Archive for June 2nd, 2021

June 2, 2021

Museo de San Isidro of Madrid!

And bringing you back to my beloved Madrid, Spain. This is always full of many memories and great times with me, my parents, the wife, the boys all together it has been a fairy tail ,and we love it. One older post I like to refresh and update links is part of the tradition and history of Madrid. Let me tell you a bit more if condense text as much as possible as can be long; the Museo de San Isidro or the Saint Isidore museum of Madrid!


In continuing my “education” with my 3 young men sons I passed them by many places even myself have not been to lately ,for  several years. One of them was the super historical Museo de San Isidro or St Isidore’s museum!  The San Isidro Museum, or of the Origins of Madrid, (Museo de San Isidro o Origenes de Madrid)  is a cultural institution of the Madrid City Council, located in the Plaza de San Andrés, 2. It was inaugurated on May 15, 2000. The permanent collection comes mostly from the disappeared Archaeological Institute and the Municipal Museum of Madrid. It shows the history of the city from prehistory to the establishment of the Court through archaeological pieces, models and engravings.


The building, the so-called Casa de San Isidro, was a 16C palace, owned by the Lujanes family, built on the Vargas palace, masters of San Isidro Labrador (Patron Saint of Madrid) ,and Santa María de la Cabeza (his wife). Subsequently, the palace was occupied by the Apostolic Nuncio after the transfer of the Court to Madrid. Later, and until the 19C, the palace belonged to the counts of Paredes de Nava and, later, to the marquis of Peñafuente. In 1986 it was acquired by the Madrid City Council.


It has integrated original elements, such as the Chapel of San Isidro (built in the 16C in one of the places where tradition says that the saint lived and died), the well where the son of San Isidro felled , which was saved by the saint’s prayer, or the courtyard, with the shields of the Lujanes family.  The chapel was built in 1608, it was renovated in 1663 and then again between 1783 and 1789, when the current decoration dates back. The central oval represents the apotheosis of San Isidro, and in the vault of the nave two angels appear who hold a laurel wreath while two others present a band with the inscription: “I did dormivit in domino” (“Here he slept in the Lord” ), referring to the tradition according to which the saint died in this place. The altarpiece is from the 18C, painted wood imitating marble. A knitted arch houses a polychrome wooden sculpture that has been in the chapel since 1663. In addition to the well and the chapel, it is worth noting the reconstruction of the 16C Renaissance courtyard, which was dismantled by the ruin of the building, and that It has been rebuilt in part, being a unique piece next to the courtyard of the Imperial College on Calle de Toledo , with a very interesting perspective from its galleries, and a beautiful garden in the center.


In walking and seeing the museum you go thru several sections. The first section you can see which animals lived around the Manzanares and Jarama rivers before the arrival of man. Elephants, mammoths, rhinos and other extinct or missing species inhabited this area. The remains of the first settlers, ancestors of our species, are shown. They were hunters and gatherers as evidenced by some of the tools found in Madrid’s archaeological sites.  The second section of the San Isidro Museum is dedicated to the foundation of the city and its evolution until in the 16C when king  Felipe II moved his court to Madrid. The foundation of Madrid by the Muslims had a military character. A watchtower and a wall were the starting point of what is now the capital of Spain. Some of the pieces on display are from that era, such as jugs and other everyday objects. You can also see what a house was like inside then.  The third section of the Museum is dedicated to San Isidro itself. Here is the 17C Chapel, with an anonymous carving of the saint and the frescoes of Zacarías González Velázquez. In the sacristy you can know something about the life and miracles of San Isidro, which were many. In this part there is also the Well of the Miracle, star piece of the Museum. According to tradition, San Isidro saved his son from drowning , who had fallen into the well by accident. With his prayer he raised the water level to the brook to recover it.


