Tag Archives: World Heritage Site

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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Gaudi’s Magnificent La Sagrada Familia is a Vino con Vista UNESCO Site in Barcelona Spain

Maqueta de la Sagrada Familia

Maqueta de la Sagrada Familia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Ventilation towers on the roof of Cas...

English: Ventilation towers on the roof of Casa Milà designed by Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain Français : Cheminées d’aération sur le toit de la Casa Milà réalisée par Antoni Gaudi, Barcelone, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sagrada Família church, by Gaudí.

Image via Wikipedia

English: The Sagrada Familia viewed from Casa ...

English: The Sagrada Familia viewed from Casa Milà, Barcelona, Spain Français : La Sagrada Familia vue de la Casa Milà, Barcelone, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Español: Gaudí y el nuncio Ragonesi visitan la...

Español: Gaudí y el nuncio Ragonesi visitan la Sagrada Familia (1915). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Sculpture of Philip the Apostle on a ...

English: Sculpture of Philip the Apostle on a tower of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain Français : Sculpture de l’Apôtre Philippe sur une des tours de la Sagrada Familia, Barcelone, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Español: Fachada del Nacimiento, Sagrada Famil...

Español: Fachada del Nacimiento, Sagrada Familia (Barcelona). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are seven properties built by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) in or near Barcelona that have been classified as UNESCO sites. Barcelona is blessed with the legacy of this incredible man in the same way that the city of Rome is blessed with Bernini‘s legacy.

His exceptional masterpieces yield harmonious colors and fluid lines that are a testiment to his creative genius. He contributed to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Antoni Gaudí, Casa Batlló

Antoni Gaudí, Casa Batlló (Photo credit: profzucker)

The UNESCO monuments include: Casa Vicens; Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia; Casa Batlló; and the Crypt in Colonia Güell. His works demonstrate “el Modernisme of Catalonia.”

Antoni Gaudi was born in Reus in 1852, a small town south of Barcelona. He died in an accident in 1926.

Interior del Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada F...

Interior del Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia en Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His major feat was his association with the church of Sagrada Familia that was started by the architect Francesc de P. del Villar in 1882 in Gothic revival style. In 1883, Gaudi made fundamental changes to the project and he continued working on the church based on a Latin cross, until his death. Visit the museum under the church that chronicles Gaudi’s contributions including his models and his original drawings.

Détail de la Sagrada Familia de Gaudi à Barcelone

Détail de la Sagrada Familia de Gaudi à Barcelone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gaudi’s vision has been realized http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irlQiGnUuMQ. The passionate commitment of the heroic efforts of people involved in building this magnificent church will make you weep.

Gaudi's Barcelona Spain

Gaudi's Barcelona Spain Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain

Gaudi's Barcelona Spain

The church has three facades: The Nativity to the east, the Passion facade on the west and the Glory facade on the south which has not been completed. The Glory facade will explain the life and the end of man presided over by St. Joseph in his workshop. Watch a brief video to see the magnificent structure http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hskV6b9SwPA.

Español: Busto de Gaudí, Joan Matamala, Museo ...

Español: Busto de Gaudí, Joan Matamala, Museo de la Sagrada familia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The influencial architect has the most influence on the Nativity facade. It was built between 1894 and 1930. It is dedicated to the birth of Jesus and is decorated with ornate sculptures and faces the rising sun to the northeast. It is divided into three porticos that represent faith, hope and charity. The Tree of Life rises above the door. The facade includes different episodes of the Childhood of Jesus including the Immaculate Conception.

Gaudi's Barcelona Spain

Gaudi's Barcelona Spain

Nativity Facade

Gaudi's Barcelona Spain

Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona Spain

The Passion facade has gaunt, skeletal characters which were designed by Josep Maria Subirachs. His hard llines represent the pain and final scrifice of the life of Jesus. A crucified Christ presides over the central door surrounded by the people that were present at his agony. Three Lati nwords appear on this facade: Veritas, Vida and Via because Jesus is the Way. The work was completed in 1978. The Last Supper and the Kiss of Judas are sculpted into the facade that is supported by six columns designed to resemble sequoia trunks.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain

Passion Facade of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Kiss of Judas

Passion Facade of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Barcelona Spain

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia

The stratospheric magnificence of the ornamentation of the  interior of the church is breath-taking. The ceiling soars with a central vault of sixty meters crowned by Christ ascending into Heaven over the main altar. The Church was consecrated by the Pope in November of 2010 so you can plan your wedding ASAP.

Happy Travels from your friends at www.vino-con-vista.com.

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

Gaudi's Barcelona Spain

The Ascension of Jesus Christ

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Church

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Barcelona Spain

Stained Glass in Sagrada Familia

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Filed under Antoni Gaudi's Barcelona, Attractions in Barcelona Spain, ebooks, Last Judgment, Park Guell in Barcelona Spain, Peter the Apostle, Safrada Familia Church in Barcelona Spain, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, UNESCO sites in Barcelona Spain, vino con vista, What is the name of the famous church in Barcelona Spain, What is the name of the famous park in Barcelona, Who designed the famous church in Barcelona Spain, Who designed the famous park in Barcelona Spain?, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage sites in Barcelona Spain

UNESCO Wine Regions in Vino con Vista Piedmont Italy

English: Fountain at Agliè castle (The castle ...

