On my second day, I Walked through some of a huge park to the Murillo Cafe and then to the Prado Museum.
On my walk this morning, I passed a couple ham shops. I’m starting to appreciate the emphasis on ham.
I have not yet tried Jamón ibérico, or ham from pigs that were fed only acorns. At $140 a kilo or so, I am working my way up to that delicacy.
But I have already eaten more ham that I have before.
I have no choice, it keeps calling my name.
Finally escaping the clutches of ham, I got to the Retiro. In the 1561, King Philip II moved the Spanish court to Madrid. He had the Retiro Park designed by his architect. The gardens were extended in the 1620s under Philip IV for the Court’s recreational use. They were opened to the public in 1767 and became the property of the municipality in 1868.
I don’t know the name of this church that I passed while walking through the Retiro.
One of the cool gates to the park.
The Puerta de Alcalá (Citadel Gate) is a monument in the Plaza de la Independencia. It was a gate of the former walls of Philip IV. Around 1774, King Charles III had it built.
Gate to the Paseo de la Argentina in the Retiro.
Paseo de la Argentina.
Gundemar was a Visigothic King of Hispania, Septimania and Galicia from 610–612. Spain has many layers; one of them is the Visigoth layer after the Roman period.
Ferdinand IV of Castile was a king of Castile (1295–1312) and León and Galicia (1301–1312) – before there was a Spain.
There is keen interest and knowledge about American culture and politics.
I liked these gates.
I passed the San Jerónimo el Real (St. Jerome the Royal) Roman Catholic church from the early 16th-century on my way to lunch with Florentino, the head of the department where I will be teaching, and Guillermo, who taught for us at Villanova University this past fall.
After lunch, I went to the Prado, where I got through the first 12 rooms. No photographs are allowed, so these images are from their website. https://www.museodelprado.es/
This one is the Altar Piece of Archbishop Sancho de Rojas, by Juan Rodríguez de Toledo
The Holy Trinity, El Greco
The Annunciation, El Greco
The Adoration of the Shepherds, El Greco
The Surrender of Breda; Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez. The glories of defeating the Dutch.
The Recapture of Bahía de Todos los Santos; Fray Juan Bautista Maíno. Another military victory.
The crucified Christ; Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez.
Las Meninas, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez Velázquez is the painter to the left. The royal couple whom he is painting are reflected in the mirror at the back of the room. The five year old royal daughter is being attended to. Velázquez is wearing the insignia on his chest of a prestigious group (Order of Santiago) to which he was appointed two years after the painting was completed. Maybe the king himself added this to the painting.