Posts tagged ‘Spain’

September 18, 2020

Valladolid, yes my Spain!

And so happy to tell you a bit about Valladolid, a beautiful city full of architecture and history I like. Finally have some photos to show you and I am thrill; hope you enjoy the post as I do.

Valladolid is the capital of the province of Valladolid and of the autonomous community of Castilla y León. It is located at the confluence of the Pisuerga and the Esgueva rivers. In the absence of reliable sources, the origin of the city’s name is not clearly established.

The Valladolid International Airport is located 10 km from the city, in the town of Villanubla, at about 846 meters above sea level, it was opened in 1938. The bus ride from the airport to the center of Valladolid takes about 25 minutes. Buses pass through the airport approximately every 90 minutes, between 8h and 21h. More on the Valladolid airport from AENA: http://www.aena.es/en/valladolid-airport/city-buses.html

By the road, the way I have come is easy and even more so now with the A-6, which allows you to reach Madrid in two hours as well as one hour from Segovia by the A601, Salamanca by the A62, Burgos by the A62 , and Zamora by the A11 and A62. The journey, by national road, does not reach two hours from León. The best way in Spain to drive other than a GPS is Guia Repsol for travel routes, tourist info, etc: https://www.guiarepsol.com/es/descubrir/

The Spanish High Speed (AVE) allows you to set foot in Madrid in just 50 minutes! In addition, thanks to the Avant train service, you can come from Madrid at almost any time of the day: Valladolid is also one of the towns integrated in the Ave Cities Network. More on the AVE network here:https://avexperience.es/online/valladolid.htm

A bit on the history I like(a tiny bit)

The reconquest of Valladolid from the Moors took place in the 10C. From the 12C, the city was favored by the King of Castilla, who directly appointed the main notables and officers. In 1343, the university was founded which will give a number of jurists to the Crown. In 1373, Henri II de Trastamara installed the Royal Chancellery there, and was the residence of the kings of Castile from the 15C until Felipe II made Madrid the capital of the kingdom in 1561; however, Valladolid temporarily became capital again from 1600 to 1606.

The city was the scene of the Valladolid controversy which in 1550 focused on the status of American Indians and which opposed the Dominican Bartolomé de Las Casas (a famous figure in Latin America) and the theologian Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda. The departure of the court in October 1559 causes the stop of the urban extension. In the 14C, Valladolid was the third or fourth city of old Castilla after Seville and Toledo. The historical archives of Spain constitute a considerable collection with the first documents date from before the 10C and extend to the contemporary period. They are supplemented by the provincial archives held in each region formerly corresponding to the sovereign lordships.

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Some of the things to see here are

You see the 15C College of San Gregorio, which contains the National Museum of Polychrome Sculpture. Home to one of the very first sculpture collections in Spain. It brings together sculptures representative of the Castilian school with Alonso Berruguete, Jean de Joigny or Juan de Juni, and Gregorio Fernández, alongside other great Spanish masters like Juan Martínez Montañés, Pedro de Mena, and Luis Salvador Carmona. More on this wonderful museum from the tourist office of Valladolid: https://www.info.valladolid.es/-/10-imprescindibles-museo-nacional-de-escultura

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The University ,founded in the 13C. The remarkable Baroque facade dates from 1716-1718. The 16C Cathedral still unfinished) in renaissance and baroque styles.

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The Zorilla theater, built in 1884 in the former convent of San Francisco, where Christopher Columbus died.

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The Campo Grande is a wonderful park and sadly not enough photos of it were found,nevertheless here is a bit of a description.

The Campo Grande is a large public park located in the heart of the city of Valladolid, is limited by the streets of Acera de Recoletos, the Paseo de los Filipinos and the Paseo de Zorrilla. Its main entrance is in the Plaza de Zorrilla, where together with a modern bill gate lays a floral shield of the city. Its origin as a park or, more specifically, as a garden area, dates back to 1787, although from the 15C, it must be regarded as an important urban space.

In June 1808 Napoleon’s troops entered Valladolid and camped at Campo Grande; there were a thousand artillery soldiers with their corresponding weapons. In December of the same year, the English troops entered and captured the French. In January 1809 Napoleon arrived in Valladolid and gave a general review of his troops. During the war there were executions, executions of Spaniards, guerrillas, common soldiers, etc.

The estanque or pond and the waterfall its outline was adorned with islands and an artificial mountain imitating a cave from which a waterfall fell. A fountain was also projected in the middle of the lake and the existence of a rowing barge destined to take children and their companions. It was built with stone and a lining of quicklime. The work was completed in March 1879. Almost in the center of the park a large square with wooden benches opens up around its circle, surrounded by fine specimens of trees, including the Lebanon cedar, much loved by the peacocks that chose as a bedroom. In the middle there is an artistic fountain known as the Fuente de la Fama or Fountain of Fame. A column supports the statue representing the angel of fame. The base is octagonal with an exterior pylon. The Paseo del Príncipe is a wide, straight road, well paved, that connects the main door located in the Plaza Zorrilla square with the Puerta del Príncipe or Prince’ gate that opens onto the Paseo de los Filipinos.

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The tourist office of Valladolid on Campo Grandehttps://www.info.valladolid.es/-/10-imprescindibles-campo-grande

The tourist office of Valladolid with its main monuments to see: https://www.info.valladolid.es/monumentos

And there you go folks a bit of my days in Valladolid, another wonderful Spanish town that now has a place in my blog as already in my heart. Hope you enjoy the post as I did.

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

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September 11, 2020

Some news from Spain XCV

And here I am in my beloved Spain. And first, thank you for reading me! Today temps are sunny and 85F in my beloved Madrid! So, therefore, its time to tell you about some news from Spain!

The Madrid City Council converts the former Conde Duque Barracks into its cultural center of reference with a commitment to contemporary creativity and a daily program that challenges the pandemic depression a new chapter in the long history of walls built more than 300 years ago and which also house the Villa Archive and the Municipal Newspaper Library. Hence the new denomination of Center for Contemporary Culture Condeduque was born. And I have more in my blog, great wonderful place. More here: https://www.condeduquemadrid.es/

The doors of the Teatro Español reopened with an exceptional musical grotesque. The play Con lo bien que nosotros (Ferretería Esteban) has inaugurated the 2020/2021 season of public theaters in Madrid, which has a total of 80 projects. with the live piano performance of Néstor Ballesteros, it revolves around a couple of hardware dealers, Esteban and Marigel, who one day decide to leave their routine to go to the theater. From there their lives takes a turn because music owns Esteban, turning his days into a grotesque musical. Shown until October 4, 2020. More here:  https://www.teatroespanol.es/con-lo-bien-que-estabamos-ferreteria-esteban

Morante and Juan Ortega will fight a heads-up on October 12 in Córdoba . Morante and Juan Ortega will fight a bullfight by Jandilla and Vegahermosa, hand in hand as a tribute to Joselito el Gallo, according to the poster that has been made public. More info in MundoToro or world of bulls… https://www.mundotoro.com/noticia/morante-juan-ortega-mano-a-mano-en-cordoba/1561041

If the Atlantic archipelago of the Canary Islands were a country (not at all farfetched) , it would be the fifth with the most tourists in the European Union. Its climate, the best in the world according to several studies, is joined by its level of safety, its nature and its beaches as reasons to extend the summer season for the rest of the year. As an example, its 40.5% of protected territory stands out (it measures a total of 7,493 km2), its four National Parks, seven Biosphere Reserves, 1,583 kms of coastline, 500 beaches and 60 natural saltwater pools.

