Archive for ‘Europe’

September 24, 2022

The Palladium of Prague !

I have been several times to Prague , and the Czech Republic and enjoyed it very much. However, after seeing so much monuments , and especially in the main square saw this building and it is the Palladium mall so went in as curiosity struck, Glad I did , it is a wonderful building very modern with all amenities and did some shopping too ! Let me update this older post for you and me.

Well not the crazy shopping guy, and which guy is it? However, I do like to go to the quant stores as well as the big shopping center/Malls in the cities I visit and see the difference in display, store names, and prices. This was no difference once into Prague daytime.  I came by chance as was close to my hotel, the Palladium shopping center and was pleasantly surprise. Immediately set in to my territory and explore it all on a couple of visits.  Palladium as said is a shopping mall in Prague. Opened in 2007, at the site of the former barracks, the site where Palladium stands was under control of the Army for more than two hundred years (1780s — 1996). until being sold in 1996.

The Palladium that mixes ancient and modern architecture with five-level center, which houses 180 shops and 20 restaurants, is located in the Nové Město district at Namesti Republiky. The Metro station Náměstí Republiky (Republic square) on line B  or the tram stop Náměstí Republiky for overground public transport. I did not came by car but good to know! The 24-hour Palladium parking garage, the largest parking garage in Prague (district center 1), is located under the popular shopping mall. This safe and pleasant parking garage boasts 900 parking spaces on three underground floors; the parking garage is conveniently accessed by ramp from Revoluční Street.


It is one of the biggest shopping centers in the Czech Republic. It is directly opposite another shopping center, the Kotva Department Store. It also has a market right in front in Republic square.


It is also possible to make a lunch break at the Palladium; the top floor of the shopping center is entirely dedicated to catering. A wide choice is available: juice bars, fast food, traditional Czech cuisine, Italian cuisine, Asian cuisine… There are also many banks and telephone operators. Some of my favorites when stopping by are the Costa Coffee shop and Pizza Hut !  as well as for the boys JRC Gamecentrum and Comics Point, and my Samsung. As to clothing I go for Lacoste, Hugo Boss, C&A, Bata shoes, and Adidas. All in very nice surroundings.


All in a glamorous Republic square or Náměstí Republiky in nice Prague. A different visit from the loaded places to see there,see my previous posts on Prague, and the Czech Republic.

The official Palladium mall:

The Prague tourist office on the Palladium:

The Yelp reviews on the Palladium:

There you go folks, another surprise nice reprive from the sightseeings in Prague and good for the whole family. Hope you enjoy the post and shopping as I in the Palladium of Prague !

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

September 24, 2022

Cocheras del Rey in San Lorenzo de El Escorial !

Let me take you to wonderful worldly San Lorenzo de El Escorial; I like to update this older post. We come to see the big monuments, gloriously popular but we missed some nice off the beaten path places we come to love later. Let me tell you about a wonderful architecturally and historically stunning building. This is the case of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and its Cocheras del Rey (kings carriages). The  architectural and historical significance of it makes me turn to find it. We did a lot of walking in the wonderful streets of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. 

The Cocheras del Rey (garage of the king) is a set of buildings dating from 1771 and was ordered by King Carlos III for his service and that of the Court, when the foundation of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (see posts).The whole was for a century at the service of the Royal House covering the transportation needs of people and luggage mainly during the autumn days, which was when the kings moved to the Escorial.


The part that is conserved of this set includes the Casa de los Oficios del Viaje( house of trades and trips), and Casa y Cuadra del Regalero (House and Stable of the Regalero) and a central garden, and is today private property, where a wide and valuable collection is shown that has as an argument the history of the life, activities and operation of the cocheras from 1771 to 1870, when it passed to individuals. The Collection is composed of a rich and varied sample of unique pieces: horse carriages, sleds, hand chairs, ties, furniture tools, maps, books, paintings, travel equipment, etc. since the 16C and mainly from the 18C and 19C.

The official Cocheras del Rey

The San Lorenzo de El Escorial tourist office on the Cocheras del Rey:

There you go folks, another nice building to walk by and see it as part of the history of San Lorenzo de El Escorial , a lot more than a monastery! Hope you enjoy the post on the Cocheras del Rey as I.

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

Tags: ,
September 24, 2022

The Liebfrauenkirche or Notre Dame Church of Koblenz !

As said many posts on it but usually went like the road warrior that I am and feel not given credit to some of the monuments enough. So, I am back for the details of the many beautiful things to see in Koblenz. This one escaped me do not know why but only had briefly mentioned in my previous posts on the city. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the Notre Dame Church of Koblenz or the Liebfrauenkirche. Koblenz is a pretty 2,000-year-old German town located in the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine area with much to see. We like the city and came back for more!


