Some news from Spain CXXIII

And here I am back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and it seems we will have a wonderful summer season. I am eagerly looking forward to that!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy in Spain, everything under the Sun!

The five towers of Madrid are located in the Fuencarral-El Pardo district, to the north of the city, and make up one of the most modern business parks in the city. The Torre de Cristal (the tallest in Spain at 249 meters), the Torre Cepsa (248 meters), the Torre PwC (236 meters) and the Torre Emperador Castellana (224 meters) began to be built in 2004, and even before their completion in 2009 outlined the Madrid skyline from almost anywhere in the region. The fifth tower, Caleido (181 meters), was added to the set of skyscrapers in 2020. A sort of La Défense of Madrid indeed heights impressive. Cercanias train lines C3 C7 and C8 as well as metro lines 7 ,9, and 10. As well as metro line 1 connects with line 10 to get you here. See the other side of Madrid!

From the Casa Arabe to the Quinta de los Molinos: ten stops along the inexhaustible Calle de Alcalá (my street!!) It is 11 kilometers long and crosses five districts of Madrid. And along its 728 numbers, museums, terraces with unbeatable views and shops with a lot of character await. I told you plenty ,see posts, now here is more for ideas to visit my dear Madrid !

As soon as you leave the Puerta del Sol, discreetly, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando (Calle de Alcalá, 13), with its museum, a little-frequented Madrid jewel, comes into view. Inside, an art collection awaits us, including 13 goyas and an unusual Italian treasure: the only canvas by Giuseppe Arcimboldo that can be seen in Spain, the floral portrait entitled La Primavera (1563). It is located in a noble mansion, formerly known as Mesón de la Miel, built in 1720, After leaving behind the sumptuous Casino de Madrid, along the sidewalk of the odd ones we will arrive at the exhibition hall of the Community of Madrid, popularly known as Sala Alcalá 31 and specialized in contemporary Spanish artists. This two-story art space (with free access) is located in a historic building built between 1935 and 1943, and remodeled in 2002, The sensation of freedom produced by contemplating the city from above, and the pleasure of detecting, there in the distance, that skyscraper or that church, are achieved both on the roof of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, located 56 meters above the Calle de Alcalá, as in Mirador Madrid, the elevated terrace of Centro Centro, the cultural space installed in the Palacio de Cibeles, Opposite the Palacio de Cibeles is the Casa de América, one of the cultural centers most loved by the inhabitants of Madrid. Located in the Palacio de Linares (19C), since 1990 it has kept us up to date on art, literature and cinema from Latin America. The old Aguirre Schools, created in 1886, with their neo-Mudejar style tower, are the perfect container to house the Casa Árabe ( Calle de Alcalá, 62). Located next to the Retiro Park, all those who want to learn , but also those who are curious about any cultural manifestation of the Arab countries, must go there.

The Valencian fartons are the horchata churros: baked and with icing sugar on top, they combine unbeatably with the tiger nut drink that accompanies us every summer. And also autumn, winter and spring in Madrid, as the family that runs Alboraya (Calle de Alcalá, 125) since 1980 offers its artisanal horchata made with tiger nuts from Valencia at any season of the year, as well as ice cream, meringue milk and the traditional agua de barley. Yes !!! The Plaza de las Ventas (Calle de Alcalá, 237), in the Neo-Mudejar style, is a landmark in Madrid, also because it has seen musicians of varied styles in its ring. Its Bullfighting Museum, open to the public free of charge in the mornings, is divided into three rooms: one dedicated to the bullring; another to bulls, bullfighters, bullfighting clothes and capes; and a third to bullfighting painting and original posters. And the surroundings of the bullring, the largest in Spain (it has capacity for 23,798 spectators), are full of taverns with a bullfighting atmosphere, among which Casa Toribio stands out, which exclusively receives and cooks the meat of the bulls that fight in the bullring, whose meat, due to the raising of these animals in the open air, is one of the most ecological that exist try oxtail stew or rabo encendido!!!). The Parque de la Quinta de los Molinos (Calle de Alcalá, 527) is a spectacle when its 1,500 almond trees bloom, a beautiful and colorful landscape that this year has come early and will experience its maximum splendor until the middle of this month of March. This green area keeps a secret inside: it is called Open Space and it is a center of creativity in which children are the protagonists. In its café-garden, the students of the hotel school prepare dishes to the delight of the diners who come to this bright and cheerful space that they will not want to leave. Sublime, I lived at Calle de Alcalà, 331,(see post).

