Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kilometer Zero, Spain

Guadalupe and I covered a good deal of the city of Madrid in our walk Saturday morning. These random photos begin with a street performer in the Puerta del Sol, which is the symbolic center of Spain — Kilometer Zero. It also tends to be Kilometer Zero for political demonstrations in Madrid. (Don't forget to click the photos to hit the big-time.)

A POMPEY IMPORT TO THE PUERTA DEL SOL.
THIS GUY WAS ROCK SOLID.

Our primary goal was Plaza Mayor, a huge rectangular plaza surrounded by three-story residential buildings (and 237 balconies) just a few blocks from the Puerta Del Sol. The plaza has been in existence since the 1500s, but the "modern" plaza has only been around since 1790 when it was reconstructed after a series of fires. Now a major tourist attraction, the plaza has had a variety of names over the centuries and was home to markets, bullfights, football games, heresy "trials," and public executions — presumably not at the same time. Ah, the good old days.

ENTERING PLAZA MAYOR THROUGH ONE OF NINE ARCHES.
PLAZA MAYOR.
STATUE OF KING PHILIP III (BY JEAN BOULOGNE).
CREATED IN 1616 AND MOVED TO PLAZA MAYOR IN 1848.
EXAMPLE OF THE PAINTINGS COVERING THE WALLS.
EXITING THROUGH ANOTHER ARCH.
LOOKING BACK.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about food. I ate well in Madrid and Guadalupe learned what I mean when I say "I don't cook!" For now, some more sight-seeing.

THE CHURCH OF SAN GINÉS.




BACK IN THE CAR AND TRYING TO FIND OUR WAY OUT. (I WAS NO HELP.)

10 comments:

  1. I want to go there now. Badly.

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  2. You are a great ambassador for Spain! You make us want to see all these places you've been.

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    Replies
    1. Kristi:
      That's what they pay me for... Oh, wait, they don't pay me... Still, I'll keep posting plugs for my new and loved home.

      Delete
  3. Mitchell, what a magnificent city! And so much history makes us North Americans look like babes!
    Great photos of beautiful buildings and plazas.

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    Replies
    1. Jim:
      So many modern buildings from the 1700s here! We had an old house in San Diego; it was built in 1924.

      Delete
  4. Gorgeous. The arch knocks me out -- and there are 8 more of them you say?

    Pearl

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    Replies
    1. Pearl:
      And each arch has the same name as the street it leads to/from. They're named for the guilds/unions/professions that were located on those streets. It's really charming (on a grand-ish scale).

      Delete
  5. Can't cook. Can't navigate. Just must be good at something......ahh.

    The building behind King Philip III is amazing.

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    Replies
    1. Andrew:
      Even worse than "can't cook"... "won't cook." But I'm a good navigator if I have a map. And I'm very good at washing dishes... and something else I'm sure...

      Delete

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