Archive for ‘Spain’

September 17, 2021

Some news from Spain CX

And back to sunny everything under the sun, and my series of some news from Spain! Things are picking up and my Santiago Bernabeu stadium is almost done already we beat Celta de Vigo there and next is Mallorca. I am looking forward to the official opening and going there for sure! For now, let me tell you about Spain ok

Dabid Muñoz, from Madrid, the chef of DiverXo, has been chosen as the “best chef in the world” by having achieved first place in the world Top 100 of the ‘The Best Chef Awards 2021‘, in a gala that was held this past Wednesday September 8 2021 in Amsterdam, In third place, in addition, the chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of San Sebastián and from the Mugaritz restaurant has been awarded, Yes!

Some nice artsy events coming up and long into next year worth the detour if in Madrid, I will be there soon,,,

La máquina Magritte at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza ,(see post) Retrospective of René Magritte , the great Belgian surrealist painter, whose work is characterized by its repetitive and combinatorial component: when he became obsessed with a theme, he repeated them with innumerable variations. The exhibition brings together more than 90 paintings and includes an installation and a selection of photographs and domestic films made by the author. From September 14 2021.

Sorolla. Tormento y devoción or Sorolla. Torment and Devotion at the Sorolla Museum (see post) until January 9, 2022 you can see a selection of the early years of the Valencian painter’s work, when he entered popular and devout manners, a genre that became fashionable during the last quarter of the 19C. Among his pieces, you can see those with scenes in sacred interiors and Valencian baroque churches, with episodes of folkloric religious devotion.

El Hijo Pródigo de Murillo y el arte de narrar en el barroco andaluz or The Prodigal Son of Murillo and the art of narrating in the Andalusian Baroque in the Prado Museum (see post). Exhibition dedicated to some of the main protagonists of the Andalusian pictorial baroque such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Antonio del Castillo, Juan Valdés Leal and Alonso Cano, They carried out their works in the 17C, works that have in common being organized in series, being mostly medium in size and having been commissioned by particular characters for domestic or oratory interiors. Among the selection you can see The Dissipation of the Prodigal Son (1660), by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo , or the series on the history of José, made by Antonio del Castillo. Will be on from September 29 2021.

El Jardín de las delicias or the Garden of Earthly Delights in the Matadero Madrid (see post), About fifteen artists from around the world contribute their multiple views on The Garden of Earthly Delights, Bosco’s masterpiece, in various formats, ranging from artificial intelligence or sound art to 3D animation, painting, sculpture or installation. The exhibition, curated by the SOLO Collection and co-produced by Matadero Madrid, can be seen from October 7 2021.

Another wonderful tour , I have been in sections over a period by car, recommended, The route of the Holy Grail in Spain, which traveled from Huesca to Valencia. The Jubilee Year of the Holy Chalice, which ends on October 28 2021, is an opportunity to visit the Cathedral of Valencia or to travel the route that the historic cup followed. To enter the Cathedral of Valencia, you have to pay 8 euros, not counting the climb to the Miguelete (two euros more). There are usually no queues, even in high season. It takes a few minutes to be in front of the maybe Holy Grail, the cup used at the Last Supper, from which Saint Peter and the first Popes later drank, This year, until the end of October, Valencia celebrates its Jubilee Year, a good reason to approach the cathedral or even to do the complete route that the Holy Chalice could follow since its arrival in Spain, through Huesca, to its current location in Valencia. They are just over 500 km (about 310 miles) in which some pilgrims have already been seen.

It is believed that this story began in the time of Sixtus II, who was executed in 258 in full persecution against the Church. His deacon, Saint Lawrence, then took care to safeguard the Holy Chalice that Saint Peter had brought from the Holy Land to Rome. Saint Lawrence, as is known, was roasted alive on a grill. But the current patron of Huesca would have managed to send the chalice to his hometown before that unbearable martyrdom. They say that in 553 the Grail was transferred to the Church of San Pedro el Viejo in Huesca, built by Bishop Vicencio precisely to contain the sacred relic, and where it could have been until the year 711. During the Muslim invasion, the chalice would have been passed through different refuges such as the Cave-Hermitage of Yebra de Basa, in the Alto Gállego region; the monastery of San Pedro de Siresa, where it is said that he was from 815 to 831; or, already in the 11C, San Pedro de la Sede del Real de Bailo, the Cathedral of Jaca and, of course, the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña, (see posts) where it would have remained until 1399, before being transferred to Zaragoza, Barcelona and Valencia, where it would have arrived in 1424 from the hand of King Alfonso the Magnanimous. The Chapel of the Holy Chalice, (see post) where it can be seen now, has exhibited this piece since 1916. The Valencian Holy Chalice is made up of a glass 7 centimeters high and 9.5 centimeters in diameter, made of agate, which could correspond to the time, the beginning of the Christian era; and a foot with handles added later, A must to see in Valencia.

And bring you some news of my roots and my dear Tenerife (see post). Let’s do some traveling ok,

Tenerife has a surface area is 2,034 square kilometers, its maximum length is 87 kilometers and its maximum width is 45 km. It has two airports: the north and the south. But not only airplanes divide the island, so does its landscape and even the weather. In the north you can breathe a more tropical, leafy climate with black sand beaches. On the other hand, the south stands out for its drier heat and its endless beaches. The first thing is that the proximity to Teide, the visit par excellence, will not define anything, because it is located in the center of the island.

The most typical option, especially if you go with children or as a family is the southern area full of resorts with all-inclusive options, various amenities and many on the beachfront or just a few minutes walk. It is also understood by the climate, hotter and drier than in the north, so you will have guaranteed beach and pool days. In the South, you also have attractions such as Siam Park, the largest water park in Europe and the best in the world.

The northern area offers a quieter vacation. Of course, you must take the weather into account, because it is more likely that you have cold, cloudy and even rainy days. In the north are many of the island’s must-see spots, such as La Laguna (World Heritage Site), La Orotava or Garachico. Nor can you miss the natural pools of Bajamar or the famous Teresitas beach, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife with golden sand (brought from the Sahara in the 60s), turquoise water and usually) calm, it is considered the Caribbean of Tenerife. The gastronomic options of the north are more attractive thanks to its guachinches, simple food houses that are mainly concentrated in the La Corujera area, in the town of Santa Úrsula, these are spaces within farmers’ houses that, to give way to their wine production, they gave it to taste and accompanied it with something to eat. Thus, you will not find great menus or many pretensions, but food typical of the island (grilled meats, stews …) and the best wine. Yes do enjoy it as I!

This is the dam where Doctor Zhivago was filmed, the most spectacular in Spain, The Salto de Aldeadávila, in the province of Salamanca, is 139.5 meters high and is located in the amazing gorge of the Duero River, La Presa de Aldeadávila, (a dam) also known as the Salto de Aldeadávila, is not the highest in Spain, but perhaps the most spectacular. It is located in the amazing gorge of the Duero River, in a granitic canyon, the largest natural canyon on the Iberian Peninsula, which extends for almost a hundred kilometers, with walls of more 400 meters high, and serves as the natural border between Spain and Portugal in the Arribes del Duero Natural Park. It is located 7 km. from the Salamanca province town of Aldeadávila de la Ribera, In 1965 it rose to world fame as it appeared in the opening and ending scenes of David Lean’s film Doctor Zhivago, which received five Oscars. Also, Tim Miller shot some scenes from the sixth installment of Terminator, Dark Fate movie. Impressive!

A long but worthy me think tribute to Francesco Sabatini of Palermo, Sicily Italy! And his contribution to my Madrid!

Three hundred years ago, one of the most contributor to creating the image of Madrid as a great European capital was born in Palermo in 1721 Francesco Sabatini. He was the architect responsible for some of the most representative monuments, palaces and corners of the regeneration of the city during the reign of its great patron, King Carlos III.
I like to start at the Puerta de Alcalá. It may not be the only Sabatini construction to which a song has been dedicated, (very famous in Spain) but it is certainly the best known and most symbolic. And Alcalá’s was not even the only gate that he designed for Madrid. Also his is the one in San Vicente, on the Paseo de la Florida (although the one designed by Sabatini was dismantled at the end of the 19C and the current one is a copy inaugurated in 1995. And we could also add the Royal Gate through which the Botanical Garden was entered, (see posts).

His direct source of inspiration was not the architecture of ancient Rome and ancient Greece, but that of the Italian Renaissance. This can be seen very well in the building of the Real Casa de la Aduana (current headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, almost at the beginning of Calle de Alcalá), with that air of a 16C Italian palace created by its façade of padded granite and brick and the pediments alternating curved and triangular of the first-floor windows.

The Paseo del Prado (then known as the Salón del Prado) was one of the great projects of the reign of Carlos III, a place for walking and recreation for the people of Madrid, with roundabouts and fountains, where several spaces dedicated to science would also be located such as the Astronomical Observatory, the Cabinet of Natural History (today the Prado Museum) and the Royal Botanical Garden. (see posts) Sabatini was commissioned to design the latter, to move from its previous location next to the Manzanares river the more than two thousand plants that the botanist José Quer had collected in his travels through Europe. However, the garden that can be visited today has little to do with Sabatini’s design, since it was finished by Juan de Villanueva, the brain behind most of the Prado project who would modify it by creating the current layout divided into square barracks,

The architectural history of the General and Passion Hospital (which you will know better as the Reina Sofía Museum) is complicated, since delays, financing problems, deaths, invasions and other difficulties caused the project to go through several hands, The current building, has inspiration and work from José de Hermosilla, Sabatini, Ventura Rodríguez, Juan de Villanueva and others such as Jean Nouvel and his famous extension are mixed, without the project ever being fully completed . However, it is to Sabatini that we owe the current image of the building was the Italian who added to the project the monumental facade open towards Atocha.

King Carlos III who, at that time was still Carlos VII of Naples discovered Sabatini when he helped his father-in-law, Luigi Vanvitelli, in the construction of the Royal Palace of Caserta. So it is not surprising that, when Carlos unexpectedly acceded to the Spanish throne after the deaths of his half-brothers Luis I and Fernando VI, he turned to Sabatini to reform Madrid’s Royal Palace to his liking. for example in the Hall of Halberdiers and in the Hall of Columns and projected an extension of which only a part was carried out, the one known as San Gil wing, in the palace complex, which later served as private rooms of Isabel II, Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII. He also modified, already by order of Carlos IV, the main staircase of the palace, changing its orientation.

And the famous Sabatini Gardens, (see post) next to the palace? Well, curiously, they have very little to do with the Italian architect, since they were created long after his death, during the Second Republic (1931-1939). The name apart from being an appropriate tribute, since it is a neoclassical style garden is mainly due to the fact that they occupy the place where the royal stables designed by him used to be.

The Royal Palace is not the only one where Sabatini worked in Madrid. That of the Marquis de Grimaldi (adjacent to the Senate and which today houses the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies) is less imposing, but is entirely the work of the Sicilian, The Genoese Jerónimo Grimaldi, Secretary of State of Carlos III ; despite the fact that the palace has kept his name, Grimaldi never lived in it, since he resigned from his position even before it began to be built. For this reason, his first tenant was the Count of Floridablanca, Grimaldi’s successor. After him it was occupied by Manuel Godoy, who had it expanded and luxuriously redecorated and who took there his large collection of paintings, including Velázquez’s “The Venus of the Mirror” and the two majas -nude and dressed by ​​Goya. Later it was the residence of the marshal Murat during the French Napeolonic occupation, the Royal Library, headquarters of several ministries, the Admiralty Palace and the Museum of the Spanish People.

The magnificent Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is known for the spectacular dome, the largest in Spain and only surpassed in the world by those of Saint Peter in the Vatican, the Roman Pantheon and Santa Maria del Fiore , It is not his work, but that of Francisco Cabezas and Antonio Plo. Sabatini’s contribution was the main façade of the basilica, which overlooks the Plaza de San Francisco, at the crossroads of Calle de Bailén, Carrera de San Francisco and Gran Vía de San Francisco. What is unique about Sabatini’s work here is that, instead of joining a straight façade to the basilica’s circular plan, he made the façade itself convex, an ingenious solution that also made him set back the two towers. between which the dome protrudes.

The Convent of the Comendadoras de Santiago, This old convent gives its name to the Plaza de las Comendadoras, where some of the most lively terraces in the University neighborhood are located. Again, Sabatini shares the limelight with other architects, such as Manuel and José del Olmo (who designed the church) and Francisco Moradillo (courtyard and Sacristy of the Knights, among other rooms). In fact, the part designed by Sabatini is the latest, which closes the block and unifies all the rooms of the convent, which until then were divided into different houses.

Proof that Sabatini was not only an architect of palaces and monuments, but that he knew how to give practical solutions to very different spaces are the many works he did in the Casa de Campo, all of them very functional in nature, It was he who restored and completed the wall that closes the enclosure and it was he who (with the help of the engineer José de la Ballina) was in charge of channeling all the waters of the Royal Site, with a set of measures that include the small aqueduct still known as Sabatini or de la Partida and an ingenious set of oscillating bars that allowed the various streams that ran through the place to save the wall, preventing floods. Sabatini also built five bridges over the Meaques stream, a small tributary of the Manzanares river. Of two of them, no remains are preserved and two others are partially blinded and their structure covered with cement. But the most beautiful and original of them can still be seen in good condition, the Culebra Bridge, originally called Narrow Bridge and now known by that name due to the meandering granite parapets that crown its brick arches.

The Convent of San Pascual , Sabatini not only worked for king Carlos III in Madrid, but also in other places linked to the royal court, such as Aranjuez. His most important work there was the facade of the Church of the Convent of San Pascual, in front of the Old Hospital of San Carlos, built at the same time. It is a very classicist facade, although with some touches of Italian Baroque, especially in the two towers. On its main altar there is a painting by Antonio Rafael Mengs, but perhaps the most curious thing was that both on the altar and in other parts of the church there were initially works by Tiepolo, However, after his death his style went out of style and his paintings were badly withdrawn and discarded. Those that survived are now in the Prado Museum.

Hope you enjoy this tour of Sabatini’s Madrid, a great walk idea indeed, I have done on foot on various trips and its wonderful, One reason we say Madrid to Heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day !

There you go folks, plenty of news and this time more tips to enjoy my dear Spain! Hope you find it useful and be prepare, times are improving and travel is back with the health pass and the mask…

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

Tags: , ,
September 13, 2021

The wonderful Saint Jean de Luz!!

Ok so needed to dig deep into my vault of pictures to showcase a bit more on this wonderful city of Saint Jean de Luz. We used to spent quite a bit of time here especially when living in Versailles; once moved to the Morbihan we have not been yet. I have many family souvenirs ,and will post some old family picture for mon mémoires of good family times.

In fact, if my memory does not failed me, the first time we came here was by chance after spending beach time in Lacanau-Océan and wanting to get out of the park to see the cities nearby and we did even as far as San Sebastian in Spain but this is another post already in my blog. For now let me tell you a bit more of Saint Jean de Luz, and hope you enjoy it as I do.

Saint-Jean-de-Luz is located in the department 64 of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. The town is part of the Basque province of Labourd and the urban area of ​​Bayonne ; it shares with Ciboure ,the Bay of Socoa, on the Bay of Biscay, The bay of Socoa is the only sheltered harbor between Arcachon and Spain. Thanks to its dikes which protect it from the anger of the Atlantic Ocean, it is popular with bathers and has become a famous seaside resort on the Basque coast.