The San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts traces the two trips Velazquez made to Italy in an exhibition, which will open its doors on June 1, 2022 focused on Juan de Córdoba, agent of the Spanish Crown, and the painter Luigi Amidani, The star of the show is the ‘Portrait of Juan de Córdoba’, from the collection of the Capitoline Museums in Rome, which is being exhibited for the first time in Spain, In the Italy of the 17C. Velázquez, painter of the Spanish Court, makes two trips to that country. The first, from August 1629 to January 1631, was intended to complete his academic training . The second, from January 1649 to June 1651, was undertaken by newly appointed valet of Felipe IV, who commissioned him to acquire works of art to decorate the Real Alcázar in Madrid.(Royal Palace), Four intense years that were crucial in the career and life of the Sevillian painter. An exciting story of love and friendship, art and beauty, but also of power and ambition, palace and Vatican intrigues, suspicions of espionage, extramarital affairs, an illegitimate child. Etc, To see it, a must. Academy webpage : https://www.realacademiabellasartessanfernando.com/es

Ahh my dear Cuenca, there is more and even more in my posts in the blog, The bench that has been described as ‘the second most beautiful in the world’. Since 2020 you can find it in the gardens of the Paleontology Museum of Castilla-La Mancha (MUPA). It is surrounded by replicas of dinosaurs and offers a magnificent view of the most medieval Cuenca, The Cuenca I love with its asymmetric distribution forming terraces that leave charming corners at every step. In one of them stands its cathedral prodigiously, with almost a hectare of surface, dedicated to Santa María and San Julián. Although the façade is very popular because of its similarities to other French cathedrals, the best part is inside: a 35 meters high central nave where light is projected through the stained glass windows made in the 20C by various artists from the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art, the altars and chapels with unique 16C grilles, the choir, the tombs, the arches, the triforium that offers a beautiful image from above of the entire nave and its beautiful cloister. In the Diocesan Museum, attached to the temple, you can closely admire two Grecos, ‘Adoration in the Garden’ and ‘Christ with the Cross on His Back’, after passing a vault, The houses of the old city are crowded on a rocky massif bordered by the Júcar and Huécar rivers. Not only its famous Hanging Houses, but also its incredible row of ‘skyscrapers’, some 30 buildings, erected since the 15C in the Barrio de San Martín, when Cuenca was a center of economic power for its production of wool, cloth and carpets. . These constructions, which support each other on an embankment with a large slope in the rock, had two or three stories towards the main Calle de Alfonso VIII, but grew irregularly downwards at the rear as they developed below the overhangs, adding up to ten or twelve, The gorges of the Huécar and Júcar rivers, as they pass through Cuenca, form two canyons with a width of more than a thousand meters and a drop of more than two hundred meters in several areas. In this area the ‘hocinos’ were developed, the orchards that supplied fruit and orchards to the city, but now they have become an ideal setting to practice all kinds of outdoor sports activities. Climbing, hiking, mountain biking, orienteering, cross country, canoeing, running, cycling, caving or night trails are part of this new commitment to sustainable tourism. The Museum of Spanish Abstract Art, installed in one of the Hanging Houses with paintings and sculptures by Chillida, Tàpies, Saura, Cuixart, Sempere, Torner and, above all, by Fernando Zóbel, who in 1980 donated his collection of painting, sculpture, drawing and graphic work, as well as his personal library and a set with his diaries and more than one hundred and thirty notebooks. Admission to the museum is free and you can buy reproductions of the most outstanding works in its shop for six euros ! All of Cuenca before your eyes!!!

The medieval train of Sigüenza (Guadalajara province, Castilla La Mancha region) will circulate again from May 7, 2022 at the beginning of the celebrations of the IX Centenary of the Reconquest of the city (1124-2024), On January 22, 1124, the feast of Saint Vincent, at the third assault, the Castilian troops under the command of Bishop D. Bernardo de Agén took the Seguntine castle. Sigüenza, then divided into two villages, had spent four hundred years in Islamic hands. After the Reconquest, it regained its dignity as an episcopal city. The festive train that connects Madrid with the city of El Doncel, which will remember the long history of this town, will depart from the Madrid-Chamartín-Clara Campoamor station with stops in Alcalá de Henares and Guadalajara. Along the way there will be a small show with live medieval music and the participation of troubadours, stilt walkers, magicians and jugglers. , A tour from the Plaza Mayor, which Cardinal Mendoza ordered to be built, to the cathedral, in the initial Romanesque-Cistercian style with a Gothic finish and Renaissance elements. And of course the castle, where Princess Doña Blanca de Borbón lived in exile for four years after being repudiated by King Pedro I of Castile, the Cruel. Today, this 12C medieval castle is one of the chain’s most appealing paradors (lodgings). Among its stones we see period furniture, a Romanesque chapel from the 13C and rooms decorated in some cases with a canopy, to travel completely in time. The train will circulate during the spring campaign (May 7 and 21, and June 4 and 16) , and the autumn campaign (September 22 and October 1, 15 and 29), The Sigüenza tourist office on the train : http://www.siguenza.es/noticia/2/356/

The Cervantes Train, 35 minutes of theater on rails, opens a new season from May 2nd, coinciding with its 25th anniversary. From the Atocha station Madrid to Alcalá de Henares, and from 2022 to the Golden century, It is a short trip, only 35 minutes, but in very good company. Because in this convoy the travelers are guided by a cast of actors and extras who, dressed in period costumes, pay homage to Cervantes’ work through brief theatrical performances. This season, the train will run every Saturday until July 2, In autumn it returns between September 17 and December 3. The experience costs 22 euros and includes the Cercanías train ticket, the guided tour and the entrance to the monuments. enjoy a visit to the valuable cultural heritage of Alcalá de Henares. The itinerary on foot runs through the most outstanding buildings of the city monumental complex from the Palace of Laredo to the University. more time to explore the other treasures of the city, such as the Roman city of Complutum, the most important Roman site in the region, and the House of Hippolytus, which hides the valuable Fish Mosaic, Alcala de Henares tourist office on the train : https://www.turismoalcala.es/evento/tren-de-cervantes-2/

Another jewel written in my blog before, this is another must visit while in my dear Spain, Full of light and sound, the new visit to the impressive monastery of the Order of Santiago in Uclés, the town of Cuenca province in Castilla La Mancha region and just an hour from Madrid, once again conquers the traveler. The scene of countless films and series, only in the last century has Uclés seen parading through the palatial rooms of his impressive monastery figures such as Robert de Niro (The Bridge of San Luis Rey) and Viggo Mortensen (Alatriste). Although few Hollywood scripts surpass the true story of a local neighbor, Fermina Oliva, a survivor of the Titanic. The construction of the Uclés Monastery began in the 16C. During the following 200 years it continued to grow and cast its shadow over the small village of La Mancha where today more than 200 souls live. It was Alfonso VIII who donated the enclave to the people of Santiago in 1174. The warrior monks settled in a previous castle and converted it into a fortress convent. But it was Felipe II who imprinted the walled enclosure with grandeur. He built the church, with no less than 65 meters of nave, « El Escorial de La Mancha » has been born. There are many jewels to discover in the monastery. From its Plateresque façade to the double cloister with 36 semicircular arches. From the Renaissance coffered ceiling of the refectory with the carved busts of 36 knights of the Order to the wonderful staircase adorned with the crosses of Santiago. Somewhere in the crypt lie the remains of the poet Jorge Manrique. And Quevedo was locked up in one of its dark cells, back in 1620. The Cuenca province tourist office on Uclés : https://www.descubrecuenca.com/en/enclaves-y-poblaciones/la-alcarria/ucles-monasterio-de-ucles-99

