Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teruel - Escalinata 'Lovers of Teruel'

Robert Bovington



The Escalinata is a staircase that climbs the hill from the railway station to the city centre. It is quite a recent addition to the city's fine architecture but quite splendid for all that - it was designed by José Toran in 1920. It is decorated with ceramic tiles and is in mock Mudéjar style. The Escalinata includes a beautifully carved embossed relief depicting a scene from the legend of the Lovers of Teruel.


Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

SPANISH IMPRESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHS OF SPAIN
POSTCARDS FROM SPAIN
YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP!
A GRUMPY OLD MAN IN SPAIN
BITS & BOBS
SPANISH EXPRESSIONS
SPANISH ART
BOOKS ABOUT SPAIN
 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Almería Murallas de Jayran & Alcazaba

by Robert Bovington 

Almería Murallas de Jayran & Alcazaba © Robert Bovington


Muralla de Jayrán' - the walls that were built to enlarge the city's defences in the 11th century. They run all the way to the 'Cerro de San Cristóbal' - the hill of Saint Christopher.


Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

SPANISH IMPRESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHS OF SPAIN
POSTCARDS FROM SPAIN
YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP!
A GRUMPY OLD MAN IN SPAIN
BITS & BOBS
SPANISH EXPRESSIONS
SPANISH ART
BOOKS ABOUT SPAIN
 

Almería - Palacio Episcopal

Robert Bovington 


The 'Palacio Episcopal' or Archbishop's Palace was built in the nineteenth century when the upper classes started erecting the grand stately homes and palaces outside the old walled city of Muslim Almería.


Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

SPANISH IMPRESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHS OF SPAIN
POSTCARDS FROM SPAIN
YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP!
A GRUMPY OLD MAN IN SPAIN
BITS & BOBS
SPANISH EXPRESSIONS
SPANISH ART
BOOKS ABOUT SPAIN

 

Almería - Former Convent School Puras

Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 


In the mid 19th century, church lands were disentailed so nuns had to adopt other ways of earning a living. Education offered a means of economic survival. To this end, the 'Convent school Puras' was built during the period 1885 to 1889. I think it is another delightful building with its cream-coloured façade and pink arches. Today, the building houses the 'University of Distance-Learning'. That is what I like about Almería - tasteful old-fashioned buildings housing 21st century businesses.



Spanish Impressions Web Site


Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

SPANISH IMPRESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHS OF SPAIN
POSTCARDS FROM SPAIN
YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP!
A GRUMPY OLD MAN IN SPAIN
BITS & BOBS
SPANISH EXPRESSIONS
SPANISH ART
BOOKS ABOUT SPAIN
 

Almería - Plaza de la Constitución

by Robert Bovington

Plaza de la Constitución - also called the Plaza Vieja or Old Square. This 17th century arcaded square is really rather splendid. It is entered via narrow alleyways and in the centre are palm trees and a commemorative monument in remembrance of a group of liberals who lost their lives in a revolt in 1824.



Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cherín - a village in the Alpujarras



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Cherín is a small village in the Alpujarras. It has an oil mill and many orange, mandarin and olive groves as well as almond trees.
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for more photos of the this delightful area of Spain click on...

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Friday, January 20, 2012

almond blossom in the Alpujarras


almond blossom nr Albondón

"It's like going to heaven," my wife commented, on our first drive into the Alpujarras. We had left Roquetas on one of the few grey days. It was in February and there was a lot of low cloud. We had only travelled a few miles up into the mountains, but it was a different world. Above the clouds, there was a bright blue sky and beautiful white and pink blossom of the almond trees.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Venta Gaspar & Parque El Boticario (Almería province)




Venta Gaspar is a small barrio located near La Cañada and about 7 km from the city of Almería. In 2010 it had 442 inhabitants. The delightful Parque El Boticario is situated nearby.

This botanical garden is divided into four areas:


  • The jardín árabe comprises approximately, 6,500 m2 of palms, cypresses, fruit trees, herbs, flower beds and shrubs.

  • The parque forestal is a place for walking and leisure. There are play areas for children together with a bike lane.

  • The parque de rocas comprises sandstones, clay, gypsum, limestone, metamorphic and volcanic rock extracted from the quarries of Almería province. These rock gardens are distributed around the park.

  • The parque botánico comprises three acres of plants representing the most rare species of Almería.

Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Benaoján (White Towns of Andalusia)

Benaoján railway station


Benaoján is a pretty village that I first encountered when I travelled on the Algeciras to Ronda railway. 


Near the railway station there is a footpath to Cueva de la Pileta - a cave with primitive rock paintings of animals that, apparently, date from around 25,000 BC. 

Just above the village there is a mirador where spectacular views can be enjoyed - poplar, willow and oleander at the bottom of the valley; evergreen oak, peonies, thickets of kermes oak, retama and broom on the hillside; gorse, thyme and sage beneath jagged outcrops of limestone on higher ground and probably the odd vulture or two circling above. There are about 300 griffin vultures in the Serranía de Ronda, which is a tribute to the local conservationists as during the 1960's the birds were almost extinct.

footpath to Cueva de la Pileta
Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions" 

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu 

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

Gaucín (one of the 'White Towns of Andalucía')



In the heart of the Serranía de Ronda is Gaucín, a typical pueblo blanco with whitewashed houses and a maze of narrow streets. The village commands sweeping views to Gibraltar and the Rif Mountains of North Africa

Robert Bovington author of "Spanish Matters" & "Spanish Impressions"

Spanish Impressions Web Site

Robert Bovington's books on Lulu

more blogs by Robert Bovington...

Grazalema Natural Park - 1


There is a very good reason why this area is so green - rain! Grazalema is the wettest place in Spain. Yes, less than two hours drive from the Costa del Sol there is a place that gets more rain than anywhere else on the Iberian Peninsula! Warm clouds full of moisture from the Atlantic are forced upwards by the successive mountain ranges. This cools them resulting in condensation and rainfall.

La Roza (Alpujarra Almeriense)

searching for mushrooms

La Roza is a recreation and camping area situated in the Sierra Nevada National Park. La Roza is only a few miles from Abrucena, one of the towns in the Alpujarra Almeriense.

El Nacimiento (Alpujarra Almeriense)

About 1 kilometre north of Laujar de Andarax is 'El Nacimiento' - a delightful area of waterfalls, picnic areas and places to walk. My wife and I usually go there in Spring and Autumn on weekdays and, mostly, we have the place to ourselves. It is a haven of peace and tranquillity. Nacimiento means 'birth' and it is here that the Río Andarax starts its journey to the sea near Almería.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Granada - carmenes

One of the delights of the Albaicin area of Granada is its carmens (carmenes in Spanish). They are hillside townhouses with private walled gardens. They originated in Moorish times and their design expresses the Islamic idea of the inner paradise, a reflection of heaven. They gardens usually have mosaic floors, shady grottos and lush flora usually comprising rose, honeysuckle, palm, wisteria and, this being Granada, pomegranate. (granada is the Spanish word for pomegranate). Of course, these delighful townhouses have Alhambra views.

Granada carmen by Robert Bovington

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mijas (a pretty village near the Costa del Sol)

A favourite spot of mine is 'La Muralla' – a park with balconies from where one can view the coast below. It is a quiet oasis away from the bustle of tourists, yet is only a few minutes walk from the centre – just up past the Plaza de Toros.

La Muralla Mijas by Robert Bovington

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"

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Granada - Carrera del Darro

Robert Bovington 

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The Carrera del Darro is a picturesque street that runs from the Plaza Santa Ana to the Paseo de los Tristes. 
It is presumably called the Carrera del Darro because the River Darro runs alongside. 
In Roman times the river was called aurus meaning 'River of Gold' - in those days panners made meager living searching for the precious mineral in the riverbed. 
Several name changes later it became the Río Darro.
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Granada Alhambra - Torre de la Vela

view from the Plaza Santa Ana

The tower in this photo is the Torre de la Vela. The bell was used by the Arabs to announce disasters. From this privileged position a vast expanse of territory could be seen including the Vega of Granada. 

The tower was, therefore, critical for defence and surveillance. 
Later, the Christians used the bell to strike the hours and to announce the time that farmers could irrigate their fields. 

The Spanish flag was placed on the tower on January 2, 1492 at 3 pm.


Granada - Paseo de los Tristes

by Robert Bovington 


Paseo de los Tristes translates as "walk of sorrows" - before the motor car, the inhabitants of Granada carried their dead along this road and up the Alhambra hill to the cemetery.

Granada Alhambra - Patio de los Arrayanes

Robert Bovington 

Myrtle bushes border the pool in this delightful courtyard. Perhaps that is why it is called the Patio de los Arrayanes (myrtles).

Granada Alhambra - Cuarto Dorado

by Robert Bovington 


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Through this beautiful arch the Comares Palace can be seen. The Cuarto Dorado is, in fact, a courtyard leading to the patio de Machuca.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Granada Alhambra patio de los leones

by Robert Bovington 

Alhambra patio de los leones © Robert Bovington
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The famous Lion Courtyard dates from the time of Mohammed V. The 11th century fountain is supported by 12 lions carved out of stone. This beautiful patio has recently been renovated.

Granada - Corral del Carbón

by Robert Bovington

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The Corral del Carbón is one of the few examples of public buildings dating from the Moorish period to have survived to the current day. It was erected at the beginning of the 14th century, under the rule of the Nasrid dynasty, and it was part of the original structure of the moorish medina. It was originally a corn exchange and as an inn for visiting traders and merchants. 
After The Reconquest, it was used by coal merchants and its name changed to the Corral de Carbón. Later, in the 16th century, it was used as an open-air comedy theatre. Today, it still serves as a place of entertainment - occasionally theatre and flamenco concerts are held in the courtyard. It also houses  the Provincial Delegation of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía and the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada. 

Alcaiceria of Granada (Street of Arab Shops)

by Robert Bovington 



Located next to the Cathedral, the Alcaiceria is a maze of narrow alleyways with a distinct Moorish feel. It was formerly the Moorish silk market.

Granada - Palacio de la Madraza

by Robert Bovington

Palacio de la Madraza © Robert Bovington


The Madrasah Palace is part of the University of Granada. The building was founded by King Yusuf I of Granada in 1349. It is located in the precincts of the Cathedral. 



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Granada - Chancilleria

by Robert Bovington 
  
Granada Chancilleria © Robert Bovington


The Chancilleria was formerly the chancery but the building now houses Andalucia's High Court of Justice.

Granada - Plaza de Isabel la Católica

Robert Bovington 

statue of  Queen Isabel & Christopher Columbus © Robert Bovington

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The Plaza de Isabel la Católica is dominated by a rather impressive monument - the Monument to the Santa Fe Agreement. It is the work of sculptor Mariano Benlliure and depicts Columbus presenting his plans to Queen Isabel.

Granada - Iglesia de Santa Ana y San Gil

Iglesia de Santa Ana y San Gil


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Diego de Siloé was a very famous and prolific architect and sculptor. His early works were principally carried out in his home town of Burgos - the gilded staircase in Burgos Cathedral being just one of many of his beautiful creations. He was the primary architect in the construction of a number of cathedrals including Granada's. He did quite a lot of work in Granada including the planning of this church - Iglesia de Santa Ana y San Gil, a 16C church that stands in the Plaza de Santa Ana.