The largest island in the archipelago ,Tenerife, is home to the Teno Rural Park and Teide, the highest mountain in Spain (3,718 meters) and the third highest volcano in the world. The homonymous National Park can be discovered on foot along the established trails or by car on the only asphalt road that crosses it. Regarding the beaches, there are both familiar (Las Teresitas) and wild (Benijo). It would be necessary to know Los Gigantes, those vertigo cliffs. There are other islands such as Gran Canaria; Fuerteventura,   Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, and La Graciosa, the smallest of the Canary Islands. The touirist office of the Canary Islands: https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/

And the tourist office of Tenerifehttps://www.webtenerife.co.uk/#prettyPhoto

For seven years, the users of the Tripadvisor portal have chosen Siam Park, in Tenerife, as the best water park on the planet, the complex located in Costa Adeje, in the south of Tenerife and inaugurated in 2008. Siam Park occupies a 85,000 square meter extension that accommodates all kinds of attractions that have water as the protagonist between slides, pools of all sizes and shapes, giant donuts in which to slide, meandering rivers, exotic forests, shops and different restaurants. And all inspired by the ancient Thai kingdom of Siam, from which it takes its name.   More info here: https://www.siampark.net/en/

As of Thursday 10 September (yesterday), Madrid will become a cultural fair with 48 galleries open while showing, in a unique tour, works by 75 artists. In September Madrid spent more on art than ever and for four days it becomes the great city of contemporary art by the hand of Apertura Madrid Gallery Weekend 2020, a walk through the most current art. From Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 September, the 11th edition of this cultural festival is held, promoted by the Arte Madrid association, in which 48 Madrid galleries (from Albarrán Bourdais or Blanca Berlin to Xavier Fiol, passing through Juana de Aizpuru and Marlborough ) simultaneously inaugurate their exhibitions and present the work of 75 artists to the public for free, as if it were a unique tour. With long hours Thursday, from 12h to 22h; Friday and Saturday, from 11h to 20h., and check on site for Sundays to leisurely tour the exhibitions or follow itineraries devised for the occasion; dance shows (Dance is born in the galleries; thus, on the afternoons of Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th, September the venues will host eight young resident dance companies of the Centro Coreográfico Canal, and virtual visits of all the exhibitions. In addition, from September 14 to 24, Apertura has a varied program of free activities for the entire public (prior online registration): guided tours of the city’s galleries, art centers and museums; walks through streets, squares and buildings to get to know some of the artistic gems that the city offers to the curious passerby.

Official Arte Madrid on Apertura: https://www.artemadrid.com/apertura/

The tourist office of Madrid on Apertura : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/apertura-arte-madrid

Official Centro Coreogràfico Canal: https://www.teatroscanal.com/centro-danza-madrid/

The new season will start off at Caixaforum Madrid on October 9 with “The American Dream”, a colorful journey through the collection of prints and drawings of the British Museum by Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Johns, Bourgeois, Warhol and De Kooning. More on Caixaforum Madrid and The American Dream: https://caixaforum.es/es/madrid/p/el-sueno-americano-del-pop-a-la-actualidad_a12643579

A wonderful town passed and visit several times in my visits to the serranias or mountain range of Aragon and Castilla La Mancha on my road warrior trips by car France-Spain. This is Albarracín, in the province of Teruel, Autonomous Region of Aragon, Kingdom of Spain.

Perched in the hills above a bend in the Guadalaviar River, the town of Teruel is one of the most beautiful in Spain. Former capital of a Taifa kingdom, Albarracín has preserved all its medieval flavor. Its old town is declared an Asset of Cultural Interest and the first thing that surprises when arriving at the town is its imposing fortified enclosure, whose perimeter far exceeds the surface of the urban area. At its highest point is the Torre del Andador, from the 10C, and in the old town, the castle ruins stand on a cliff. The Cathedral of El Salvador, dating from the 16C, includes a bell tower that was built on the remains of a Romanesque temple. The tourist office of the Sierras of Albarracinhttps://albarracinturismo.com/

The tourist office of Aragon on  Albarracinhttps://www.turismodearagon.com/en/ficha/albarracin/

And last but not least ,something I like to share. Vuelta a Madrid ( tour of Madrid) is the loyalty program of the city of Madrid with which you can enjoy advantages and exclusive offers in a selection of the best restaurants, shops, museums, nightlife shows and many more places.

I have used it even if know the city like the palm of my hand, and the programs are very good and the discount for real and available. Being a member is free and to enjoy your benefits and prizes you just have to return to Madrid. No matter the reason for your visit to Madrid, leisure or business. It will always be a great time to take advantage of the benefits that Vuelve a Madrid offers you. Only thing the site is only in Spanish and English. More info here: https://www.vuelveamadrid.com/en/

There you go for now on my news from Spain, always a wonderful place to be. Spain, everything under the Sun, and more. Hope you enjoy the post as me writing it.

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

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August 22, 2020

Some news from Spain XCIIII

Well it seems to be away from Spain quite some time. Things are happening even surviving a resurgence of covid19 cases, and fighting as always. Let me tell you the lighter side of events in my beloved Spain.

Benito Pérez Galdós summers in Santander!!!  In Cantabria, in his home San Quintín, where he went almost every summer of his life since 1871. The first 20 years he spent for rent in the city, but in 1892 he began to build his farm in San Quintín, from which he had the company and the soft bath for the view of the Santander bay. The estate became a kind of pilgrim mecca for contemporary Galdosians. The writer secluded himself there for at least three months a year with his sisters, Carmen and Concha, and his daughter María, whom he had, as single, with Lorenza Cobián. The place served as a profitable inspiring refuge for him: he produced eight novels, 14 national episodes, and 11 plays there. He went to bed early and got up a lot early. It was installed in furniture designed by himself, as he did with the house, which he designed together with the architect Casimiro Pérez de la Riva. The large tiled fireplace from England was imprinted with a legend from Shakespeare’s grave. On the walls hung pictures with motifs of the National Episodes and there he transferred the portrait made by his friend Joaquín Sorolla. In the library he had a border inscribed with phrases from the Litany of the Virgin and passages from the Psalms were read on the curtains. All this, contemplated by a reproduction of Voltaire’s death mask and a portrait of someone as un-Christian as Richard Wagner. This contrast gave an idea of ​​his radically contradictory spirit, taken to the maximum in his decorative expressions. San Quintín was the only house that Galdós owned. His house … To such an extent it was that he kept all his manuscripts there while he was alive. He set San Quintín as the starting point for his trips to the north and the region, which he reflected in travel books such as Four leagues through Cantabria. There he embarked on ships that transferred him to his continuous European itineraries. He often departed from the port of Santander for France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, and landed again at the same point. After his death, no one wanted to keep his legacy there. His body was extinguished and also his memory in the city. No one showed interest in claiming it. Their belongings were transferred to the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria House Museum in the 1960s. The property was sold to private individuals shortly after he died. They demolished the house. The retaining wall of the entrance to the farm is preserved, as well as a sign with blue tiles and Gothic letters that reads: San Quintín. No memory on the wall indicates that there, one of the greatest writers of world literature created much of his work and was reasonably happy. That is the sad part of history forgetfulness, we should not! Long live Benito Pérez Galdós!

