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Give Your Sweetie a Rose on Saint Jordi’s Day in Barcelona Spain

Saint George and the Dragon at Casa Amatller

Image via Wikipedia

Once upon a time in the town of Montblanc in Catalunya, a terrible dragon terrorized the inhabitants. A lottery system was generated to appease the dragon. The system sacrificed one of the town residents to the dragon. Unfortunately, one day the princess won the lottery and had to be sacrificed. She was rescued from the dragon’s wrath by a handsome knight in shining armour named Jordi (George).

Saint George (Saint Jordi) is the patron saint of Catalonia. Saint Jordi’s Day in Barcelona Spain is a Catalon Holiday that celebrates the chivalrous efforts of dragon-slaying, damsel- in-distress rescuing Saint George. On April 23rd,  six million roses will change hands in Barcelona when men become knights for a day. They will give their sweetie a single rose to honor Saint George, the patron saint and protector of the inhabitants of Catalonia who rescued the princess from the terrible dragon. He gave her a red rose plucked from a rose bush that sprouted from the dragons blood after the dragon was killed by St. Jordi’s mighty sword.

Català: Josep Puig i Cadafalch

Català: Josep Puig i Cadafalch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On April 23rd, lovers walk arm in arm on Las Ramblas toward the sea or in the direction of Placa Catalunya gazing at the lovely flower stalls and visiting La Boqueria Market.

Barcelona Spain

St. Jordi's Day in Barcelona

Barcelona Spain

Lovers also stroll along the Passeig de Gracia buying books from street vendors and book stores. In 1923, the tradition of giving your damsel a rose was expanded. Damsels give their knight in shining armour a book, since April 23rd also coincides with the anniversary of the death of William Shakespear and Cervantes in 1616.

In Barcelona, visit Gaudi’s Casa Batllo (House of Bones) on Passeig de Gracia, 43. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The magnificent art noveau structure is located on the “Block of Discord” with incredible buildings designed by famous architects like Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Lluis Domenech i Montaner and Enric Sagnier. Casa Batllo has a facade based on the Tale of Saint Jordi (Saint George). The bones of the dragon’s victims frame the elaborate windows of the facade. The facade is covererd with trencadis glazed mosaic tile. The roof  has a large arch that represents the scales of the dragon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j31eZTrW0Ss.

St. Jordi's Day in Barcelona Spain

St. Jordi's Day in Barcelona Spain

Gaudi's Barcelona Spain

Happy St. Jordi’s Day– “Felic Diada de Sant Jordi” from your Travel Buddies @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites
 

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Filed under Antoni Gaudi's Barcelona, Attractions in Barcelona Spain, Barcelona Spain

Elaborate Holy Week and Easter Rituals in Toledo Spain: Semana Santa

English: A five-segment panorama of the Tagus ...

English: A five-segment panorama of the Tagus River in Toledo, Spain. Taken with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L lens. Français : Vue panoramique du Tage à Tolède, en Espagne. Panorama obtenu en assemblant 5 clichés faits avec un appareil Canon 5D et un objectif 24-105mm f/4L. Română: O panoramă alcătuită din cinci fotografii a râului Tagus din Toledo, Spania. Realizată cu un Canon 5D şi obiectiv de 24-105mm f/4L. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bridge of Alcántara.

Image via Wikipedia

English: Toledo, Puerta de Bisagro

English: Toledo, Puerta de Bisagro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: House of El Greco (partial view) : To...

English: House of El Greco (partial view) : Toledo, Spain. Español: Casa de El Greco (vista parcial) : Toledo, España (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Visit the historical city of Toledo Spain during Holy Week or on Easter. The charming UNESCO World Heritage City of Toledo Spain is the Toledo Spainrepository of more than 2000 years of history and architectural styles.  Toletum was the capital of Roman Carpetania.  It is an outstanding Vino con Vista destination, especially during Easter ceremonies. Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986. Corpus Christi Week is the most important holiday in Toledo when the ground is covered with rosemary and thyme.

World Heritage Site Toledo Spain

The Mudejar architectural style of the Middle Ages, arose from the multi-cultural  interplay of forces among the three major religious groups who lived there: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Toledo has a broad spectrum of structures from the medieval period including walls and fortified buildings like San Servando Castle.  The former capital of Spain is about 42 miles southwest of Spain‘s newer capital city of Madrid. Felipe II transferred the Royal Court to Madrid in 1561.

