Some news from Spain CX

And back to sunny everything under the sun, and my series of some news from Spain! Things are picking up and my Santiago Bernabeu stadium is almost done already we beat Celta de Vigo there and next is Mallorca. I am looking forward to the official opening and going there for sure! For now, let me tell you about Spain ok

Dabid Muñoz, from Madrid, the chef of DiverXo, has been chosen as the “best chef in the world” by having achieved first place in the world Top 100 of the ‘The Best Chef Awards 2021‘, in a gala that was held this past Wednesday September 8 2021 in Amsterdam, In third place, in addition, the chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of San Sebastián and from the Mugaritz restaurant has been awarded, Yes!

Some nice artsy events coming up and long into next year worth the detour if in Madrid, I will be there soon,,,

La máquina Magritte at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza ,(see post) Retrospective of René Magritte , the great Belgian surrealist painter, whose work is characterized by its repetitive and combinatorial component: when he became obsessed with a theme, he repeated them with innumerable variations. The exhibition brings together more than 90 paintings and includes an installation and a selection of photographs and domestic films made by the author. From September 14 2021.

Sorolla. Tormento y devoción or Sorolla. Torment and Devotion at the Sorolla Museum (see post) until January 9, 2022 you can see a selection of the early years of the Valencian painter’s work, when he entered popular and devout manners, a genre that became fashionable during the last quarter of the 19C. Among his pieces, you can see those with scenes in sacred interiors and Valencian baroque churches, with episodes of folkloric religious devotion.

El Hijo Pródigo de Murillo y el arte de narrar en el barroco andaluz or The Prodigal Son of Murillo and the art of narrating in the Andalusian Baroque in the Prado Museum (see post). Exhibition dedicated to some of the main protagonists of the Andalusian pictorial baroque such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Antonio del Castillo, Juan Valdés Leal and Alonso Cano, They carried out their works in the 17C, works that have in common being organized in series, being mostly medium in size and having been commissioned by particular characters for domestic or oratory interiors. Among the selection you can see The Dissipation of the Prodigal Son (1660), by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo , or the series on the history of José, made by Antonio del Castillo. Will be on from September 29 2021.

El Jardín de las delicias or the Garden of Earthly Delights in the Matadero Madrid (see post), About fifteen artists from around the world contribute their multiple views on The Garden of Earthly Delights, Bosco’s masterpiece, in various formats, ranging from artificial intelligence or sound art to 3D animation, painting, sculpture or installation. The exhibition, curated by the SOLO Collection and co-produced by Matadero Madrid, can be seen from October 7 2021.

Another wonderful tour , I have been in sections over a period by car, recommended, The route of the Holy Grail in Spain, which traveled from Huesca to Valencia. The Jubilee Year of the Holy Chalice, which ends on October 28 2021, is an opportunity to visit the Cathedral of Valencia or to travel the route that the historic cup followed. To enter the Cathedral of Valencia, you have to pay 8 euros, not counting the climb to the Miguelete (two euros more). There are usually no queues, even in high season. It takes a few minutes to be in front of the maybe Holy Grail, the cup used at the Last Supper, from which Saint Peter and the first Popes later drank, This year, until the end of October, Valencia celebrates its Jubilee Year, a good reason to approach the cathedral or even to do the complete route that the Holy Chalice could follow since its arrival in Spain, through Huesca, to its current location in Valencia. They are just over 500 km (about 310 miles) in which some pilgrims have already been seen.

It is believed that this story began in the time of Sixtus II, who was executed in 258 in full persecution against the Church. His deacon, Saint Lawrence, then took care to safeguard the Holy Chalice that Saint Peter had brought from the Holy Land to Rome. Saint Lawrence, as is known, was roasted alive on a grill. But the current patron of Huesca would have managed to send the chalice to his hometown before that unbearable martyrdom. They say that in 553 the Grail was transferred to the Church of San Pedro el Viejo in Huesca, built by Bishop Vicencio precisely to contain the sacred relic, and where it could have been until the year 711. During the Muslim invasion, the chalice would have been passed through different refuges such as the Cave-Hermitage of Yebra de Basa, in the Alto Gállego region; the monastery of San Pedro de Siresa, where it is said that he was from 815 to 831; or, already in the 11C, San Pedro de la Sede del Real de Bailo, the Cathedral of Jaca and, of course, the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña, (see posts) where it would have remained until 1399, before being transferred to Zaragoza, Barcelona and Valencia, where it would have arrived in 1424 from the hand of King Alfonso the Magnanimous. The Chapel of the Holy Chalice, (see post) where it can be seen now, has exhibited this piece since 1916. The Valencian Holy Chalice is made up of a glass 7 centimeters high and 9.5 centimeters in diameter, made of agate, which could correspond to the time, the beginning of the Christian era; and a foot with handles added later, A must to see in Valencia.