The Notre Dame Church is the oldest church in Koblenz, and always been the parish church as well. The origins of the Notre Dame Church (Our Lady), go back to a Late Antique hall church from the time of the Roman Emperor Valerian approx. 350 AD.  Although what’s seen today dates from the 12C with later 15C additions, evidence concludes that a Roman 5C place of worship stood on this spot. Initial construction lasted from 1180 to approximately 1250; the Gothic chancel began in 1401 and the Baroque onion towers with four bells, famous for tolling the Reveler’s Bell at 22h each night, date from 1693.


In the late Gothic period, the Liebfrauenkirche underwent significant changes and expansions. At the beginning of the 15C, the main apse was laid down and from 1404 to 1430, today’s late Gothic long choir was added to the Romanesque choir. Between 1463 and 1466 the gallery floor between the two towers was raised by one floor and the Romanesque rose window in the facade was replaced by a very large late Gothic tracery window. In 1486/1487 the Romanesque vault in the nave was removed and replaced by a rich star vault with decorated keystones. At the same time, the upper story windows were replaced by today’s late Gothic windows with fish bubble tracery.


The lower part of the large facade window was bricked up in 1702 in order to be able to place the large niche figure of Our Lady above the portal. The portal itself was replaced in 1765 by today’s pointed arch gate. A baroque sacristy was built behind the choir in 1776.  From 1852, the church was restored in the neo-Romanesque style. For example, the raised floors of the 18C were lowered, a new stone west gallery was installed and wall breakthroughs in the choir were carried out. Most of the baroque furnishings in the church disappeared, as they were replaced by stylish pieces in the neo-Romanesque style, which in turn were largely eliminated after WWII.


During the exterior renovation from 1971 to 1974, the choir and nave were given a color version based on the medieval model. The sanctuary was redesigned from 1976 to 1980. The new main altar made of Savonnières limestone was created . The back of the panels of the altarpiece was painted as a fasting image with the Arma Christi, the tools of Christ’s suffering. In 1992 the church received new figural choir windows, and which replaced simpler glazing from the time of the reconstruction. Two attractive new stain glass windows portraying the theme “Women in the history of salvation” were added in 1992. The interior, in which the Romanesque part and the Gothic. From 2005 to November 2007 the choir was restored, on the outside of which the Gothic ornamentation and the masonry had shown major damage. From March to September 2007 the church organ was overhauled and rebuilt. Since 1999 the Catholic parishes of Liebfrauen (Notre Dame) and Herz-Jesu (Jesuists) have formed a parish community and have a common pastor. In 2005 the parish of St. Kastor was added to this community.



The Koblenz tourist office on the Notre Dame Church:

There you go folks, now I feel better telling you about Koblenz and the Notre Dame Church. Hope you have enjoyed the post and do visit it ,is worth it me think.

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

Tags: ,
September 23, 2022

Mariacki is Krakow !

I need to update this older post of a wonderful experience. It was a surprise visit not planned but end up in Krakow, Poland. I had the opportunity to walk all over the center and of course have other posts on the city. However, I think should give more credit to St Mary’s square or Mariacki and the basilica  and nice buildings there. Therefore here is my brief story on Mariacki is Krakow !

Mariacki Square is in the Old Town adjacent to the Main Square. In the center of the square is the St. Mary’s Church. The square was created after 1802 on the site of the liquidated parish cemetery at St. Mary’s Church. The area of the former cemetery is now lined with white cubes. The southern part of the square is decorated with a “pigeon well” with a bronze figure. The well and the figure is an enlarged replica of one of the sculptures of the prophets from the frame of the central wardrobe of the altar of the Church.. It is a gift of Krakow craftsmen for the city made in 1958. The Mariacki square (St Mary) which adjoins the Notre-Dame (St Mary) Church was from the Middle Ages to the last years of the 18C, the burial place of many generations of Kracovians (local residents).



The main monument here and a must to see stand alone is the St Mary’s Basilica.  The St. Mary’s Basilica ,(see post), also Our Lady (Notre Dame) Basilica built in the 14C in the former capital of Poland; Krakow.  The official St Mary’s Basilica

There are several other prominent buildings at the Plac Mariacki; will tell my favorites.

At No. 2 – tenement of St. Mary’s penitentiary priests, was built at the end of the 14C. In 1637, penitents purchased this tenement house from the Ryniewicz family. The final appearance of the building was given in the second half of the 19C.

No. 3 Hipolitów house – a burgher’s tenement house. Many old architectural details have been preserved: stone Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque portals, beam ceilings, rich stuccoes, paintings from the 18C. Once the facade was decorated with graffito decoration. The name of the house comes from its former owners – an Italian merchant family.

No. 4 at corner with Szpitalna str is the Prałatówka residence – built in the 17C for the archbishops of the basilica; the only example of an early Baroque-style residence in Krakow that has not undergone any changes: its portal is adorned with the Latin phrase Pateat amicis and miseris, meaning that this house is open to friends and the poor   Inside the house there are chambers, wooden ceilings, and antique stuccos in the hall.