The Assumption of the Virgin

The Assumption of the Virgin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Panorama of the Toledo skyline in Spain, at su...

Panorama of the Toledo skyline in Spain, at sunset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The River Tagus loops around the historical gems of this fortified city and is crowned with gorgeous historic bridges. The Alcazar fortress occupies the highest point of the city and was used as a military base and fortress by the Romans, Arabs and Christians. Ultimately, it became the residence of King Alfonso VI and then Carlos V converted the building into a Royal Palace. Each facade of the fortress is different and reflects different architectural eras: The east facde is Medieval and the facade on the west is Renaissance. It houses the Army and Military Museum.

Toledo Spain

Coat of Arms

Toledo Spain

Toledo Spain

The Primal See in Toledo was using an old Mosque which was reconsecrated as the main church in 1086 by Alfonso VI. The Primada Cathedral was built between 1226 and 1493 on the site of a VIsigoth church. The Gothic Cathedral‘s first stone was ceremoniously laid in 1221. The Cathedral is brimming with art treasures and has a valuable collection of El Greco and Goya masterpieces.  Visit the beautiful chapels and the Renaissance Choir. The cathedral that was originally started in the sixth century by San Eugenio, the first Bishop of Toledo, was converted into a mosque that became the main church before the Gothic Cathedral was built.

Toledo Spain

Toledo Spain

El Greco is one of Spain’s most revered Renaissance artists. In March of 1586 he obtained the commission for The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. In 2014, the 400th anniversary of his death was celebrated with special exhibitions in Toledo.

Detail of the painting.

Detail of the painting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Greco - The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (d...

El Greco – The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (detail) – WGA10487 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Greco - The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (d...

El Greco – The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (detail) – WGA10490 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

El Greco self-portrait, 1604

El Greco self-portrait, 1604 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His 1586 masterpiece “El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz” (translates into the Burial of the Count of Orgaz) is located at the foot of the church of Santo Tome. The painting portrays Saint Augustine and Saint Steven in elegant golden vestments. They are preparing to  carry his life-less body to his tomb. The young boy holding the torch on the bottom left of the painting is El Greco’s son. The bearded gentleman directly above Saint Stephen is a self-portrait of El Greco.

The Holy Trinity, 1577–1579, by El Greco

The Holy Trinity, 1577–1579, by El Greco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite El Greco paintings in Toledo is “The Tears of Saint Peter”  which is displayed in the Studio of his Museum in Toledo. Tour the charming House and Museum of El Greco in Toledo Spain during Semana Santa. El Greco never lived in this place, but the house has a collection of his paintings. Another one of my favorite El Greco paintings is “Jesus Carrying the Cross.”

El Greco, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz

El Greco, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Toledo Spain

Toledo Spain

Toledo, the  former capital of Spain, sits majestically on a hilltop in the Castilla- La Mancha region immortalized by Miguel de Cervante’s famous “Don Quixote.”

Toledo Spain

Puerta del Sol Toledo Spain Toledo is 70 km so...

Puerta del Sol Toledo Spain Toledo is 70 km south of Madrid. It is the capital of the province of Toledo and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage as one of the former capitals of the Spanish , España Empire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Toledo was the temporary seat of Emperor Charles V. He endowed the city with the status of an imperial, crowned city. The fervor and devotion of Holy Week traditions of Semana Santa de Toledo are reminicient of 16th century Spanish traditions. Processions with residents dressed in hooded costumes signify the death and mourning of Jesus Christ. These solemn processions throughout the town during Holy Week, tell the story of the Passion and resurrection of Christ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4FCEnOPlng.

Detalle de Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo en la pintur...

Detalle de Gonzalo Ruiz de Toledo en la pintura El entierro del conde de Orgaz de El Greco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cambrón Gate, Toledo, Spain Français : Porte d...

Cambrón Gate, Toledo, Spain Français : Porte de Cambrón, Tolède, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Semana Santa is a very special time in Spain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yOHWjOBYJY&feature=related.

Happy Easter from your Travel Buddies @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Toledo -Guadamur -castillo_3

Toledo -Guadamur -castillo_3 (Photo credit: ferlomu)

 

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Filed under Easter in Toledo Spain, ebooks, IPad, Roman Emperors, Semana Santa in Spain, Spanish Art and Architecture, Toledo Spain, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, UNESCO sites in Barcelona Spain, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites