Archive for April 11th, 2022

April 11, 2022

The Plaza de Jacinto Benavente of Madrid !!

Well, here is this one a lovely square that I had mentioned in several posts but really needs a post of its own. The Plaza de Jacinto Benavente sits in the old town of Madrid right by the illustrious night life of the city, and plenty of architecture and history marvels. Let me tell you a bit more of it, and hope you enjoy it as I.

The Plaza de Jacinto Benavente is part of the Barrio de las Letras (see post) neighborhood. The streets of Carretas, Cruz, Huertas, Atocha, Doctor Cortezo, Concepción Jerónima and La Bolsa converge in it. The name of the square appears in memory of the playwright and Nobel Prize winner, in 1922, Jacinto Benavente y Martínez, author of works such as Los intereses creados (vested interests) or La malquerida.


The square was created in 1926 as a result of the demolition of several buildings around the Plazuela de la Aduana Vieja and the adjoining Plazuela de la Leña (later Calle de la Bolsa), among them the Convento de los Trinitarios Calzados founded by Felipe II ,The convent was exclaustrated and used to house the National Museum of Painting and Sculpture, which due to its origins was called the Trinidad Museum. Later, the Ministry of Public Works (Commerce, Instruction and Public Works) was installed there, until finally, given its poor condition, it was abandoned and demolished in 1897, Another demolished building was the Lonja del Almidón, a market created in the 1940s. In the 19C where starch was perhaps sold, but which was the most popular exchange house in Madrid. The old Madrid Stock Exchange or Bolsa was also demolished, to be replaced by the current Centro Gallego or Galician Center in the 50’s, hence a crossing was placed in the vicinity of the building, remembering the pilgrims who made the Camino de Santiago. After the expansion, the Palacio de los Cinco Gremios Mayores or palace of the Five Major Guilds, built in the 17C, became the property of the Bank of Isabel II, and when this bank merged with the San Carlos bank, it gave rise to the first headquarters of the Bank of Spain. At the beginning of the 21C, it houses the General Directorate of the Treasury. The Palacio de los Cinco Gremios or the House of the Five Guilds was built by cloth merchants, silk merchants, jewelers, stake holders and drug dealers (or grocers), the five thriving guilds of the time. The guild lost power over the years and finally the building was put up for public auction, being acquired in 1815 by the Bank of Isabel II. The building, built in 1791, is an example of neoclassical architecture in Madrid.

At the beginning of the 20C, one of the first cinemas in the capital was built: the Cine Ideal (see post) at the entrance to Calle del Doctor Cortezo, since 1999 they have been officially called Yelmo Cines Ideal.(see post). It is one of the oldest cinemas in Madrid, since it was inaugurated in 1916. It was built where the Trinitarios Calzados Convent used to be, a place with capacity for almost three thousand spectators. In 1998, a bronze Barrendero or sweeper statue was added to the decoration of the square in the center of the square. It is a beautiful sculpture in tribute to the staff of the Madrid City Council Cleaning Service, which makes it possible for this emblematic and tourist area to present an impeccable state. Since the end of the 20C, it has been used on occasions as a space for craft fairs. The Teatro Calderón (see post) is located right on one of the corners of Plaza Jacinto Benavente, it was inaugurated in 1917 with the name of Odeón Theater. In 1927 it was definitively renamed with the name of Teatro Calderón. Although for sponsorship reasons it is subject to some name changes depending on who is paying, as it was called the Häagen Dazs Calderón Theater until recently and since 2012 it has been called the Caser Calderón Theater, by the insurance company Caser. There is also, a mercado de las Ranas or Frog Market,that is an open street market with all kinds of activities not just food. The market is so name because of the previous street name , calle Cantarranas,today the Calle Lope de Vega.

How to get to Plaza de Jacinto Benavente , other than walking the best way is by bus lines 6, 32 and 65 with terminus in the square. A short distance away are also the head of lines 26 (stop Tirso de Molina) and line 50 (stop Plaza Mayor). The Metro lines 1, stop Tirso de Molina is the closest,but ,also, near are stops Anton Martin and Sol,on lines 2 and 3, The Bicimad Station 34 is right on the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente. There is a nice parking we have used the Parking EMT Jacinto Benavente right in the square and very convenient in the hyper-center of Madrid, 5 minutes walk from Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, in the most touristic quarter and in the milieu of shops, bars and theaters !

The Madrid tourist office on the Barrio de las Letras

The Madrid tourist office on the barrendero or sweeper statue

A Madrid province tourist board on Plaza de Jacinto Benavente :

There you go folks, another wonderful spot in my dear Madrid. The Plaza de Jacinto Benavente is wonderful right in the thick of it all ,you will enjoy the walks around here for sure, Hope you enjoy it as I

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

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April 11, 2022

More of my 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 Paseo Neptuno or Passeig de Neptú is a promenade that begins in the port of Valencia and runs along Cabanyal Beach, to Malvarrosa Beach. Along this landscaped promenade there are countless traditional Valencian restaurants and cafes where you can have a drink, as well as hotels, including the luxurious Las Arenas spa,The parking Neptuno is located on the beachfront, next to the Club Nautico or Yacht Club, We enjoy the beach and restaurant (see post) and parked undeground at Parking Neptuno, webpage :


The Plaza del Ayuntamiento or Plaça de l’Ajuntament or City/Town Hall Square is the largest square in Valencia.

The bit of history tell us that the square has its origin in the old Convent of San Francisco, whose land King Jaime I granted to the Franciscans to build their convent outside the city walls in the 13C, right where the recreation house of Abu Zayd, the last Almohad governor of the city was located. Since 1423 there is evidence of the name of Plaza de San Francisco to the gardens that were of the Convent of San Francisco. During the 19C ,it had other names such as General Espartero (1840-1843), Isabel II (1843-1868) or La Libertad (1868-1874), to later be called San Francisco again until the year 1900 , From 11 February 1900 the square took the name of Emilio Castelar, one of the presidents during the First Spanish Republic. The name was in force until the end of the Spanish Civil War. Between 1939 and 1979 the square was known as Plaza del Caudillo, even hosting an equestrian sculpture of Gen Franco and during the Spanish democratic transition it changed its name to País Valenciano, until in 1987 ,when it took its current neutral name of Plaza del Ayuntamiento.


The Plaza del Ayuntamiento joins a triangle, and is found south of the plaza del Mercado and north of the València-Nord train station (see post). The City/Town Hall (see post)  is found next to the post office building built between 1913 and 1922, as the Palace of Communications (or Post Office), built in an eclectic style, which is one of the reference buildings for the square. The square is characterized by the presence of buildings, most of them in an eclectic and rationalist style, erected during the first half of the 20C. Also noteworthy is its circular fountain and the sculpture that pays tribute to the sworn in chief of the city at the beginning of the 14C, Francesc de Vinatea.

The bus lines C1, 6, 8, 11, 14, 35 and 70 reach the square, While the nearest Metrovalencia station is Xàtiva located on Calle Xàtiva about 150 meters south of the square, where pass lines 3,5 and 9.The MetroValencia webpage:

The EMT Valencia transports all modes

The Valencia tourist office

There you go folks, I feel better now to show you more of Valencia, the city by the Mediterranean and direct from Madrid on the A3!! We love it , hope you do too. This is more of my curiosities of Valencia nice walks indeed

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

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April 11, 2022

Plaza de Toros of Aranjuez!

One of the nicest story coming out of my old Spain, the prince love story of Aranjuez! Anybody heard of the concierto of Aranjuez? Well its a masterpiece even brought to theater. Written by Juaquin Rodrigo while on his last year of his stayed in Paris, 1939! A masterpiece.

Aranjuez is nice quant,regal, and chic. My dear late mother Gladys made me come into it when a boy and it has always stay with me up to today. The city of Aranjuez in the Communidad de Madrid region only 42 km from Madrid, which I have come always by car,on the A4 with connection to the city on the M305.  However, it can be reached by public transport from Madrid Cercanías Train C-3 El Escorial–Aranjuez.

The Plaza de Toros de Aranjuez bullring was inaugurated in 1797. It currently has a capacity of 9500 people. An important bullfighting festival is celebrated on May 30 of each year, being the festival of San Fernando. Also, Toros Goyesca, which brings together the main figures of bullfighting and specimens of the meilleurs haras espagnols in September of each year.


It was designed in smaller proportions, similar to the old bullring near the Puerta de Alcalá (Madrid before Ventas). The period of splendor of the bullring was from the 18C and, above all, at the beginning of the 19C due to the bullfighting hobby of King Fernando VII. But in 1809 it was destroyed by a raging fire, and was not raised again until ten years later. Indeed, in 1829, by order of the aforementioned Fernando VII, the Royal Heritage completely rebuilt this coliseum and transferred its property to the Aranjuez City Council, which from then on took charge of the management and conservation of the building.


The Plaza de Toros of Aranjuez has twelve entrance doors to the public that communicate with the interior by means of ten stairs and three galleries. The royal family entered through an access door and a private staircase that led directly to the Royal Box. The interior of the Plaza de Toros , a museum was created by the city of Aranjuez,that can be visited with appointment,

The Museo de la Plaza de Toros of Aranjuez bullfighting museum offers a series of guided tours of the different rooms in the bullring (quadrillas patio, albero, alleys, stables, apartao, Palco Real, pigsties and corrals) that allow a tour through from the world of bullfighting and recreate the most popular festivals that have been held in the Royal Site city since the beginning of the 19C.

The Plaza de Toros de Aranjuez:

The Aranjuez tourist office on the Plaza de Toros

This is a private initiative with tourist information on Aranjuez and have it on the Plaza de Toros. I find it very good:

And there you go folks, an institution of bullfights in a historical bullring very near Madrid . This is a nice princely city of Aranjuez. Hope you enjoy the post on the Plaza de Toros, and see my many posts on the city in my blog.

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

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