And bring you some news of my roots and my dear Tenerife (see post). Let’s do some traveling ok,

Tenerife has a surface area is 2,034 square kilometers, its maximum length is 87 kilometers and its maximum width is 45 km. It has two airports: the north and the south. But not only airplanes divide the island, so does its landscape and even the weather. In the north you can breathe a more tropical, leafy climate with black sand beaches. On the other hand, the south stands out for its drier heat and its endless beaches. The first thing is that the proximity to Teide, the visit par excellence, will not define anything, because it is located in the center of the island.

The most typical option, especially if you go with children or as a family is the southern area full of resorts with all-inclusive options, various amenities and many on the beachfront or just a few minutes walk. It is also understood by the climate, hotter and drier than in the north, so you will have guaranteed beach and pool days. In the South, you also have attractions such as Siam Park, the largest water park in Europe and the best in the world.

The northern area offers a quieter vacation. Of course, you must take the weather into account, because it is more likely that you have cold, cloudy and even rainy days. In the north are many of the island’s must-see spots, such as La Laguna (World Heritage Site), La Orotava or Garachico. Nor can you miss the natural pools of Bajamar or the famous Teresitas beach, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife with golden sand (brought from the Sahara in the 60s), turquoise water and usually) calm, it is considered the Caribbean of Tenerife. The gastronomic options of the north are more attractive thanks to its guachinches, simple food houses that are mainly concentrated in the La Corujera area, in the town of Santa Úrsula, these are spaces within farmers’ houses that, to give way to their wine production, they gave it to taste and accompanied it with something to eat. Thus, you will not find great menus or many pretensions, but food typical of the island (grilled meats, stews …) and the best wine. Yes do enjoy it as I!

This is the dam where Doctor Zhivago was filmed, the most spectacular in Spain, The Salto de Aldeadávila, in the province of Salamanca, is 139.5 meters high and is located in the amazing gorge of the Duero River, La Presa de Aldeadávila, (a dam) also known as the Salto de Aldeadávila, is not the highest in Spain, but perhaps the most spectacular. It is located in the amazing gorge of the Duero River, in a granitic canyon, the largest natural canyon on the Iberian Peninsula, which extends for almost a hundred kilometers, with walls of more 400 meters high, and serves as the natural border between Spain and Portugal in the Arribes del Duero Natural Park. It is located 7 km. from the Salamanca province town of Aldeadávila de la Ribera, In 1965 it rose to world fame as it appeared in the opening and ending scenes of David Lean’s film Doctor Zhivago, which received five Oscars. Also, Tim Miller shot some scenes from the sixth installment of Terminator, Dark Fate movie. Impressive!

A long but worthy me think tribute to Francesco Sabatini of Palermo, Sicily Italy! And his contribution to my Madrid!

Three hundred years ago, one of the most contributor to creating the image of Madrid as a great European capital was born in Palermo in 1721 Francesco Sabatini. He was the architect responsible for some of the most representative monuments, palaces and corners of the regeneration of the city during the reign of its great patron, King Carlos III.
I like to start at the Puerta de Alcalá. It may not be the only Sabatini construction to which a song has been dedicated, (very famous in Spain) but it is certainly the best known and most symbolic. And Alcalá’s was not even the only gate that he designed for Madrid. Also his is the one in San Vicente, on the Paseo de la Florida (although the one designed by Sabatini was dismantled at the end of the 19C and the current one is a copy inaugurated in 1995. And we could also add the Royal Gate through which the Botanical Garden was entered, (see posts).


His direct source of inspiration was not the architecture of ancient Rome and ancient Greece, but that of the Italian Renaissance. This can be seen very well in the building of the Real Casa de la Aduana (current headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, almost at the beginning of Calle de Alcalá), with that air of a 16C Italian palace created by its façade of padded granite and brick and the pediments alternating curved and triangular of the first-floor windows.

The Paseo del Prado (then known as the Salón del Prado) was one of the great projects of the reign of Carlos III, a place for walking and recreation for the people of Madrid, with roundabouts and fountains, where several spaces dedicated to science would also be located such as the Astronomical Observatory, the Cabinet of Natural History (today the Prado Museum) and the Royal Botanical Garden. (see posts) Sabatini was commissioned to design the latter, to move from its previous location next to the Manzanares river the more than two thousand plants that the botanist José Quer had collected in his travels through Europe. However, the garden that can be visited today has little to do with Sabatini’s design, since it was finished by Juan de Villanueva, the brain behind most of the Prado project who would modify it by creating the current layout divided into square barracks,


The architectural history of the General and Passion Hospital (which you will know better as the Reina Sofía Museum) is complicated, since delays, financing problems, deaths, invasions and other difficulties caused the project to go through several hands, The current building, has inspiration and work from José de Hermosilla, Sabatini, Ventura Rodríguez, Juan de Villanueva and others such as Jean Nouvel and his famous extension are mixed, without the project ever being fully completed . However, it is to Sabatini that we owe the current image of the building was the Italian who added to the project the monumental facade open towards Atocha.

