Archive for January 10th, 2021

January 10, 2021

Domaine de Versailles!!!

Oh yes when started my blog way back in 2010 ,I wrote a post on the Versailles property that the world comes there to see. However, in France we make a distinction between the Château or Palace and the Domaine or Domain of Versailles. One is just one building while the latter is the whole property including dependencies. Let me tell you a bit of the history of the Palace and the things in the Domain of Versailles.

One of the grands of our world, a must to visit when in France or even to come just for it!! The domaine de Versailles is the set of lands and buildings of 850 Ha. (8000 Ha before the French revolution) dependent on the Palace of Versailles. You do the math as one hectare is equal to 2.471 acres.

Besides the castle, it includes 93 ha of gardens and 300 ha of forest. You count 20 km of enclosures, 42 km of alleys, and 372 magnificent statues !   However, also, the Petit and Grand Trianon with a park of 80 ha for the Grand and 50 ha for the Petit. Also, the Hameau de la Reine, the Grand and Petit Canal, Orangerie, and the pièce d’eau des 3 Suisses. It has 55 basins! The biggest are the Grand Canal 23 Ha, and 500 000 M3 of water and the Piéce d’Eau des 3 Suisses with 180 000 M3 of water. A total of 35 km of canals and 600 water jets.

The Palace of Versailles also has an Royal Opera house and a Royal Chapel.   The chapel created between 1689 and 1710, the Kings regularly attended daily mass. It has been completely renovated this December 2020! The Opera, inaugurated in 1770, was one of the last buildings of the Palace of Versailles. This museum (palace of Versailles) is the biggest in the world with 18000 m2 of space.

We love the gardens where we walked, jogged, had picnics in the back and enjoy a nice croissant etc at Angelina by the Petit Trianon.  To admire and understand Le Nôtre’s masterpiece, you have to go and discover it from above, from the king’s and queen’s apartments and the Hall of Mirrors.  Then, in the gardens, passing through the steps of the bassin de Latone, the majestic prospect of the reflecting pool leads to the chariot of Apollo. Then, you have to get lost in the plant labyrinth to better savor the effects of surprise that the discovery of the fourteen green rooms has in store. Among these creations, the salle de Bal or ballroom and its rockeries. The days of Musical Fountains, gardens and groves are a visual and sound enchantment.

The park is spread around the Grand Canal, a 23 hectare body of water with a 5.5 km periphery. Its major axis towards the sunset extends the perspective of the garden towards infinity between the hedge of large Italian poplars, the proud silhouettes of which can be seen beyond the water. At the head of the Canal, the buildings of Little Venice are reminiscent of gondoliers and gondolas, yachts and galleys which made up the flotilla and which were used for walks, for concerts or for nautical festivals. The transverse arm of the Grand Canal linked the Menagerie (now destroyed) to Trianon.

On either side of the Grand Canal are forest plots made up of local tree varieties and crisscrossed by large alleys. These are bordered by single or double rows that were once planted with elms and today with tillers and beeches. The trees are rigorously pruned, making up a real plant architecture. Near the Castle,the flowerbeds were designed to be seen from the first floor. The parterre du Midi, boxwood embroidery decorated with flowers; the parterre du Nord, all of boxwood and grass; in the center, the two mirrors of the parterre d’Eau bordered by reclining statues representing the rivers of France, masterpieces of sculpture. At the bend of an alley new points of view are offered, new fountains, new statues, trellis cradles,and   topiaries. Fantasy can be found in the groves , today 9. These groves are rooms of greenery nestled in the small woods located between the alleys; when one goes through these, one cannot suspect the existence of these wonders.

