Posts tagged ‘Madrid’

June 13, 2021

Some news from Spain CV

And back to Spain everything under the sun, and things are getting hotter. All is out and most booked in most places already, the hunger to travel is big in the 2nd most visited country in the world (UN-WTO). I am waiting for the stadium Bernabeu to back to my Madrid so will hold on past August for this. In the meantime, here are the latest some news from Spain already in its 105 edition. Thanks for reading me since Nov 2010!!! aprreciated.

Something enormously historical is happening… The National Heritage releases the codices of the Cantigas de Alfonso X. The manuscripts of the wise king kept in El Escorial, the only ones so far inaccessible to the public and researchers, will be available online before the end of July 2021. The two codices of the Cantigas de Santa María ,a collection of more than 400 songs in Galician produced by King Alfonso X the Wise in the 13C  inaccessible until now. The Codex Rico and the Codex of the Musicians have slept a secular dream, kept in the Royal Library of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Webpage:

This in Càceres I had mentioned before, this is an update. It was not enough for it to be a UNESCO World Heritage City or to have one of the best preserved medieval historic centers in Europe, full of palaces, large houses, churches and crenellated towers. Cáceres never tires of hoarding claims. The last (but not the only one) is the new building with a garden at the Helga de Alvear Museum of Contemporary Art. This space is added to the existing one known as Casa Grande, on Calle Pizarro. A total of 8,000 m2 where the most complete private collection of contemporary art in Europe is exhibited, belonging to the gallery owner Helga de Alvear (Germany, 1936). Of all the corners of the palace open to the public, the Sala de Armas ( Weapons room on the first floor) with grotesques decorating its walls and a spectacular polychrome alfarje (carved wooden ceiling), both from the 16C, attracts attention. While on the upper floor there is one of the palace’s greatest treasures: a selection of 9,000 documents and codices from the Foundation’s Historical Archive, with jewels such as the account book of Queen Isabel la Católica written by her waiter, Sancho de Paredes Golfín.  From the Palacio de los Golfines you have to head to the Torre de los Sande (15C), which rises with power although it is topped-like so many others in the city, by order of the Catholic Monarchs. In the Plaza de San Mateo, occupying one of the corners of the Palace of the Saavedra. webpage:

The esplanade in front of which the reception opens gives a glimpse, a little further away, of the magnificent façade of the monastery of Santa María de la Vid. It was in 1140 when Sancho Ansúrez and Domingo Gómez de Campdespina, two noble students at the then recently inaugurated Sorbonne University in Paris, returned to their Castilian fiefdoms to found the first two premonstratensian monasteries on the Peninsula: Santa María de Retuerta. (today Abadía Retuerta winery, with its luxurious Le Domaine hotel, in the Ribera del Duero) and Santa María del Monte Sacro, moved two decades later to the other bank of the Duero with the name of the Vid. In 1516, Abbot Íñigo López de Mendoza ordered the erection of a new cloister and a church under the current Renaissance moldings that welcomed other Baroque reforms undertaken during the 18C. The only bestiary in Castilian that exists in the world, written in 1570, is preserved here. Anecdotes and stories are not lacking in the monument, so many as to justify the transformation of the old monastic inn into a modern hotel opened in 2020, in full pandemic convulsion. The first floor is dedicated to the bedrooms. The stairs, or the elevator, are left to contemplate, on the right, the library and the private area of the monks of the order of San Agustín, who since 1856 have inhabited the monument after the ineffable confiscation of Mendizábal (state vs church). To the left are the rooms, whose windows overlook the cloister. Monasterio de la Vid, Calle del Camino Real, 3. La Vid (Burgos) webpage :

Las Chorreras del Cabriel  , wonderful memories as we stayed nearby couple of summers, this is near Las Majadas (see posts). They are waterfalls, and pools of crystalline water, declared a Reserve of the Biosphere of Valle del Cabriel. This incredible natural setting is similar to what we can find on paradisiacal islands, so it is well worth a visit in summer. Of course, it must be borne in mind that it is only allowed to bathe in the pools and it is totally forbidden to step on the tuff formations and slide down the stromatolite ramps since they are very valuable as they are considered one of the best representations of these geomorphological elements of  the Iberian Peninsula. Webpage:

Hondarribia, a day in the territory of the Vikings (as the locals are call). The medieval and marine town dazzles with its traditional architecture, the views of the bay of Txingudi. The best way to enter Hondarribia is by descending Mount Jaizkibel. The sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadalupe refers us to the traditional Alarde (civic-religious parade to fulfill the vow made by the people to the Virgin during the siege of 1638), which is celebrated every September 8. From here, the Bidasoa river is a water scar that separates it from Irun and Hendaye, a neighbor with a truly irresistible beach. In view are part of the medieval wall that borders the old city.  Before crossing the Santa María gate and entering the walls, the sculpture of the Hatxero (sapper), symbol of the city, welcomes you.

It is impossible not to recall the slow steps of Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen, convicted prisoners in Papillon, shot here in 1973. The City/Town Hall and the Zuloaga palace both from the 18C or the Church of Nuestra Señora del Manzano , where on June 3, 1660, Maria Teresa of Austria and Luis XIV, the Sun King, were married by proxy, before staging the formal wedding six days later and at full speed in Saint Jean de Luz France.  The Plaza de Armas , the usual meeting point, is dominated by the parador Carlos V, from the 10C. Half castle, half palace, its monumentality controls, from the top of the promontory, the bay of Txingudi and explains its old function of fortress and watchtower. Continuing along San Nikolas, you reach the Plaza de Gipuzkoa where the brick creaks with the traditional architecture in wood and stone. There is a monument of a bear and a strawberry tree in Plaza Javier Ugarte as a courtesy to the many visitors from Madrid. It is essential to know the essence of the chacolí, cultural heritage of the Basque Country. Nothing like a visit to the Txakolineria Hiruzta, on the outskirts, which thanks to the oenologist Ana Martín has recovered the centuries-old tradition of production and elaboration of versatile, gastronomic and first-rate chacolís. Webpage:

There are two nearby excursions from Hondarribia. You can go to Saint Jean de Luz and see what remains of the original La Pérgola casino , or visit the fishing villages of Pasaia, crossing by boat from Pasai Donibane to Pasai San Pedro and remember Orson Welles reading only in the historic Casa Cámara restaurant and visit the house where Victor Hugo lived during his stay in 1843. To see what inspired him this place just have to open his book Journey to the Pyrenees and the Alps. More on the house of Victor Hugo here:

The Casa Camara resto of the readings of Orson Welles:

And the Spring 2021 has arrived with all kinds of gifts at the store that forever changed the wine trade in Spain, Lavinia. Thierry Servant, a French businessman living in Spain, founded Lavinia in Madrid 22 years ago, before those of Paris and Geneva. Following Servant’s death in an unfortunate accident, he was succeeded by his daughter Charlotte. And, in Spain, its director has been Juan Manuel Bellver, a journalist with deep knowledge of wine who has become one of the first merchants in Spain.  The good news is that there is a new  opening of the new Paris headquarters on Avenue Victor Hugo (after closing Madeleine as too big too expensive), better equipped for tasting its thousand most special references, while another 5,000 are sold online. The timing could not be better if it were intentional: The Wine Spectator, the world’s leading wine magazine, has just informed Lavinia Madrid, in this case as a restaurant, that it has been awarded the Best of Award of Excellence, an award for the extraordinary quality of the wine list and the cellar.  The French webpage already has the new addresses:

And to finish with something off the beaten path but worth the detour. The story of Juan de Goyeneche and José de Churriguera who created the town of Nuevo Baztán from scratch, a town that served to house the workers of the luxury factories that settled there.  Its streets have been filled every weekend with curious eyes that came and went from the palace to the church, and from there to the nearby houses. A place created from scratch. The history of an era. Nuevo Baztán is between 40 and 50 km from Madrid, depending on the starting point. And there, in effect, an industrial complex with factories was built at the beginning of the 18C where luxury objects were made for the European market. An innovative development not far from Alcalá de Henares. Webpage on how to reach Nuevo Baztàn:

There you go folks, another episode of my long running series Some news from Spain. Hope you enjoy it and give you some ideas to better spend your time in my beloved Spain.

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

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June 13, 2021

Calle de la Princesa of Madrid!

I have done several posts on streets, squares, etc in my blog on several cities and especially my beloved Madrid. Streets of always with memories walking them and enjoying their surroundings. Each time there brings about family memories of old and always. One very important street as it passes by several monuments is the Calle de la Princesa or Princess street in Madrid. Let me tell you a bit more on it ok.

The Calle de la Princesa or Calle Princesa begins in the Plaza de España and ends in the Plaza de la Moncloa (see posts). It is the dividing line between the Centro and Moncloa-Aravaca districts (up to the intersection with Alberto Aguilera and Marqués de Urquijo streets) and Chamberí and Moncloa-Aravaca (between Alberto Aguilera and Melendez Valdés streets).


The Calle de la Princesa receives its name dating from 1865 from the Infanta Isabel de Borbón y Borbón, known as “La Chata”, (hollow nose) so beloved by the people, and an object of ridicule among the intelligentsia. She was twice Princess of Asturias and died in exile in Paris.

When the left Second Republic was proclaimed in Spain. Doña Isabel decided to accompany her relatives and left for France. Five days after she left Spain, she died of natural causes in a convent in Auteuil, Paris. She was buried in Paris. On May 23, 1991, by order of King Juan Carlos I, her remains were transferred to Spain and deposited in the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity of the Royal Palace of La Granja in near Segovia together with those of King Felipe V and his wife Isabel de Farnese. Next to the Parque del Oeste stands a sculptural group in memory of her, in the Calle del Pintor Rosales (painter Eduardo Rosales) at No 30.

The street Calle de la Princesa, before taking the name that it conserves at the beginning of the 21C, it was called Calle del Duque de Liria, because it was located around the palace of Liria, (see post) in the old stately estate of Moncloa (Real Sitio de la Moncloa and before Real Sitio de la Florida).


The Calle de la  Princesa is one of the busiest shopping streets in Madrid. You will find the most trendy brands there, aimed at a young clientele: Zara, Mango, Benetton, Tintoretto and Massimo Dutti. It is a residential and commercial area that has a few important buildings, in particular the Palacio de Liria, an excellent example of the typical 18C neoclassicism, the residence of the Casa de Alba.(see post)

The Madrid tourist office on shopping by Calle de la Princesa

The Madrid tourist office on Calle Princesa

There you go folks another dandy walk in glorious Madrid. The calle de la Princesa we walked and walked , saw the sights and shop and ate see the above sights in other posts in my blog. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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June 13, 2021

The Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo!!!

Ok so this is new but it has briefs notes in my other posts on Madrid. I just took the text out and creating a single post on it here. This is the spot of the other team of Madrid so enough said. However, the square is very nice and in the middle sits the Fuente de Neptuno fountain. Let me tell you a bit more about the Plaza de Cànovas del Castillo ok.

The Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo is a large, almost circular roundabout located on the border of the Cortes district and the Retiro district, occupying the heart of the old Prado Hall and centered on the Neptune Fountain since 1898. The Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums, the headquarters of the Cortes (Spanish parliament) and the monumental buildings of the Westin Palace Hotel and the Ritz Hotel are very close. Since 1895, a municipal agreement baptized it with the name of the 19C politician Antonio Cánovas del Castillo.

The square is framed by the Paseo del Prado, with the Palacio de Villahermosa, and the landscaped space of the Plaza de la Lealtad and the Ritz hotel, which facing diagonally has the Westin Palace hotel (stayed here!) occupying the plaza to Poniente in the confluence of the Carrera de San Jerónimo with the Plazuela de las Cortes streets. You have the Calle de Felipe IV, with the entrance of Murillo to the Prado National Art Gallery, the continuation of the walk to the neighboring Glorieta de Atocha, and the entrance of the Calle de Cervantes.


The whole of the Westin Palace Hotel and its services were seized, looted and mistreated by the French occupation army in the course of the Spanish War of Independence (May 1808). Half a century later, in 1857 part of the land was urbanized to extend Calle Lope de Vega to Paseo del Prado; A similar process was carried out at the beginning of the 20C so that Calle de Cervantes reached the Prado and Calle Jesús reached the Cortes (parliament). After the death of the fiftieth Duke of Medinaceli in 1873, his widow moved to the new ducal palace on the Paseo de Recoletos corner of the Plaza de Colón. The old palace was demolished in 1910 to build part of the estate of the Westin Palace Hotel you see today.


The Neptune fountain in the middle (see post) was designed in 1777 and built between 1782 and 1786. Although originally it was located at the descent of the Carrera de San Jerónimo, later, in 1898 it was moved to the place it occupies today.

mad fuente de neptuno side may16

The Madrid tourist office on the Neptune fountain in English:

There you go folks another dandy combination in my beloved Madrid; never ceased to amazed me on its architecture and historical beauty. Hope you enjoy the Plaza Cànovas del Castillo and the Fuente de Neptuno.

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

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June 12, 2021

Plaza de las Cortes of Madrid!!

Ah and I left this one out, with just bits and pieces of its most famous buildings but really, me think, merits a post of its own in my beloved Madrid. An area, I have walked and stayed over the years alone and with the family. Let me tell you a bit more on the Plaza de las Cortes of Madrid!

The Plaza de las Cortes makes the junction between Sol and the Prado, along the Carrera de San Jerómino. The most notable building is the Congreso de los Diputados. On the main facade of the Congreso de los Diputados, a staircase leads up to the neoclassical portico, with six imposing striated columns, of Corinthian order, on which rises the triangular pediment decorated with reliefs. The iconic lions flanking the entrance were cast with iron from cannons captured during the Moroccan War.

Here you see the imposing Palacio de las Cortes, the name of the building that houses the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados, that was built between the years 1843 and 1850. This is one of the two chambers of the Cortes Generales, the Spanish parliament. It is very close to Paseo del Prado, and is one of the emblematic buildings of the 19C, in neoclassical style.

More on Madrid tourist office on the Congreso de los Diputados


In this spot was before the Convent of the Holy Spirit, inside which, curiously, some sessions of the Cortes were held. The favorite of the Plaza de las Cortes, the great Miguel de Cervantes. This sculpture, from the year 1834, keeps a curious fact and that is that it was the first public tribute that a person who did not belong to the field of politics or royalty or religion received in Spain!


