Archive for ‘Europe’

September 11, 2019

Temple de Debod, Madrid of course!

Well of course, Madrid is it for me. And as said been , lived, worked in the major cities of the world in my life. However, once bitten living in the changing of the guard times and then movida and then well Madrid is different. Each visit brings back memories and thrills and so good to now share it with my 3 young men sons. Once again in Madrid visiting old favorites.

This time we re visit the Temple of Debod! As have written before and have pictures will just bring a brief update here with new photos. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


First, my previous post on it and I am sure there were others before lol! My previous post why not the temple of Debod

The temple of Amon, originally located in Debod, also known as the Temple of Debod, is a Nubian temple of ancient Egypt, dating from the 2nd century, dedicated to the Egyptian god Amon. It was rebuilt and, in 1972, opened to the public in the Parque del Oeste, on the mountain of Príncipe Pío. To go the exact address is Calle Ferraz 1. by metro/subway/tube get off at the Plaza de España stop lines 2, 3 and 10 or in Ventura Rodríguez line 3 that although it is somewhat further, you can walk to the temple perfectly . We enjoy the bus and lines 3, 46, 74, 75, 148 and C2 can take you there too.


The temple of Amon was built by the Nubian king Adijalamani of Meroe around the year 200-180 BC, in honor of the Egyptian god Amon as well as Isis, goddess of magic and wife of Osiris . The temple was originally erected at Debod in the Nile Valley 31 km from Aswan in Egypt.

At the time of ancient Egypt, the temple of Debod was a sacred place intended to house and protect the gods. The priests and pharaohs were the only people to have access to the shrine to come into contact with the deities through rites and offerings. During the most important ceremonies and rituals that took place at sunrise, the high priest was charged with opening the Naos chapel, and washing, purifying, perfuming, and parrying the statues of Amon and Isis according to a complex ritual. Moreover, secondary chapels, where are exposed the images of other gods, welcomed at the time the simpler sacred celebrations.


The Adijalamani chapel is the oldest part of the temple and one of the favorite rooms of visitors. It has kept its original state and contains a representation of King Adijalamani worshiping the deities and making offerings. On the floor of the Egyptian museum, a large collection of images testifies to the long history of the temple.

Near the Temple of Debod on the esplanade to the side , there is a fantastic mirador or lookout . Before you leave, come and enjoy its stunning views.

Nowdays you need to call ahead or check with the tourist office as many days is closed for maintenance and protection of the paintings on the walls inside.

The tourist office of Madrid on the Temple of Debod: Tourist office of Madrid on the Temple of Debod

And there you go another dandy in my beloved Madrid, you will be thrill to be here! Hope you enjoy it.

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


Tags: , ,
September 10, 2019

Joy Eslava, Madrid of course!

Ok this is for the memories only for me. This is a place of my youth in my beloved Madrid from another era. Even if old each time in the city passed by it as to remind myself of the good old days in Madrid.

When a young teen used to come here for theater presentations and community dances. We were eager to show off to the girls and dress to kill. Of course, there were a lot of guards then to keep an eye on us. Time has change!!! This is now a very hot discotheque of the rich and famous and then not.

However, the spot is nostalgic and makes you bring out the best in you or the young in you and now sharing stories with my young men sons! Joy Eslava or as old days Teatro Eslava is it in my Madrid!

Maybe it would help some young folks come to Madrid and have a blast here it is guarantee… Some older photo  here


joy Eslava  is the name of a nightclub located in the Calle del Arenal near Puerta del Sol. Here there was a theater from the 19C until 1981 when the nightclub was inaugurated on the night of February 24, 1981. The stage and the balconies have been transformed into a dancefloor to make it a mythical place in Madrid. The Joy Eslava would become one of the leisure places of reference in Madrid, for a specific public and incorporating a new type of premises, the macro-disco.

During the 1980s it was a place of concentration of characters from the so-called Madrid Movida and served as an occasional stage for the Spanish television musical program Aplauso, which led there stars of the moment such as Alaska and the Pegamoides, Mecano or Tino Casal. Joy Eslava has continued to host concerts, parties and various social events, with the participation of celebrities such as Roger Moore, Pedro Almodóvar, Stevie Wonder, Julio Iglesias or Ruth Lorenzo.

