Archive for May 9th, 2021

May 9, 2021

Colmenar de Oreja, Comunidad de Madrid!

And another dandy road warrior tour of my beloved Spain. This time will remain close to the capital in the area known as the Comunidad de Madrid sort of a regional autonomous administrative area. In this area or community you have several important towns of historical significanse as I have several posts in my blog. This time , I will update for you and me the wonderful town of Colmenar de Oreja! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Again, have written in general about the things to see in Colmenar de Oreja ;but feel obligated to tell you about some of its best gems such as the Plaza Mayor and the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor.

Colmenar de Oreja  is only about 50 km from Madrid and you can only come here by car ,no train station. You come by the expressway A3 Madrid-Valencia and take the entry into the road M-404 by km 50 at Villarejo de Salvanés (see  post) until Belmonte de Tajo and here take the M-303 to Colmenar de Oreja.  There is another way from the A3 take the M307 at Km 21 before reaching Arganda del Rey, and by it follow continuously the M311 and before reaching Morata de Tajuña take the M313 to Colmenar de Oreja (also take you to Chinchon, see post).

A bit of history I like is that between the years 1500 to 1700 the successive kings of the Habsburg (Austria) ordered the most important works in this town such as the enlargement of the Church of  Santa María la Mayor (1517), repairs to the wall ramparts  (1517) the irrigation of the fields of Vega  (1572), and the foundation of the Franciscan Monastery of San Bernardino de Siena (1570) , and the founding of the Monastery of the Incarcanation of the Recollects Augustinians (1685).

One of the nice things to do and see here are the building of the Plaza Mayor in 1676, a wonderful example of Castilian squares finished in 1794 and on it you find the Casa Consistorial ( served as city hall)  and Posito (old food depot).

The Plaza Mayor was started building it in 1676, as one of the magnificent examples of the typical porticoed Castilian squares when it was finished in 1794. It comprises the city/town hall and the Pósito. Its south cloth gives to a majestic architectonic ensemble formed by the Gardens of Zacatín, the mouth of the tunnel of Stone of the same name (which crosses under the square of part to part), and, the troughs. It has been the framework of a multitude of films and television series. In the popular festivities both in May and September, a portable wooden square with tenders is installed, so that they can celebrate all kinds of bullfighting events, something that the people continue with great devotion and tradition.

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The Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, built by the order of St James in the third part of the 13C, enlarged in second half of the 16C. A beautiful organ with great concerts here. The Chapel of the Christ or Ermita del Santisimo Cristo del Humilladero, patron Saint of the town , different architectural styles and periods with a beautiful chapel of the 16C, all in a Latin Cross and a small dome.

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In 2008 ,the paintings were restored and the floor changed. In addition, since  2009 it has a prestigious body worth admiring, donated in its entirety by the neighboring Maria Perez Garcia, who wanted to contribute in this way to the patrimony of Colmenar de Oreja. Thanks to his gesture you can enjoy beautiful concerts.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Colmenar de Oreja tourist office on things to seehttp://colmenarte.colmenardeoreja.com/

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist board on Colmenar de Orejahttp://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/colmenar-de-oreja/202-colmenar-de-oreja.html

The Madrid city tourist office on Colmenar de Orejahttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/colmenar-oreja

There you go folks, another gem in the off the beaten path roads of the Comunidad de Madrid, again just south of the capital , Colmenar de Oreja , an easy ride by car all worth it for a pleasant afternoon away from the city. Hope you enjoy it as we did.

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

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May 9, 2021

The sights of Chinchon!!!

Great pleasure in bringing you back to my beloved Spain! Again, this is an update on an older post, and what a thrill I am having reviving these wonderful memories! Thanks for those who have follow me thru the years , appreciated. Let me tell you a bit more about the sights of Chinchon!!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

My favorites areas since childhood, Comunidad de Madrid or old Castile, of which Madrid is part and also Chinchon. I have written before over the years in my blog on Chinchon of course. However, there are two spots I love the most ,and would like to tell you a bit more on them. These are the Plaza Mayor (main square) and Castillo de los Condes (Counts’ Castle).

