Archive for August 5th, 2022

August 5, 2022

Isabel I and Emilio Castelar of Madrid !!

So much to see and do, and so many monuments time is not enough for my dear Madrid. One thing I did a lot is to walked all over the city sometimes to the limits but it allows me to show my sons my beloved city in all its glory. We passed by monuments hardly noticeable by visitors but with a great history and architecture on them.  The wonderful Paseo de la Castellana has the wonderful monument to Isabel I ,the Catholic Queen of the discovery and the square or Glorieta Emilio Castelar. Let me update and join these older posts and tell you more hoping you enjoy them as I.

In 1881, the city council of Madrid decided to create a monument dedicated to Queen Isabel I, the Catholic. The first location was in the middle of the Paseo de la Castellana just before arriving at the Plaza de Santa Cruz on the right hand side, and not on the side where it is located from the 1960. The sculpture measures about 4 meters and the original pedestal measured another 4. It consisted of marble columns of different colors. The monument was inaugurated by king Alfonso XII, accompanied by his sisters, the infantas Isabel and Eulalia and the imperial prince of Germany, Frederic Wilhem.  Queen Isabel I the Catholic is sitting on horse wearing armor. In her hand she carries the Covadonga Cross. On his left is Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza, who carries the Gospels in his right hand. To his right is Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, the Great Captain, with his sword. In the chamfers, the shields of Castilla, León, Granada and Aragón.  In the new, simpler pedestal, you can read the original dedication: To Isabel the Catholic, under whose Glorious Reign the National Unity and the discovery of America was carried out .The town of Madrid, 1883.


The square or Glorieta of Emilio Castelar is in the middle of traffic prone Paseo de la Castellana ! The Glorieta Emilio Castelar square (formerly Plaza de la Fuente Castellana and Plaza del Obelisco), is a roundabout (glorieta) on the Paseo de la Castellana, between the Chamberí and Salamanca neighborhoods of Madrid. The Calle del General Oráa and the Paseo del General Martínez Campos converge on it. Since 1908, it is named after the 19C speaker and president of the First Spanish Republic Emilio CastelarThe monument has the speaker, erect and with an eloquent gesture, in his seat of Parliament, at his feet, a woman listens historical speakers, such as Demosthenes and Cicero speakers of ancient Rome and classical Greece, and a large group in which a worker, a soldier and a student, protected by an artilleryman, sitting on his arm, can also be seen outstanding in his speech. Complete the lower set a bas-relief representing the abolition of slavery. The work is crowned by three naked goddesses representing, as read on the label, at their feet, the motto of the French Revolution: Freedom, Equality, Fraternity.


The roundabout occupies the space that in 1833 housed, on the edge of the Paseo Nuevo de las Delicias de la Princesa, the monumental Fuente Castellana, also called the Obelisk promoted by king Fernando VII to celebrate the birth of Princess Isabel Luisa, later queen Isabel II. The Obelisk of this fountain, which gave its name to the Paseo de la Castellana, today adorns the Madrid Río park(see post). Nothing on the Isabel I as all with the discovery is still controversial in my Spain of today.

The Madrid tourist office on the Glorieta Emilio Castelar:

There you go folks, another dandy walk or drive around my dear Madrid!  The Isabel I monument and the traffic roundabout of Emilio Castelar are genuine real Madrid in an off the beaten path area for all the road warriors to enjoy it as I.

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


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August 5, 2022

The Deutsches Eck of Koblenz !!

In my wandering road warrior trips in Europe, I have come to Germany. Yes by plane and car indeed. One of our favorites cities there was/is Koblenz.  By the way in French , we have translated as Coblence... I like to update this older post and tell you a bit more on the Deutsches Eck  or German Corner , emblematic of the city and a must to visit while there or near Koblenz. Let me tell you a bit on it ok. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Koblenz  is a town in the state of Rhineland Palatine , the name come from the confluence of two rivers the Rhine and the Moselle in the German corner or Deutsches Eck, the closest big city are Bonn at 60 km and Mayence at 90 km.  My visit here has been by car from Trier so the road 602 ,then A1, B48 and finally the 9 roads or about 3 hrs. time. All toll free as we like them.  There is a train station of course,and close airports at Frankfort and Koln; as well as easy navigation by river. However, to us ,car is king and queen between cities.

