Archive for December 18th, 2020

December 18, 2020

An introduction to Rouen !!!

Many years ago, when I started my blog, I thought of the towns as a family we like the most. It was Rouen, and I wrote a piece black and white ,that I like to update today. Of course, there are plenty of newer posts on the city in my blog. It is a must when visiting Normandy ,the history and trabulations of knowing a bit more about France are here. Its quant streets, its beautiful churches, and the museum of fine arts ,just wonderful. It is a city that I had come often ,very, even for lunch!  I will try to give a bit about it and hope you can come and enjoy it too.

Rouen is in department Seine-Maritime or No 76 in the region of Normandie. It is the seat of the bishop of the region, and the city is a Legion d’Honneur recipient of France.  The Seine river flows thru it just like Paris.  It is there since gallo roman times, and on 841 it was destroyed by Vikings raids. It was declare Capital of Normandy by chef Rollon a viking who stayed instead of invading again, and became Count of  Rouen or some historian Prince of Rouen. Later it was the favorite of king Richard the Lion Hearted, and his heart lays at the ambulatory in the Cathedral of Rouen.  French since 1209 it become part of the British empire in 1419, fighting this Joanne of Arc or Jeanne d’Arc was burnt at the stake here on May 30 1431 , and later became patron Saint of France and Doctor of the Catholic Church. The region came back to France in 1449. It went thru all the wars of succession, religion, and the 1870 war where it was the base of the Prussian forces. In WWI it serve as the base for the British soldiers; in WWII it was occupied by the Nazis from june 1940 to August 1944 when it was liberated. It was rebuilt and prosper as of today.

You get here by car on the A13 autoroute de normandie from Paris direction Rouen. Very easy, the best parking is at the vieux marché or the place St Marc both around a lovely lively markets or marché.  The trains come from Paris gare st lazare into the Rouen train station or gare rive droite at place Bernard Tissot,that you can walk about 10-15 mins into city center. No need for public transport in the city, walk it this is the best way to see its marvels. From Bretagne we go up to Rennes and then Caen on the A13 to Rouen for tolls road or at Rennes get around the rocade or beltway continue dir Caen on the A84 and by Fougéres take the N12 go around Fougéres on the D806 which becomes the D33 dir Gorron ,then D118 dir Domfront en Poiraie,then D908 dir La Ferté Macé, continue to get on the D924 dir Argentan, road changes number but stay dir Bernay and Brionne to hook up with the A13 dir Rouen.  We usually make a day run as it is just about 1h30 by car from us in Versailles, but sometime we did stayed overnight at the Mercure Champ de Mars or Ibis same complex, all ACCOR chain hotels. Which we have repeated from the Morbihan breton.

Some of  the must see in the city, and already with posts in my blog,  are the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Rouen,Abbey Church of St Ouen, Gros Horloge or fat clock, Palais de Justice, the tourist office been the oldest renaissance building in the city from 1509, Church St Maclou, Aitre St Maclou, place du vieux marché, donjon or tower of Chateau de Rouen (where Jeanne d’Arc was prisioner) , the museum of Fine Arts ( beaux-Arts) and antiquities, museums of Jeanne d’Arc, and fat clock or gros horloge; and the many quaint medieval streets in city center along Martainville,and around the Cathedral. Wonderful indeed !!!

The Cathédrale Notre Dame de Rouen,  is a marvel, its gothic architecture inspired Claude Monet, with an arrow as high as 151 meters (498 ft), the highest in France. Stained glass of splendors but also, about 70 sculpture figures of about 20-30 meters high done between 1362-1421. The tour Saint Romain of 77 meters high (254 ft)  at the north face and the tour de Beurre of 80 meters 264 ft)  in its south face. Just a marvel inside too

The Abbey church of Saint Ouen, built from 1318 and finish in the 16C it was the power center of the abbeys of Normandy for centuries.  It is 137 meters long (452 ft) at its center nave, with a tower crown of Normandy of 87 meters high (287 ft) .

The Gros Horloge, or fat clock a landmark of Rouen ,an astronomic clock from the 14C with a solar cadran of the 16C,  located right at the rue du Gros Horloge in city center.  in its double screen you see the needle  pointing of the hour, a weekly details and the phases of the moon in its oeil de boeuf face. It has an agneau pascal or pascal lamb in its center of the arcade  representing the arms of the city symbolising commerce and wool  industry .At its right face you see  angels on a stone where one is the reverse in signal of unhappiness on the workers while the clock was built.

The Palais de Justice is the old Parliament of Normandy! architecture end of the middle ages, built from the 15C to 16C, you see a nice clock on its rear facade. Around you see the Hotel Bourgtheroulde  from the 15C now a luxury hotel at the place de la Pucelle. The Bureau de Justice is now the tourist office of the city of Rouen, built in 1509-1540 , and the tourist office since 1959.

The Church of Saint Maclou, sits in a nice city center with quaint streets all over, nice place to walk. The church was built between 1437-1517. The inside done like a sanctuary is very clear, and it house a tree or arbre  de Jesse of the 15C. The aître Saint Maclou, it goes back to 1388AD during the Black death epidemic , the parvis was converted into a necropolis. Today it house a school of Fine Arts. The Place du Vieux Marché, is the site of the burning of Jeanne d’Arc, and a center of market activity in the city today. You have around it the Church of Jeanne d’Arc built in 1979 with the stained glass of the extinct church of Saint Vincent  destroyed in 1944 bombings, and the musée de Jeanne d’Arc with the history of her life from birth at Domrémy to her death,museum open in 1953.

The Donjon tower or Chateau de Rouen where Jeanne d’Arc was kept prisioner still is well preserved. The original castle was built by Philippe Auguste in 1204 . The musée des Beaux-Arts is a wonderful building from 1877. It has about 60 rooms full of wonderful fine arts ,one of the principal museums in France. painting, tapestries, sculptures, and objects d’arts from the 14C.  Including work by Monet, Sisley, Modigliani, etc. The musée des Antiquités  is on the convent of visititation from the 17C and it is open as a museum since 1834.  A rich collection of roman object d’art and sculpture was my interest and it is wonderful.

There is a petit train or little train ride from the Cathedral from april to october for about 6,50€ with a quick visit it is a good thing to do and get an overview of the city. There is also, a wagon horse ride or caléche  from the same place from april to september and again in december for about 5€. There is also a boat ride on the river Seine and port on the “ Cavellier de la Salle II” from the port jean Ango, from june to october on wednesdays and saturdays. All these rides need to be confirm with the tourist office. There is great views over the city from the côte Sainte Catherine where the Church of Bonsecours is located.

The best marché or markets that we have enjoy over the years are at place du Vieux Marché (right around church jeanne d’arc,on tuesdays thru sundays  from 7h  to 13h30. The other been the place St Marc (closer to church St Maclouon tuesdays, fridays, saturdays ,and sundays from 6h to 18h, and Sundays to 13h30.

As far as something you may not think is here, well I did came often and a regular supporter of the Rouen Huskies ,baseball champion of France, and heavy contenders for the European championship where they have arrived second. The season starts usually late March, the field is the stade Saint Exupéry ,field or terrain Pierre Rolland, right by the hospital Charles Nicolle. The official webpage is

The city center around the Cathedral to the Gros Horloge area is full of stores for shopping including Au Printemps,and FNAC. Many wonderful things can be found as souvenirs, and local craft too many to mention. We do like malls so we shop also at the Centre Commercial St Sever, just over the Jeanne d’Arc bridge with all amenities and stores