King Carlos III who, at that time was still Carlos VII of Naples discovered Sabatini when he helped his father-in-law, Luigi Vanvitelli, in the construction of the Royal Palace of Caserta. So it is not surprising that, when Carlos unexpectedly acceded to the Spanish throne after the deaths of his half-brothers Luis I and Fernando VI, he turned to Sabatini to reform Madrid’s Royal Palace to his liking. for example in the Hall of Halberdiers and in the Hall of Columns and projected an extension of which only a part was carried out, the one known as San Gil wing, in the palace complex, which later served as private rooms of Isabel II, Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII. He also modified, already by order of Carlos IV, the main staircase of the palace, changing its orientation.

And the famous Sabatini Gardens, (see post) next to the palace? Well, curiously, they have very little to do with the Italian architect, since they were created long after his death, during the Second Republic (1931-1939). The name apart from being an appropriate tribute, since it is a neoclassical style garden is mainly due to the fact that they occupy the place where the royal stables designed by him used to be.

The Royal Palace is not the only one where Sabatini worked in Madrid. That of the Marquis de Grimaldi (adjacent to the Senate and which today houses the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies) is less imposing, but is entirely the work of the Sicilian, The Genoese Jerónimo Grimaldi, Secretary of State of Carlos III ; despite the fact that the palace has kept his name, Grimaldi never lived in it, since he resigned from his position even before it began to be built. For this reason, his first tenant was the Count of Floridablanca, Grimaldi’s successor. After him it was occupied by Manuel Godoy, who had it expanded and luxuriously redecorated and who took there his large collection of paintings, including Velázquez’s “The Venus of the Mirror” and the two majas -nude and dressed by ​​Goya. Later it was the residence of the marshal Murat during the French Napeolonic occupation, the Royal Library, headquarters of several ministries, the Admiralty Palace and the Museum of the Spanish People.

The magnificent Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is known for the spectacular dome, the largest in Spain and only surpassed in the world by those of Saint Peter in the Vatican, the Roman Pantheon and Santa Maria del Fiore , It is not his work, but that of Francisco Cabezas and Antonio Plo. Sabatini’s contribution was the main façade of the basilica, which overlooks the Plaza de San Francisco, at the crossroads of Calle de Bailén, Carrera de San Francisco and Gran Vía de San Francisco. What is unique about Sabatini’s work here is that, instead of joining a straight façade to the basilica’s circular plan, he made the façade itself convex, an ingenious solution that also made him set back the two towers. between which the dome protrudes.

The Convent of the Comendadoras de Santiago, This old convent gives its name to the Plaza de las Comendadoras, where some of the most lively terraces in the University neighborhood are located. Again, Sabatini shares the limelight with other architects, such as Manuel and José del Olmo (who designed the church) and Francisco Moradillo (courtyard and Sacristy of the Knights, among other rooms). In fact, the part designed by Sabatini is the latest, which closes the block and unifies all the rooms of the convent, which until then were divided into different houses.

Proof that Sabatini was not only an architect of palaces and monuments, but that he knew how to give practical solutions to very different spaces are the many works he did in the Casa de Campo, all of them very functional in nature, It was he who restored and completed the wall that closes the enclosure and it was he who (with the help of the engineer José de la Ballina) was in charge of channeling all the waters of the Royal Site, with a set of measures that include the small aqueduct still known as Sabatini or de la Partida and an ingenious set of oscillating bars that allowed the various streams that ran through the place to save the wall, preventing floods. Sabatini also built five bridges over the Meaques stream, a small tributary of the Manzanares river. Of two of them, no remains are preserved and two others are partially blinded and their structure covered with cement. But the most beautiful and original of them can still be seen in good condition, the Culebra Bridge, originally called Narrow Bridge and now known by that name due to the meandering granite parapets that crown its brick arches.

The Convent of San Pascual , Sabatini not only worked for king Carlos III in Madrid, but also in other places linked to the royal court, such as Aranjuez. His most important work there was the facade of the Church of the Convent of San Pascual, in front of the Old Hospital of San Carlos, built at the same time. It is a very classicist facade, although with some touches of Italian Baroque, especially in the two towers. On its main altar there is a painting by Antonio Rafael Mengs, but perhaps the most curious thing was that both on the altar and in other parts of the church there were initially works by Tiepolo, However, after his death his style went out of style and his paintings were badly withdrawn and discarded. Those that survived are now in the Prado Museum.

Hope you enjoy this tour of Sabatini’s Madrid, a great walk idea indeed, I have done on foot on various trips and its wonderful, One reason we say Madrid to Heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day !

There you go folks, plenty of news and this time more tips to enjoy my dear Spain! Hope you find it useful and be prepare, times are improving and travel is back with the health pass and the mask…

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

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