The property goes back way back of the Grand Canal into the towns of St Cyr l’école and its many gates or portes that encircle the old Domain of Versailles for 43 km!!. My favorite here was the Porte de Bailly still visible from the Ferme de Gally on St Cyr l’école. 700 meters from it you can still see the Porte de Noisy with a garden guardian house still there. Much further in the enclosure you have the Porte de Buc (town of Buc) ,Porte de Saint Cyr(town of St Cyr l’école) ,Porte d’Aréne (town of St Nom la Bretêche ) Porte de Jouy et Porte de Loches (town of Jouy en Loches) , Porte de Mérantais (town of St Quentin en Yvelines) , pavillon de Chateaufort (town of Chateaufort) ,Porte de Puissaloup (town of Bois d’Arcy) ,my favorite entrance to the Domaine , porte Saint Antoine or Porte de la Reine ( town of Versailles) ,Porte de Trou Salé (town of Toussus le Noble) ,Porte d’entrées or entering gate (town of St Nom la Bretêche private occupied today). You see my Domaine de Versailles!

A bit of history I like

The first mentioned of Versailles dates from 1038 where monks erect a Church of Saint Julien. By 1472 , the first complete mentioned of the city is as Versailles-aux-Bourg-de-Galie (new French, Versailles in the town of Gally). by 1475 the Lords of Versailles give right to Trianon to the abbey of Sain Germain, first mentioned of Trianon in texts. by 1589 first time king Louis XIII stops by Versailles, which he again will visit in 1604,1607, and 1609 ;while doing his first hunt in 1607. By 1623 ,king Louis XIII has built a modest country manor home in bricks to spent his time hunting and passing by but never sleeps in it.

The first castle type construction was done by what is today the cour de marbre or courtyard of marble, being of 24 meters long and 6 meters wide. On April 18, 1632 king Louis XIII buys the lands and domaine of Versailles to Jean-François de Gondi, bishop of Paris. New lands around it are purchased and a bigger castle is built in 1634. King Louis XIII died on May 14 ,1643.

His son king Louis XIV lived in Paris at the Louvre, and was born in nearby Saint Germain-en-Laye. By 1651 does his first visit to Versailles and on October 25th, 1660 takes there for the first time his wife queen Maria Teresa (Spain). From 1661-1668 renovations and new constructions takes over the life of the domaine. He brings in the crew that built the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte (seine et marne dept 77) as Le Vau, the architect, Errard and Coypel, the decorators, and Le Notre ,the gardener. By 1664 the first parties are done in the castle including plays by Moliére. First statues place in the gardens done in 1665 , the Grand Canal was built in 1667 . The biggest party is thrown on July 18 1668 to make the castle known to the world.

In the period, 1668-1670 the castle is enlarged again with encircling the old building all done by architect Le Vau, and after his death in 1670 by his successor architect d’Orbay. The Trianon de Porcelain (replace by the Grand Trianon) is built in 1670 , and at this time many hôtel particuliéres or manor houses are built of great richness such as the ones of Luxembourg, Noailles,Guise,Bouillon, and Gesvres. Between 1678-1686 the galerie des glaces or the Hall of mirrors (73 meters long) is built with decorations by Le Brun. By 1682 even before all is finished the king Louix XIV comes to live in the castle.

Meanwhile, more construction is going on between 1685-89 . New Orangerie, (see post) Grand Comun (for servants and lesser officials quarters -see post) , the stables  of Petite and Grande Ecuries (see post).  1700 new apartments are done to house the duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV, future king of Spain under Felipe V (the Bourbon line is done, ancestors of today’s king of Spain Felipe VI ,his father king Juan Carlos I was fifth in line to the throne of France).

By 1689-1710,  the Royal Chapel is built; upon king Louis XIV death in 1715, Louis XV finally comes to live in Versailles in 1722 at the age of 12 years old, and makes his preference to lived at the Grand Trianon later more so the queen Marie Leszczynska . Meanwhile renovations and constructions continues from 1729 on such as the Salon d’Hercules in 1729-1736, the Royal Opéra 1768-1770, and the Petit Trianon 1761-1768. In 1770 the marriage of the dauphin heir future Louis XVI with Marie-Antoinette de Lorraine, archduchess of Austria is held here at the Royal Chapel.

Comes king Louis XVI, he builts the library in 1774 done by Gabriel. Cabinet Dorée or golden cabinet built in 1783 to house the collections of Louis XV, his father. then comes the French revolution.  The Estates Generaux are held here and from October 6, 1789 the castle is never the same again. All traces of kings is taken down, all objects are spread all over France and abroad.  the statues, sculptures and paintings as well as furniture is sold all over Europe. A sad time indeed. Then comes reason in the name of the new monarch of king Louis-Philippe in 1830, he decides for good that the castle can be save if made into a museum !  ” FOR ALL THE GLORIES OF FRANCE”. The museum is open on June 10, 1837, hails greatly by one Victor Hugo.

Here the treaty of Versailles ending  WWI is done on June 28 1919.  The French constitution has it that all changes or amendments to the French constitution as per article 89 needs the National Assembly or Assamblée Générale (house of reps) and the Senate,and the President and his cabinet must move and do those changes debates in Versailles. While here the city of Versailles becomes the de facto Capital of France!!! Like it never has stopped being it !!!!!!!!!!

It has welcome celebraties and events such as in 1972 Queen Elisabeth II of England (UK) 1974 the Shah of Iran, 1985 Mickaïl Gorbachev, 1992 Boris Yeltsin, and 1982  served as reunion site for the G7, amongst many more including serving as office of Pres Charles De Gaulle!

The latest info for ticketing : All these places are to be discovered thanks to the “Passport with hourly reservation” ticket which allows access to the entire estate (the castle with access within half an hour following the chosen schedule, the gardens, the Trianon estate ). This ticket allows access to the gardens on the days of Musical Fountains and Musical Gardens, during which all the groves are open and the pools are filled with water. Tariff is 27€ on Musical Fountains or Musical Gardens days , and 20€ excluding Musical Fountains and Musical Gardens days.

Some webpages for more info and planning for your next visit as soon as possible are

The official Chateau de Versailles:

The city of Versailles on history/heritage info:

The official tourist office of the city of Versailles :

In French but the little city newspaper , Le Petit Versaillais ( the little person of Versailles =versaillais) that you can subscribe for news of the city in general, give all the everyday life of it including tourist updates and information. Webpage:

If you want to help restore and maintain this wonderful property call the Domaine de Versailles and join millions around the world who do, including me, this is the webpage for Les Amis de Versailles or the friends of Versailles.

Of course impossible to name them all, the property is huge, this will give some ideas and history to search. If need any detail information feel free to post a question or contact me on this blog. I lived there for 9 glorious years!!! Hope you enjoy the tidbits of info on the post of my fav Domaine de Versailles! 

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

January 10, 2021

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca !

Ok given on the post title his full name; I have mentioned him briefly in my previous posts but I believe he deserves a post of its own. To me, he is the greatest of Spanish poets/playwrites of all time. You probably know him better by Federico Garcia Lorca or simply Lorca for us. Let me tell you in a black and white series his history and places. Hope you enjoy my another entry into literature.

I like to tell briefly the story of a very famous men and one of my historical favorites of my beloved Spain. The name will tell it to all if into the arts, poetry,theatre, etc one of the giants of the Spanish speaking world. I happened to trace his life on my old visits to Granada, where I am an honorary member of a sport club ,but now the main thing is to tell you about the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. It’s a long history, that I like.

Federico García Lorca (born at Fuente Vaqueros, June 5, 1898- died on the way from Víznar to Alfacar, Granada, August 18, 1936)   was a Spanish poet, playwright and prose writer. Assigned to the generation of 27, he was the most influential and popular poet in 20C Spanish literature. As a playwright, he is considered one of the tops of 20C Spanish theater. He was assassinated by the Nationalists side a month after the coup d’état with which the Spanish Civil War began.

He was born into a family with a comfortable economic position, and was baptized as Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca; his father was the landowner Federico García Rodríguez (1859-1945) and his mother, Vicenta Lorca Romero (1870-1959), second wife of his father.