English: Fountain at Agliè castle (The castle in one of the residences of the Royal House of Savoy), Agliè, Turin, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Piedmont is one of Italy’s finest wine regions. In northwestern Piedmont, Nebbiolo grapes thrive and ultimately become Barolo and Barbaresco wine. “Rare vintages of Barolos (1985 or 1990) become favorites of serious wine enthusiasts with an extraordinary aging capacity. Click on this link to view Wine Spectator’s Piedmont wine map:

http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Piedmontmap.pdf

This region’s terroir is also perfect for Barbera, Dolcetto, Brachetto and Grignolino.

The Castle of Agliè is one of the residences o...

The Castle of Agliè is one of the residences of the Royal House of Savoy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many interesting sites in this region of Italy. In the middle of the 16th century, the Savoy dynasty built a number of castles, villas and hunting lodges in and around Turin creating a UNESCO World Heritage complex.

In the hilly areas of the Langhe, Monferrato and the foothills many monastic complexes were built. The Sanctuary of San Michele is a Benedictine monastery founded in the 10th century on the summit of Mount Pirchiriano.

Piedmont is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/multimedia/photos/photos-for-the-new-inscriptions-2014/italy/

 

Reggia di Venaria Reale, Torino - interni cate...

Reggia di Venaria Reale, Torino – interni category:user:Twice25 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turin is the largest city in the hilly region of Piedmont. It was historically under Austro-Hungarian domination www.turismotorino.org.  The  amazing residences of the Royal House of Savoy include the Palazzo Reale, the Royal Armory, the Library and Stables.

Filippo Lippi

Filippo Lippi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fra Filippo Lippi - IMGP6044

Fra Filippo Lippi – IMGP6044 (Photo credit: indianadinos)

Fra Filippo Lippi - Sts Gregory and Jerome - W...

Fra Filippo Lippi – Sts Gregory and Jerome – WGA13179 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Castello di Rivoli (Torino)

Castello di Rivoli (Torino) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Royal house of Savoy Coat of Arms, flags of th...

Royal house of Savoy Coat of Arms, flags of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Collar of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation Italiano: Stemma della casa reale di Savoia, bandiere del Regno di Sardegna e collare dell’Ordine supremo della Santissima Annunziata. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fra Filippo Lippi - The Doctors of the Church ...

Fra Filippo Lippi – The Doctors of the Church – WGA13177 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Visit the Pinocoteca dell’Accademia Albertina and the Galleria Sabauda for Renaissance art. Bellini, Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi masterpieces can be found in these galleries.

Fra Filippo Lippi - Sts Gregory and Jerome (de...

Fra Filippo Lippi – Sts Gregory and Jerome (detail) – WGA13182 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The original Holy Shroud (Sacra Sindone) of Turin is kept in Turin’s Duomo in a silver casket inside a marble coffer. The replica is available for viewing. Carbon testing in the late 1980’s indicated that the shroud dates back to the 12th century; so it apparently was not wrapped around Christ after his crucifixion. Visit the  museum of the Holy Shroud  on Via San Domenico.

Travel to Castello del Poggio.  Admire the 390 acres of vineyards dominated by the medieval fortification that belonged to the nobele Buneis family that once gaurded the city of Asti. You can see a vast amphitheater called the Val del Temp that was owned by the Templars in the 12th century. I love their fruity Barbera DiAsti DOC. Guided visits and tastings are by appointment only. www.poggio.it

Here are some of the Annual Festivals in Piemonte:

ASTI Douja D’Or; prestigious producers participate in the parade and celebration the second Saturday and Sunday in September.

The Palio of Asti is Italy’s most ancicent horse race with a historic procession and over 1000 people dressed in medieval attire in September.

lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1...

lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1890), instituted by Royal Decree n. 7282, 3rd series, 27 November 1890. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alba Palio degli Asini is the Race of the Donkeys is on the first Sunday of October.

The Alba Truffle Festival is also in October.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Books at www.vino-con-vista.com

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Incredible Vino con Vista UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southeastern Baroque Sicily

Modica

Modica (Photo credit: Francesco Di Martino)

Modica By Night

Modica By Night (Photo credit: Landersz)

Modica, Sizilien, Chiesa S.

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Church of San Giorgio, Ragusa. Designed in 173...

Church of San Giorgio, Ragusa. Designed in 1738 by Rosario Gagliardi, it is approached by huge staircase of some 250 steps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Illustration 3: A Sicilian belfry crowns Rosar...

Illustration 3: A Sicilian belfry crowns Rosario Gagliardi’s Church of San Giuseppe in Ragusa Ibla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Modica

Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chiesa di San Domenico - Noto

Chiesa di San Domenico – Noto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coat of arms of Modica

Coat of arms of Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Castle of the Counts of Modica.

The Castle of the Counts of Modica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla.

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. John Church in (Sicily), built already in ...

St. John Church in (Sicily), built already in the 12th century, but rebuilt in the Baroque style in the 18th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Illustration 10: The Cathedral of San Giorgio,...

Illustration 10: The Cathedral of San Giorgio, Modica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Witness  the dramatic landscape, the enchanting wine regions and the historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the late Baroque towns of the Val di Noto in Southeastern Sicily.  Southeastern Sicily is a “buon appetito” and Vino con Vista paradise. Culinary arts are truly appreciated in this region. They have mastered the art of merging a cultural kaleidoscope into delightful multi-cultural gourmet cuisine.

A baroque church in Modica

A baroque church in Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are eight towns in southeastern Sicily that were all rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli.  They are considered the “Pearls of Sicily” and are characterized by buildings with splendid facades and interiors. The devastating earthquake gave the architects a blank slate, so they selected the opulent Baroque style and built the structures using a local white limestone.  These UNESCO jewels are filled with gorgeous Baroque architecture. The buildings and churches are covered with ornate limestone that has a soft honey-colored patina from the sun.

