Posts tagged ‘Spain’

February 1, 2020

Alcalà de Henares and the Queen!

And bringing out some of my favorite and personal stories of history let me bring you back to one of the nicest memory town we had visited as a family; Alcalà de Henares. Many souvenirs here over the years; and plenty written in my blog on it.

However, what I have left out a bit is the historical significance of a visit and meeting between a navigator and a queen. This is my rendition to Reina Isabel I La Càtolica or Queen  Elizabeth I the Catholic of Spain and Cristobal Colon or Christopher Colombus.

The court of Isabel I ,the Catholic is, like that of her predecessors, itinerant. The journeys traveled by Isabel I of Castile. In 1503, the trip took place between Alcalá de Henares and Medina del Campo, where the queen died on November 26, 1504. During these trips, the queen administered her kingdom from the place where she was.

One of the most important events in the history of the modern world had its beginning in Alcalá de Henares with the interview of Isabel I, La Católica (Catholic) and Cristobal Colón (Columbus) . It was on January 20, 1486 and was held in the Archbishop’s Palace of Alcalá de Henares in that interview the trip to the Indies began to be forged that led to the discovery of the New Continent.

It ran on October 24, 1485 when a long entourage, which had left Córdoba and stopped in Jaén, arrived in Alcalá de Henares to spend the winter and rest … The stay lasted for almost four months, being one of the longest and most fruitful visits from the Catholic Monarchs to Alcalá de Henares. Christopher Columbus, who had followed the Court from Cordoba, was the last to receive an audience by the Catholic Monarchs on January 20, 1486 at the Archbishop’s Palace. That meeting between the queen and the navigator was produced in the Archbishop’s Palace, which can be seen at the end of Calle San Juan , where the Casa de la Entrevista (Interview House) is located.   Currently, on the cover of the front of the House you can see the Cardinal’s checkered shield and the door hardware is remarkable, in which, in addition to the Cisneros shield, another one with Colombine motifs can also be contemplated.

Alcala de Henares

Columbus was desperate. He needed money to finance his trip to the “Indies.” He had already received the refusal of King Juan II of Portugal to finance his project. It was then that he went to Castile to offer it to the Catholic Monarchs, although the Royal Council rejected it from the first moment. When everything seemed lost in Castile, his great friend and supporter Fray Antonio de Marchena convinced Fray Hernando de Talavera, confessor of Queen Isabel I (Elizabeth), to get the kings to receive the navigator. It was January 20, 1486. And the rest is history I like!!!

You can see her wonderful statue in Alcalà de Henares by the Plaza Palacio where there are many monuments including the old Archbishop’s palace. A quiet humble corner for such a great world personage that still influences millions around the world in a common language. The Reina Isabel I, la Càtolica statue at Plaza Palacio. (palace square). Hope you enjoy the post.

Alcala de Henares

Not too much on the story in the tourist office but here it is for reference: Tourist office of Alcalà de Henares in English

For events and cultural activities sharpen your Spanish and see it all here: Culture in Alcalà de Henares

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

 

 

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February 1, 2020

Museum of El Greco, Toledo, Spain!!!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain. And many times visited with family nearby over the years, and of course, never enough written on it or pictures! I do have several posts on the city of Toledo, Castilla La Mancha , Spain. I will try to tell you in my next posts the arts and museums of Toledo, but first a bit about the city’s location, good by train and already a post on that over the years the car is my second home.

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42.

The general tourist office information is here:

Tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Toledo: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/toledo/

Ok so this one I have not only to give more exposure in my blog but keep it in a single post by itself, all worth it, good enough to come to Toledo alone me think. And the city of Toledo has a bookful of places to see that are worthy. The story, the paintings, the places of El Greco are all marvelous. We love it!!! Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the museum of El Greco in Toledo, Castilla La Mancha, Spain!

Museum of El Greco, a house-museum conceived as recreation of the home of the artist, as this was lost centuries ago. This House contains several relevant paintings, although the famous painting of the burial of the Count of Orgaz is located in the Church of Santo Tomé, also in Toledo.

Toledo

The El Greco museum is dedicated to the life and work of the painter El Greco, born in Crete, but who painted the majority of his paintings in Toledo. The institution was inaugurated in 1911 and designed as a house-museum dedicated to bringing together the paintings of the artist, who was beginning to be reassessed at that time, and to give an idea of the way he lived. The house is not the real house where El Greco has spent the most time in Toledo , this one is located a little further but it tries to give a good idea of the living conditions of the painter.

Toledo

The idea of the museum is due to Don Benigno de la Vega-Inclán y Flaquer, Marquis de la Vega-Inclán , a patron who contributes to spreading in Spain the fashion for the reconstruction of historical atmospheres where were created works of art at the beginning of the 20C, he bought a group of houses in the historic Jewish quarter of Toledo and were restored ;he eventually donated the group of houses to the State (Spain) , to with the exception of the Vega-Inclán house-residence, which remained private property until 1942, then was bequeathed to the State in accordance with its will.

The El Greco museum was enlarged several times first in 1914 with the creation of four new rooms on the upper floors of the house, 1921 a new room to house fifteen new paintings and 1924-1925 with the construction of an apse chapel where installs a Mudejar coffered ceiling which houses the altarpiece of Saint Bernard; other works were undertaken in 1950 and 1960. The new exhibition space presents, in addition to the life and work of El Greco, information on the history of the house-museum in order to put it into perspective with later developments in museography. The museum houses paintings representative of the successive phases of the artistic journey of El Greco. It notably holds several portraits of notables, the View of Toledo and the portraits of the apostles (some unfinished).

The Church of Santo Tomé appears cited in the 12C, although its current configuration was undertaken in the early 14C by the Count of Orgaz himself, who added the current Christian bell tower to the old Muslim minaret. Santo Tome is a church with a Mudejar tower, a copy of that of San Román (see other post). It contains glazed ceramics and inlays of a Visigothic niche and a kick cross. Its last restoration – magnificent; has returned all its splendor to one of Toledo’s most beautiful towers and has been renovated in 2000.

Toledo

Toledo  Inside the temple, an altarpiece from the 16C, plateresque, and two baroque, a baptismal font of marble from the 16C a beautiful image of the virgin in marble from the 13C, three interesting canvases from Tristán, student of El Greco and two beautiful sculptures of the school of Alonso Cano.