Saint jean de Luz harbor looking pyrenées mountain France

Saint-Jean-de-Luz extends on either side of the RD 810, (former N10). The agglomeration is served by the A63 motorway: exits 3 (Saint-Jean-de-Luz north) and 2 (Saint-Jean-de-Luz south). There is a train station but never taken, gare de Saint-Jean-de-Luz – Ciboure.

st jean de luz Kids in front of train station

The city center roughly corresponds to Vieux-Saint-Jean, limited by the port, rue du Midi and boulevard Thiers, but extends around boulevard Victor-Hugo well beyond the initial site of the ” city ​​of the Corsairs ”, St Jean de Luz. A large pedestrian area with restaurants, shops, etc connects the sea on the Promenade Jacques-Thibaud to the main street rue Gambetta which leads to our favorite spot ,the Place Louis XIV and its welcoming terraces.

st jean de luz Kids at le suisse resto pl louis XIV

It’s time to dive into the Vieux Saint-Jean to explore the shipowners’ houses. Four centuries later, many are still in very good condition and are worth a visit. The oldest “Esquerrénéa” at 17, rue de la République, dates from the 16C, with its tower which allowed to monitor the arrival of boats, then “Ornoaga” and “Grange Baïta” at 3 and 2, rue Mazarin , which welcomed Napoleon 1st on a visit in 1808. “Saint Martin Baïta” at 13 rue Mazarin as well has a magnificent wrought iron ramp, “Aux Trois Canons” at 10 rue Mazarin, with its cannon-shaped gargoyles and “ Alexandrenia ” at 12 rue Mazarin. Also, “Joanoenia” known as the Maison de l’Infante at 1, quai de l’Infante welcomed Marie-Thérèse before her marriage, Most are closed to visitors, except that of the Infanta and Louis XIV, but the exteriors are magnificent and deserve a look.

st jean de luz Pedro harbor of Saint Jean deluz

In Saint Jean de Luz , after many wars the peace is achieved in the region by the edit of Union in 1620 signed by king Louis XIII when the kings of France become automatically kings of Navarra as well with the confirmation of the treaty of the Pyrenées in 1659 due to the union of king Louix XIV and Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain. The frontiers and the repartition has remained intact to our days.

In all a wonderful town to walk, with lots of history and pretty architecture. The web pages to help you plan your trip are:

The tourist office of Saint Jean de Luz

The city of Saint Jean de Luz :

The Nouvelle Aquitaine region tourist board on St Jean de Luz

There you go a bit more on Saint Jean de Luz ,a link between my beloved France and Spain in basque country to boot! A bit more on my family travels, which we love and a blog for keeping these precious moments. Hope you enjoy the reading and again thanks for reading me since November 2010!

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

Tags: , ,
September 6, 2021

Museo Real de Artilleria en el Alcazar de Segovia!

Oh yes need to take this out of the Alcazar fortress post as it is magical ,beautiful and if anything worth the trip to the Alcazar of Segovia me think. It’s a must rooms to visit when in Segovia and we love it. Many many memorable experiences with my mom then girlfriend, then wife, then kids throughtout the years; Segovia is magical!

However, small spot in the city and a separate viewing in the Alcazar fortress is the Museo Real de Artilleria or the Royal Artillery Museum! Wonderful, a must to see me think! Let me tell you a bit more on it in a single post that it deserves.

Needless to tell you but for me will do.  This is another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain, Segovia. From an early age , I think first time was when I was 10 years old with my mother; I keep coming back over the years, then with my wife, and then with the family and boys and parents and and ….lost count but each time is like the first time. There, the Alcazar of Segovia is awesome, a must to see. And do not forget the Royal Artillery Museum in it!!


Museo del Real Colegio de Artillería or the wonderful Royal College of Artillery museum houses many wonderful military objects as here was the Artillery Academy of Segovia founded in 1764 in the Alcazar by king Carlos III . It is said to be the oldest military academy in the world in active duty ,this the  Real Colegio de Artillería de Segovia, in the Alcazar. Here was echo the call for independence from the invading armies of Napoléon I in May 2 1808 (Spain national independence day) that was led by the Artillery captains Luis Daoiz and Pedro Velarde (statues of them in front of the Alcazar now see post) that were former students of the academy. In  1862, fire destroyed the ceilings and roof, nobles rooms and they were rebuilt thanks to engravings done in 1839.


The Artillery Academy of Segovia is a military academic institution in Spain founded on May 16, 1764 as the Royal Artillery College in the Alcázar of Segovia.  The Artillery College continued its work until the unfortunate fire of the Alcázar on March 6, 1862. The loss of the emblematic monument forced its abandonment and the immediate relocation of the cadets that same night in the former convent of San Francisco, used by the external students as a residence since 1853.



The current headquarters of the Artillery Academy is the former convent of San Francisco (Calle San Francisco ,25) . A large part of the new facilities, such as classrooms and residences, are located in the Polígono de Baterías (Carretera de San Rafael s/n) in Segovia, where Higher Technician degrees are taught to EMIES students. The Academy houses in its Library one of the scientific and documentary collections richest in the country. In it you will find  only taking into account the scientific and military part all the European science of the 18C and 19C and all the artillery and fortification treatises of the last five centuries.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are:

The official Real Colegio de Artilleria

The official Alcazar fortress

The min of defense of Spain on the college now:

The Segovia tourist office on the new artillery museum of the college near the Aqueduct:

There you go folks, another dandy in Segovia. You start with the museum in the Alcazar , gorgeous indeed. IF time, see the new one more modern spacing sober. Segovia is a wonderful town, small enough to walk all over, and huge in Spanish history with marvelous architecture, love it. This is the Alcazar and its Royal Artillery Museum!

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

Tags: ,
September 5, 2021

The magnificent Alcazar of Segovia!

This is another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain, Segovia. From an early age , I think first time was when I was 10 years old with my mother; I keep coming back over the years, then with my wife, and then with the family and boys and parents and and ….lost count but each time is like the first time. There, the Alcazar of Segovia is awesome, a must to see. I like to update this post but will split into two, to show the fortress per se and the artillery museum apart; hope you enjoy as I.

Well I admit can only recall coming here either taken or by my car from Madrid. The roads are good if hilly and curvy even if now they have expressways such as the AP 6 and AP 61 but my all time favorite is the N603; from Madrid you can come on the A1.  I drive around to find a parking either at 14 Paseo Ezequiel Gonzalez next to the tribunal , you walk past the statue to famous restaurant Candido , the Aqueduct (see post) and onwards to the Cathedral (see post)a nice walk indeed or  the magnificent Alcazar. Again, never taken it but you can come by bus and train here.

I have written quite a bit on Segovia and all its attractions before, but this one is the Alcazar needs a stand alone and updated post. To me, the Alcazar is tops for the history and architecture combine, The history of the Alcazar is very interesting and I like it ,but long will try to condense as much as possible.


The oldest remains were stones of granite like those in the Roman aqueduct so it is assume that in the Roman period there was a castrum or castle here already. On top of these ruins this Alcazar was built  as a Hispano Arabic fortress. The first notice of it was in 1122 a bit after king Alfonso VI of Léon conquered the city ,however, it wasn’t until 1155 that it is shown in text as the Alcazar on a letter kept at the archives of the Cathedral​  ; the Alcazar was the residency of king Alfonso VIII. In the middle ages, the Alcazar became one of the favorite residencies of the kings of Castilla , especially Alfonso X.  The fortress was inhabited many times and was one of the most luxurious palace-castle of the 15C; it was witness to several major events such as the proclamation of queen Isabel la Catolica in 1474 and the awake Mass of king Felipe II and Anne of Austria in 1570 in the Chapel. The fortress served as a prison until 1762,and king Carlos III founded the Royal College of Artillery and later museum here (see post).  In  1862, fire destroyed the ceilings and roof, nobles rooms and they were rebuilt thanks to engravings done in 1839.



The layout of the fortress is around two areas, exterior with a patio,and well, bridge and tower keeps, and the interior rooms such as Chapel, several noble rooms. The tower keeps or Torre de Homenaje is square with four towerettes with a canon and terrace windows, been done by king John II and once a war room, you can see a nice view of the city and especially the neighborhood of Canonjias, Jewish quarters and Cathedral.  There are two stairs you need to pass to arrive to the top or about 156 steps most in a carrousel stair very narrow and inclined. At the end is the guards room and there is the spot where the night watchman slept. On top there are four levels and mostly used as a prison, the last prisioner here was General Berenguer in the 1930’s.



The interior has nice decorated rooms of great luxury and it houses the army museum or Museo de Armas as well as the military archives of Segovia, and historical archives oldest of the Spanish armed forces. Let me tell you about the utmost beauty of the interior rooms of the Alcazar, awesome.

The Sala del Palacio Viejo (old palace room) it was built during the reign of king Alfonso VIII and the decoration shows arms of a Germanic style from the 15C.  The Sala de la Chimenea(chimney room) dates from the times of king Felipe II and the furniture is from the 16C, on the walls you see a portrait of Felipe II and another one of Felipe III,a Flemish tapestry of the 16C with Our Lady. The Sala del Trono (throne room) the façade the communicates with the chimney room and still intact its mudejar Arabic original construction with a covered of armor done by 1456. The throne under the mold of the tapetries has a blason or flag of the Catholic Kings and a saying tanto monta or sort of so much rides from early the 15C.  On the walls you see portraits of the same Catholic Kings that were ordered by queen Isabel II. The window stained glass represent king Enrique IV of Castilla.


