Archive for June 10th, 2021

June 10, 2021

Heroes of May 2nd 1808!

Once in a while I dealt directly with heroes; as more often post on general historical events while traveling my road warrior ways. This time I take you to my beloved Spain in something that has strong connection to my dear France. Times have change, but nevertheless history must be obeserved and respected and of course the heroes recognised. So therefore , I took a picture in Segovia that made me write this post: hope you enjoy it as I.

If you have read my blog, you know blood runs thru my veins (Tenerife) of this wonderful kingdom of Spain. And you should know I used to lived in my beloved Madrid. If there are many wonderful cities in my dear Spain, one of the closest to my heart would be Segovia. I like to give you a historical story from right here in my dear Segovia! I have come here many many years before , in fact came with my girlfriend  over 30 years ago , later my dear late wife Martine . So , very emotional memories coming back to write on Segovia. Even if always stop in Madrid, Segovia is special for this and the magnificent stable of monuments of wonderful beauty and architecture.

The Monument to Daoiz and Velarde is an instance of public art in Segovia, it is a memorial to Luis Daoiz y Torres and Pedro Velarde y Santillán, two Spanish artillery officers who fell fighting against the French army at the 1808 Dos de Mayo uprising (May 2), in the context of the War of Independence of Spain from Napoleonic France there known as the Peninsular War. The laying of the foundation stone was held on 6 May 1908 on the occasion of the festivities taking place in early May for the 100th anniversary of the Dos de Mayo uprising.


The monument can be described as follows: it occupies an area of 242 square metres in the Plaza de la Reina Victoria, in front of the Alcázar of Segovia, and it is enclosed by a fence. The sides of the pedestal are ornamented by two large reliefs and by two plaques displaying the coats of arms of Sevilla (Daoíz’s homeland), and Santander (Velarde’s homeland) and the respective commemorative inscriptions.  An allegory of History lies on the steps of the pedestal. it is sculpted on white marble, contrasting with a bronze relief depicting the last stand at the Monteleón artillery barracks. The other relief shows Daoiz rallying the people of Madrid, engaged in a desperate struggle against the French troops. The allegorical figure of Spain tops off the monument, holding the dying bodies of the two artillerymen in her arms, wrapped in the national flag. In the lower part there is an eagle, clutching the rock with one of its claws, fighting to pull out the flag with the other claw. The monument was unveiled on 15 July 1910 by king Alfonso XIII.

The Segovia tourist office on the Alcazar as the monument has no specific webpage but it is just in front.

A bit of history on the two heroes. The Sevillian Luis Daoíz y Torres, had joined the army at 15 years of age and managed to reap a successful military career. An outstanding fencer and student, he trained as a gunner in the Royal Artillery Regiment in Puerto de Santa María. He participated in the defense of Ceuta against Morocco, in the Roussillon War against the French, fought against the English troops in Cádiz and defended the Spanish colonies in America. Upon his return to Spain, at the age of 41, he was transferred to Madrid in command of the Monteleón Artillery Park. The Cantabrian Pedro Velarde y Santillán had entered the Royal College of Artillery of Segovia (see post Alcazar) when he was 14 years old. After serving in Portugal he had become a teacher and an expert in cannons, but had to move to Madrid when he was appointed Secretary of the Superior Economic Board of the Artillery Corps. He was 29 years old and, through effort, he had made a niche for himself in the upper echelons of the General Staff.

The heroic captains had defended the barracks until their last breath, but all their courage had failed to stop the French. Daoíz was hit in the back with a bayonet and later riddled with stabs. Velarde died as a result of a point-blank shot to the heart. The body of Luis Daoíz, still dressed in the uniform in which he had died, was smuggled inside a box to the disappeared Church of San Martín, in the Plaza de las Descalzas. The corpse of Pedro Velarde, after being stripped and outraged by the French in the streets of Madrid, was recovered by his companions, who wrapped him with a piece of a tent from the Monteleón Park itself and took him to the same church of his partner. In 1814, once the War of Independence ended, both bodies were exhumed with all honors in front of a crowd of people who gathered to acclaim the heroes, whose remains traveled throughout Spain until they were deposited in the monument to the Heroes del Dos de Mayo in Madrid’s Plaza de la Lealtad, where they rest today.

“That unfortunate Spanish war was a real tragedy. The origin of all the misfortunes of France ” by dictator Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Memory of Madrid from the city of Madrid on the old Monteleon palace where the park was (in Spanish):

Today in Madrid there is an Arch at the entrance to the Artillery park of Monteleón integrated to the monument of Daoiz and Velarde in the Plaza del 2 de Mayo. More from the Madrid tourist office

Hope you enjoy the historical story and by this get to know my beloved Spain a bit more. A bit more than just traveling but visiting Madrid and Segovia. Of course, part of my history. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 10, 2021

A monument in Les Mureaux!

