Some news from Spain CXII

And it’s time for my some news from Spain again!! The latest in my opinion of course, of worthy news of my dear Spain. The trend is good, easy does, we will be there. Spain everything under the Sun!!! Let me tell you the latest news and trip tidbits for your enjoyment and mine.

In the south of Madrid, between the old town of the city and the Manzanares River, is Matadero, (see post) a complex of buildings of more than 165,000 square meters that today houses one of the reference spaces for contemporary art and creation in Madrid. Its name may mislead those who visit it, but it gives a clue to its past: for more than half a century, the slaughterhouse and municipal cattle market of Madrid was here. It was inaugurated in 1924, chaired by an administrative building that also retains its original name, the Casa del Reloj, remained open until 1995. In addition to being an important cultural enclave for Madrid, with a wide program of events from different artistic disciplines, Matadero at Plaza de Legazpi, 8 is an example of the industrial architecture that the city conserves. Webpage: https://www.mataderomadrid.org/


The Tabacalera building, as the people of Madrid affectionately call it. Its name is also related to its past, because during a long period it was the Royal Tobacco Factory in Madrid, although previously it hosted the Royal Factory of Liquors and Playing Cards (1792-1809). Built in the Lavapiés neighborhood, Tabacalera Calle Embajadores, 51 Its rectangular floor plan, distributed around three patios, currently houses two projects: Tabacalera Promoción del Arte, managed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports since 2003, the building maintained its tobacco activity until three years before, it schedules temporary exhibitions and activities around photography and the visual arts; and a social and cultural center self-managed by the neighbors La Tabacalera that organizes all kinds of initiatives for locals and visitors. It is easily identifiable by its exterior walls, which since 2014 also serve as a canvas for urban artists. Webpage : https://latabacalera.net/c-s-a-la-tabacalera-de-lavapies/

In 2013, two cultural programmers lit up the La Neomudéjar Vanguardia Arts Center Museum at Calle Antonio Nebrija s / n, a center for artistic experimentation in an old warehouse dedicated to the training of railwaymen, owned by the Compañía de los Ferrocariles from Madrid to Zaragoza and Alicante (MZA). The company operated during the 19-20C, constructing this and other buildings, in addition to the Atocha station itself. The visitor will be able to relive part of this railway past in La Neomudéjar because much of the original machinery coexists in the space with works of art, video art and new media arts, the bets of this cultural center in the Pacifico neighborhood. Webpage: https://www.laneomudejar.com/laneointro/

At the beginning of the 20C, no one imagined that the first elevated water reservoir in Madrid would end up becoming, more than 100 years later, a space of national and international reference in the world of photography. The Sala Canal de Isabel II Room Calle Santa Engracia, 125 programs temporary exhibitions of this discipline in a space with a circular plan and topped by a metal dome. An industrial work that looks more like a work of art. The deposit, which had a capacity of 1,500 cubic meters, remained in disuse between 1952 and 1986, when it began its stage as an exhibition hall. Webpage: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/sala-canal-de-isabel-ii-de-la-comunidad-de-madrid

The CondeDuque Contemporary Culture Center (see post) Calle Conde Duque, 11, in the central neighborhood of Universidad. It was built in the early 18C to house the Royal Corps Guards. Two centuries (and two fires) later, the 55,000-square-meter barracks was on the brink of demolition due to its poor condition, but the insistence of the public to use it for public use managed to save it. The current and reformed CondeDuque not only serves as a cultural container for the city, it also houses part of its history with the Villa Archive (with its Jurisdiction of 1202), the Historical Library, the Municipal Newspaper Library, the Musical Library and the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art. Webpage: https://www.condeduquemadrid.es/

In the Fuencarral neighborhood, there is another large military complex: the General Headquarters of Ferrocarriles y Zapadores Ferroviarios, converted into the City of Art – Zapadores Museum at Calle Antonio Cabezón, 70, in 2018 by the same creators of La Neomudéjar. Permanent and temporary exhibitions, workshops and art galleries, and cultural associations currently coexist in this 23,000-square-meter space. Webpage : https://zapadores.org

Let’s take a tour on a route full of art and history through Palencia, a province that has the world’s largest concentration of hermitages and churches of the style that forged European identity during the Middle Ages. To enter the Romanesque of Palencia, it is convenient to focus on the upper course of the Pisuerga, in the regions of Cervera de Pisuerga and Aguilar de Campoo, where the concentration of monasteries and small hermitages is enormous. But further south there are treasures to be discovered such as Frómista or Carrión de los Condes, essential stops to understand the artistic trend that reigned in Europe during the Middle Ages.


One of the Palencia towns with the most abundance of this religious architecture is Frómista, where the Church of San Martín de Tours stands out, undoubtedly the masterpiece of the Spanish Romanesque of the 11C. Another of the crossroads of the Camino de Santiago from Palencia is Carrión de los Condes, a communications hub that connects the French branch with the Camino del Besaya. Carrión was always an important population; Hence, it has some remains in stone of authentic luxury, such as the Church of Santa María del Camino, known as La Victoria, a 12C Romanesque temple with a southern façade of silent beauty and valuable Romanesque images inside. We find a similar artistic imprint in the Church of Santiago and in its pantocrator (representation of God typical of Romanesque and Byzantine art) presiding over its main façade. But the jewel of the place, the one through which it receives thousands of visitors every year, is the Royal Monastery of San Zoilo, from the 11C, which still hides Romanesque details, surrounded by others. many styles that were happening throughout the centuries. It is currently a hotel , although you don’t have to be a guest to visit the beautiful Gothic cloister or the church and sacristy.

Aguilar de Campoo stop on a secondary branch of the Camino de Santiago that communicated the Camino de la Costa with the Francés. This is the only way to explain the size of its great Monastery of Santa María la Real, where the Romanesque Exhibition Center has also been installed, in which you travel to the Middle Ages through models, audiovisuals and interactive tables. There we will see a collection of wooden replicas of the best Romanesque churches in the area. The monastery was founded in the 4C and in later centuries it grew richer. Completely restored in the last decades, today it is a cultural center that also houses the Center for Romanesque Studies. Olleros de Pisuerga is a small district of Aguilar de Campoo where the hermitage dedicated to Saints Justo and Pastor is located, considered a cathedral among the cave churches. It is still open to worship and has anthropomorphic tombs inside and outside. It appears among a grove at the exit of the town of Mave and on the outside it does not give away what it keeps inside. Only a sober portico and a belfry reveal that we are before one of the great works of cave architecture in Spain. In Palencia they call her little Petra. Its history is that of a succession of artistic styles, beginning in the 9C and continuing until the 17C, but with special importance of the Romanesque trace: a pulpit, the baptistery, the cells of the first hermits and a column and a pilaster, both covered with colored remains, which are the only ones left standing from the original construction.

San Salvador de Cantamuda, a town also with noble houses, in the heart of the Palentina Mountain. The genius is in the collegiate Church of San Salvador that draws attention for its peculiar belfry. It was ordered to be built in 1181 by the Countess of Castile, Doña Elvira, and it is a Romanesque church with three apses and ribbed vaults. Continuing along the same road, three km away is the Abbey of Lebanza, founded in the 10C. There are hardly any remains of it, but the environment is very beautiful, at the foot of the Corazo peak, 2,012 meters high.

In Villa de la Olmeda , near the town of Saldaña, which stretches on the banks of the Carrión River. This Roman mansion, built in the Low Empire (284-476) and occupied until the 6C, was discovered in 1968, fortuitously when a farmer worked his fields. In the eighties of the last century it opened to the public so that the visitor can contemplate one of the longest collections of mosaics inside a private building in Roman Hispania. It consists of 35 rooms, distributed between the main house and the bathrooms. Of these, 26 rooms are decorated with polychrome mosaics that are extraordinarily well preserved. La Olmeda is a whole trip to Antiquity, which is completed with a visit to the Museum of La Olmeda, in Saldaña, where the objects that have come to light in the successive excavations at the site and that bring us closer to the daily life of the Romans of the Empire.