The square also accommodates a second, smaller house of worship: the gothic Ste Barbara Church, dating back to the 14C and sitting atop the remains of Jakub Wujek, a 16C Jesuit priest who was the first person to translate the Bible to Polish. Behind the Church Ste. Barbara’s facade actually faces Maly Rynek no. 9 is the Ogrojec, a Late Gothic annex once serving the function of a cemetery chapel.

No. 8 – Dom Pod Ogrojcem, formerly it was decorated by the statue of Veit Stoss “Christ in the Garden”. Before WWI, the owner of the house, a well-known Krakow merchant and social activist, offered it to the National Museum, and replaced it with a copy that stands today.

No. 9 – at the corner of Mariacki Square and the Main Square stands the house of Cielcie, where Stanisław Wyspiański lived and wrote before the reconstruction . This fact is commemorated with a plaque . The house standing here is currently treated as an example of Art Nouveau architecture.

The official Krakow tourist office

The official Poland tourist board on Krakow

There you go folks, a nice wonderful walks full of architecture and history of Poland all around you. Hope you enjoy the tour of St Mary’s square in Krakow!

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

Tags: ,
September 16, 2022

Vannes and the Sea !!!

I need to write again about Vannes. If you have read my blog you know that I have done a load of posts on the city, and for good reasons. It is the capital of my department 56 Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne. And you ,also, should have read that Vannes is Gwened in the Breton language; that Bretagne/Brittany is Breizh and that the Morbihan is the only department (state/province etc) of France which the  name is not French ; it is Breton as Mor=sea bihan=small or should be Petite Mer but no way it is Morbihan !  You, also, would have read I worked and live not far at about 27 km . Ok now for the new stuff lol!!


The city of Vannes is a port, a pleasure marina and the out ins of the Gulf of Morbihan;one of the world’s best bays and beautiful I must add. So let me tell you a bit on the sea, and port side of the water in Vannes.  We had the old bridge that took us from Vannes to Séné easy and now we have the tunnel ,easier! The Pont de Kérino is a swing bridge crossing the channel of the port of Vannes downstream of a lock gate. The city of Vannes decided to replace it with a tunnel; the Tunnel de Kérino. The bridge was inaugurated in 1988 ,and now you can walk across it , the vehicles go on the tunnel.


The Tunnel de Kerino or Kérino underpass is an underwater road, cycling and pedestrian tunnel This structure, intended to cross the Marle river, is located at the mouth of the channel connecting the town’s marina to the Gulf of Morbihan. It is intended to smooth the road traffic between the two banks of the Marle to the south and to relieve the Place Gambetta located at the north end of the channel, junction between the marina at Le Port , and the historic center. The tunnel of Kérino was opened to motor vehicles on June 24, 2016. On July 26, 2016, the tunnel is open to pedestrians and cyclists. The tunnel is dug a few meters downstream from the current Kérino bridge. It has a length of 250 meters and has two passages separated by a partition, one for motor traffic in both directions, the other for gentle travel modes (cycle track and sidewalk).


The Calvary of Kerino is a religious monument of granite and kersantite erected at the entrance to the port of Vannes It is located on the Butte de Kérino or hill, an elevation of the left bank of the channel of the marina, 150 meters upstream from the Pont de Kérino. The monument looks like a cross calvary, erected on a rectangular base, the central part of which represents an altar. On the cross, on either side of the square barrel, are the statues of Saint Patern and Saint Vincent Ferrier, the Patron Saints of the city of Vannes. The center of the cross features the coat of arms of Vannes. The cross that crowns the barrel is decorated with a Christ on the Cross at the front, and a Virgin and Child at the back. The monument is 6.25 meters high. The Calvary of Kerino was inaugurated on December 7, 1913. It was the subject of important pilgrimages in favor of peace and the return of prisoners during WWI or the Great War.


The port of Vannes is a commercial port, a passenger port and a marina located north of the Gulf of Morbihan along a 1,200 meters channel in a south-north direction, which leads the boats from the commercial port of Pont-Vert in the floating basin, at the foot of the Porte de Saint-Vincent gate (see post), gateway to the old town section of Vannes.


The attested presence of a port in its current location dates back to the end of the 14C although research has demonstrated the existence of a port from the 1C AD at the foot of the first city during the Roman occupation: Darioritum, civitas of the Vénètes; now Vannes or Gwened (Breton).  The current look of the port of Vannes and its district dates from the end of the 2000s when new equipment and renovations were done with the set up of a harbor office, cultural kiosk, tourist office, underground parking; and the beautification of the place with the creation of an esplanade on the right bank and the planting of paths of trees along the two banks.


 The Commercial Port is located just upstream of the Pont de Kérino swing bridge, infrastructure that allows vehicles to reach the east of the city towards the commercial innovation park of Bretagne Sud and the city of Séné in order to relieve traffic in the center. The quays of the commercial port welcome the goods which arrive in Vannes after having crossed the Gulf of Morbihan. Due to a complex topography, a weak tidal range and the presence of strong currents in the Gulf, it It is difficult for large ships to venture to a town like Vannes, located more than 15 km from the Atlantic coast.


