"Toledo", Blog English, Country, Spain

“El Greco” Museum – Toledo

Looking at the building that houses this museum, it is difficult to relate the modern architecture of the structure that welcomes us, with the work of the painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos, born in Crete in 1541 and known to us  as “El Greco”. Although he was not Spanish, most of his pictorial work was done in Toledo, Spain. He died in 1614, at the age of 72, in said city. Continue reading ““El Greco” Museum – Toledo”

"Madrid", Blog English, Country, Spain

Royal Church of Saint Anthony of the Germans – Madrid

The first thing that caught our attention about this church is precisely its name, “San Antonio de los Alemanes” or Saint Anthony of the Germans. It was founded by Philip III at the beginning of the 17th century, when Portugal was part of the Hispanic kingdoms under the Habsburgs. The mission of both the church and the adjoining hospital was to receive the sick and Portuguese pilgrims passing through Madrid. For this reason it was originally called Saint Anthony of the Portuguese. Continue reading “Royal Church of Saint Anthony of the Germans – Madrid”

"Aranjuez", Blog English, Country, Spain

The Garden of the Island – Aranjuez

The Garden of the Island is located to the north of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez and is considered one of the main works of Spanish Renaissance gardening along with the “Casa de Campo” in Madrid. Since 1931 it has been of Cultural Interest and since 2001 it has been a World Heritage Site as part of the Cultural Landscape of Aranjuez declaration. Continue reading “The Garden of the Island – Aranjuez”

"Madrid", Blog English, Country, Spain

The Sabatini Gardens, Madrid

Occupying an area of just over two hectares, the Sabatini Gardens are located in front of the north facade of the Royal Palace of Madrid. It is a neoclassical garden in keeping with the palace. Although it can be contemplated splendidly from the railing on Bailén street, it is best to go down its monumental stairs, built in 1972, when the gardens were renovated, and enjoy it from below.

The space now occupied by the Sabatini Gardens was the site of the Royal Stables built in the 18th century by the Italian architect Francesco Sabatini next to the palace. The Madrid City Council, in order to build a public park, conducted a competition whereby the winner of the project was the architect Fernando García Mercadal from Zaragoza. In 1933, the demolition of the buildings of the stables began and the construction of the gardens began and finally completed in the late seventies. They opened to the public in 1978 by King Juan Carlos I.

With its formal neoclassical style, there are well-pruned hedges, in symmetrical geometric patterns, with trees also arranged in a symmetrical geometric shape. The area is divided into three terraces or levels, each with its own charm. Strolling along its paths and confirming the perfection of all the symmetry displayed in these gardens, is enchanting.

The Sabatini Gardens are adorned with a pond, statues and fountains. The statues represent ancient Spanish kings, which were not originally intended to adorn a garden. They are part of the collection of one hundred sculptures made during the construction of the Royal Palace. These statues have also been distributed in other areas, such as the cornice of the Palace itself, the Plaza de Oriente, the Retiro and the Capricho Parks.

It is the pond that serves as a mirror of the north facade of the Royal Palace of Madrid, the axis of the whole. And precisely, it is the perfect spot to take a picture of this side of the Palace. Why not, a “selfie” too?

The best thing about this space, besides the fact that its entrance is free, is having the opportunity to sit on one of its benches and enjoy a good moment of tranquility and serenity. The vegetation, the beautiful views, the water and the art, all it in the midst of Madrid and worth visiting.

We had the opportunity to visit the Sabatini Gardens when its renovation had already been completed, at the end of May 2022. The transition that took us from the gardens to the Plaza de España was done very well.

We don’t want to conclude without sharing a picture of the peacocks we spotted from Bailén Street, at the top of some trees. After a lifetime of seeing them on the ground, we found it very curious to see them in the trees and remembering that they are in fact, birds.



"Segovia", Blog English, Country, Spain

The “Alcázar” of Segovia

Upon seeing it, perhaps one is transported to those medieval castles in fairy tales, or in films or series where it has been used, so imposing, magical and beautiful. Or, perhaps we imagine it as history suggests, a witness to battles, of royal weddings or merely a palace of intrigues, this is the “Alcázar” of Segovia. Continue reading “The “Alcázar” of Segovia”