The term of the Generation 1927 ;starts from the date of December 1927, when several Spanish poets meet in Seville, in an event organized by the Economic Society of Friends of the Country to commemorate the three hundred years since the death of Luis de Góngora. It should be noted that this meeting is the origin of what some call the Generation of ’27, which includes writers such as Jorge Guillén, Pedro Salinas, Rafael Alberti, Dámaso Alonso, Gerardo Diego, Luis Cernuda, Vicente Aleixandre, Manuel Altolaguirre and Emilio Prados. This group is characterized by fusing the forms of traditional poetry (neopopularism) with the avant-garde movements; for treating the same issues in a similar way (death in a tragic sense; love as a force that gives meaning to life; social concerns such as injustice, misery, etc.), for the use of metaphor and image; etc.

Together with Eduardo Ugarte, the writer from Granada, he co-directed La Barraca, a university theater group that represented theatrical works of the Golden Age of Spanish literature such as Calderón de la Barca, Lope de Vega, Miguel de Cervantes, etc;  through cities and towns in Spain. Financed by the Ministry of Education, it had its own project in its hands for the first time. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War would frustrate the effort.

A personal anecdote we all love him for. In March 1930 he left New York to travel to the city of Havana, Cuba as he is invited by the Hispano-Cuban Institution of Culture to give conferences in Havana and other Cuban cities.   He travels by train to Tampa, Florida, where he boards the steamer Cuba, which docks on March 6 in Havana, where his old friend José María Chacón y Calvo, the Cuban poet Juan Marinello and the journalist Rafael Suárez Solís await him. The Instituto de las Españas (Spain’s institute) offers him a tribute, in which he delivers his lecture The Mechanics of Poetry. He friendship with Antonio Quevedo and María Muñoz, a friend of Manuel de Falla. He gives several lectures at the Principal Theater of Comedy in Havana: The Mechanics of Poetry; Closed paradise for many, open gardens for few; Spanish lullabies; The poetic image of Don Luis de Góngora; The architecture of cante jondo. He works in the play The Public. Friendship with the Loynaz brothers, whose home he visits almost daily and whom he reads The Public. In the company of the writer Lydia Cabrera, whom he had met in Madrid, he attends a “ñáñiga” (black Santeria type) ceremony. Conferences in Caibarién, presented by José María Chacón y Calvo, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. He receives a tribute in Santiago de las Vegas. He writes the “They are of blacks in Cuba”, and the “Ode to Walt Whitman” that will be part of Poeta en Nueva York. His friends García Maroto and Adolfo Salazar arrive in Havana. Friendship with the Guatemalan writer Luis Cardoza Aragón. He knows Nicolás Guillén and José Lezama Lima. He enters a clinic to have warts removed. Farewell meal at the Bristol Hotel organized by the Avance Magazine. On June 12, he embarks on the steamer Manuel Arnús, which, after stopping in New York, arrives in Cádiz on June 30. The Grand theater in Havana has the main room named after him.

In 1961, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of García Lorca’s death, the board of the Centro Gallego (Galician social club) announced that the theater would change its name to that of the Granada poet as  Teatro Garcia Lorca. Then in 1981, the entire complex changed its name to Complejo Cultural del Gran Teatro García Lorca, now under Prima Ballerina Alicia Alonso Director of the National Ballet. Finally, in 1985, it received the name of Gran Teatro de La Habana. Following extensive renovations, the theater has reopened on January 1, 2016 and renamed to honor the Cuban prima ballerina Alicia Alonso or Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso.   The principal venue is the Garcia Lorca Auditorium, with seats for 1,500; it provides a stage for the Cuban National Ballet Company, as well as for other dance and musical performances.

A bit of his last steps alive.  He went to the Huerta de San Vicente to meet with his family. He arrived there on July 14, 1936, three days before the military uprising against the Republic broke out in Melilla, leading to the Spanish Civil War. The sequence of his ultimate assassination is related briefly as such:

At Calle Virgen Blanca , then surrounded by fields, linked the García Lorca house with the center of the city. Federico travels through it in a taxi, a Fiat that had been owned by the family, and driven by a former servant. At Plaza de Gracia, headquarters of the Minor Seminary of the city. Lorca passed through the square in the taxi on the evening of August 9 on his way to the Rosales’ house, where he was seeking refuge. Corner of Plaza de Gracia with Calle Jardines, the beginning of the Magdalena neighborhood, where García Lorca passed on the afternoon-night of August 9. By Calle de Gracia, in the Magdalena neighborhood, then bordering the city with the plain. He goes by Plaza de la Trinidad, the square had hosted a convent of Trinitarians Barefooters until the 19C. Nearby was the family home of the Rosales, friends of Federico. The Reina Cristina Hotel is located in the same building as the former Rosales family house, on the corner of Angulo and Tablas streets. Federico was welcomed and hosted. He trusted that the Rosales’ connection with the Falange (Franco’s party) could protect him from the rebels. He doesn’t go outside and spends the day playing the piano. The Reina Cristina Hotel occupies what was the home of the Rosales family, where the poet Federico García Lorca spent his last days. It must be said that the hotel owners have made a great effort to preserve those aspects of the building that go back to the time when the Rosales family lived here. The building, full of Andalusian air, reminds us, between its patios and fountains, the universal figure of the poet in his last days.

The door of the Casa de los Rosales on Calle Angulo, 1. According to a police document drawn up many years after the poet’s death, the building was surrounded with a great apparatus by Militias and Assault Guards who took all the nearby intersections and rooftops. Lorca left through this door on his way to the Civil Government building.   Lorca had taken refuge in the Rosales brothers’ house out of fear. His friends tried to intercede for him to avoid his arrest, without success. Federico is on the second floor of the house at the time of his arrest, on August 16 1936. An illegal detention, “without a written or oral order,” as the poet Luis Rosales declared years later.

His biographer Ian Gibson (Irish-Spanish now living in Madrid) relates the account of a witness: “He wore dark gray pants, a white shirt with a loose tie knot and, on his arm, a blazer.” By the Plaza de Los Lobos, Lorca passed through here when they were taking him prisoner. The square is the central point of the journey, barely 240 meters long, which separated the residence of Los Rosales and the Civil Government of Granada. Despite the short distance, he was stopped and transferred by car. The Puerta del Jardín Botánico, next to the Faculty of Law which, in 1936, was the seat of the Civil Government. The poet remained imprisoned in a dungeon in this building on Calle Duquesa before being taken to Víznar where, according to police documentation, he is “passed over by arms.” (shot dead) Today there is no plaque that recalls what was Federico’s last stay in Granada.

The Puerta or gate of the Faculty of Law was  crossed by Garcia Lorca on the way to Víznar. Some sources believe that the transfer occurred on the same day the 16th, others on the 17th August 1936. Be that as it may, he spent his last hours in a large house on the outskirts of town, La Colonia. At Viznar he spent his last night in a makeshift jail, along with other detainees. It seems definitely established that Federico García Lorca was shot at 4:45 a.m. on August 18, on the road from Víznar to Alfacar. His body, which was never recovered, remains buried in an anonymous mass grave somewhere in those places. One of the most shocking works on the fact of his death is the poem «The crime was in Granada», written by Antonio Machado (another great poet) in 1937. One of the most documented, controversial and popular biographies on Federico García Lorca is the published best-seller in 1989 and entitled Federico García Lorca: A life (Life, passion and death of Federico García Lorca, Spanish edition in 1998), by the Irish-born Spanish Ian Gibson. Calle Duquesa was one of the last images of Granada by Federico Garcia Lorca.

Tracing his places of stayed in a brief description of them to follow:

Fuente Vaqueros located in the western part of the Vega de Granada region of the province of Grenada. In 1767 the colonization of the farm began. In 1777 it returned to the hands of the Crown, then passing to Manuel Godoy (later prime minister). Upon returning to the Crown again, in 1813 the Cortes donated the estate in perpetuity to the Duke of Wellington as a reward for services rendered during the War of Independence against the French. Until 1940, the current town of Fuente Vaqueros belonged to the Duke of Wellington, having its land leased to the settlers and little by little it was sold to them, who populated and gave way to the current town. Internationally it is known for having been the hometown of Federico García Lorca.