Again looking at my older posts realised missing some input into my blog. I did passed by here for an auto show (see post), and walked a bit around this aviation historical town . One of the monument that caught my eye was the Church of St Peter and St Paul of Les Mureaux. Let me tell you a bit about it as information is hard to come by and have no brochures.

les mureaux

Les Mureaux is a town in the Yvelines department 78 , in the Île-de-France region. Located on the banks of the Seine river, opposite Meulan and Hardricourt, the city of Mureaux is 39 km (about 24 miles) from Paris. You have direct train from Gare Saint Lazare in Paris very frequent direction Mantes la Jolie. Also, the road A13 autoroute de Normandie takes you here on exit/sortie 8.

les mureaux ch front aug10

What is available is that the current Church of St Peter and St Paul succeeds the older church built under king Henri IV. In 1890, Father Duval decided to build a new church larger than the previous one and preceded by a square (place de la liberation today). Construction ended in 1896 with the bell tower. made in the neo-Gothic style.

les mureaux ch nave to altar aug10

Easy to walk there as like from the train station go out to Rue Henri Dunant and turn left it takes you directly into Place de la Liberation bear left on the mairie or city/town hall and stay on Rue Carnot follow it a couple hundred meters to the church. By the road taking the exit 8 on the A13 direction centre ville or city center on the D43 or Avenue Paul Raoult just past the complex of the train station next road is Rue Henri Dunant take a left here and all the way as above.

les mureaux ch organ aug10

The city of Les Mureaux on the church St Pierre and St Paul

I think that is there is an event like the auto show or an aviation event as it is the home of ESA the European Space Agency where rockets are put up together to be taken to French Guyana to shoot up the church is worth the visit. Hope it helps as these are the events that took me to see the église St Pierre et St Paul de Les Mureaux!

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

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June 10, 2021

Bahia de La Habana!!!

I found them!! Its not easy to find pictures that are in several modes from paper to usb to cd roms but finally got to these ones. I like to have it in my blog and hope you enjoy it as much as I. This is going back deep back in my life when as a boy lived in Havana or La Habana or San Cristobal de la Habana! I remembered walking a lot around the main points there and was able to visit again as recently as 2012 to see it one more time before it really goes dilipated. I like to tell you my side of the Bay of Havana!

The Bahia de la Habana or Havana Bay is the bay around which stretches Havana, the capital of Cuba. Havana Bay is considered one of the safest bays in the Caribbean and America. It has a strategic geographical and economic location due to its confluence with the Straits of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the old channel of the Bahamas. It is navigable only in 120 meters and has 87 percent of the occupied territory, and 63 percent of the productive sector with 71 berths and 50 docks. The bay which actually forms a roadstead extends over 5 km2 communicates with the Caribbean Sea through a channel 1.2 km long and approximately 220 meters wide. There are coves on the outskirts with the 3 main ones being the Marimelena, Guanabacoa and Atarés. There is a wonderful road tunnel inaugurated in 1958 makes it possible to cross the entrance of the bay. This tunnel appeared there between the seven wonders of the French civil engineering. Underneath the bay of Havana for 733 meters, and a depth of 15 meters, was built by the French company Société de Grands Travaux de Marseille. It was inaugurated exactly on May 31 1958.

The bay of Havana is bordered by the towns/neighborhoods of Habana Vieja (old Havana), Regla , and La Habana del Este or (East Havana). Since the second half of the 16C, the entrance to the bay has been protected by two fortresses: El Morro to the east and San Salvador de la Punta to the west.


The constant attacks by corsairs and pirates during the first years of the 16C, as well as the constant expansionist sieges of France, England and Holland, forced the Spanish Crown to establish a defensive system to protect the location of the bay and its port. Then important fortifications arise such as the Castillo de la Chorrera, located at the mouth of the Almendares River; the Castillo de la Punta , the Castillo del Morro , the Castillo de la Real Fuerza and the San Carlos de La Cabaña Fortress, built after the attack and capture of Havana by English troops in August 1762. This system of fortifications was joined by the construction between 1674 and 1797 of the Wall of Havana, which divided the city into two zones. It was from 1561, with the decision to concentrate the Fleet of the Indies in the Port of Havana before its trip to Spain, that the city began a flourishing development and with it the establishment of the first residential nuclei and public buildings to along the coast of the Port.


My personal take as it was my city…long ago ok. If you start from the Malecon next to the castle of San Salvador de la Punta (for short La Punta) you will see the monument to the medicine students of 1871 killed by Spain under the colonial rule. Continue you see the Monument to Maximo Gomez (hero of independence war vs Spain) , and arrive at the nice park Parque Céspedes. Follow by the smaller park parque Luz Caballero right in the corner on calle Empedrado street you see the remains of the ramparts wall of Havana! And next you see the Castillo de la Real Fuerza de la Habana (for short La Fuerza) , after you turn right into calle Narciso Lopéz to see the El Templete or small temple the spot of the first Catholic Mass in Cuba! You continue along the bay street and you see on your right the nice jardin de la Princesa Diana de Gales (princess Diane of Wales garden) ; quickly follow by the back of the Lonja or bourse commerce stock exchange from colonial times. You quickly see the square or Plaza Francisco de Asis and the wonderful Basilica San Francisco de Asis or St Francis of Assisi. Further to see in my opinion is still bordering the bay on your right hand side the Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula or the Church of St Francis of Paula. Then, further down along the bay you reach to the back of the Estacion Central de Ferrocarriles or Central Train Station of Havana, and further on your right you will end the walk with the Castillo de Atàres or Atares castle.

If you start across the bay at the point you will be at the Castillo delos Tres Reyes del Morro (Morro castle for short). You would go up on the esplanade to reach the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña (for short la Cabaña). Right here by the esplanade they still do the 21h or 9pm cannon shot announcing the closing of the bay of Havana and a bit further You will go up to the Cristo or Christ . Afterward you will reach the town of Casablanca . Here there is a ferry boat that takes back to Havana central or the other town on the bay that of Regla. However I heard this was in disrepair so not sure if still doing the runs.

There is no specific webpage for the Bay of Havana the above taken from my books on my Havana. However, if you follow my guide above on foot you will be delighted to see the beauty or at least recognised the beauty of old in the new Havana. Hope you enjoy the post and see my other posts on Havana in my blog.

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

June 10, 2021

The Mercado Central of Curitiba!!

And here is another find wow! So many wonderful memories of my stayed in Curitiba Brazil and now looking at older posts realised missed much on Curitiba! Well I am now catching up and will tell you a brief entry on the central market or mercado central of Curitiba!!

The Mercado Central of Curitiba was founded in 1958 as a meeting point for residents who enjoy big fairs, whether to buy or to eat. The space offers dozens of stalls with spices, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sausages, meats and all kinds of good ingredients for a delicious dinner. In addition to the stalls specializing in food products, there is also the offer of clothing, electronics and household items. Good choice to stroll and take time off from the mundane.

curitiba mercado central jul08

This was spot central when living in Curitiba for 3 months and love it. The very best and great ambiance as well as on the road to my apparthotel Mercure Batel!! Lots of good memories and good friends. The Mercado Central is located at Ave. Sete de Setembro, 1865,and is open Tuesday to Saturday 8h to 18h. Sunday: 8h to 13h with Restaurants open until 15h.

curitiba mercado central above jul08

A bit of history I like

The first public market in the city of Curitiba appeared in 1864, in the old Largo da Ponte, currently Praça Zacarias. In 1873, on the anniversary of the emancipation of Paraná State, on December 19, the cornerstone was laid for the construction of a new headquarters, then located in Largo da Cadeia, now Praça Generoso Marques. On October 11, 1874, the new Municipal Market was opened. In 1890 Largo da Cadeia was renamed Largo do Mercado. In 1912, the building was closed and demolished to make way for the City/Town Hall, and thus the market was provisionally transferred to Largo da Nogueira, currently Praça 19 de Dezembro. In 1915, another transfer, now to a Chalet-style property, in Batel, (my neighborhood living there!) which was where the Plaça Theodoro Bayma is today. At this address it remained until 1937, when it was demolished and the locals were left again without a fixed market for the purchase of food.

The construction of the new Mercado Central of Curitiba was done between May 1956 and July 1958, the project was carried out on a site, in front of the workshops of the former Rede Ferroviária, current Rodoferroviária de Curitiba (bus terminal see post) ,and inaugurated on August 2, 1958. In 2010, it was renovated and expanded, taking over the entire block between Avenida Sete de Setembro and Avenida Presidente Affonso Camargo.

The official mercado central of Curitiba

Now I am happier, wonderful time, great welcome, and great bunch of guys to work with and allow me to know more of Brazil and especially the State of Paranà and the beautiful city of Curitiba. See my other posts on them!

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

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