We continue in the interior with the Sala de la Galera ( galleon room) it takes this name because the place shows the casque of a boat inverted ; the room was built by queen Catalina de Lancaster in 1412 when her son was still a minor future Juan II of Castilla.  On the windows you see stained glass representing king Enrique III of Castilla and his family and another of Enrique II with scenes from the death of Pedro I and Juan II.  On one of the walls is decorated with a painting representing the coronation of queen Isabel la Catolica as queen of Castilla and Leon in the Church of San Miguel  of Segovia. The  Sala de las Piñas (pine cones room) on the ceiling you can see angels carrying the shield of arms of Castilla and Leon, the stained glass shows king Alfonso VII with his daughter Berenguela. The Cámara Regia (or great room) on the wall you can see scenes from the life of the Catholic Kings. The bed is covered with knitting and embroidery in gold. The Sala de los Reyes (kings room) king Felipe II  ordered it built statues corresponding to the kings of Asturias, Leon and Castilla.  One of the paintings in the room is a portrait of king Felipe II  and the other two portraits are of his two wives Isabel of Valois  and  Anne of  Austria.  The Sala del Cordón (cord room) has this name because the surrounding of the walls there is a cord long and golden. You arrive at the Chapel, there is a small Chapel in the sala de cordón  from where the king or queen listen to the Mass.  The arms room or Sala de Armas is here because the Alcazar house the arms of the old House of Trastàmara (the branch of Segovia of Queen Isabel the Catholic of Castille and Leon) and was the precedent from which the arms now were united in the Royal Armory of Madrid.




Inside there is the Museo del Real Colegio de Artillería or the Royal College of Artillery Museum, but this is in another post, see next.

Again, this is a must while in Segovia and worth your detour if in Spain. I love and could not possibly come to Segovia or Madrid for that matter without stopping by. Luckily, this has been often in the last few years. Some further webpages to help plan your visit are :

The official Alcazar webpage:

The Comunidad Autonoma region of Castilla y Leon tourist board on the Alcazar:

The Segovia tourist office on the Alcazar:

There you go folks, a wonderful beautiful fortress of Alcazar in gorgeous Segovia. Hope you enjoy the post as I; this is a wonderful town, small enough to walk all over. and huge in Spanish history with marvelous architecture, love it. And this is the Alcazar of Segovia!

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

Tags: ,
September 5, 2021

Some news from Spain CIX

And time again to tell you some news from Spain, and my beloved stories and places of Spain. There are still the sequels of covid19 but things are beginning to move on as life does. However, I must tell all a sad news. Alfredo Gonzalez the owner of over 50 yrs of El Brillante restaurants of Madrid kill himself due to debts over covid19 of his restaurants. I remember fondly his friendly approach while eating my calamares sandwich at the Atocha resto. RIP

Then, we move on as life is for the living.

The 800th birthday of the Gothic cathedral of Burgos and the Jacobean Holy Year, with the Camino de Santiago crossing three towns that host the exhibition Las Edades del Hombre. (the ages of men). And its motto is Lux (light), the light that the Gothic style provided, precisely introduced in Spain through the Camino de Santiago. Here we go folks :

The Cathedral of Burgos, in whose cloisters, high and low, is the main exhibition of the Las Edades del Hombre , is one of those human artifacts that overwhelms you. With the Camino Jacobeo ,although the same would have happened without it, possibly the Gothic style is introduced in Spain, which contributes, among other innovations, to lighten the stone walls with stained glass windows that give way to clarity. Hence also this year’s motto, Lux. Because there are things that must be seen: like the popular papamoscas (Flycatcher), a rather simple automaton-clock in the central nave; the tomb of the Cid and his wife, Dona Jimena, under the dome; the Golden Staircase; the monumental reliefs in the ambulatory; the grandiose chapel of the Constables, with a cornered Magdalene that some people attribute to Leonardo da Vinci… Thanks to the heap of exquisite altarpieces and sculptures, scattered among 14 chapels, one can overcome the feeling of being in a cemetery. Or in a pantheon of illustrious men, For logistical reasons (and prevention of covid), access to the Chapel of Santo Cristo de Burgos is out of the circuit. A miraculous image, with human hair (which grows, according to pious tradition) and animal skin, much loved in the city, and whose devotion even overflowed to the lands of America, The Museo de la Evolución Humana (MEH) or museum of human evolution. The set of 3 buildings was directed so that from the large windows you can see the cathedral, just opposite, on the other side of the Arlanzón river with a desirable sample of paintings and engravings of the cathedral of various artists, some as illustrious as Joaquín Sorolla. Between the Paseo del Espolón and the Plaza del Ayuntamiento a medieval knot of streets and alleys (some with no exit), squares, arcades … It is known as La Senda de los Elefantes or the path of the elephants,

The 90 km from Burgos to Carrión de los Condes can be done comfortably on the Camino de Santiago highway ,A-12. Also along the national road N-120, which strictly adheres to the pilgrims’ path but slower passing by many small towns, From Carrión were the villainous counts who, according to the Cantar de Mio Cid, would have married and then outraged the daughters of Don Rodrigo in the oak grove of Corpes. Apparently, all a fake to bad idea of ​​Castilian against Leonese. The fact is that in Carrión, in the monastery of San Zoilo, is the pantheon of those counts and their family. The monastery, at the entrance to the town, is now a luxurious hotel with a large and well-shaded car park that should be taken advantage of, because in the urban area it is impossible to find a space. On foot, after crossing the Puente Mayor or bridge over the Carrión river, look for the Camino, which is none other than Calle Mayor that crosses the town from end to end. At the start of Calle Mayor-Camino is the Church of Santa María del Camino. And a little further on, on the same road, the Church of Santiago. Between both temples, and in the same street as Santa María, is the birthplace of the Marqués de Santillana, a warrior and writer of the 15C, one of our first humanists, author of some spicy Serranillas that anticipate the erotic lanterns of a Giacomo Casanova.

From Carrión to Sahagún, about 40 km, the landscape changes, softens. the cradle of that unique architecture of our country that is the Mudejar, Next to the Cea river stood the richest and most powerful monastery in late medieval Spain, that of San Facundo (hence the place name Sahagún). King Alfonso VI, who is buried in another nearby convent, made it head of the Castilian Benedictines and the engine of the Cluniac reform, which extended the Gothic style. Today there are barely a few roofed ruins and a large entrance arch, like a meteorite fallen from the sky. Next to it are the two headquarters of Las Edades del Hombre, the Church of San Tirso and the Hermitage of La Peregrina.

Vive el camino or live the way from the Galician newspaper La Voz  in Spanish :

Sagunto is a hodgepodge of Iberian, Roman, Andalusian, Jewish and two towns in one. The town, at the foot of the castle, and the port, which enters the Mediterranean through a very long jetty, The Avenida del Mediterráneo runs parallel to a beach whose dunes and the view of the very long jetty are the main attractions. A 1,652-meter jetty that was once a mineral loading dock. Following its route, inland, you reach the Old Hospital. Construction from the beginning of the 20C whose English heritage architecture, in addition to the hospital services of rigor, housed offices and houses for engineers. The people who reside in the building today do not have to be. The General Workshops Warehouse, dating from 1919. Inside boilermaking work, locomotive repair and foundry and adjustment tasks were carried out. Right in front of it is Horno Alto nº 2, a metallic structure almost 65 meters high whose restoration in 2012, by the architects Carmel Gradolí and Tato Herrero, received the Europa Nostra Award. Steel was produced in its dull guts, and it now houses a museum. Very close to it, on Calle de la Fundicion (foundry), is the Warehouse of Effects and Parts, a huge warehouse that, it is hoped, will house the Museum of Industrial Archeology of Sagunto. The company’s engineers and managers frequented the Recreational Casino, which is still in operation today. Some and others coincided, yes, inside the Church of Nuestra Señora de Begoña, but they did not mix; there were assigned seats for superiors and others for peons. The same thing happened on the beach. A visit to Puerto de Sagunto is not complete if you don’t go to its beach, with fine golden sand and dunes. A Mediterranean canvas as long as the jetty, with which it forms a right angle, and that few dare to see up close while walking on the breakwater that partly protects it. Those rocks are also a peaceful place to bathe. Sagunto tourist office:

When it comes to big towns this is one of my favorites in my beloved Spain, San Sebastián is much more than a gastronomic tourist destination. It is a place that combines everything that is sought when traveling in summer: beach, good food and a wide cultural and artistic offer. Along the Paseo de la Bahía de La Concha, with the now famous white railing, you will find some of the most emblematic places of the city. Right in the area that divides the two beaches of the city, La Concha and Ondarreta, is the Miramar Palace, a building built by the Spanish Royal House in the 19C during the reign of Isabel II. Continuing along the promenade leaving the Ondarreta beach behind, you will reach another obligatory stop next to the coast, El Peine del Viento, which marks the end of the San Sebastián promenade The area also has some wind and water that allows pedestrians to connect with the sea in a special way when the waves are strong. Right at this point where Ondarreta beach ends and El Peine del Viento is located, you can access the mountain that offers the best panoramic view of the city, the Igueldo. It is reached by funicular and once there, although the main attraction is the views, you can enjoy the historic Monte Igueldo Amusement Park, with ferris wheels, mountains and old-looking carousels that evoke nostalgia and from which you can appreciate unique sea and mountain landscapes. Art lovers will be able to find in the old area with all the architectural styles that give San Sebastián such a picturesque aspect. On the one hand, the Catedral del Buen Pastor or Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, of neo-Gothic style and whose towers can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Right at the other end of the old town, the Basilica of Santa María del Coro, with a façade that could be framed between the baroque and the rococo. And it is that, although it is obvious, it never hurts to remember that going out for pintxos (tapas) in San Sebastián is another of the things that must be done no matter how brief the visit is. The old part of the city has such a density of bars that you can enjoy a stroll through its streets with all kinds of snacks, from the classic Gilda ( a pintxos of anchovies and veggies concoction) to other more elaborate meat and fish pintxos. And to top it off, a portion of La Viña cheesecake, one of the local recipes that triumphs all over the world. Leave out the film and go for the old town and the beach me think !!! The San Sebastiàn tourist office:

This is the latest on a movie of a Spanish poet I follow all my life, and have a unique post on him in my blog, I, also, of course, follow Ian Gibson, In his latest Ian Gibson travels to the precipice where memory ends, The Cans festival premieres the film in which the Hispanicist returns to the scene of the murder of Lorca and to the towns of Las Hurdes where Buñuel filmed ‘Tierra sin pan’, The documentary Donde acaba la memoria or where memory ends is directed by the professor of the University of Vigo Pablo Romero-Fresco, has been the premiere that the Cans film festival at O Porriño, province of Pontevedra opened this past Thursday, and if it is not a biographical story, it is a semblance of all that life of the Irish researcher dedicated to unearthing the memory of Spain. A country in which he was not born, but which he feels with “deep love and anger”. In Where memory ends, Gibson reveals the sound recording in which he recorded, in 1978, the explanations of the gravedigger of the poet from Granada at the scene of the execution. He also visits the Residencia de Estudiantes or Student Residence, that European cultural paradise in which the three stars Lorca, Dalí and Buñuel lined up to whom the writer has consecrated his research vocation. In addition, he shows his refuge in the heart of the Lavapiés neighborhood, Madrid, the place where he feels like in the womb and where he ended up with his family after the 19 moves that he carried out in Spain after leaving Dublin, Ireland.

The film premiered in the Cans festival ,which celebrates its 18th edition until Saturday 4 September, today), with a subsequent debate with Gibson and Romero, and will continue to visit some Galician cinemas and festivals until arriving at the Cineteca de Madrid on October 4 2021, Romero-Fresco accompanied Gibson to Granada to present the latest edition of his book on the murder of Lorca, in one more attempt to find the remains of the poet. The film could only end where it all began, the place where Gibson arrived 50 years ago to write his first work, which was banned by the Franco regime. The passion for Federico García Lorca made an almost adolescent Ian Gibson (Dublin, 82 years old) an Irishman with a Spanish soul. In 1978, with his book El asesinato de Lorca or the assassination of Lorca under his arm, he came to Madrid without knowing where to keep the blankets that he brought as basic luggage. For years he has lived in Lavapiés, which for him is the most beautiful capital in the world. In the book he writes what Garcia Lorca felled for his land, as he said « I love the land. I feel linked to her in all my emotions. My most distant memories as a child have a taste of earth ». There is a place, beyond Fuente Vaqueros y Asquerosa (town change name to Valderrubio since 1943), that treasures the first literary inspirations of Federico García Lorca, a flat land, abundant in water, neat in crops and memory where the poet’s childhood passed, where he accepted his link with the landscape, discovered the lysergic power of narratives, the strength of words and the way to convey inspiration. La farmhouse of Daimuz, in the heart of La Vega from Granada, captures the same light of happiness that the poet knew.

The official Cans film festival on Gibson/Garcia Lorca:

The history of Daimuz began a long time ago. Federico García Rodríguez, the poet’s father, had been born in Fuente Vaqueros in 1859. In 1880 he had married Matilde Palacios who died fourteen years later. With the money he had raised, he acquired good estates near Fuente Vaqueros. The most important of all was Daimuz, a kind of fertile land sandwiched between the Genil and Cubillas rivers. Converted into a landowner and one of the wealthiest men in the region, he met the teacher Vicenta Lorca Romero with whom he married in August 1897. Nine months later, on June 5, 1898, the poet was born in the family home of Fuente Vaqueros. One of the first memories that the poet cherished in the Daimuz farmhouse was his mother’s reading of Victor Hugo’s novel « Hernani ».But what forever changed his way of seeing the world was that afternoon his mother arrived from Granada with a puppet theater. He had acquired it that day at La Estrella del Norte, the best toy store in the city, located on Calle Reyes Católicos. It is not surprising, therefore, that, already consecrated as a poet, he maintained: “Andalusia is not a country of joy and tambourines , but the country of sentimental melancholy, of the internal currents of the spirit “. Yes he was the greatest poet of Spain, and still is, follow his trail.

And the end but not really, the best of the gastronomy of Spain! love these, hope you visit them and let me know your thoughts.

La Casa de Campo (see post) is very much in vogue, with interesting openings such as Villa Verbena and now El Taller, the sports house that this green lung full of families and athletes was needed, A mix of brewery and social and sports club with countless activities: from running club to nutrition talks, children’s activities like weekend workshops and summer camps. Its strong point is 20 types of beer from all over the world. In addition, its cuisine around the globe is based on coal and fire, and allows family or friends to celebrate any occasion and achievement after having done sports. Because apart from the gym, there is ñam, which is what it burns for. The terrace has capacity for 400 persons. Location at Paseo de María Teresa, 3. Lago de Casa de Campo. Hours: from 17h45 to 00h00, Average ticket: 25 euros. No webpage yet.

In a short time its name, Berria has become a must for lovers of the world of wine, thanks to its 1,600 references and its 80 wines by the glass that are renewed several times a month. But in this wine bar you also eat, and very well, thanks to a cuisine based on first-class raw materials. Both in the living room and on the terrace -with spectacular views of the Puerta de Alcalá ! Great !! location Plaza de la Independencia, 6. Webpage:

The center of Jerez de la Frontera, the Tío Pepe wineries (González Byass group) are a journey through time in which to discover the origins of Jerez wine. Not to be missed is the Real Bodega de La Concha, whose architecture is attributed to the engineer Gustave Eiffel, the boots signed by celebrities or the small ladder resting on a wineglass on the Bodega La Constancia, all arranged for the mice to taste the fragrant wine. Location Calle Manuel María González, 12 ,Jerez de la Frontera,province of Cádiz Webpage :

The Marqués de Riscal red was my first taste of wine ever over 50 yrs ago , given by my maternal grandmother Amparo of Tenerife!! The oenological complex known as La Ciudad del Vino de Marqués de Riscal is made up of several facilities, including two wineries and a five-star hotel with a spa. It is worth stopping at the original winery from the 19C where the bottling that stores the oldest vintages, some from 1862) ,and at the hotel, the impressive titanium construction by Frank O. Gehry Location at calle Torrea, 1 ,Elciego , province of Álava). Webpage :

The Bodega Santiago Ruiz was created in 1984 by Santiago Ruiz, one of the Albariño parents and a pioneer in the renovation of the Galician vineyard, it is a peaceful winery in the O Rosal area. A delicious house-museum of the 17C surrounded by gardens and old vineyards in the traditional style where you can discover how local wine was made (and is made) and Galician hospitality from the hand of Rosa Ruiz, daughter of the founder and continuation of the legacy of her father. Location at Rua do Vinicultor, Santiago Ruiz, s / n, San Miguel de Tabagón,province of Pontevedra). Webpage :

There you go folks, a dandy some news from Spain ! Hope you enjoy the reading and do visit these wonderful places, recommended by yours truly, And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all !!!