Official Joy Eslava

Tourist office of Madrid on Joy Eslava

Photos from 2019 here!



This is for the night owls now but worth it still do try it if you dare lol! Madrid forever!!!

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


Tags: , ,
September 10, 2019

Real Colegiata de San Isidro,Madrid!!!

And now this is Madrid as close as you can get, have been inside several times but many years ago, finally got around to show my young men the heritage , architecture and history of my beloved Madrid . This is the Patron Saint of Madrid San Isidro and this is his home.

I like to tell you about a place you need to come if really want to know Madrid, the Real Colegiata de San Isidro or Royal Collegiale of Saint Isidore. Let me tell you briefly on the Church.

The Collegiate Church of San Isidro, also called Collegiate Church of San Isidro el Real, located in the historic center at Calle de Toledo no 37 . It was the provisional cathedral of this city until 1993, the year in which the Almudena Cathedral opened its doors. The building was built in the 17C as a church of the former Imperial College of the Society of Jesus, which is attached to the building. In it, the mortal remains of San Isidro, patron of Madrid, and his wife, Santa María de la Cabeza, are guarded.


A bit of history I like

The Collegiate Church of San Isidro is due to a 1620 design and the works began two years later, were directed until 1633 with the same architect and completed construction with others in 1664.


The Collegiate Church of San Isidro replaced the parish of St. Peter and St. Paul, from the 16C, which was demolished, next to the primitive Imperial College, following the instructions left in his will by Mary of Austria ,daughter of Emperor Carlos I. The Empress bequeathed her fortune to the Society of Jesus in order to build a new church on the site of the demolished church. The temple was consecrated on September 23, 1651. In 1767, with the expulsion of the Jesuits, it became a collegiate church. Two years later, by order of King Carlos III it was under the invocation of San Isidro.


In 1885, with the constitution of the diocese of Madrid, it became the provisional cathedral of this city, a rank that it held for more than a century, until 1993, when the current Almudena Cathedral was concluded and San Isidro recovered the condition of Collegiate Church.


In 1936, the building was set on fire as soon as the Spanish Civil War began. The fire destroyed numerous works of art, including the main altarpiece, as well as canvases by Francisco Ricci or Luca Giordano. The fire also caused the sinking of the dome, the first  vault with structure of recycled wood, canes and gypsum. After the war, the entire Church was restored. The process developed slowly over two decades, trying to recover as much as possible the original elements, until culminating in the 1960s with the elevation of a new section in the towers of the main façade.

Since 1978 the Church of San Isidro is the canonical seat of the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus of the Great Power and Mary Most Holy of Hope Macarena, who collects the witness of these two Sevillian devotions and makes its processional departure from Holy Week on the afternoon of Holy Thursday.

A bit on the architecture I like

The Collegiate Church of San Isidro is one of the most representative religious architecture in Madrid of the 17C. It was built in Baroque style by Jesuit architects, who followed the model defined in the Church of the Gesù, in Rome. Its single-nave Latin cross plan, with side chapels, cruise and dome, denotes this influence. The main facade, which overlooks Calle de Toledo, stands out for its monumental air with palatial reminiscences. Made of granite, it integrates a central body of four Corinthian columns, chaired by a sculptural group with the effigies of San Isidro and his wife Santa Maria de la Cabeza.

On the nave the dome rises, is the first example of a boxed dome, a type of false dome drawn on a wooden frame covered with plaster, which, given its lightness, facilitates its support on walls of small thickness. The interior of the temple, rich in works of art, lost much of them in the fire of the early 20C. However, the sarcophagus was saved with the relics of San Isidro, which is guarded in the main altarpiece, and some paintings and sculptures; thus, an excellent altarpiece chaired by La Sagrada Familia (Holy Family), also called Las dos Trinidades (two trinitaires) , in the Pilar chapel; or several paintings by the baroque, among them the one that represents the conversion of San Francisco de Borja, in the altarpiece of the left arm of the cruise.



