Some news from Spain CXI

And now is time to tell you about my bulletin news series, some news from Spain. We have many things opening up and time to plan ahead, me for Madrid and the Santiago Bernabeu!! We need each other to help bring the economy and travel back to its feet. I will do my part ; hope you too. Let me tell you the latest of my chosen news from my beloved Spain. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The centenary of the death of Emilia Pardo Bazán, Countess of Bazán Brun, also known as Emilia, Countess of Pardo Bazán ,Woman of letters of extreme fertility, she wrote forty-one novels, seven dramas, two cookbooks, more than five hundred and eighty tales and hundreds of essays, In 1906 she nevertheless became the first woman to chair the Literature Section of the Athenaeum in Madrid and the first to hold a chair of neo-Latin literatures at the Central University of Madrid, reminds us that the city of A Coruña, as well as its province, has been the cradle of some of the most outstanding women in the history of Spain over the centuries. In addition to the writer, journalist and countess, a brief memory of María Pita is enough, defender of the city besieged in 1589 by the English fleet of the privateer Francis Drake. To Isabel Zendal (born in 1773 and died at the beginning of the 19C somewhere in the Viceroyalty of New Spain(vast area from Central America so sw USA), considered by the WHO as the first nurse in history on an international mission for her work in the expedition that carried the vaccine from smallpox to the New World, and of whom there is a statue in Calle Victoria Fernández España in A Coruña. To Juana de Vega , widow of the insurgent liberal general Espoz y Mina, nursemaid and waitress of the future Queen Elizabeth II, progressive political-social activist and author of two extraordinary memoir books, an unusual genre at that time. Or Concepción Arenal, jurist, writer, pioneer of social work, fighter against the deplorable state of Spanish prisons and defender, perhaps one of the first in Europe, of the new role that women should have. Also Rosalía de Castro , the greatest poet, both in Galician and in Castilian, of our Romanticism, comparable to any other European poet of her time. O Sofía Casanova (1861-1958), journalist and writer immersed in all the great and serious international conflicts of her time, which she masterfully narrated. María Barbeito Cerviño, a great teacher educator, writer and linguist, introducer of the principles of Montessori and those of Ovide Decroly and promoter of the compulsory and gratuitous nature of teaching.

The story of the Prado continues….(see post). At the other end of the Villanueva building, the first built to house the Royal Museum of Painting and Sculpture, the precursor of the Prado. It shows how it came into the world; from its origin, the space it occupies today was literally a meadow outside the city to what it will be in the future with the expansion proposed by the new project from architects. In the rooms formerly occupied by the Tesoro del Delfin or Treasure of the Dolphin, the Prado now explains itself in the metamuseum converts the temporary exhibition organized to celebrate its bicentennial, Museo del Prado 1819-2019. A place of memory. In another part of its permanent collection to show its evolution as a living being: photographs, documents, clothing, models, furniture … History of the Prado Museum and its buildings brings together 265 pieces to humanize, from nudity, to the emperor of painting museums in Europe.

The one known as the Salon del Prado or Prado Hall in the time of king Carlos III, today Paseo del Prado, was a place to see and be seen. A space for a walk in the lots attached to the monastery of San Jerónimo, where the Madrileñas (local female folks) wore the latest French fashions, rich dresses with brightly colored fabrics, and the Madrileños (local male folks) followed the tradition of capes and tricorns. The Buen Retiro Palace already existed of which today the Casón del Buen Retiro and the Salón de Reinos are preserved, which are also part of the museum. The urban planning of streets such as Atocha (no. 25) or Plaza de Antón Martín (no. 3) have hardly changed in two and a half centuries!

The year 2019 marked another milestone in the history of the Prado Museum when it turned 200 years old, received more than three million visits (its record) and won the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities at a time when communication is precisely a challenge for museums. The Prado was only closed for three months and since last June 6 it remains open, showing that it is a safe place if anti-virus security measures are maintained. Good news!!!! After six years of waiting, the Council of Ministers approved this past Tuesday 28 September 2021, the credit line of 36 million euros for the expansion of the Prado Museum through the rehabilitation and museum adaptation of the Salón de Reinos. The building to be transformed was the headquarters of the Museo del Ejército or Army Museum and is located next to the Casón del Buen Retiro, in the vicinity of the Prado. They are the last remaining vestiges of the Royal Palace of Buen Retiro, a complex erected between 1633 and 1639 under the reign of king Felipe IV. The urban reorganization of the project, called Campus Prado, will connect the Prado and the Salón de Reinos, facilitating transit on foot by the visitors through Calle Felipe IV and joining in the same complex the buildings of Villanueva, the Jerónimos, the Casón del Buen Retiro and the Salón de Reinos. The expansion works will gain 2,500 square meters of exhibition space for the gallery. The current appearance of the façade of the Army Museum, which was intervened in the late 19C and early 20C, will be modified, as will the roof, which will also be renovated. The purpose that was raised when the project was announced is to present long-term transversal and temporary exhibitions, mainly from the Prado collection (it has more than 27,000 pieces, of which more than 7,800 are paintings), most of which are stored in warehouses. And you will see more of the gems stored there!!! More on Campus Prado in Spanish: https://www.museodelprado.es/recurso/el-campus-prado/68258c17-7f90-4da2-a217-039bd021aabd

Walid Raad’s exhibition is not an exhibition… Several voices run through Cotton Under my Feet, the exhibition that takes him to Madrid these days. Commissioned by TBA21 and conceived for the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza,(see post) it presents the work that the artist carried out during three years of research on the collection, archives and the genesis of the museum. Although this is not the first time that Raad has worked in Madrid. In 2009, within the framework of PhotoEspaña, he occupied the Museo Reina Sofía (see post) under his preferred pseudonym, The Atlas Group , a project on the contemporary history of Lebanon. There he was born in 1967, in Chbaniyeh, a few kilometers from Beirut, although he studied art in the United States. Today he is a professor at Cooper Union, in the East Village of New York, one of the most prestigious universities in the country. See it ‘Walid Raad: Cotton Under my Feet’. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. From October 5 to January 23, 2022. webpage: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/exhibitions/walid-raad-cotton-under-my-feet

One of my most memorable areas of my beloved Spain, and yes you can drink good Madrid wines!!

A good time to take a tour from winery to winery through Colmenar de Oreja, (see posts) the still unknown wine capital of the Comunidad de Madrid. Its centenary caves hide thousands and thousands of whites, reds and even sparkling wines underground. We are at the Bodega Jesús Díaz e Hijos, in the center of Colmenar de Oreja, the wine capital of the Las Vegas region, an hour from Madrid, where these days the winegrowers rush the harvest. 17 of these pot-bellied 5,000-liter jars where wine is made and preserved. The winery smells of must and history founded in 1898 but before it was a convent of friars and a piece of jars, the place where they were made by hand before being taken to the oven for cooking. This was also the first winery of the D.O. Wines of Madrid. Not only the grape changes here, by the way, the malvar variety wins, the most cultivated. Once we adjust our eyes, the caves that make this land so unique suddenly appear. Dug into the ground, they turn Colmenar de Oreja into an underground Gruyère cheese, full of wine. We descend twelve meters between oak barrels and bottles in rhyme of sparkling wines, the traditional champagne. This is the first sparkling wine that was made in Madrid!!

Los Tinajones to stay, a charming rural house that opened its doors last spring. Completely restored, the accommodation was also an old winery with caves included that they hope to turn into a spa soon. The name of Los Tinajones was not random. He has borrowed it from one of the paintings by Ulpiano Checa, the great 19C painter and native of the town. The museum houses the largest collection that exists of the master, and is a must-see in the town. Even more so now, that it has just incorporated important pieces, among them those donated by Baroness Thyssen from her personal collection this summer.

You have to go to Bodegas Peral, another member of the Madrid Wine Route, which also has a cave dating back to 1882 worth seeing. covered by a guide, with or without a tasting and cover. Its bicentennial entrails collide with the modernity of the facilities as a chill out where the wine tastes of glory. Therefore, it can only be done in Madrid and consists of fermenting 50 percent of the white skins and the seed in the must. And not only that, because it is not racked and macerated with its lees and these skins until bottling. The result is a white with a red soul.

One minute you have to walk to the Bodega Pedro García. Many know its wines without knowing that they come from here because they are the ones Iberia serves in the cabin. Founded in 1931, it has the highest production in the area. We have already learned that there is no winery without a cave here. These date back several centuries and are also accessible. On the way to the Plaza Mayor we recognize that lavish limestone of the Church of Santa María la Mayor. (see post). There is always atmosphere in this porticoed Castilian square built on a ravine in the 17C. What’s more, you can also walk under the arch of the Puente de Zacatín bridge. Also, the artisan cheese factory Ciriaco. Their recipe is simple: freshly milked sheep’s milk, rennet and salt. The secret of his cured: seven months in the cave under our feet!

The ruta de vinos de Madrid with info on bodegas, cheesemakers, resto museums along the route of wines of Madrid : https://madridenoturismo.org/descubre-las-bodegas-de-madrid/?zona=4&tipo_plan=-1&tipo_actividad=-1

The official wine routes of Spain on the Arganda/Colmenar de Oreja region of Madrid : https://wineroutesofspain.com/rv-madrid/#pll_switcher

And you may have heard in the news, there is a big volcano eruption in the island of La Palma, part of the Canaries islands. It has been huge, and lots of destruction already and some permanent. Sadly, these islands are all volcanos and many in them. As well as ironically, been one of the tourist attractions of them!

La Palma has registered in the last hours a dozen small earthquakes in the south of the island, according to the report published this Saturday (today) by the Department of National Security of Spain. The Cumbre Vieja volcano, which continues its activity, is estimated to have expelled more than 80 million cubic meters of lava, double that of the Teneguía eruption in 1971, in half the time. The magma delta formed on the coast has a surface area of ​​more than 27 hectares and the new flow, generated by the two magmatic mouths opened on Friday night to the northeast of the main cone, advances towards the trace of the main flow, which flows stably. The ash expelled by the new La Palma volcano since its eruption began on September 19 has covered an area of ​​3,304 hectares. This is stated in the latest update of the European Copernicus terrestrial monitoring satellite system with data collected this Friday afternoon. Regarding the buildings affected by the runoffs, the calculation of 1,005 is maintained, although those that have been completely destroyed rise to 880, ten more compared to the previous count. The number of kilometers of roads affected increases to 30.7, of which 28.3 have been destroyed by the passage of lava.

The Canary Islands are on the African continental plate, which ‘floats’ on the earth’s mantle in an easterly direction at a speed similar to that of the growth of fingernails. About 20 million years ago, the plate began to pass over the ‘hot spot’, which injected magma and began to create the first islands: Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. La Palma and El Hierro are the youngest islands, barely 1.8 and 1.2 million years old respectively. The hot spot is still under them and that is why they have active volcanoes that make them grow in extension and surface. Nicer pictures and news on a specialise Volcano Discovery webpage: https://www.volcanodiscovery.com/lapalma/sep2021seismic-crisis/current-activity.html

And speaking of volcanos ,they are in the peninsula as well most in the Autonomous Community of Castilla La Mancha region:

Campo de Calatrava, south of Ciudad Real, has numerous volcanoes over 2.5 million years old, one of the most important manifestations in Europe. In the middle of La Mancha, in the territory of Entreparques, located in the province of Ciudad Real, between the Cabañeros National Parks and the Tablas de Daimiel, is one of the most important volcanic areas in Spain and Europe. With an area of ​​about 5,000 km2, the Campo de Calatrava region is home to about 300 of these natural manifestations whose origin dates back 2.5 million years on the outskirts of the town of Poblete next to the hermitage of San Isidro, you will find the Mirador de los Maares, from the height of the Volcán Cabezo del Rey, from where you can see a large number of craters, holes, hills and castles. The open wooden facility houses the Volcanological Interpretation Center, which has panels and digital resources for augmented reality with complete and varied information on the volcanic activity in the area.

Volcàan and Laguna de Peñarroya is about 20 km from Poblete, between the towns of Alcolea de Calatrava and Corral de Calatrava, where they are located. The volcano is an almost perfect cone of 60 meters high, one of the best examples of Strombolian-type building, and one of the highest in this volcanic region, whose slopes are populated by forests of holm oaks, kermes oak, juniper, broom and Mediterranean scrub. The lagoon (or maar), whose origin is due to a hydromagmatic eruptive event, was formed when the lava from the volcano captured the Lobo stream and reaches more than 1 km in diameter, which favors biodiversity in the flora and fauna when it is filled of water. On the outskirts of Porzuna, about 40 km north of Alcolea de Calatrava (and very close to the Cabañeros National Park), Cerro de los Santos, the volcano born from a single eruption is formed by a large dome raised over the plain . Today, you can still see the black and reddish slags from the lava flows on its slopes. At the top is the hermitage of San Isidro. The place is also known for being one of the points where the Celtiberians settled.

Las Navas de Malagón, at the foot of the Sierra de Malagón, next to the town of the same name. It is a protected natural space, declared a Natural Reserve, made up of three lagoons: La Nava Grande, Nava de Enmedio and Nava Chica. The Nava Grande stands out especially, for its larger size, for the greater permanence of its waters and for presenting a ring of volcanic tuffs around it. In addition to doing this route by car and walking along its many trails, there is the possibility of seeing the entire volcanic region from the air through balloon rides. The company Vuela en Globo organizes the experience. A battle between volcanoes, a trip that leaves the town of Poblete to enjoy the region from the heights and discover, in addition to the history of the volcanoes, the battlefield that was the scene of fights fierce during the Reconquest, in the 12C. In the distance, you can see the Castillo de Alarcos, the bastion of Alfonso VIII in 1195 that he lost in the Battle of Alarcos against the Al-Mansur Almohad army. The Vuela en Globo webpage for info: https://vuelaenglobo.es/la-mancha/poblete-alarcos-una-batalla-entre-volcanes/

There you go folks, another dandy news from Spain, coming right at you by yours truly! Hope you enjoy the reading and take it as tips for future travels, in my beloved Spain.

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

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