Tags: , ,
September 3, 2021

The Palacio de Cristal de Arganzuela of Madrid!

And now taken you closer to the Manzanares river and mostly off the beaten path of my beloved Madrid. It is far from the center and best on foot as we did. Lovely area with many cultural and sporting activities for the whole family. Something different in Madrid. In fact ,came searching for Madrid Rio (see post) and end up finding this gem. There is another crystal palace in Madrid, guest where? However, this one is unique and glad found it!! You never know about Madrid!  Let me tell you a bit about the Palacio de Cristal de Arganzuela !

The Palacio de Cristal de Arganzuela or Crystal Palace is located on the premises of what was once part of the Municipal Slaughterhouse of Arganzuela and has an area of ​​7,100 m². It was popularly known as the Nave de Patatas or potato warehouse, and its large rectangular structure of steel profiles are preserved, which is used as a botanical museum with plants from various parts of the world. It is located on Paseo de la Chopera, next to the Manzanares River, the municipal slaughterhouse was built between 1908 and 1924 as Slaughterhouse and Municipal Cattle Market.


This museum greenhouse part has four closed areas creating four microclimates. Two of them house the most characteristic plants of the tropical climate, other those of the subtropical climate and the remaining one houses cacti and all the species related to the desert climate. All this exotic landscape is also surrounded by small fountains. Closed as a slaughterhouse in the early 80s, it currently houses various cultural units of the City of Madrid, as well as the headquarters of the Municipal Board of the District of Arganzuela.

In 1992 the conversion of the Nave de Patatas or potato warehouse was carried out. The Palacio de Cristal de Arganzuela opens on December 21, 1992. The palace is free to visit and its exterior is surrounded by gardens and swings.

The Crystal Palace Greenhouse, houses 9 000 species of plants that are presented in four perfectly differentiated biotopes, each with a different microclimate, housing four different kinds of plants: Tropical flora, Subtropical flora, Crass and cacti plants and Plants of cruise and water. But not only can you enjoy its many plants but the Greenhouse also houses fountains and waterfalls populated with fish and birds.


Next to the greenhouse until 2008 there was a Dalieda (outdoor garden dedicated only to dahlias, and the collection had more than three hundred varieties with about 3,000 copies), this space since 2012 and after the works of reconditioning of the environment with the Manzanares riverbank park (Madrid Rio), it has been reconditioned as an asphalted area for roller skating. Specimens of dahlias that were cultivated were distributed between the Real Jardines Botanico or Royal Botanical  Garden and the Dalieda of San Francisco. A peculiar park is known as “Las vistillas”, as is in the highest area of ​​Madrid of the Austria’s area, near Church San Francisco el Grande (see post) and the views are privileged to the city. Address: Gran Vía de San Francisco, 29).


The Madrid tourist office on the Arganzuela palace greenhouse:

Again my long link sorry of the City of Madrid on the Palacio de Arganzuela

There you go folks, another off the beaten path of my dear Madrid. Hope you enjoy this Palacio de Cristal of Arganzuela in my beloved Madrid; nice different and in up and coming popular area of Madrid.

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

Tags: ,
September 3, 2021

Jardines Sabatini and a Moro of Madrid!!

Going back to my beloved Madrid again. Many places of youth still revisited every year. Now let me tell you about a wonderful garden not far from the Palacio Real or Royal Palace.  The Jardines Sabatini are a great place to be not only for the location but also, the silhouette of the slopes in it giving you a wonderful view of the Royal Palace and Madrid afar. And then near is the Campo del Moro or moors’ field! a delicate park to enjoy by the families of always!

The Sabatini Gardens in the classicist style were created in 1933 in the spot that occupied the stables built by Sabatini for the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) , hence the name. Located in front of the Royal Palace’s northern façade, the gardens were completed in 1978. It was king Juan Carlos I who opened the park to the public. Located officially at Calle Bailén, 2 , and the best way other than walking to it is by metro Opera lines 2,5 and Radial and Sol lines 1 ,2 and 3.


Today, a large, round fountain with tritons is at the intersection of the two major axes that are surrounded on all sides by quadrants and conifers, with trees arranged along the perimeter. The quiet secluded atmosphere of the Jardines Sabatini is in part due to the lowered elevation of the gardens, the gardens are approximately 10 meters (about 33 feet) lower than the main Plaza de Oriente. The gardens are connected to Plaza Oriente by a grand stone staircase, an appropriate entrance to the royal gardens .The Jardines Sabatini are named after the Italian architect Francesco Sabatini who during the 18C designed much of the Palacio Real (Royal Palace), this included royal stables which were demolished to create the gardens named after him.


Another gem nearby and less visited is the Campo del Moro. The least known and least visited, perhaps because its entrance is on the farthest part from the Royal Palace, a bit far from the tourist itinerary. The adjacent gardens of the Campo del Moro lies behind the palace. You will find beautiful shady paths, fountains and peacocks strolling. It is both romantic style with some English garden features. As for its name, the Campo del Moro (the Moor’s field), it comes from the fact that it was the place where the Moorish army camped before their unsuccessful attempt, at the beginning of the 12C to take over the Alcazar (castle). King Felipe IV was the first to develop this space but the Campo del Moro began to take its form as it is known today that in the 1890’s under regent queen Doña María Cristina of Habsburg.


Both are doable at the same time, and what a thrill you will have amongst so much natural beauty mingle in with beautiful statues and busts. Great for the whole family and I eventually took my boys here since very young to now. Hope you enjoy this bit of introduction as I.

The Madrid tourist office on the Sabatini gardens:

The Madrid tourist office on the Campo del Moro:

There you go folks, a wonderful gardens that are good for the whole family like mine. I have several entries on them in blog but always link with something else or in my Some News from Spain entries. I believe the Jardines Sabatini and Campo del Moro deserve a post of their own even if to expansive this introduction can get you to come and me again. It is worth the detour in my Madrid. Hope you enjoy the post as I. You will be please to visit them

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

Tags: , ,
September 3, 2021

Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madrid!!!

And I am back at you with my Madrid, and updating this post which surprise many folks coming to one of the world’s best museum missed it! One monument that needs to be seen there is the Royal Parish Church of Saint Jerome or the Parroquia Iglésia de San Jeronimo el Real right next to the Prado museum! notice it! Well I have and been in it but seldom took as many pictures than on this trip,(picture below is from the Prado!)  memories forever in my beloved Madrid.


The old monastery of San Jerónimo el Real, popularly known as “Los Jerónimos”, was one of the most important monasteries in Madrid, originally governed by the Order of San Jerónimo. Next to it there was the so-called Royal Quarter, then expanded as Palace of Buen Retiro in the time of Felipe IV. The church currently remains, converted into a parish Church of San Jeronimo (St. Jerome), and a Renaissance cloister. Church and convent were closely linked to the life of the Court and the Spanish monarchy. The temple was a frequent scene of funerals, oaths of heirs, weddings and royal proclamations, the last of these being that of King Juan Carlos I.


This is the only gothic building in Madrid!. It is a late Gothic with Renaissance influences and reminiscences of Madrid architecture, which can be seen in its facade in which stone and brick are mixed. Inside you will see its Elizabethan Gothic choir, which you will recognize because it is supported by a carpanel arch. The Jerónimos have undergone several modifications since their original construction in 1502, the church we see today is mostly from the 19C, when the facade and the twin towers that frame the main chapel were rebuilt. However, the Gothic style has been preserved and can be seen in the towers, in the buttresses and in the buttresses finished off pinnacles, among others. On each side we find five chapels, which were the object of the restoration that took place in the 19C. And its great staircase is even more recent, as it was built at the beginning of the 20C. The interior shows us something dark, especially in the area of ​​the main altar. Its greatest artistic attraction is in the decoration of the aforementioned central nave.


