Archive for January 7th, 2022

January 7, 2022

Always the Puerta del Sol of Madrid!!!

Looking back in nostalgia of my older posts, notice have some pictures not included yet. These new finds were on the Puerta del Sol of Madrid!!! OF course, how can I skip these pictures of always from my dear Madrid! Therefore, will give something new in the text with older pictures to complete my sequence of this venerable beautiful square. Hope you enjoy as always the Puerta del Sol of Madrid!!!

Mad puerta del Sol 24jan10

The Puerta del Sol is one of the most celebrated places in Madrid and the meeting point par excellence for the inhabitants and tourists of Madrid. It opens up some of the most important places and buildings in the capital, such as

Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, is the work of the sculptor Antonio Navarro Santafé and was inaugurated in 1967. located at the start Calle de Alcalá, you will see the statue of the symbol of Madrid; the madroño, and is one of the most popular points of encounters of the capital.

Equestrian statue of Carlos III, nine meters high. It is a bronze reproduction preserved in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. It was erected in 1994.


Kilometer zero in front of the Post Office is located in the square since 1950, the current one is a new plaque placed in 2009. The Zero Kilometer of the Puerta del Sol is indicated by the sun and the tourists usually never leave Madrid without having taken a photo of it.

Statue of the Mariblanca. It is a reproduction of the original, which is in the Casa de la Villa,(see post) the statue was part of a fountain installed in Puerta del Sol, it has been installed since 2009.


For many years, the advertising poster for “Tio Pepe” banished from its preferential place and replaced by the apple logo of the Apple store. However, back by popular demand of the inhabitants of Madrid in 2014.


Two plaques on the façade of the Casa de Correos, (post office bdlg) dedicated, one to the Heroes of the Popular Uprising of May 2 1808, and the other to the victims of the March 11 2004 terrorists attacks and to the people who collaborated on the day of the catastrophe.

In the 19C, the Puerta del Sol was totally transformed, and it is between 1857 and 1862, after the demolition of a certain buildings, which adopts the current appearance . It was the seat of many historical events such as:

The mutiny of Esquilache, in 1766.
Resistance against Napoleon’s troops on May 2, 1808.
In 1812 the proclamation of the constitution of 1812 (Cadiz).
The proclamation of Fernando VII as king in 1812.
In 1861 attack against Queen Isabel II.
April 14, 1931. Proclamation of the Second Republic.

Mad puerta del Sol christmas dec08

The clock of the Casa de Correos or Post Office is known throughout Spain for being the place where the famous carillon of the Puerta del Sol  is at since 1962. It is on the Puerta del Sol that meets the old and the new year with thousands of people to eat the twelve grapes and celebrate the new year.  It is indeed the great clock which presides over one of its buildings which is responsible for wishing the Spaniards a Happy New Year.

The Casa de Correos or post office was built between the years 1766 and 1768. Throughout its history it has performed various functions as headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior , General Directorate of State Security during the Franco dictatorship and currently houses the Headquarters of the Presidency of the Community of Madrid. 

If you are looking for more shopping, you will have the possibility to see a lot of good things on the main streets around the Puerta del Sol, sublime shopping!!! Head for the Calle Mayor, where you go you will see the Plaza Mayor; Calle del Arenal that will take you to the Royal Opera ; Calle Preciados and Calle Montera that links with the Gran Via; and Calle Carretas that relies the Plaza Jacinto Benavente square at the Puerta del Sol. See my many posts on shopping in Madrid!

The Madrid tourist office on the Puerta del Sol

The city of Madrid on the Puerta del Sol (in Spanish long thread):

There you go folks, a dandy wonderful sublime beautiful square that never ceases to amaze me each time there! Nostalgic hugely since walking on it to get my souvenirs and shoes with my Mom Gladys and later with my wife Martine and the boys, memories forever! The Puerta del Sol is the beaten heart of Madrid me think.

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

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January 7, 2022

Curiosities of Valencia!!!

This is one of those cities that should be visited more. I was there as a child when had my aunt on mother’s side living there in a farm just south of the city near El Saler; when we lived in Madrid we would go there as our “vacation” ; then, their passing took us a dry spell of many, many years, finally with my wife and boys ,we decided upon my request to visit the city. We enjoyed the sites , and have plenty in my blog; however, found new pictures to tell you even more of this nice city by the Mediterranean. I am talking about Valencia, Spain; hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Plaza Puerta del Mar square in Valencia, where Calle de Colón, the main commercial thoroughfare, ends. Avenida Navarro Reverter, which follows the old road to the sea, leads from it, Calle del Justicia, Calle del General Palanca and Calle del Palacio de Justicia.  It occupies part of the space of the square that extended in front of the Citadel of Valencia and the old Puerta del Mar, this door opened the medieval wall on the way to the port of Grao, and that were demolished in 1868 when the walls of the city felled, You have next the Jardin de la Glorieta , the historic garden popular for its large trees. Next to it we find the old Customs building, now the headquarters of the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community. Until the beginning of the 20C, the military citadel and later the barracks that replaced it stood on. Currently the modern buildings occupy the square, next to which the courts of Valencia were located for a long time, until their move to the current City of Justice.

The current Puerta del Mar is a reproduction of the old Puerta del Real, which stood a short distance away, opening the way to the disappeared Royal Palace. It has three openings. The central one is higher and culminates in a semicircular arch, while the sides, which are lower in height, are lintelled. On these there are four reliefs that represent “Courage”, “Abnegation”, “La Paz” and “La Gloria”. The original gate had been opened in the wall in 1356. Reformed several times, the last in neoclassical style in 1843, and finally demolished with the rest of the wall.


A private webpage with good info on the Sea Gate or Puerta del Mar

The Pont de les Arts or Puente de las Artes or Arts’ bridge was built in 1990 and is the work of the British Sir Norman Foster. From the Pont de les Arts, the central support that supports the two roads stands out and represents a chandelier from which its tall white street lamps emerge.This spectacular central support represents a chandelier that supports the upper streetlights. It is a functional and modern bridge with a careful and elegant design. Between this bridge and the next San José bridge stretches the Valencia rugby field. On its side you can visit the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) and next to it, the museum center of the Casa de la Beneficencia. The continuation of the bridge on this side takes us to Na Jordana street, where one of the most important Fallas in the city is planted.


A private webpage with good info on the Puente de las Artes or Arts’ bridge

The Plaza de Toros or bullring of Valencia is officially the Monumental Plaza de Toros or bullring that was built throughout the 1850s. It is neoclassical, specifically simple Doric, inspired by Roman civil architecture, Its structure is formed by a 48-sided polygon, with 384 exterior arches, made in brick following the Neo-Mudejar style . There is no doubt that it is one of the most beautiful bullrings in Spain, with its 52 meters in diameter in the arena, subsequently reduced, 108 meters in outside diameter and its capacity for 16,851 seated spectators ,also reduced to 12,884 seats, With these dimensions make it one of the largest bullrings in Spain. It was inaugurated on June 20, 1859.

Since 1085, there has been evidence of bullfighting in Valencia. To gain the rights to exploit the bullring, the Hospital of Valencia requested to king Felipe III for the rights, alluding that the profit obtained in the bullfights could be used to the most needy, the king accepting the proposal, once the rights granted that were in force . But it really was not until 1739 when King Felipe V granted, and in perpetuity, the Valencia Hospital the right and exploitation of bullfights in these removable plazas. Finally, in 1798 a fixed plaza, half masonry, half wood, outside the city walls, next to the Ruzafa gate. That plaza was 74 meters in diameter and had an outer circumference of 334 meters. But it barely lasted a few years. The definitive plaza, similar to how we know it today, was officially inaugurated on June 22, 1859, with bulls from Nazario Carriquiri and the Widow of Zalduendo, for the right-handed Francisco Arjona “Cúchares” In 1983 , the General Directorate of Fine Arts of the competent ministry, declared the Valencia bullring a Historic-Artistic Monument.  The Valencia Bullring is located in Calle Játiva, the downtown district of the city, next to the Nord train Station of Valencia (see post) and very close to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The closest metro station is Játiva, with lines 3, 5, and 9.There is, also, a bullfighting museum, which was founded in 1929 with funds from the donation of Luis Moróder Peiró and the bull chopper José Bayard Badia, which for years collected a significant number of materials and objects of Valencian bullfighting of the 19C to the 20C.

The Valencia tourist office on the Bullring or Plaza de Toros :

For overall reference, the Valencia tourist office on its heritage

There you go folks, a dandy city by the Mediterranean and lots of nice things to see. We have enjoyed our visits with the family in Valencia. Hope you enjoy the post as I. And ,remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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January 7, 2022

The City/Town Hall of Toledo!!

Yes, that is Toledo ,Spain of course. I passed by this building several times and had mentioned briefly in my previous posts; however, need to have one of its own. It is a peculiar building, government yet architecturally nice. Of course, in a city  with so much history, this one can be overlook. Therefore, let me tell you a bit about the Ayuntamiento or city/town hall of Toledo!!!


The anecdote here is that had family (passed away unfortunately) just up the road in Yunco and visit Toledo every time from Madrid from as far back as 1971! When came for a visit with my then girlfriend later wife, took her here in our first trip to Spain together in 1990. Toledo has always been around for us and glad can tell you a bit more about its monuments in this post. The city of Toledo is the capital of the province of Toledo and in Castilla La Mancha Autonomus community.

The city hall or town hall (Ayuntamiento) is always attractive in many cities and one to look at its architecture, this one in Toledo is no exception. It likes to be call from the old days the La Casa Consistorial or Ciyt/Town Hall. It is also the tourist office!


The authorship of the new City/Town Hall building is quite complex, since the original project suffered numerous alterations due to the slowness of the works. It is very probable that the works, started in 1575.  In the first years of the 17C, the work was at a stand still, the main facade not even being completed. Work ceased again in 1618 and did not resume until 1690, finally concluded in 1703.

The first floor (ground level) of the building occupies the entire block and has a central courtyard around which the rooms are distributed.  The main door leads to the large hall, from where a staircase with Baroque decoration starts. Occupying the ground floor and the upper floor, a Mudejar door corresponding to a previous building has been reused.

The façade is the most representative element that overlooks the square and is in the Herrerian style. The lower part of this one is occupied by notaries; the upper part preserves the Herrerian “pasaedero” and on the third floor there is a large balcony with large rectangular openings.  Two towers mark the two ends of this façade topped with the typical Herrerian spire.

The Toledo tourist office on its heritage :

The city of Toledo on its historical searches :

There you go folks, a nice building, worth the detour, that can be visited alone. The city/town hall or ayuntamiento or casa consistorial is a marvel to look at in the Toledo sky! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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