The pulpit is also interesting, made in a combination of polychrome marbles. The great main altarpiece, which is in Neoclassical style, was grazed by the fire and replaced after the Spanish Civil War with an exact copy; In its central part it houses two sarcophagi that contain the relics of the patron Saint of Madrid and his wife, also a Saint.

Tourist office of Madrid on the Collegiate Church of San Isidro

Official blog of the parish on San Isidro in Spanish

There you go a must when in Madrid, even if not into religion, this is the architecture and historical center of the city, the meaning of Madrid for all its residents and you will leave knowing more about Madrid than ever. Enjoy the Collegiate Church of San Isidro! I will have more on the museum later on.

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



Tags: , ,
September 10, 2019

Catedral de la Almudena, Madrid of course!

Moving right along on the most known and visited places of my beloved Madrid I come to the wonderful awesome Cathedral of the Almudena. Again I have written before on it but this is just an update with new photos for the new readers and memories forever for me.

I will start again with my previous post on the Cathedral dating from February 2017! My previous post on the Cathedral of Almudena Madrid

Some update and some repeated info with new photos from 2019 to follow.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Real de la Almudena  was built opposite the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) as an old church Santa Maria during the 12C. It is the episcopal seat of the diocese of the capital. It is a church 102 meters long and 73 meters high built on a mixture of different styles: neoclassical outside, neo-Gothic inside and neo-Romanesque in the crypt. It was begun to be built in 1883 and was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on his fourth trip to Spain on June 15, 1993. It is the only Spanish Cathedral dedicated by a Pope.


The main façade overlooks Plaza de la Armería, facing the Royal Palace. You can access the crypt from Calle Mayor. Unlike other cathedrals, which have an east-west orientation, that of Almudena has a north-south orientation, fruit of its design as an integral part of the complex of the Royal Palace. It is built in stone from Novelda (near Alicante) and granite from Colmenar Viejo (near Madrid).


A complete visit to the Almudena Cathedral is divided into three phases: Interior of the temple, Museum and dome, and the Crypt. The museum of the Almudena Cathedral has the mission of preserving, exhibiting, investigating the history of the diocese of Madrid. The permanent exhibition consists of objects of considerable religious and historical-artistic value from the former parish of Santa Maria de la Almudena, cradle of the current cathedral.


The mounting to the dome is a highlight for me. Halfway up is the balcony, with a perfect view of the Plaza de la Armeria of the Palacio Real. Also on the climb you can admire an impressive model of the first project of the cathedral, designed by the architect Francisco de Cubas, from the end of the 19C. But what is most impressive is the view from above, outside the dome. From here you can enjoy an excellent panoramic view, with 360 degree vision, of all of Madrid. The Casa de Campo, the sierra or mountains, the entire flat part of the south plains, the rooftops of the city center of Madrid. Everything is seen with a privileged perspective. Without a doubt, it is one of the best viewpoints in Madrid. In all a must to come here.


As usual by me some webpages to help you enjoy your trip here which is a must

Official Cathedral of the Almudena Madrid

Tourist office of Madrid on the Cathedral of Almudena Madrid

Official Cathedral of Almudena on the Museum

Tourist office of Madrid on the Cathedral of Almudena museum

There you go folks another jewel in my Madrid and you should see it too! Wonderful area, full of architecture and history of my Madrid and my beloved Spain. Hope you enjoy it

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




Tags: , ,
September 9, 2019

The Palacio Real of Madrid!

Here comes something somptueuse and wonderful with beautiful things to see and plenty of architecture and history I like. I have written before on the Palacio Real or Royal Palace of Madrid, so therefore will just touch base here for the new readers.

I will start with refering to my previous main post on the Royal Palace from April 2018 here: My previous post on the Palacio Real of Madrid

And here is a bit extra with new photos of 2019.


The Palacio Real or Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain. The present kings do not reside within it, but rather at the palace of Zarzuela. The Royal Palace is used for protocol functions, and they are own and maintain by the Spanish government. The palace is bordered on the east by the Plaza de Oriente, from which it is separated by the Calle de Bailén. In the south finally, a huge square, called the Plaza de la Armeria, is surrounded by the wings of the palace with at the southof this square is the Cathedral of Almudena.


It is also known as the Palacio de Oriente or Palace of the Orient, although it is located in the most western part of Madrid, because of its location on the Plaza de Oriente itself being located east of the palace. The Teatro Real or Royal Theater having a direct axis with the palace just in front.


The last monarch who lived in the palace was Alfonso XIII, although Manuel Azaña, president of the Second Republic of Spain, also lived in it, occupying the rooms occupied by Queen Marie-Christine and being, therefore, the last head of state to do it.


The most significant elements in my opinion of the Royal Palace are: the Salón del Trono (throne room), also known as the Salón del Besamanos (kiss hands salon), where the allegiance ceremonies to the king took place. The courtyard and the Puerta del  Príncipe or Prince’s gate. The area of Carlos III ( Charles III). The Salon de los Espejos or (Hall of Mirrors). The  Salon de las Columnas (Hall of Columns). The Salon de Alabarderos (Hall of Halberdiers), The Saleta de Porcelana (Hall of Porcelain),  the Capilla Real (Royal Chapel  and  the Real Armeria (Royal Armory).


The Royal Palace is richly decorated by artists such as Goya, Velázquez, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Tiepolo, Mengs and Caravaggio. Two adjacent gardens form an ensemble with the palace, the Campo del Moro, located to the west, between the palace and the Manzanares river and the gardens of Sabatini to the north.More of them later in my blog.

Some webpages as usual by me to help you plan your trip with my post are

Tourist office of Madrid on the Royal Palace

Official National Heritage of Spain on admission info to the Royal Palace

Needless but worth repeating, this is a very popular monument and lines are long, so need to prepare for it and come early. If you like the freebies there is free admission from 16h to 18h from Mondays to Thursdays and from October to March, and from 18h to 20h  from April to September for citizens of the European Union.

But do come anyway, it is worth the admission and an opportunity to see the architecture and history of the kingdom of Spain in Madrid! 

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




Tags: , ,
September 9, 2019

Iglesia del Sacramento or Fuerzas Armadas, Madrid of course!

And moving right alone on my latest haunt in my beloved city of Madrid. I have come by here several times and very hard to get in as very small limited time allow and no pictures so is a love affair to get in. One of the off the beaten path Churches of Madrid!

I like to tell anyway on the Church of the Sacrement or Iglesia del Sacramento, otherwise known as the Armed Forces Church!

I came to the small wonderful quaint Catédral Castrense at calle del Sacramento 11,  off the Calle Mayor. The official name is the Iglesia Catédral de las Fuerzas Armadas (Church Cathedral of the Armed Forces), also,known as Catédral Castrense or Iglesia del Sacramento (Church of the Sacrement).


Here was the old monastery  of the Bernadines monks founded in 1615.  Only the Church is left of the original , the monastery was demolished in 1972. The Ministry of Defense used it since 1980.


It has a simple cover set around a central relief that represents the glorification of St. Bernard. The roof of the porch, meanwhile, houses a painting of angels playing. The ornate dome, the high columns topped with complex capitals, the altarpieces, the height of its ceilings. And, above this, the color of the light that enters through the magnificent lantern and occupies all the space

One of the most followed processions of Holy Week ends in this church. On Good Friday, the Christ of the Halberdiers leaves the Royal Palace and, after a tour of Madrid of the Austrias, returns to his place in the Cathedral of the Armed Forces.

Here are a couple of webpages to help you plan your trip here

Tourist office of Madrid on the Church

And this is the Archbishop’s site in Spanish but plenty of gorgeous pictures to enjoy: Official Archbishop Castrense on the Church

There you another off the beaten path right by a very popular area indeed. Enjoy the Armed Forces Cathedral or Sacrement Church! in my beloved Madrid.