At the exit of the marina, the Parc du Golfe is the starting point for boat cruises trips. AtPlace Gambetta, a hemispherical square, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Sa;int-Vincent gate. Located on the right bank of the port, the promenade de la Rabine is made up of a long avenue of trees which stretches for almost 800 meters between the port esplanade to the north and the quays of the commercial port to the south.


The city of Vannes on the Pont de Kerino :

The Ports of call on the port of Vannes :

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on boat cruises :

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on cruises from Vannes :

There you go folks, we walked all of the above so its very easy… and you get to see these monuments and views that are just awesome. Hope you have enjoy the Vannes and the sea post and maybe see you around Vannes someday!! The sea is all around us here one way or the other and we like it

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

September 11, 2022

The Fine Arts Museum of Angers !!

These are the treasure throve of my belle France,and Paris is not alone the proof again is the Fine Arts Museum of Angers !! I have written about Angers before in my blog, but figure not enough on the wonderful Fine Arts Museum or Musée des Beaux Arts d’Angers. There are others museums, my favorite is this one, located in the famous logis Barrault.


The Museum of Fine Arts of Angers is in an old mansion, the Logis Barraultplace Saint-Éloi near the historic city center of Angers. It is part of the Toussaint complex which includes the garden of fine arts, the David d’Angers gallery (see post) and the municipal library. It presents a collection of works of art acquired over the centuries . The museum is administered by the City/Town hall of Angers.


In May 1801, the museum of the Central School of Maine-et-Loire opened its doors, along the lines of the Louvre museum. In 1803, the central schools were abolished, but at the behest of the town of Angers the painting museum was preserved, the natural history cabinet and the municipal library opened there in 1805. The museum was then considered to be one of the richest deposits which has been preserved in all the neighboring departments, and after that of Paris, it would be one of the most beautiful in France. The museum therefore became a municipal museum in 1805!  In 1859, Lancelot Théodore Turpin de Crissé enriched the museum’s collections with an important legacy: Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities, ancient bronzes, Greek vases, glassware, enamels and earthenware, numerous paintings including those by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (Paolo and Francesca ), and some Primitives including a triptych from the Avignon school. In 1861, the painter Guillaume Bodinier offered the city the Pincé hotel (the Pincé museum) to house objects from the Turpin de Crissé collection in honor of the donor Lancelot Théodore Turpin de Crissé, The Beaurepaire gallery was inaugurated in 1887 , presenting works include La Danse by Charles-Adolphe Gumery, La Mort de Priam by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin.


From 1949, the museum was summarily reorganized, and reopened in 1950.   Between 1999 and 2004 major renovations, alterations and enlargements were orchestrated . In 2003, the city of Angers received, by bequest of its last owner and donor, Daniel Duclaux, the Château de Villevêque and its large collection of art objects it contains. Among this collection rich with more than 900 works, a hundred old pieces of furniture, sixty old books, manuscripts and incunabula, Italian and Hispano-Moorish ceramics, Limousin enamels, 70 works of art, stone or wooden sculptures polychrome from the Middle Ages and tapestries from Flanders from the Renaissance period.


The Fine Arts museum covers a total area of 7,000 m2 divided into 2,500 m2 for permanent collections, 500 m2 for temporary exhibitions, 1,000 m2 for public reception areas (reception halls, museum passageways, auditorium, video room, café, shop, etc.) and 3,000 m2 for technical buildings.  The description of it briefly are as follows. Two rooms on the first floor are devoted to the Primitives of the 14C (French, Italian and Flemish) and to works of art from the end of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, but also to the northern schools of the 16-17C, to French and Italian schools of the 16-17C. On the second floor, the visitor discovers works from the 18C under the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI, then the large paintings from the first half of the 19C. For the 18C French. On the first floor, a large room is dedicated to modern art of the 20C and contemporary art. Finally, on the ground floor, the Gumery room presents large canvases from the second half of the 19C and sculptures.


The city of Angers museums on the Fine Arts museum

The Angers tourist office on the Fine Arts museum

The local Anjou region tourist office on the Fine Arts museum

There you go folks, another gem of my belle France and this one not far in my lovely Pays de la Loire region, and the beautiful city of Angers. Hope you the Fine Arts museum as I

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

Tags: ,
September 11, 2022

The Monastery Sainte Claire of Lavaur !

Let’s stay in wonderful quant Lavaur shall we ! Another off the beaten path monument worth the detour, me think, This is in beautiful cocagne and cathar countryside in the city of Lavaur ,the Tarn dept 81 in the Occitanie region of my belle France. And will tell you about a little known place that was here we passed by it and look up but never imagine the history of it.  Again not much written on it either, a real find. This is the Monastery Sainte-Claire of Lavaur !


In 1398, a community of Clarisses settled in Lavaur. In 1642 the Sainte-Claire monastery was founded, then in 1685, the Order of the Daughters of the Cross. The Monastery of the Clarisses founded by Sérène de Vézins, a Clarisse nun from the Salin monastery in Toulouse. Destroyed during the French revolution, it was repair and brought back in 1802. The current chapel c. 1837, has housed since 1852, in a shrine, the body of Sainte Clementine, Virgin and Roman martyr, discovered in a catacomb in Rome. A real story here : Having become the widow of the Count of Spanheim, she became a nun at the Benedictine abbey of Trier in the Rhineland, Blessed Clemence of Ohenberg distributed all her possessions to the poor and retired as a simple nun to the Abbey of Horrès in Trier where she died in 1176.


An off the beaten path real find hard to show info from the web so will just have to go by my the religious sites of my findings. The Monastery of Sainte Claire is by the Agout river and past the Esplanade de Plô (see post) at 1 rue Mairie.

The Monastical services of the Clarisses on the Mon Ste Claire of Lavaur

The Catholic parishes of Lavaur on the Mon Ste Claire of Lavaur

There you go folks, another nice story and great place worth the detour me think, It is in the last street bordering the Agout river ;  we came up with lots of nice sites such as this one to see. And as always, the best is on foot, enjoy Lavaur and the Monastery of Sainte Claire as we did,

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

Tags: ,
September 8, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXXI

And 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 Summer is slowly coming to an end with many visitors coming back ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

An easy way to save money on flights is to drive across continental Europe, as you will enjoy a unique driving experience. Following the Ruta de la Plata, which runs between Gijón and Seville, in western Spain. It will take you through the city of Salamanca, a UNESCO heritage site, and through other cities such as León. Although the original route is still done on foot and by bicycle, it can also be done by car on the road. Indeed great road warrior ride !!! One wonderful webpage to do it ! :

The site of Segóbriga (Province of Cuenca), Castilla La Mancha, This archaeological site, is one of the best examples of urban development in Roman and Celtic Hispania. In addition to the houses, the remains of the necropolis and the wall, you can visit the theater, the baths, a Visigothic basilica, the circus or the acropolis. A wonderful experience !! More info here and my post :

The Volcàn Cerro Gordo (province of Ciudad Real), Castilla La Mancha, Here is an opportunity to visit a volcano from the inside and discover the geological secrets of the Earth. Located in Campo de Calatrava, we are facing the first visitable volcano in the Iberian Peninsula. In Cerro Gordo you can see the internal structure of a volcano and its dynamics throughout its life. It is the reflection on the surface of a volcanism inside the plate of upper Miocene age (8.5 to 6.5 million years) that lasted until the middle Pleistocene, explain the geologists. The genesis responds to the presence of a hot spot in the crust due to a magmatic flow. But there is everything with explanatory panels for all ages and easy to understand. More info here :

The Biblioteca Nacional or national library ,since it opened its doors in the 18C, this monumental building has accumulated all the publications made in Spain. Inside, limited to academics and specialists, you can enjoy a first-rate architectural gem. Something that is only possible with guided tours that take place, in the museum part, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 17h and Wednesday is and Thursday at 10h, And from Monday to Friday at 12 noon. to the building, in this case carried out by cultural volunteers. Webpage :

The Prado Museum has some twists. For those who prefer to save the general admission fee, there is a possibility. Every day, on its website, free tickets are made available to the public that require reservation and give free access to the interior of the Prado from Monday to Saturday from 18h to 20h and Sundays and holidays from 17h to 19h. More info official Prado webpage :

The CentroCentro in the Palacio de Cibeles has until October 2 2022, and within the PhotoEspaña program, the exhibition The Sixties offers a very visual overview of what that time was like through books, magazines, album covers and posters. Richard Avedon, Eduardo Ayrosa, David Bailey or Robert Davidson are some of the artists whose works can be seen on this journey to a time full of optimism and hope.Free admission more info official CentroCentro :

The Jardines de los Palacios de la Finca Vista Alegre or gardens of the palaces of finca vista alegre are not as well known as they should be Designed by architects and gardeners from different eras, a walk here is a visual and design pleasure, since it brings together spaces as significant as the Romantic Garden, the Plaza de the statues, the Ría and the Parterre. Madrid tourist office on the gardens :

Some ideas for visit of my dear Spain, all wonderful of course!