For eating out, we have enjoy the following over the year away from the tourist center, Le Bistroquet chez Cédric, 220 rue Martainville , just by church St Maclou,no web but great mussels in chorizo, French and goood. One wish in a historical restaurant next to the Cathedral try Brasserie Paul, 1 place de la Cathédrale. A perennial favorite with my gang is Perle d’Asie, (sadly this one has closed here just for the memories my dear late wife Martine love it) chinese,thais, viet cuisine by the river Seine facing it at 2 place de la Republique. A newer find has been B’Art Tapas, (sadly this one has closed too) 35 rue Jean Lecanuet, next to the musée des Beaux-Arts,wonderful Basque and great tapas. Créperie Saint Romain, 52 Rue Saint Romain, you guess it crepes good and yummy sweet or salted, sucré ou salée in a quaint street just behind the Cathedral. And another historical one Le Metropole, 111 rue Jeanne d’Arc coming out from the gare or train station, there since 1932 and the hanging out place of Simone de Beauvoir  and Jean-Paul Sartre. Nice drinks, great views and people watching place.

The Rouen tourist office

The Seine Maritime dept 76 tourist office on Rouen

The Normandie tourist office on Rouen

Hope you have enjoy this brief tour of Rouen, there is a lot more to see and do, and a nice ride in and out. A sentimental favorite of my family in France.

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

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December 18, 2020

The Castle of Noirmoutier!!!

This as you can see is an update/revision of a wonderful trip we made to a beautiful island south of us, the Ïle de Noirmoustier! in the  Vendée dept 85 of the region of Pays de la Loire. I have written several posts on it, first on the trip overall of which there are parts I to VI  and on individual monuments. However, I am redoing part VII into a post on the castle alone, worth it me think. Hope you enjoy it!

First, we got here by driving from home taking the freeway N165 in about 2h45 time and 207 km distance. We cut by Pont Chateau D773 to the N171 and then , the Pont de Saint Nazaire on the D213 or Route Bleue towards Bourneuf -en-Retz, to Bouin on the D758  onwards to Beauvoir sur Mer ,then get on the D22 to Fromentine, and there take the D38 at La Barre de Monts ,and on the bridge or pont de Noirmoustier.  The ride was wonderfully good and easy with great sites along the ocean and marine terminals and the marais Breton or Breton marshes! On the way back home we took the sublime passage du Gois where on low tide you can ride the road and on high tide is completely cover by the ocean!

I will tell you about the Castle of Noirmoutier ;it is right in city center on the square place d’Armes facing the dam, the harbor with great views of the whole city and beyond. Noirmoutier island is gorgeous living.



The Château  de Noirmoutier is from the 12C. And in its dungeon you can see now a museum housing collections of Noirmoutier heritage (dating back to Pre-history) and a large collection of Jersey porcelain. Since 1934 it is run by the Société des amis de Noirmoutier.  The collection includes local archeology, and history, paintings, ornithology, marine objects, and Jersey faïences with more than 600 pieces.


Before the 17C the harbor reached until the ramparts of the Castle where you see now douves. The current entrance did not exist as the old entrance was done by the side of the Church of St Philbert (see post). It was the Dutch who invaded Noirmoutier in the 17C that destroyed the two small towers and took the bells Marianne and Suzanne with them; they were found in the Netherlands in 1980 ! The date of the construction of the castle is not known precisely; it appeared for the first time in writing dating from 1205 so the city historians think it was built between 1170 and 1180.  It was built by  Pierre V de La Garnache, to show his feudal power especially to his rival the English. It maintained military uses until the 19C.


The visit starts by the chemin de ronde, to discovered the exterior parts of the Castle; and then comes inside the donjon towers that has been renovated into a museum of local culture.  The first two levels that in the old times serve to house the ammunition and food and the opening are tight and narrow. Here we find a memorial to the wars of the Vendée between the white royalists and the blue republicans in the 18C.  On the island this war begain on March 10, 1793, and  Noirmoutier change side three times until finally the Republicans of Gen Haxo took it. The main furniture here is the chair in which the royalist general Maurice D’Elbée was executed in 1794. You can see several souvenirs brough by the marines such as English  faïences (Jersey) , and measurement instruments. On the upper level, the decoration change and the ceilings are higher with great lighted windows to host the permanent collection.