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

Tags: , ,
September 9, 2019

La Vuelta de España 2019! bike race

Well as I am in my beloved Madrid posts and my dear Spain, why not tell you up to date on an event very dear to Spaniards and the world! The Vuelta de España 2019! bike race!! I try to follow it as well as the Tour de France from whatever I am, several times on site and others on TV. This one will be on TV.

Let me bring you up to date for the new readers on this race, la Vuelta as we simply call it.

The Vuelta a Espana or tour of Spain  is a cycling race and one of the top 3 in the world.  The 74.ª edition of the Vuelta a España is celebrated between August 24 and September 15 2019 with a start in Salinas city of Torrevieja, and will end in Madrid. The course will have 21 stages over a distance of  3,272,2 km. It has a median distance of 156 km.

This current race Vuelta ongoing as I write has two contre clock races, 5 medium mountain stages, 6 plains, 8 high mountain stages for a total of 21 stages. My favorite has been so far and looking forward to the others are: Etapa 10 Jurançon Pau,  Etapa 11 Saint Palais –Urdax-Dantxarinea,  Etapa 17 Aranda de Duero-Guadalajara,  Etapa 18 Colmenar Viejo-Becerril de la Sierra,  Etapa 19 Avila –Toledo,Etapa 21 Fuenlabrada- Madrid!!

A bit of history I like

The Vuelta was held for the first time in 1935. Since its inception, the race has been suspended four times: from 1937 to 1940 due to the Spanish Civil War, from 1943 to 1944 due to World War II and the poor economic situation of Spain, in 1949 and from 1951 to 1954.

At the beginning of 1935, Clemente López Dóriga, in collaboration with Juan Pujol, director of the Informaciones newspaper, organized the First Cycling Tour of Spain with a 14-stage route and 3431 km in total. The prestige of the Vuelta was growing and, more and more, it was counted on the presence of cycling stars of the international scene. During the late 1950s there were the first triumphs in the general classification of Italian and French cyclists

In 1973 the Belgian Eddy Merckx managed to win in the Vuelta and he did it in an overwhelming way, winning six stages and all the individual classifications with the exception of the mountain, in which he finished second. With the passage of time, it was the only occasion in the history of the Vuelta in which there were three winners of the Tour de France on the podium of the Vuelta: Eddy Merckx, Luis Ocaña and Bernard Thévenet.

The 1983 edition was the first appearance of the Lakes of Covadonga as the end of the stage, an ascent that would become, with the passing of the years, the most emblematic climb of the Tour of Spain. In 1984 the edition that ended with the smallest difference between the first and second classified was disputed. Eric Caritoux, a complete unknown until then, managed to win the Vuelta with only six seconds ahead of Alberto Fernández, second classified, who would die in December of that same year in a traffic accident and in whose honor the organization of the Vuelta decided baptize from the next edition to the top of the race as the Top Alberto Fernández in tribute to this great cyclist

From 1985 until a little after the end of the 80s, there was a Colombian cycling boom was observed, which presented a strong dominance, especially in the mountain stages. And it continues today

In those 1990s La Vuelta could count on the potential of two of the best Spanish teams there have been: the Once and the Banesto with outstanding teams of good national and international runners.  The fiftieth edition of the Vuelta, held in 1995, coincided with the change of dates. The Vuelta of Spain takes place in September, near the end of the season.

The first editions of the 2000s were marked by the dominance of Roberto Heras, who managed to achieve victory on three occasions, and even in 2005 he achieved it for the fourth time. However, he was disqualified days after the end of the competition by testing positive for an anti-doping control, this time for consumption of EPO. This positive was ratified days later by the counter-analysis and Roberto Heras was dispossessed of his fourth title, for the benefit of Russian Denis Menshov. On June 24, 2011, the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla y León annulled the sanction for doping imposed on February 7, 2006 and issued by the National Committee of Competition and Sports Discipline of the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation, leaving the door open to the recovery of the title of the Tour of Spain 2005 to Roberto Heras. On December 21, 2012, the Supreme Court of Justice confirms the cancellation of the sanction to the Bejarano corridor for a series of irregularities in the practice of the analyzes, including that the samples were delivered almost 40 hours later, at room temperature, per person or company that was unknown, with what Roberto Heras appears again in the medal winners of the Vuelta a España as winner of the 2005 edition, being also the only cyclist who has won this race in four editions.

