Thursday, December 29, 2011

fuente en Vícar


Vícar
This fountain in Vícar is a copy of the Patio de los Leones in the Alhambra Granada...

Patio de los Leones in the Alhambra

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

La Boqueria

a display in La Boqueria (photo from 'A Window To Spain' facebook)

The world-famous La Boqueria, the 19th century market, is located in La Rambla. It is Spain's biggest and oldest market. I read somewhere that it is the most visited building in Barcelona. I find that incredible. In this city there are historical buildings galore and incredible buildings like the Sagrada Familia and yet a food market attracts more visitors!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mar Menor


The Mar Menor is a vast salt-water lagoon that is sheltered from the Mediterranean by a 14-mile finger of land. Unfortunately, high-rise resorts have sprouted up along this sandy strip of coast. One of them, La Manga, has become one of the most important resort areas in the Costa Cálida.


Other blogs by Robert Bovington:



"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Ronda - bullring

Robert Bovington 

Plaza de Toros © Robert Bovington

Ronda's bullring, in the Plaza de Toros, is the oldest in Spain. It is quite splendid. The neo-classical interior comprises two storeys with Tuscan columns. There is also a bull-fighting museum and, every September, the Goyesque bullfights take place in the bullring.

Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Ronda - Palacio de Salvatierra

Robert Bovington 

Ronda - Palacio de Salvatierra © Robert Bovington
...
In Calle Marqués de Salvatierran are a number of notable buildings. Capilla de la Santa Cruz stands at one end of the street and next door is one of the finest houses in Ronda, the Palacio de Salvatierra. It was built in 1784 and boasts an exquisite wrought iron balustrade, which is almost as decorative as the façade of the house. The old Marqués must have been important to have both the house and the street named after him! 

Robert Bovington
https://plus.google.com/118235640981670233395/posts

Ronda - Mondragón Palace

by Robert Bovington 

Mondragón Palace © Robert Bovington
...
One of the most attractive buildings in Ronda is the Mondragón Palace. It has Gothic and Renaissance features as well as some of the original Moorish mosaics. Built in the 14th century, it was formerly a Moorish residence. The Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabel, also lived there for a while. Nowadays, it houses the Museum of Ronda & the Serrania. 

Robert Bovington
https://plus.google.com/118235640981670233395/posts

Ronda - Minarete de San Sebastián


The Minarete de San Sebastián is the only remnant of the old 14th-century Nasrid mosque that stood on this site.

Robert Bovington
https://plus.google.com/118235640981670233395/posts

Ronda - La Casa del Rey Moro II



















Inside there are steps down to the foot of the gorge. Now these are Arabic. The 14th century Mina stairs was built by the Moors to prevent water blockades in times of war. The steps were sculpted out of the rock and, according to various guidebooks, there are meant to be 365 of them. Well, on my visit, I counted only 299! That was enough! Returning to the top quite exhausted, it was with relief that I rested - in the delightful gardens of the mansion.


Ronda - La Casa del Rey Moro I

'La Casa del Rey Moro' - allegedly the house of a Moorish King - hence its name. However, the current building is an 18th century palace with beautiful gardens designed by Forestier, the famous French garden designer. Perhaps the palace has been built on the site of a former building because, according to legend, this place was the residence of King Al-Mutadid who allegedly drank his wine from the skulls of his enemies.

Ronda - Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor

by Robert Bovington
 .
Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor © Robert Bovington
...
The Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor was built on the ruins of Ronda's main mosque. The church is a mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. There are also Arabic features - the minaret that has been converted into a bell-tower and the remains of the original mihrab. 

Robert Bovington

https://plus.google.com/118235640981670233395

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Córdoba Mezquita III


...
No self-respecting mosque should be without a patio where prospective worshippers can perform their ritual ablutions. The Patio de los Naranjos was used for this purpose. Visitors still pass through this delightful courtyard with its orange trees and fountains on their way into the Mezquita.

Robert Bovington
https://plus.google.com/118235640981670233395/posts

more blogs by Robert Bovington... 
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books AboutSpain"

Córdoba Mezquita II


The interior of the mosque is spectacular – a forest of pillars and arches. 856 of the granite, jasper and marble columns remain – some were removed to make way for the Christian parts of the building. Horseshoe-shaped arches consisting of alternating red brick and white stone were placed above the lower pillars, which has given the Mezquita its distinctive character.


Robert Bovington
https://plus.google.com/118235640981670233395/posts

more blogs by Robert Bovington... 

"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books AboutSpain"

Córdoba Mezquita I - a grand mosque and a cathedral!

by Robert Bovington

Mezquita, Córdoba, Spain © Robert Bovington


Córdoba was once the most important city in Europe. It was the centre of the medieval Caliphate of Córdoba and capital of the western Islamic Empire. It reached its peak in the 10th century when it rivalled Baghdad and Constantinople as one of the great cities of the World. Its greatest surviving monument to the city's magnificent past is its Grand Mosque – the Mezquita.



Work on the mosque actually started in 786 when it was built on the site of an old Visigothic church. However, it was enlarged three times before reaching its present size in 987 when it became the largest sacred building in the Islamic world.


And big it most certainly is - so massive that a Gothic cathedral was built inside the mosque - and a few chapels!

Toledo



Toledo looks pretty good from a distance - almost like an island city - it is located on a hill surrounded on three sides by a bend in the Tagus River. 

Toledo


Toledo is a little bit like Sheffield - only a little bit mind you - the thing they have in common is steel. Like Sheffield, Toledo is famous for its steel and, in particular, swords, which have been forged in the city since the time of the Romans. Any other resemblance to Sheffield ends there because Toledo is an attractive and fascinating city with many important monuments to its historic past. 


Other blogs by Robert Bovington:



"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sevilla - Fábrica Real de Tabacos



The Fábrica Real de Tabacos was the original tobacco factory - the one immortalised in the opera Carmen. Nowadays, it is part of Sevilla University. When the original factory was built in 1725 it was the second-largest building in Spain after El Escorial! It is an imposing Baroque and Rococo building.



Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Ugíjar - Iglesia de la Virgen del Martirio


Apart from the attractive ancestral homes there are a number of other interesting buildings in Ugíjar including the parish church - the Iglesia de la Virgen del Martirio - built in Mudéjar style.

Ugíjar - a town in the Alpujarras



Ugíjar is notable for the fact that many of its houses have tiled roofs, which is unusual for the Alpujarras. Some of these houses are quite grand and were built in the 16th & 17th centuries for the many wealthy merchants who lived there.


Nerja Caves


 The caves are about five million years old and were formed by rainwater seeping through the cracks and fissures in the rock, eroding the layers below to produce cavities and hollow channels. Over a long period the cavities got larger creating enormous chambers. The dripping water also formed stalactites and stalagmites. 




The Caves of Nerja are one of the top tourist sites in Spain. Concerts are often held there because of the good acoustics.


Órgiva - Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Expectación

Órgiva is not too endowed with note-worthy monuments but it does have an attractive 16th century church - the delightfully named Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Expectación. Its twin towers dominate the town's skyline.

Huelva - Catedral La Merced


 
The Cathedral of La Merced began life as a church - the Convent of La Merced was constructed in 1605. It was converted to a cathedral in 1953. It also has been declared a site of Cultural Interest. 
 
Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Friday, December 9, 2011

Murcia - Cathedral




If there were but one reason to visit the city of Murcia, it would have to be to see the cathedral - La Catedral de Santa María is the most impressive monument in the city. You can't really miss it! Its 92 metre tower can be seen from miles around. The Cathedral was built on the foundations of an old mosque and the first stone laid in 1394 but the building, as it appears today, was not completed until the 18th century.



Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Guadalest


Guadalest is quite spectacular. This mountain village is carved out of a mountaintop and breathtaking views can be enjoyed there, especially from the tower of the castle Peñon de la Alcalá. This ancient citadel towers over the village which itself is picturesque with its artists' workshops, cafes and museums. It is well worth a visit if you can tear yourself away from the beaches and bars of Benidorm. You won't be alone, however, because Guadalest is one of the top tourist attractions in Spain. It will still be less crowded than Benidorm's beaches though!


Other blogs by Robert Bovington:


"Photographs of Spain"
"Spanish Impressions"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"