Also, down the street you will see the white facade of the Groupama building carillon (see post) that, thanks to its mechanism and automatons, piles up a huge handful of tourists every few hours. The figures were made by the draftsman and writer Antonio Mingote. These represent king Carlos III, the Duchess of Alba together with her poodle, Goya, the bullfighter Pedro Romero and a ‘manola’, the typical Madrid castiza native woman. The five, dressed according to Goya’s paintings, have been greeting, at least twice a day, anyone who stands at the foot of the balcony since 1993.

You can see ,and I was lucky to stayed there once, the most illustrious Westin Palace Hotel. This is one of the most famous and reputable hotels in Madrid. It was built in record time, between 1911 and 1912, taking advantage of the noble plot that previously inhabited the Palace of the Dukes of Medinaceli. World-class figures such as Picasso, Pavarotti, Orson Welles and Einstein have passed through its 400 rooms. Even a spy like Mata Hari. I encourage you to come in one day and admire its magnificent dome.

Advancing along it, looking at the Neptune Fountain (see post) and the Jerónimos Towers on the horizon invites all to continue walking through this city. Showing emphasis and willingness to continue reeling off the benefits of Madrid! The best way to get here if far is on Metro line 2 Banco de España, and bus lines 14 and 27 as the closest. You ; also, can easily drive here as I have and use the wonderful Parking Las Cortes. Webpage:


There you go folks another dandy spot in my beloved Madrid. Wonderful area in the Barrio de las Letras (see post) and close to wonderful monuments many told in my blog already such as the Prado museum, the Puerta del Sol, and Neptuno fountain. Hope you enjoy the Plaza de las Cortes of Madrid!

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

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June 12, 2021

Torre España!

This one has written briefly in my blog but feels deserve a post of its own. Many memories coming around here visiting my Madrid with family and walking on parque Roma. Here you have a great view of the Torre España and I like to tell you a bit more on it. Hope you enjoy it as I.

As said coming along parque de Roma, you see the Torre España or Spain tower of television and radio, a sight indeed. The parque de Roma is a large park located on the edge of Calle 30 (ring road/beltway M30). It id ideal for strolling along its promenades delimited by large trees. It has 4 playgrounds for children, a circuit for the elderly, a lake, sports facilities and a climbing wall. In it there is a garden for the blind and a large Madrid coat of arms. A nice park for a relaxing afternoon.

madrid parque Roma jul15

Torrespaña, popularly known as “El Pirulí”,(lollipop) is a telecommunications tower in Madrid. It is located at the confluence of Calle de O’Donnell with Calle del Alcalde Sainz de Baranda (near my latest hotel there) ,and close to the M-30 ring road. It is the third tallest telecommunications tower in Spain! The closest metro station is Saínz de Baranda on lines 6 and 9.


Torrespaña has a height of 220 meters (232 meters with the communications antenna). It began to rise on February 17, 1981, ending on June 7, 1982, just about to use the tower during the 1982 Soccer World Cup.

Madrid Torre España closeup sep12

On the shaft of 120 meters appears the control center that is made up of four floors, closed with steel panels. Four more antenna platforms rise above it, and finally a 45-meter antenna. Access to the upper areas of the tower, only allowed to the personnel who work in them, is carried out by means of an elevator installed inside the shaft. The ladder has 1208 steps. Twenty digital terrestrial television channels, fourteen FM analog radio channels and eighteen digital radio channels (DAB) broadcast from Torrespaña.

The Madrid tourist office on Torre España

There you go folks an off the beaten path of my beloved Spain but worth the detour me think . The torre España, and the parque Roma is a nice combination.

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

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June 10, 2021

Heroes of May 2nd 1808!

Once in a while I dealt directly with heroes; as more often post on general historical events while traveling my road warrior ways. This time I take you to my beloved Spain in something that has strong connection to my dear France. Times have change, but nevertheless history must be obeserved and respected and of course the heroes recognised. So therefore , I took a picture in Segovia that made me write this post: hope you enjoy it as I.

If you have read my blog, you know blood runs thru my veins (Tenerife) of this wonderful kingdom of Spain. And you should know I used to lived in my beloved Madrid. If there are many wonderful cities in my dear Spain, one of the closest to my heart would be Segovia. I like to give you a historical story from right here in my dear Segovia! I have come here many many years before , in fact came with my girlfriend  over 30 years ago , later my dear late wife Martine . So , very emotional memories coming back to write on Segovia. Even if always stop in Madrid, Segovia is special for this and the magnificent stable of monuments of wonderful beauty and architecture.

The Monument to Daoiz and Velarde is an instance of public art in Segovia, it is a memorial to Luis Daoiz y Torres and Pedro Velarde y Santillán, two Spanish artillery officers who fell fighting against the French army at the 1808 Dos de Mayo uprising (May 2), in the context of the War of Independence of Spain from Napoleonic France there known as the Peninsular War. The laying of the foundation stone was held on 6 May 1908 on the occasion of the festivities taking place in early May for the 100th anniversary of the Dos de Mayo uprising.


The monument can be described as follows: it occupies an area of 242 square metres in the Plaza de la Reina Victoria, in front of the Alcázar of Segovia, and it is enclosed by a fence. The sides of the pedestal are ornamented by two large reliefs and by two plaques displaying the coats of arms of Sevilla (Daoíz’s homeland), and Santander (Velarde’s homeland) and the respective commemorative inscriptions.  An allegory of History lies on the steps of the pedestal. it is sculpted on white marble, contrasting with a bronze relief depicting the last stand at the Monteleón artillery barracks. The other relief shows Daoiz rallying the people of Madrid, engaged in a desperate struggle against the French troops. The allegorical figure of Spain tops off the monument, holding the dying bodies of the two artillerymen in her arms, wrapped in the national flag. In the lower part there is an eagle, clutching the rock with one of its claws, fighting to pull out the flag with the other claw. The monument was unveiled on 15 July 1910 by king Alfonso XIII.

The Segovia tourist office on the Alcazar as the monument has no specific webpage but it is just in front.

A bit of history on the two heroes. The Sevillian Luis Daoíz y Torres, had joined the army at 15 years of age and managed to reap a successful military career. An outstanding fencer and student, he trained as a gunner in the Royal Artillery Regiment in Puerto de Santa María. He participated in the defense of Ceuta against Morocco, in the Roussillon War against the French, fought against the English troops in Cádiz and defended the Spanish colonies in America. Upon his return to Spain, at the age of 41, he was transferred to Madrid in command of the Monteleón Artillery Park. The Cantabrian Pedro Velarde y Santillán had entered the Royal College of Artillery of Segovia (see post Alcazar) when he was 14 years old. After serving in Portugal he had become a teacher and an expert in cannons, but had to move to Madrid when he was appointed Secretary of the Superior Economic Board of the Artillery Corps. He was 29 years old and, through effort, he had made a niche for himself in the upper echelons of the General Staff.

The heroic captains had defended the barracks until their last breath, but all their courage had failed to stop the French. Daoíz was hit in the back with a bayonet and later riddled with stabs. Velarde died as a result of a point-blank shot to the heart. The body of Luis Daoíz, still dressed in the uniform in which he had died, was smuggled inside a box to the disappeared Church of San Martín, in the Plaza de las Descalzas. The corpse of Pedro Velarde, after being stripped and outraged by the French in the streets of Madrid, was recovered by his companions, who wrapped him with a piece of a tent from the Monteleón Park itself and took him to the same church of his partner. In 1814, once the War of Independence ended, both bodies were exhumed with all honors in front of a crowd of people who gathered to acclaim the heroes, whose remains traveled throughout Spain until they were deposited in the monument to the Heroes del Dos de Mayo in Madrid’s Plaza de la Lealtad, where they rest today.

“That unfortunate Spanish war was a real tragedy. The origin of all the misfortunes of France ” by dictator Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Memory of Madrid from the city of Madrid on the old Monteleon palace where the park was (in Spanish):

Today in Madrid there is an Arch at the entrance to the Artillery park of Monteleón integrated to the monument of Daoiz and Velarde in the Plaza del 2 de Mayo. More from the Madrid tourist office

Hope you enjoy the historical story and by this get to know my beloved Spain a bit more. A bit more than just traveling but visiting Madrid and Segovia. Of course, part of my history. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 3, 2021

Royal Coliseum of San Lorenzo de El Escorial!

And here is a dandy most often overlook in a very popular spot in my beloved Spain. You can say this is an off the beaten path in San Lorenzo de El Escorial; see the Real Coliseo or Royal Coliseum. I will update this post on text and links for you and me; hope you enjoy it as I do.

So taking you to the wonderful worldly San Lorenzo de El Escorial. It always amazes me of posts I make and concentrate on one major monument in the city or two leaving behind some wonderful architecturally and historically stunning buildings. This is the case of the Real Coliseo Carlos III.  The Teatro Real Coliseo de Carlos III is located in San Lorenzo de El Escorial; Comunidad de Madrid ,and it was built in the 18C. It is the only one that keeps the theater typology of that century intact, hence it is one of the oldest covered theaters preserved in Spain.


The Spanish Bourbon court, very fond of this entertainment (learned in France), set out to provide the Royal Sites with places destined for permanent theaters suitable for receiving Italian and French performance companies. Reigning king Carlos III, between 1770 and 1778, hired the French architect Jaime Marquet to performs three of the theaters of the Court, those of the Royal Sites of Aranjuez, El Pardo and San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Construction begins in 1771 and the following year was already finished.

The historic building has a rectangular plan with an axial axis, the room acting as a structuring element of the theatrical ensemble. This has a “U” shape and it opens the wide body of the stage, rectangular, where the original combs of the 18C are preserved. It has two levels of boxes on the existing ones on the ground floor and between the latter and the floor platform, there is also an intermediate level of running seats. The room is accessed from a hall that occupies the entire front of the main facade, with two stairs to the upper bodies. 

Externally, the building has a compact appearance, with three-sided roofs, the body intended to house the armor of the stage comb rising above the set. The main façade, with a very simple layout, has two heights on the ground floor and is framed by chained pilasters. On the ground floor, the four interior access openings are located, corresponding to these holes those of upper floors, consisting of balconies on the noble floor and windows on the upper floor, with the upper openings being close together. On the main façade the central gaps on the ground floor are covered with a classic porticoes atrium supported by three pairs of columns on plinths, which is topped with a metal balustrade.

The San Lorenzo de El Escorial tourist office on the Real Coliseo:

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office on the Real Coliseo:

The official Museum Real Coliseo:

There you go folks, another dandy especially for a performing visit at night in lovely quant San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a lot more than a monastery. There is a museum link to this theater Real Colegio Carlos III and appropiately call the Museo del Coliseo

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

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June 3, 2021

Real Monasterio de la Encarnacion of Madrid!!!

Oh love to review this one again, and updated. One of the nice monuments of my beloved Madrid and been there since childhood and then more. It has a long history in Madrid and I just will condense as much as possible on the Real Monasterio de la Encarnacion or the Royal Monastery of the Incarnation!

Well with so much to see and little time, I wanted to show my young men sons the heritage of my youth and later many years of visiting my beloved Madrid. There is so much to see , even me did not realise it before… This is a wonderful spot that on previous visits did not have the will to take many pictures even if inside is prohibited; nevertheless it is worth visiting as one of the jewels of architecture and history of my Madrid! It’s time to tell you about the Real Monasterio de la Encarnacion or Royal Monastery of the Incarnation. It is located at the plaza de la Encarnacion, 1 less than a km from Puerta del Sol easy walk or metro line 2 to Opera.

The Royal Monastery of the Incarnation is a convent of Augustinian nuns gathered in Madrid . The institution, to which ladies of the high nobility belonged, was founded by Queen Margaret of Austria, wife of King Felipe III, in the early 17C. Due to the artistic collections it houses, it is, together with the Descalzas Reales (see post), one of the city’s most prominent temples. It was built between 1611 and 1616, although reformed several times later.


A bit of history I like, and condensing text..

The great promoter of the creation of the monastery was Queen Margarita, which is why the monastery was known among the people of the city as the Margaritas. It is said to be done to perpetuate the memory of a historical event such as the ordinance made by King Felipe III, her husband, of the expulsion of the Moors that were still in Madrid. The monastery was built in the place occupied by the houses of the Marquises of Pozas, from whom the king bought them, due to its proximity to the Royal Alcazar ( Palacio Real) , since thus the kings could enter the church directly through an existing passage. This passage was built at the desire of the queen so as not to cause discomfort, since she frequently visited the monastery. The king himself laid the first stone of the monastery, an act that was done with great solemnity and under the blessing of the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas. Months later, on October 3, 1611, the queen died without having seen this work completed in which she worked so hard. On July 2, 1616, day of the Visitation, the monastery and its church were inaugurated.

During the 18C and 19C the history of the monastery continues, full of anecdotes. Thus, for example, it is known that Manuel Godoy, minister of king Carlos IV, went every day to the Mass of the church of the monastery taking a walk from his residence, the Palace of the Marquis de Grimaldi (former Ministry of the Navy). In the 19C the religious and composer of Madrid Lorenzo Román Nielfa was a music teacher at the convent, leaving his musical library as a legacy for the Incarnation monastery, which contains works by masters of the 16C and 17C. The monastery was opened to the public in 1965 after a papal dispensation was obtained, to be able to open it for a few hours, and to publicize the artistic works it contains.

A bit on the architecture I like, again condense.

The highlights the main facade, of severe Herrerian lines. The cover is one of the works that has most influenced Spanish architecture, preceded by the compass, or exterior patio, shows the shields of Queen Margarita and a relief of the Annunciation in marble. The Church has a Latin cross plan. The architectural building is carved in jasper, marble and golden bronze. Throughout the entire nave, a series of canvases with the theme of the life of Saint Augustine can be seen, which are complemented by the frescoes in the vault of the main chapel. In the center of the main altarpiece, the painting of the Annunciation can be seen , framed by two pairs of Corinthian columns, and on both sides the images of Saint Augustine and his mother Santa Monica. The tabernacle has small statues of the Holy Doctors that adorn it, as does the relief of the Savior that the little door has.


The next room is the painting room, chaired by portraits of the founding monarchs, Felipe II and Margarita of Austria Styria, and among them, the Virgin of Milk, all of them original.  The monastery has an important collection of painting and sculpture highlighting the works of Lucas Jordán, Juan van der Hamen, Pedro de Mena, José de Mora (Dolorosa), and Gregorio Fernández (Cristo Yacente and Cristo tied to the column). In another room, contains a selection of sculpture and Spanish imagination, a phenomenon focused on the 17C, with works related to the passion of Christ. In the Hall of Kings, there are portraits of characters linked to the foundation of the convent Presided by the founding kings, Felipe III and Margarita of Austria Styria , next, his son, who was later King Felipe IV, and his wife Isabel de Bourbon. After Maria Teresa of Austria, daughter of Felipe IV, who was queen of France by marriage to Louis XIV, and is responsible for the advent of the House of Bourbon to the country, because her grandson, Felipe de Anjou, will be the first King Bourbon from Spain, like Felipe V (current today is Felipe VI) .  There is a portrait of Isabel Clara Eugenia, daughter of Felipe II and his third wife, Isabel de Valois, so she was the founder’s sister, but only as a father, since Felipe III was the son of Anne of Austria, his fourth wife. Isabel Clara Eugenia is dressed as a nun, but never became one. The reason for being dressed like this is that she was widowed, and since then she didn’t take off her habit. The two paintings in the back of the room are of Felipe II and Anne of Austria.

In the Gallery of the Cloister , this is a space belonging to the Clausura, where the nuns walk, but for a few hours they give it up opening it so that it can be known in the outside world. It is all surrounded by paintings by Italian Mannerist painters on the Life of the Virgin and the Passion of Christ, paintings belonging to a complete series, donated to the monastery by Cardinal Antonio Zapata in 1616, on the occasion of the habit by his niece María del Nacimiento, daughter of the Counts of Barajas.  The first chapel is dedicated to the Mystic Lamb, and all the ornaments like candlesticks, the cross, the pavement .etc are from the 17C, and where the in house nuns pray.

The next Chapel is founded by the Countess of Miranda, and is dedicated to the Virgin of Loreto, with a 17C canvas depicting the Virgin of the Annunciation. There is a fresco painting, and images of saints, and a sculpture of Saint John of God, on the altar. The Chorus is the place where the nuns do the Divine Office, the Liturgy of the Hours, and where they make their prayers in common. From here, they listen to mass, behind the lattice that separates them from the church. The Reliquary  is perhaps the most enigmatic room and it could be said that it is sinister, since here more than a thousand relics of saints are contained in 700 teak, which are the containers, which we commonly call reliquaries.

The most important teak is the one that contains the blood of San Pantaleón, a martyr of the 3C, who is coagulated, in a solid state, and of a dark color, but every year, on July 27, it liquafies, and acquires a reddish color , without scientific explanation. This teak is taken to the church, so that people venerate it, although before taking it out, the mystery is notarized. The mother blister of this blood, is venerated in Italy, in Ravello, where a viceroy of Naples in the time of king Felipe III, sent a part to Spain. In fact, in the Italian city, the same happens with blood, which is liquefied on July 27!   The Sacristy communicates through a lathe, with the sacristy of the nuns. There is a nun who has the position of sacristana, and she is the one in charge of having prepared all the liturgical ornaments that she brings to the priest by this lathe.

A wonderful monument that needs more time and pictures indeed. And there you go folks another huge monument to be visited is a must at least once in your lifetime. Wonderful architecture details and full of history of Spain and even Europe. An odds there is a statue (1902) of Lope de Vega in front, the great Spanish writer!


The Madrid tourist office on the monastery

The National Heritage of Spain on the monastery

Hope you have enjoy my brief tour of the Monasterio de la Encarnacion in Madrid! We love it!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 2, 2021

Museo de San Isidro of Madrid!

And bringing you back to my beloved Madrid, Spain. This is always full of many memories and great times with me, my parents, the wife, the boys all together it has been a fairy tail ,and we love it. One older post I like to refresh and update links is part of the tradition and history of Madrid. Let me tell you a bit more if condense text as much as possible as can be long; the Museo de San Isidro or the Saint Isidore museum of Madrid!


In continuing my “education” with my 3 young men sons I passed them by many places even myself have not been to lately ,for  several years. One of them was the super historical Museo de San Isidro or St Isidore’s museum!  The San Isidro Museum, or of the Origins of Madrid, (Museo de San Isidro o Origenes de Madrid)  is a cultural institution of the Madrid City Council, located in the Plaza de San Andrés, 2. It was inaugurated on May 15, 2000. The permanent collection comes mostly from the disappeared Archaeological Institute and the Municipal Museum of Madrid. It shows the history of the city from prehistory to the establishment of the Court through archaeological pieces, models and engravings.


The building, the so-called Casa de San Isidro, was a 16C palace, owned by the Lujanes family, built on the Vargas palace, masters of San Isidro Labrador (Patron Saint of Madrid) ,and Santa María de la Cabeza (his wife). Subsequently, the palace was occupied by the Apostolic Nuncio after the transfer of the Court to Madrid. Later, and until the 19C, the palace belonged to the counts of Paredes de Nava and, later, to the marquis of Peñafuente. In 1986 it was acquired by the Madrid City Council.


It has integrated original elements, such as the Chapel of San Isidro (built in the 16C in one of the places where tradition says that the saint lived and died), the well where the son of San Isidro felled , which was saved by the saint’s prayer, or the courtyard, with the shields of the Lujanes family.  The chapel was built in 1608, it was renovated in 1663 and then again between 1783 and 1789, when the current decoration dates back. The central oval represents the apotheosis of San Isidro, and in the vault of the nave two angels appear who hold a laurel wreath while two others present a band with the inscription: “I did dormivit in domino” (“Here he slept in the Lord” ), referring to the tradition according to which the saint died in this place. The altarpiece is from the 18C, painted wood imitating marble. A knitted arch houses a polychrome wooden sculpture that has been in the chapel since 1663. In addition to the well and the chapel, it is worth noting the reconstruction of the 16C Renaissance courtyard, which was dismantled by the ruin of the building, and that It has been rebuilt in part, being a unique piece next to the courtyard of the Imperial College on Calle de Toledo , with a very interesting perspective from its galleries, and a beautiful garden in the center.


In walking and seeing the museum you go thru several sections. The first section you can see which animals lived around the Manzanares and Jarama rivers before the arrival of man. Elephants, mammoths, rhinos and other extinct or missing species inhabited this area. The remains of the first settlers, ancestors of our species, are shown. They were hunters and gatherers as evidenced by some of the tools found in Madrid’s archaeological sites.  The second section of the San Isidro Museum is dedicated to the foundation of the city and its evolution until in the 16C when king  Felipe II moved his court to Madrid. The foundation of Madrid by the Muslims had a military character. A watchtower and a wall were the starting point of what is now the capital of Spain. Some of the pieces on display are from that era, such as jugs and other everyday objects. You can also see what a house was like inside then.  The third section of the Museum is dedicated to San Isidro itself. Here is the 17C Chapel, with an anonymous carving of the saint and the frescoes of Zacarías González Velázquez. In the sacristy you can know something about the life and miracles of San Isidro, which were many. In this part there is also the Well of the Miracle, star piece of the Museum. According to tradition, San Isidro saved his son from drowning , who had fallen into the well by accident. With his prayer he raised the water level to the brook to recover it.


The Renaissance Courtyard of the House of the Counts of Paredes is preserved in very good condition Inside pieces of Madrid monuments are stored, such as the bear and the dragon that served as pipes in the Cibeles Fountain.  The Archaeobotanical Garden shows an exhibition of documented plants in medieval Madrid. One of the sides is formed by the gothic apse of the Bishop’s Chapel.  The Visitable Warehouse, in the basement, is an outstanding curiosity of the Museum. Save a large number of archaeological pieces that do not fit in the main exhibition, but organized so that they can be visited. They are more than a thousand pieces organized by cultural periods and exhibited in showcases.  In total 700 pieces are shown on the upper floors of the Museum and another 1,000 more in the basement’s visitable warehouse, of the total of more than 300,000 pieces of the museum funds!

The city of Madrid on its heritage/Monuments on the San Isidro museum

The Madrid tourist office on the San Isidro Museum

There you go folks, another dandy you should not missed while in Madrid to soak in the history of the city of my best souvenirs, enjoy the Museo de Sain Isidro as we did. This is Madrid !

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

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June 2, 2021

Fuente de Apolo de Madrid !

Now this is a fountain statue as you will that often is overlook by visitors to my beloved Madrid. I did a brief post on it and I like to update the text on the Apolo fountain or Fuente de Apolo de Madrid! Hope you enjoy it as I.

So much to see and do, and so many monuments time is not enough for my beloved Madrid. One thing I did a lot is to walk all over the city sometimes to the limits but it allows me to show my sons my beloved city in all its glory.  We passed by monuments hardly noticeable by visitors but with a great history and architecture on them. For now this is the Fuente de Apolo or Apollo’s fountain right on Paseo del Prado!

The Fuente de Apolo (Apollo fountain), also called the Cuatro Estaciones (Four Seasons), is a monumental fountain located on the Paseo del Prado. It occupies the center of what was called the Prado Hall, within the urban reform sponsored by King Carlos III in the 18C. It is part of the sculptural ensemble by Ventura Rodríguez for the Paseo , along with that of Cibeles and Neptune. The three fountains are considered masterpieces of Spanish Neoclassicism.


The Apollo Fountain began to be built in 1780 during the reign of Carlos III. The erection of the statue of Apollo was in 1802. The set was inaugurated a year later, 1803, to celebrate the link of the crown prince Don Fernando (future Fernando VII), son of Carlos IV.

The Apollo fountain is composed of a central body with a staircase, with two masks that throw water on three overlapping shells of different dimensions. The pedestal sculptures represent the four seasons by allegorical figures, hence the alternative name of the fountain. The monument marks an effigy of the god Apollo, divinity of light and the arts, with the features of King Carlos III.

The Madrid tourist office on the Apolo fountain

Hope you enjoy the walks of my Madrid, there are several in my blog.  Of course, in your walks by Prado do stop to see this wonderful Fuente de Apolo. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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