El entierro del Señor de Orgaz (burial of mister Orgaz), popularly called El entierro del Conde de Orgaz (burial of Count of Orgaz) is an oil on canvas of 4.80 x 3.60 meters, painted in Mannerist style by El Greco between 1586 and 1588. It was performed for the parish Church of Santo Tomé, and is preserved in this same place. It is considered one of the best and most admired works of the El Greco. Some painters have defined it as not only is El Greco’s top work, but the masterpiece of all painting! Me think too.!!

El Greco painted it in his full artistic maturity. It has architectural rigor and an extraordinary unity despite the two parts into which it is divided. In this work all the elements of the painter’s mannerist language are present: elongated figures, vigorous bodies, implausible foreshortenings, bright and acidic colors, arbitrary use of lights and shadows to mark the distances between the different planes, etc.

The Church of Santo ToméOfficial Church of Santo Tomé and El Greco

Tourist office of ToledoTourist office of Toledo on museum of El Greco

Ministry of Culture and Sports of Spain: Ministry of Culture and Sports of Spain on El Greco museum

And voilà ahi tienen, cierro este ciclo de articulos sobre uno de mis pueblos favoritos, Toledo. There you , I close the series of posts on one of my favorites towns, Toledo.  Toledo is worth a kingdom, and a must to visit while in Spain. The sights to see are huge and all rewarding me think ; and the Museo de El Greco and Church of Santo Tomé are tops. Maybe I am biase sorry. Its a great place to visit in my beloved Spain.

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

 

 

 

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January 31, 2020

Sephardic and Councilor museums of Toledo!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain. And many times visited with family nearby over the years, and of course, never enough written on it or pictures! I do have several posts on the city of Toledo, Castilla La Mancha , Spain. I will try to tell you in my next posts the arts and museums of Toledo, but first a bit about the city’s location, good by train and already a post on that over the years the car is my second home.

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42.

The general tourist office information is here:

Tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Toledo: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/toledo/

And continuing in my lovely Toledo and with family not far for yeeears of visits it never get me tired of visiting Toledo, for now its a must when in Spain. In the off the beaten paths and not so beaten let me continue with the wonderful museums of the Sephardic Jews and the Councilors of Toledo.

The Museo Sefardí or Sephardic Museum occupies the old Convent of Knights of Calatrava, annex to the Synagogue of the Transit, and it shows historical, religious aspects and of the customs of the Jewish past in Spain, as well as of the Sephardim, the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian peninsula until 1492. In 19642, it was decided that the Synagogue of the Transit or synagogue of Samuel ha-Leví be the seat of the Sephardic museum, which aims to preserve the legacy of the Hispanic-Jewish and Sephardic culture so that it is integrated as essential part of the Spanish Historical Heritage, a task that it performs until today.

toledo

 

The first room shows the history, geography and culture of the Jewish people in the Ancient Near East, where, according to biblical writings, traditions that last in their daily lives originated. Archaeological objects dated between 2000 BC are shown. and the first century A.D. as well as a wide variety of cultural objects related to what it is and what it means to be Jewish, your beliefs and customs. It highlights a Torah, the sacred book of Judaism, formed by the Pentateuch and other liturgical objects.

In the northern courtyard, as a necropolis, some of the tombstones of Jewish characters from various parts of Spain are exposed. In the east courtyard the archaeological remains of some possible public baths of the old Jewish quarter of Toledo and the floor of the old hejal (main wall) of the synagogue are preserved.

toledo

The women’s gallery, a special room for liturgical monitoring by the female gender that has the synagogue. As in other cultures, Judaism does not allow women to follow the liturgy from the prayer hall. In this space, which preserves part of its original plasterwork decoration, showcases related to the daily life of the Sephardim are shown: their birth, education, main parties, death, etc.

Tourist office of Toledo: Tourist office of Toledo on the Museo Sefardi

Ministry of Culture and Sports of SpainMinistry of Culture and Sports of Spain on the Museo Sefardi

The Museo de los Concilios or Councilor museum and the Visigoth culture, located in the Church of San Román, has Romanesque paintings from the 13C and an important collection, original and replicas, of goldsmith Visigoth, along with other archaeological finds dated between the 6C to 8C. The Visigothic Council and Culture Museum was created in 1969 as a subsidiary of the Santa Cruz Museum. Having its headquarters in the Church of San Román, it is also known as the San Román Museum. The museum opened in 1971.

toledo

The museum in the Church of San Román of which the church origins,are only partial data, could be traced back to the Visigothic period, since a crypt identified as an apse was discovered under the main chapel in 1968 built at that time, although some hypotheses attributed to Roman times by the vaults that support the staircase of the tower. Later it was perhaps used as a mosque since until 1572 Islamic sepulchral lauds were preserved in it. Documentary it is cited as a Latin parish for the first time in the early   12C, in 1125, although the current parish corresponds to the church consecrated in 1221. The tradition places in this church the proclamation of Alfonso VIII as heir of Castile in 1161 by the mayor of Toledo Esteban Illán, buried in one of the chapels.

toledo

 The structure is simple: it has a basilica plan with three naves, the tallest and widest central, separated by horseshoe-shaped arches with alternate segments framed in alfiz. They are supported on columns of Roman shaft attached to brick pillars, on which twelve capitals of different sizes are located, of which five are Visigoths, six Mozarabic 9-10C, and one of Byzantine tradition.

toledo

The materials that are exhibited in the Museum of the Visigothic Councils and Culture, and that testify to the importance of the Visigothic court of Toledo from the last third of the 6C, come from the funds of the Museum of Santa Cruz, (see this post)  coming from excavations taken to out in the province of Toledo (Vega Baja, Bayuela Castle, Carpio de Tajo, etc.). All the exhibited pieces are the only vestige that are conserve of what were the civil and religious constructions of the city in Visigothic time, since no original construction is still standing. Museography distributes the archaeological pieces in different thematic blocks that help us understand the general characteristics of the Visigothic culture and its material expressions. 

It was essential to dedicate a section in the Councilor museum , understood as assemblies of bishops and nobles presided over by the king, continuing the Roman synodal tradition. Although the celebration of the Councils of Toledo begins already under Roman rule, it will be with the consolidation of the Visigothic state when they receive a real boost. In this sense it is necessary to highlight the celebration of the Third Council, in 589, in which King Recaredo formalized his conversion and that of the Godo people to Catholicism, abandoning Arianism. As of this moment the integration of the Hispanic-Romans in the Visigothic state took place!