If you want to know what a medieval Castilian city was like, you have to visit Covarrubias: fortified wall, narrow cobbled streets, arcaded squares, double-height houses made of wood and stone. Founded by the Visigoth king Chindasvinto in the 7C on the remains that left by the turmódigos (pre-Roman tribe that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula), the medieval vestiges coexist with the Herrerian style characteristic of King Felipe II in the 16C, a time of great splendor for the town and for Spain, which rose as a superpower, You can see the Bishop Peña’s House and Doña Sancha’s House , one of the most important figures in the town: daughter of Queen Urraca and Don Raimundo de Borgoña, she was the third Infanta of Covarrubias and became Queen of Castile . But if she is remembered for something is because she in 1148 granted the Fueros to the people, making her subjects stop being servants. Opposite stands the Torreón de Fernán González, the first count of Castile, a Mozarabic-style defensive construction that he himself ordered to be built in the 10C for the defense of Arlanza. Few know that it communicated with the House of Doña Sancha through an underground tunnel, and that it is also known as La Empedrada, because her sister, the Infanta Doña Urraca, was locked up here without any communication, by order of her father. The Archives of the Adelantado de Castilla (military and political chief of the province), a Herrerian-style building with Renaissance decoration that was built by order of King Felipe II in 1575 in honor of his chamber doctor, Francisco Valles, a native of the town. When the documents it contained were transferred to the General Archive of Simancas, in the 18C, it lost its function and today it is the tourist office and the municipal library, as well as one of the main entrance gates. Continuing along that street, you reach the Plaza de la Infanta Urraca, where the former Fernán González palace was located, now the City/Town Hall. And turning to the right, you reach the Church of Santo Tomás, a temple that was ordered to be built on top of another ruined Romanesque for all those who moved to the town after the charters were approved. A sober 12C parish whose interior has a fabulous 16C Plateresque staircase, considered the little sister of the one in Burgos Cathedral. The former collegiate church of San Cosme and San Damián hides authentic artistic gems within its walls. Seeing them all is only possible through a guided tour of just over an hour, something highly recommended. It is believed that the original church dates back to the 7C and was ordered to be built by King Chindasvinto, one of the founders of Covarrubias. The one we see today, in Gothic style, began to be built in the 15C and its main altar, with a golden baroque altarpiece, is a real wonder once we pass through the doors that lead to the small cloister from 1540 and which houses the tomb of Princess Kristina of Norway. Known as the Viking princess of Covarrubias, she arrived in Spain very young to marry the infant Don Felipe, brother of Alfonso X the Wise, who needed the support of the Norwegian king; her remains were found by chance, behind a wall, during some remodeling works in 1952. she died very young, aged 23, without offspring and only four years after setting foot on Spanish soil. A bronze statue in front of the former collegiate church pays homage to her, The museum is also located here, which has 150 pieces of art, including paintings and sculptures. The triptych of the Adoration of the Magi, the miracle of S. Cosme and S. Damián, by Pedro Berruguete (Spanish painter of the 15C who represents that artistic transition from Gothic to Renaissance) stands out; and also The Virgin of the Book, attributed to Van Eyck (14C Belgian artist and father of the first wave of Dutch painting). Webpage :

The Basilica of San Juan de Baños, located in a small town near Palencia, from the 7C, is one of the most significant buildings of religious architecture from the Visigoth period, The Basilica of San Juan de Baños is on the outskirts of the town , Venta de Baños, surrounded by cereal land, near the Pisuerga riverbed, less than twenty minutes from Palencia. It is one of those temples where its dating date can be quoted with certainty, 661, as stated on a tombstone above the head. In any case, it is believed that this may be the oldest standing church in Spain, which is already a reason enough to organize a getaway to one of the most significant buildings of the religious architecture of the kingdom of the Visigoths. It has a basilica floor plan, with three naves ,the central one, wider and higher, and three apses. Eight marble columns , four on each side, probably taken from nearby Roman constructions support the horseshoe arches separating the naves, the oldest of this type known in Spain, with eight capitals. The presbytery or central part of the head is from the Visigoth period, although the gabled roof and the wall that supports them have been raised later. The exterior arch of the portico is also original, although the upper part of the wall and the belfry are from the 19C. In any case, the state of conservation is very good. Another example of a well-preserved Visigothic church is Santa María de Melque, located about 50 km from Toledo, in the town of San Martín de Montalbán, which was born as a monastic complex in the 7-8C in the vicinity of the one that It was the capital of the Visigoth kingdom: Toledo !webpage :

In Lugo you have to start, of course, with its wall, the most complete and best preserved Roman wall in the world. Surrounding and closing the old town with its more than two km in length and a height of 10 to 15 meters , Inside old Lugo there are other important Roman remains, such as the House of Mosaics or Domus Oceani, at Rúa Doutor Castro 20, preserves the remains of a domus from the 3C. The entire area, up to the current Plaza Mayor, which occupies an area of ​​about 17,000 m², is the heart of Roman Lugo. In the Plaza Mayor is the Casa do Concello (City/Town Hall), an 18C building in the Galician civil baroque style, festooned with a group of eight arcades. At the opposite end are the statues of Emperor Augustus giving the magistrate Paulo Fabio Máximo the order to build the city. Nearby is the cathedral, built between 1129 and 1273, in which the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and neoclassical lives together. If we want to have the best view of this temple we have to go to its rear, to the Plaza de Santa María, where the Episcopal Palace is located. A wide triangle with granite paving and a stone cross next to the Gothic apse of the cathedral. In the subsoil of one of the corners of the square, a Roman pool from the 4C was discovered in the 1970s, which was not visible to the public until 2011, when a glass cover was placed at ground level. Discover Lugo, to check that the Camino de Santiago passes through here, specifically the so-called Camino Primitivo, which starts in Oviedo and is the first Jacobean route of which there are references. We can follow it passing through the metal plates strategically placed on the cobbled pavement of some streets. Awesome Lugo ! More on Galicia Tourism on Lugo :