There are a group of about 10 canons in the courtyard of the castle from a sunken ship as well as sarcophagus of Mérovigian origins on a square section in the castle as you go in to your left.  You can see as you entered on your right a long house attach to the ramparts ; this was the residence of the governor, and it was one of them ,Mr  La Paunière, governor of the island and castle that had it renovates in 1690. It is today that we conserved all the archives of  Noirmoutier.



When we visited there was  a temporary exposition entitled « Noirmoutier, une île au cinéma »  or Noirmoutier and island of cinema, where films filmed here since 1925 even if those shown with posters, photos paintings etc as well as old film cameras re telling the story of cinema here from 1960 to our days . This was back in November 2017.

We came from the free parking by the Church St Philbert (see post) and entered the castle by the reception ticket office. You, then come into the courtyard, where on the left and right side you will see the rows of canons. On the far left you see remnants of what was the old prison of WWI and you continue on the middle to the Keep (12C), you see the small castellum and former entrance in the 13C on your right, a small portion of it. Next to it you see the Governor’s house from the 17C, all along the walls you can have a rampart walk for about half the enclosure, and on the back of the main castle building you climb up to the top for the panoramic views.


The First floor or level 1 you see the pre historic permanent exhibition , oldest found from the Bois de la Chaise woods, and the Neolithic period from La Fosse to the Luzéronde with megaliths stones. Photos of the old crypt of the current Church that was built on the former monastery of Herio the old name for Noirmoutier.

The Second floor or level 2 you entered the vaulted room to really know the history of the castle from the 9C wooden structured to the now Romanesque keep.  The Third floor or level 3, from the Dutch attack in 1674 to the wars in the Vendée against the French revolution, it gives you part of this stories.

From the top of the Keep the whole island stretches before you. You see as far as the harbor of L’Herbaudiére, the heritage port, the Jacobsen dyke/dam, and the Mûllembourg nature reserve as well as the boat cemetery. To remarks that from the panoramic view on top of the castle it is said that on clear days you can see as far as 20 km or about 12 miles. We certainly saw lots of beautiful sights from above.




The castle of Noirmoutier belongs to the city since 1901 and it has more here:

The tourist office of the Ïle de Noirmoutier on the castle:

There is a non profit organization Les Amis d’île de Noirmoutier that helps protect this castle with upkeeps coming from donation and they are house in the former governor’s house inside the castle. webpage:

In all, a nice visit to a pretty castle ,full of history and interesting things to see. The views are gorgeous as it was a sunny day. Enjoy the Ïle de Noirmoutier and its castle.

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

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December 18, 2020

Madrid, walking memories of Madrid!

And here I am again on my continuing saga of black and white post reviving older posts in my blog. And I bring you back to my dear Madrid.

Another chance in life to visit Madrid, for four days last week. Always great feeling as this was my entry into Europe, and lived there with my dear late mother Gladys for several years in Quintana. No photos then, too poor to own a camera. This time was a business trip but plenty of time to walk and see my neighborhood of Quintana; line 5 in the metro de Madrid.

I stayed as always recently at the Ayre Gran Colon Hotel at Calle del Pez Volador, 1: this is an excellent hotel, with cafe resto dj music disco style at nights, big rooms, nice friendly service, and central to all of Madrid on lines 6 circular and line 9 out on calle doctor Esquerdo or the buses 56,143,156 stops right there.

The Café Ayre is wonderful with dj music ,big sports TV, (saw my Real Madrid vs Manchester City, we won !!! 3×2)  , and a Champions records win.  The breakfast are full style with plenty to eat and great display of goodies,nice. I needed taxi service once to get to office and they were very efficient and on time. Nice hotel complex. Recommended.