First a bit of Spanish geography and directions.  Chinchón is a town located in the southeast of the Comunidad de Madrid , in the region of Las Vegas, 44 km from Madrid. From Madrid you can reach Chinchón by the highway A-3 taking the detour of the M-307, shortly before reaching Arganda. From there take the roads M-311 and then the M-313 to Chinchón. It can also be reached by the A-4, taking the turnoff of the M-404, shortly after Valdemoro, which takes us through Ciempozuelos and Titulcia to Chinchón. From Conde de Casal (next to metro station same name) bus stop in Madrid you can take bus line 337, to Chinchon terminus Valdelaguna.

The Plaza Mayor of Chinchón is an example of popular architecture. The first houses with arcades and balconies were built in the 15C, and was completely closed in the 17C. It has a circular shape ,covered with sand, and a simple structure, clear, tidy and hierarchical. The buildings are of three floors, with white houses on arcades, wooden balconies painted in green and red-tiled roofs, it’s like the Middle Ages! And 234 wooden balconies called Claros or clear, supported by standing with shoes type columns offering a breathtaking view of the bullfights and other regularly-held shows on the square. Bars, restaurants and other taverns hide behind the arcades. Since its construction, the Plaza Mayor has hosted numerous activities such as Royal celebrations, proclamations, corral of comedies, games of canes, bullfights, executions, sacramental rites, religious, political and military acts, as well as serving as a set for the  Cinema such as the bullfighting scene of the film Around the World in 80 Days, circus show in The Fabulous World of the Circus.

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The Castillo de los Condes or Counts’ Castle or Castle of Chinchon. In Chinchón there were two fortresses; The first, apparently, of the 15C and now disappeared. The current castle was built in the second half of the 16C by order of Diego Fernandez de Cabrera and Bobadilla, third count of Chinchón after being the first destroyed during the communal riots. It has an interesting history I like.

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The Manor of Chinchón, held by the Cabrera family since the time of King Henri IV of Castile. The original castle suffered damages of consideration in the attack made by the communal troops in the year 1520. The square was delivered with all its artillery in 1521. The third count of Chinchón, Diego Fernandez de Cabrera and Bobadilla, decided to demolish the remains of it. On its plot, it ordered to raise a new castle, taking advantage of the materials of the old. It is known that its construction lasted from 1590 to 1598. The Castle of Chinchon was well preserved until 1705, year in which it suffered the consequences of the War of Spanish Succession. At that time it was occupied by the troops of the Austrian Archduke’s army, led by the Marquis of Mines. Its dependencies were used for the installation of abundant artillery. Later, it suffered a fire in its northwest part, as a result of the storage of hemp.  A century later, in 1808, during the three days of siege to Chinchón, it was plundered and burned to the hands of the Polish Brigade of the French Marshal Claude Perrin Victor, in the context of the War of the Independence of Spain (against dictator Napoléon France) .

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The castle of Chinchón is built in concerted limestone masonry, filled with mortar and stones. The spans and moldings are made in ashlars, except the access door, partially lifted in masonry. It exhibits the blazon of the Counts of Chinchón, framed by padded ashlars. The building is of two bodies, which overlap each other forming a large rectangular plant. It is topped in cylindrical towers, which are located in the corners of each of the bodies. Its appearance responds to the characteristics of Renaissance architecture. Rugged and very horizontal, he sought to avoid enemy artillery fire. The walls on the slopes are intended to hinder the access of sappers .It is surrounded by a moat, which is partially conserved. The castle was abandoned in the 18C after being the residence of the Counts of Chinchón for two hundred years.  Access to the interior of the castle is not allowed.

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And to add, it is good to get lost in the labyrinth of cobbled streets that go up to the Church of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion or Our Lady of the Assumption (see pic above from plaza mayor), which contains a painting by Goya, the Assumption of the Virgin, painted in 1812. Just next door is the superb theater of Lope de Vega, built in the 19C, which sometimes serves as a cinema. The village has thus inspired two great names of the arts: Lope de Vega and Francisco de Goya. A little further is the Torre del Reloj or clock tower, which watches over the village. Surrounded of a rampart, the esplanade flanked by its three monuments overlooks the Plaza Mayor and offers a splendid panorama on Chinchon. The village also houses a charming Parador de Turismo (lodging hotel), in the Convent of San Agustin, erected in the 17C.

The Comunidad de Madrid regional tourist office on the Plaza Mayor of Chinchon: https://turismomadrid.es/en/to-see-and-do/culture/villas/11414-chinch%C3%B3n-and-its-plaza-mayor.html

The Comunidad de Madrid regional tourist office on the Count’s castle of Chinchonhttps://turismomadrid.es/es/ver-y-hacer/cultura/red-de-castillos/10817-chinchon.html

The city of Chinchon on things to seehttp://www.ciudad-chinchon.com/turismo/en/conoce-chinchon/lugares-interes/edificios-historico-artisticos.php

The  Madrid city tourist office on Chinchon: https://www.esmadrid.com/chinchon

You have a nice day in Chinchon a typical Madrileno town not far from Madrid and yet in the countryside. There you go folks ,come on over, nice Chinchon  and waiting for you.

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

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May 9, 2021

Church of St Laurent,St Stephen, Remich, Luxembourg!

Well here I was on my road warrior mode driving thru Luxembourg from over in Germany and we of course, saw some interesting off the beaten path towns and monuments. One I like to update here for you and me was the  Church of St Laurent-St Stephen, in Remich! 

Over the years I have criss cross Luxembourg by car and even flown to Findel airport once. I have written , of course, several posts on it. However, I like to go deeper into some of the most picturesques towns of it.  One of these is Remich, wonderful town by the Moselle river and full of vineyards. A joy to see,and one of the nice monuments is the Church of St Laurent and St Stephen. 

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Remich is a town and the capital of the canton of Luxembourg; called “The Pearl of the Moselle”.  It is located at the crossroads of three countries: Luxembourg, France and Germany. Its politico-geographical borders include: to the East: the Moselle river (a tributary of the Rhine) and Germany, a bridge spanning the Moselle and connecting the city to the town of Nennig; To the West: the village of Bous; In the north: the village  of Stadtbredimus; And in the south: the town of Schengen (see post).  In a radius of less than 40 km  there are important tourist sites, including Luxembourg city, Trier, Sarrebourg, Sierck-les-Bains, Mondorf-les-Bains and Metz. Remich is located on the European road Saarbrücken-Luxembourg.

Remich is the nerve center of Luxembourg viticulture with the headquarters of the Wine-Growing Institute and the National Wine Brands. Numerous wine cellars in Remich (including  one underground) and in the neighboring villages invite a guided tour and a tasting of the best crus of the terroir.

However, one monument that caught our eyes was the Church St Laurent and St Stephen.  The belfry of the decanal Church of St Laurent, dating back to the Norman era, this tower, originally built as a watchtower on foundations dating from the time of the Romans. In the 12C, recalls the remains of the fortification of the town of Remich.  Saint Stephen and St. Laurent are the patron Saints of the Church. 

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In all is very nice quant little town and lovely to spent an afternoon at Remich , we love the ride and have pleasant memories of been here with my dear late wife Martine. Hope you enjoy the post, and thanks for stopping by as always.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Remich tourist office on the church: http://visitremich.lu/en/que-faire/culture/kierch/

The Moselle region tourist board on Remich: https://www.visitmoselle.lu/en/where-to-go/remich

The Luxembourg tourist office on Remich: https://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/moselle/remich

There you go folks, a nice ride and another wonderful off the beaten path trip this one in lovely Luxembourg and nice Remich. Enjoy the introductory tour. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 9, 2021

Schengen, Luxembourg!!!

And here going back to one of my fav of Europe, the little country of Luxembourg and its most emblematic city of Schengen!! I came here for the curiosity of the meaning of the town for travelers and European Union thoughts. I was delighted to have come. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And I bring out east again to neighboring nice Luxembourg and one icon town that is a symbol of European unity, that desperate goals seek by over 400 million people trying to live in peace and prosperity. Not easy I know but we keep on trying…  I like to show you a bit more on Schengen. The European Center, the famous old Castle and the Church of St Sauveur.  Schengen is a town in the canton of Remich in Luxembourg. The town is located in the extreme southeast of Luxembourg, close to the tripoint Germany-France-Luxembourg. It is a wine town, part of the Moselle vineyard.

We rode from Germany where we were staying on the B51 over the 419 and into Wellen crossing the Moselle into Grevenmacher and then down south on the 10 and 152 to Schengen. Easy beautiful rides along a wonderful river and very nice scenaries.

One of the things to see here is the church. In 1949, was the laying of the first stone of the building of the Church of St Sauveur was consecrated in 1950.  This after many fires had destroyed the much older Church on the site several times. The large roof gives a light appearance. Likewise the corners and nooks of the Church, the Romanesque arches of the windows and the lateral position of the tower underline this aspect. The vaulted nave ends in an impressive triumphal arch and culminates in the choir which is illuminated by six high and narrow stained glass windows.

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The tabernacle, the Annunciation ,and the Way of the Cross are made in copper the doors of the Tabernacle show the scene of the Annunciation. The paintings of the Way of the Cross have no frame and are perfectly integrated into the architecture. The consecration crosses and the interposed candlesticks are reminiscent of the consecration of the Church of St Sauveur. In the niches to the left and to the right of the triumphal arch of the lateral altars are dedicated to the comforter (left) and the Savior of the World (right). On the left under the rood is the old baptistery. On the 25th anniversary of the Schengen treaties an icon of the patron Saints of Europe was put in.

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The visitor European Center houses the European Museum, a permanent exhibition about the European Union and the Schengen Agreement as well as a Europe information center with documentation about the activities of the European Union. The Euro Center was the treaty of free exchange of people in Europe something that is in vogue today in Europe and test this initiative done in 1990.

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Even 30 years after the first treaty was signed, the term Schengen is still a symbol for the freedom of movement and the abolishment of borders in Europe. Inaugurated in 2010, the European Museum is dedicated to the history and significance of the Schengen agreement. The exhibition is spread over 200 m2, retraces the development from a Europe of borders towards a more unified Europe with a common citizenship in a clear and interactive manner. The abolishment of systematic border controls within the Schengen zone has been the first step in applying the four fundamental freedoms established with the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

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Schengen Castle in Schengen near the borders with France and Germany. Dating from 1390 but almost completely rebuilt in the 19C. The 14C fortified castle was torn down by the industrialist Jean-Nicolas Collart in 1812 who built a residential manor house in its place. All that remained of the medieval building was its round central tower. The castle’s most famous visitor was certainly Victor Hugo who visited the Castle in 1871 and made a sketch of the old tower.

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From 1939, the Schengen castle was occupied by the congregation of Saint Elizabeth, but in April 2010, it opened as a hotel and conference center. Together with the surrounding buildings, it has meeting facilities for up to 100 participants. It is part of the gardens.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must to see me think are

The city of Schengen on the Agreement of Schengenhttps://www.schengen.lu/commune/accords-de-schengen/

The Schengen agreement visa info etc. : https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/

The Schengen tourist officehttps://www.visitschengen.lu/en/

The Moselle region of Luxembourg tourist board on Schengenhttps://www.visitmoselle.lu/en/where-to-go/schengen

The Luxembourg tourist board on Schengenhttps://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/moselle/schengen

Hope you like it as we did lovely ride along the Moselle river by car glorious and then the town is very quant indeed historically famous. Schengen is Europe!

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

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