Some of the things to see here are: Monument and monoliths to Federico García Lorca Museum , Federico García Lorca’s birthplace. Federico García Lorca Municipal Theater ,and the Royal House of the Duke of Wellington. Hence, in this town there are many references and traces of the universal poet and playwright, with monuments and museums built in the memory of him.

The town of Fuente Vaqueros things to see:

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on Fuente Vaqueros in Spanish :

Valderrubio is located in the western part of the Vega de Granada region, in the province of Granada. The town of Valderrubio is one of the thirty-four entities that make up the Metropolitan Area of Granada.

Federico García Lorca lived in this town, when it was still called Asquerosa. The origin of this name seems to be from Latin in Roman times, its meaning was Agua de Rosas or Acuarosa, in Latin Aqua Rosae. Its current name, which, to avoid the name meaning disgusting in Spanish, officially replaced the name on August 15, 1943, to the new name of Valderrubio ,which refers to “valley of blond tobacco”, since it was a majority crop until the middle of the 20C. So much so that it is said that it was the first town in Europe where the blond tobacco brought from America was planted.

It was in this town where Federico García Lorca, considered one of the most important Spanish poets of the 20C, was inspired to create one of his best dramatic works: La casa de Bernarda Alba. Among the places of Lorca, the house of Bernarda Alba stands out, the house on Calle Iglesia where today the House Museum, the Fuente de la Teja and the Daimuz farm are located, two km from Valderrubio, next to the Cubillas river, near the confluence with the Genil river. Valderrubio brings together a landscape and natural environment that still revives the basis of the great work that the poet left behind.

Some things to see here are  the Federico García Lorca House-Museum; Bernarda Alba House and Monument to the Entrepreneurs and Tobacco Workers.

The town of Valderrubio on things to see in Spanish:

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on Valderrubio:

The old Café Alameda created in 1909 was known as the Gran Café Granada by most of the people of Granada at the beginning of the 20C, as it was the initial name with which the hospitality establishment was inaugurated, nowadays disappeared as such. It was located in the Plaza del Campillo. In that special corner at the beginning of the 1920s, the Bohemian intellectual gathering known as the Rinconcillo ( a little corner or place) was born, cradle of characters, some of them already prominent artists and others who would come to be recognized in disciplines as diverse as poetry, literature, journalism, the arts, politics, music and diplomacy, both nationally and internationally. In 1922, Manuel de Falla, Federico Garcia Lorca, Ignacio Zuloaga and the Granada City Council organized the first national Cante Jondo competition, which took place on June 13 and 14 in the Plaza de los Aljibes in the Alhambra. These modernizing ideas for renovation of Granada society, were supported at the time through periodic visits to the gathering by characters as diverse as H G Wells, Koichi Nakayama, Rudyard Kipling, and the musicians Wanda Landowska and Arthur Rubinstein Among the usual protagonists were Federico García Lorca and his brother Francisco, Manuel de Falla, politician Antonio Gallego Burín, the doctor and politician Manuel Fernández-Montesinos and his brother José, a philologist, the musician Ángel Barrios, the painter Manuel Ángeles Ortiz , José Acosta Medina, Miguel Pizarro Zambrano, the journalists José Mora Guarnido and Constantino Ruiz Carnero, José María García Carrillo, the politician Fernando de los Ríos, who would be Minister of Justice and Public Instruction, the Arabist José Navarro Pardo, the painter Ismael González de la Serna, Hermenegildo Lanz, the sculptor Juan Cristóbal, Ramón Pérez Roda, Luis Mariscal and the guitarist Andrés Segovia, and as conductor and cultural animator, Francisco Soriano Lapresa! Wow a who is who indeed of my beloved Spain!

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on El Rincocillo or old Alameda café in Spanish:

The Federico García Lorca House-Museum, familiarly known as Huerta de San Vicente, was the summer estate of the García Lorca family from 1926 to 1936, shortly after Federico’s assassination during the first weeks of the Spanish Civil War. The house and the orchards that belonged to him are located in the heart of the Federico García Lorca park, inaugurated in 1995. The farm seems to have its origin in the second half of the 19C and would be known as the Huerta de los Mudos (mute). Later, it became the property of Federico García Rodríguez, father of Federico García Lorca, who signed the purchase on May 27, 1925. The artist’s father, in homage to his wife Vicenta Lorca Romero, changed the name of the farm to Huerta de San Vicente.

Federico García Lorca wrote in this place, in whole or in part, some notable works such as So five years pass (1931), Bodas de Sangre or Blood Wedding (1932), Yerma (1934) or Diván del Tamarit (1931-1936). Among some of the poet’s friends who visited the area are the following personalities: Manuel de Falla, Miguel Pizarro, Antonio Gallego Burín, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, Eduardo Blanco Amor, Eduardo Rodríguez Valdivieso, etc. In addition, the artist spent the last days before his arrest and subsequent execution of him on the farm, before moving to the house of his friend Luis Rosales.

On April 6, 1985, it was acquired by the Granada City Council from Isabel García Lorca (younger sister) to turn it into a house museum for the poet Federico García Lorca. In 1995, the only reliable documents that existed on the arrangement of this furniture set were a series of photographs taken in the period 1926-1936, among which the series taken in 1935 by the writer Eduardo Blanco Amor stands out, as well as family photographs taken starting in 1918 in other places where the García Lorca family lived and in which some of the furniture, works of art and objects that can be seen today in the Huerta de San Vicente are collected. These photographs make it possible to delimit with precision the qualifier “original”, applied to the furniture that decorates it: in them we see the poet’s desk, the gramophone, the baby grand piano, the divan, the rocking chairs and the Thonet chairs, the reproduction from Botticelli’s Spring, the mirror with an art deco frame , among other minor items. In addition to the photographs, the testimonies of the people who lived in it were very useful, especially Isabel García Lorca (sister) and the nephews Vicenta and Manuel Fernández Montesinos. The rest of the furniture, as well as the belongings (crockery, ceramics, and household objects such as the coat rack, the tablecloth, or peasants such as the cheese maker, etc.) and other documents and works of art that can be seen today in the House-Museum were either part of the furniture in La Huerta in some of its periods between 1926 and 1936, or they belonged at some point to the Lorca family.

The official house museum Huerta de San Vicente:

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on the Huerta de San Vicente:

Víznar  is located in the foothills of the Sierra de la Alfaguara, in the central part of the Vega de Granada, about 9 km from Granada. In one of the ravines between the towns of Víznar and Alfacar, the Guardia Civil:( Civil Guard) assassinated Federico García Lorca.

An official webpage on the routes and places of Federico Garcia Lorca on the ravins of Viznar in Spanish:

Additional webpages on the Cervantes virtual library on Federico Garcia Lorca

There you go folks, I feel better. I did as briefly as possible but long enough to give you the complete story on a great men, one of the greatest, still play, spoken and worship of the Spanish literature giants. Federico Garcia Lorca sits at the top.  Hoping the wounds of the Spanish Civil War can one day be completely healed and we just remember,never to let it happened again.

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

January 10, 2021

Toulouse: Cathédrale St Etienne!!!

And again this is a monumental sight to see in my sentimental Toulouse so needed to update links and revise text. Of course, we have come to Toulouse several times over the years and visit the Cathedral, but this time it seems enjoy it more as took more time and pictures. Hope you enjoy the St Stephens Cathedral or Cathédrale St Etienne as much as we do.

And this is the dandy Cathedral St Stephens or Cathédrale St Etienne of Toulouse . A wonderful monument we always stop by and a must to see while in the pink city of Toulouse. So will give you a more historical twist and pictures this time.  


The oldest parts of the cathedral date from the Romanesque period. These are the south wall of the choir and the north and south walls of the old nave. You can easily see a portion of it from the Place Cardinal Saliège square; it is visible at the level of the current nave, where the wall is in slight relief. It has two oculi, a small door covered with a semicircular arch and two buttresses nested in the Gothic buttresses.



The Romanesque building was shorter than the current nave. It is estimated that it was 20 meters wide by 85 meters long. In all likelihood, it consisted of a western massif with two towers, a nave with three vessels and a tripartite chevet in extension. The aisles were pierced by oculi to the west, surmounted by a platform and consolidated by buttresses. Its construction probably spans between the episcopate of Bishop Isarn 1071 to 1105, and continues under that of his successor Amiel 1105 to 1139.


The construction of the cathedral is linked to a policy of recovery of the Church, in the midst of a crisis since the 10C. The papacy encouraged a reform intended to restore discipline among the clergy, change their customs and consolidate their independence from the laity. Bishop Isarn, notably influenced by the action of the Cluny monastery, introduced this reform in Toulouse in 1073. He had a charter drawn up in which it was required: “Let all the clerics eat together, sleep together. May food and clothing be common to all according to the prescription of apostolic tradition. That the freedom to go and move in any place is only granted with the permission of their prior, so that there exists only one spirit, one soul for those who have only one God , one faith, one baptism ”.


Bishop Isarn had the buildings necessary for this community life constructed. A cloister, a chapter house and a large refectory are built to the south and east of the cathedral. They are added to the group of churches Saint-Etienne and Saint-Jacques. The district, most probably fenced, develops in an area of 2.3 hectares. It is bounded to the east by the city wall. Three vaulted passages, to the north, south and west, open onto the city but are closed after dark. The cathedral is located on the edge of this district to allow people to enter more easily.


The famous sculptors’ workshops of Moissac and Saint-Sernin participate in the ornamentation of this vast architectural ensemble. Part of their production can still be appreciated despite the almost complete disappearance of Romanesque buildings. The capitals of the nave and five others visible in the gallery come from the old cathedral. They can be compared to those dated 1100-1110 from the Saint-Sernin Basilica. (see post)  The St Augustins Museum (see posts) preserves magnificent sculptures from the cloister and the chapter house, some of which are attributed to Gilabertus, one of the major artists of Romanesque art.


The history of the St Stephens Cathedral is marked by the revolutionary period. In France, the Constituent Assembly seeks to establish a new Church. The property of the clergy is confiscated, religious orders suppressed and the authority of the pope rejected. New priests must be elected and swear an oath to the Civil Constitution of the clergy. This new constitutional clergy must leave the religious habit for a civil dress and marry its members, under penalty of imprisonment. The Toulouse priests were summoned on March 6, 1791. The session took place in the cathedral. The majority of religious refuse to take an oath to the Constitution and must flee. Father Sermet, favorable to new ideas, was elected bishop on March 27. Constitutional worship is also prohibited. The cathedral was closed in March 1794. The canonical quarter, which no longer had any reason for being, was gradually destroyed. The cloister was demolished in 1799. The church suffered numerous destructions. The portal statues are overturned, the Cardailhac bell is thrown from the bell tower and the furniture is partially destroyed. The choir serves as a warehouse for the furniture of the suppressed churches.

The nave of Saint-Etienne becomes the place of revolutionary celebrations. It is transformed into a temple of the goddess Reason then receives the worship of the Supreme Being. Then take place the decadal worship ceremonies, during which the laws are read and civic spirit glorified. The persecution of religious ends with the Concordat of 1801, an agreement signed between Napoleon Bonaparte and the Papacy. Christianity regained its dominant place in society. After twelve years of unrest, the cathedral is returned to Catholic worship. In a state of ruins, it has lost much of its wealth. And it came back better than ever,Amen!!!

The tourist office of Toulouse on the Cathedral:

Official webpage Cathédrale St Etienne

And even a revolution could not change the faith. So do come to the Cathédrale St Etienne as it is a wonderful monument testament of enduring faith and beautiful architecture. It is Toulouse so if you are here , you must come to it. Hope you have enjoy the post and thanks for reading me.

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

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