I set out to walk Madrid, like any city ,the best way to really get to know it. I walk the areas that I ran and hide to go out in my early teens years; the walk up to the Torre España or Spain tower ,with 220 meters high (232 with TV antennas), and the tree line calle del alcalde sainz de baranda to get to calle Menendez Pelayo and the wonderful Retiro park or Parque del Buen Retiro, and see the place I went to birthday parties etc now a fine resto Florida Park, the wonderful fountains and alleyways of the park, the monument to General Martinez Campos with the inscriptions of his campaigns like a major one in Cuba in the 1876-1895. You come behind the monumental arch and statue to king Alfonso XIII and the pond or estanque del Retiro with its magical boats, that I once rode my girlfriends on it lol!!! Still the place to be if you are in love!

I went over Menendez Pelayo, and doctor Esquerdo streets, see the nice Church of the Santisimo Samontinos,  Calle del Alcalde Sáinz de Baranda, 3 off Menendez Pelayo.

Right across, had my wonderful merluza with almonds garlic,olive oil dish, and chips and nice cruzcampo beers,and Mahou 5 Estrellas try them all lol!! again. Finish with a nice coffee, all for 32€ yes the fish dish was huge! and the beers plenty just needed to walk back to hotel ::) This was at Cerveceria Cruz Blanca at calle Menendez Pelayo,47, with branches all over Spain. They became my regular stop in Madrid here and at the other location nearer the hotel in calle del Doctor Esquerdo.

Of course, I visited my old neighborhood of Quintana, right off metro line 5 at Alcala 331, always a pilgrimage when in town. The plaza Quintana with my old Docamar was the site of heavy mahou beers and patatas bravas, just across my old piso, apartment. The place was packed with people out mingling, talking, playing cards, just a bustle and hustle of a vibrant lively city as always the times or needs dont change in Madrid. From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!!!!!

I have the chance to be driven around by the office management folks very nice people, and at nights the time to walk my favorites areas, just a great week in Madrid. Enjoy Madrid, always I will have Madrid!!

And always the sentimental moment of flying back to my new home. To get this time to Madrid ,I flew from Nantes as usually  on Iberia and this time they were on time handled by Air Nostrum. The ride was by car as I was nicely pick up at Barajas T4 by management.  I then try line 5,6,9 on the metro, and the rest of times walking wonderful Madrid!

I will be back, as it seems never left it or Madrid has never left me!!! Hope you enjoy this brief post on my dear Madrid and do visit when possible, you will love it too.

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

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December 18, 2020

Parque del Buen Retiro,Madrid of course!

Well do not know if the title looks familiar, so many on this dear park of mine. Every time there and lucky every year until the virus need to be there, so the title might be similar but the feelings are the same. The Parque del Buen Retiro is Madrid!

I like to update this post, actually it is from 2013 or maybe earlier I had erased the post as first thought too many on Retiro park. But  heck, this is Madrid; so hope you like it as I do, and thanks for reading! The sights are in other posts with pictures, here just the ones I think are not repeated.

Ok so again, it is the essence and lungs of Madrid, the best known park, a rich history and memories of youth. I lived not far from it, and used to walk its alleys and greens all over as a youth, then as an adult came to it on every trip to Madrid as if doing a pilgrimage to a sacred place. It is for me always will be Retiro, my park. And,yes even if came on a business trip, I went here like a pilgrim!

The park is 118 hectares or 291,4 acres. It takes its name from Felipe IV royal palace that once stood there. The only remains are the Cason del Buen Retiro (now part of the Prado museum) and the Museo del Ejercito (where the sword of El Cid was and now at the Army museum, Calle de Mendez Nuñez). The royal family used it from 1632, in the 18C it was partially opened to the public as long as they came properly dress ,until finally fully open to the general public in 1869.

