The Arts Society Henfield e-Newsletter issue 18 June 2021
The History & Art of Madrid & Central Spain 15 April 2018
20 Jun 2018
The tour encompassing the Art & History of Madrid & Central Spain was enjoyed by 29 members of the Society.
Following an orientation of the city in the morning, the first afternoon was at leisure. A number of us explored the Botanical Gardens and, although early in the flowering season, the bedding looked lovely. Two large greenhouses contained some weird and wonderful plants from all over the world.
During the week we had guided tours of the ‘The Golden Triangle of Art’ being the three important Art Museums located close to each other. The Reina Sofia, Spain’snational museum of 20th century modern art was the first one we visited. This houses Picasso’s most important work – the mural ‘Guernica’ painted in 1937 andacquired by the Spanish government after the death of Franco. Then it was the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza with its interesting collection of historical through to contemporary art and finally the Prado featuring pre 20th century art.
Segovia was fascinating and is best known for its Roman Churches, world renown Roman Aqueduct, its cathedral and the Alcazar Castle. This trip was combined with Avila, a lovely medieval city surrounded by the finest preserved medieval walls with 88 turrets and 9 gateways.
My favourite place was Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many others in the group felt the same. Known as the ‘city of three cultures’, behind its walls liefascinating palaces, fortresses, mosques, synagogues, churches and an array of medieval Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments. The magnificent 13th century cathedral is one of the largest in modern Christianity. Toledo was also the former home of the Mannerist painter El Greco.
Our last day was spent visiting the World Heritage Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Built for King Philip ll, the imposing grey Palace, severe in its lines, is a complex of Renaissance buildings including a monastery, college, mausoleum, courtyards and fountains. The remarkable Royal Library contains 15th and 16th century manuscripts and sumptuous apartments contain important works from the Hapsburg collection. Not the warmest of places we visited!!
An interesting and enjoyable tour experiencing the fascinating history and culture of this important area of Spain.
Many thanks to Paul, our excellent Tour Manager from Tailored Travel, who helped to make the tour a success.
Wendy Collett – Tour Organiser
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