The Renaissance Courtyard of the House of the Counts of Paredes is preserved in very good condition Inside pieces of Madrid monuments are stored, such as the bear and the dragon that served as pipes in the Cibeles Fountain.  The Archaeobotanical Garden shows an exhibition of documented plants in medieval Madrid. One of the sides is formed by the gothic apse of the Bishop’s Chapel.  The Visitable Warehouse, in the basement, is an outstanding curiosity of the Museum. Save a large number of archaeological pieces that do not fit in the main exhibition, but organized so that they can be visited. They are more than a thousand pieces organized by cultural periods and exhibited in showcases.  In total 700 pieces are shown on the upper floors of the Museum and another 1,000 more in the basement’s visitable warehouse, of the total of more than 300,000 pieces of the museum funds!

The city of Madrid on its heritage/Monuments on the San Isidro museum

The Madrid tourist office on the San Isidro Museum

There you go folks, another dandy you should not missed while in Madrid to soak in the history of the city of my best souvenirs, enjoy the Museo de Sain Isidro as we did. This is Madrid !

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

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June 2, 2021

Fuente de Apolo de Madrid !

Now this is a fountain statue as you will that often is overlook by visitors to my beloved Madrid. I did a brief post on it and I like to update the text on the Apolo fountain or Fuente de Apolo de Madrid! Hope you enjoy it as I.

So much to see and do, and so many monuments time is not enough for my beloved Madrid. One thing I did a lot is to walk all over the city sometimes to the limits but it allows me to show my sons my beloved city in all its glory.  We passed by monuments hardly noticeable by visitors but with a great history and architecture on them. For now this is the Fuente de Apolo or Apollo’s fountain right on Paseo del Prado!

The Fuente de Apolo (Apollo fountain), also called the Cuatro Estaciones (Four Seasons), is a monumental fountain located on the Paseo del Prado. It occupies the center of what was called the Prado Hall, within the urban reform sponsored by King Carlos III in the 18C. It is part of the sculptural ensemble by Ventura Rodríguez for the Paseo , along with that of Cibeles and Neptune. The three fountains are considered masterpieces of Spanish Neoclassicism.


The Apollo Fountain began to be built in 1780 during the reign of Carlos III. The erection of the statue of Apollo was in 1802. The set was inaugurated a year later, 1803, to celebrate the link of the crown prince Don Fernando (future Fernando VII), son of Carlos IV.

The Apollo fountain is composed of a central body with a staircase, with two masks that throw water on three overlapping shells of different dimensions. The pedestal sculptures represent the four seasons by allegorical figures, hence the alternative name of the fountain. The monument marks an effigy of the god Apollo, divinity of light and the arts, with the features of King Carlos III.

The Madrid tourist office on the Apolo fountain

Hope you enjoy the walks of my Madrid, there are several in my blog.  Of course, in your walks by Prado do stop to see this wonderful Fuente de Apolo. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 2, 2021

The market in St Brieuc!

And here I am picking an older post on one of my favorite past time; visiting the food markets of my lovely Bretagne and my belle France. I have several on different towns in France in my blog, this one is up north from me and need some update on text and links. Hope you enjoy the market in Saint Brieuc!


Tradition obliges and the very best from mother Earth are a must! Granted you always have to look at the labels but in general view the markets are what France brings out to the world in culinary tradition. Forget the modern trends of hypermarkets etc; head for the markets in any town in France.

We have gone to several over the years and have our favorites close to home, however, we have come to some newer ones in our lovely Brittany. This time I stay in the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 up north and the town of Saint Brieuc.  The market here is modern not history on it but the food and the crowds are just as nice and if you are driving traveling by here is a must. The road N12 connects you to all of Brittany and the TGV Atlantique stops here too.

The halles covered market in Saint-Brieuc are open Wednesdays and Saturdays. They are the biggest in the whole dept 22  Côtes d’Armor. Open from 8h to &3h at the Place de la Résistance in city center.  They are spread outside into the  place du Chai and the place du Martray.  In them , you have merchants offering flowers, fruit and vegetables, local products and confectionaries and prepare foods. All goodies!!!


The city of Saint Brieuc on the markets

The Bay of St Brieuc tourist office on the markets

And there you go another round of markets in the Côtes d’Armor of my lovely Bretagne, up my alley but not close, anyway the road warrior has been everywhere! And for markets we smell the food km away and search for them, this is living at its best. Be at a market day in France should be your hightlight of the visit! yes I say so.

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

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