Posts tagged ‘Spain’

January 29, 2023

Wines news of Spain VI

We are fully in Winter 2023, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you my wines news of Spain VI !!

And we arrive at Madrid Fusión, The Wine Edition 2023 kicked off this past Monday with an opening day that gives clues to the most relevant topics and trends on the scene. The Master of Wine Pedro Ballesteros has led a talk about the territories to be explored in our country; exploration in the broadest sense has been addressed, including the recovery of historic areas such as Betanzos, the study of the best acclimatized native varieties, or the wines of origin over those of style. Copa Jerez international competition in search of the perfect pairing with Sherry wines, in which seven countries participate. The finalists for the selection of the Spanish candidate have been the Ambivium, Atrio, Casa Marcial and Slow&Low restaurants ,The winners have been the tandem formed by Laura Rodriguez and Cristobal Muñoz from the Ambivium restaurant in Peñafiel, They will be the representatives of our country in the international final that will be held on October 3 and 4 in Jerez. In the tasting room, the Tenerife wines have been used for a walk through the six denominations of origin that occur on the island , To conclude, there has been a review of the sixty-year history of the Jean Léon winery, with a selection of vintages from the winery founded by the brilliant visionary Webpage: https://www.madridfusion.net/en/programa

On the last day of the congress, Madrid Fusión The Wine Edition 2023 and Spanish Wine Academy awarded the III Juli Soler Future and Talent Award from the World of Wine to young people with the greatest projection in the different fields of the sector. This award, promoted by Ramón Bilbao through the Spanish Wine Academy and delivered by Rita Soler, daughter of Juli Soler, aims to discover the new generation of wine professionals. The five winners this year have been: Sara González (vine grower and winemaker at Bodegas Margón, León), Tomás Ucha Altamirano (head sommelier at Berria Wine Bar, Madrid), Pol Contreras (pastry chef at El Portal de Echaurren restaurant, La Rioja ), Rocío Benito (sommelier at Jaleo restaurant, Dubai) and Frederic Oliva (sommelier at Enigma restaurant, Barcelona). Webpage : see above

The gastronomic tourism association Saborea España (Taste Spain) has spent a decade bringing out the flavors of the main destinations in Spain. It is the first national platform that works to promote gastronomic heritage as a tourist attraction and already brings together 25 routes: A Coruña, Badajoz, Cambrils , Ciudad Real, Cullera, Dénia, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Lanzarote, León, Logroño, Madrid, Mallorca, Oviedo, Pamplona, Segovia, Seville, Talavera de la Reina, Tenerife, Tudela, Valencia, Valladolid, Vinaròs and Zaragoza . The Canary Islands, with four destinations (Fuerteventura, La Palma Lanzarote and Tenerife), is the autonomous community with the greatest representation, followed by Castilla y León (Segovia, León and Valladolid) and the Valencian Community (Cullera, Dénia and Valencia), Saborea España from which is part of the Association of Gastronomic Destinations, It is made up of the Spanish Hospitality Federation (FEHR), the Spanish Association of Destinations for the Promotion of Gastronomic Tourism, the European Chef Organization (Euro-Toques), the Federation of Associations of Chefs and Pastry Chefs of Spain (FACYRE) and Paradores de Turismo. Webpage : https://tastingspain.es/en/

Wine consumption in Spain has fallen to 9.64 million hectoliters, 7.2%, in the interannual period to November 2022, according to information provided by INFOVI (Market Information System for the Wine Sector ). The TAM (acronym in English for the size of the market) already showed a slight fall of 0.4% in October, which worsened at the end of a very negative month of November, according to the Spanish Wine Market Observatory. Of course, still reeling from the covid and wars etc, As steady as it goes it should improve this year 2023.

The X Feroz Awards toast with Ribera del Duero, which continues to celebrate its 40th anniversary at this festival of cinema and series that celebrates its tenth edition in Zaragoza this past Saturday, January 28 2023. The Ribera Spirit will flood every moment of the Feroz Awards . Guests will receive a special gift before walking down the red carpet, a unique edition personalized bottle of Ribera del Duero that pays homage to their artistic facets. A particular award that will be given to all the professionals nominated in the 20 different categories, who attend the gala as guests, and to Pedro Almodóvar, recognized for his entire career. All of them will also receive a special gift courtesy of the Bodegas of Briego, Fuentespina, Briones Abad, Yllera, Ismael Arroyo, Nabal, Resalte, Valdubón, Alílian, Bardos, Tamaral, Tierra Aranda, Carrasvilla, Finca Villacreces, Vegaclara, Viña Mambrilla, Viña Mayor and Figueroa. You can also enjoy the suggestive Ribera del Duero proposal during the pre-gala cocktail, in the wine bar that will be set up for the occasion. The Bodegas Avelino Vegas, Milvus, Yllera, Nabal, Resalte, Valdubón, Alílian, Bardos, Tamaral, Fuentespina, Carrasvilla, Viña Mayor, Finca Villacreces, Sociedad Vitivinícola Villalba , Vegaclara, Figuero, Arzuaga, Briones Abad, and Neo wineries.Hola magazine with the winners webpage : https://www.hola.com/actualidad/20230129225340/premios-feroz-2023-ganadores/

From June 5 to 9, the 44th edition of the World Congress of Vine and Wine and the 21st General Assembly of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) will be held in Jerez de la Frontera (province of Cádiz). More info webpage : https://www.oiv.int/44th-world-congress-of-vine-and-wine

These are the best Spanish wines according to the 37th Gourmet Wine Guide 2022: I am only telling you my favorites because the list is long, highlighted tops ! Cappuccino Palo Cortado VORS (Osborne) DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry; Dalmau 2017 (Marqués de Murrieta) DOCa Rioja; Don PX Convent Selection 1958 (Bodegas Toro Albalá) DO Montilla-Moriles; Noé VORS (Bodega González Byass) DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Pingus 2018 (Dominio de Pingus) DO Ribera del Duero, Tío Pepe Cuatro Palmas (Bodega González Byass Jerez) DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry and Vega Sicilia Único 2012 (Bodegas Vega Sicily) DO Ribera del Duero.

The Ribera del Duero DO, forty years of a denomination with the name of a river, In 1982, forty years ago, Spain became modern and I was at the Soccer World Cup in Madrid! The movement began in 1976 on the anniversary of the Santa Eulalia cooperative in La Horra, In 1980 a provisional Regulatory Council was formed in Aranda to create a first regulation. Those who founded this were a true family ; only five wineries, in addition to the cooperatives, which were the ones who had the strength as they produced 85% of the wine in the area at that time , and, without them, the Denomination could hardly have been created. The ‘château’ of Aranda was where the first provisional Regulatory Council met in this city especially, Torremilanos, The winery occupies a building next to the four-star hotel, a large building from whose windows part of the 200-hectare vineyard can be seen , and it seems as if moved to a Castilian Médoc The first Ribera ,before the D.O. only included terroirs in Burgos and struggled to extend the line of the Duero to Protos and Vega Sicilia, in Valladolid. In fact, the Denomination includes grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot precisely for this reason, From those early years, in which they entered the D.O. some reference brands: Alejandro Fernández with his Tinto Pesquera,(family carries on) which did very well positioning itself in the Anglo-Saxon market, Vega Sicilia and Protos. The creation of the D.O. has been the salvation of these peoples. If it hadn’t been for work, people would have gone to live in other places. Thanks to the vineyard today there are young people, in the village nursery and in the school you have children. And a vineyard has been planted again. And the history goes on I admit prefer these Riberas over the Riojas, DO webpage: https://www.riberadelduero.es/la-do-ribera-del-duero

One of my favorites over the years and this year is no exception is Viña Ardanza Reserva 2016 , It is a wine steeped in history. And as such, its easily recognizable style remains unchanged while its presence evolves with a single objective: to be a little better every day. The blend, dominated by Tempranillo, 80% exhibits a percentage of Garnacha 20% much higher than what is usual in those lands. Clusters of one variety and another that have come from their own vineyards for a few harvests. The aging, separated by variety and time (three years for Tempranillo and two and a half for Garnacha), is carried out in used American oak barrels. . One of its hallmarks and one of its clearest nuances integrated into the whole like nobody or almost nobody knows how to do. The result boasts aromatic beauty (ripe red fruits and abundant spicy tones) crossed by intense flavors, sweet nuances and outstanding freshness. Elegance, depth, balance and strength -combined with the counterpoint of its smooth texture- that allow this red to surpass itself once again Bodega Rioja Alta webpage : https://www.riojalta.com/en/wines_rioja-alta/vina-ardanza/

It was the 1960s and various artists, including Fernando Zóbel, Gustavo Torner, Antonio Saura, Manolo Millares, Luis Feito and Rafael Canogar, chose Cuenca to exhibit their works, turning it into an avant-garde city. The chosen place was the most famous monument of the capital: the Casas Colgadas or Hanging Houses. A building dating from the 14C, whose balconies overlook the Hoz del Huécar and which, since 1966, houses the headquarters of the Spanish Abstract Museum and also gives life to one of its best-known restaurants in the old town, called, of course, Casas Colgadas. Jesús Segura, the new chef at Las Casas Colgadas, confesses that many years ago he dreamed that he ran this restaurant at number 3 Calle Canónigos. After going through more than 38 kitchens and having achieved a Michelin star in his first restaurant, Trivio, in the lower part of the city, his dream has came true twice. sublime !! webpage : https://restaurantecasascolgadas.com/

There you go folks, another wonderful post on my dear Spanish wines, Hoping for a long lasting memories of my dear Spain and its wine news, An area already shining for several years, and getting better me think, Hope you enjoy the new series of wines news from Spain as I

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

January 29, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLI

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Winter is here already! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXLI is old Roman for 141, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

‘La Dolores‘ sings 100 years without Tomàs Bretón, After the success of ‘La verbena de la Paloma’, Bizet from Salamanca, he elevated Spanish opera to the altars with ‘La Dolores’, which returns to the Teatro de la Zarzuela on the occasion of the centenary of the composer’s death, Between January 27 and February 12, 2023 the Theater will offer thirteen performances of La Dolores, an opera that was premiered in the same room in 1895 and that since then has remained a symbol of the best of the Spanish opera. Theater webpage : https://teatrodelazarzuela.mcu.es/es/temporada/lirica-2022-2023/la-dolores-2022-2023

The San Isidro Fair 2023, the earliest in history, already has posters with the presence of the main figures hired for three afternoons -Morante de la Puebla, El Juli in his 25th anniversary of alternative, Alejandro Talavante and Roca Rey- and the quadruple presence of Emilio de Justo, who adds his fourth appointment as head of the Charity series, The fair will start on May 10 with two very strong posters, breaking the tradition of starting from less to more, The very early preparation of San Isidro 2023, with the intention of of better marketing. It will be the first fair, by the way, with the release of prices for single tickets, out of subscription, that is. Webpage mundotoro (Spanish): https://www.mundotoro.com/noticia/recta-final-en-la-confeccion-de-un-gran-san-isidro/1670820

Emeritus King Juan Carlos I plans to be in Paris on February 9, 2023 where he will attend the ceremony of access to the Académie Française or French Academy of Mario Vargas Llosa as a guest. It should be remembered that Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded a marquisate by Don Juan Carlos in 2011, Don Juan Carlos was the first person who called him when he received Spanish nationality in 1993, as Vargas Llosa recalls , Vargas Llosa, lived for a few years in Paris, The academy (French) webpage : https://www.academie-francaise.fr/les-immortels/mario-vargas-llosa

The new house of Ortega y Gasset and Gregorio Marañón, after six years of construction, goes forward to open, The José Ortega y Gasset-Gregorio Marañón Foundation can now boast its renovated headquarters. The 1847 mansion on Calle Fortuny, 53, which has a window from which it is easy to dream of a better world, same house as the foundation, Webpage foundation : https://ortegaygasset.edu/

The Royal Collections Gallery, built in the Royal Palace complex in Madrid, will open next summer 2023. For now, the process of assembling the museographic elements that will house the 650 pieces of the inaugural exhibition continues, a third of which will rotate continuously. From what is known so far, the main access will be through the Plaza de la Almudena, (by the cathedral) although it will also be possible to enter from the Campo del Moro, National heritage webpage : https://www.patrimonionacional.es/en/future-museum-royal-collections

The great hotel of Canfranc train station. There is no official opening date yet, but Barceló is already selling rooms at Canfranc Estación hotel , a Royal Hideaway Hotel 5*, for February 1 2023. This station was inaugurated in 1928 , and railroad and history buffs know that the Canfranc International Station (Huesca) was one of the most important railway complexes in Europe in the first part of the 20C. The railroad is open up to here, from Zaragoza awaiting ok between France and Spain to continue into Pau as before Stay tune, Webpage : https://www.barcelo.com/en-es/canfranc-estacion-a-royal-hideaway-hotel/

The Best European Destinations association, dependent on the EU, has drawn up a list of the most beautiful places in Spain preferred by foreigners, I just pick my favorites ok, Their webpage : https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/

RONDA (province of Màlaga), The New Bridge is the main protagonist of this Malaga town, as it is prodigiously raised over the Guadalevín river, saving the so-called Ronda pit, a spectacular gorge. Built in the 18C, the bridge was considered the highest in the world (it measures 98 meters) until 1839. You should also visit the town for its taverns, its ancestral homes, its palaces, its gardens, its museums, its bullring and its literary corners that writers such as Ernest Hemingway or Rainer Maria Rilke fell in love with.,

CUDILLERO (Principality of Asturias), It is one of the most beautiful towns in Spain and also one of the favorites for foreign tourists. Its hanging houses, its cozy port, its seafood taverns, its intricate alleyways… Everything in Cudillero is a fairy tale.

AGÜERO (province of Huesca), Located just 40 kilometers from the Huesca capital, this beautiful mountain town stands out for its imposing rock formation known as Los Mallos,(saw them many times passing by!) some stone monoliths attached to the old town. One of them, Peña Sola, exceeds 200 meters on its western slope. To get here you have to go through a lush forest and a winding road.

SAN ANDRÉS (Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife), The town of San Andrés, was founded in the 15C, making it one of the oldest on the island, which can be seen in its architecture, of colonial court. Its colorful houses and its Teresitas beach are two of the hallmarks of the largest town in the Anaga district.

PEÑÍSCOLA (province of Castellon), One of the hidden jewels for the Best European Destinations association due to its monumental castle of Papa Luna, its beaches, its charming streets and its privileged climate, which makes the sun rise 300 days a year !

Born in the 13C to serve the nearby Monastery of Santa María la Real, today the town of San Martín de Valdeiglesias is a prosperous town located at the western end of the Community of Madrid, where it borders the Castilian provinces of Ávila. and Toledo. For its part, the aforementioned monastery located next to the nearby and well-known San Juan swamp, is undergoing a slow and laborious restoration after decades submerged in abandonment and ruin. The castle of La Coracera is the emblem of this town. It was built in the 15C by Don Álvaro de Luna, a patron of King Juan II, father of Enrique IV and his sister, the all-powerful Queen Isabel la Católica. Not surprisingly, the castle functioned as the monarch’s chamber during her proclamation as Queen of Castile in the nearby town of El Tiemblo in Avila. We must not forget that it was even the headquarters of dictator Napoleon’s French troops during the War of Independence (peninsular wars). Close to the castle is the Enchanted Forest, another of the essentials of the town. It is a well-kept botanical garden that integrates more than 500 plant species. More than this, it stands out because more than three hundred sculptures have been created inside it from plants. Bordering the San Juan swamp, at other times of the year it would be obligatory to go to the so-called Madrid beach to take a bath and sunbathe on the shores of this enclave in the Sierra Oeste of the Comunidad de Madrid. Even so, there is always some adventurer who does not hesitate to enter its waters in the middle of the winter months to practice kayaking, wakeboarding or paddle-surfing, some of the water activities most frequented in these parts. You can also sail, paraglide or mark a hiking route in its surroundings. The town on tourism: https://www.sanmartindevaldeiglesias.es/municipio/turismo/

Guadalajara can boast of being the second Spanish province with the most castles in the country behind Jaén. In total, this corner of my nostalgic Castilla La Mancha has 198 fortresses spread throughout its territory, many of which are in an admirable state of preservation. The Torija castle is located in a privileged area as a crossroads and natural transit to Aragon. The origin of its current plan dates from the 15C and was the work of the Mendonza family. Since the end of the 16C it has ceased to be inhabited and only on exceptional occasions was it used to house kings such as Carlos V or Felipe II and other distinguished visitors. In the 19C it would be occupied by the French occupying troops of General Hugo and later by Juan Martín el Empecinado who blew it up, leaving it in ruins. The current restoration was carried out in 1962., The castle of Sigüenza, erected in the 12C on top of a pronounced hill in this town, was used continuously as the residence of the bishops until the middle of the 19C. In the 15C it served as a refuge against the raids carried out by the Navarrese during the war of the Infantes of Aragon. During the Napoleonic occupation, the castle abandoned its character as a bishop’s residence to be the headquarters of the occupying French troops from 1808. In 1827 it returned to being the residence of bishops. It served as a fortress in the Carlist Wars for the last time, suffering extensive damage, a ruin that was completed in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). One visited recently briefly see post is the Molina de Aragón castle located in the north of the province, perched on the slopes of the mountain that rises above the town and the valley of the River Gallo, the Molina de Aragón castle is the largest and most monumental of all that remain today in Guadalajara, The set consists of a first walled belt known as albacara that has numerous defensive towers and whose main access is the Puerta del Reloj. (clock gate) The interior is made up of the fortress itself, with six towers of which the remains of two remain and another four in good condition and which are connected by a crenellated wall walk, and by a large space , In this flat interior terrain are also the remains of the Romanesque church of Santa María del Collado and a natural chasm known as Cueva de la Mora. From the castle you can also reach what is known as the Torre de Aragón, a three-story pentagonal tower surrounded by a wall with battlements. It is a reconstruction from the 19C, although an Arab fortress was located here, which in turn was built on a Celtiberian castro.!Awesome !

The Exit Alcalá cocido roll, prepared by the chef Roseny Brito and stuffed with the traditional meats of the Madrid stew, has been the winning tapa in the final of the 1st Official Championship of Tapas and Skewers of the Community of Madrid, organized by the Higher School of Hospitality and Tourism of Madrid. In the final, the cocido roll from Exit Alcalá faced the bola de cocido from Taberna Casa Maravillas, the Madrid chotis from Welkhome Club (also made with stew) and the Asian reinterpretation of the squid sandwich from BLT. The winner Exit Alcalà from Alcalà de Henares webpage : http://www.restaurantesexit.com/cgi-bin/area_alcala.asp

And finally, my rant of the month or year . I do not know if just me but I have been noticing many folks trying to follow my blog giving a few likes and once ok the « friend » contact they just disappears ! I do not know why people follow , but to me , me think, you follow me because you like my content lol ! Just goes without saying that once in a while you should stop by to say Hi ,give a « like » and so on, I have taken many down from as much as 3000 followers to just over a thousand, Still a lot with hardly any real following, Is it me ? Or is just my mind ? What do you think ?

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in Winter and cold weather and snow are showing up, and will be colder from now on ; just enough to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my some news from Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

January 20, 2023

A personal touch of Santa Barbara !!!

I have said the blog is my personal life , all of it since birth; just search around and you will know me. It is my past time and have fun telling you of many places on earth, sharing my experiences with the world, and learning some more. In my family we are not and never will be extremists but we are a conservative traditional family and we believe in God, just that. There are many who claim to be but really do not, we are simple followers of good and do good and like to see good for all. I like to tell you a personal touch of Santa Barbara !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Plu house 3D carte postale Santa Barbara de mima jan23

The legend of Saint Barbara tells that in the 3C in Asia Minor, a very pretty young girl named Barbara lived, according to the will of her father, recluse in a tower to protect her from her suitors. But one day, while his father was away, Christ appeared to her. Barbara decided to convert to Christianity, and had a third window cut into her tower, symbolizing the Trinity. This decision made the father of the young woman mad with rage. Brought before a judge, Barbara refused to renounce the Christian religion, and was condemned to be tortured. Despite all the abuse she endured, she felt no pain, thanks to the intervention of God. Her father decided to end it and beheaded her. He was then immediately struck by lightning and reduced to dust.

When the Christians come to ask for the body of the young martyr, not wanting to use her pagan first name nor reveal themselves using her Christian baptismal name, they can only refer to her as “the young barbarian woman”, hence the name of Barbara given to her. The Byzantine emperors particularly venerated his relics, which they had transferred in the 6C to Constantinople. A part was taken to Italy by the Venetians, and another in the 11C by the daughter of Alexius Comnenus to Kyev, where they are still in St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine. Since then, Saint Barbara has become the patron saint of trades facing the dangers of fire and explosions: firefighters, pyrotechnicians and miners celebrate her every year on December 4. A day off for miners, this day was more than a religious event during which a statue of Saint Barbara was blessed and then lowered into the galleries to grant her protection. to workers. On the surface, the party becomes popular and shared by all, all religions combined.

Her worship was confirmed by Pope Saint Pius V in 1568 and she became one of the fourteen holy helpers of the Saints. At the time of the Napoleonic wars, the sacred relics were taken to the temple of Saint Martin on the island of Burano, where they are still kept. until today. The remains are in a chapel dedicated exclusively to Santa Bárbara In the Church of San Juan del Hospital, Valencia, is the column where she was martyred, in a chapel dedicated to the saint. This relic was brought to the city of Valencia by the Empress Constanza Augusta of Greece. In the Church of San Jaime de Moncada ,also, in Valencia, there is a one-finger phalanx of the Saint brought from Rome to Moncada. Saint Barbara is often associated with three other saints who have taken a vow of chastity: Sainte Catherine of Alexandria, Sainte Marguerite of Antioch and Sainte Genevieve of Paris. This is the case for the altar of the Virgins of the Notre-Dame de Croaz Batz Church in Roscoff (Finistère 29 ) presenting a statue of Saint Barbara accompanied by those of Sainte Catherine and Sainte Geneviève.

Santa Barbara is usually represented young, either with the palm of martyrdom, or with peacock feathers, since this animal is a symbol of resurrection or immortality, and it already appears in the oldest known representation, dating from the 8C. It also usually appears with her attribute, a tower with three windows, sometimes enclosed in it and other times the tower appears at her side or in miniature on one of her hands. The meaning of this tower with three windows is the refuge of faith in the Holy Trinity. And she usually wears a crown, which admits of variations: in some it is that of a princess and in others it is a complete crown made up of several towers. The image of Saint Barbara is also sometimes associated with the sword with which she was beheaded, which has contributed to her being associated with war, but said sword represents a symbol of unwavering faith. With a chalice, which signifies her conversion to Catholicism.

The Santa Barbara is the patron saint of coal miners in Asturias,Spain.  She is, also, the patron saint of my native town of Punta Brava in Cuba, and venerated by all my family anywhere in the world.  The National Sanctuary of Santa Barbara can be found in the town of Arroyo Naranjo just 22 km south of Havana. The building has an eclectic style and was built in just a year with the local community’s help and funded by the Archbishop of Havana, Manuel Arteaga Betancourt and first lady Martha Fernandez (Fulgencio Batista’s wife), and it was inaugurated on the day that commemorates her,December 4, 1953. 

Plu house statue Santa Barbara de mima jan23

A bit of Rome for Santa Barbara Her first depiction is perhaps in Rome, in a fresco in Santa Maria Antiqua, and both the oratory attached to the Church of San Gregorio al Celio and the Church of Santa Barbara dei Librai also have remote origins.  In 16C Rome devotees of Saint Barbara were inevitably the forerunners of the modern artillerymen, that is, the bombardiers in charge of the defense of Castel Sant’Angelo. At their own expense, they restructured one of the chapels in the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, dedicating it to their patroness and decorating its walls with astonishing stucco  thrusters,  mortars,  cannons,  howitzers,  balls,  bullets and barrels of gunpowder. Organized into a confraternity since 1594, the papal bombardiers enjoyed a number of privileges and exemptions, including the possibility of releasing a condemned prisoner twice a year, on 29 September, for the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, and precisely on 4 December for Santa Barbara.

A great prayer known to my family is as follows:  «Saint Barbara, blessed virgin, great with immense power, God be with you and you with me on the path of good. With your winning sword deliver me from evil, injustice, envy and evil eyes. With the power of lightning protect me from my enemies, glorify the muzzle of my cannon and allow me to be victorious. With the chalice of your cup and the wine, keep the strength of my body and spirit for the hard struggle and combat. Receive my apples and daisies as an offering that I always have you present in my thoughts and in my home, and I beg you to never abandon me and come to me every time I claim you to defend my faith, my land, my family and my fights; and that in the end you always take me to glory like you. Amen.”

An unofficial site on the life of Santa Barbara :http://www.stebarbe.com/stebarbe.php

The St Peter’s Basilica of Rome on Santa Barbara: http://stpetersbasilica.info/Exterior/Colonnades/Saints/St%20Barbara-36/StBarbara.htm

There you go folks, a wonderful story of faith and peservering in our difficult times then and even more today, In my days of sorrows, I had the comfort of my family and Santa Barbara with statues kept by my dear late mom Gladys at home which I am showing here for the record, for the history, for my blog ,me and the world, Again, hope you enjoy this personal post on a personal saint, Santa Barbara as I

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

January 18, 2023

Wines news of Spain V

We are in Winter 2023, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you mywines news of Spain V !!

The Riojan winery Bodega Marqués de Murrieta has managed to position one of its wines, Marqués de Murrieta Reserva, in fourth place in its Top 10 Wine Values of 2022 ranking prepared by Wine Spectator magazine, recognized for being one of the most influential in the industry, and which usually drink French, American and Italian wines. This recognition of Marqués de Murrieta Reserva comes months after the pioneering Rioja winery was recognized in November last year with the Best Of 2023 award, which ranks it as the best winery in the world and was awarded by the World Network of Large Wine Capitals. In 2020, Wine Spectator had already chosen another of the Marqués de Murrieta wines as the best wine in the world, on this occasion Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial. Webpage : https://marquesdemurrieta.com/en/

The Familia Fernández Rivera, a family wine group led by women, whose iconic Tinto Pesquera winery celebrates 50 years of history. The Fernández Rivera family includes the Hotel AF Pesquera and the Condado de Haza wineries; Dehesa La Granja; El Vínculo y Tinto Pesquera, promoter of the DO Ribera del Duero and flagship that celebrates 50 years of history. Lucía Fernández Rivera, daughter of the founder, Alejandro and Esperanza, who I met them ! The work soon paid off, because in the 80s they began to export Tinto Pesquera. “That the first country we sent wines to was the US meant everything, it opened doors for us; also Robert Parker’s points, although no one around here knew him…”, Lucia says with a smile. Indeed I was there when it poured in Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel Fl USA !! Memories forever !!! webpage : https://familiafernandezrivera.com/en/history/#

The Remírez de Ganuza’s Reserva 2009 has been chosen as one of the best wines of 2022 by the prestigious wine magazine The Drinks Business. The news serves to highlight the great moment the winery is experiencing, which in 2022 has managed to reach the goal of selling 50,000 bottles over €50. Until now Vega Sicilia was the only Spanish winery to achieve this. Located in the small town of Samaniego in Alava, it was founded in 1989 by Fernando Remírez de Ganuza. In 2010, his Gran Reserva 2004 obtained the coveted 100 Parker points. That same year, the Urtasun family became part of the winery, first as Fernando’s partners but since 2019 they own the entirety. Of its Reserva 2009, it stands out that with more than ten years of age, it is at its best moment, with ripe notes, leather and sweet balsamic, along with stewed fruit. Complementing these aromas is a touch of cedar, dark chocolate and spices, as well as a lovely texture, which starts out meaty, ending chewy and fresh. With a price of 90 euros, some bottles can still be found in specialized points of sale ! Webpage : https://www.remirezdeganuza.com/eng-vinos-remirez-ganuza.html

The prestige and recognition achieved by Bodega Fillaboa and its elaborations follow one another without rest. It is one of the three spirits and Orujo that the brand makes that is now attracting attention. The Spanish Association of Wine Journalists and Writers (AEPEV) awards in its XIV edition of Best Wines and Spirits of Spain 2022 the Aged Orujo Fillaboa in the category of Orujos Spirits, Grape Spirits and Liqueurs. The Aged Fillaboa Orujo of the I.G. Orujo de Galicia has been presented since last year 2022 in a new and stylish bottle. This brandy is obtained from the aging of the Orujo Blanco. The brandy ages for at least seven years in 225L French Limousine oak barrels. located in the warehouse. Of an amber color, this distillate is clean and bright. On the nose it gives off aromas of vanilla, toast and hints of French oak. It has notes of orange peel, dried fruit and hints of toffee. On the palate it is complex, unctuous and soft. It is recommended to serve at a temperature of 15-18º and it has a potential aging of 20 years. Fillaboa is a historic estate that has remained indivisible throughout the centuries, being one of the largest, most beautiful and oldest in Galicia and the only one that, due to its special characteristics, it belongs to Grandes Pagos de España. Behind the 1,600 meter thick stone wall that protects the property, in addition to the vineyards, the winery and a spectacular rebuilt manor house are hidden. 50 hectares of Albariño grape vineyards planted on undulating slopes make up the Fillaboa estate, which is located in Salvaterra do Miño, on the natural border with Portugal, next to the Tea and Miño rivers, and comprises a total of 74 hectares spread over 12 different pagos, Webpage Fillaboa with the orujo : https://bodegasfillaboa.com/fillaboa-aged-brandy/?lang=en

The Orujo the skin of the grape, after it has been pressed and all its substance has been removed, A sort of aguardiente from grapes, Aguardiente is an alcoholic beverage distilled from an alcoholic fermentation. It can be sugar cane etc, The orujo is very popular in Galicia which my friends always offered ! To explain a bit on the above words, let me tell you a pagos is a word coming from the Latin pagus, which the Romans used to designate a geographical and territorial unit into which a city was divided and which formed part of the land cadastral organization. However, obtaining great wines associated with specific places was already present in ancient Greece where the pagos of the mountain of Tmolos, those of Fanes or those of Plentia (in Alexandria) were famous. The Great Pagos of Spain are here with Fillaboa : https://grandespagos.com/en/vineyards-and-wineries/

It is known in the DO Toro and elsewhere as Tinto Aragones. It is Garnacha, a variety that has coexisted there with tinta de toro in unequal conditions. Its always interesting participation in coupages was limited to 25% , Now the situation is very different. Not only is the door open to the creation of Garnacha monovarietals protected by the denomination of origin, but a greater pride is perceived among those who use this grape, The tinta de toro in Prima 2020. Abundant fruity memories, finesse and restrained strength -softly wrapped in oak- stand out in this wine. It is made with the youngest vines (although some have exceeded half a century) from his Toro winery. It is easy and comfortable to drink without giving up its seriousness and character. A successful approach to the greatness of a terroir, also present in this brand, which has the blessing of a few drops of Garnacha. Webpage : https://www.bodegasanroman.com/vinos/

Vega Sicilia expanded its legend with a historic tasting in which it quoted the best of the sector’s press and where it honored those present with eight decades of its best vintages. With the act, It celebrated the 40th anniversary since the Álvarez saga acquired the best winery in Spain for around 300 million pesetas and whose origins date back to 1848 when Toribio Lecanda acquired a 2,000-hectare estate from the Marquis of Valbuena. The winery, based in Valbuena de Duero (province of Valladolid, Castilla y Léon) tasted at the Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Vizcaya) , two Valbuenas (2018 and 2005 magnum) to give way to a collection of unforgettable Único vintages, some relics that would make more than one collector lose their heads: 2013, 2010, 2009, 2004, 1999 , 1996, 1994, 1991, 1990 magnum, 1989, 1986, 1981 magnum, 1980, 1975, 1974, 1970, 1968, 1962, 1960, 1957, 1953 and 1942. The vineyard has been our obsession for 40 years. And it still is. The vineyard is the biggest and most beautiful thing we have”, endorsed Álvarez. Amen ! Webpage : https://www.temposvegasicilia.com/en/wines

And I cannot leave this post without again mentioning Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, my first taste ever of wine given by my dear maternal grandmother Amparo of Pajarà, Tenerife always remembered abuela Amparo, Her favorite words was in those earlier days , the wine may be sour but is our wine ! (Spain of course), The Marqués de Riscal is one of the oldest wineries in Rioja, founded in Elciego ( province of Álava) in 1858 by Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga. Since its inception it has been a benchmark in the wine industry, being the first Rioja winery to produce wines according to Bordeaux methods (first winemaker was Jean Pineau of Bordeaux). In 1972 it became the first winery to promote the Rueda Designation of Origin ,where its famous white wines are made ,and in 1991 it launched Barón de Chirel, the first “high expression wine”. In 2006, the Ciudad del Vino or City of wine was inaugurated, with a hotel designed by the architect Frank O. Gehry, which is the most avant-garde work carried out to date by a Spanish winery. Marqués de Riscal has always had a clear export vocation. Today it is present in more than 110 countries to which it exports more than 60% of its production. In 2021 Marqués de Riscal has been named the second best vineyard in the world and the first in Europe in the World’s Best Vineyards 2021 contest. The Ciudad del Vino de Marqués de Riscal offers the experience of going through the history of the winery from its foundation in 1858 to the present day with the possibility of enjoying wine through the five senses: guided tours with which the visitor will visit the most and you will be able to see first-hand how they make their wines. All tours include tasting of their wines and appetizers. Hotel Marqués de Riscal, A Luxury Collection Hotel, designed by Frank O. Gehry. Center for meetings, conventions and events. Caudalie wine therapy spa. Wide gastronomic offer, Gastronomic Restaurant, with a Michelin Star and the advice of the La Rioja chef Francis Paniego, 1860 Tradición Restaurant, Vinoteca y Bistró, Asador Torrea and bar and cafeteria. Sublime ! Webpage : https://www.marquesderiscal.com/en/our-wines

The Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja or Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin will become the epicenter of national and international wine tourism activity by being chosen as the venue for the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 convention, an annual event famous for revealing the ranking of the best experiences offered by vineyards and wineries, enjoyed by of enormous prestige and great worldwide media coverage. The contest, which will take place from July 10 to 13 ,2023, offers the opportunity to show the potential of Rioja before the eyes of the delegation, made up of more than a hundred people including the organization, the jury, national and international journalists, as well as great exponents and experts from the sector, who will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the Denomination through an extensive program with different itineraries, which will include tastings, visits to wineries and leisure activities, among others, to enjoy the rich diversity of the Region so that they can appreciate all the elements that make Rioja a unique place , Within the program of visits organized in collaboration with the Regulatory Council of the DOCa, the announcement of the 50 Best Vineyards and Wineries occupies a prominent place of the World (World’s Best Vineyards) of 2023, which will take place on July 12, at which time the global ranking will be announced. Rioja, is the oldest Qualified Designation of Origin in Spain, dating back to 1925, and the first to receive Qualified certification in 1991, is positioned as one of the Designations of Origin in the world that offers the best guarantees regarding quality and authenticity. of its wines, thanks to the demanding regulations and self-control developed by its Regulatory Council. With more than 66,000 hectares, the DOCa Rioja is made up of three zones with different wine-growing characteristics ,Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental , which cover 144 towns through which the Denomination extends, with 600 wineries and more than 14,000 winegrowers. Rioja wines webpage : https://www.riojawine.com/en/home-en/

As far as Decanter magazine ( me a former subscriber for many years of learning) the best wines for winter, and my favorites are : R Lopez de Heredia, Viña Gravonia Blanco, Crianza, 2014, La Rioja Alta, Gran Reserva 890, 2005, Remírez de Ganuza, Reserva, 2006,  Bodegas Ramón Bilbao, Límite Sur, 2017, Bodegas Riojanas, Monte Real Gran Reserva, 2014 , CVNE, Cune Reserva, 2017, and Faustino, I Gran Reserva, 2011 , You won’t go wrong with any of these fyi, Decanter webpage: https://www.decanter.com/decanter-best/top-riojas-to-enjoy-this-winter-495443/

And why not leave you with a nice recipe of my dear Spain, this time from Burgos, The Cobo Vintage style roast lamb in a convection oven. This roast chooses a piece of Arce Carne IGP, from La Bureba in Burgos, which is macerated with garlic, lemon, salt and white vinegar before being subjected to the most traditional and avant-garde cuisine by Miguel Cobo.

The Ingredients : Piece of Arce lamb Meat IGP 5 liters of water, 1 head of garlic, 150 ml of white vinegar, 1 lemon ,and Salt, The making of it: We put the piece to soak in the water for 12 hours with the garlic, lemon, salt and vinegar. Then we will roast the piece in a convection oven subjecting it to three round and round maneuvers every 40, 30 and 15 minutes, at 160º or 180º., This is the mythical Vallés, in Briviesca; Cobo Vintage opened in 2014, in Burgos; He achieved his Michelin star in 2016 and in 2020 he undertook the ambitious Cobo Estratos project, with two restaurants that share access and two different culinary styles: traditional Burgos and cosmopolitan avant-garde. Now, the new project is called Cobo Evolución, and it is a gastronomic restaurant that is located within the Cobo Estratos space of almost 1,500 square meters. It is located in Plaza de la Libertad ,9, in the historic center of Burgos. Buen provecho ! His webpage : https://coboestratos.com/nosotros/

There you go folks, another wonderful post on my dear Spanish wines, Hoping for a long lasting memories of my dear Spain and its wine news, An area already shining for several years, and getting better me think, Hope you enjoy the new series of wines news from Spain as I

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

January 13, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXL

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Winter is here already! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXL is old Roman for 140, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

Ian Gibson wins the 2023 Comillas Award, with the work ‘Carmen in Granada. Memoirs of an Irishman’, in which the historian tells how the city has conquered him, has been chosen by the jury, Born into a Methodist family in very Catholic Dublin in the forties, he tells of the tensions and frustrations of a home marked by puritanism, as well as his sentimental education in various boarding schools, where he dealt with colorful characters who over time became relevant in the Anglo-Saxon world. In addition, he has also highlighted the role of restoring Spanish history. He had an unwavering commitment to the recovery of decisive figures in Spanish culture of the 20C. One of these characters is Federico García Lorca, (see post) whose tragedy fascinated the Hispanist. In these memoirs, which will be published next March by Tusquets publishing house, Gibson narrates the life of a wealthy Irish family, with its advantages and its demons, especially in the emotional field of jealousy, countless disagreements between a bitter mother and a self-conscious father, distrust and a frustrating repression due to the Methodist religion, Gibson traveled to Spain in 1965 with the mission of finishing his doctoral thesis on the roots of the work of Federico García Lorca, of whom he has written an endless number of works. . The text became a book in 1971, although the Franco regime banned it in Spain. For this work he received the International Press Prize in Nice. Dedicated to remembering and recounting the lives of others from that moment on, he obtained Spanish nationality in 1984. Over the years, the historian has published numerous books, including The Night They Killed Calvo Sotelo (1982), Paracuellos, how it was (1983), I, Rubén Darío (2002) and the novel La berlina de Prim (2012). I read them all !! webpage : https://www.planetadelibros.com/autor/ian-gibson/000001740

Twenty years after the Picasso Museum, the art gallery that sparked cultural tourism in Malaga, the doors of the Picasso Museum in Malaga opened for the first time to change the city from top to bottom. It is now all over on his 50th anniversary, See it at its best in Malaga : webpage : https://www.museopicassomalaga.org/en/exposiciones/dialogues-with-picasso

The Fallas bullfighting fair returns to normality in Valencia, From Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 March, 2023 , there will be six bullfights, two bullfights with picadors, a bullfighting celebration and a bullfight without horses with students from different bullfighting schools. Webpage : https://www.entradastorosvalencia.com/en/valencia-bullring/

The Cirque du Soleil breaks the ice with ‘Crystal’, The Canadian company is set up in Barcelona until January 22 2023 with its first show on the frozen rink of the Palau Sant Jordi , At its feet, the 25 by 15 meters ice rink begins to fill up of filigrees and arabesques, of tiny grooves generated by the constant friction of the blades, while a small army of Cirque du Soleil workers adjust pulleys and check gears. If there were a thermometer handy, I’m sure it would confirm that the track remains at 11 degrees below zero. A risky stunt that mobilizes a hundred people, including 43 artists, to explore the artistic limits of ice and expand the company’s repertoire of acrobatics and stunts with new milestones such as extreme skating and ice juggling. The production, which premiered in 2017 only in the United States, now says goodbye to Spain after passing through Malaga and Pamplona, webpage : https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/spain/barcelona/shows

Announcing Irene Pardo, until now director of the Spanish Network of Public Theatres, Auditoriums, Circuits and Festivals, has been chosen as the new director of the Almagro International Classical Theater Festival. Webpage : https://www.festivaldealmagro.com/en/the-festival/

Some numbers as Spain is the 2nd most visited country in the world (UN-WTO),

The Prado museum received 2,427,718 visitors last year, 115.43% more than in 2021, when there were 1,126,897. If we compare it with 2019 (3,203,417) it is below, but it must be taken into account that that year it celebrated its bicentennial, with a record number of audiences. The origin by nationality of the visitors to the Prado changed in 2022: there was a majority of foreigners (50.2 compared to 26% last year). On the other hand, the national visitor decreased. The Reina Sofía museum, during 2022 received 1,171,367 visitors at its headquarters in Sabatini and Nouvel, 86% more than in 2021. Figures still far from the 1,714,049 it had in 2019 and the 1,694,296 in 2018. add the 1,318,823 visitors to the Palacio de Cristal and the 491,086 to the Palacio de Velázquez in 2022, headquarters of the art gallery in the Retiro Park. In total, 3,063,092, far from the figures for 2019 (4.4 million) and 2018 (3.9 million). As for foreigners, those who have come to the museum the most are, in this order, French, Italian and North American. For its part, the Thyssen Museum closed 2022, the year of its 30th anniversary, with 1,072,003 visitors, a figure that represents an increase of 59.7% compared to 2021, with 671,078, and 3.6% compared to 2019, in which 1,034,873 were counted. On the other hand, more than 7.2 million people visited the centers and exhibitions of the Foundation La Caixa during 2022, which represents an increase of 1.18% compared to 2019, before the pandemic. CaixaForum Madrid reached 695,797 visitors, more than double that of 2021 , the Guggenheim Bilbao had a total number of visitors in 2022 was 1,289,147, making it the third best year in its history, behind 2017 (20th anniversary celebration) and 1998 (first year of activity). It represents an increase of 43% compared to the previous year (still affected by the pandemic) and an increase of 10% compared to 2019. The royal palaces, monasteries and green spaces managed by National Heritage received 5,232,728 visitors during 2022, 36% more than in 2021. Some Royal Sites such as the Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and the Monastery de Yuste exceeded the pre-pandemic figures for 2019. The most popular monument was again the Royal Palace of Madrid (1,092,978 people), followed by the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (374,775 people) and the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (206,149 people). A bit lagging but catching up should be big in 2023 !

The Prado museum is organizing the largest Guido Reni exhibition to date and will exhibit works from the Frick Collection that are returning to Spain for the first time, works that will be shown to the Spanish public for the first time along with other iconic ones such as the recently restored ‘Hippomenes and Atalanta’ or the version of San Sebastián that has influenced subsequent art so much will be exhibited this spring at the Museo del Prado..More info webpage: https://www.museodelprado.es/actualidad/exposicion/guido-reni/44974f9e-306b-8657-d8f4-59f0bb98ee15

The castle of Baños de la Encina, in the province of Jaén, was built in the 10C and the Council of Europe recognizes it as one of the best-preserved Muslim fortresses in Europe by maintaining its original outer enclosure, just 9 km from Bailén and a little less from the southern highway, the Bury Al Hamman Castle, also known by the name of Burgalimar Castle, stands on the rocky Cerro del Cueto hill, which is one of the best-preserved military fortresses on the peninsula.to admire one of the best works of military architecture in Muslim times, dating from the 10C, and be amazed at the perfect condition of its walls that were built using adobe, lime, small stones, water and straw dried in the sun. You can still see on these walls the squared traces that were used to install the scaffolding of the time and build walls still protected by 15 square towers that form almost a perfect oval in this unique watchtower. It was Caliph Al-Hakam II, son of Abderramán III, who ordered the construction of this Muslim fortress, but much earlier, in the Copper Age, the first traces of occupation of this site appear. Inside you can see some walls of Iberian origin and a Roman mausoleum of a sacred nature, but it is the passage of the Almohads that determines the stability of the building by providing it with very high protection, an entrance door with two Caliphate horseshoe arches and a large cistern, rectangular in plan. This cistern or well was used to store water and was divided into two separate rooms and covered by a barrel vault. The Castilians conquered it for the first time in 1147 by Alfonso VII, it was recovered by the Almohads and won again by the troops of Alfonso VIII and Alfonso IX, the latter in 1189. Finally, the fortress was taken three days after the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212) and finally conquered in 1225 by Fernando III the Saint who incorporated it into the city of Baeza, on which it depended until 1626, the year in which Felipe IV granted Baños the title of town. Andalucia tourism webpage : https://www.andalucia.org/en/banos-de-la-encina-cultural-tourism-castillo-de-banos

More in Spanish on El Encina town : https://www.bdelaencinaturismo.com/rutas/ruta-guiada-castillo-de-banos-de-la-encina/

Sadly, part of the wall of Toledo collapses at dawn. The causes of the collapse of this area of the wall located a few meters above the Puerta de Bisagra and next to the Puerta del Sol on Calle Real, below the Puerta de Alarcones, are unknown. The wall has collapsed at dawn this past Tuesday January 10th 2023, without causing damage and for reasons that are being analyzed. To be continue ,,,

And there is now 100 years with the eternal light of Joaquín Sorolla,2023 marks the centenary of the painter’s death and several exhibitions will vindicate his legacy. Valencia will be the epicenter (despite the forgetfulness of the IVAM) and the Royal Palace of Madrid is preparing a surprising anthology. The French have Claude Monet, the English have John Singer Sargent and the Spanish have Joaquín Sorolla, the painter of the Mediterranean. None stood out as much in his time as Sorolla, who conquered the United States in his 1909 retrospective More in Madrid tourist office : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/sorolla-through-light-royal-palace

Go up to Cercedilla, the ‘capital’ of Madrid’s Sierra de Guadarrama,The beautiful valley of La Fuenfría is the entrance to the heart of the sierra from its southern slope. Something that has been going on for two millennia. This is demonstrated by the layout of the Roman road that runs through it, one of the best preserved in the Iberian Peninsula. Another road was built on part of the Roman road in the 13C. It was the path of the Bourbon kings from Madrid to La Granja de San Ildefonso, where they spent the summer. The routes of both roads, Romanesque and Bourbon, make up an extraordinary route that gives walkers a return that is difficult to forget. The most comfortable can choose to get on the Eléctrico del Guadarrama, the rack railway has been happily recovered today, after three seasons in dry dock. It leads to the port of Navacerrada, a historic mountain place that was the first place to ski in Spain. From there you can go down the best route in the mountains: the Schmid path, which leads to Fuenfría and Cercedilla. In its Plaza Mayor stands the statue of the town’s most distinguished son: Francisco Fernández Ochoa, winner of the first Olympic gold medal in Spanish sports, at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics. It is at the gates of the Ski Museum, which despite its small dimensions offers a complete journey through the history of skiing and mountaineering in the mountains. The Luis Rosales cultural center, dedicated to the poet of the Generation of 1936, winner of the Cervantes Prize and who spent part of his life in Cercedilla, is another landmark in the town. The Fàbrica de la Luz or Light Factory shows the facilities of the old hydroelectric power station from 1925 ; a jewel of industrial architecture, it supplied energy and light to this town for more than half a century. City webpage : https://cercedilla.es/como-llegar/

For a few weeks now, the small town of Alquézar, perched at an altitude of about 660 meters on a hill in the Pre-Pyrenees mountains, in the Somontano of Huesca, has added another more international one to its well-deserved title of one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. The World Tourism Organization (UN-WTO) has designated it as one of the best towns for tourism in 2022. The beauty of this quiet medieval town, with about 300 inhabitants, whose origins seem to date back to the 9C with the construction of an Arab fortification (current Collegiate Church) that dominates the landscape, is indisputable and a claim for everyone who comes to the area. From the road that leads to the town, its perfect integration into the limestone environment can be seen, and the canyons, cliffs and caves modeled by the Vero river that surround it are a statement of intent for hikers and lovers of active tourism. At the top of the town is the majestic Castle-Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor, built in the Romanesque style in the 12C on top of the old Arab fortress under the auspices of the kings of León. From it comes a double wall with battlements, a watchtower and other towers that protect the historic center of the town The cloister (16C-18C), which houses the Museum of Sacred Art, with pieces from the 12C to the 15C, and the main altarpiece and a magnificent Romanesque Christ from the 13C inside the temple are worth a stop. The porticoed Plaza Mayor (today called Plaza Rafael Ayerbe), Plaza Cruz de Buil, through which the walled enclosure of the castle-collegiate church is accessed, through an emblazoned door built between the 15C and 17C, and the Mirador Sonrisa al viento or smile to the wind lookout, with incredible panoramic views of the town and the deep canyon of the Vero river, are other places of interest in Alquézar. Another beauty up my road warrior roads between France and Spain, More info from Aragon tourism : https://www.turismodearagon.com/en/ficha/alquezar/

From hundred-year-old shops to luxury brands, craft workshops or alternative venues. Madrid attracts all audiences and budgets. There is a reason why it holds first place among the best cities on the planet to go shopping. And much better, on sale.OF course, but I told you so in several posts, now here is more of my dear Madrid,

For a reason this year it has been chosen the best city in the world to go shopping, according to the prestigious British consultancy Wethrift, ahead of others such as Paris, London, Tokyo or New York. With a score of 75.89 out of 100, among the reasons its “safety index” stands out, in addition to the good quality/price ratio, the attractive discounts, the ease of getting around on public transport, the climate to walk along the main roads commercial or the great variety of options. Other aspects such as the presence of international firms, sales campaigns or service are also taken into account by The Globe Shopper City Index, a study carried out by the research unit of the English publication The Economist, which also always ranks the Spanish capital in the top positions of its annual rankings of the best cities to burn the bank card. From hundred-year-old businesses to artisan workshops, luxury product boutiques or alternative venues only suitable for modern people. There is everything until reaching the figure of more than 76,000 retail commercial establishments throughout the community of Madrid.

Now here are some and some are my favorites told you so in my posts on shopping in Madrid ! These are : The Casa de Diego, in the heart of Puerta del Sol. It began its journey as a shop-workshop of fans, umbrellas, parasols, parasols and walking sticks in 1858. And the successors of Don Manuel de Diego, the founder, continue with their “royal fans”. Even Queen Letizia wore one of them at her own wedding. Other hundred-year-old businesses are Guantes Luque (Espoz y Mina, 3), opened in 1886; Guitarras Ramírez (at Calle de la Paz, 8, since 1882) or the bookstores Casa Vales (at Fernando VI, 14, since 1909) and San Ginés (in the alleyway of the same name since 1650!). La Favorita continues, the hat shop that has been dressing the heads of Madrid residents and visitors, as the fourth generation of the Enguitas, the owners, points out, with top hats, caps or bowlers in the Plaza Mayor since 1894. The list of shops continues with Capes Seseña (calle de la Cruz, 23), where characters such as Pablo Picasso, Luis Buñuel, Rodolfo Valentino, Ernest Hemingway, Gary Cooper, Bruce Springsteen or Hillary Clinton have passed since 1901 in search of the perfect cape. Sublime !!!

Camilo de Blas, the favorite confectionery of chef José Andrés (fame chef) who invented the ‘carbayones’, Founded in 1914 and run by the fourth and fifth generations of the same family, it is a benchmark for traditional Asturian confectionery. But before José Andrés, this pastry shop -next to the old El Vasco train station- was already an obligatory gourmet stop in Oviedo (and also in the rest of Spain, because through its online store they ship to the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands). In it was born, in 1924, one of the emblems of traditional Asturian confectionery: the carbayones.(how the local Oviedo folks are colloquially known) It consists of a three-fold puff pastry filled with a mixture of egg, ground almonds, cognac or sweet wine and sugar, basically, and covered with a syrup made from water, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon ! The shop is located at Calle Jovellanos 7 street (in 2009 they opened another store in Calle Santa Susana, 8) However, the brand was not born on Asturian soil, but from Leon. Their great-great-grandfather founded the confectionery shop on Calle Ancha de León, in 1876. He decided to expand and set up a shop for each of his three children. One stayed with him in León; he opened a pastry shop for another in Oviedo, in 1914 [today the mother house], and the last one, in Gijón, in 1915 , The one in León ended up closing and today is a Pans & Company, just like the one in Gijón, since my great-great-uncle had no children and passed to his wife’s family; It worked for a while, but it also closed. Sublime webpage : https://camilodeblas.es/

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in Winter and cold weather and snow are showing up, and will be colder from now on ; just enough to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my dear Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

January 8, 2023

The Squares or Plazas of Aranjuez !!

So many nice places to see in addition to the top Palace here (see posts) I like to come back to something more urban and walkable with beautiful sights all around you. We love to walk especially once in the city anywhere, and the squares are the main attraction really. So , back in my dear Spain, and one of my favorite spot let me tell you about princely squares or plazas of Aranjuez !!

The Plaza de San Antonio, also known as the Plaza of the Mariblanca, due to the sculptural ensemble known as the source of the Mariblanca (whose real name is Venus) that decorates the north end of the square. In the square you can see the sites of the Casa de los Caballeros y Oficios ( House of Knights and Crafts), the Church of San Antonio, the Casa de Infantes (house of Infantes in line for the throne), and the garden of Isabel II. Towards 1752, the square had another source called the Fuente del Rey (fountain of the king), with an image of the King Fernando VI looking at the bridge, but in 1760 King Carlos III, ordered it removed, and two years later was placed the current fountain of Venus.  The Plaza San Antonio square was designed in the year 1750, during the reign of king Fernando VI , to serve as a connection between the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (see post) ,and the urban fabric that had been formed south of it. The arcaded gallery being the closest to the palatial enclosure. It is a half-point arch, supported on rectangular pillars carved in stone of Colmenar, which unifies and gives continuity to the facades of the Casa de los Caballeros y Oficios, two buildings emerged in different times. The one started in 1584, although its construction lasted until the 17C. The second was conceived in 1613 but was not completed until century and a half later, between 1762 and 1770.

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On it you see the Church of San Antonio, (see post) whose baroque silhouette defines and gives personality to the whole. Conceived as the vanishing point of the square, it replaced the oratory that  king Felipe V had founded as reinforcement of the Chapel of the Royal Palace, too small to fully address the religious needs of the court. It was done in the year 1752. The main facade is protected by a portico of five semicircular arches and Tuscan pilasters, which gives rise, on the upper part, to a terrace, which is closed by means of a stone balustrade and a triangular pediment, at the coronation of the central arch. During the reign of Carlos III , the Church was enlarged with a rectangular nave, while the closing of the southern face of the square was undertaken, with the construction of two new arcades on both sides of its façade. This work was carried out in 1767. On the square full of porticoes only in its first stretch, in its contact with the Casa de Infantes, whereas, in the second, it opens to the garden of Isabel II. The Casa de Infantes was done in 1772, for lodging of the infants Gabriel and Antonio, sons of king Carlos III, and of their respective families; It is perfectly integrated in the square, thanks to the aforementioned gallery of arcs. The northern side faces the square lacks arcades, which facilitates a direct connection to the Parterre garden, located next to the west façade of the Royal Palace. The feeling of contact between the two areas is reinforced with the location in this part of the fountain of Venus, whose monumental base constitutes a worthy counterpoint to the Church of San Antonio. This fountain was made in 1762 .

At first, the fountain was known as the Fuente del Rey or  King’s fountain, by the statue of Fernando VI that it had installed on its upper part. With the change of the sculptural auction, it received the official denomination of Fuente de Venus, although everyone began to call it the Mariblanca, due to the color of the figure of the goddess (white). For this reason, the Plaza de San Antonio is also called the Mariblanca. The Plaza de Mariblanca known as well as Plaza de Sant Antonio (see above). The beautiful statue is the image of a Venus sculpted in white stone by the artist of the time Juan Reina, and because of the very similar thing that turned out to be with the statue of the fountain of Puerta del Sol in Madrid, was given the same name as this , since then one of the greatest symbols of this city that has seen it grow from its beginnings until today. The Fuente de  Venus. In 1830 the fountain was ornamented by a ensemble formed by lizards, snails, cupids riding on newts and three Lions, two of them with a ball between their claws and a third holding a castle. The goddess Venus , one of the twelve Olympic divinities. According to Greek mythology, it was born by joining the Sea with the foam formed by the sperm of Uranus (the sky) after Saturn cut his testicles. It’s usually depicted in a shell. Usually Venus has been associated with beauty, love and especially with sexual attraction. Her loves with Mars and Adonis highlight the attraction for physical beauty. The evolution of its cult presents many aspects, the Venus Génitrix flattering of the marriage, the Venus Pandemic which veiled by the prostitution, the Venus Pelagia protective of the sailors… In Sparta, she was venerated as a warrior goddess and in the primitive Rome she was represented the spring, guarding and protecting the fields and gardens, which reaffirms her as a perfect guardian of our orchards.

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Moving along on these wonderful squares of Aranjuez we come to the Plaza de Parejas Reales. The main characteristic of the square is its enormous dimension and its semi-open form.  Its name is due to the game of couples that took place in this square and was a kind of dance on horseback in which forty-eight knights were divided into four rows headed by one of the sons of the king and parading disciplined they crossed and  re-crossed in a a kind of dance, tournament and military parade. This square is perpendicular to the Royal Palace flanked by the Casa de los Fogones (house of the kitchens) that closes on one side and limits it on the other the Casa de Caballeros y Oficios (House of Knights and Trades). It belongs to the area of warehouses and dependencies close to the Royal Palace. Its special location, near the Royal Palace and where their facades facing the Plaza de Parejas and Plaza de San Antonio stand above the rest.

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The Jardines del Principe or  Prince’s garden (see post) built by the Prince of Asturias , the future Carlos IV . It houses a myriad of gardens at the entrance, like the Spanish Garden, the Plaza de Pamplona, garden pavilions, Rollercoaster, spectacular Chinese gardens, Hermit Island.

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 For the benefit of those in public transports, the best way to reach here is from Madrid Puerta del Sol you can take Cercanias train C3 o C3A to Aranjuez train station, there walk about 15 minutes to the squares above. Of course, I always come here by car and get off street parking for free. 

The city of  Aranjuez tourist office on its heritage : https://visita.aranjuez.es/espacios/cultura/

The Community of Madrid region on Aranjuez:https://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/heritage-cities/aranjuez.html

There you go folks ,another nice walkable city full of wonderful monuments , I have done other posts on the city monuments that you can search in my blog. For now, enjoy the squares or plazas of Aranjuez as I,

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

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January 7, 2023

Curiosities and foody of San Sebastian

As you might know, the basques as in Spain or France are very good in the kitchen ,and one of the culinary highlights of my dear Spain. Here the choices are endless and very renown foods, however for nostalgia’s sake we as a family remember fondly this place which I am updating an older post with new items, Therefore, let me tell you about the curiosities and foody of San Sebastian.

I have come down by car from France to the beautiful city of San Sebastian  or Donostia in basque, We really were not looking to eat ,and did not know anything about them, just walking the city and hunger strikes; we look up some description of the menu and went in. Little did we know, we were stepping into San Sebastian’s culinary history! This is the restaurant Juanito Kojua with great memories with the family.

San Sebastian Juanito Kojua resto MF et PF aug08

Located in the Old Town of Donostia/San Sebastian,at Portu kalea 14 or Calle Puerto, you will find the emblematic Juanito Kojua, In its menu, you can find a wide variety of game products, as well as spoon dishes, fish and homemade delicacies. Taste the best of Donostiarra cuisine in Juanito Kojua. Opened since 1947 ,specializing in traditional Basque cuisine.Simply awesome !! This modest spot began as a meeting place for fishermen’s eating clubs and has persisted over the years because its chefs always seem to manage to get the top of the catch. There are four dining rooms of various traditional décor, but you don’t go here so so much for ambience as for the food! A must in San Sebastian, and we love it. They are now part of the group Garrancho, that have there in addition to the feature resto , the following : Andra Mari , Virginia Mendibil (in Irún) Mesón Portaletas , Juanito Kojua, Alderdi Zahar , Casa Vergara 1948, and Casa Tiburcio.

San Sebastian juanito kojua resto noel and pipo aug08

The official Juanito Kojua restaurant: https://grupogarrancho.com/carta/juanito-kojua/

My new fav RestaurantGuru reviews on the Juanito Kojua:https://restaurantguru.com/Juanito-Kojua-San-Sebastian

Moving about in beautiful San Sebastian we got into the shopping mode on the Boulevard ! The grand artery along the bay, this gets you into many side streets of old world treasures and shops, plus great restos and bar, walking is a must here, you will see more. For shopping you can do some along Boulevard to calle Legazpi left or at Calle Mayor right or a bit before left on Garibai Kalea street. 

San Sebastian Pedro at boulevard aug08

The San Sebastian tourist office on old city center shopping: https://www.sansebastianturismoa.eus/en/to-do/district-by-district/centre-old-town

Moving toward the harbor you come into a wonderful small Aquarium ; this is at the Palacio del Mar, at paseo del muelle, 34, basque architectural design to house the aquarium opening in 1828 as the headquarters of the Guipuzcoa Oceanographic Society. It has an unique collection of marine life from the local waters. Webpage: https://aquariumss.com/en/english/

San Sebastian pedro in harbor near aquarium aug08

There you go folks, hope it helps discover this wonderful City of Sant Sebastian, that I would love to visit again, Memories of my dear Spain ! Again, hope you enjoy the post on the curiosities and foody of San Sebastian, Spain or Donostia, Euskad as I.

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

December 30, 2022

Again, the Temple of Debod in Madrid !!!

This is a memorable spot for me as a kid living in Madrid, and for history of not only the temple but the Spanish Civil War. Hope you enjoy the new post with older pictures just found in my vault on the Temple of Debod !!

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I thought of something unique and semi hidden in Madrid, but a must to visit. This is the Temple of Debod in the parque del Oeste and more precisely in the parque de la montaña (where an old Civil War hq was ). Today visitors and younger generation flock to the temple to see the history of the Egyptian monument without realising the sacrifice that was done here. I know, I have taken my boys several times as well as beauty and history are a great lesson, And do see my other post on it in my blog.

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As you know at least from my previous post ,the temple, originated from ancient Egypt and 2,200 years old, is an Egyptian gift to Spain to thank it for its collaboration in saving the temples of Nubia. The Temple of Debod was dedicated on July 20, 1972 after two years of reconstruction. The temple has two floors. There is a very interesting model on the upper floor, where you will discover all the temples that existed in Nubia. Do not miss it.

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Originally, this monument stood in the Nile Valley, some 31 km from Aswan. It was built in the 2nd century BC. But following a rise in water that threatened this part of the city, the temple was dismantled stone by stone between 1969 and 1970. The Egyptian government then decided to offer it to Spain. Indeed Spain helped the Egyptians to save the monuments of the Aswan valley at the time of the construction of the dam. The stones of the temple were in fact transported by boat to Valencia before then transporting them by train to Madrid. It was put on the land where the former headquarters of La Montaña was located.

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Near the Temple of Debod on the esplanade to the side , there is a fantastic mirador or lookout . Before you leave, come and enjoy its stunning views. To go the exact address is Calle Ferraz 1. By metro/subway/tube get off at the Plaza de España stop lines 2, 3 and 10 or in Ventura Rodríguez line 3 that although it is somewhat further, you can walk to the temple perfectly . We enjoy the bus and lines 3, 46, 74, 75, 148 and C2 can take you there too.

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The Madrid tourist office on the Temple of Debod: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/templo-de-debod

The specialised city of Madrid site Memories of Madrid on the Temple of Debodhttp://templodedebod.memoriademadrid.es/eng/index.html

There you go folks, another wonderful sight to see in my dear Madrid ,a city made for life and families, wonderful memories of always. Hope you enjoy the historical Temple of Debod as I.

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

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December 29, 2022

Again ,my Parque del Buen Retiro of Madrid !!!!

This park has several entries in my blog but never enough I past grand part of my stay in Madrid here, it was cheap and great to play, meet friends and do all the young boy wanted to do It has stayed in my heart ever since Over the years, I have the opportunity to come back to Madrid and the Parque del Buen Retiro park is a must. To be in Madrid need to have visited , I can come back a thousand times and still will missed it once leaving. Because the Retiro park for me is part of what we say , from Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day !!! I keep looking at it from wherever I am Hope you can visit it and enjoy the post as I.

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I am updating this older post on another visit to Madrid and of course ,another visit to the Retiro park. I have come with wife and boys , and parents, and taken friends here to show off Sublime !

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You know this was a Royal park and even if cutoff a lot still has 125 hectares or 4,5 km of perimeter; from the beginning it was much larger something like 145 hectares. It was created from 1630 to 1640. The park has a big pond ,basin, lake as you like in a rectangular fashion where there is a huge monument to king Alfonso XII with his equestrian statue in bronze done in 1904. There is also a rosary or roselada and 12 other statues , fountains and two palaces such as Cristal and Velazquez. There is an Egyptian fountain, kiosks for food, boat rentals, bike rentals jogging trails, and exercise trails, Chinese pagoda etc etc.  It has about 19000 trees of 167 different species.  In its territory there is the Royal National Observatory, and remnants of the Hermitage of San Pelayo and San Isidoro (Saint Pelagius and Saint Isidore) . The Parque del Buen Retiro makes reference to the functionality of the now gone Cuarto Real (Royal quarters), a site annex to the Monastery of the Jerónimos , where the kings retire to meditate or entertainment.

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All wonderful for a day or weekend family trip now. The Retiro park is now an Unesco World Heritage Site under the name “El Paseo del Prado y el Buen Retiro. Paisaje de las Artes y las Ciencias” or sort of the Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, landscapes of Arts and Sciences. You will do well to search in my blog for my other many posts on the Retiro park, and again is a must in Madrid ; you cannot come to the city and not visited it.

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The hours for Spring and Summer (from April to September): from 6h to midnight. Autumn and Winter (October to March): from 6h to 22h. Opening hours for the canine areas are from 7h30 until the park closes, You get there other than walking on metro lines Príncipe de Vergara (lines 2 and 9), Ibiza (line 9), Atocha (line 1), Atocha. Renfe (line 1), On bus lines 1, 2, 9, 14, 15, 19, 20, 26, 28, 32, 51, 52, 61, 63, 74, 146, 152, 202, and C.

The Madrid tourist office on the Retiro parkhttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-retiro

The Community of Madrid region tourist office on the Retiro parkhttps://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/iconic-places/el-retiro-park.html

There you go folks, a dandy sublime beautiful lungs park of my dear Madrid , Again, a must to see in the City , I have memories forever here, Until next time in Madrid ,eventually Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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December 28, 2022

The Paseo de la Castellana of Madrid !!!

Well here we go again, I thought have told you about this wonderful promenade street of my dear Madrid , but after looking around my blog realised only have mentioned it briefly in previous posts. Therefore, it really needs a post of its own for one of the dandies streets in my Madrid which I have walked and driven zillions of times. Let me tell you some about the Paseo de la Castellana of Madrid !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Paseo de la Castellana , commonly known as La Castellana, is one of the longest and widest avenues of Madrid with 6 km of palaces and towers. It is named after an old Castellana fountain that used to exist in Plaza de Castilla from a stream starting in the Plaza Gregorio Marañon. It starts at Plaza de Colón, passes through the Nuevos Ministerios, Plaza de Lima, Plaza de Cuzco, Plaza de Castilla, and ends near the Nudo Norte (North Junction), connecting with the M-30 and the road to Colmenar Viejo. The Paseo de la Castellana is the continuation of Paseo de Recoletos and Paseo del Prado, and these three avenues vertebrate the north-south axis of the city. Here you have the supreme Estadio Santiago Bernabeu,home of the best of all times, Real Madrid CF! It entered service at the beginning of the 20C, and by early 21C consisted of 6 central lanes or main road, and 4 lateral service roads, Its extension to the north to Fuencarral is planned, within the urban project known as “Madrid Nuevo Norte”.

A bit of the long history of Paseo de la Castellana, short version :

In 1786 the Paseo de la Castellana was conditioned, at the end of which there was a basin that collected the waters of the Castellana Fountain. In 1807 the stream was canalized and work began on the future Paseo. A few years later in 1830 urbanization of the area began and the project ended in 1834. Subsequently, the nine rows of trees that originally ran along the Paseo were planted. The Paseo de la Castellana originates from the road that, in a south-north direction, flanked the city of Madrid during the 17C and 18C by the Paseo del Prado and Recoletos promenades. The extension to the north of this Prado-Recoletos axis was already considered during the regency of María Cristina de Borbón, widow of King Ferdinand VII, and mother of the one who later acceded to the throne under the name of Isabel II. At first, the promenade was not officially called that, but Paseo de las Delicias de la Princesa, in honor of the future Queen Isabel II, to distinguish it from the Paseo de las Delicias del Río (now Paseo de las Delicias), and it was completed in put up in 1834. The nobility that had historically settled in the center of the city, during the 19C and the first years of the 20C, gradually settled in the peripheral areas of the city. This is the reason why a good number of palaces were built in the Castellana. Most of them were demolished until the 1970’s. During the Spanish civil war, Paseo de la Castellana, together with Paseo del Prado and Paseo Recoletos, (see posts) received the name of Avenida de la Unión Proletaria (Proletarian union avenue) . After the war ended, the promenade underwent a new name change, becoming known as Avenida del Generalísimo (the General’s avenue for Franco) ,In 1949, Paseo de la Castellana recovered its name, but only in the section that existed before the war. The prolongation of the promenade, from its junction with Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde street, kept the name of Avenida del Generalísimo. It was not until 1980 that the Avenida del Generalísimo disappeared, once again being part of Paseo de la Castellana. After starting in the Plaza de Colón, (see post) the promenade has a large number of public buildings on both sides, especially ministries and embassies of different countries. They are buildings that date from the end of the 19C to the middle of the 20C. In this first section, which is winding and narrower than the subsequent ones, are the Plazas Emilio Castelar and Doctor Gregorio Marañón squares. After passing the Plaza Gregorio Marañón square, there is the Museo de Ciencias Naturales or museum of natural sciences and the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineers on the even sidewalk, and after the next square, Plaza San Juan de la Cruz, are the Nuevos Ministerios, (see post) a complex that groups several Public Buildings.

What is there is very nice, my Paseo de la Castellana !!

We start the paseo or promenade tour at Plaza de Colón (see post) which at number 1, we have the famous Torres de Colón. With its green dome and its gadget on the roof in the form of an Art Deco socket, they were unmistakable. At number 3 of the promenade is the Palace of the Marqués de Villamejor, built in 1893, where the mother of king Juan Carlos I was born. Today it is the headquarters of the Secretary of State for Public Administrations. On the opposite sidewalk, at number 2, the Hard Rock Café in Madrid has closed its doors, and a little further on is the German Evangelical Church or Church of Peace, a little-known temple slightly hidden behind walls and branches. The trees in the garden. at number 5 is the Alcalá Galiano palace, built in 1878, headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior. And at number 17, in front of the Hotel Villamagna, we have the palace of the Marquises of Fontalba and Cubas. Built in 1912, it won an award from the City Council for the most outstanding buildings. It currently houses the State Attorney General’s Office. A small but attractive mansion that belonged to the Marquis of Eliseda, at number 27 is the current headquarters of the Youth Institute, it is said that the Spanish Falange was founded here in 1933. At number 34 stands the ABC Serrano shopping center, in a Neo-Mudejar style building built in 1926. Behind it, the center has an exit on Calle Serrano in the Neoplateresque-style building from 1899. The complex was the headquarters of the ABC newspaper since its inception until 1989. Opposite the previous one is the Palacio de Bermejillo, on the Puente Eduardo Dato bridge that crosses the Castellana. Built in 1916, this palace has had various uses throughout its history and today is the headquarters of the Ombudsman. Under the Eduardo Dato bridge, the Museo Arte Público de Madrid or the Madrid Public Art Museum opens. Previously it was called the Castellana Open Air Sculpture Museum, because, indeed, it is outdoors. Here walkers can admire its 17 sculptures by contemporary artists such as Chillida, Miró, Sempere, Subirachs or Torner. Being open, you do not have to pay any entry or submit to any schedule.

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The palace of Eduardo Adcoh is the striking building at number 37 built in 1906. The privileged building currently houses the Rafael del Pino Foundation. The next thing the walker comes to is the Glorieta de Emilio Castelar roundabout, where the monument to the politician and writer who was president of the First Spanish Republic between 1873 and 1874 stands.If from this roundabout we take the left , we will arrive in a minute at the Sorolla Museum. Returning to Paseo de la Castellana, we immediately arrive at Plaza del Doctor Marañón, whose center is presided over by an equestrian statue of the Marquis del Duero. Two of the most prestigious hotels in the capital have their place in this same square. These are the Intercontinental (see post Istayed!) and the Miguel Angel. The next square we find is that of Plaza San Juan de la Cruz, with a large fountain in the middle ordering traffic. Next to the fountain rests the sculpture La Mano, by Fernando Botero, owned by the Fundación Telefónica, which donates it to the City Council. And to the right, on a rise in the land, is the Museo de Ciencias Naturales or museum of natural sciences, which occupies the Palace of Arts and Industry from the late 19C. In the garden between Paseo de la Castellana and the museum is the monument to Isabel la Católica. The sculptural ensemble, from 1883, is surrounded by a small pond that represents the queen on a horse accompanied by a military man and a religious man. In the same garden we see the monument to the Constitution of 1978. It is a marble cube with stairs on all four sides. If we continue along the left sidewalk we come across the monument to Indalecio Prieto, Minister of the Republic during the Spanish Civil War . The sculpture is sheltered in the wall of the Nuevos Ministerios, a project promoted by Prieto himself in 1933. Completed in 1942, it currently houses the Ministries of Transport and Labor. A little further on, on the same sidewalk as the odd numbers, is AZCA, a large commercial and office block (see post) . Opened in the 1960s, it houses the well-known Torre Picasso and Torre Europa. Here is also the Titania Tower, which was built on the ruins of the burned Windsor building. In the same space we have the Castellana 81 building (BBVA bank headquarters), the Mahou Tower, one of the largest branches of El Corte Inglés, the Moda Shopping mall, (see post) , and a good handful of restaurants and other establishments , When we cross Avenida del General Perón is the Palace of Congresses (see post). Opened in 1970, its façade displays a large mural designed by Joan Miró. In the square that forms at its entrance, if you look closely, you can see a sculpture of Ghandi. Opposite the palace, crossing the Paseo de la Castellana, stands the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, of Real Madrid ; yes simply the best !!! (see posts).

madrid Paseo de la Castellana el corte ingles by Nuevos ministerios aug16

If we continue going up the Paseo de la Castellana, we will arrive at Plaza de Cuzco, where the Ministry of Industry is located. At number 200, the Castellana 200 Shopping Center , a modern complex. And in the next block we have the Arte Canal Exhibition Center, where some of the most outstanding exhibitions in Madrid are programmed. We are already in Plaza de Castilla, in the highest part of Paseo de la Castellana. Opposite the warehouse rise the unaesthetic buildings of the Courts, which appear so often on the news. On the south side of the Plaza de Castilla is the monument to Calvo Sotelo, from 1960, dedicated to the politician who was assassinated shortly before the start of the Spanish Civil War. In the middle of the square stands the Column of Calatrava, a golden cylinder 93 meters high. Completed in 2009, it has also been called Obelisk de la Caja and Obelisk de Calatrava, after the architect who designed it. On the north side of the square are the Kio Towers, those two leaning skyscrapers that we have been seeing for a while as we go up the Paseo de la Castellana. The official name of the pair of towers is Puerta de Europa and its symmetrical buildings measure 114 meters. The most curious fact is that they present an inclination of 15 degrees with respect to the vertical. From Plaza de Castilla you can see the tallest skyscrapers in Spain, which are located at the end of the Castellana. The complex is called the Cuatro Torres Business Area and it forms a business park built on the land of the former Real Madrid Sports City. The two tallest towers, about 250 meters high, are the so-called Torre Cepsa (45 floors) and the Torre de Cristal (52 floors). The others are Torre PWC (58 floors) and Torre Espacio (57 floors), with a height of about 230 meters. Next to it, the Caleido Tower, known as the Fifth Tower, open in 2021 by the king 180 meters and 35 floors. And here, at the La Paz hospital, which is next to the skyscrapers, Paseo de la Castellana ends.

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In its northern section, between the end and the Plaza del Doctor Marañón, the avenue is covered by line 10 of the Madrid Metro, with stops at Begoña (Line 10), Plaza de Castilla (Line 1, Line 10, and Line 9 ), Cuzco (Line 10), Santiago Bernabéu Station (Line 10), Nuevos Ministerios (Line 10, Line 6 and Line 8) and Gregorio Marañón (Line 10 and Line 7). From the Plaza del Doctor Marañón to Colón, there is no Metro line that runs along the axis, but it is crossed by lines 5 at the Rubén Darío station and 4 at the Colón station. The main bus lines of the axis are 27 (wonderful ride) , which runs along the axis from Plaza de Castilla to Colón, and 147, which runs from Plaza del Doctor Marañón to the height of Hospital La Paz. Other important lines are the 14 (a good one too) that runs along the promenade between Nuevos Ministerios and Colón, the 40 that uses the avenue between the Cuzco square and the Doctor Marañón square, the 45 that has stops between the San Juan de la Cruz square and the de Colón, and the 150 that provides service from the Plaza de Lima to Colón, On the train side you have the from Nuevos Ministerios with a stop for lines C-2, C-3, C-4, C-7, C-8 and C-10 of Cercanías Madrid.

The Madrid tourist office on the Castellana district in Madrid: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-neighbourhoods/castellana

The official Madrid Nuevo Norte project : https://creamadridnuevonorte.com/en/home-en/

The Comunidad de Madrid regional tourist office on walks of Madridhttps://www.comunidad.madrid/en/cultura/organiza-tu-visita/paseo-calles-madrid

There you go folks, feel better now, this is one of the dandiest street in my dear Madrid. Often overlook by visitors going to the tourist Centro/center but worth every meter/foot of it. Hope you enjoy the post on the Paseo de la Castellana of Madrid as I

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

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