Guillermo Graiño led a group of German and UFV students on a short walking tour of Madrid. Here are a few places he talked about:
Guillermo explaining the history of the parliament building.
Our group in front of the parliament.
Philip IV represented in bronze in the Plaza de Oriente.
The royal palace from the side.
The rest of that side.
THe royal palace of the Bourbons.
The royalty could go by underground tunnels to this nearby church.
Philip II in the Plaza Mayor.
In front of the parliament is not a politician, but a statue of one of Spain’s great authors.
Going into the European Commission building.
Giving on eof the excellent presentations.
Penitence rituals in Seville date back to the 14th century; 30 or so brotherhoods organizing their own processions date at least to the 16th century. They stopped during the anticlerical Second Republic in the early 1930s and then again shortly after Franco died in 1975. They now attract enormous numbers of people, including Connie and me. And by the way, the food is fabulous too! Octopus tapas, salmorejo cordobés, bastante vino tinto, . . .
This Flamenco show was remarkable as well. We chose the one that the BBC likes: “More authentic and intimate are the performances that take place in Seville’s cultural institutions. The Casa de la Memoria de Al-Andalus (the House of Al-Andalus Memories) encased in a former Sephardic Jewish mansion in the higgledy-piggledy Santa Cruz quarter, has garnered an excellent reputation in recent years for its heavy Baroque atmosphere and skillful musicians who are not afraid to improvise.”
Americans can’t help but be struck by the KKK looking hats, which of course come from a very different set of circumstances.
There is a distinct order for each procession, of which there are about 70 or so over the course of the week. A great cross is carried at the beginning of each procession. A number of people (sometimes barefoot) dressed in a habit and with the distinctive pointed hood (capirote), hold long wax candles, march in silence. Colors, forms and details of the habit are distinctive for each brotherhood. A group of altar boys, acolytes, dressed in vestments with chandeliers and incense, and other servants. A musical group follows or precedes the paso (march). A number of penitentes, carrying wooden crosses, make public penance. They wear the habit and the hood of the brotherhood, but the hood is not pointed.
There are set times throughout Holy Week for each of the marches. The Maundy Thursday processions are the most well known. The floats, as we think of them, are of Jesus’ Passion and then of Mary.
Most are covered in silver and gold, and many date back centuries.
Getting around town easily during Holy Week is out of the question. You watch a procession go by, and then make your way ahead.
The greatest crowds are gone by Easter Sunday. The emphasis is on the Passion, not the Resurrection, it seems. The tickets required for these seats before were not necessary on Easter. You didn’t see any empty seats before Easter either.
Carrying these for hours through narrow streets is an impressive feat.
The entry into the cathedral. A mosque on this site was torn down in 1401. Over the next century, the third largest Gothic church in the world was built.
La Giralda, the iconic tower of the cathedral, originally a minaret in the mosque there.
Santa Justa and Santa Rufina are Seville’s patron saints. They have palm branches, symbolizing their martyrdom and they stand next to the cathedral’s tower.
Columbus made four trips to the New World, which he always thought was Asia, during his life. He kept traveling after he died, being buried in northwest Spain, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and finally Seville. Here he is being carried by pall bearers representing Castile, Aragon, León, and Navarre – four regions of Spain.
The high altar is 65 feet tall, with 44 scenes from the life of Jesus.
The two saints with palm branches next to the tower.
The pennant or flag of Ferdinand III, who conquered Seville in 1248.
Part of the 7000 pipe organ in the choir.
This painting of the Virgin is older than the cathedral, being incorporated into it when the cathedral was built.
Recognize our saints?
The 1,000 pound monstrance.
From the 14th century.
Santiago on a white horse leading the Reconquista.
The two saints.
A cool building.
The penitents would add wax to the balls formed by children for their keepsakes.
Real Alcázar de Sevilla
Real Alcázar de Sevilla
King Ferdinand III prostrate before the pope.
This is a 17th century, very long, painting of a Seville procession. The reflection from the glass makes it a horrible photo.
This is in the room where Queen Isabel heard from Columbus after his trip to the New World. Ferdinand Magellan and Amerigo Vespucci were here as well. Mary is protecting the ships, sailors, and Indians.
The Mudejar – Islamic / Christian – hybrid style.