The editions after 2010 brought a change in the Vuelta model. The finals were increased with high or explosive ports that raised the interest of the spectators at the cost of reducing the intermediate hardness that was not so much until that moment. The Vuelta  positioned as the second race in participation of first figures of the big three. It was because it was encouraged that the runners could run the Tour and the Vuelta  to be of the same organizers:

Winners of the Vuelta and Tour de France have been: Jacques Anquetil, Jan Janssen, Felice Gimondi, Roger Pingeon, Luis Ocaña, Eddy Merckx , Bernard Hinault, Joop Zoetemelk, Pedro Delgado, Jan Ulrich, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali ,and Christopher Froome.

Most wins by country are with first second third and total points:  Spain 32, 50, 39,121, France 9,3,4,16 and Belgium  7,4,8,19.

Most victories by riders so far are Roberto Heras,4. Tony Rominger  3 Alberto Contador, 3  and have to put my idol Pedro Delgado 2.

After 15 stages of the Vuelta 2019 the leaders are:

1          Primoz Roglic          TJV     58h 10:32

2          Alejandro Valverde MOV   + 02:25

3          Tadej Pogacar          UAD   + 03:42

4          Miguel Angel López           AST    + 03:59

5          Nairo Quintana        MOV   + 05:09

6          Rafal Majka  BOH   + 07:14

7          Nicolas Edet COF   + 09:08

8          Wilco Kelderman     SUN   + 09:15

9          Carl Hagen   LTS     + 09:44

10       Hermann Pernsteiner        TBM    + 11:39

The today’s stage 16 between Pravia  and Alto de La Cubilla. Lena is beginning with 118 out of the 144 km run with four runners in front. I will come back to give you the winner. The winner was today Jakob Fuglsang of team Astana. Alejandro Valverde lost sconds and now is 2m 48s back still in second place. Primoz Roglic still the leader!


The Spaniard Alejandro Valverde already at 39 years old! Do not know when will he stop but I think doing good already in 2n place this year!  The last year 2018 winners were 1)Simon Yates (GBR),2)Enric Mas (ESP), and 3) Miguel Ángel López (COL).

The official webpage is here: Official La Vuelta bike race

There you go needed to post this, if you are anywhere near the towns by which it passes by all means go, it will be a thrilling experience and great fun as in Spain everything under the Sun! Enjoy La Vuelta!

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

Tags: , ,
September 9, 2019

Plaza de la Villa, Madrid of course!

On my wandering moments walking my beloved Madrid of course I stumbled into some familiar areas and indeed very popular over loaded I would say. This is the case of the Plaza de la Villa

I have written before on it and will be brief this time with some new photos. Enjoy it still worth the detour.

My previous post on the Plaza de la Villa Madrid

The Plaza de la Villa (formerly Plaza de San Salvador) is located in the historic center, next to Calle Mayor. In it, three small streets originate, corresponding to the primitive medieval city center of the city, these are the Calle El Codo appears in the east, that of Calle Cordón in the south and Calle Madrid in the west.


In its outline are the main facades of three buildings of great historical-artistic value, built in different centuries. The oldest is the Casa y Torre de Lujanes , 15C, built in Gothic-Mudejar style, which is located on the eastern side of the square. It is followed in seniority by the Casa de Cisneros ; 16C, a Plateresque palace that closes the southern part of the enclosure, and the Casa de la Villa, 17C, in the Baroque style.


The square, completely pedestrianized, is surrounded by some of the most relevant and oldest buildings in the history of Madrid, from the 15C 16Cn 17C. In its center stands the monument to Don Alvaro de Bazan.

Just out of habits here is the tourist office of Madrid on it: Tourist office of Madrid on the Plaza de la Villa

And there you go another wonderful spot to see and be seen in Madrid and seen you will be right off a very popular strip but worth the detour for its architecture and historical meaning. Hope you enjoy it as we did

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

Tags: , ,
September 8, 2019

Plaza de Santa Ana, Madrid of course!

So why not the streets? or squares? of my beloved Madrid! We tend to come into a city and look for monuments etc I guess that is what most folks look at in your posts. However, for me the walking the streets of a city gives me the inspiration to soak in all its culture , see the architecture and know better its history. This is what I do and in Madrid is multiply.

It is really a walker’s town, and we did it again using the public transports sparingly we walk a lot all over , sometimes into the outskirts of the city. However, this time I will like to tell you about a wonderful spot to walk and stay in old Madrid, the Plaza de Santa Ana!


The Plaza de Santa Ana  is a trendy square where you can have a drink and taste some tapas in the many bars and restaurants that line it. The streets of Núñez-de-Arce, Prado or Principe can go to this pedestrian square. The Plaza de Santa Ana was built in 1810 on the initiative of King Jose I (Napoleon brother) . At that time, the Santa Ana Monastery stood at this location. It was destroyed to make way for the Plaza of the same name. This convent was destroyed during José Bonaparte’s time. But the square has not always been known under this name. It was previously named Plaza del Principe Alfonso.


Located in the heart of the so-called Barrio de las Letras, (sse my post on it) its space is delimited by the Calle Principe, to the east, Calle del Prado, to the south, giving only street numbers to its west and north flanks, where the Plaza del Ángel and the Calle Núñez de Arce ends.

This square is also surrounded by historical monuments, such as the Teatro Español, built in 1735. This theater, the oldest in Madrid and the most emblematic of the square, has hosted the plays of the greatest playwrights in the country.  The Plaza de Santa Ana square also has two statues representing great Spanish artists. One is in the image of Pedro Calderón de la Barca, a playwright who lived in the 17C. This statue was completed in 1879 and shown public in 1880 ; On whose base the symbols of Tragedy, Comedy and the Angel of Fame have been gathered, in addition to bas-reliefs with scenes of Life is a dream, the Mayor of Zalamea, the hidden and the cover and the Dance of Death. On the pedestal you can read: “Life is a dream, but not its glory”.


In front of the theater, fans can also admire the statue of Federico García Lorca, a poet and playwright who lived in the early 20C. He was killed during the Spanish Civil War by the Nationalists.  The statue is from 1986.

The Plaza de Santa Ana square is located in the space of the block that until 1810 occupied the church, monastery, gardens and orchards of the convent of the Barefoot Carmelite religious of Santa Ana, founded by San Juan de la Cruz in 1586, the project of the convent was the idea of Teresa de Jesús and the priory were managed by Ana de Jesús with religious from the Ocaña convent. The monastery church was not completed until 1611.

In 1860 it was baptized from the Plaza del Príncipe Alfonso, son of queen Isabel II, but eight years later, during the Democratic Sexenio, it took the name of Vice Admiral Topete. For the people of Madrid the name Plaza de Santa Ana, kept the name of the patron saint of the disappeared convent, although for some mayors it was the Plaza de la Cerveza or square of the beer!. Officially, the Second Spanish Republic, granted it in April 1933 the name it retains in the first quarter of the 21C as of today.

In 1925 it became the first pedestrian square in Madrid. In 2001, the structure of the parking lot and its accesses was renewed, which meant the loss of almost all the remaining gardens, leaving a colossal central corridor that occupies the square in its entirety today.