You can go on and see more, also post in my blog ; you must be at Segóbriga. The Roman city, built on a ten-hectare hill a quarter of an hour’s drive away, is amazing for how well preserved it has been. Visitors can wander through its amphitheater (with capacity for 5,000 spectators), its circus and its theater almost as if it were in the first century. All this appears in the middle of nowhere… although such wealth has an explanation: the extraction of lapis specularis, the mirror or translucent plaster that the Romans used as glass and that they would export from this corner of La Mancha to the entire empire.See it! The Cuenca tourist office on Segobriga : https://visitacuenca.es/en/content/what-see-archeology-romes-memory/archaeological-park-segobriga

Good weather is announced and with it the terrace season begins ! In any case, now that the clouds clear, it is a good time to enjoy the views of Madrid (almost) from the sky, accompanied by a gastronomic proposal and/or cocktail, Here are two spots I love !

You see the La Cibeles, the Metrópolis building, and Paseo del Prado, etc. And the fact is that the former Palacio de Correos y Telecomunicaciones houses today the Madrid City Council and, on the sixth floor, the establishment of the well-known Toledo restaurateur Adolfo Muñoz. It has a restaurant and two terraces, one from the dining room and the other from the Cocktail Bar (you can access it with a ticket, 6 euros, from Monday to Thursday; 10 from Friday to Sunday, which is deducted from the drink). This is at the Palacio de Cibeles in the Plaza Cibeles, Webpage: https://palaciodecibeles.com/restaurante-palacio-de-cibeles/

Also, ABC Serrano Terraza with its 700 m2 of neo-Mudejar style house different spaces: an area with armchairs and low tables; another with tall tables and stools and even a dining room for those seeking a more formal experience. In the kitchen, a traveling proposal is governed by the Torcuato restaurant (of the Grupo La Fábrica, responsible for successful venues such as Raimunda and El 5 de Tirso, among others), and cocktails and music is great with DJ sessions and concerts. At Calle Serrano, 61.webpage: https://www.abcserrano.com/tiendas/torcuato/

And last but not least, the best croquetas or croquette in Spain is eaten in Madrid ! The one by Miguel Carretero, from the Santerra restaurant, in the Madrid neighborhood of Salamanca, as the creator of the best croquette in Spain, wins the eighth edition of the Madrid Fusión contest, a gastronomic fair, The croquette chosen “Champion of champions” is made with cow’s milk, ham and is coated with panko (a kind of Japanese breadcrumbs). Santerra webpage: https://santerra.es/restaurante-gastronomico/

To make it at home get these ingredients : 2.4 liters of double cream cow’s milk; 250 grams of butter; 250 grams of loose flour; 0.3 liters of cream (33% MG); 10 sheets of cooking gelatin; 350 grams Joselito Iberian ham cut with a knife; 1 Iberian ham bone; flour; egg, and panko. Elaboration:
1. Melt the butter and add the flour in two batches, cook over low heat until the flour is completely cooked. 2. On the other hand, infuse the ham bones with the milk. 3. Add the hot milk to the roux in a stream and stir continuously over low heat, until the bechamel is smooth. Add the chopped ham, stir for a minute and add salt. 4. Separately, heat the cream, add the gelatin that we have previously hydrated and melted. Strain this mixture and add the cream to the dough, stirring until its temperature drops. 5. Pour into a tray and cover with plastic wrap to refrigerate overnight. 6. Make balls, go through flour, egg and panko. 7. Fry in mild olive oil at 190 degrees, let stand and serve. Buen provecho !!!

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain and dear Madrid to boot! Summer is practically even if officially is June 21st. Time to enjoy sunny Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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3 Comments to “Some news from Spain CXXIII”

  1. Que bien, pero que no se te olvide la Comunitat Valenciana que tiene mucho que ofrecer, mucha historia, y muchas calitas que llaman la atenciónUn saludo y feliz finde

    Liked by 1 person

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