Vinology is the sommelier Pilar Oltra ultimate, and worth the detour. This coming autumn 2022 they will expand the wine references on the menu to 200 and, in addition, they renew the wines by the glass. The seasonal artisan cheeses, the gratin ricotta and spinach cannelloni and the oxtail brioche with caramelized onions are included in the new seasonal menu. Soon they will launch the physical and online store and its tastings and courses. They are located at Conde de Aranda, 11, Webpage :

And to close this post, two simple local wines of my dear Castilla La Mancha which we can buy in my Morbihan France and really enjoy it, Here they cost less than 7 euros !!!

Bodega Volver, Paso a Paso cosecha Tierra de Castilla, 100% Tempranillo Intense ruby colour, aromas of mature red fruit, fresh in the mouth with lively tannins but mature enough to give a sweet, pleasant sensation in the mouth webpage :

Venta Morales ,Tierra De Castilla 100% Tempranillo, This riper version of Tempranillo shows black cherries and blueberries, along with sandalwood and sawdust from American oak. The finish reflects its warm region origins with some raisins and dusty earth lingering on the palate. Finca Las Cruces, Casa de los Pinos, Provincia de Cuenca , distributed by Bodega Volver as above.

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! Summer is here with all that heat wave as well. 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 !!!

September 8, 2022

The new Santiago Bernabeu stadium !!!

Well I have written several posts on my other love ,the Real Madrid CF and this is their stadium in Madrid. The Santiago Bernabeu stadium is undergoing a complete renovation which at last news will be done by 2023. Nevertheless, the stadium is still been use for games. The La Liga has started and we already came out winning !!!

For the record, we have also won the UEFA European SuperCup beating Eientracht Frankfurt of Germany 2×0; it is our fifth supercup! The sad news historical players are leaving the newest the Brazilian Casemiro to England, well he has won everything with us and now seek more salary naturally. We wish him the best, always a Madridista! Hala Madrid !!!

I like to tell the latest news on the renovation of the stadium with older pictures of it not yet in my blog. I look forward to be there when the new stadium is completely finish. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu will be totally new !! More power to come back to see it and keeping the memories of the old. The following is a translation from the Real Madrid CF and stadium webpage.

madrid bernabeu arriving from metro ln 10 apr17

Despite its difficult urban integration, the Bernabéu has become part of the city as a symbol and monument, in the sense of a building whose history, emotional charge and uniqueness are capable of lasting over time and even imposing their own own laws. The Santiago Bernabéu stadium has been projected based on three strokes of light. The composition is generated by tense curves or trajectories drawn in the air, clearly betting on the curvature and complexity of the volume, the changing reflections and the metallic shine. The outer envelope of the stadium, the facades and the roof, will be covered with a new unitary skin of metal slats, which will form an iconic and avant-garde image of the stadium. The volume of the building will be adjusted with the demolition of the La Esquina del Bernabéu Shopping Center, (memories forever!) the extension of the virtual alignments necessary for the new facades, the reconfiguration of the Castellana towers and a 21-meter flight without structural supports to form a large entrance atrium to the Tour and the stadium on the west side.

madrid bernabeu real cafe bernabeu concha espina feb13


A new fixed cover will be installed to protect all seats from the rain, to which will be added a retractable cover for the pitch that can be deployed in 15 minutes, which will make it possible for all members and fans to be comfortable, as well as giving the stadium the possibility of hosting events 365 days a year.
The expansion of the stadium flight to the west, with the inclusion of an entrance atrium to the building, requires an expanding public space that can accommodate a large audience and provides perspective to the building from the main artery of Madrid. A suitable square is designed for specific events such as sports broadcasts or market on game days, but also for cultural events linked to the life of the city. In the east square, after the demolition of the existing shopping center, a park for recreation and rest is proposed, which is elevated taking advantage of the unevenness of Calle Padre Damián street.
A new stand will be built on the east side with a capacity of more than 3,000 spectators, which will be used for relocations of the rest of the stadium areas in which the comfort of accesses and seats will be increased, maintaining the same existing capacity.