The Canal de Castilla, which along its 207 km runs through part of the provinces of Burgos, Palencia and Valladolid. The original project started in the time of the Catholic Monarchs,(Fernando y Isabel) who even thought of having Leonardo da Vinci for its design. The idea was not taken up again until the 18C, under the reign of Fernando VI, who wanted to find an outlet to the sea for Castilian products. The final project, entrusted to the Marquis de la Ensenada, contemplated four channels that would link Segovia with Reinosa (Cantabria) to later cross the Cantabrian Mountains and reach the sea. The works began in 1753 in Calahorra de Ribas (Palencia) and were completed in 1849. This kind of fluvial highway to the sea was never completed, but has left a Y-shaped infrastructure. On the way there are locks (there are 50 to along the entire canal), two of them, probably the most interesting, in Frómista and in Calahorra de Ribas. 69 aqueducts were also built, which today go quite unnoticed, and other architectural elements such as bridges (Valdemudo, in Palencia, is one of the most beautiful), as well as dams and docks to dock barges, such as Alar del Rey. an essential visit, or the same dock in the capital of Palencia. La Casa del Rey, an old shipyard where the Canal de Castilla Museum is installed today.

The Palencia tourist office on things to see: https://www.palenciaturismo.es/#

The Province of Palencia tourist office on Romanesque routes: https://www.diputaciondepalencia.es/sitio/turismo/rutas-culturales/rutas-romanico

The Castilla y Leon autonomous region tourist board on Palencia: https://www.turismocastillayleon.com/en/art-culture-heritage/provincial-capitals/palencia

Some good news!!! Online restaurant reservations increased 38% in September 2021, according to data from TheFork,(El Tenedor or la Fourchette) a TripAdvisor brand. the sector expects to reach 70% occupancy in the last quarter of this year, according to a study carried out by this leading booking app. With these green shoots, the platform (with the support of American Express) has launched a global initiative with thousands of restaurants involved and directed at millions of diners to return to their favorite dining rooms or to dare to meet new ones: TheFork Festival . Until November 28 2021, some 1,200 restaurants in Spain and 6,000 around the world join this proposal with a clear objective: to boost consumption and consolidate the recovery of the hotel industry after the COVID-19 crisis. Thus, for almost two months, discounts of 50% will be offered, as long as it is booked through the TheFork app. See also below my blog one of my favorite restaurant sites, Meanwhile in Spain its webpage : https://www.thefork.es/

Telmo Rodríguez’s Rioja Bordeaux ‘grand cru’ has been made, discreetly for a decade, with the original vineyards of an old divided land dating back to 1420. September 16, 2021 will remain as a historic date for Rioja wine,for the first time a Riojan brand is now being sold through the Bordeaux market, that historic market formed 800 years ago by Bordeaux’s négociants and dedicated to marketing all the grands crus of the most famous wine-growing area in the world, from Petrus to Haut-Brion. The Spanish wine that enters the place is Yjar 2017, the work of the renowned winemaker Telmo Rodríguez. located on the slopes of the Sierra de Toloño (Rioja Alavesa) at an altitude of between 600 and 800 meters above sea level, this historic property has a privileged location, since on the limestone soils of the triangle that form the towns of Labastida, San Vicente and Peñacerrada are home to some of the most exceptional old vineyards in Rioja Alavesa. It took more than 100 years for the activity to return to this enclave of Rioja Alavesa, thanks to the Rodríguez family who, in the 1960s, acquired the property and dedicated the rest of the 20C, and a few more years to recovering the wine culture on a farm with exceptional conditions to produce quality wines. Glass-pruned, this 3.8-hectare high-altitude vineyard, where the five varieties that make up the Yjar blend grow (Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, Grand Noir and Rojal), is the basis of this project. Yjar’s 2017 vintage has produced 7,200 bottles, the retail price of which has been announced at 110 euros in Spain. Decanter 98 Wine Advocate 96,welcome aboard! webpage : http://www.telmorodriguez.com/contact

There you go folks, another dandy from my dandy Spain, enjoy it fully and with moderation easy does it suavemente, we are getting to full throttle and the world is noticing it. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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