Archive for Plaza de Toros

Andalusia – walking around Osuna

Posted in Andalusia, Osuna, Seville Province, Spain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2019 by gannet39

Historic Osuna is built on a sandstone hill which has been a source of ashlars (stone building blocks) for the town’s buildings for millenia. Some of these come from El Coto las Canteras, a spectacular quarry known as ‘the Petra of Andalusia’ which is just on the outskirts of town. Sadly this amazing attraction is only open on special occasions but the link above will give you a good idea of what it looks like inside. It’s on my map if you want to go and have a look through the fence.

We are put up at the best hotel in town, the 18th century Palacio Marques De La Gomera www.hotelpalaciodelmarques.es, a baroque palace with a beautiful stone facade and entrance. The turret room was used in the 2001 film “Callas Forever” with Fanny Ardant and Jeremy Irons. The cast and crew of series five of Game of Thrones also stayed here.

The entrance has some nice details and inside there is a lovely internal courtyard with a fountain. You can click to expand these and other smaller pics if you’re on a computer.

According to UNESCO Calle San Pedro is the second most beautiful street in Europe, While I’m not sure I agree with that, it does have another spectacular facade a few doors up at 15 Calle San Pedro. The Cilla del Cabildo Colegial is another baroque palace built in 1773.

The doorway is decorated with symbols of Seville’s cathedral, such as lilies in vases and a representation of the cathedral’s clocktower, La Giralda.

If you walk up to the top of and turn left you’ll soon come to the Posito Municipal andaluciarustica.com, at 80 Calle Carrera. Built in 1779 it was the town’s municipal granary and later a hospital.

At the bottom of the hill you come to the neo-classical Arco de la Pastora andaluciarustica.com, the Arch of the Sheperdess, which is the town’s last remaining gate.

Nearby is the Plaza de Toros dating from 1903.

It’s largely unused nowadays although some scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed inside.

On the other side of town on Calle San Agustín is the former post office, the Palacio de Miguel Reina Jurado andaluciarustica.com.

Nearby at 10 Calle la Huerta is the Palacio de los Cepeda andaluciarustica.com.

On a parallel street at 44 Calle Sevilla is the Palacio de Puente Hermosa, also known as the Palacio de Govantes y Herdera.

The impressive Solomonic columns of its doorway are decorated with bunches of grapes and vine leaves.

A few doors away on the same street is this unmarked building.

I love the decorative faces above the door.

Up the road at 9 Calle Sevilla, is the less impressive doorway of the Antiguo Convento de Santa Catalina. The internal layout of the convent was used as a template for convents in Mexico.

You can buy cakes from the nuns next door at Religiosas Madres Concepcionistas at 1 Calle Sevilla.

At the end of Calle Sevilla you come to Plaza Major. The town hall sits over one of the streets entering the square.

The eastern side is lined with attractive buildings.

From here you can see La Colegiata de Osuna on the hill above the town.

The Rennaisance church houses the Museo de Arte Sacro de la Colegiata de Osuna www.colegiatadeosuna.es.

On the way up the hill you’ll also come across the Torre del Agua andaluciarustica.com which is also the home of the Museo Arqueológico de Osuna. Neither museum’s opening hours coincided with when I was free unfortunately so I saved them for next time.

You can get some great views over the town from the top of the hill.

Over the road at the very top of the hill is the famous Escuela Universitaria de Osuna www.euosuna.org, founded in 1548 and still a functioning university.

I sneaked inside to get a few shots of the beautiful internal courtyard.

It was strangely quiet when I was there.

The walls of the entrance hall bear some ancient decorative inscriptions.

Back down at the bottom of the hill in a small square is the Iglesia y Torre de La Merced andaluciarustica.com.

And that is probably enough baroque for one day, time for some grub now…

El Puerto de Santa Maria – walking around the Centro

Posted in Andalusia, Cadiz Province, Centro, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain with tags , , , , , , , on November 2, 2017 by gannet39

The first thing I want to say is I love El Puerto! It has everything I want in a town; good restaurants, traditional wines, nice beaches and lots of things to see and do. What’s more, it’s just over the bay from Cadiz which is another favourite place of mine.

It gets very busy in the summer but mainly with Spanish rather than international tourists which is a good sign in my book. It sure as hell beats spending the weekend in a truckers’ motel which is what my work itinerary had me doing (see my previous post on Lora del Rio).

I only stayed for two nights so this is not a comprehensive guide by any means, just a brief snapshot of what I got up to. I need to go back and get to know it more. Everywhere I know, and many more places I didn’t get time to check out, are on this Google map.

I’ve written four posts on Puerto:

Walking Around (this one)
Eating & Drinking
Eating at Aponiente
Puntilla Beach

El Puerto is a sherry town, which is another reason I like it so much. The town is home to Bodegas Osborne www.bodegas-osborne.com Spain’s second oldest company was founded by the Englishman Thomas Osborne Mann in 1772 (Catalan winemaker Codorniu, established in 1551, is the oldest). The company logo is the famous silhouette of the black bull which has also now become a symbol of Spain.

The Osborne bodega is beautiful, and open to the public.

Guided tours of the bodega in English start at 10am every day. Various tours and tastings are offered and range in price from 8€ for no tour and self-guided wine tasting, to 55€ for a guided tour, VORS wine tasting and samples of Cinco Jotas hams (an associated company?). I just popped in for a look as I was short of time.

By the way, old sherries are described by the Latin acronyms VOS and VORS. VOS stands for Vinum Optimum Signatum (the unofficial English equivalent is Very Old Sherry) and is used for wines over 20 years of age. VORS stands for Vinum Optimum Rare Signatum (or Very Old Rare Sherry) and indicates wines over 30 years old.

There are several other bodegas in town, Terry being the next largest. Some of them have shops where you can buy in bulk such as Despacho de Vinos de Grant bodegasgrant.com which sells the ‘La Garrocha’ label amongst others.

The town’s castle, Castillo de San Marcos, is owned by Bodegas Caballero. Tours and wine tastings in English are available from 11.30am each day.

The old fish market, El Resbaladero, is another nice building.

I stayed at the Hostal Costa Luz www.hostalcostaluz.com, near the Plaza de Toros, for about £30 a night without breakfast. The room was spacious, modern, quiet and walkable from the centre.

Eating in El Puerto coming next!

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