In this historic Plaza de Santa Ana it was notice the presence since the 16C of the comedy pens of La Pacheca ,circa 1568, and the Principe c.1582, and then Teatro del Príncipe c. 1745, and finally  Teatro Espanol since 1849. Today the Plaza de Santa Ana covers most of its surface with terraces. Among them, the Cerveceria Alemana, establishment of 1904, frequented throughout its history by officials of the American embassy, ​​bullfighters such as Luis Miguel Dominguín, or artists and writers such as Ernest Hemingway; or the cafeteria La Suiza founded in 1879 and famous for its leche merengada or meringue milk. Another unique establishment of the 1930s is the old flamenco tablao Villa Rosa, which retains a striking and valuable interior and exterior tile work. The Simeón Building occupied the site where the palace of the counts of Montijo and Teba used to be, built around 1811 and during its last period the headquarters of the Military Casino of Madrid built between 1919-1923, with an eclectic style and modernist touches, would make famous for being the luxurious inn of the most popular bullfighters, Manolete among them, who for some kind of superstition always reserved room number 406. In 1986 it became the Reina Victoria Hotel, named in honor of the wife of King Alfonso XIII.

Here there was a statue of Carlos V that was transferred to the Buen Retiro gardens in April 1826, passing to the royal collection, and still being preserved in the Prado Museum. On the water source of the Red de San Luis , there is no exact news of when it disappeared from the square, perhaps in the mid-1870s, when the pylon and plumbing were apparently used to place the small sculpture of the so-called  Fuente del Cisne or Swan fountain, that had been on the Paseo de la Castellana before.

There is no specific webpage for it of course, but I leave you for direction the English versions of the tourist office of Madrid and the Comunidad de Madrid region. Enjoy the Plaza de Santa Ana

Tourist office of Comunidad de Madrid on Madrid

Tourist office of Madrid

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


Tags: , ,
September 8, 2019

Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid of course!

And while walking the narrow old streets of the Barrio de las Letras (neighborhood of muses or letters) ,I came upon a building had heard but never bothered to stop by. It is the recipient of the history of Spain which complicated as it is, has its detractors and accusations of favoritism on certain figures of our history. Nevertheless, it is interesting piece of architecture and history of my beloved Spain and my lovely Madrid.

I like to tell you a bit on it and keep as a memory in my blog. The Real Academia de la History or the Royal Academy of History in Madrid!

The Real Academia de la Historia is an institution in charge of the study of the History of Spain, «ancient and modern, political, civil, ecclesiastical, military, science, literature and arts, that is, of the various branches of life, civilization and culture of the Spanish peoples ».


Subsequently, they transferred their gatherings to the halls of the newly created Real Biblioteca (royal library) and requested the protection of King Felipe V, who granted it by officially creating the Royal Academy of History on April 18, 1738, and approving its statutes by Royal Decree on June 17 of the same year, where it was established that the purpose of the Academy was to clarify “the important truth of the events, banishing the fables introduced by ignorance or malice, leading to the knowledge of many things that obscured in antiquity or buried carelessness”. Since then, the Academy enjoyed royal protection like the other similar corporations, an institutional link that endures, being His Majesty the Patron King of all the Royal Academy created , all of them, from the illustrated action that, in the 18C, culminated in the foundation of the three oldest: Spanish, History and Fine Arts of San Fernando.

In 1785, king Carlos III ordered its transfer to the Casa de la Panadería, in the Plaza Mayor, where the library of the Royal Academy of History was already located since 1775. In 1836, the Mendizábal government granted the Academy large number of codices, documents and books, in addition to the mansion called Nuevo Rezado at Calle del León, no. 21, which had belonged to the Jeronimos monks of El Escorial until the confiscation of the assets of the religious orders, where they moved officially by Royal Order of July 23, 1837, although in practice it would not be transferred to the new location  until 1874.

Since January 1, 1938, date of its creation, it is part of the Institute of Spain. The palace of the Marquis de Molins and a small house on Calle de las Huertas were annexed in 1974 to the Nuevo Rezado house, thus completing the whole block between León, Huertas, Amor de Dios and Santa María streets. As it is today.

The official webpage in Spanish is here: Official Real Academia de la History in Madrid

And they publish a webpage where they say you can find all the personages of the history of Spain (however I try some who were not ::)) call the Diccionario Biografico Espanol or the Spanish Biographical Dictionary. Webpage here: Official Spanish Dictionary Biographical

There you go another off the beaten path trivial architecture and historical spot in my old lovely Madrid. Worth the detour if only to see the quant streets of this neighborhood. Hope you enjoy it as we did!

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







Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: