of the Barcelo resort which I shall return! Hope you enjoy this trip post, history, anecdotes and sights of Chiclana de la Frontera!

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

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