Jerez de la Frontera – Stuff to See

20150206_145131

I’ve had a long standing obsession with Jerez, particularly for its brandy of which I am an aficionado, but also for sherry (which derives its name from the town) and vinegar. When my employer decided to send me to nearby Cádiz (the provincial capital), I took the opportunity to have three days holiday in this historical town before I started work.

20150206_153739

Please see my separate posts on a Brandy and Sherry here, and Eating & Drinking in Jerez here. My Google map is here.

I arrived at the beautiful train station, apparently designed by Gustave Eiffel, he of Parisian tower fame. I didn’t get a good photo but the ceramics on the platform walls are beautiful.

I stayed at the lovely La Fonda Barranco at 12 Barranco www.lafondabarranco.com It’s a renovated old town house with an interior courtyard and characterful rooms, each different to the other. Alejandro the manager is super helpful and very welcoming. He really puts the hours in as I think it’s a bit of a financial struggle to keep the place going. The breakfast is okay but you might want to eat out after a couple of days. Definitely recommended (B+).

Jerez became rich due to its wine industry and proximity to the ports of Seville and Cádiz. Consequently there are many beautiful palaces and churches dotted around the town.

 

 

I particularly like the baroque doorway of Palacio de Bertemati in Plaza Arroyo, built in 1785.

20150206_153942


20150206_101836

Plaza de la Asuncion has some beautiful features.

20150205_165251

 

 

As does the Plaza del Mercado. The market is no longer here but the square has retained the name.

20150206_115039
20150206_115140
20150206_115238

Whereas there’s not much to see in Plaza del Arenal, the town’s main square.

20150206_101143

The modern market, Mercado de Abastos, is in Plaza Esteve and is well worth a visit. Unusual produce I saw included Tagarninas, a kind of plant whose spiny roots are eaten in these parts (please see my post on Eating in Jerez).

I also some of the tiny shrimp used for the regional speciality Tortillas de Camarones where they are mixed into a batter made of chickpea flour (a Genoese influence), deep fried and eaten whole.

20150207_095205

The Catedral de San Salvador in Plaza Encarnación www.diocesisdejerez.org is definitely worth a look. It has so many flying buttresses it looks as if it’s about to take off!

20150206_153715


20150206_153046

Make sure you check out the gargoyles along the sides of the Cathedral.

20150207_100857

The Alcazar is what it is, an old Arabic fortress. I didn’t get to go inside as it was closed.

A lot of the time I got intentionally lost and just wandered around the winding streets.


20150208_051126

And constantly stumbled upon visual gems.

 


20150206_145725

There’s a fair bit of dereliction around and not much seems to be being done about it.

20150206_102108

For example, Plaza San Lucas was supposed to be redeveloped as a centre for flamenco but the money has disappeared due to corruption and the square remains boarded off. Naturally some people aren’t too happy about it. The sign reads ‘We want more flamenco and less speculation’.

20150207_101435

I also visited the Museo Arqueológico Municipal www.museoarqueologico.webjerez.com which is in Plaza del Mercado. It opens 10am-2pm and 4-7pm Tuesday-Friday, 10am-2.30pm at weekends. There’s not that much to see (the museum in Cadiz is better apparently) but there are a few nice exhibits.

My favourite pieces were the prehistoric icons that people in these parts once worshipped.

20150207_112309

The origins of the city’s name, and perhaps its viticulture, comes from the Phoeneicans who called it ‘Sèrès’ (spelt Xera). This became ‘Sherish’ (spelt Xeres or Xerez) during the Muslim occupation which is the name that ‘sherry’ originates from. It stopped being a border town between the Moorish and Christian kingdoms after the reconquest in 1492 but has retained the name Frontera.

20150207_105202 - Copy

One Response to “Jerez de la Frontera – Stuff to See”

  1. Susan Toulson Says:

    Hi Ralph I’m in the area now – but as I’m driving and have absolutely no sense of direction , I tend to fall upon places by accident, so prob won’t get there. I’ve seen the railway station though and agree that it’s great. Sue

    Sent from my iPhone Sue Toulson

    >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: