Tag Archives: Castilla-Leon

Avila, Spain

7 Apr
Avila-City Walls

Avila-City Walls

Avila-City Walls

Avila-City Walls

Avila has roots to fifth century BC. No wonder we were astounded by the amazing antiquity of the city and enraptured by its beauty and simplicity. It has a long and storied history of Romans, Visigoths and others who have come and gone from its earliest origins, but in the late 11th century the current wall that stands was constructed to protect the city. It is the largest fully illuminated monument in the world; you are able to walk almost half of the wall, but many parts are inaccessible, as buildings and structures are an integral part of the fortress structure, such as the Cathedral of Avila.

Avila-View from the city wall

Avila-View from the city wall

Avila-View from the city wall

Avila-View from the city wall

Avila-Cathedral from the City Wall

Avila-Cathedral from the City Wall

Tammy and I paid the extra three euro for the audio guide while we walked along the wall. I don’t remember much from the audio guide except that Teresa of Avila felt she had an “untamed spirit” and the nuns at the convent would help her to calm it. Maybe they could tame my hair, too, because…well, let’s just say I was not having a good hair day!

Avila-Bad hair day, you say?

Avila-Bad hair day, you say?

But the views, and the thoughts rambling through my head. I cannot believe that I walked where Teresa of Avila had once walked and worshiped.

Avila-Santa Teresa

Avila-Santa Teresa

Avila - Sculpture

Avila – Sculpture

Avila-Cathedral, view of the gardens

Avila-Cathedral, view of the gardens

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

Avila-Cathedral

The Cathedral was marvelous as well. Its construction began in 1107 and ended in 1350. It has the most beautiful red and white granite stones for the ceilings in walls in parts of the building and in other parts, the walls and ceiling are pure white. Such an amazing and stark contrast. Because it was Holy Week, the pasos (the large wooden ‘stages’ with the stations of the cross and other scenes from the last hours of Christ’s life depicted in sculpture) were on display in the Cathedral as well. Unfortunately, due to the weather, Tammy and I never got to see any of them during an actual procession through the streets during Holy Week; each time we prepared for a procession, the rain began and the procession was cancelled.

Avila-Los Pasos de Semana Santa

Avila-Los Pasos de Semana Santa

Avila-los pasos de la Semana Santa

Avila-los pasos de la Semana Santa

Salamanca, Spain

7 Apr
A most interesting sculpture, Salamanca

A most interesting sculpture, Salamanca

How old do you have to be to exist in Salamanca?

How old do you have to be to exist in Salamanca?

Of the twelve cities in thirteen days I visited this past month, Salamanca has to be my favorite. What an historical and beautiful city. Every corner I turned I was amazed by another architectural wonder and feat of this city that dates back to the times of BEFORE the Romans.

View from the Hotel Room, Salamanca. Monastery

View from the Hotel Room, Salamanca. Monastery

The University of Salamanca is the oldest in Spain, constructed in 1218, and is the most culturally diverse and largest. My friend Tammy and I had the most beautiful view outside of our hotel room (of a convent/monastery) anyone could ask for and convenient to all of the Old Town of Salamanca.

La Universidad Pontifica, Salamanca

La Universidad Pontifica, Salamanca

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Universidad Pontifica, View from the Tower

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View from the tower of the Universidad de Pontifica

View from the tower of the Universidad de Pontifica

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Casa de las Conchas

We visited the Universidad Pontifica, which, with its towers, had the most spectacular views of the city and the Casa de las Conchas. The University of Salamanca is gorgeous, with its ornate structures and carvings on the facade, one of which is the infamous frog of Salamanca.

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

The Plaza Mayor of Salamanca was beyond words and rivals that of Madrid (actually, in this blogger’s opinion is BETTER than Madrid’s) and was abuzz with activity and numerous cafes and restaurants.

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El Puente Romano, Salamanca

I believe the highlight of the trip was on our way out of town as we stopped at the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge), constructed in the first century. Despite the wind, the rain and the cold, Tammy and I walked the length of the bridge and imagined ourselves being a part of a Roman procession with Roman soldiers and chariots, two thousand years ago, stepping on the same stones, walking the same paths, and feeling the same smooth cobblestone beneath our feet as those Romans did, oh so long ago.

Salamanca…City you MUST see on a trip to Spain.

 

Burgos, Spain

7 Apr
Close up of the gate entryway, Burgos

Close up of the gate entryway, Burgos

Cold and wind greeted us upon our arrival to Burgos, but we were not deterred. The beauty and charm of the city in northern Castilla-Leon was enough to keep us warm and attentive.

Burgos city wall

Burgos city wall

Walk of Santiago de Compostela

Walk of Santiago de Compostela

The Chu-chu, tourist train

The Chu-chu, tourist train

A Garden Archway, Burgos

A Garden Archway, Burgos

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The Cathedral de Burgos  was by far the best of all the cathedrals we visited in our nine days. Of course, construction began in 1221 and was not complete until 1567 (346 years for those of you trying to do the math in your heads!) Pictures do not do justice to the architecture, art and artistry of the work inside this fabulous work of craftsmanship dedicated to the worship of God. We had only one hour to visit because it was closing shortly after we arrived and we were very disappointed we had such little time to experience the awe of the Cathedral of Burgos. It was an endless walk of wonderment and breathtaking moments, as we continued to peer into each chamber dedicated to a different saint or period of Christ’s life, each with such gorgeous and detailed statues, paintings and artwork. And don’t forget to look up at the ceiling! The arches and ceilings are decorated and entrusted with art as well. El Cid (Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, the national hero of Spain) is buried here.

Cathedral of Burgos

Cathedral of Burgos

Cathedral of Burgos

Cathedral of Burgos

Tomb of the original architect of the Cathedral of Burgos

Tomb of the original architect of the Cathedral of Burgos

PapaMoscas clock

PapaMoscas clock

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