The amazing courtyard of the palace / castle.
The isignias of Castille and León.
The dome of the hall with images of former Spanish kings.
The Treaty of Tordisillas, in which the pope gave Brazil to Portugal and pretty much the rest of South America to the Spanish in 1494.
The Archive of the Indies, where millions of documents from the colonial period are held. Many are available at http://pares.mcu.es/
Immaculada from 1672 by Juan de Valdez Leal.
We had a wonderful couple of days in Córdoba.
The foundations to the Roman bridge, built in the 1st century AD, with the Mezquita (Mosque) and cathedral in the distance.
Statue of St. Raphael on the bridge.
The arch designed to welcome King Philip II is at the end of the bridge.
The Visigoths, who were Christian, in about 500 AD built the St Vincent church on the site of the current mosque / Cathedral. Some remnants of their work were not destroyed.
After conquering this part of current Spain, Abd ar-Rahman I started in 784 to rework St Vincent church into a mosque. Over the next centuries, his descendants gradually developed it, completing it in 987.
Exterior wall of the mosque on the street where our hotel was.
Inside the mosque.
Looking up from the Mihrab
Bell Tower in the Mezquita
Looking down from the CalahorraTower at the far side of the Roman bridge from the Mezquita.
Looking through the Tower’s ramparts towards the Mezquita.
CalahorraTower at the far side of the Roman bridge from the Mezquita, where there is now a nice museum of the Islamic period.
I think this is part of the Islamic period water management system.
Islamic period water wheel, I think.
Floor of the Casa de Safared.
Synagogue in the Casa de Safared.
A statue of Maimonides, the great Jewish intellectual.
The synagogue is small; from the early 14th century.
The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, begun by the Muslims in the 8th century, developed by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella.
The East Wall of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos – and the moon.
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos – and the moon.
The arch for King Philip II. The stands are in preparation for Holy Week celebrations.
Capilla of St Augustin in the Mezquita.
The Cathedral was built in the middle of the Mosque.
The choir chairs are of the lives of Jesus and Mary, and the martyrs of Córdoba.
You can see a representation of how she died in the background.
The royal chapel in the Mezquita where royalty used to be buried.
The Monstrance in the Treasury
Reviewing stand ready for Palm Sunday
Once again, we took Rick Steve’s advice; this time it led us to the Bodegas Campos, where we had a fabulous meal of bull tail stew. Being good Americans, we were the first ones there when it opened for dinner at 8:30. It was packed by the time we left, when self-respecting Spaniards began arriving.
Wine barrels in the Bodega.
A very cute girl I had dinner with at the Bodega.
Looking at the Roman bridge
Our hotel – also a Rick Steves suggestion.
A nice fellow by a Mezquita door.
Nice place for a glass of wine.
From our window
A street corner I liked.
Connie in our hotel window.
My favorite view of Córdoba.
We got to visit Barcelona from March 16 – 19.
How great to have met Deb and Wes for our first tapas in Barcelona!
The fountain at the Plaza of Catalunya near our hotel, Denit on Estruc.
A monument in honor of Catalonia, a region with long identity.
The telephonic building captured by the anarchists early in the civil war.
Was the Hotel Colon during the civil war, when the Communists captured it.
The Church at Pi, whose large round window was destroyed during the revolution; since repaired.
Damage from air bombings of Barcelona.
Barcelona Cathedral, begun in 1298; built over Roman ruins.
An apartment building by Antoni Gaudi.
Pedrera by Gaudi
On top of Pedrera
Door at Pedrera
Sagrada Familia; unfinished cathedral designed by Gaudi.
Joseph above right transept door
An umbrella of grapes above the crucifix.
Lord’s prayer in Catalunyan.
Columns are tree trunks and branches, leaves, birds, fruit – an exuberant synthesis of nature, scripture, and liturgy.
Reds and yellows from teh west.
Blues and greens from the east.
Out side the left transept is stark.
Christopher Columbus memorial by Barcelona port.
Model of Galley ship from 1571 Battle of Lepanto, when the Holy League beat the Ottomans.
I had the opportunity to visit Rome from January 30 to February 3, 2017 with a class led by Dt. José Ángel Agejas, who earned his PhD at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.