Madrid bernabeu sta 07avr10

The VIP area will be restructured and expanded to generate new quality products and services.
The gallery catering spaces will be completely transformed, offering members and fans new services of higher quality and easier consumption. A new logistics ring will be created inside the stadium, underground loading and unloading operations, and construction of a new car tunnel to increase versatility and number of events. The most outstanding element of the new Santiago Bernabéu Stadium will be the installation of a 360-degree video scoreboard. This video scoreboard will be key together with the complete renovation of the technological architecture of the stadium to offer all the digital services to the sporting event and associated activities, with the application of the latest technological innovations in the communication and security systems of the stadium. The expansion and improvement of the complementary leisure and entertainment spaces within the new volume of the Stadium will be given by the expansion of the Tour Bernabéu space, which will be doubled with new content to live a unique experience. In addition, a panoramic tour will be created along the perimeter roof. New restaurants will be created with the aim of turning the stadium into a special dining destination in the city. In addition, two Real Madrid megastores will be implemented and other commercial spaces will be built in different areas of the stadium.


The urbanization will be conditioned to increase and improve the public spaces in the area, improving the landscaped and pedestrian areas, as well as the perimeter public road, to turn it into a unique space in the City. The quality of urbanization will be improved with new pavements, change of lighting, installation of new furniture and signage, and planting of new trees and landscaping throughout the area, whose surface is close to 50,000 m2. The adaptation of the urban environment of the Santiago Bernabéu charged to Real Madrid’s budgets will put an end to pedestrian coexistence on Calle Rafael Salgado street and the creation of public spaces with two new squares. In the Paseo de la Castellana, a square of more than 10,000 square meters will be adapted and a space for stays privately owned by Real Madrid but for public use and enjoyment will be created in the Plaza de los Sagrados Corazones of more than 5,000 square meters.

The official Real Madrid CF on the Santiago Bernabeu stadium:

There you go folks, a wonderful work of love for the greatest club in the history of the game, so says FIFA and the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). It is worth the detour for its magnificent architecture and history even if not into football/soccer. Again, the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and the Real Madrid CF! Hope you enjoy the post and get you to see it

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

Tags: , ,
September 4, 2022

How about Carpi !

Well looking at my vault of pictures of my glorious trips all over the world, found these two. Ok I have written on Carpi before, but left these two out and especially did not mentioned where I got my wines souvenirs! Therefore, how about Carpi ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

I used to come by here often almost every year for the last 10. Then , I was out for a couple of years and came back. Nice Carpi always remembered and always looking forward to be back eventually.

So not to go into history etc already in my previous two post, just will tell you Carpi is the Modena administrative province of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy ,of course. I always came here landing at Bologna airport and then limo service to Carpi and back.

My wonderful memorable friendly just great hotel was the Hotel Carpi, Via Delle Magliaie 2/4, 41012. This was always full of models as this is a fashion town. Their lines reads “This modern hotel offers sleek design and a convenient location, only 2 km from the highway/motorway and a short walk from the old town. The hotel offers an ideal base for exploring the sights of the city. These include the Renaissance city/town hall, the 16C cathedral with baroque facade and the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria in Castello.” Just perfect indeed and short walks plenty of restaurants as well as above closed to old town. I did went out at nights, just lovely.

carpi hotel carpi oct15

The official Hotel Carpi:

On my ways around Carpi, locals took me to the Cantina di Carpi e Sorbara for some local wines to take home. It was one of the highlights of my stayed there and always remembered fondly. These friends I am happy to report still in contact with me.

From their webpage I translated this section. “The Cantina di Carpi e Sorbara is a cooperative with 1,200 producer members that has a production capacity of about 450,000 hectoliters of wine per year. Currently the winery has 6 plants, including 5 for crushing and 1 for bottling: Carpi (Mo), Concordia (Mo), Poggio Rusco (Mn), Rio Saliceto (Re), Sorbara (Mo), and Bazzano (BO) . The wine production is centered on Lambrusco: Sorbara, Salamino, Maestri, Marani, Viadanese and on Pignoletto, but an important part of the company’s success, especially for what concerns the bulk wine, is also linked to the so-called Red Wine which is obtained from Ancellotta grapes, The export share has reached 20% of turnover, in more than 25 countries, including (in order of importance): Mexico, the United States and Russia. The sale of bulk wine, on the other hand, is the ace in the hole of the Cantina di Carpi and Sorbara and the export share, which mainly concerns Spain, reaches 10% of turnover. The appellations of the wines of the Cantina di Carpi e Sorbara are 6 Lambruschi DOC (including Lambrusco di Sorbara), Pignoletto DOC and DOCG Colli Bolognesi.”

carpi Cantina di Carpi e Sorbar winery oct15

The Cantina di Carpi e Sorbara , Via Cavata, 14, 41012 Carpi (MO). Official  site :

There you go folks, always nice souvenirs of these trips and looking forward to do them again eventually. Hope you enjoy the brief post and do come to Carpi as the area is less known but very nice indeed. Memories forever Molto Grazie….Ciao Carpi!

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

%d bloggers like this: