Archive for June 12th, 2021

June 12, 2021

Plaza de las Cortes of Madrid!!

Ah and I left this one out, with just bits and pieces of its most famous buildings but really, me think, merits a post of its own in my beloved Madrid. An area, I have walked and stayed over the years alone and with the family. Let me tell you a bit more on the Plaza de las Cortes of Madrid!

The Plaza de las Cortes makes the junction between Sol and the Prado, along the Carrera de San Jerómino. The most notable building is the Congreso de los Diputados. On the main facade of the Congreso de los Diputados, a staircase leads up to the neoclassical portico, with six imposing striated columns, of Corinthian order, on which rises the triangular pediment decorated with reliefs. The iconic lions flanking the entrance were cast with iron from cannons captured during the Moroccan War.

Here you see the imposing Palacio de las Cortes, the name of the building that houses the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados, that was built between the years 1843 and 1850. This is one of the two chambers of the Cortes Generales, the Spanish parliament. It is very close to Paseo del Prado, and is one of the emblematic buildings of the 19C, in neoclassical style.

More on Madrid tourist office on the Congreso de los Diputadoshttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/congreso-de-los-diputados

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In this spot was before the Convent of the Holy Spirit, inside which, curiously, some sessions of the Cortes were held. The favorite of the Plaza de las Cortes, the great Miguel de Cervantes. This sculpture, from the year 1834, keeps a curious fact and that is that it was the first public tribute that a person who did not belong to the field of politics or royalty or religion received in Spain!

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Also, down the street you will see the white facade of the Groupama building carillon (see post) that, thanks to its mechanism and automatons, piles up a huge handful of tourists every few hours. The figures were made by the draftsman and writer Antonio Mingote. These represent king Carlos III, the Duchess of Alba together with her poodle, Goya, the bullfighter Pedro Romero and a ‘manola’, the typical Madrid castiza native woman. The five, dressed according to Goya’s paintings, have been greeting, at least twice a day, anyone who stands at the foot of the balcony since 1993.

You can see ,and I was lucky to stayed there once, the most illustrious Westin Palace Hotel. This is one of the most famous and reputable hotels in Madrid. It was built in record time, between 1911 and 1912, taking advantage of the noble plot that previously inhabited the Palace of the Dukes of Medinaceli. World-class figures such as Picasso, Pavarotti, Orson Welles and Einstein have passed through its 400 rooms. Even a spy like Mata Hari. I encourage you to come in one day and admire its magnificent dome.

Advancing along it, looking at the Neptune Fountain (see post) and the Jerónimos Towers on the horizon invites all to continue walking through this city. Showing emphasis and willingness to continue reeling off the benefits of Madrid! The best way to get here if far is on Metro line 2 Banco de España, and bus lines 14 and 27 as the closest. You ; also, can easily drive here as I have and use the wonderful Parking Las Cortes. Webpage: https://www.empark.com/es/en/parking/Madrid/las-cortes/

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There you go folks another dandy spot in my beloved Madrid. Wonderful area in the Barrio de las Letras (see post) and close to wonderful monuments many told in my blog already such as the Prado museum, the Puerta del Sol, and Neptuno fountain. Hope you enjoy the Plaza de las Cortes of Madrid!

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

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June 12, 2021

Torre España!

This one has written briefly in my blog but feels deserve a post of its own. Many memories coming around here visiting my Madrid with family and walking on parque Roma. Here you have a great view of the Torre España and I like to tell you a bit more on it. Hope you enjoy it as I.

As said coming along parque de Roma, you see the Torre España or Spain tower of television and radio, a sight indeed. The parque de Roma is a large park located on the edge of Calle 30 (ring road/beltway M30). It id ideal for strolling along its promenades delimited by large trees. It has 4 playgrounds for children, a circuit for the elderly, a lake, sports facilities and a climbing wall. In it there is a garden for the blind and a large Madrid coat of arms. A nice park for a relaxing afternoon.

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Torrespaña, popularly known as “El Pirulí”,(lollipop) is a telecommunications tower in Madrid. It is located at the confluence of Calle de O’Donnell with Calle del Alcalde Sainz de Baranda (near my latest hotel there) ,and close to the M-30 ring road. It is the third tallest telecommunications tower in Spain! The closest metro station is Saínz de Baranda on lines 6 and 9.

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Torrespaña has a height of 220 meters (232 meters with the communications antenna). It began to rise on February 17, 1981, ending on June 7, 1982, just about to use the tower during the 1982 Soccer World Cup.

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On the shaft of 120 meters appears the control center that is made up of four floors, closed with steel panels. Four more antenna platforms rise above it, and finally a 45-meter antenna. Access to the upper areas of the tower, only allowed to the personnel who work in them, is carried out by means of an elevator installed inside the shaft. The ladder has 1208 steps. Twenty digital terrestrial television channels, fourteen FM analog radio channels and eighteen digital radio channels (DAB) broadcast from Torrespaña.

The Madrid tourist office on Torre Españahttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/torrespana-el-piruli

There you go folks an off the beaten path of my beloved Spain but worth the detour me think . The torre España, and the parque Roma is a nice combination.

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

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June 12, 2021

Plaza Mayor of Segovia!

And let me update this memorable older post on a wonderful square in Segovia. The plaza Mayor is omnipresent all over Spain as the central focus of power, history, architecture, and everyday life which Spaniards fully enjoy. I have great memories of childhood coming with my mother for an ice cream lol!! Now let me tell you a bit more of this wonderful Plaza Mayor of Segovia!

So moving right along with my stories of my beloved Spain, once again one very popular place for locals and visitors alike but only touch on briefly in my previous posts. Need to do justice to one of my favorite cities in all of Spain, Segovia.  And time to tell you about its wonderful Plaza Mayor or main square the historical center of it all in Segovia.

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The Plaza Mayor is located in the historic center of Segovia, in Castilla y Léon autonomous region. The urban space has all the characteristics of a typical Spanish main square or Plaza Mayor, and on which are located some important monuments such as the abside of the Cathedral , The theater Juan Bravo (b. 1917) or the city/town hall of Segovia (1610). (See posts).

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It was historically called the Plaza de San Miguel,referencing a primitive Church of San Miguel that was originally there.  In this Plaza de San Miguel square was held the market of Segovia, as well where Isabel I the Catholic was proclaim Queen of Castilla in December 13 1474. The Church was demolished in 1532 and rebuilt a few meters away to allow the renovations of the current Plaza Mayor. Starting from the end of the 19C, at the time of the Bourbon Restoration (monarchy) it was called Plaza de la Constitucion, and after the last Spanish Civil War (1936-39), it was named Plaza de Franco, until with the return to the democracy officially renamed again as everyone knew it the Plaza Mayor.

The square has an almost rectangular shape and near the center you will see a music kiosk ,designed in 1896 of iron work ,where music concerts are held today. For much of the 20C it was retired on several occasions and spared on this site again, until in 1986 it was definitively anchored. One day a year, during the festivity of Santa Barbara,(there is a permanent chapel inside the Cathedral and my native town patron Saint)  the kiosk was transformed into a chapel.

Late in the 19C, the square was filled with cafes, shops, trattorias, food houses and hotels, to welcome visitors arriving in the city by train, causing a big boom in the city. Today the Plaza Mayor of Segovia continues to be a meeting point for the locals and tourists who visit in a large number a city that has so many attractions. A must hangout place indeed.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here, and is a must while in Spain, are:

The city of Segovia its presentation: https://www.turismodesegovia.com/inicio/la-ciudad/

The Segovia province tourist office on its heritagehttps://segoviaturismo.es/en/ven-a-segovia/turismo-monumental/paseos-por-la-capital/3205-la-esencia

The Castilla y Léon region tourist office on Segoviahttps://www.turismocastillayleon.com/en/art-culture-heritage/provincial-capitals/segovia

There you go folks, all set for a wonderful visit to a wonderfully beautiful and architecturally stunning city of Segovia, and not to be missed its Plaza Mayor. Enjoy it

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

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June 12, 2021

Another heroe in Segovia!

Walking around towns I got to know the intricate history of each place visited. More so in my beloved Spain, walking and visiting is not enough, you might want to get to know the people and the places, monuments, statues you see are there for what? One of them caught our attention in lovely Segovia, the statue of Juan Bravo and a fountain. Let me tell you a bit of the story; hope you enjoy it as I.

We walked on the Paseo de los Tilos by a beautiful fountain encrusted on the ramparts walls; this is at the intersection of Paseo de los Tilos and Calle San Miguel. Is a peculiar fountain not very much info on it just notice it has encrusted the shields of Castilla y Léon and the symbol of the aqueduct!! Neat to walk by it.

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The other story on this post is historical and part of the history of my beloved Spain. The statue to Juan Bravo was erected in April 22 1922 at the Plaza Medina del Campo in bronze, looking straight ahead, wearing period clothes and one leg slightly bent, Juan Bravo raises the flag of freedom with his right hand.

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Juan Bravo was a Castilian noble known for his participation in the War of the towns of Castile. The war of the towns of Castile, led by the commoners, is an armed uprising of the interior towns of the crown of Castile, especially Toledo and Valladolid, against the royal power between 1520 and 1521, that is to say at the beginning of the reign of Charles I of Spain.  Between 1499 and 1504 Juan Bravo followed the steps of Queen Isabel I (the Catholic) thru Granada, Sevilla, Toledo, Madrid, Alcalá de Henares, Segovia ,and Medina del Campo. When Queen Isabel of Castilla died in 1504, he was let go of his posts. In October 1519 , Juan Bravo was appointed leader of the militias of Segovia. He led a revolt against the representative to the court. The insurgents took Segovia; Juan Bravo organized it militarily and led the operations preventing the entry of royalist troops into Segovia.

Juan Bravo took charge of maintaining relations with the rest of the insurgent towns and went to Tordesillas to parley with the Queen Mother Juana for her support, but to no avail. Subsequently he joined forces with those of the commoners council of Valladolid, without being able to avoid defeat before the royal troops in the battle of Villalar on April 23, 1521. Taken prisoner, he was beheaded on April 24, 1521. When his remains was transported to Segovia, the royal authorities had to stifle with difficulty a great tumult of indignation.

The Juan Bravo Theater in Segovia bears his name in memory of him. It is the city’s main theatre, inaugurated on October 26, 1918, it is located in the Plaza Mayor (see post) in the same place that the La Zarzuela theater and the Reina Victoria cinema had previously occupied. It receives its name from the local community leader Juan Bravo. More on the theater from InfoSegovia in Spanish: https://www.infosegovia.com/que-hacer/teatro-juan-bravo.html

Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path story on my beautiful Segovia and beloved Spain. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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