It is found right next to the Prado museum the best way to walk to it is from the Paseo del Prado up to Calle Moreto 4. Metro lines Atocha, Antón Martín, line 1 and Banco de España line 2. See it!


A bit of history I like

Although king Enrique IV of Castilla had previously ordered to build another monastery of Jeronimos on the banks of the Manzanares River in 1463, and shortly thereafter, in 1470 he had given the congregation of privileges to collect taxes, it is something later, at the end of the 15C, when the Catholic Monarchs ordered the construction in Madrid of a monastery of Jeronimos monks that would serve as a room for the Royal Family during their stays in the town. This Monasterio de San Jeronimo El Real (Royal monastery of St Jerome) was made in late Gothic style with Renaissance influences.  In 1510 Fernando I, the Catholic  has meetings of the Cortes in the temple and in 1528,the courts of Castile convened in Madrid in the monastery of San Jeronimo by Carlos I, Felipe de Habsburg Prince of Asturias was declared there, and was sworn as heir and successor of the kingdom of Castile, a tradition that will remain until that of Isabel II, in 1833.  The monastery and the annexed palace lived its time of greatest splendor during the reign of Felipe IV, which made the complex the center of courtly life. In the temple the oath took place as heir to the kingdom of Castile of the ill-fated Prince Baltasar Carlos of Austria.


During the Napoleonic invasion of 1808 (known here as the War of Independence of Spain or peninsular war elsewhere), the monastery and the Palace of Buen Retiro were severely damaged by the invading army. As a result of this and in an effort to maintain what was left, Fernando VII turns the monastery into an artillery barracks. Years later, under queen Isabel II, the restoration of the church is ordered and the result of which are the towers of its heading, which flank the apse. The palatial complex of Buen Retiro was worse off: it suffered such damage that it was demolished, with the exception of the Casón del Buen Retiro and the Salon de Reinos (kingdom hall). (see posts).

In San Jerónimo the marriage bond was celebrated between King Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg on May 31, 1906. On November 27, 1975, Cardinal Vicente Enrique y Tarancón presided over the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, at the beginning of the reign by king Juan Carlos I. In the early 20C, and as a result of the agreement to transfer the cloister of the monastery to the Prado Museum, the church was completely restored, both internally and externally.


When considering the necessary extension of the neighboring Prado Museum, the Ministry of Culture rejected several options and chose as the most feasible and least traumatic to extend the spaces of the gallery to the Jerónimos. The site of the cloister was recovered, which was connected to the main body of the museum underground. Once the work was finished, the cloister maintains its inner courtyard, with its original arches and columns, and recovers its outer volume in the form of a cube, to which it owes its popular name. Red brick was used for the facades, so that they blend better with the surrounding buildings. Inside, the most innovative element is a skylight that crosses the building, from the cloister to the underground floors dedicated to exhibitions. The bronze doors that connect the cloister building with the Calle Ruiz de Alarcón street have also received praise. In all a wonderful parish Church!

This is one that needs to be seen yet so close and intertwined with the Prado museum often overlook by visitors, it can be even call an off the beaten path site in my Madrid, but a must to see I repeat! San Jéronimo el Real be there!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madrid

The Madrid tourist office on the Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madrid

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office on the Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madrid

Again, this is a dandy beautiful historical architecturally nice , a must to see in Madrid. Again, so close to the Prado yet so far for most; need to see my Madrid. I recommend seeing the Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madrid!

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

Tags: , ,
September 2, 2021

How about the Bolsa de Madrid!

Let me tell you another story of my beloved Madrid. This is not something you go just for tourism but it can be visited and well worth the educational trip. I like to tell you about the Stock Exchange or Bolsa de Madrid. It is a building that when young I do not think about it, but as I grew older and invested, became very much interested in visiting. I remember in my late teens my school in NJ took me to visit the Wall Street stock exchange and it hit me. Therefore, later on my visits to Madrid, decided to pay a brief visit without any guides just walk around it. It has a nice history to it.

The Madrid Stock Exchange or Bolsa de Madrid  is the main stock market in Spain. It is based in the Palacio de la Bolsa. Its reference index is the General index of the Madrid Stock Exchange (IGBM). or Index General de la Bolsa de Madrid.


A bit of history I like

13C: The Juros (promise debt to pay) were paper emissions of the State by which a debt was guaranteed, being these the first form of public debt. It was in Castilla where the first titles of values that were created were the so-called Royal Juros, a loan contracted by the Kings that granted to different personalities.

14C: The recruitment markets, the first created by king Jaime I of Aragon in Palma de Mallorca, in 1246, although it was not built until 1409. We still have some of these buildings such as the Lonja de Palma de Mallorca, Zaragoza, Valencia and Barcelona, not forgetting Casa Lonja in Sevilla, dependent on the Casa de Contratacion de las Indias (hiring house of the Indies) since 1503, the headquarters of the General Archive of the Indies (new world), which collects company documents related to the commercial monopoly that it maintained with the Hispanic possessions in America for more than two centuries. Since the 16C there were exchange brokers, Lonja, Royal vouchers (Vales Reales) or customs.

In the midst of the War of Independence (peninsula war)  Joseph Bonaparte was appointed King of Spain in 1808 by his brother Napoleon Ier. Joseph I Bonaparte in 1809  made the decision to establish the first stock exchange in Madrid, however, he did not get to started it.

In 1831, reigning king Fernando VII, passed the law that gave origin definitively to the Bolsa de Madrid: The Law of Creation and Organization of the Bolsa de Madrid. The stock exchange had been defined in article 64 of the 1829 trade code as:  “A place of meeting of merchants and mediators where the operations of the hiring of movable assets are conformed or fulfilled “.  It was promoted with the law the creation of a market similar to those existing in other countries, such as that of Paris created in (1734), London in (1804) or New York in (1817). In 1854 begins the publication of the Bulletin of contributions and during the Liberal period  the peseta (Spanish currency) will be born.

On October 20, 1831, the institution of the Madrid Stock Exchange inaugurates its first session at the consulate of the Plaza del Ángel. The Bilbao Stock Exchange was inaugurated in 1890, the Barcelona Stock Exchange in 1915 and in 1930 the Valencia Stock Exchange was created. The hiring system is made in a lively voice, or a system of roll calling. In 1856 the Bank of Spain was born and in 1868, in addition to the Bank of Spain, nine banks or credit companies were listed in it, 17 railway companies and 34 mining and utility companies!

In 1898 there is a great crisis and the trading decline as a result of the loss of CubaPuerto Rico and the Philippines, suffering the prices of stocks a fall of 20%. In 1900, there is a reborn strongly due to the repatriated capitals of Cuba and the Philippines. While in 1900,  61 companies were quoted in the first 20 years the number of companies quoted was multiplied up to 121 with special growth in electrical companies, some bank and industrial companies.

During ,WWI, the Madrid Stock Exchange remains open and the increase in trading and expansion continues. The beginning of the Spanish Civil War obliges to suspend all its activity until March 5, 1940, in which it opens its doors again. It was in December of that same year that the General index of the Madrid Stock Exchange (IGBM) was born. With base 100, it was set to zero every year. Of the 28 companies that formed part of the long index created with base 100 on December 31, 1940, only three survivors remain, excluding the companies integrated or merged in new groups: Banco Espanol de Credito (up to 2014 Banesto), Inmobilaria Metropolitana (real estate, its current name is Metrovacesa) and Telefónica.

In 1989 begins to operate the continuous market for stocks (CATS: Computer assisted trading System). In 1991 the figure of the investor Protector of the Madrid Stock Exchange will be created and the electronic system of fixed income trading will be launched. In 1992 the SCLV is launched, which is a new clearing and compensation service, which initiates the new liquidity system by annotation in account and in 1993 and all fixed income emissions become contracted by an electronic system. In 1995 CATS is replaced by the system of interconnection Spanish Stock Exchange (SIBE). Since January 1, 1999 the stock trading is carried out exclusively in euros and that same year the Latin American securities market was launched in euros under the name of Latibex.

In 2002 the Madrid Stock Exchange will be integrated into the Spanish stock exchanges and markets group. The BME owns 100% of all Spanish stock exchanges, of the private and stock market of fixed income, of the platform of procurement of public debt (SENAF), of the derivative market (MEFF), as well as of the central depositary and the Chamber of Creation and Compensation of Values called Iberclear. On July 14, 2006, BME himself went on the market with a capitalization close to 25 billion euros.


A bit of a trajectory locations for the Bolsa de Madrid.

Between 1831 and 1850 the Bolsa had six different venues. In the Plaza del Ángel, corner with Calle Carretas was for a year. In 1832 it moved very close, to a narrow courtyard of the Philippine Company House on Calle Carretas. In 1841 it passed to the cloister of the Convent of San Martín and in 1846 to the Church of the Convent of the nuns Bernardas  in Calle de  Alcalá, corner with Calle Peligros. In 1847 he moved to the Monastery de Los Basilios, in Calle Desengaño. In 1850 it passed, to the old customs building, in the Plazuela de la Leña. There, during the First republic a new building was built. Meanwhile, the Stock Exchange sessions were held at the theater and circus Paul, in the centric Calle del Barquillo. In July 1878 the construction of the present Palace of the Stock Exchange was approved in the Plaza de la Lealtad. The works began in January 1886; It was inaugurated on May 7, 1893 by the Regent Maria Cristina.

The Madrid tourist office on the Bolsa de Madrid:

Private trade center firm with lots of history on the Stock Exchange or Bolsa de Madrid in Spanish (most above translated from here):

The official Bolsa de Madrid webpage in Spanish:

There you go folks, a dandy worth the detour , great visit indeed something on the off the beaten path trails in my Madrid. Hope you enjoy the Bolsa de Madrid as I; it is a nice place to do something different in Madrid!

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

Tags: , ,
September 1, 2021

Casa de Campo de Madrid!

And as I am with the parks of Madrid, and already told you my other favorites ,and Retiro, why not the biggest in Madrid, Casa de Campo or Country House Park. Located in the district of Moncloa-Aravaca is the largest in Madrid with 1772 hectares or 80K m2 ; it is ,also the biggest in Europe 6,5 times bigger than Hyde Park in London and 2X bigger than Bois de Boulogne in Paris. It is 2,5 x bigger then Phoenix park in Dublin,  and 5x bigger than Central Park in New York. My many souvenirs of living and visiting my beloved Madrid. It is ,also, next to the forest of Pardo where the Zarzuela castle and residence of the king of Spain

All started briefly with King Felipe II who in 1560 thereabouts purchase the land after he decides to put his court in Madrid. Later king Fernando VI the area is declared a royal forest and served as hunting grounds. It is now managed by the city of Madrid and serves well all residents and visitors alike since 1931. I remember going here back in 1971 with my dear late mom Gladys to see the attraction park and it was awesome memories forever. I was able to take in several times with my dear late wife Martine and my boys; indeed, Madrid is more than a visit to me nowdays. Picture below my wife and boy and others are older, just for the memories of always!


There are many wonderful things to do and see here. These are ; a Parque de Atracciones or amusement park , easiest to get there is by metro Batán on line 10,in this park you will enjoy three different areas including Nickelodeon Land, Lanzadera (free fall attraction) Tornado and Abismo that are rollercoasters, and the Walking Dead Experience. You ,also, have a ZOO de Madrid , here you will see incredible animals such as giant panda, monocled cobra, Asian elephant, Siberian tigers and even dolphins. In total, you will see more than 6000 animals of 500 different species. There is the famous (my favorite ride lol) cable car or Téléferico linking you to Paseo del Pintor Rosales. During the trip you will hear an explanation (in Spanish) about the history of Madrid and the monuments you will see during this time. Don’t forget your camera because there will be a lot of chances to take amazing pictures of the city and bridges of Madrid. And of course, you have the Aquarium one of the biggest in Spain. All wonderful spots for the whole family!


There is,also, a youth hostal, exposition park, and the Venta de Batàn (storage for the bullring corridas). There is of course clean air!, soft ground and silence; the perfect combination for jogging and running, and you can choose flat paths or those with different slopes etc. You can ride a bike or rent one for the day in stores located along the Manzanares river. It’s a perfect spot for mountain bikes but there are also areas suitable for regular bikes. There are great areas for picnic under a tree or in one of the tables and benches all around the park. When you need to eat some snacks there is also a cafeteria right in the middle of the park. There ,also, a complex for cultural activities  IFEMA , all along the year with concerts, exhibitions, fairs, sport events all year long. In the park you can find a small lake with many aquatic activities such as Kayaking and boat paddles. During the weekends, many families come to the park for a picnic.

Other things to see here are the primitive palace of the Vargas was property of king Felipe II; you see the gallery of grottos or the Galería de las Grutas  in the gardens or  jardines de El Reservado, next to the palace. These are grottos artificially done from the 16C that were decorated with fountains, sculptures and motifs inspired by nature; from the five trails that was created now only two and part of a third one are open. You see the bridge or  Puente de la Culebra  built in 1782 on orders of king Carlos III by  Francesco Sabatini, the artistic work most representative still there and an example of Italian baroque style work. Sabatini also did four other bridges of which only exist today the Puente de la Agachadiza and Puente del Álamo Negro with its three original blinded eyes and the brick structure covered with cement. The Puente de la Culebra is in an area known as the El Zarzon next to the pathway of Prado Rodajes and the road to Zarzon where there is a small dam with waters of the Meaques creek on the place it is known as the small lake or  “Estanque Chico“, surrounded by thick vegetation. Most of the Casa de Campo is surrounded by a stone wall with 70 cm thick and done with brick and cement and chalk. The upper section is covered with granite stone with some parts rebuilt or reduced; and you can still see the ones given access to the Club de Campo that were the old gates of Aravaca, and Castilla. They had small gates to allow pedestrians to go thru such as the ones of  Agachadiza, Casa Quemada, Los Pinos , and Zarzón, all rebuilt.

madrid-casa-de-campo-to-madrid aug18

Another element were the wrough iron grills that gave access to the creeks to allow water in with a set of three grills and available to open them in case of flooding. You can see these wall grilles in the creeks of  Meaques, Prado del Rey,  Zorra  and two at  Antequina. The railroad bridge or puente del ferrocarril, was built in 1860; all bricks and granite with a half point arch on the road to Robles, and have several fountains such as  the  triangle or Triángulo  by the lake and the Neveros  nearby crossing the square or Glorieta de Patines; and some older such as the Zarzón, from 1898, even if a bit change; see also the fountain or Fuente de Rodajos even older , and the  potager or Huerta de la Partida dating from the 16C to give service to the palace de los Vargas, for which a canal for irrigation was done named the La Partida, coming from the creek of Meaques, as time went on the potager lost its function from the 20C onwards and by 1928  it was done on the land an experimental potager of medicinal plants.

The harbor for the Lago/lake of Casa de Campo where you will find boats and paddle boats etc up to four persons per boat where they can be rented for a period of times usually 45 minutes but check for the latest on site. It is located at Paseo del Embarcadero, 8 , check the latest for hours due to the pandemic but normally are Mondays to Sundays from 8h30 to sunset , prices are according to the day Mondays to Fridays 6€ and Saturdays and Sundays 8€ again check for latest on site ticket counter or call ahead . The best locations to reach the Casa de Campo are by the metro station Lago, you have the lake, pools and tennis courts, the expo center, and expo fair. Near the metro station Casa de Campo you have the Zoo and Aquarium, and near the station Batàn you have the amusement park.

You can walk or bike to reach the Casa de Campo by eleven entrances such as  Río or  Rey and Moreras , Batán,  Venta,  Dante, Grande and Ángel; also,  Aravaca, Somosaguas, Rodajos ,and Zarzón , and by here entrance to another half dozen small pedestrian gates .  You can do this by bus on lines 25, 31, 33, 36, 39, 55 y 65 on the south ,and 41 and 75 on east;  and 160 and 161 by the north. By metro you can do so on line 5  Casa de Campo, and line 10  Lago, Batán , and Casa de Campo. By auto is only allowed by the Avenida de Portugal, to reach the parkings located next to the amusement park, Zoo, and cable car terminus, lake area and some sports installations; these access are open from 06h to 00H30 or 01h0 at the end of the food kiosks time or the activities at the amusement park.


The city of Madrid on Casa de Campo (as usual rather long links sorry):

The city of Madrid tourist office on Casa de Campo district

The city of Madrid tourist office on Casa de Campo lake

There you go folks, another dandy spot in my dear Madrid. Hope you enjoy the ride and history, and see the beauty found in the Casa de Campo. It is a sublime place, love by all who comes here. You will love it too I am sure!

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

Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: