Some news from Spain CIIII

And I am back to my dear Spain and things there are moving right along with most opening again and ready for the big tourist season. I am in line to go in August21. Let me tell you the latest tidbits of Spain everything under the sun!

First the sad news. Visits to Spanish museums have fallen by 81% between the months of March and November 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. These data come as a result of a survey carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Sports that reveals a smaller drop ( 73%) in the months of June, July and August, coinciding with the summer period. Now its catch up time for many..

The Abbey of the Valley of the Fallen (Valle de los Caidos see post) returns 477 books withdrawn during the Franco dictatorship to the National Library in Madrid. Its about time as they were catalog since 1961 and were to be given much earlier. Now maybe a chance for us to see at the National Library by plaza Colon (see post).

And as stated earlier series, the action continues. The new presentation of the permanent collection of the Reina Sofía National Museum, the great project of the center in the last 10 years, and the great legacy of its director, Manuel Borja-Villel (who will leave office in 2023), is already on the walls of the fourth floor of the Sabatini Building, its original headquarters. The first episode of the new Reina Sofía is called Nos Ven: From Modernity to Developmentalism, it occupies about 2,000 square meters and includes pieces of architecture, design and art. They see us: from modernity to developmentalism begins as a cosmopolitan story and, room by room, it focuses on Spain: on the Spanish artists who have appeared in the world since the 1960s, but also on the sociological changes that the world experienced. country during the dictatorship. Latin America and exile will be the next extensions to the permanent collection. The first case will be one of those “looks to the south” that have become common in cultural criticism in recent years and it will gravitate around the coups d’état in Brazil and Chile and the triumph of the Chicago Boys. The only thing that will remain unaltered will be the central place of Guernica in the museum. Picasso’s great work will thus be a kind of Aleph, a place where all stories fit. It will be the Reina Sofía of the new generation.

Discovery in the Prado Museum!! The sculpture “Enthroned Praying Virgin”, dated in the 15C, is actually a work of the 20C!, as has been verified after carrying out an exhaustive technical study. The sculpture, made in polychrome alabaster and partially gilded, it was acquired by the National Museum Board in 1971 and classified as a piece of medieval sculpture belonging to the 15C Spanish school. For this reason, the Museum’s materials laboratory carried out the study of some microsamples of the sculpture. After this analysis came the surprise for the experts who were able to corroborate their suspicions, an error 500 years apart!!. The result of this investigation was to be made public at the congress “Alabaster As Material For Medieval And Renaissance Sculpture“, convened by the Louvre Museum for June 24 and 25, which has been postponed until next year due to the pandemic.

The most important paintings in Spain that you cannot stop by without seeing them and have posts on the museums.

Las Meninas (Velázquez). It is the masterpiece of the painter belonging to the Spanish Golden Age, which ended in 1656. Large (over 3 meters high), it is one of the most visited paintings in the El Prado Museum (Madrid). The central theme is the portrait of the Infanta Margarita of Austria, placed in the foreground, surrounded by her servants, “las meninas”.

Guernica (Picasso). The Spanish master painted this oil on canvas over seven meters long in 1937 in Paris, during the Spanish Civil War. It is one of the author’s most recognized paintings and one of the most important works of art of the 20C. It alludes to the bombing of the Basque city of Guernica, which occurred on April 26, 1937. It is on permanent display at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

The executions of May 3 (Goya). Francisco de Goya painted this painting in 1814 and it is exhibited in the Museo Nacional del Prado (Madrid). Represents the May 2 uprising of the Spanish population against French rule, at the beginning of the War of Independence against dictator Napoléon’s France.

Walk on the seafront (Sorolla) It is one of the most famous paintings by the Valencian painter, completed in 1909. Post-impressionist in style, it depicts his wife and his eldest daughter on the beach in Valencia at sunset. It is kept in the Sorolla Museum (Madrid).

The musician’s table (Juan Gris). Considered one of the masters of Cubism, José Victoriano González-Pérez, better known as Juan Gris, completed this painting in 1926, a year before dying in France. It shows his enormous fondness for music. At the Reina Sofía (Madrid)

The burial of the Lord of Orgaz (El Greco). It is considered one of the best and most admired works by the late Renaissance Greek author. Painted in 1588 for the parish of Santo Tomé de Toledo (where it still remains), it represents the miracle in which, according to tradition, Saint Stephen and Saint Augustine came down from Heaven to personally bury Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo, lord of the town of Orgaz, as a reward for an exemplary life of devotion to the saints, their humility and the works of charity carried out.

Soft Self-Portrait with Grilled Bacon (Dalí). This oil on canvas by the Catalan master of Surrealism, made in 1941, represents a soft, amorphous face, supported by crutches, which Dalí considered to be his self-portrait. It is in the Dalí Theater-Museum (Figueres, Girona)

El aquelarre or coven (Goya). This oil on canvas from a fresco was commissioned for the recreation palace of the Dukes of Osuna, on the estate they owned in the Alameda de Osuna (today the Capricho park see post). Painted in 1798, it represents a coven ritual presided over by the Great Goat, one of the forms taken by the devil. It was acquired in 1928 by José Lázaro Galdiano for his private collection. It can be seen at the Lázaro Galdiano Foundation museum(Madrid).

In another museum news… In February of 2020, just before the confinement by the pandemic, the restoration began ‘live’, in public view, of one of the masterpieces of the Thyssen Museum: ‘Young Knight in a Landscape’ (c.1505), painted by Vittore Carpaccio. It is believed to be a posthumous portrait of the Venetian captain Marco Gabriel. Nice to see..

Did you know, iIn Europe there are a total of 35 historical gardens that have been listed as World Heritage by Unesco. Germany and Italy, with six sites each lead the list by country, closely followed by Spain, which has five: the works of Antoni Gaudí (Park Güell); The Alhambra, Generalife and Albaicín de Granada (Generalife Gardens); the cathedral, fortress and Archive of the Indies of Seville (Reales Alcázares); the cultural landscape of Aranjuez (Gardens of the Royal Palace); and the Palmeral de Elche.

Yes going up as the new group Luxury Spain, has teamed up with 130 partners linked to high-end brands, be they hotels, restaurants, clothing firms, art galleries or food products. They are all aware of what moves the luxury market in Spain. Exact figure: 6,590 million euros in 2019, just the year before the pandemic. This figure positioned Spain in fifth place at the European level behind France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. But the idea is to climb steps. Madrid, Barcelona and Marbella were the key points for this type of consumer, according to data managed by the Spanish Luxury Association. Regarding the profile of the traveler in this segment, they still go to travel agencies to book their vacations, they look for a program designed to measure, they demand an interlocutor available 24 hours a day in case something unforeseen arises during the trip and they usually spend an average of between 6,000 and 11,792 euros per person on each getaway. And they usually does a minimum of three per year. So says the study. The luxury traveler in Spain, prepared by the National Observatory of Issuing Tourism (Observatur) with the collaboration of Iberia and Gran Meliá. Luxury Spain webpage:

An icon of Madrid! El Rastro To begin with, the sales area is delimited (the stalls can only be located in the squares of Cascorro, General Vara del Rey and Campillo del Nuevo Mundo or in the streets Ribera de Curtidores, Carlos Arniches and Mira el Río Baja) and , therefore, also the movement of pedestrians. There is no visit to the Rastro without a good snack or a couple of them before lunch. The Bar Cruz (also known as La Casa de las Navajas; Calle Maldonadas, 1). It opened its doors in 1970 and is named after the family’s grandmother, María Cruz Calvo. The Casa Amadeo (Plaza de Cascorro, 18), the most traditional snail bar in Madrid. They are served in a clay pot, in a stew with chorizo ​​and its spicy touch. Today this tavern is run by one of Amadeo’s grandsons, but the patriarch stops by from time to time to chat with the patrons. For lovers of natural wines, Cascorro Bistrot (Plaza de Cascorro, 21), a bar with French wines that mixes restaurant, tavern and winery. Already on the corner with Calle Toledo, it is worth stopping at Los Tiernos (Calle Toledo, 73), the conversion into a modern bar of the mythical Onis cafeteria. Its owners are the same who run the Pavón Bar (Embajadores, 9) and its name is a tribute to one of Madrid’s most beloved mayors, Enrique Tierno-Galván.

The most beautiful wine cellars in Spain, my favorites!

González ByassTio Pepe. (see post) In the heart of Jerez de la Frontera, the Tío Pepe wineries represent a journey back in time: from the origin of Jerez wine to the present day. It is a landmark of the 19C winemaking tradition, with Andalusian patios, beautiful trellised streets , and spectacular centenary wineries where generous and brandies age. You should not miss the Real Bodega de La Concha, whose architecture is attributed to the engineer Gustave Eiffel, the boots signed by celebrities of all kinds or the small staircase supported by catavinos arranged on the albero of the old La Constancia winery, ready for the little mice taste fragrant wine and celebrate life in their own way. Address: Calle Manuel María González, 12 (Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz).

Marqués de Riscal. (my first wine drank ever!! way back!) This oenological complex, known as the Marqués de Riscal Wine City, is made up of several facilities, including two wineries and a five-star hotel with a spa. Of the complex, the original cellar from the 19C is striking, where La Catedral is located, the bottleling cellar where the oldest labels are kept, many from the first vintage of the house, dated in 1862; the El Palomar building, the second winery, renovated a few years ago without losing its 19C air, and finally the hotel, the impressive construction designed by architect Frank O. Gehry, covered in titanium and decorated with the representative colors of Marqués de Riscal : pink, like wine; gold, like the mesh of the bottles, and silver, like its capsule. Calle Torrea, 1 (Elciego, Álava).

Pazo de Señorans. Mythical Rías Baixas winery that presented its first vintage in 1989. The pazo, now converted into a winery, is a magnificent representative of the 16C Galician manor houses, built in the countryside, with all the charm and manor of yesteryear. In addition to the pazo itself and the vineyard, this winery has its own distillery in which good pomace is made. Address: Plaza Vilanoviña, s / n (Meis, Pontevedra).

Abadía Retuerta. An ambitious oenological project that combines monastic vestiges, a luxury hotel and remarkable wines. It is located in the heart of the “golden mile” of the Ribera del Duero, on the banks of the river. The abbey building that gives its name to the winery is a superb 12C convent restored with the utmost respect to house a luxury hotel –Le Domaine-, with 30 rooms, two restaurants and a charming wine spa. On the farm, which covers more than 700 hectares, it is possible to enjoy country snacks, tasting courses, horseback riding or helicopter tours. Address: Ctra. N-122, km 332.5 (Sardón de Duero, Valladolid).

López de Heredia Viña Tondonia. One of the pioneering wineries in the historic Barrio de la Estación de Haro (in La Rioja). Run by the López de Heredia family, it is perhaps the only one among the historical ones of this denomination that has not been tempted by technical innovations or allowed a nod to innovations or trends: if stainless steel, everything is vinified in centuries-old oak vats and old barrels. In the labyrinth of its historic buildings, the modern facility built for its 125th anniversary stands out, designed by the Iranian architect Zaha Hadid, which functions as a visitor center and shop, with a certainly avant-garde stamp. As a detail, it should be noted that one of the singularities that distinguish Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia is its cooperage workshop, since it manufactures 100% of the barrels it uses (the centennial Riojan company continues to acquire the wood in origin, the Appalachian Mountains in USA) and carrying out all the processes in their own workshop in order to preserve this tradition. Address: Avda. De Vizcaya, 3 (Haro, La Rioja).

And there you go folks another dandy some news from Spain! As said things are looking up , cheers up we are coming wait for us!!! You know this was a tourism slogan from the 80’s there, Spain everything under the Sun and it is. Enjoy it

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

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