Barcelona and it's beachesPosted by Lauren Rock Wed, April 25, 2018 22:25:29
Barcelona has been rebuilt many times and by many people. Most people trace her start to Roman times where the Gothic Quarter is today.
At the top of these steps is where Columbus was greeted by Ferdinand and Isabel when he returned from his first voyage to the "New World".
The beautiful Barcelona Cathedral (a visit here contrasts dramatically with the Sagrada Familia and shows how "ahead of his time" Gaudi was, and why his work was controversial and way beyond the norm.)
Narrow "streets' and alleyways are the norm
Opening to lovely plazas, often filled with outdoor cafes and shops
The area also had a Jewish Quarter
Other parts of the city are more "modern" and feature wide pedestrian boulevards lined with shops, outdoor cafes, pocket parks and dedicated bike lanes.
Nightlife is vibrant in Barcelona. From dinner...
...to walks on the beach
Barcelona is filled with beauty!
Real Alcazar "Dorn" + SevillePosted by Lauren Rock Tue, April 24, 2018 20:37:07
Seville is more than "just" the Real Alcazar. It's Cathedral is a gothic masterpiece:
And is also home to Christopher Columbus's tomb:
Seville's streets are charming and her parks include the Plaza Espana. It and many other buildings were created for the 1929 world expo.
As in Toledo, Cordoba and Barcelona, Seville has a Jewish quarter remembering the vibrant Jewish community that existed before the Inquisition.
Colorful CordobaPosted by Lauren Rock Fri, April 20, 2018 00:09:35
Cordoboa is a UNESCO world heritage city. It's most famous landmark is La Mezquita, an immense mosque dating from 784 A.D.that became a Catholic church in 1236, and had a Renaissance-style nave added in the 17th century.
Part of the outer wall that surrounds the complex
The main hall
Some of the Islamic carvings on the walls
Here you can see Islamic era arches, along with the columns and church added chapels along the sides.
Altar of the church that took over and is within the pre-existing mosque...
And it's ceiling....
View of the entry wall and courtyard from the top of bell tower added by the church
Cordoba is also home to the famous Calleja de Flores - street of flowers. This lovely alleyway is lined with flowers and has a wonderful view of the Cathedral tower.
Cordoba's Jewish Quarter was home to the famous Jewish philosopher Maimonides
Holy Toledo (seriously!)Posted by Lauren Rock Tue, April 17, 2018 23:41:57
Toledo is known for the medieval Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments in its walled old city. Located only a 30 minute train ride from Madrid it's a great day trip locale. Here are just some of the highlights:
Here is the approach to the city.
Filled with many examples of Spanish Gothic art the church sits on the site of a former Muslim mosque. Construction as a church began in 1226. This is just one part of the cathedral- The altarpiece in the main chapel has five sections, depicting scenes from the New Testament, along with life-sized polychromatic sculptures made of gilded wood. It was commissioned by Cardinal Cisneros and made between 1497 and 1504.
This large sculpture is called El Tracnsparente - the Transparent- it's a Baroque sculpture finished in 1732 and made of marble, alabaster and golden bronze. Note the beautiful painted ceiling above it.
Outside of the cathedral.
Some of the stained glass in the interior.
The Main Synagogue of the Toledo Jewish Quarter. It was built at the end of the 11th century.Considered the oldest synagogue building in Europe still standing.It is unique among surviving buildings as it was constructed under the Christian Kingdom of Castile
by Islamic architects for Jewish use. It is considered a symbol of the cooperation that existed among the three cultures that populated the Iberian Peninsula
during the Middle Ages
. It became a Catholic Church in the early 1400's and is now known as Santa Maria Blanco.
No these aren't tapestries, they are carvings!
Close up view:
While there is no Jewish life left in the city (impact of the Inquisition of course) the Jewish history of the area is being remembered.
Marvelous Madrid!Posted by Lauren Rock Mon, April 16, 2018 00:24:22
A strange post heading but it fits. Like these palm sized berries (in the Mercado San Miguel) Madrid is bigger than it seems, each piece a beauty in its' own right, and together a marvelous display.
With it's beautiful buildings, historic sights, and pedestrian only plazas Spain's capitol city is ripe and ready for you to explore! Here are a few more pictures, I would need a book to show them all.
Gardens of the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) Madrid
One of the city's gates
Just an average building along the Gran Via (Madrid's 5th Ave or Miracle Mile)
The historic Plaza De Villa
Buen Retiro park
Wide pedestrian only areas are lined with shops and restaurants leading to more plazas waiting to be explored.
Gracious buildings abound
The Palacio Real (Royal Palace)
Beautifully decorated building facade
Vibrant nightlife in a city where 9pm (2100 by the clocks here) is on the early side for dinner.
There is so much more to see just a few posted pictures can't do justice to this wonderful place, you just have to "taste" it for yourself!