1. Noto is the administrative center of the Noto Valley.  On the eastern side of Noto the Porta Reale (Royal Gate) was erected in 1838 for King Ferdinand II.  It offers a grand entrance to Piazza Municipio and Corso Vittorio Emanuel, Noto’s main streets. Visit the Church and Convent of San Francesco and the Church of San Carlo al Corso. The Church of San Domenico and the Palazzo Villadorta are also worthwhile.  Noto Antica was particularly significant during Arab domination.  Under Arab rule, Sicily was divided into three districts and Noto was a key player. The Sicilian Baroque Cathedral of San Nicolo is in the Piazza XVI Maggio. The cathedral recently received a new cupola.

2. Ragusa was built on two levels and is divided into two parts:  Modern and Ibla. Ragusa Ibla is cloaked with interesting medieval history.   In Ibla visit the Palazzo Bertini on Corso Italia 35.  It was built by the Floridia family in the 1700s.  The building is characterized by three interesting carved masks located in the keystones of the windows that represent three powers. These faces convey an interesting story about Sicily.  Visit the Palazzo Donnafugata.  The Palazzo houses an art gallery with canvases by Hans Memling, Ribera and Antonello Messina. In Ragusa the elaborate churches include Chiesa Giovanni Batista and the Cheisa de San Domenico with the majolica bell tower.  The Cathedral was named after St. John the Baptist and was built on top of the church of Saint Nicholas after the earthquake of 1693.

3. Modica is divided into two areas:  Modica Alta (upper Modica) and Modica Bassa (lower Modica).  Two noteworthy monuments are Saint George’s Cathedral in Modica Alta and Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Modica Bassa. Saint George’s Cathedral was built around 1350. It was partially destroyed by the earthquake of 1613 and completely demolished by the devastating earthquake of 1693.  It was reconstructed at the start of the 18th century by Mario Spada from Ragusa and Rosario Boscarino from Modica in the Late Baroque style. The statues of the Apostles line the entrance to the church on Corso Umberto, the town’s main artery.

To enter Upper Modica (Alta) take Via Garibaldi from Saint Peter’s Church. Walk about 250 steps to the Church of Saint George with a panoramic view of Lower Modica. The rose-colored limestone church has twelve columns and five naves with a central dome and two lateral domes. In the church, admire the inlaid silver holy chest in front of the altar. It was made in Venice in the 14th century and donated to the church by the Chiaramonte earls.

To learn more about Sicily read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides and

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

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Filed under ebooks, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy ravel, Italy Travel Guides, Modica, Noto, Ragusa, Saint George, Sicilian Baroque, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, UNESCO WOrld Heritage Sites in SIcily, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

Semana Santa in Seductive Segovia Spain: Holy Week and Easter Traditions

Segovia Cathedral • Catedral de Segovia

Segovia Cathedral • Catedral de Segovia (Photo credit: jesuscm)

The present-day Alcázar of Segovia, significan...

Image via Wikipedia

Segovia

Segovia (Photo credit: ferlomu)

Segovia -Ayllón_2 casa del Cordón

Segovia -Ayllón_2 casa del Cordón (Photo credit: ferlomu)

The Ancient Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, ...

The Ancient Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, by Nicolás Pérez. September 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Segovia is a seductive

English: Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain Français :...

English: Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain Français : L’aqueduc de Ségovie, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UNESCO World Heritage Site in Spain that is imbued with the spirit of an old Castillian town. It was declared a UNESCO site in 1985 and it is protected by the Eresma and Clamores Rivers with and impressive collection of historic monuments.

Aqueduct of Segovia

Aqueduct of Segovia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Segovia is less than 50 miles away from Madrid. It is about 3,000 feet above sea level and has an incredibly well-preserved Roman aqueduct that is over 2000 years old. The mortarless Roman Aqueduct is made from granite blocks and was used to carry water from the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains to the city. It is considered to be one of the best civil engineering works in Spain with 166 arches and 120 columns that transported water fro the La Acebeda to the Alcazar, defying the laws of gravity. In 1072, 36 arches were damaged during the attack of Al-Mamun from Toledo. The town also has a fabulous cathedral and historic castle named Alcazar. UNESCO site in Spain

English: Aqueduct in Segovia, Spain Español: A...

Image via Wikipedia

Segovia is a Castilian town in Spain

During Holy Week (Semana Santa), at the base of the Aquaduct, faithful Christians don tunics, capes and pointed hoods for the annual ceremonies. The procession of religious brotherhoods are accompanied by their treasured sacred sculptures of Jesus and Mary.

Semana Santa reaches a climax on Good Friday when faithful adherents of the city’s brotherhoods work their way through the medieval streets to the Cathedral http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scyPexq0DNk&feature=related.

Segovia  houses an impressive Alcazar fortress/castle with a moat and draw-bridge loaded with plenty of art, stained glass windows and military memorabilia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN-YEQX4Ka8.  It was built over the remains of a Roman fortress and became a Royal residence in the 13th century. Climb to the top of the tower to enjoy the magnificent Vino con Vista views of the historic city. The throne room has a beautiful mudejar ceiling www.alcazardesegovia.com.

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia SpainSegovia Spain

Segovia Spain's Alcazar

Segovia Spain

The 16th century Renaissance-Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria frames Plaza Mayor and marks the border of th Old Jewish Quarter. It was consecrated in 1768. There are 18 chapels with noteworthy art by Spanish artists like Pedro Berruguete and Sanchez Coello. It has a beautiful altarpiece designed by Sabatini.  Segovia is located in the Castilla and Leon region, a short drive from Madrid.