Tourist office of Toledo: Tourist office of Toledo on the Museo de los Concilios

And there you go something unique in my lovely Toledo, both must to see. The museums are great but they are in historical architecturally stunning buildings they are awesome, not to mention the goodies inside. Hope you have enjoyed the Sefardi and Concilios museums of Toledo

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

 

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January 31, 2020

San Clemente and Santa Cruz, events and museum of Toledo!!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain. And many times visited with family nearby over the years, and of course, never enough written on it or pictures! I do have several posts on the city of Toledo, Castilla La Mancha , Spain. I will try to tell you in my next posts the arts and museums of Toledo, but first a bit about the city’s location, good by train and already a post on that over the years the car is my second home.

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42.

The general tourist office information is here:

Tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Toledo: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/toledo/

Ok so it sounds like religious and indeed they are in those old buildings but they are , also, cultural center of San Clemente (St Clement) and Santa Cruz museum (Holy Cross) and I like to tell you a bit more on them from my lovely Toledo and beloved Spain.

The Museo Santa Cruz Museum takes its name from the building that serves as its headquarters, the old Hospital of Santa Cruz, founded by Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza as a general hospital and for the reception of exposed children. The building was built in the first decades of the 16C, after the death of its founder, and constitutes one of the architectural masterpieces of the Spanish Renaissance. It has a Greek cross plan with two floors, a large central cruise open to both floors and a total of eight bays, plus another room above the hall, all covered with wooden roofs. It also has two cloistered courtyards arranged between its arms. Its magnificent cover, dedicated to the devotion of the Holy Cross, the main cloister and the splendid staircase of Covarrubias, in the main courtyard, justify by itself the visit to this Museum.

Toledo

toledo

Tourist office of ToledoTourist office of Toledo on Santa Cruz museum

The San Clemente Cultural Center dependent on the Provincial Council of Toledo is located in the Plaza de Padilla, in the historic center of the city , and is part of the Imperial Monastery of San Clemente.

toledo

Two courtyards appear as organizing elements of the set. The main one is of enormous dimensions and can be considered as the true heart of the convent. It consists of two overlapping floors, with semicircular arches and in the upper architraves. The supports are carved stone columns. The second patio is simpler. The floor below has semicircular arches and the upper architrave with stone columns and brick walls. But what stands out above all is the enormous beauty of the Plateresque cover. In the 12C this convent already existed but in the 16C various modifications are made

In an important part of the Convent of San Clemente, the Cultural Center is installed, where the Library, the Restoration Unit and the Exhibition Center of the Provincial Council of Toledo are located. This Center regularly hosts exhibitions of the works of artists born or resident in our province, although other authors also participate in these exhibitions, less frequently. Sometimes they are already established artists and other young people who begin their artistic career and thus have the opportunity to bring their work to Toledo and many visitors that the city receives in consequence.

toledo

Deputy council of Toledo: Deputy council of Toledo on the San Clemente center

Cultural site on San ClementeTouristic guide of Toledo on the San Clemente center

There you go again some wonderful places to see and visit in my lovely Toledo, beloved Spain, never short of off the beaten path things to see and Toledo has a bookful!! Enjoy it

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

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January 31, 2020

A hospital and a fortress, museums of Toledo, Spain!!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain. And many times visited with family nearby over the years, and of course, never enough written on it or pictures! I do have several posts on the city of Toledo, Castilla La Mancha , Spain. I will try to tell you in my next posts the arts and museums of Toledo, but first a bit about the city’s location, good by train and already a post on that over the years the car is my second home.

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42.

The general tourist office information is here:

Tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Toledo: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/toledo/

Let me give you a bit more on the Alcazar and the Tavera hospital of Toledo! enjoy it so much in my lovely Toledo and beloved Spain!

At the Alcazar rebuilt in the 20C with traces going back to the 16C, and now housing since 2010 the Museo del Ejercito or Army Museum, another must to see in town.

Toledo

The Army Museum of Spain, is the result of the merger of various military museums created throughout the 19C and early 20C. Its founding nucleus is constituted by that of Artillery and Engineers.

Toledo

In 1803, at the request of Godoy (prime minister of Spain), the Royal Military Museum was created in Madrid, the most remote antecedent of the current Army Museum. It is one of the oldest Spanish museums and responds to the interest in Europe of the time for the conservation and dissemination of objects related to military history. Organically it depends on the Institute of Military History and Culture of the Army. The main areas here which is vast to cover on this post are the Old Tercios (army third battalions of Spain), the Royal Room ,Archaeological Remains, the Puerta de   Covarrubias gate , the Courtyard of Carlos V , and my favorite the history of artillery.

Official Army museumOfficial Army museum in English

Tourist office of ToledoTourist office of Toledo on the Army museum

The Hospital of San Juan Bautista is one of the most beautiful and representative monuments of the Spanish Renaissance that, in addition, exhibits, in a palatial atmosphere, an extraordinary pictorial, sculptural and movable collection of the Golden Age and the only hospital pharmacy of that time preserved entirely.

The first completely classic building in Castilla, also known as Tavera or Outskirts Hospital, because it is located outside the city, in front of the Bisagra gate, was born in the 16C with a double function: hospital for “the headdresses of different diseases ”and pantheon of its founder, Cardinal Juan Pardo Tavera. Its construction opens, in 1540, the program of architectural and urban renewal that the circle of humanists who surrounded the Emperor Carlos V projected to adapt the image of Toledo to his role as Imperial Capital.   This building began to be built in 1541.

Toledo

The museum exhibits, in addition to an important collection of Flemish furniture and tapestries from the 16-17C, the aforementioned art gallery that gathers works by El Greco, Luca Giordano, Zurbarán, Tintoretto, Pantoja de la Cruz, Carreño de Miranda, Sánchez Coello, etc. In the museum there is a large archive of documents and numerous artistic works of great value are preserved: paintings by El Greco, Ribera, Tintoretto, Luca Giordano, Tiziano, Snyders and Jacopo Bassano, among others. They stand out one of the few portraits painted by Zurbarán and a copy of Carlos V on horseback in Mühlberg, of Tiziano (Prado Museum), painted by Sánchez Coello. Equally exceptional is the sculpture of the Risen Christ, by El Greco. In addition, it houses the building of the old pharmacy of the hospital. The unique spatial richness of the Tavera Hospital is evidenced in its courtyards, in the long bays of the old infirmary, church, sacristy, crypt allowing us to enjoy the beauty of the works of art that it treasures as the Sepulcher of Cardinal Tavera, work of Alonso de Berruguete, or the altarpiece of the Church, iconographic project of El Greco.