You can’t missed the estanque or pond where boats can be rented, at paseo de Colombia. A favorite of mine even today, used to take my girlfriends there and oars the boat just to show off ! Then took my girlfriend then wife, did the same just to show off. Then took my boys and wrote them around with the stories just to be sure they do the same ,hopefully !  Beyond the park main view you see the half moon colonnade with the equestrian figure of king Alfonso XII; all of 30 meters high (99 ft)  by 86 meters long (284 ft)  and 58 meters wide (191 ft). It was called a national contest to built it upon the request of the regent queen Maria Cristina, the winner finally did it inspired on the monument of William I of Berlin, built this one in 1922 . It is at the west side of the pond or Estanque Grande. Around the king you have statues of representation of peace, progress and liberty . Around the hemicycle you have other statues representing The army and marine, the sciences, agriculture, Arts, industry, and two lions.

mad retiro park ent boat rentals feb13

Mad retiro park mon Alfonso XIII top sep12

To the south of the pond you have two attractive palaces; the neoclassical Palacio de Velazquez(red brick and tiles now an exposition center by paseo de Venezuela )  and the Palacio de Cristal (crystal palace as in London by paseo de la Republica de Cuba). You can come towards the Prado museum and the botanical gardens entry by plaza de Murillo. I have separate posts on these.

There are several entrances to the Retiro park but the main entrance for me and family is by the Puerta de Alcala, (see post) the gateway used by king Carlos III (emperor Carlos V) to entered Madrid that in the 19C marked the easternmost entry to the city. Occupying the plaza de la Independencia or Independance plaza. Coming into it the Calle Serrano and Calle Alfonso XII all alongside the Retiro park on Calle Alcala. By the corner here across the street from the park at Alcala 83 you will find the Church of San Manuel y San Benito, my church in Madrid (see post).

mad retiro park puerta de la independencia ent alcala feb13

mad retiro park ent o donnell feb13

You have large promenades of robust trees leading to fountains and statues, amongst its the La Chopera ( old equestrian center of king Fernando VII today sports installations center) ,fountains of Galapagos  with a pedestal like a palm with children figures mount on dolphins on the base; this one was first set up at the street Red de San Luis in the Gran Via in 1831. In 1879 it was transferred to the Retiro park at the Plaza de Nicaragua, near the big lake;  commemorating the birth of queen Isabel II at the plaza de Nicaragua) , Alcachofa (by puerta de Atocha at plaza de  la Republica de Honduras  and built in 1781), and Angel Caido or fallen angel (built in 1885 by plaza del angel caido,and only monument dedicated to the devil in the world). When you past by the paseo de la Argentina also known as paseo de las estatuas or alley of statues you will see many such as Enrique II of Castilla or Henry II of Castile etc. From the street Alfonso XII you entered by the Puerta de España or Gate of Spain which leads you to paseo de la Argentina and the Estanque or pond.

Go ahead walk this beautiful park and see wonderful things to see and enjoy to come back. There is a statue to the marqués de Salamanca (gave that district name! )or marquis of Salamanca you find the La Rosaleda (built in 1914 by Cecilio Rodriguez a great gardener) ,its an imitation of the one in the bois de boulogne of Paris for which the Spanish gardener took it queus. Other monuments nearby are the Academy of the Spanish Language (calle de Ruiz Alarcon), monument of queen Maria Cristina (facing cason del buen retiro at ave Felipe IV); Palace of Bruno Zaldo (calle Alfonso XII,26); Puerta de Mariana de Neuburgo (gate entrance on calle Alfonso XII to Retiro); in the parterre of the park you will see the oldest tree dating from 1633 original from Mexico call Ahuehuete.

Also, in the parterre the monument to Jacinto Benaverte, 1922 winner of the Nobel prize in Literature, there in the parterre there is the Fuente or fountain of Campanillas call for the tower of bells that was there now gone but still the name remains ; Plaza del maestro Villa there is the quiosco de Musica or music kiosk ornate dome; Paseo del Estanque is the casa de la vaca or cow house that used to be a milk store, extreme northwest of the park you have the casita del Pescador  or Fisherman house near the artificial mountain, is a small house of square shape and two levels with roof in zinc and water spouts ;of the original royal properties still standing there; next to avenue Menendez Pelayo you will find the Casita de Fieras or wild animals house , a small zoo for the entretain of king Fernando VII; jardines de Cecilio Rodriguez or gardens of Cecilio Rodriguez ,the gardener of the city build in 1972 with many ornaments and statues.

mad retiro park casita del pescador feb13

In the southwest of the park you will find the Observatorio Central Meteorologico or meteo observatory by paseo del duque de Fernan Nuñez; Iglesia de San Jeronimo el Real a church by calle de Ruiz De Alarcon, 19 (this is where the princes of Asturias swear allegiance to the crown from Felipe II in 1528 to the last one to do it here Isabel II in 1833); Monumento to the Republic of Cuba (at plaza del Salvador, done in 1929 as a monument to the nation of Cuba and to honor similar monument in Havana,Cuba to Spain. There in Retiro park, you will see Catholic queen Isabel I and Cristobal Colon (Columbus) built in 1952); Monument to General Martinez Campos at Plaza de Guatemala( built in 1927 in bronze to honor the gen that ended the 1er Republic in Spain and also head of Spanish troops in Cuba during the 1860’s); it is behind the statue to king Felipe XII. El embarcadero or embarkment for boats built in 1902 where you rent today boats for the lake.

mad retiro park monument a Cuba feb13

And we must go on in grandiose Retiro park!or around it…. Continue to the Glorieta de los Titeres or guignol theater. next to O’Donnel street you will have the Montaña de los gatos or cats mountain and also known as rollercoster mountain ,it is artificially done by 1816 . Huerto del Francés or French potager used today to recreate plants and flowers at the south part of the park, next to paseo del Uruguay you have the oriental gardens or Jardines Orientales.

And one nice one always caught my eyes, let me tell you about the monument to Ruperto Chapi. At the proposal of the Society of Spanish Authors, the monument dedicated to the teacher Ruperto Chapí Llorente, at the Paseo de Fernan Nuñez, was raised. The monument was inaugurated in 1921. The idealized figure of the musician, represented full-length, seated and half-naked, as a classical god or hero, with a pleased attitude, half covered by a cloak and the lower extremities merging with the base. Behind him is the figure of Music, represented by a woman with a full body and standing, with a mantilla and a comb. She holds the Victory of Samothrace in her right hand, while her left is extended, presenting the protagonist of the composition.

mad retiro park mon actors feb13

The Pantéon de Hombres Ilustres a sort of Pantheon of Spain as in Paris built in 1867 today lies here Garcilazo de la Vega, Calderon de la Barca, amongst other, located at Calle Julian Gayarre, 3 (some of the bigger names were determine not opt for transfer to the pantheon); and Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Atocha or Our lady of Atocha ,this church given status of basilica by Pope Pius IX in 1863 is founded in an old monastery dating from 1524.located at avenida de Ciudad de Barcelona,3.  And you can continue walking in heaven on the beautiful plazas or squares that surround this Retiro park makes for an international treasure fort, from the Cibeles fountain at plaza de las Cibeles to plaza de la Independencia at Puerta de Alcala to plaza Canovas del Castillo and Plaza de la Lealtad (by Prado museum) to Glorieta del Emperador Carlos V, passing by the Atocha train station and up Menendez Pelayo to O’Donnell and back to calle de Alcalà you have the Madrid of the Bourbons, and rich history of Spain all within walking distance.

The Madrid tourist office on the Retiro park

Oh yes again how to get there other than walking; by Metro Retiro line 2, Príncipe de Vergara lines 2 and 9, Ibiza  line  9, Atocha line 1). Buses stopping or passing by it are lines 1, 2, 9, 14, 15, 19, 20, 26, 28, 32, 51, 52, 61, 63, 74, 146, 152, 202, and C. There is a bicimadrid depot at plaza de la Independencia, and Calle de Alcalà ,95.

To fully enjoy it with plenty of time, and for the whole family day or more adulthood nights; the Parque del Buen Retiro or simply Retiro is Madrid! Hope you have enjoy the tour and thanks for reading

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

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