Spain, Madrid – Trip for Romance VIII
I walk in the park around Museum Prado. It is the temple of the art. Yet even the greatest of the art enthusiasts would get tired after couple of hours.
So I choose the works by Titian and El Greco. Titian has 36 paintings there. He created new kind of woman beauty in his “Venuses”. And in pagan bakhanalias he expressed his joy of life… Beauty. He was truly a renaissance man. He painted spontaneously, and he was not worried about questions of next era...
El Greco who lived the second half of his life in Toledo remained a foreigner. He was a foreigner in a country where he lived but even a stranger in the world he lived in. Since his 20ies he lived abroad. First, in Venice, then v Rome, and eventually in Spain. They called him El Greco according to his origin. Even on Crete he painted icons and saints with prolonged figures. I look again and now I see it. Real king of his paintings is light. It is wonder that somebody put it on the painting.
I go on to the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) and cathedral (Catedral de la Almudena) with thin towers and beautiful façade. There are many tourists taking pictures, and on Plaza Mayor is cheerful atmosphere. You can hear laugh and watch young people dancing. People have danced there three centuries. Still something has been celebrated there. Tournaments took part there, koridas and saints were declared there. Ministers were executed there, and heretics were burned to death. The square has operated as theatre scene. Entertainment there has been really diverse. Today, a bunch of Spaniards dance to the sound of guitar and with them foreigners in jeans and enjoy the spirit of Madrid through their own bodies.
I come at Plaza de Espaňa, with a monument of queen and king statues in its center. In front of it, stands the memorial of Cervantes with two iron riders. When brave Don Quixote wandered there with his loyal servant. With risen hand he addresses passersby hurrying for their own wind mills...
The end of my journey is neigh. I write Francis who gave me lift there on the first day. I still have five days of time. Immediately he invites me in. It is mere 250 km from Valencia. Why not. He will nice places around Murcia, thermal springs, and special mills lifting irrigation. The Arabs came up with the idea. In the mill’s wheel there are openings with pockets. They take water up, lift it perpendicularly, and then on the top water flows to irrigation channels.
It is Saturday already. I say my goodbyes to Francis to get me enough time to get to Valencia. Nice Romanian and his friends give me lift. He warmly invites me to his village and lets me sleep over there. On the following day, he has to make a business trip to Valencia. It means a taxi for me. He will take me through the city. At the end, we visit the Museum of Science. It is a fantastic modern complex. Eventually, he takes me to the airport. I sleep over at the river and in the morning I walk to the airport. It was, however, a nice trip…
I would like to thank Mr Jaroslav Vacha – the author of Spanish Way book which helped me to write these articles...
Text and photo: Sylvie Halouzková
Right on the famous Costa del Sol in Andalusia, Spain, lies one of Europe's oldest cities, Malaga. The formation of the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Spaniards. That's why countless sights await you. In the article and video, we'll take you to the most interesting.
Today, we visit the Spanish city of Salamanca, located in the Autonomous Community of Castile-Leon. Since 1988, the historic center of the city is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and after reading the following lines you will understand why it is so. You will feel as if you are walking in some huge historical open-air museum.
After our last week's first taste of this amazing city we continue and take you to to some sacras structures and local museums. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
Like many contemporary cities across central, southern and western Europe, León was founded as a Roman military encampment. In particular, the seventh legion was stationed here. The city's heyday was in the 10th and 12th centuries.
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I visited the Catalonian capital with my family for a week in the time of Christmas holidays. I like to learn about culture of the country I spend my time in so I spent lot of time wandering in the streets, in parks or had breakfast in back-alley cafes with locals. I enjoyed hours-long dinners having great tapas and even better wine. I tried to met as new people as possible. True, only disadvantage was that I didn’t speak Spanish or Catalonian.
In narrow streets of historical center in Barcelona is really easy to get lost. However, you can be sure that you would always end up at some cathedral or, at least, small shrine. They are hard to see from distance, they just suddenly pop up in front of you. On the other hand, famous Sagrada Família is easy to see from distance.
Having 512 meters, Tibidabo is the highest summit of the Serra de Collserola. Therefore, you should miss it if you want to enjoy one of the best vistas over Barcelona. Tibidabo is on city’s northwest. You can easily distinguish it for its white temple on the top.
Spain’s second largest city, the center of Catalonia, popular destination of digital nomads, and mostly the place from where you bring countless great experiences. Barcelona is very kind to any type of traveler and you can visit it in any season.
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If you remember, at the beginning of the previous article we mentioned that Pamplona is a city where people who like rather unorthodox experiences will thrive. So what we talk about?
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Cuenca offers a beautiful view, overlooking the gorge of the river Huecar. The location of the city has the result of a specific architecture in the form of hanging houses rise on steep rocks.
The city of Burgos is known for its beautiful cathedral. No wonder it was built here as the city used to be one of the most prominent pilgrimage stops on the way to Santiago de Compostela.
In the west of Spain, close to the borders with Portugal, there is the town of Merida, a city of amazin excavations which are protected by the UNESCO. Merida offers some of the most preserved pieces of Roman architecture.
In the first part of our story about León, a city in northwestern Spain, we introduced the local monastery, which is now a luxury hotel, and we stopped by Casa de la Botines from the famous architect Antonio Gaudí. In the second part of our trip we will take you through the college church of Saint Isidore, the Cathedral of Leon or the Museum of Modern Art.
My trip to sunny Andalusia, rhythm of unbounded and wild guitarist Paca de Lucía, flamenco dancers, people of Sevilla goes on and this time it takes place in marvellous Granada.
I believe I will visit Granada one more time at some point in the future. Yet now I head to Málaga and Córdoba.
Cordoba was the richest city of the West and the center of Islamic culture. First emirs resided in Seville. In the sixth year of Arab occupation (716) Emir Alhor moved his court to Cordoba. The ruled as deputies of the caliph of Damask. They were military warlords subordinated to the might of the House of Umayyad.
It is time to move on in the direction to Cádiz. Everybody recommended me to see it. So why not?
On my road from Cádiz to Toledo, I spent couple of days in Lisbon. I think I really deserve some comfort and a shower. Thus, I would live in a hostel this time.
From old fortress of San Servando I look deep down to a canyon between the rocks where the Tajo River flows. I admire the vista from the rock surrounded with the wall.
«I believe in eternity», said the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson when proclaimed to see the genius of Greece, Italy and Spain. Without any doubt, Emerson knew Granada or, at least, he had a feeling of how it would be like.
The visitor will feel at home in the Patio de los Leones whose fountain, surrounded by a slim gallery of 124 columns, provides a humane architectonic space put to the service of men, in a miraculous mixture of geometry, light and rhythm.
Welcome to our series dedicated to the fascinating Spanish city of Barcelona, which about we will be following three parts. In them you will know that it is a city that you should see at least once in your life.
In the second part about the beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast you can find out more about the beautiful villas that the famous architect Gaudí left here.
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Photo: Maxim Kucer
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Photo: Maxim Kucer
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