Segovia SpainSegovia Spain

In Segovia, enjoy some suckling or roasted pig with some of the local white wines from Nieva or the red wines from Valtiendas. The town is also famous for marzipan made by cloister nuns and bakeries.

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

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.
 

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

Segovia Spain

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Filed under Alcazar in Segovia Spain, ebooks, IPad, Roman Emperors, Rome History, Semana Santa in Segovia, Spanish Art and Architecture, St. Teresa of Avila, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, vino con vista, Wine, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage sites in Segovia Spain

Holy Week in Majestic Madrid Spain: Semana Santa

Plaza Mayor (square) of Madrid (Spain). At the...

Image via Wikipedia

Fachada de la basílica del monasterio de El Es...

Fachada de la basílica del monasterio de El Escorial, en Madrid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Courtyard of the Kings and the Basili...

English: Courtyard of the Kings and the Basilica of the Monastery of El Escorial, San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Spain Français : La Cour des Rois et la Basilique du Monastère de l’Escurial, San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Right side of East facade of the Mona...

English: Right side of East facade of the Monastery of El Escorial, , San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Spain Français : Côté droit de la face Est du Monastère de l’Escurial, San Lorenzo of El Escorial, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holy Week  is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Holy Week in Majestic Madrid is a spectacle to behold.In 1561, King Philip II (1556-1598) decided to move his court from Toledo to Madrid. In 1616, King Felipe III ordered the construction of Plaza Mayor to be built upon the former Plaza del Arrabal.

It was designed by Juan Gomez de Mora who used the Madrilenian Baroque Style. The Square contains 136 houses with 437 balconies from which 50,000 people can witness events in the Plaza. In the center, the equestrian statue of Phillip III watches over his masterpiece.

Español: Escultura en El Escorial.

Español: Escultura en El Escorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain.

Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are interesting UNESCO World Heritage sites near Madrid that you should visit. The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the king of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 28 miles northwest of Madrid. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum and a school. The Escorial has a royal monastery  and La Granjilla de La Fresneda, a royal hunting lodge. Originally it was a property of the Hieronymite monks, it is now a monastery of the Order of Saint Augustine.  It is one of several Spanish royal sites and was the residence of the royal family. The palace was designed by King Philip II and architect Juan Bautista de Toledo to serve as a monument to Spain’s central role in the Christian world.

The Palacio Real de Aranjuez

The Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of ...

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (Community of Madrid, Spain). Español: Detalle del interior del Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Comunidad de Madrid, España). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another interesting UNESCO site is the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. The landscape around was developed by the Spanish royal family over a course of three centuries and contains innovative horticultural and design ideas. The area was the exclusive property of the royal family until the 19th century when the modern civilian city developed.

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of ...

Detail of the interior of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (Community of Madrid, Spain). Español: Detalle del interior del Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Comunidad de Madrid, España). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Escorial.

El Escorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a panoramic view of Plaza Mayor http://www.panorammer.com/panoramas/plazamayormadrid_f.php

Madrid has celebrated the events described in the New Testament including the death, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ since the 15th century. During Semana Santa ( Holy Week) there are many candle-lit processions in Madrid.

On Holy Thursday (Jueves Santo) at the Colegiata de San Isidro, the Virgin Maria Sanrisima de la Esperanza and Jesus del Gran Poder are brought out of the church through the main entrance by the costaleros http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWi3WxSAhPY.

On Good Friday (Viernes Santo) the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno leaves the Basilica del Cristo de Medinaceli in Plaza de Jesus and parades down the Puerta del Sol and Plaza Cibeles. The Procesion del Silencio starts at the Church of Santisimo.

On Domingo Santo (Easter Saturday), the Holy Burial takes place in Plaza Mayor. The culminating activity takes place in the afternoon on Easter Sunday in Plaza Mayor. The Tamborada del Domingo de Resureccion assembles drums to replicate the tremors that occurred when Christ died on the Cross http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOpQoD9dp4Q&feature=related.

Monasterio de El Escorial Español: Monasterio ...

Monasterio de El Escorial Español: Monasterio de El Escorial. Fachada sur. Deutsch: Südfassade der Schloss- und Klosteranlage Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.
 

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Pont du Gard is a Vino con Vista UNESCO Site in France

English: Arena in Nîmes (Gard, France).

English: Arena in Nîmes (Gard, France). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Exploring Nimes

Exploring Nimes (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)

Nimes Coliseum Bullfighter

Geographical map of the aqueduct of the Pont d...

Geographical map of the aqueduct of the Pont du Gard. Map created using data from OpenStreetMap. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Pont du Gard is an aqueduct in th...

English: The Pont du Gard is an aqueduct in the South of France constructed by the Roman Empire, and located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, in the Gard département. Nederlands: De Pont du Gard is een Romeins aquaduct dat later is uitgebreid tot brug. Het bouwwerk ligt iets ten zuiden van het plaatsje Vers-Pont-du-Gard in Frankrijk, niet ver van Nîmes en Uzès, en staat op de Werelderfgoedlijst van UNESCO. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pont du Gard is a 31 mile limestone aqueduct built by the Romans during the reign of Emperor Cladius. The Romans built this system of canals to bring fresh water to Nimes ancient citizens from the springs at Uzes. The Romans established a colony in Nimes in 30 B.C. where you can admire the Romam amphitheater and temple. The aqueduct

Nîmes

Nîmes (Photo credit: Wolfgang Staudt)

stretches over the Gard river between Uzes and Nimes. Uze was a famous textile town.