Toledo

The Tavera Hospital building also houses the Historical Archive of the Nobility, a center under the Ministry of Culture and Sports (Government of Spain). In 1988, the State signed an agreement with the Ducal House of Medinaceli, owner of the building, whereby a part of it was ceded to house the Nobility Section of the National Historical Archive, which began operating in 1993 in its new offices, through the transfer of various noble funds that were guarded in the National Historical Archive. Since 2017, this center has been called the Historical Archive of the Nobility. It houses 270 noble archives, whose consultation is free and free, from Monday to Friday from 8h30 to 14h30. You can also visit their exhibitions. More on the nobility part here in Spanish: Minister of Culture and sports of Spain on the national nobility archive in Toledo

Tourist office of ToledoTourist office of Toledo on Tavera Hospital

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Tavera hospital and museum: Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Tavera hospital museum

There you a proper combination of army museum and hospital museum in lovely Toledo and my beloved Spain, hope you enjoy it

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

 

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January 30, 2020

Museums of Segovia!!!

So here I am back in one of my favorite towns of my beloved Spain. I don’t have to repeat myself when I came here first and my memories with family here always coming from Madrid where I used to lived.

There are many things to see in Segovia, not just the major tourist attractions that are also major monuments in the history of our Spain. I can only recall the Chapel of Santa Barbara in the Cathedral , who is the Patron Saint of my native town. etc. However,there are museums too and very good ones indeed.

I like to tell you a bit on the museums of Segovia at least my favorite ones.

The Museo de Segovia museum in the Casa del Sol is a cultural institution of the Spanish State managed by the Autonomouse community of Castilla y León, which guards the arts of the province of Segovia. Throughout its history it has had several denominations, Museum of Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts or Provincial Museum, as well as various headquarters from the initial in the episcopal palace in 1842, passing through the Church of San Facundo 1845 and the House del Hidalgo 1967 , until settling in the Casa del Sol or sun house dating from king Enrique IV times.

The building, nestled in a ram in the western section of the medieval wall, is a reform of the old slaughterhouse; the Casa del Sol museum made between 1986 and 2006.  The Museum is made up of some 1,500 pieces with archaeological, ethnological and fine art backgrounds from the Segovian region. The archaeological pieces range from the Paleolithic, through Celtiberian, Roman, Visigoth, Islamic, to the Christian era. The collection of sculptures, paintings and decorative arts come from the Spanish confiscation of the 19C. The permanent exhibition is organized in 7 rooms on 4 floors.

Segovia

They are as on the ground floor: Room A. “Segovia in time. The roots of History” (Geology, Geochronology, Geography and Landscape). Room B. “From the First Villagers to the Altomedieval World” (Prehistory, Ancient History and Visigothic Period). Room C. La Piedra Labrada (Ancient, medieval Lapidary and Barral collection, in the courtyard).

Upstairs: Room D. “The Low Middle Ages. Church, Nobility and Pueblo Llano”. (From Islam to the 16C: Romanesque, Gothic and Mudejar. Painting. The Lord and the War. Castles and Alcázares. Departure to the Adarve. The Grinding and its Measures. Grazing, Mesta and Transhumance Wool and Dresses (Batanes, looms and Knitting Machines).

Mezzanine I: Room E. “Renaissance and Baroque. The Austrias”. La Estampa.Arquitectura: the New Cathedral. Painting. Hydraulic Energy and its Technique: Numismatics in Segovia. Navafría Copper Martinete.

Mezzanine II: Room F. Sculpture of the 15-16C. Room G. “The Bourbons and the Enlightenment. The 20C”. The constructions of the Bourbon Segovia. The Royal Factories: La Granja, El Aserrío de Valsaín and the Cloths of Laureano Ortiz de Paz. Popular pottery (highlighting the Fernando Arranz collection). Traditional clothing Contemporary painting and sculpture.

And great views over Segovia and the Cathedral from the museum!!!

Segovia

Tourist office of Segovia on the Museum

Official museums of Castilla y Leon on the Museum of Segovia

Another wonderful building that I came straight for it is the Casa Museo Antonio Machado , one of Spain leading poet/writer.  He first came here in November 25 , 1919 to hold a place as professor of French in the Instituto General y Técnico where he stayed until 1932.  And even thus he leaves the city in September 1932 to teach French in the Instituto Calderón de la Barca in Madrid. He did came back for visits afterwards; Segovia keeps a very big heart for him. He was actually born in Sevilla in 1875 , and founder of the Spanish Modernismo been part of the famous Generation of ’98 and member of the Spanish Royal Academy.

Segovia

From 1949, Segovian friends of the poet decided to ensure that the building did not disappear. In 1951, they bought the apartment, then in 1974, they bought the whole house. They make it a house-museum. Visitors can view the writings and personal belongings of Antonio Machado. Original objects are still there, such as the iron bed, furniture or the oil heater. A bust of the poet made by the sculptor Ignacio Barral is placed in the access garden. The house-museum is administered by the Real Academia de Historia y Arte de San Quirce. Antonio Machado was a member of this cultural institution, along with other intellectuals from the province. Their webpage is here: Real Academia de San Quince on house museum of Antonio Machado

Segovia

One of the poems I always remember was dedicated to the assassination of another great Poet/writer of Spain, Federico Garcia Lorca in the early stages of the Spanish Civil War, “El Crimen fue en Granada” = Se le vio, caminando entre fusiles, por una calle larga, salir al campo frío, aún con estrellas de la madrugada. Mataron a Federico cuando la luz asomaba” IN short, it translates as, The crime was in Granada.  He was seen walking amongt rifles on a long street, going out into the cold field still with stars of the night. They killed Federico when the daylight looms. One of my favorite poets of Spain.  There is a guide map where you can trace the walks of his daily routines in the city ask the tourist office.

Segovia

Tourist office of Segovia on the House Museum of Antonio Machado

Tourist office of Province of Segovia on the House Museum of Antonio Machado

And there you go , there is arts in Segovia and very good ones indeed. Hope you have the time to enjoy them. My favorite museums of Segovia.

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

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January 30, 2020

Gates of Segovia!

And on my nostalgic run of my beloved Spain, I got out of the vault two nice gates that are in Segovia. Well, a very popular city and on certain times heavily loaded with the hordes of tourists. However, away from the center there are nice curiosities to see.

One of my fond moments is to walk in a city once arriving by car. We walk all over and passed by some interesting monuments like the Puerta de Madrid and Puerta de San Andrés I like to tell you a bit more on them. Hope you enjoy it

First, we go by car from Madrid entering Segovia by Calle de Jose Zorilla and just landed at the underground parking of Ezequiel Gonzalez and then walk all over. The parking is located on Calle Barreros corner of Paseo Ezequiel Gonzalez; more here: http://www.turismodesegovia.com/inicio/servicios-basicos/

The Puerta del Mercado (Market), as the current Puerta de Madrid was first called, began to be built in 1703 and was completed in April 2004, being one of the last Baroque works in the city of Segovia.

The Puerta de Madrid is actually, more than a gate, a triumphal arch made in commemoration of the legendary, heroic and decisive action for the conquest of Madrid, carried out by the Segovian captains Fernán García and Día Sanz. According to legend, when King Alfonso VI was preparing to conquer Madrid, he brought together the council militias, arriving late from the Segovians sent by captains Fernán García de la Torre and Día Sanz de Quesada. When they asked the king to stay in the royal camp, he, annoyed at this delay, told them to do so in Madrid, words they took as an order and, after assaulting the Madrid walls, they alone took the city. Then, they informed the king of their action, telling him that he could already stay in Madrid, being rewarded by the monarch in a remarkable way.

Segovia

The Puerta de Madrid was built around an arch formed by padded ashlars that is framed between straight pilasters. On the ledge, located on a false entablature, are the sculptures that serve as the auction of the monument. In the center, crowned by balls, there are two different shields, one on each side of the door: the royal shield is the one that faces the outside of the city and the shield of Segovia is the one that looks towards the inside of it. On both sides of the latter, there are two dressed figures, armed with spears and protected with medieval armor that represent the captains Fernán García and Día Sanz, who seem to be watching outside the city while guarding the shields located between them. The whole set is built in limestone, with the exception of the lower part of it, the pedestals in the case of pilasters, which is granite. On the sides of this triumphal arch, the presence of two buttresses endow it with greater strength and stability.

Tourist office of Segovia on the Puerta de Madrid

We walked passed the Puerta San Andrés . The Puerta San Andrés allows access to the city through the wall. It is located near the old Jewish quarter. It gave way to the orchards and planting lines of the Clamores valley. Its current aspect is due to the reform that was carried out in the construction at the time of the Catholic Monarchs. That happened between the end of the 15C and the beginning of the 16C.  From this point we will clearly see, right in front, the Jewish cemetery popularly known as “El Pinarillo”.

Segovia

The Puerta San Andrés gate retains Romanesque-Mudejar remains. It is formed by two towers: one of square plant, that is united to the wall; and another polygonal plant with cross bolts, which is exposed to the outside. Between them there is a passage crowned by a semicircular arch with an embedded royal shield. There is also a tall body with windows and battlements. On the top there is a cornice of pyramid balls and battlements. On the inside of the arch there is still a small chapel with the image of the Virgen del Socorro, which is why the Gate is also known as the Arco del Socorro (Helps gate) , and also has been known with the names Puerta de la Juderia or Jewish quarter gate. From there it is possible to see one of the sides of the Cathedral of Segovia and its tower.

Tourist office of Segovia on the Puerta de San Andrés

So there you go if you want to see the lovely Segovia and away from the main points of popular monuments (that you must see as well) than do a bit of walking and see these wonderful monuments of the Puerta de Madrid and Puerta de San Andrés.

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

 

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January 30, 2020

Events and Theater at Toledo! Spain that is!!!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain. And many times visited with family nearby over the years, and of course, never enough written on it or pictures! I do have several posts on the city of Toledo, Castilla La Mancha , Spain. I will try to tell you in my next posts the arts and museums of Toledo, but first a bit about the city’s location, good by train and already a post on that over the years the car is my second home.

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42 .

The general tourist office information is here:

Tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Toledo: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/toledo/

On this post let me bring you/me up to date on the wonderful building we find there and often overlook by the hordes of visitors, as I call it , the off the beaten paths sites. Let me tell you a bit more on the Circulo de Arte and the Teatro Rojas of Toledo.

The Circulo de Arte or Circle of Art in Toledo is located in the Plaza San Vicente, 2 in the Old Parish of San Vicente which was founded by King Alfonso VI after conquering the Moors the city of Toledo for the kingdom of Castile.

Toledo

The building has undergone, for centuries, different reconstructions, transformations and additions. Its current main façade, in which Roman reliefs and embedded Visigoths can be noticed, either as an ornament or as reused materials, conceals the originality with added constructions, being its oldest element preserved a splendid apse, from the 13C, of which already in the 15C by a recess of the street, was discovered its foundation platform, giving it its current slenderness and appearance of the Mudejar tower. In the Baroque era, a large stone shield and two openings were incorporated on the axis with the purpose of illuminating the main chapel and a lower chamber, being blind only a third crypt and sepulchral located in turn under both underground level to the current street. This peculiar apse is known in Toledo as “cubillo de San Vicente” (or cubism) , being one of the most valuable Mudejar remains of the ancient city. The temple consists of a single nave, the original of the Mudejar building, with side chapels on one side, separated from it by rectangular pillars on which semicircular horseshoe arches lean towards the ship and semi-circular townhouses towards these chapels that had to be added towards the second half of the 14C.

The church was desacralized in 1842 and, once the parish was abolished, it acquired over time various uses such as the museum of religious art, municipal warehouse, or classrooms of the University of Toledo, currently being the headquarters of the Toledo Circle of Art, and serving for artistic expression, cultural promotion, nightlife and the exercise of free thinking.

The central nave (Green) has an area of 222 m2, with a capacity for 450 standing persons and about 150 seated. The lateral nave (Purple) has an area of 53 m2 where the cafeteria is located. The stage (Blue) has an area of 54 m2, prepared with the appropriate technologies to carry out any type of event.

Official Circulo de ArteOfficial Circulo de Arte de Toledo

The Teatro Rojas Theater first opened in 1879 on the old comedy corral called Mesón de la Fruta and several architects participated in its construction. It is named in honor of the Toledo playwright Francisco de Rojas. The theater was inaugurated on October 19, 1879, with the representation of the work of Francisco de Rojas, drama de honor Del Rey abajo ninguno. Or the drama of honor of the King below none.

Toledo

Talía, the muse of the theater, and a series of medallions in which we see great authors of Spanish theater, such as Tirso de Molina, Calderón de la Barca or Francisco de Rojas, who gives name to the theater appear in the paintings on the ceiling. The sills of the boxes, the thin iron columns, the mouth of the stage with the stage boxes and, finally, the spectacular curtain, make this room an important piece within the particular panorama of the Spanish municipal theater of the 19C.

Official Teatro Rojas: Official Teatro Rojas de Toledo

A culture site of Castilla La Mancha with a wonderful picture of it: Culture of Castilla La Mancha on Teatro Rojas of Toledo

And there you go two wonderful buildings to add to your long list of things to see in my wonderful Toledo. Hope you enjoy it as we do

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

 

 

 

 

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January 29, 2020

Torre del Reloj or clock tower, Jaca!

So let me bring you back to my vault of memories in my beloved Spain. I just happened to see a program on TV about it and told me hey I have pictures and very little coverage in my blog so here I am to tell you a bit more on it.

I like to tell you about the Torre del Reloj or clock tower of the wonderful Jaca, near the Pyrenees! And our road warrior architecturally, historically wonderful trips to my Spain.

Jaca is in the province of Huesca in the autonomous region of Aragon, On the axe Pau Zaragoza passing by the Somport tunnel (way back when I started coming here just pushing 2nd gear over the mountain trails!). It is in the heart of the Pyrénées in the valley of Aragon, parallel valley to the axis of the Pyrenees, at the foot of Mount Oroel. The city is on a depression of the Canal of Berdùn 818 meters below sea level. It is part of the metro area of the north of Aragon in the Jacetania.

By road as we do, we take it from France under Somport tunnel with the N134 France and then come out with the N330 Spain to direction Huesca, Zaragoza taken the panels for Jaca. (future expressway under construction as we passed last year with the new A21 linking all the major towns in Aragon, Navarra, and beyond. Stay tune for this

You can see the quaint Torre del Reloj or clock tower built in 1445 in Gothic style on the same spot of the Palace of the Aragonese kings that was destroyed by fire in 1395. It was once used as a prison. Then a work office of the region of Aragon, and since 1986 the HQ of the European Council Pyrenean Work Community. It can be seen Inside too by Calle(street)  Sancho Ramirez.

Jaca

It is a rectangular tower, built with irregular stones and great slenderness. It is divided internally into four floors, illuminated by Gothic windows, some with tracery or geminates. The entrance gate is located on the north face at ground level and consists of a semicircular arch. In the recent restoration both the spire (currently covered with a four-sided roof) and the clock were removed.

Jaca

It is in a nice walkable area of many things to see which I have written in my blog before and great places to eat , take a look. The clock tower is imposing as you turn the corner on the street and it is worth a detour to see it me think. Hope you enjoy

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Jaca on the clock tower

Tourist office of Jacetania on the clock tower in English

There you go a nice monument me think on wonderfully beautiful old Jaca a must to visit while in my beloved Spain.

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

 

 

 

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January 21, 2020

Some news from Spain LXXXVIIII

Well I have beena  bit away , a pity , of my beloved Spain. However, always in my mind. Let me catch up and tell you a bit of what is going on in my country down south! Enjoy it and Feliz Año Nuevo 2020!

The 34th Goya Awards (Spanish equivalents of the Oscars). From the headquarters of the Film Academy, applicants to the 28 categories that include the awards. The 146 Spanish films premiered in this country have been presented to the screening, of which 88 are fiction films, 55 are documentaries and 3 are animated. There are also 53 European films, 15 Latin American films and 35 short films. Of the total number of applications, 56 are raw operas. As for the scripts, 112 are original and 29, adapted. The film with the most nominations are Mientras dure la Guerra (While the war lasts), of Alejandro Amenábar,with 17 nominations. Dolor y gloria,(pain and glory) from Pedro Almodóvar, with 16 and La trinchera infinita, (the Infinite Trench ) of Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga with 15 nominations.

The gala, which will be held on January 25, 2020 in Malaga, will be presented by the actors Andreu Buenafuente and Silvia Abril, The 2020 Goya of Honor has fallen to actress Pepa Flores. More info here: https://www.premiosgoya.com/

The exhibition Extra Moda! (extra fashion) will be on in Madrid until March 1st 2020 at the Museo del Traje or Costume museum . What is considered the first publication with fashion content Mercure Galant, founded in 1672 in the France of Louis XIV, already speaks of what is carried and what is not.   Harper’s which first appears in November 1867, and Vogue, whose number one dates from December 17, 1892 They are not far from other periodicals such as The New York Times, founded in 1851. A century after the creation of Mercure Galant, The Pensadora Gaditana or Thinker from Cádiz (1763-1764) is published, which was born in Cádiz with fashion content. While in France, the cradle and still today the center and axis of the fashion industry and everything that it drags, the Paris brand was exported from the beginning, in Spain, Cádiz plays an important role that currently sounds strange. It is the moment of the Enlightenment, the diffusion of thoughts and a cosmopolitan city that is the entrance and exit of ideas and merchandise that come from America and the United Kingdom, among other places. With respect to the press, everything changes from 1791, when under the reign of Carlos IV, the Count of Floridablanca prohibits the publication of any type of newspaper in fear of the entry of revolutionary ideas from France!!. More info here: http://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/mtraje/exposicion/temporales/historico/2019/extra-moda.html

Something that we love and eat in all its variation is rabbit meat. The conejo in Spanish or lapin in French. Here is some interesting facts about them.

Rabbit meat is, along with chicken and turkey, a healthy white meat alternative. It is soft, pink, easy to digest and good for low-calorie and fat diets. It can come from small game or farm. The meat of the latter is more fat, pink and tender. The younger, the better for stew. The oldest usually end up as pâte or terrines. Those from the bush, also called field or wild rabbits, have a harder, reddish, tasty meat with a lower fat intake. The mountain rabbit can only be tasted during the hunting season, which covers autumn and winter. The farm is available all year.  In the market, rabbits are usually sold without skin, but whole. Before buying, check that the leg joints have some mobility. It is an indication that the meat is fresh. See also the color: the better the pinker. When you get home, keep it in the refrigerator. Frozen whole hold a year. Nine months if you do it in pieces. The more time passes, the quality will fall. To defrost it, it is best to let it take a temperature slowly in the fridge.

Every 100 grams provide 20.7 grams of high quality protein and superior to that of other animals, such as chicken. And that with only 132 cal / 100 grams, a perfect claim if you have declared war on the scale. It is a meat with only 5.3 grams of fat per 100 grams. In addition, it is low in saturated fat and sodium. About 100 g of rabbit meat cover, in a healthy adult, 54% of the RDA of vitamin B3 or niacin (8.6 mg), necessary for the normal functioning of energy metabolism, the nervous system and mucous membranes. They also provide 400% of the recommendations of vitamin B12 (10 mcg), necessary for the creation of normal red blood cells and key to the process of cell division; and 30% of the recommendations of vitamin B6 (0.42 mg), which contributes to the normal functioning of the immune and nervous system. Also its high phosphorus content (220 mg / 100 g), essential for the normal functioning of bones and teeth, potassium (360 mg / 100 g), which contributes to the normal functioning of muscles and selenium (17 mcg / 100 g ), a mineral with antioxidant qualities that protects cells from oxidative damage. There you go we knew it!!!

The “escape room”is a game in which a series of players are locked in a room and have to solve different puzzles   to get out of there before the set time. The plot of «Escape Room», arrives in Madrid with a cast made up of Antonio Molero, Leo Rivera, Kira Miró and Marina San José. The work tells the story of four friends -two couples- who go, with the intention of having a good time, to an «escape room» located in the neighborhood of Lavapies despite the fact that the dismembered corpse of a man has appeared very close . Once they are inside,the room becomes a pressure cooker and to get out of it they will not only have to solve puzzles or tests as in any” escape room “, but they will have to face to some truths that in another situation, if their lives were not at stake, they would not face. See it at the Teatro Figaro, Calle Doctor Cortezo, 5 Madrid, more info here: https://gruposmedia.com/cartelera/escape-room/

A new statue is erected in Madrid at 121 years of the commemorating deed: the one that took place during 337 days in the town of Baler, Philippines. Where a church was erected (and still stands today) in which 60 soldiers resisted against almost a thousand adversaries. The last news they had been able to certify was the defeat of the Spanish army in Cavite against the powerful North American forces of Commodore George Dewey. And, presenting battle, they ended up retreating to a position where they would end up starring in a memorable place. They were the last in the Philippines. Calle Alberto Aguilera at the height of Valle Suchil, in the Jardines del Almirante Cervera, stands on a granite and spectacular pedestal, the representation of that moment in our history, in the figure of Lieutenant Saturnino Martín Cerezo The last officer in command of some soldiers who, after their suffering, were at least recognized and honored by the country, with medals in retirement for the last private soldier. Well worth the recognition. More info on the story and on lt Saturnino Martin Cerezo here in English: http://www.spanamwar.com/Baler.html

The cheeses of Spain in Protected Designations of Origin. In total there are 26 cheeses with D.O. my favourites are

The milk used for its production is obtained exclusively from the herds of cows, sheep and goats registered in the Cabrales Protected Designation of Origin and controlled by the Regulatory Council. It will be whole and clean milk, without any preservative and with a balanced composition in fat and proteins according to the different seasonal productive characteristics

The milk to make the cheeses with Denomination of Origin Idiazábal comes mainly from the sheep of the Latxa breed, which is a small and rustic animal. It is a sheep that produces a limited amount of milk. About one hundred liters per season, mainly from February to June, but large sheep of the Latxacalidad breed.

The cheese with Protected Designation of Origin Cebreiro is a fresh cheese of white, soft and grainy pasta, made with cow’s milk from the Rubia Gallega, Alpine Parda, Frisona and their crosses. It is made without any additive or preservative, in a completely natural way. It is shaped like a mushroom or chef’s hat, composed of two parts: A cylindrical base, of variable diameter and with a height not exceeding 12 cm. A hat that is between 1 and 2 cm more in diameter than the base and a height not exceeding 3 cm. Weight: between 0.3 and 2 Kg.

The Galician cheese covered by the Denomination of Origin Tetilla Cheese is made with cow’s milk from the Frisona, Alpine Brown and Galician breeds. It is one of the most representative Galician cheeses and the most international. It is necessary to emphasize its typical form of «tetilla» that is formed by the funnels in which the milk is allowed to curdle at the beginning of its elaboration. Another Galician cheese that has the same shape is San Simón Cheese. Shape: conical, concave-convex. Weight: from 0.5 to 1.5 Kg. Dimensions: The height will be greater than the base radius and less than the diameter.

It is called Manchego Cheese made in the natural region of La Mancha , from Manchego Cheese with Designation of Origin of sheep from the Manchego breed, with a minimum maturity period of 70 days. Manchego cheese is made with pasteurized sheep’s milk and artisan Manchego cheese, with unpasteurized sheep’s milk, from livestock registered in the Manchego Cheese Designation of Origin. My tops and lucky to be able to find it in my current living area in the Morbihan Breton of France.

More info on the Spanish cheeses here: http://www.spanish-cheese.net/

 Something good to save our bookstores/libraries in Madrid. The scene is becoming increasingly common in the streets of Madrid. Lowered blinds, curtains thrown in shop windows and posters that are repeated as a constant: “Closed for cessation of activity”, “closed for retirement” … And always the word “closed” as core. That is the scenario that the bookstores of the capital’s neighborhoods live. The Culture Commission of the City Council of Madrid and the Consistory to deepen a plan of shock against this phenomenon. Two main issues: financing and collaboration with the city’s public library network. That is why the municipal government has opened a call in free competition for bookstores in Madrid that develop activities to promote reading so that they receive direct aid,said sources from the area of Culture.

A line of financing that was 65,000 euros in 2019 and 80,000 euros in 2020 and from which 8 libraries have benefited from Madrid, which are those that have applied for such aid and will begin to receive these subsidies soon, after the period of justification of expenses. The second pillar on which the project will be based will be public libraries. The Culture Area works on a framework agreement for the maintenance and updating of collections and the formation of foundational funds for new libraries To this end, the number of suppliers, which so far stood at seven with only three from Madrid-, up to 25, all of them bookstores in the capital. Bookstores have always been more than a trade, they are part of the cultural fabric of a city, highlighting that these points of sale provide other intangible assets such as the valuable recommendation of booksellers or   experience staff visiting a bookstore.

Some wonderful beaches to have in mind when visiting Spain at the right time !

Located in Galicia, the Playa de las Catedrales has been chosen several times as the best in Spain and has come to sneak among the best in the world. Its bath is not the most pleasant, but the unique views of the natural monument that erosion has created cause this Galician corner to attract tourists all year round. You just have to wait at low tide, take off your shoes and start walking to dazzle with the 30-meter high buttresses and the unusual prospects of arches inside other arches that are born as you move forward. More info on the beach here: https://www.turismo.gal/que-visitar/destacados/praia-das-catedrais?langId=en_US

La Concha Beach San Sébastian: The San Sebastián Bay is a symbol in itself. Captured in so many snapshots, the beach of the most aristocratic city in Spain is perfect to enjoy any time of the year. And both from the bay’s own sand and from one of its elevated sides, either from Mount Urgull or Igueldo, which also houses an amusement park of the 20s. A unique postcard that is perfect to capture with the camera in these months, with the winter haze giving it a mysterious touch and fewer umbrellas. In addition, its bar gastronomy is perfect to get warm later. More info here: https://www.sansebastianturismoa.eus/en/to-do/what-not-to-miss/the-concha-bay

At the foot of the Pyrenees of Huesca, in the Sobrarbe region, little Aínsa is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It is indeed , we passed by it on our way to Spain from France for many years. The medieval village, belonging to the former Kingdom or County of Sobrarbe, emerged more than a thousand years ago at the confluence of the Cinca and Ara rivers, on a promontory at 589 meters of altitude, from where the surroundings dominate, has all the ingredients to enjoy a complete weekend in which to practice both active and cultural tourism. It houses a huge heritage with medieval flavor, in which the wall, the castle, the old cobbled streets and its main square stand out. On the other hand, its strategic location, between the National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido (to the north), the Natural Park of the Sierra and the Canyons of Guara (to the south) and the Natural Park of Posets-Maladeta (to the east), tha it becomes a perfect destination for lovers of nature and mountain sports, both in summer and winter.

The nerve center of the town is its arcaded Plaza Mayor, full of restaurants, small shops and bars that take their terraces outside in good weather; in January 17 there will be bonfires there in honor of San Antón and San Sebastián January 19, and on the first Sunday of February it will host the agricultural and livestock fair that has been held since the Middle Ages. Of enormous dimensions and trapezoidal plant, it is believed that it dates from the 12-13C, the largest in the town. It is surrounded by perfectly preserved original stone buildings, including that of the City/Town Hall or Ayuntamiento, and surrounded by two of its most important monuments: the Romanesque Church of Santa María, 12C, and considered one of the best examples of Romanesque Alto Aragón (upper Aragon) ,the visit is free and includes the crypt and the cloister.

And the Castle, initially built in the 11C and renovated and expanded in the 17C. It has two access gates and a moat, and concerts and festivals, such as the Castillo de Aínsa Music, are held in the Plaza del Castillo in summer.  The castle is linked to the imposing walls that surround the old town of Aínsa, which in some sections reach 14 meters high and still retain five of the seven gates that existed, such as Portal de Abajo, Portal de Afuera, Portal Alto, Portal de Tierra Glera and Portal del Callizo. The wall is passable from the top, so one of the obligatory walks is the one that surrounds the villa walking on the walls enjoying the fantastic views. The facades of houses such as Arnal 16C, Bielsa 16-17C or of Latorre, as well as the Cruz Cubierta or Covered Cross 16C, symbol of the legendary origins of the town, commemorating the victory in 724 of Christian troops on the Muslim army, thanks to the miraculous appearance of a cross of fire next to an oak tree, are some clear examples. Enjoy it , a car is needed of course.

Tourist office in Spanish of AinsaTourist office Valle de Ainsa on Ainsa

Tourist office of region of Aragon on Ainsa: Tourist office of region of Aragon on Ainsa in English

And last but not least on the wine wars between the EU and the USA

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) has released in a statement the main data extracted from the statements submitted by the operators in November through the Market Information System of the Wine Sector (Infovi). The provisional production of wine and must in the 2019/2020 campaign reaches 37.2 million hectoliters, as of November 30, representing a decrease of 26% compared to the last and 14% to the average of the previous four . By autonomous communities, Castilla-La Mancha appears as the largest producer, with 54% of the total, followed by Catalonia (9%), Extremadura (8%), Valencian Community (7%), Castilla y León (5%), La Rioja (5%) and Andalusia (3%).

The European Commission has approved two legislative proposals aimed at easing measures to promote the export of wine, including those of the Spanish Wine Sector Support Program (PASVE). This measure is part of the requests made by Spain to Brussels in a common position with France and will allow EU funding to be extended to wine promotion programs from 50% to 60%, modify their destination and extend the duration of those approved for third countries.

This measure responds to the decision of the United States, on October 18, to start applying additional tariffs as a result of the Airbus case to certain products, including agrifoods worth 764 million euros. With regard to wine, the additional tariffs applied do not affect all Spanish exports. It is proposed for still wines packaged in volumes less than 2 liters and with a graduation not exceeding 14% by volume, so its impact is especially significant for wines that are protected by protected designations of origin (DOP) and protected geographical indications (IGP), of higher quality and added value.

The additional wine tariff applies exclusively to the countries of the Airbus Consortium: Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It does not apply to wines from other European Union countries such as Italy or Greece, among others. The United States market is the third destination of Spanish wine exports in value, with an average of 283 million euros in the 2014-2018 period. With regard to wines affected by retaliatory measures, they represent 62.46% of the volume of wine exported to the US. and 69.26% of its value. In any case, Spain has requested the European Commission to carry out a detailed monitoring of the markets of the products concerned in order that, if necessary, other mechanisms of the Common Organization of the Agricultural Markets are put in place and even resorted to tools outside the PAC, to minimize the impact on the agri-food sector. Trade wars lose at the end and the most affected is the people. Me think.

There you go  ,now can rest at ease, giving you something from my beloved Spain. Hope you enjoy the series of Some News from Spain.

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

 

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