We reached the Deutsches Eck  or German Corner! at the huge statue of emperor William I of Germany and overlooking the  Moselle and Rhine rivers with the great cable car to the fortress above and the quant restaurants along the riverbank.(see post)

Deutsches Eck  or German Corner is the name of a headland in Koblenz, where the Moselle river joins the Rhine river. Named after a local commander of the Teutonic Order, it became known for a monumental equestrian statue of William I, first German Emperor, erected in 1897 in appreciation of his merits in the unification of Germany. It was erected and solemnly inaugurated in the presence of the emperor on 31 August 1897.


After the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic in 1949, the country was divided between a capitalist part and a communist part . In order to express the deep desire for a united Germany, President Theodor Heuss gave the German corner a monument dedicated to German unity. As a result, the coat of arms of all the German Länder (states), including those of the former German territories such as Silesia, East Prussia and Pomerania, were installed there. In replacement of the destroyed equestrian statue, a German flag floated on the place. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, three pieces of concrete wall were installed next to the monument. On October 3, 1990, the emblems of the new federal states were added. The reinstallation of the equestrian statue of emperor William I, was done on September 25, 1993. Today, a large national flag and the flags of the 16 Länder  (states) are like a reminder of German unity. The three parts of the Berlin Wall are now dedicated to victims of the separation.


The Koblenz tourist office on the German Corner

The Mosel region tourist office on the German Corner

The Regional cultural history site on the German Corner

There you go folks ,this is a dandy one to visit in Koblenz, I hope you enjoy the German Corner or Deutsches Eck of Koblenz.

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

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August 5, 2022

My walks of my Versailles !!!

Ok so lots of walks all over my belle France, we really enjoy it. Not to be mistaken, I love to arrive into town with my car , but once in town,my feet are better than Supermen !! I like these series as it brings lots of family memories to me and share with your some interesting parts of a city me think. This time will take you to my dear Versailles, and my walks in my Versailles !!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The former Hôtel de la Marine et des Affaires étrangéres, 5 rue de l’Independance Americaine is known for the grand galerie aux sept salles showing the beauty of France in Europe, having as themes the different cities of glorious dates of France. In the center it was a table en marbre that serves for ambassadors meetings and signature of treaties, At this table were signed the May 15 1768 the treaty that brough Corsica to France, and September 3 1783 in which England recognised the independance of the USA, The table is gone as are the archieves of foreign affairs that were replace by old books, The books were taken from noble men and royals by revolutionary confiscations in 1793 from the libraries of aristocrats and nobles that left Versailles,after the French revolution. It is now the Municipal Library of Versailles and course can be visited.

There is an intriguing passage opening onto the salon de l’oeil de bœuf or living room of the bull’s eye ,interior cabinet of the queen and there is a spiral staircase, or the staircase of the dupes. It was a secret passage used by Marie Antoinette to reach Axel Fersen lodging above her lodging. A service staircase like dozens of others in the Palace of Versailles  that the staff of the royal family used every day. But this passage is the oldest of all. This staircase would go back for some to the second castle of Louis XIII built between 1631 and 1634 for others, to the first campaign of work of Louis XIV between 1661 and 1668. The name of escalier des Dupes which is sometimes given is usurped because it is not contemporary with the famous day of the Dupes of November 10 1631 which saw Louis XIII reiterate against the advice of his mother Marie de Medici his confidence in Cardinal Richelieu in his Palace of Versailles. See it ask for it!

The bedroom of Louis XV in the interior apartment of the king, Arriving in Versailles in 1722 at the age of 12, Louis XV first occupied the large central room of his great grandfather, with 90 square meters and its 10 meters high ceiling , the bedroom was all the more difficult to heat in winter as it was exposed to the east, The King Beloved abandoned it at the age of 22 for a more comfortable room facing south, At the end of his reign these comings and goings were no longer an illusion so that it was in his private bedroom that the king died on May 10, 1774. The room that Louis XVI will occupy following his grandfather will remain one of these spaces of the castle which few mortals had the right to tread. Sublime !

The library and bathroom of Madame du Barry; small apartment of the king (2nd floor), Before becoming the title favorite of Louis XV in April 1769, Jeanne Bécu was a saleswoman in a fashion boutique on rue Saint Honoré in Paris. Marry to a certain Count of Barry for making her entry into court, she only reaped contempt and hostility. Aware of the scandal caused by the presence of this young woman of 25 years without nobility, Louis XV sought to protect her by installing her discreetly in his small apartment, It was the winter that Madame du Barry‘s apartment was used the most because in the spring the king and his close friends migrated to the countryside at the Petit Trianon. Louis XV was there with his favorite.

Let’s start with a bit on what is Versailles, a more historical perspective I like and do enjoy walking and riding these spots ! It is with the help of plates from Trudaine’s Atlas illustrating the roads and landscapes of France in the 17C that we learn about the former royal hunting estate of Versailles, built on an area of ​​approximately 10,000 hectares, i.e. an area equivalent to the city of Paris today !! In the beginning, the Val de Galie located between the old feudal divisions of Mantois, Pincerais, Laye, Parisis, Josas and Hureoix, occupied about two leagues of 25 degrees of length, in the direction of the south-east to the north-west, from Viroflay to Villepreux, and a league and a half approximately, in its greatest breadth from north to south, from Rocquencourt to Satory. In the titles of the 16C this valley is called Gally (some locals claims origin of the name of Versailles). To the north was the keep of the castellans of Rocquencourt, flanked by turrets and surrounded by walls, on a wooded hillside overlooking the plain dotted with woods and marshes, and the chapel of St Nicolas at a short distance and under the protection of the keep.This of course is a huge territory today but have done it by car and some posts in my blog !

The park of Versailles extends the gardens thanks to two large bodies of water: the Grand Canal and the pièce d’eau des Suisses, It covers approximately 800 hectares, criss-crossed by straight paths delimiting wooded areas and agricultural fields. This is all a road warrior lands and lots of walks, sublime , a must get away from the palace!

The Grand Canal of Versailles is a basin, part of the park of the Palace of Versailles, built from 1667 at the instigation of Le Nôtre. Before this date, the gate that closed the park was located behind the Bassin des Cygnes. The works completed in 1680, the Grand Canal will serve as the starting point for the fireworks given during the sumptuous royal celebrations that Louis XIV organized at Versailles. The latter would sail there with a substantial fleet: a three-master (“Le Grand Vaisseau”), a galley (“La Dunkerquoise”), rowboats, galiotes, brigantines, gondolas (offered by the Doge of Venice) and , from 1675, two yachts from England. The sailors who served on this flotilla were commanded by Captain Consolin and were housed from 1674 in buildings constructed especially for them near the Trianon, called the “Little Venice”. Every year on September 5, the anniversary of the birth of Louis XIV (in 1638); the Sun sets in line with the Grand Canal. In winter, when the frost prohibited all navigation, the Grand Canal was transformed into an ice rink welcoming skaters and sleds, when allowed,

On the Allée de la Reine, in the direction of the Trianon, the walker can let the rhythm of this quadruple alignment regulate his walk according to the alternation of shadow and light created by the trunks of the beech trees. The Place d’Armes du Grand Trianon presents itself to him like a large clearing before he plunges back into the darkness of the Allée des Mouchards. Reserving the Trianon gardens for a future getaway, it crosses the Fer à Cheval space open to the arm of the Grand Canal, then sinks into the forest path of Ru de Gally. The Allée de Saint-Cyr lends itself perfectly to the exercise. From the small hill where it takes off, at the corner of Allée des Rendez-vous, it offers a real panorama of the Estate. The high oak groves then the large agricultural plots rise in tiers, the damp projection of the Ru de Gally can be seen further on, and finally the order of the rows of lime trees which announce the Étoile royale, seen more than a kilometer from our starting point. Sublime !!

The Allée royale de Villepreux, created in 1680 by André Le Nôtre, gardener to Louis XIV and Grand Director of Versailles, is at the center of the plain of Versailles ,Extension of the Grand Canal, this axis is part of the “Grand Perspective” imagined by André Le Nôtre on either side of the Château. It starts at the Bassin d’Apollon by the Tapis Vert, an esplanade that descends towards the Grand Canal. Beyond, the path starts from the roundabout called L’Étoile Royale and crosses the towns of Versailles, Saint-Cyr-l’École, Fontenay-le-Fleury, Rennemoulin and Villepreux. The Allée Royale was the main of the five alleys starting in a bundle from the Etoile Royale, forming a majestic landscape ensemble that was compared to “the King’s hand landing on his territory”. Originally, it was a grassy avenue 97 meters wide. Unobstructed in its center, it is framed on either side by two main alleys of 5 meters, bordered by a double alignment of country elms, This is an awesome walk , highly recommended just get out of the palace ! By the Allée Royale you will have the new stop of the new tramway line 13, more info here :

The official Château de Versailles on the park :

The Versailles tourist office on the park

There you go folks a wonderful historical architecturally stunning old royal city of my belle France. This is my walks of my Versailles, and you are encourage to do so too. Hope it helps the will to do it. And remember, happy travels, good health, andn many cheers to all !!!

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