It is located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard commune in the South of France. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. It is one of the most popular tourist sites in France. There is a museum that offers a short film about the Romans.

 

The famous aqueduct was constructed by the Roman Empire in the mid first century under Emperor Cladius. , before the dawn of the Christian era. The bridge is almost 164 feet high  and has 3 levels. The the longest level is 902 feet long. The bottom tier of the structure is a walkway. In 1285, the bishop of Uzes mandatated a toll-collection process from all travelers crossing the bridge. The third level carries a water conduit.

The Pont du Gard is currently one of the most visited attractions in all of France. For more information visit: www.pontdugard.fr

Here’s the UNESCO link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/344

Here’s a video: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/344/video

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard (Photo credit: dkilim)

 

 

 

Pont du Gard / ポン・デュ・ガール

Pont du Gard / ポン・デュ・ガール (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Vino con Vista Arles is a UNESCO Site and Van Gogh’s Favorite Destination in France

Daubigny's Garden, July 1890, Auvers, Kunstmus...

Daubigny’s Garden, July 1890, Auvers, Kunstmuseum Basel, one of Van Gogh’s final works Pickvance (1986), 272–273 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The yellow house (Vincent's House)

The yellow house (Vincent’s House) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deutsch: Vincent van Gogh im Jahr 1866 im Alte...

Deutsch: Vincent van Gogh im Jahr 1866 im Alter von 13 Jahren. Vermutlich entstand das Foto nach Beendigung des Internataufenthalts in Zevenbergen, bevor er in die höhere Schule in Tilburg eintrat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

View of Arles with Irises in the Foreground

View of Arles with Irises in the Foreground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Red Vineyards near Arles (1888), the ...

English: Red Vineyards near Arles (1888), the only painting Vincent van Gogh is certainly known to have sold during his lifetime. Now in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vincent van Gogh: Starry Night Over the Rhone ...

Vincent van Gogh: Starry Night Over the Rhone Arles, September 1888 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Roman arena of the city of Arles.

English: Roman arena of the city of Arles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vino con Vista Arles is a UNESCO Site. Even though Vincent van Gogh was Dutch, like most post-impressionists, he found the light and landscape of Provence magical and inspiring. He died at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Garden of the Hospital in Arles

Garden of the Hospital in Arles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arles was one of his favorite destinations in southern France. He arrived in  1888 and stayed for about a year. Starry Night Over the Rhone is one of my favorite van Gogh paintings of Arles.

Vincent van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles.

Vincent van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Español: Autorretratos, pinturas al óleo

Español: Autorretratos, pinturas al óleo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verlangen naar een zomeravond

Verlangen naar een zomeravond (Photo credit: Margriet PR)

Les Alyscamps, Falling Autumn Leaves, Vincent ...

Les Alyscamps, Falling Autumn Leaves, Vincent van Gogh, 1888 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vincent's Bedroom in Arles

Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pont de Gleize at Arles (The Gleize Bridge ove...

Travel to Arles for a Van Gogh treasure hunt. He  loved Vino con Vista Arles. He came here in 1888 and painted many of his famous paintings. This is also where he chopped off his earlobe. Visit the Hotel Dieu, it has been converted into the Espace Van Gogh Gallery. Dine at Cafe La Nuit at Place du Forum; it is decorated like Van Gogh’s painting “Cafe du Soir”.

If you love Van Gogh, visit these two galleries: Espace Van Gogh at Place Felix Rey and Fondation Vincent Van Gogh by the Arena www.fondationvangogh-arles.org

Cafe Terrace at Night

Cafe Terrace at Night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Arles is located between Nîmes and Marseilles in the Bouches-du-Rhône and the area of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in France.  Arles is near the mouth of the Mediterranean where the Rhone River divides into two branches: Grand Rhône and the Little Rhône. This delta is the Camargue region of France.

The inhabitants of Arles are called “Arlésiens”. Visit the Musee Arlaten for all things Provencal at 29 Rue de la Republique.

Get a Museum Pass at the Tourist Office so you can visit all the interesting sites in Arles with more than 2500 years of history. I love the remarkable Roman treasures: the amphitheater, public baths and arena. In 2007, the oldest bust of Julius Caesar was discovered in Arles and can be seen at the museum.

Stroll through this amazing UNESCO site; or plan an elaborate toga party in “Rome on the Rhone”. EIther way, start at the Place du Forum.

Here’s the UNESCO information about Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments:

“Arles is a good example of the adaptation of an ancient city to medieval European civilization. It has some impressive Roman monuments, of which the earliest – the arena, the Roman theatre and the cryptoporticus (subterranean galleries) – date back to the 1st century B.C. During the 4th century Arles experienced a second golden age, as attested by the baths of Constantine and the necropolis of Alyscamps. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Arles once again became one of the most attractive cities in the Mediterranean. Within the city walls, Saint-Trophime, with its cloister, is one of Provence’s major Romanesque monuments.”

Long Description

“Like Verona in Italy, Arles is an especially significant example of the appropriation of a classical city by a medieval European civilization. The town, founded by the Phoceans in the 7th century BC as Arelate, owed its prosperity to the decline of its rival, Marseilles, under the Emperor Augustus. It has retained impressive Roman monuments of which the earliest, the Arena, the Roman Theatre, and the Cryptoporticus (subterranean galleries) date back to the 1st century BC. During the 4th century, Arles rose to the rank of political capital and religious metropolis; testimony to this second golden age is provided by the Baths of Constantine and the superb marble sarcophagi of the Alyscamps cemetery. However, in 480 the city fell into the hands of barbarians.

The subsequent decline was a cruel one for the city, which did not regain its role as a capital until the 9th century with the creation of an independent kingdom. Successively a territory of the Empire and a possession of the Counts of Provence, Arles was one of the most attractive cities of the Mediterranean world during the Middle Ages. Travellers from many countries described its monuments with enthusiasm.

The Roman theatre was built at the end of the 1st century BC. The cavea could hold 10,000 people in 33 rows of seats. The majestic high wall at the back of the stage was decorated with columns and statues; two columns and the collection of sculptures are in the Arles Archaeological Museum. From the 5th century onwards, the theatre was occupied by houses and religious buildings, which were demolished starting in 1834. At that time the semi-circular orchestra section with its precious marble pavement, the space occupied by the machinery used to raise and lower the curtain, part of the seats, and parts of the outer wall preserved in the Tower of Roland during the Middle Ages were restored and conserved.

English: Walls of the Roman arena in Arles

English: Walls of the Roman arena in Arles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The amphitheatre, built around AD 90, ranks among the great amphitheatres and could hold 20,000 spectators. Gladiator fights and animal hunts took place here until the end of the 5th century. During the Middle Ages, the building became a fortress, sheltering two chapels and 212 houses within its walls. These parasitic constructions were destroyed in 1825. The underground passages of the Cryptoporticus were used as foundations for the Roman forum, the political, commercial, and religious centre of the Roman city. They were built in 30 BC on the side of the hill, and their construction necessitated gigantic earth filling and levelling operations. The U-shaped Cryptoporticus is made up of three double corridors covered with barrel vaults. They intersect at right angles and are separated by rows of massive pillars supporting basket-handle arches. Towards the end of the Roman Empire shops were built, opening on the outer side.

In Roman times Arles was surrounded by graveyards, including one situated along the Via Aurelia which later became known as Les Alyscamps. This cemetery subsequently became important when the Christian martyr Saint Genest and the first bishops of Arles were buried there. In 1040 the site became the Saint-Honorat priory, one of the required stops on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Today a path lined with numerous sarcophagi, painted by Van Gogh and Gauguin, leads to the church of St Honorat at the far end. The latter was rebuilt during the 12th century in Romanesque style and crowned with a splendid octagonal lantern inspired by the architecture of the Roman amphitheatre. The church of Saint Trophime and its cloisters constitute an exceptional Romanesque group, strongly influenced by ancient art.

Beside the Rhône the Baths of Constantine were built during the 4th century as part of a complex including several buildings. Still visible today are the hot rooms, the pools, the ventilation system for the hot air circulating within the walls through tubuli (hollow tiles) and between the piles of bricks (hypocausts).
The walls, consisting of alternating rows of bricks and small worked limestone blocks, are built around a semi-circular apse which was lit by three high round-arched windows, and covered with a magnificent quarter-sphere vault (cul-de-four). Towards the south were located the warm baths, the cold baths, and the palaestra (gymnasium).” UNESCO

 

Media

THe UNESCO Sites include:

The Arles Guide provides useful information that will help you plan your trip. Here are some links for you from the Arles Guide:

Arles has some interesting events including:

 

Here are some restaurants for you to dine at:

  • La Chassagnette is one of the most recommended restaurants in Arles located 15 miles away from the city center
    Address : Route de Sambuc – Phone : +33 4 90 97 26 96
  • L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel Jean Luc Rabanel is known in France for being the first  “green chef”: he uses organic produce from his cottage garden
    Address : 7 rue des Carmes – Phone : + 33 (0)4 90 91 07 69
  • Here’s a link to more restaurants in Arles

Check out these hotels:

  • Hôtel d’Arlatan – 26 rue du Sauvage is a 15th century townhouse with a walled garden and Roman ruins www.hotel-arlatan.fr
    Located in the heart of the historic part of Arles, few steps away from the Rhone River
  • Hôtel Du Forum – 10, Place Du Forum, Arles 13200
    Located in the heart of the old town
  • Grand Hotel Nord Pinus is the finest hotel in Arles, close to the Forum and very popular with the bullfighters.
  • Jules Cesar is my favorite. It is located an old Carmelite Convent with beautiful antique furniture surrounded by an enclosed garden in the heart of Arles
  • More Hotels in Arles

    English: Roman theatre in Arles (France) Deuts...

    English: Roman theatre in Arles (France) Deutsch: Amphitheater in Arles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Visit the Vino con Vista Champagne Region of France: Easter at The Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Coronation of the Kings in Reims

The baptism of Clovis Français : Le baptême de...

The baptism of Clovis Français : Le baptême de Clovis, scène dans la Sainte Chapelle de Paris (bien que l’évènement eut lieu dans la Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Smiling Angel, Notre-Dame de Reims, France, c.1250

Smiling Angel, Notre-Dame de Reims, France, c.1250 (Photo credit: carulmare)

English: Paving stone in the nave of Notre Dam...

English: Paving stone in the nave of Notre Dame de Reims, France. Reads, in French: “Here Saint Remi (Saint Remigius) baptized Clovis king of the Franks” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Basilique Saint-Remi (Basilica St. Remigius), ...

Basilique Saint-Remi (Basilica St. Remigius), tombeau refait en 1847 avec les statues du XVIIème siècle, vue est et nord, Reims, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Baptism of Clovis I, in front of the ...

English: Baptism of Clovis I, in front of the Cathedral of Reims (1896). Français : Baptême de Clovis 1 er , roi des Francs, par St Rémi, représenté derrière la Basilique Saint Rémi à Reims (1896). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coronation Robe of French Monarch

Coronation Robe of French Monarch (Photo credit: Andrew and Annemarie)

Paris - Latin Quarter: Panthéon - la vie de Je...

Paris – Latin Quarter: Panthéon – la vie de Jeanne d’Arc – sacre du roi Charles VII (Photo credit: wallyg)

Français : Palais du Tau, Reims, avec la Cathé...

Français : Palais du Tau, Reims, avec la Cathédrale sur le coté, vue depuis l’arrière du bâtiment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Le Couronnement de la Vierge, détail du groupe...

Le Couronnement de la Vierge, détail du groupe ornant le gâble du portail central de la Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims.Il s’agit d’une copie de l’oeuvre originale, fortement dégradée et désormais exposée au Palais du Tau; cette copie a été réalisée par Georges Saupique en 1955. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France...

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France – Interior – Organ ไทย: มหาวิหารรีมส์, ประเทศฝรั่งเศส – ออร์แกน Français : Orgue de la cathédrale Note-Dame de Reims (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France...

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France – The Last Judgment Tympanum ไทย: มหาวิหารรีมส์, ประเทศฝรั่งเศส – การตัดสินครั้งสุดท้าย (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France...

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France – The Last Judgment Tympanum ไทย: มหาวิหารรีมส์, ประเทศฝรั่งเศส – การตัดสินครั้งสุดท้าย (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notre-Dame de Reims

Notre-Dame de Reims (Photo credit: corsi photo)

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France...

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France – The Last Judgment Tympanum ไทย: มหาวิหารรีมส์, ประเทศฝรั่งเศส – การตัดสินครั้งสุดท้าย (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Reims, Champagne-Arde...

Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France. 13th Century stained-glass windows above the choir, representing Our Lady, the Christ, the apostles, archbishops et bishops. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France...

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France – Tympanum ไทย: มหาวิหารรีมส์, ประเทศฝรั่งเศส – หน้าบัน เหนือประตู (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France...

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France – The Last Judgment Tympanum ไทย: มหาวิหารรีมส์, ประเทศฝรั่งเศส – การตัดสินครั้งสุดท้าย (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Calice du sacre,fin du XIIème siècle,Palais du...

Calice du sacre,fin du XIIème siècle,Palais du Tau,Trésor de la cathédrale de Reims. Or, émaux, perles, pierres fines et pierres précieuses. Il fut envoyé à la fonte à la Monnaie de Paris et heureusement oublié, puis exposé au Musée des Antiques de la Bibliothèque Nationale à Paris. Il fut renvoyé à Reims en 1861, sous Napoléon III. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Basilique Saint-Rémi — Reims, Champagne-Ardenn...

Basilique Saint-Rémi — Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Basilique Saint-Rémi — Reims, Champagne-Ardenn...

Basilique Saint-Rémi — Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Apse exterior of the Notre-Dame cathe...

English: Apse exterior of the Notre-Dame cathedral in Reims, France, from the Tau palace garden. Français : le jardin épiscopal, la salle du trésor du palais du Tau, le cœur et la flèche de la cathédrale (du premier plan à l’arrière plan). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s more to the Champagne region of France than hillsides cloaked with Pinot Noir  and Chardonnay vines. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, the former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau in Reims are UNESCO sites in the spectacular Vino con Vista Champagne-Ardenne Region of France about 80 miles northeast of Paris.

The former archbishop’s palace known as the Tau Palace, because of its T-shaped layout, played an important role in religious ceremonies. It was almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century.

The Palace was the residence of the Kings of France before their coronation in Notre-Dame de Reims. The King was dressed for the coronation at the palace before proceeding to the cathedral; afterwards, a banquet was held at the palace. The first recorded coronation banquet was held at the palace in 990, and the most recent in 1825.

Visit Reims Cathedral of Our Lady for Easter.

The Palace of Tau has been a museum since 1972 with remnants of the original cathedral statuary. The Musée de l’Œuvre also has reliquaries and tapestries from the cathedral. There are many interesting objects associated with the coronation of the French kings.

The Palace of Tau, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the former Abbey of Saint-Remi, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

The 6th century  Abbey of Saint-Remi has the relics of  the Saint who died in 553. St. Remi was the Bishop of Reims who converted Clovis, King of the Franks, to Christianity on Christmas Eve in 496  after he defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac. The basilica was consecrated by Pope Leo IX in 1049.

basilique saint Rémi - Reims

basilique saint Rémi – Reims (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The cathedral in Reims is an outstanding representation of 13th century Gothic art and architecture.

Founded by the Gauls, Reims became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire. The major routes from Rome to England and Rome to Germany joined at Chalons then diverged at Reims.

Reims also played a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France. Archbishop St Remi instituted the Holy annointing of the Kings of France.  He was the Bishop of Reims and Apostle of the Franks. On December 24, 496, he baptized pagan Clovis I, King of the Franks. Clovis was converted by his wife Clothide. She was a Catholic Burgundian princess.

This baptism led to a seminal event in European history; the conversion of the Frankish people to Christianity. This alliance between Saint Remi and Clovis initiated a long history of the French Kingdom and the Catholic church.

reims 016

reims 016 (Photo credit: Walwyn)

In Reims, the Cathedral, the Archiepiscopal Palace, and the old Abbey of Saint-Rémi are directly linked to the history of the French monarchy because these places were part of the coronation ceremony. “For the Royal Anointing, which took place in the town’s cathedral, the Ampulla containing the Chrism, or holy oil, was brought from the Abbey of Saint-Rémi.” UNESCO

Ingres. Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charl...

Ingres. Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII (Photo credit: paukrus)

The Monarchs of France ruled from the establishment of Francia in 486 to 1870. Three kings were crowned at the abbey of the church of Saint Remy and thirty at the Cathedral. From Louis VIII to Charles X, there were only two exceptions: Henry IV, crowned at Chartres and Louis XVIII.  These are the French dynasties and monarchies:

1. The Merovingian Dynasty ruled until 751

2. The Carolingian Dynasty until 987.

2. The Capetian Dynasty, the male-line descendants of Hugh Capet, ruled France continuously from 987 to 1792 and again from 1814 to 1848.

3. The branches of the dynasty which ruled after 1328, are generally given the specific branch names of Valois and Bourbon.

4. The House of Bonaparte and the Bourbon Restoration,  “Kings of the French” and “Emperors of the French” ruled in 19th century France, between 1814 and 1870.

Notre-Dame de Reims

Notre-Dame de Reims (Photo credit: ©HTO3)

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France...

English: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, France – Gothic scultures decorating the North Portal. ไทย: มหาวิหารรีมส์, ประเทศฝรั่งเศส – ประติมากรรมกอธิคตกแต่งด้านหน้ามหาวิหาร (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cathedral has a gallery of kings on the west front façade. On the north transcept, central portal on the left hand side you will see bishop Saint Nicaise holding his decapitated head in his hands. He was beheaded by the Barbarians on the square in front of his cathedral.

 

 

“The outstanding handling of new architectural techniques in the 13th century, and the harmonious marriage of sculptural decoration with architecture, has made Notre-Dame in Reims one of the masterpieces of Gothic art. The former abbey still has its beautiful 9th-century nave, in which lie the remains of Archbishop St Rémi (440–533), who instituted the Holy Anointing of the kings of France. The former archiepiscopal palace known as the Tau Palace, which played an important role in religious ceremonies, was almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century.” UNESCO

Reims - Basilique Saint-Rémi | Explore

Reims – Basilique Saint-Rémi | Explore (Photo credit: Jean Lemoine)

Long Description

By virtue of the outstanding handling of new architectural techniques in the 13th century and the harmonious marriage of architecture and sculpted decoration, Notre-Dame Cathedral at Reims is a masterpiece of Gothic art. The perfection of the architecture and the sculptural ensemble of the cathedral were such that numerous later edifices were influenced by it, particularly in regions of Germany. The former abbey still has its beautiful 9th-century nave, in which lie the remains of Archbishop Saint Rémi (440-533). The former archiepiscopal palace known as the Tau Palace, which played an important role in religious ceremonies, was almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century.

The cathedral, the Archiepiscopal Palace, and the old Abbey of Saint-Rémi are directly linked to the history of the French monarchy, and hence to that of France in general. These places were part of the coronation ceremony, the result of a perfect balance between Church and State that made the French monarchy a political model throughout Europe until modern times.

Lothaire (941-986,roi de France en 954).Statue...

Lothaire (941-986,roi de France en 954).Statue du XIIème siècle.Musée St Rémi à Reims. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of great importance in the early days of Christianity in Gaul, Reims had a number of archbishops who were major figures in the Roman Catholic Church, canonized after their death. This was the case for the most famous among them, Rémi (440-533) the archbishop who baptized Clovis and instituted the Holy Anointing of Kings. The ceremony was fully established in the 12th century, and after that time almost all French sovereigns were consecrated at Reims. For the Royal Anointing, which took place in the town’s cathedral, the Ampulla containing the Chrism, or holy oil, was brought from the Abbey of Saint-Rémi. Rémi, who died in 533, was buried in St Christopher’s chapel, which was replaced in the 11th-12th centuries by a Benedictine abbey church.

The monastic buildings date from the 12th-13th centuries, but were extensively remodeled during the 17th century. However, some very interesting medieval parts were conserved. The present cathedral, built on the site of the Carolingian church which was destroyed by fire, is one of the great French cathedrals of the 13th century. Along with the cathedrals of Chartres and Amiens, it is at the summit of the classical Gothic style. At Reims all the innovations introduced at Chartres may be found, except that the builders of Reims, perhaps conscious of erecting the church for the coronation of the kings of France, enhanced the structural elements with greater lightness and made more openings in the walls to allow a maximum of light to filter through the stained glass and illuminate the sacred space. Nowhere is sculpture so prevalent on a Gothic facade than it is at Reims.

More than simple ornamentation, the sculpture of Reims Cathedral is an integral part of the architectural composition. Reflecting both Île-de-France traditions and the minor arts of the Champagne region, the sculpture possesses a monumental character and a grace inspired by the silver- or goldsmith’s art. While the smiling figures on the west facade are very famous, the sumptuousness of the composition of the Crowning of the Virgin (above the central portal) or the grave antique nobility of other figures such as Elizabeth in the composition depicting the Visitation should not be overlooked.

The old archiepiscopal palace was both the Episcopal See and an important step in the coronation ceremony, the banquet being held there. It was almost completely rebuilt by Robert de Cotte on the behest of Archbishop Le Tellier. The beautiful 18th-century Palatine chapel and the 15th-century banqueting hall were kept intact.” UNESCO

Basilique Saint-Rémi — Reims, Champagne-Ardenn...

Basilique Saint-Rémi — Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC

Basilique Saint-Rémi — Reims, Champagne-Ardenn...

Basilique Saint-Rémi — Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Filed under Italy Travel Guides, Visit the Vino con Vista Champagne Region of France: The Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Coronation of the Kings in Reims

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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