The Real Alcàzar of Seville is a jewel to be visited. An intervention project will consolidate and restore the almost 1,600 square meters of tiling and tiles of the Sevillian monument from the 14C to the 20C!! The Patio de las Doncellas or Patio of the Maidens of the Mudejar Palace of the Real Alcázar of Seville, space in which are the 14Ctiles, the oldest in the complex. The tiled baseboards with star decorations in one of the rooms of the palace of Pedro I of Castile. Geometric compositions made by builders from the kingdom of Granada in the 14C. The Patio de las Doncellas, where the oldest ceramic wall tiles can be found. Intricate geometric shapes in one of the cloths in salón de los Embajadores or Ambassadors’ room. Each piece, in a single color, was cut with pliers, and had to fit right into the puzzle, without leaving a sore point. A divan in the Patio de las Doncellas, surrounded by the oldest tiles in the complex, from the 14C, contemporary with those of the Alhambra. The vaults room, part of the 13C Gothic palace that Felipe II ordered to be covered with tiles painted in the 16C. The set, the work of Cristóbal de Augusta, is the largest of the European Renaissance. Grotesque-themed panels in the sala de las Bóvedas or room of the Vaults. Next to the head can be read the date 1578 and below, the author’s signature: Augusta. Part of the sala de las Bóvedas, whose walls are covered with 243 square meters of tiles painted by Cristóbal de Augusta in the 16C. The ceramic wall tiles of the Gothic Palace, present in three rooms, have humidity problems due to capillarity, loss of enamel and as a result of the replacement of pieces that have been made throughout the last century. All will be renovated now!!! More info here: https://www.alcazarsevilla.org/en/

And for something for the true traditionalist Spaniards.

Can it be said that there has not yet been a decent bullfight in 2020? ”. It depends, of course, on the moral conception of each one, but, decent or not, what we have seen so far causes an alarming disappointment. It’s not this, no; this is not what bullfighting needs to stand tall in the 21C!!!  For the inaugural bullfight of the season in Andalusia, on August 1, in Osuna, Ponce himself included in the poster a friend of his, Javier Conde, a returned bullfighter, possessor of old wilted muses, gripped by a clamorous absence of technique and a heavy heart. In Huelva, eight bulls, two for the rejoneador Andrés Romero, and six for Juan Pedro Domecq, for Ponce, Castella and David de Miranda. The journalist Carlos Crivell wrote the following on his blog Sevillatoro.es: “The future of the Fiesta cannot be supported by bullfights as embarrassing as the second in Colombinas. When a renovation of the structures of the bullfighting network is requested, in moments in which an attractive bullfight is needed in which the bull is the real king to be fought by capable bullfighters, who are heroes, it is a disaster to witness the game of bulls without life, almost dead on the way out, that give more pity than fear, that come to give real pain, so that everything ends in a continuous embarrassment that there is no fan who can endure in a square. With bulls like those of Juan Pedro that were run in Huelva, the festival has no future ”.

As if that were not enough, a heated controversy has arisen over whether or not companies comply with the sanitary measures on the allowed capacity. The photos can be deceiving, but the impression is that in the celebrations held there was more public than allowed. The bull is the foundation of bullfighting; the only element with the capacity to excite and hook new fans. And until this axiom is apprehended by bullfighters there will be no solution for bullfighting. If this is the normality that bullfighting people and their journalists prefer, let them know that the bullfighting business will not give them for retirement. If this is the new bullfighting, the party has a short life left. The bull, only the bull, will save the party from certain death. Only the bull, the real one, and not the current cartoon. José Ortega y Gasset already said it: “The day the epic is lost in bullfighting and everything is aesthetic, the Fiesta will have its days numbered.” Indeed!

The Festival de Artes Digitales Mira or the Mira digital arts festival announced yesterday that it was postponing its tenth edition, which had to be held this November, until a year from now, in November 2021, in order to guarantee the health of attendees, artists and workers from the covid-19. The MIRA Festival is structured in three connected areas: exhibition, dissemination and education, and it takes place every year in the city of Barcelona since 2011 and in Berlin since 2016. Focused on the confluence between art and digital culture, the festival offers a programming proposal that includes audiovisual shows in classic formats, digital art exhibitions, immersive screenings and conferences and workshops. More info here: https://mirafestival.com/en/mira-postpones-tenth-edition-until-2021/

Those who go to the Prado Museum until September 13 2020 will not be able to visit all its rooms, but the ones they visit will provide a unique experience. For this, a spectacular assembly has been conceived in the Central Gallery and adjacent rooms, an emblematic space that, due to its architectural characteristics, guarantees compliance with the recommendations of the health authorities and provides a safe visiting model for the public and employees. The assembly, made up of 249 works, follows a preferably chronological order, from the 15C to the dawn of the 20C, but given its exceptional nature, it dilutes the traditional distribution by national schools and proposes dialogues between authors and paintings separated by geography and weather; associations that tell us about influences, admiration and rivalries and point out the profoundly self-referential nature of the Prado Museum collections.
The Prado National Museum Reunited. Madrid 06/06/2020 – 09/13/2020. See specially :The Annunciation by Fra Angelico and The Descent by Van der Weyden, brought together for the first time, welcome visitors on a generous tour of exceptional dialogues.  Goya and Rubens’ Saturns can be seen together, and Las Meninas and Las Hilanderas will share space in Room XII, along with an exceptional “altarpiece” made up of the jesters by Velázquez More info here: https://www.museodelprado.es/en/whats-on/exhibition/reunited/1027b51a-a7dc-4199-7ce6-5ff4a2710f74

And to brag of my beloved Spain here is some facts.

In addition to being the place with the most coastal spaces with this distinction blue flag beaches as 589 this year, Spain has such a varied coastline that it can hardly be seen elsewhere. Spain is the country with the most blue flag beaches in the world since 1987. A total of 8,000 kilometers of the Spanish geography are bathed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cantabrian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The European Foundation for Environmental Education has awarded the blue flag to 589 of the 662 candidates (89% effective) for meeting the criteria that this organization requires in terms of information and environmental management, water quality, safety and services . It is the country in the world with more of these awards ahead of Greece, with 514; Turkey, with 508; and France, with 507, a ranking that Spain has led since 1987. Within Spain, the Valencian Community is the autonomous region with the highest number of blue flags (134), followed by Galicia (107), Andalusia (100) and Catalonia ( 95).
The Costa Blanca, which covers the entire Alicante coastline, in its 244 kilometers you can find more crowded coastal cities, such as Alicante and Benidorm, other smaller ones, such as Denia or Altea, and a total of 73 blue flags this season, the tourist destination of Spain that accumulates the most. In the province of Valencia, Gandía offers extreme measures in its six kilometers of beach both for visitors and for all the personnel who work there. In fact, it has come to be classified as the safest beach in Spain. The islands are the ones that are suffering the most from the consequences of the pandemic this summer, especially the Canary Islands, where currently reservations do not reach 15% of the figures they used to have at this point in other years, especially due to geographical distance. The Islas Canarias ski lift since, in addition to having a tropical climate that maintains a constant temperature between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year, it has one of the widest coastline offers in Spain. Of particular note are the Playa de Maspalomas, on the island of Gran Canaria, bordered by the Special Natural Reserve of the Dunes of Maspalomas and with an area to the west for nudism, or the Playa de Telesitas, in Tenerife, a paradisiacal place with crystal clear waters and shallow waters that are always calm thanks to the breakwater that was installed, which makes it the ideal beach to go with children. Plenty to go around!

Spain is the third country with the most places declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, with a total of 47 and behind the 54 in Italy and 53 in China. The list ranges from the Alhambra palace in Granada, the Gaudí buildings or the archaeological complex of Mérida, to the Altamira Caves, the historic centers of Ávila, Segovia, Santiago de Compostela and Córdoba, the Mudejar architecture of Aragon or the Burgos cathedral. And without forgetting that Castilla y León  the region in the world with the most cultural assets included in this list. The mysterious atmosphere of the Romanesque Soria such as San Juan de Duero, Santo Domingo, the monastery of San Polo on the banks of the Duero ,etc etc!!! Today I am fascinated by walking the cobbled streets of many Aragonese towns: Alquézar, Alabarracín, Darosa, Tarazona. Its houses, its stone walls, its wooden gates remind us that we are beings of time. Awesome!!!

And I continue with my best most beautiful lakes in Spain to bathe this summer or any summer. 

The Laguna Grande de Gredos (Ávila). Hikers and people traveling with children go to this complex in the Circo Glacial or  Glacier Circus to enjoy the Sierra de Gredos Regional Park in all its splendor and end the day with a dip. El Tobar (Cuenca). This district located in the Alto Tajo region allows a charming rural getaway. This aquatic place that is reminiscent of island landscapes is known as the Laguna Grande or Big Lagoon, which together with the Little Lagoon and the now-disappeared Ciega are full of vegetation to breathe fresh air. They are accessed by a road at a distance of one kilometer from the town. The Sanabria (Zamora) With its 369 hectares of fluvial surface -one kilometer and a half wide by three long, approximately; it is the largest natural lake in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the largest in all of Europe (being the largest of glacial origin). It reaches 53 meters deep and has several sandy and stone beaches interspersed with trees and nature. The Lagunas de Ruidera (Castilla-La Mancha) This turquoise and La Mancha oasis is presented in one of the quietest and most secluded areas to enjoy the calm and forget all that name you don’t want to remember, paraphrasing Cervantes. In travel publications this panorama is compared with the Balearic Islands and even with the Plitvice Lakes of Croatia. And we have them here next door, between Albacete and Ciudad Real without going any further. Waterfalls and beautiful waterfalls worthy of Instagram. The Lagunar de Villafranca de los Caballeros (Toledo). Regional media report the worst drought in this wonderful place, with a minimal sheet of water. It is a protected area whose third part is reserved for bathing and the rest only for biodiversity. There are rural houses, hostels, spas … A beautiful wild natural site indeed!

How about French in Madrid if can come up to me! 

Lafayette made us learn the Camino de Las Tablas a few years ago, a new, remote and somewhat disconcerting neighborhood, but which became something like the Camino de Santiago for lovers of French cuisine in Madrid. He moved to a place next to the Glorieta de López de Hoyos roundabout, which is also much larger and has a shady terrace covered with vegetation that will become an irresistible magnet for the nights of next summer. Sébastien Leparoux is the soul of the restaurant, renamed Brasserie Lafayette .We remember the good work of the first chef from the founding era, 11 years ago, in Las Tablas: Vincent Huber. The move to the center, last summer, has marked the debut of a Spanish chef, Juan Suárez de Lezo, (not try yet) trained in Cordon Bleu and in stages in large French houses, and we think he is a good signing. Very interesting winery that Leparoux maintains and cares for, with a collection of French wines of great interest as few will see in Madrid. See it taste it at Brasserie Lafayette, Calle Recadero 2 .More info here: https://www.brasserielafayette.es/

And finish with a nice Summer dish of my beloved Spain: Salmorejo Cordobés!

The Salmorejo Cordobés is a very typical cold soup of Andalusian cuisine, specifically from the city of Córdoba, which has spread throughout the Spanish territory. These types of cold cream recipes are perfect for summer. The salmorejo recipe is very simple to make, we will only have to buy quality ingredients and use a good kitchen robot or blender since the traditional recipe for salmorejo was made in a mortar by hand, a bit heavy but in some Andalusian houses it is followed keeping the tradition.  Use tomatoes as being a raw dish you have to use high quality tomatoes. What bread does is give texture and soften the tomato while thickening it. The best bread is the Cordovan Telera or muffin type, with a lot of bread crumbs and soft crust.  The oil, always from Extra Virgin Olive, and garlic only one for garlic lovers but better half a head.  The eggs if it comes from raised chickens on better soil. It is best to finish the salmorejo by adding chopped hard-boiled egg.

The ingredients: 1 kilos (about 2,2 lbs) of ripe pear tomatoes, which are red but not overdone. 200 grams (about 7 ounces) of stale bread. It is best to use a very white and thin crust bread. Half a clove of garlic. 160 ml (less 6 fl oz) of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, we will always try to use a very mild one.  Water, a splash (optional for those who like it less thick). Salt to taste. 1 boiled egg, and Iberian ham in cubes or Serrano ham spread on top.

Ok so begin by washing the tomatoes, remove the peduncle and crush them.  Now pass it through a strainer to remove all the seeds and skins and thus be able to get a much smoother salmorejo. Add the bread to the beaten tomato and let it soak well for about 10 minutes.  You will do this so that when beating it more easily although we can beat directly if you have a powerful mixer. It is best to use a food processor for the salmorejo. Now add the half garlic without the core and the oil. it is better to add a drizzle of olive oil to emulsify. We do this so that the salmorejo emulsifies and takes on texture. Rectify the salt little by little until you reach your desired taste, and that’s it. It is served in a deep plate with ham and chopped hard-boiled egg on top. Enjoy, buen provecho!!!

And that is all for today on news from Spain, hope you enjoy my rants as well lol!!! Spain ,everthing under the sun! And we will resist, here is the youtube video of Duo Dinamico with the original song Resistere! 1989.

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

July 8, 2020

Some news from Spain XCIII

And here I am back on my beloved Spain. Even if times still are recovering and the healing will be long; all if not most is a go. There has been renew covid19 in Llerida Catalunya and A Mariñas areas of north Galicia as people still do not follow rules.

Some better news from my Castilla La Mancha region.

And this is Castilla La Mancha autonomous region of the Kingdom of Spain. One of my fav regions of my beloved Spain. There is so much to see as evidence by my many posts on it. However, let me tell you a bit more from the tourism pros.

The region is committed to natural spaces, charming towns and a great cultural offer in a safe environment for these coming holidays. Everything, led by a great kitchen that has seven Michelin stars as ambassadors. The third region of Spain in size has in its favor that national tourism is the one that leads the way because of the coronavirus. Hence, 90% of Spaniards plan to spend their holidays within their borders, according to the CIS ( Centre for Sociological Research).

For this reason, nature tourism gains strength with these jewels: two national parks, Las Tablas de Daimiel and Cabañeros; seven natural parks from the Alto Tajo to the Barranco del Río Dulce; six river reserves such as Sotos del Río Milagro; 48 micro-reserves, 122 natural spaces from the Lagunas de Ruidera, one of the most beautiful wetlands in Spain, at the source of the Río Mundo, and 26 natural monuments after adding the Chorreras del Cabriel (Cuenca). Archaeological sites such as Albacete from Libisosa should not be forgotten. There’s more: the Parque Minero de Almadén(mining park) or the black towns of Guadalajara.

On the cultural level, the biggest show in Spain stands out, Puy du Fou’s El Sueño de Toledo or dream of , which faces its second season on a five-hectare stage in the open air. Among the novelties is the appearance among the waters of the spectacular Crystal Palace of King Al-Mamún, as well as 15 Spanish horses that join the 35 already existing. The new Roberto Polo Collection museum a Center for Modern and Contemporary Art. In addition, the 46th edition of the Almagro Festival, the best in the world focused on the Golden Age, has been confirmed from July 14 to 26.

The Ruta de La Manchuela route, straddling Albacete and Cuenca, is dotted with charming medieval towns with treasures such as the Alcalá del Júcar Castle, the hermitage of Cristo de la Vida or the Iniesta Archaeological Museum. As a colophon, you must go to the Hoces del Cabriel, one of the best kept secrets in the area to escape to during this unusual summer.

And Castilla La Mancha has a new brand,Raiz Culinaria or culinary root, an axis to enhance visitor attraction by underlining the richness and gastronomic diversity. The ambassadors of this seal are the seven Michelin-starred chefs in the region: Fran Martínez (from the Maralba restaurant, in Almansa, Albacete), Enrique Pérez (from El Doncel, in Sigüenza, Guadalajara), Iván Cerdeño (from the restaurant of the same name in the Cigarral del Ángel, Toledo), Javier Aranda (from Retama, in Torrenueva, Ciudad Real), Jesús Segura (from Trivio, in Cuenca), Pepe Rodríguez (from El Bohío, in Illescas, Toledo) and Samuel Moreno (from Molino de Alcuneza, the second in Sigüenza). All of them have one star except the first, Maralba, who has two.

In the gastro chapter, the wine universe takes on special importance, with visits to wineries and vineyards on foot, by bike or 4×4, museums, exhibitions, festivals, tastings, contests and experiences for all audiences. Under this umbrella, Rutas del Vino de Castilla-La Mancha or the Wine Routes of Castilla-La Mancha offer the largest vineyard in the world, with 473,000 hectares, 50% of the total area of Spain. From them come references such as Finca Antigua Crianza Único, the Pago de la Jaraba 2018. Among the best in the world with ecological certification is the Ulterior Parcela 17 Graciano 2016, valued with 95 points in the Decanter contest. The La Mancha Wine Route discovers the heritage of this region that evokes the figures of Cervantes and Don Quixote, present in towns such as Alcázar de San Juan, Campo de Criptana, Socuéllamos, El Toboso, Tomelloso and Villarrobledo. Regarding the Valdepeñas, it is full of wineries, large and small, in the urban area or in the countryside, which combine tradition and modernity.

And for reference for my biking readers, Spain is tops for this and of course even I have done it even if many years back. This is more for the real aficionado! At least read the book!  Sergio Fernández Tolosa, author of the book “España en bicicleta or Spain by bicycle. 101 rutas ciclistas imprescindibles “ or 101 essential cycling routes (ed. GeoPlaneta), which has just gone on sale. The 35 main itineraries, unpublished and that have been created especially for this guide, add up to more than 7,300 kilometers! If cultural heritage appeals to you, it tells   you to go to Uncastillo, in the Cinco Villas region, to see its Romanesque churches , make the Vía de la Plata or the Cistercian Route. If you like volcanic landscapes, Lanzarote and La Graciosa are paradise. If you want to emulate the greats of cycling, the return to Las Ubiñas, with an ascent to Angliru included, or any of the routes that we propose through the Pyrenees are the perfect plan.

And something wonderful I use all the time even today! Extra Virgin Olive Oil!!!

In an extra virgin olive oil, the following will also be considered, among other aspects: legal quality, organoleptic quality (gastronomic-culinary), nutritional quality (health), therapeutic quality, differentiated quality (DOP) and also quality related to practical aspects of product use (type of container, price, etc.). Extra virgin olive oil must be fruity, that is, smell the fruit from which it comes, without making a sensory description of it, and must not have defects, which, from a technical point of view, is implemented as a median of defects equal to zero. Like any food that comes from the field, the quality of virgin oils will be influenced by agronomic factors, such as the variety of olives, cultural practices in the field, and the ecosystem in which the olive grove is located, and could even extend to collection and transport to the mill. Do not forget the processes related to obtaining the oil at the mill, and also those related to conservation, packaging and the degree of freshness.

Although all seem to have a common origin in wild olive or olive, there is great diversity and each olive will give it its own personality, always mediated by the ecosystem in which it is implanted. In Spain they deserve to be mentioned among others: arbequina, empeltre, mallorquina, picual, picudo, hojiblanca, cornicabra, manzanilla cacereña, farga, lechín from Granada, verdial from Vélez Málaga, verdial from Badajoz, blanqueta and morrut and for mesa manzanilla from Sevilla y Gordal from Seville as well as the Manzanilla from Cáceres.  Outside of Spain; in Portugal: galega, cobrançosa, cordovil and verdeal; in Italy: frantoio, lecchino, moraiolo, carolea, pendolino, coratina and taggiasca; in Greece: koroneiki, adramitini, mastoidis, valanolia, and konservolia and kalamata are highly valued for table; in France: picholine from Languedoc; and in the other Mediterranean countries: in Turkey: memecik and ayvalik; in Syria: sorani and zaity; in Morocco: Moroccan picholine; in Tunisia: chemlali from Sfax and chetoui.

For there to be a Denominacion de Origin Protegida or protected denomination of origin (DOP) the following requirements must be met: 1. Existence of a perfectly delimited region, place, region or locality. 2. Defined cultivation practices and the existence of an adequate raw material. 3. Uniform production methods of the highest quality virgin oil. In Spain, currently most DOPs only cover extra virgin olive oils.

In April 2020, Spain had 29 D.O.P. distributed as follows:

In Andalusia (12): Baena, Sierra de Segura, Priego de Córdoba, Sierra Mágina, Sierra de Cazorla, Montes de Granada, Poniente de Granada, Sierra de Cádiz, Antequera, Steppe Oil, Montoro-Adamuz, Lucena. In Catalonia (5): Les Garrigues, Siurana, Terra Alta Oil, Baix Ebre-Montsià Oil, Oil from l ‘Empordá or Olí de l’ Empordá. In Extremadura (2): Gata-Hurdes, Monterrubio Oil.   In Castilla-La Mancha (4): Montes de Toledo, Campo de Montiel Oil, La Alcarria Oil, Campo de Calatrava. In Aragon (2): Oil from Bajo Aragón, Sierra del Moncayo. In the Balearic Islands (1): Mallorca oil. In La Rioja (1): La Rioja oil. In Valencia (1): Valencian Community Oil.  In Navarra (1): Oil from Navarra. In addition, the two IGP, currently in the process of resolution in the European Union, as follows: Ibiza Oil and Jaén Oil, the latter a very good producing area and mention that will include other Jaén areas such as Campiñas de Jaén or Jaén Sierra Sur that preceded it. Love it Extra Virgin Olive Oil! From Spain ,the best!

And the arts are suffering too. The Madrid Art Triangle, made up of the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía museums, have experienced a sharp fall in June 2020 due to the reduced capacity and social distancing measures adopted to combat the pandemic.

The most pronounced fall is that of the Reina Sofía, which from June 6 to 30 of this year has had 13,133 visitors at its main headquarters, where the “Guernica” and the bulk of its collection is housed, while the same period in 2019 had 113,779 visitors. The museum reopened on June 6 with only part of its route, which houses the most important pieces, such as the central work of Picasso, and other reference rooms, such as those dedicated to Dalí. It has been adding spaces to its tour in recent weeks. The Prado has also gone from receiving 295,285 visitors in June 2019 (full month), to receiving 41,358 visitors from June 6 to 30. The gallery has reopened only a quarter of its length and has done so with “«Reencuentro»”, a unique exhibition that brings together its most important works. Last, Monday, it has announced that it is expanding its capacity from 1,800 visitors a day to 2,500, which will allow the exhibition to be seen by more people.   The Thyssen-Bornemisza is the one that falls the least. Unlike the other two, the museum reopened all of its facilities, albeit with reduced capacity as indicated by the government’s de-escalation program. Of the 63,378 visitors it received in June 2019, it has now received 25,079 (from June 6 to 30). This sharp fall is influenced, on the one hand, by the dry braking of international tourism, which in the case of the three museums accounts for more than half of its visitors, but also that of national tourism, which until the state of alarm ended June 22nd could not be reactivated and is still of little importance.

And another tradition to see in Spain that is hurting from the pandemic. “Of each and every one of the members of the Lidia Livestock Association (AGL), which is made up of more than 350 farms, with a total of more than 47,200 fighting bulls registered in the Genealogical Book. Understanding and suffering as mine, because I also have, such brutal economic losses. And I have also shared the sadness of having to make the tough decision to send bulls and steers to the slaughterhouse as the only way out. ? In view of everything that is happening, I think the time has come for the rest of the actors who live for and for the show to step forward. We need a large dose of imagination and courage to, maintaining the basic historical pillars of bullfighting, propose an adaptation to current times. Structural adaptation of the show, of values, of culture, of aesthetics, of the economy, etc. I understand that it must be a project made by specialist technicians, the best, who represent all sectors, and when I say all I say all: ranchers, slaughterers, bullfighters, bullfighters, silver bullfighters, picadores, businessmen, swordmen, doctors, veterinarians, owners of stable or portable bullrings, bullfighting schools, etc. But I repeat, made by specialists, all together yes, leaving aside personalisms and prejudices that have always given such a bad result. United and working side by side.” This a translation by yours truly from a speech by Víctor Huertas Vega BS Veterinary , cattle rancher of lidia bulls and president of the Asociación de Ganaderías de Lidia (AGL).

In better standing we have: The legendary stamp of Victorino Martín already has the date of his first “postcovid” bullfight: on August 15,at Herrera del Duque. Victorino has not had to send any bull to the slaughterhouse, although “he says have made more haste in the usual waste of cows and males; his is highly valued and the selection is very clear. In the town of Herrera del Duque, they will report on the sextet of the A crowned Manuel Escribano, José Garrido and Juan Silva “Juanito”, in a celebration organized by the businessman Joaquín Domínguez and that has been presented this morning at the Parador de Mérida. In Mérida, the Matilla house has closed two posters with the usual figures, with a luxurious combination in homage to Borja Domecq. Friday, August 28, homage to Borja Domecq with bulls from Jandilla for Morante de la Puebla, El Juli and José María Manzanares; Saturday 29, bulls by García Jiménez for Enrique Ponce, El Fandi and Miguel Ángel Perera. And the feast goes on!!

And there you go folks a bit of news blending as the situation goes. We will need to have patience but we will get out ok at the end; best wishes to all my readers!

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

July 8, 2020

Jerez de la Frontera: Alcàzar!!!

And looking over my previous posts on my beloved Spain, found out did several on the sherry wines but not on the monument. And of course, one is very important there so cannot believe it when not written about it. Let me tell you now a bit on the Alcàzar of Jerez de la Frontera!

Here we are again with a piece of my beloved Spain. This is deep Spain, in fact when visitors comes to Spain or hear about it, what they really see / hear is Andalucia. Not bad to wandered around Spain, as we say Spain is everything under the sun ::)

Jerez de la Frontera is the most populated province of Cádiz in Andalusia. It is 6 km from El Puerto de Santa María, 12 km from the Atlantic Ocean and 85 km from the Strait of Gibraltar. The city is one of the 6 towns that make up the Bahía de Cádiz-Jerez metropolitan area, a polynuclear urban agglomeration formed by the towns of Cádiz, Chiclana de la Frontera, Jerez de la Frontera, Puerto Real, El Puerto de Santa María and San Fernando located in the Bay of Cádiz.

The Discovery of America and the Conquest of Granada, in 1492, made Jerez one of the most prosperous cities in Andalusia thanks to trade and its proximity to the ports of Sevilla and Cádiz. In fact, the strategic situation of the city made king Felipe II consider building a navigable estuary so that ships could get from the city’s jetty in El Portal to the city through the Guadalete river and that the city was included among the 480 cities of the world that are part of the Civitates Orbis Terrarum. (It was an editorial project conceived as a complement to Abraham Ortelius’ world atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1570), which became the most complete collection of panoramic views, plans and commentaries textual of cities published during the Modern Age.)

The one I like to tell you here is the Alcàzar ,old arab fortress and inside of it has the Palacio de Villavicencio and a hidden camera; as well as the ramparts walls with pieces of it on several streets, open or encrusted in buildings today. Need to tell you Jerez de la Frontera, means Jerez at the frontier as this was the name given to towns conquered by the Catholic kings army marching thru liberating it from muslim rule and after conquest and stop the area became the frontier between the two worlds. Hence, Jerez de la Frontera was a frontier town.

The Alcázar de Jerez de la Frontera, is a group of fortified buildings of Almohad origin ,probably the 12C, being the oldest Almohad building on the Iberian peninsula, to which later palatial baroque buildings were added, and which is one of the main monuments of the city; It is located in the corner of the wall that surrounded the city, next to the Alameda Vieja. It is considered one of the few examples of Almohad architecture that exists in the Iberian Peninsula.

Jerez de la Frontera

In the middle of the 11C, Jerez swore allegiance to the Banu Jizrun of the Taifa kingdom of Arcos. It is precisely to this time that the first architectural remains located in the fortress belong, although these are reduced to a few foundations, made with stones locked with mud. In the 12C, in response to the authority of the Almoravids, Jerez proclaimed an independent taifa under the government of Abul Gamar ibn Garrun, king of Ronda. From 1146 he swore allegiance to the Almohads, who will take control of Al Andalus (Andalucia) in their fight against the Christians of the north. Most of the Islamic buildings that remain in the quarterdeck belong to this stage, which lasts until 1248, when Jerez declared himself a vassal of the Kingdom of Castilla, reigning in this Fernando III El Santo. Between 1248 and 1255, the Alcàzar will remain in the hands of its Muslim governor, named Aben Obeit in Christian literary sources, until Jerez is besieged by the Castilians, and the Alcazar is conquered. However, in 1264 the Muslims of Jerez rebelled against Christian rule, entering the quarterdeck and passing the entire Christian garrison to the knife! king Alfonso X reacts against the revolt, besieging the city for five months, in 1264. As a result of this siege, Jerez surrenders to the Castilian troops, all the Islamic inhabitants of the city being expelled, who sought refuge in nearby towns or emigrated to Africa.

From the original Islamic fortress, the doors, the mosque, the Arab baths, the octagonal tower and the Pavilion of the patio of Doña Blanca de Borbón are preserved. From later stages, the Torre del Homenaje 15C, and the Baroque palace of Villavicencio and the Molino de Aceite or Oil mill  18C stand out. Partially surrounded by the large Alameda Vieja, the imposing Torre Octagonal or octagonal tower stands out with its presence, with its characteristic Almohad double curb, as well as the Torre del Homenaje de los Ponce de León. Later, a Renaissance facade replaced the old wall of passage to the Arab baths.

Jerez de la Frontera

The Mosque and the Arab Baths built by the Almohad sovereigns, this mosque is the only one that remains in the city of the eighteen that existed during the Islamic period. Its interior, now suitably restored, preserves, in addition to its classic horseshoe arches, the substantial parts for the Muslim rite, such as the minaret, the courtyard of ablutions, the prayer room and the mihrab, as well as an altar that reminds us that the first Christian Chapel of Santa María del Alcázar was created here. The Arab Baths keep the three classic rooms of this type of facility in very good condition. Built with sober solid and rough brick, starry skylights open in the domes of their ceilings, giving them the intimacy with which they were conceived. The Pabellon Real or royal pavilion has undergone archaeological excavations  being carried out.

Palacio de Villavicencio.  This stately palace was created by Don Lorenzo Fernández de Villavicencio, one of the first wardens of the city, and stands on one of its sides from the year 1664 on the remains of previous Arab buildings. It is a remarkable baroque palace that served as a residence for this and other city wardens and public representatives.  Inside it is housed what was saved from the pharmacy of the Municipal Pharmacy originally in the Convento de la Merced de Jerez de la Frontera. It is in perfect condition and completed with various furniture from the period 19C.

The Camera obscura or hidden camera, inside the main tower of the Palacio de Villavicencio, the tallest in the city. A simple set of lenses and mirrors with which you can see in real time and bird’s eye view of everything that happens at the moment in the streets and squares of the city; as well as the main monuments, church steeples and steeple and, roofs of palaces and mansions, and the distant farmland of the Jerez countryside.

Jardines or gardens in the Alcázar has several landscaped areas that include olive trees, cypresses and various flowers and fish ponds. Currently you can access much of the surface, leaving a small extension attached to finish completing. Attached to the mill building are the gardens of the old teatro Eslava which are used for cultural activities.
The Patio de Armas is the most spacious area of ​​the complex, the place where in times of Almohad rule the governor formed his troops. The main buildings of the Alcázar are arranged around this space, and it currently houses all kinds of social and cultural activities.

And now i feel better showing this wonderful complex that still needs to be seen fully. Hope you have enjoy this wonderful Alcàzar of Jerez de la Frontera!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must are

The city of Jerez de la Frontera on the Alcàzar complex: City of Jerez on the Alcazar

The Jerez de la Frontera tourist office on the Alcàzar and especially the palace: Jerez tourist office on the Alcazar

The Cadiz province tourist office on Jerez de la FronteraCadiz province tourist office on Jerez de la Frontera

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

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July 7, 2020

Jaca: Monasterio de Santa Cruz!

And here I am back in my beloved Spain! I have been coming here for years , initially as a stopping point between my trips from France to Spain over  Somport and Portalet; then we visit the city and even spent vacation time around the area. This is Jaca right facing the Pyrénées mountains! As you might know Spain is the No 2 most visited country in the world according to official tallies of the UN-WTO.

I have written several posts on it  ,but feel some is missing and I am trying to remedy this ommission of this wonderful quant city of Aragon. Let me tell you a bit more of Jaca on the Monasterio de Santa Cruz or the Holy Cross Monastery.

The Monasterio de Santa Cruz, where the daughter of a king of Aragon Ramiro I, Sancha was brough over from Santa Cruz de los Seros in 1622, been the best preserve romanesque tomb in Spain; the monastery itself was built from 1555.  The order of Benitas of sisters were in charge of the place before the reformation of 1730; the ceilings were painted al fresco in 1862.

Jaca

In 1555 the nuns of the Monasterio de Santa Cruz de la Serós (Sorores) moved to Jaca, at the behest of king Felipe II, building the monastery commonly called “de las Benitas”. The monastic complex has been extensively renovated, and the double ecclesial complex monopolizes its interest such as the original crypt and the temple of San Ginés. The underground Church of Santa María was known as that of San Salvador and is a room covered with a vault and which was decorated with Romanesque paintings.

The Church of San Ginés, or high church, was ceded to the nuns by the brotherhood of San Ginés in 1579. Only the Romanesque door remains of its origins, the whole Inside it has remained, for 450 years, the best full Romanesque tomb that has been preserved in the Iberian Peninsula. The famous sarcophagus of the Countess Doña Sancha, daughter of King Ramiro I of Aragon, brought to Jaca from Santa Cruz de los Serós in 1622.

Jaca

Currently the sarcophagus has been moved to one of the rooms of the Colegio de las Benedictinas, suitable to create a small museum in which in addition to being able to admire the tomb in all its splendor, it will be accompanied by eight panels of the Romanesque paintings of the Church of San Ginés, which until now were in the monastery’s private oratory and photos of the Renaissance cloister, closed to the public.The tomb is made of stone and on its sides it presents respectively a chrisom and a pair of opposite taps. On the back, chivalrous scenes are represented that look different. On the front is an allegory of the Countess’s soul represented by a naked girl carried by two angels to heaven. Two scenes of the deceased are presented on the sides as seated abbess and in a pontifical ceremony.

The Monasterio de Santa Cruz is located at the eastern end of the old town, attached to the only section of the old city wall, demolished at the beginning of the 20C. More on the monastery of the Holy Cross from the city of Jaca in Spanish which the above was translated: City of Jaca on the Monasterio de Santa Cruz

You have as usual by me some webpages for references on planning your trip here which is worth the detour.

The city of Jaca tourist office:

The Huesca Province tourist office on Jaca:

The Aragon region tourist office on Jaca:

Again, a wonderful monument in a nice old town area of beautiful Jaca, worth the detour to see the Monasterio of Santa Cruz or the Holy Cross Monastery. Hope you enjoy the tour

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

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July 7, 2020

Jaca: The Seminario Diocesano !

And here I am back in my beloved Spain! I have been coming here for years , initially as a stopping point between my trips from France to Spain over  Somport and Portalet; then we visit the city and even spent vacation time around the area. This is Jaca right facing the Pyrénées mountains! As you might know Spain is the No 2 most visited country in the world according to official tallies of the UN-WTO.

I have written several posts on it  ,but feel some is missing and I am trying to remedy this ommission of this wonderful quant city of Aragon. Let me tell you a bit more of Jaca on the Seminario Diocesano or Diocesan Seminary.

The Seminario Diocesano or Diocesan Seminary was built during the third decade of the 20C, at an important moment for urban planning in Jaca. At that time, the City Council had decided to demolish the medieval wall to promote growth and meet the new needs of the city. This extension is known as El Ensanche (widening the suburbs), which, as in other cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, brings together in Jaca numerous buildings with high-quality modernist features, such as this former Diocesan Seminary.

Jaca seminario diocesano aug14

From 1610 different seminaries followed one another in the city of Jaca, but it was not until 1860 when the old Conciliar Seminary of the Immaculate Conception was officially inaugurated. This building was located on Calle del Carmen and was destroyed by a great fire in May 1924. That same year,a project for the construction of a new seminary, in the western area of the Ensanche, in a place that it allowed the Diocese to acquire large plots of land in a place close to the old city center.

The elevation of the Seminario Diocesano is made up of a ground floor and two floors in height. Its façade is divided into three large forward and raised bodies, between which two small transition elements are located, which provide the ensemble with continuity. The entire main façade is articulated on the basis of large openings framed by rectangular section pilasters, which run through the building in height. These openings are culminated by arches of very different making and proportions: lintels, semicircular, edging, panels, lowered and pointed, in mitre or pediment. This compositional alternation manages to give said façade a mobility and variety that contrasts powerfully with the uniformity of materials used in it. The new building was finally inaugurated in February 1926.

Jaca

More info on the Seminario Diocesano  translated above from the city of Jaca here: City of Jaca on the Seminario Diocesano

Some additional webpages as usual for reference on planning your trip here which is worth it are

The Jaca tourist office: Jaca tourist office

The Huesca Province tourist office on Jaca in Spanish: Huesca province tourist office on Jaca

The Aragon region tourist office on Jaca:  Aragon tourist office on jaca

And once again, there you go folks ,another wonderful architecturally and historical monument in beautiful Jaca and all easy on foot. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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July 7, 2020

Jaca: The Ermita de Sarsa !

And here I am back in my beloved Spain! I have been coming here for years , initially as a stopping point between my trips from France to Spain over  Somport and Portalet; then we visit the city and even spent vacation time around the area. This is Jaca right facing the Pyrénées mountains! As you might know Spain is the No 2 most visited country in the world according to official tallies of the UN-WTO.

I have written several posts on it  ,but feel some is missing and I am trying to remedy this ommission of this wonderful quant city of Aragon. Let me tell you a bit more of Jaca on the Ermita de Sarsa or hermitage.

The Ermita de Sarsa or hermitage were transferred here in 1972, to preserved the remains of the Hermitage of Sarsa, of Romanesque origin. The original location was in Villar de Sarsa, an ancient town located on the slopes of the Peña Oroel. The hermitage was the parish church of this town, which was abandoned around 1970. To avoid ruining the temple, it was decided to move it to Jaca, and thus preserve it.

Jaca

The Ermita de Sarsa belongs to the model of the small rural Romanesque churches, being able to date back to the second half of the 12C, quite possibly in the final years of that century. Its plant presents a single rectangular nave that would originally be covered with a two-sided wooden roof, which has not been preserved. The head is made up of a very little highlighted presbytery, covered with a barrel vault and a semicircular apse covered with a quarter sphere vault. In the center of the apse a small semi-circular arched window opens and double spill that would let the light pass into the interior of the temple. The walls are built in ashlar, with sandstone from the area, and are barely decorated, except for a bevelled impost that runs through the interior.

The access door opens at the foot of the Ermita de Sarsa, in a small front body crowned by figurative modillions, on a non-preserved rested eave. It presents three semicircular archivolts, of which the exterior and interior are smooth and the central one is decorated with three rows of jaqueas balls that denote the influence that the decoration of the Jaca Cathedral had on all the temples of Jacetania area. The archivolts get down by means of a straight impost in two jambs where, despite the erosion, several figurines and palmettes are still visible.

More information translated from the city of Jaca on the Ermita de Sarsa in Spanish here: City of Jaca on the Ermita de Sarsa

Some further webpages for reference on Jaca are

The Jaca tourist officeJaca tourist office

The Huesca province tourist office in Spanish on Jaca: Huesca province tourist office on Jaca

The Aragon region tourist office on JacaAragon region tourist office on Jaca

Another wonderful architectural and historical building of beautiful Jaca. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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July 6, 2020

Jaca: Puente de San Miguel!

And here I am back in my beloved Spain! I have been coming here for years , initially as a stopping point between my trips from France to Spain over  Somport and Portalet; then we visit the city and even spent vacation time around the area. This is Jaca right facing the Pyrénées mountains! As you might know Spain is the No 2 most visited country in the world according to official tallies of the UN-WTO.

I have written several posts on it  ,but feel some is missing and I am trying to remedy this ommission of this wonderful quant city of Aragon. Let me tell you a bit more of Jaca on the Puente de San Miguel or St Michael’s bridge.

This is the area behind the Paseo de la Constitucion, that takes you to the Puente de San Miguel or bridge in the back.

jaca

The Puente de San Miguel is one of the few medieval bridges that are preserved in the Aragonese Pyrenees and due to its monumentality, strategic location and good state of conservation, it turns out to be one of the most significant hydraulic works in Alto Aragón. Despite the fact that the exact date of its construction is unknown, it is generally accepted that, due to its appearance and structure, the bridge is from the low medieval period c 15C, although some authors propose to advance its chronology.

The introduction of the pointed arch brought more geometric possibilities to the medieval builder compared to his Roman predecessors. The geometric flexibility of the ogival shape means that the vaults can start from the same base as the pilasters, which provides a very important improvement in their stability. The bridge has an asymmetric elevation, since it directly supports the highest and most solid right bank, while on the left, lower, it rests directly on the river terrace itself. It shows a double-sided profile, typical of medieval bridges, and a pointed central arch, with a masonry thread, which saves the main channel. Two other smaller arches function as spillways, in case of avenues. Its structure is reinforced by two cutwaters located between the arches. The San Miguel bridge is 96 meters long and the arrow of its main bow reaches 17 meters. The vault has a masonry thread with cleanly oriented segments and is completed with two smaller arches and cut holes between them. The set is finished with a soft donkey back.

Translation of the city of Jaca in Spanish of Puente de San Miguel here: City of Jaca on Puente de San Miguel

I must say the views from the bridge are spectacular especially on a clear day seeing all the way to the Pyrénées mountains. It should be very romantic at night…. Hope you enjoy the brief introduction to the Puente de San Miguel bridge of Jaca.

As usual by me for easy reference some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The Jaca tourist office: Jaca tourist office

Huesca Province tourist office in Spanish:  Huesca province tourist office

Aragon region tourist office: Aragon tourist office

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

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July 6, 2020

Jaca: Bodegas Langa!

And here I am back in my beloved Spain! I have been coming here for years , initially as a stopping point between my trips from France to Spain over  Somport and Portalet; then we visit the city and even spent vacation time around the area. This is Jaca right facing the Pyrénées mountains! As you might know Spain is the No 2 most visited country in the world according to official tallies of the UN-WTO.

I have written several posts on it , including one on restaurants ,but feel this wonderful shopping place is missing, and I am trying to remedy this ommission of this wonderful quant city of Aragon. Let me tell you a bit more of Jaca on Bodegas Langa.

We had some goodies for later and wines from Somontano like the Enate again at Bodegas Langa, Plaza de San Pedro, no 5. Lots of canned gourmet goodies like ham Teruel, cheeses of Roncal, and wines of Lalanne as well. Great, happy ::) Also, in the area behind the back door of the Cathedral of Jaca!

Jaca plaza san pedro bodegas langa aug14

The Bodegas Langa is located in the historic center of Jaca, in front of the Cathedral and on the ground floor of a building from the end of the 19C; in this old warehouse dedicated to selling bulk wines since 1930, which has evolved according to current demand and that all kinds of spirits can be purchased, both national and imported and artisans from the area.

Jaca

Although the most important chapter is that of wines, giving priority to those of Aragon, those of Somontano and the most important designations of origin of the country such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Navarra, Priorato, Rías Baixas, Txakoli, Cavas and Champagnes, etc.  In the food section they offer: Teruel ham, Bajo Aragón oils, Roncal cheese, asparagus from Navarra. Great selection of Stuffed Peppers. Wide assortment of meat preserves, pâtés, anchovies from Santoña and specialties from the Rías Gallegas. All this made in an artisanal way.

You can find out more on their official webpage for the store in Jaca here: Bodegas Langa in Jaca

However, the family is all over and indeed have a great winery in Calatayud near Zaragoza.  Their story goes as this:

It all began in 1867 when the family of Mariano Langa Gallego after returning from the war in Cuba in 1898  (that led to Cuban independance) developed the business but it was after the follow up of the family in Juan Langa Mariscal that a winery business often from others took place. In 1940 Sebastian Langa Langa conserving wineries in Morata de Jiloca,Calatayud and Jaca with a big business with France.  By 1967 Juan Jose Langa Fuentes and sister Maria Teresa Langa Fuentes gave the most important push to the business in its history installing the bottling company in 1954 and founding in 1989 the DOP Calatayud (Denominacion de origen protegida) ,and recognised as historic bodega by DOCAVA (the regulatory org of sparkling wines). Today Juan and Cesar Langa Gonzalez fifth generation of the family keeps along the 150 years of history of Bodegas Langa.

More of the winery in Calatayud in English here: Bodegas Langa Calatayud

Some further reading on the wines of Aragon

The DOP Calatayud on its wines in English: DOP Calatayud wines

As I have a diploma on Spanish wines from ICEX ( Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade) is the international window of Spanish wines Food and Wines from Spain on Calatayud: Food and Wines from Spain on DOP Calatayud

I will say from Calatayud the best is this Bodegas Langa, from Cariñena area have no favorites, from Somontano, have Enate and Laus. And from Campo de Borja have Borsao and Bodegas Aragonesas. OF course these are my choices.

Hope you enjoy the wine and gourmet tour of Jaca and do come in, worth the detour I said. Enjoy it.

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

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