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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

Corpus Cristi - Torrenueva - WOW!
21 June 2017

Corpus Christi is the Catholic holiday in honour of the presence of the body of Christ in the holy water. It is celebrated throughout Spain and is held in either May or June depending on when Easter occurs. To calculate the next Corpus Christi date, look for the first Thursday after Trinity Sunday (the eighth Sunday after Easter) and you’ll know when the fiesta is set to begin in towns and villages throughout Andalucia. However as this Thursday is not a 'fiesta' in Torrenueva, they celebrate ot the following Sunday.


It is a solemn and magnificent procession which bears the consecrated host through the streets. Although Corpus Christi is celebrated all over Spain, I wanted to broing to your attention the wondeful efforts that are made in a small village hidden away in Don Quijote's countryside: Torrenueva.

I have written about Torrenueva on a couple of occasions and I will leave the libnks to those articles below, but I re4ally felt the need to share this with all of you as it is a truly breathtaking occasion.

The history of Corpus Christi is particularly interesting as the Catholic kings used it as a tool to Christianise a population that had been under Muslim rule for some eight centuries. According to historical accounts, they even instructed the town halls to invest large sums of money into the fiesta and urged the town to celebrate until they “appeared crazy”. In the past all the towns and villages were forced to each supply a specific amount of greenery to carpet the streets. And historically, theatre carts travelled around the towns, following the Corpus Cristi processions and putting on plays, especially in Granada. It seems that it got out of hand at one point and in 1765 King Carlos III officially put a stop to the custom.

Today it is still typical to carpet the streets of towns and villages with greenery for the solemn Corpus Christi processions. This adds a special ambiance to the processions. The Corpus Christi parades also tend to attract all the local authorities, and in some cases, military personnel as well.

 

 

The neighbors of Torrenueva have always adorned the streets where the procession of the Corpus was passing with flowers, pots, decorations... but it has been in the last two decades when these streets started to be decorated with carpets of wonderful colourful sawdust, which are culminated after a long and laborious work by the locals, forming a unique spectacle which attracts visitors from the whole province.

The neighbors with the help of the City Council, get to work by tinting sawdust, preparing fabrics and organising the ornaments they have been preparing for weeks, until the Saturday night  before, when they leave everything ready.

In Torrenueva the neighbours decorate balconies with fabrics, they place altars with religious and biblical motifs, in addition with tinted sawdust, tinted rock salt and with the help of molds they adorn the streets with specatular carpets of vibrant colours.

The streets remain intact until the procession formed by: altar boys, communion children, priests and  their entourage walk along them on what is considered the grand day of Corpus Cristi. Truly a spectacle worth watching if you happen to be in the area. I hope you enjoy the photos from this year's Corpus Cristi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other articles on Torrenueva :

https://www.eyeonspain.com/blogs/bestofspain/11159/Torrenueva-The-heart-of-the-mancha.aspx

https://www.eyeonspain.com/blogs/bestofspain/11205/The-Best-Table-In-The-House.aspx

 



Like 1        Published at 11:36   Comments (2)


Bay of Plentzia - Spectacular!
14 June 2017

 

At the mouth of the estuary is a stunning natural bay, in which the beaches of Gorliz and Plentzia are to be found. The large sandy beach and safe bathing make Gorliz beach extremely popular with families. 842 metres long, the beach is right by the town centre of Gorliz. Nearby are recreational areas, a large car park beside the beach and green areas with tables, benches, barbecues and a children's play area. Really a fantastic destination.

The beach at Plentzia, slightly further along the bay, has a promenade running beside its fine, golden sand. Its calm waters makes it ideal for families with children and anybody looking for water sports like windsurfing, surfing or kayaking. Its waters offer one of the best alternatives in adverse conditions or when the sea further out is rough, as one can continue up the estuary to calmer waters.

 

Gorliz is located on the coast of the historical territory of Bizkaia, in the Uribe-Costa region. This municipality has a great touristic tradition and its beaches attracts many people int he summer.

Gorliz offers different cultural treasures. The Elexalde neighbourhood is in the town centre, where the Iturritxu and Axeo palaces, dating back to the 19th century, are situated. Likewise, the magnificent church of the Inmaculada Concepción de Santa María and the Town Hall itself, next to the church, are outstanding constructions which are well worth visiting.

One of the most emblematic and characteristic buildings is located on the promenade: The Gorliz hospital, quite impressive with unbeatable views. Another great example of heritage and coastal character is the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves or Andra Mari. Located in a privileged area in the Andramari neighbourhood, this temple from the 11th century offers the opportunity to visit the bay of Gorliz and the estuary of the ria Butrón. 

 

 

Nature lovers can make ecological trips through the different routes prepared in the surroundings of the village. Once you have discovered the nicest places, the still waters of the bay of Gorliz allow the practice of several nautical sports such as canoeing, bodyboarding and the ever growing sport of SUP (Stand up paddling)

A number of festivities and traditional events take place throughout the year in Gorliz. The festivities of Santiago, in July, flood the streets of Gorliz with music and joy. The Andra Mari neighbourhood holds its celebrations at the beginning of August too.

This is truly a breathtaking place to visit so if you fany exploring the Vasque country this destination is simply a must.



Like 2        Published at 11:51   Comments (4)


A Monument to Satan
05 June 2017

 

Though Spain may have loaned its name to one of the most famous Christian witch-hunts in human history, the country’s capital city holds unique bragging rights for having what is commonly acknowledged as the only public monument to the Devil himself.

Located in the gardens of the expansive Parque del Buen Retiro, the statue of the Fallen Angel (Ángel Caído) is set atop a marble pillar in the midst of a fountain. Lucifer is depicted at the moment he is cast out of Heaven, as inspired by a passage in John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

 

 

 

Sculptor Ricardo Bellver cast the statue in bronze for the third World’s Fair in Paris, after which point the piece was acquired by the Museo del Prado. The statue was later donated to the city of Madrid and inaugurated at its current location in 1885.

The statue is renowned equally for its discordant subject matter, as well as Bellver’s ability to imbue a sense of tension and anguish in his rendering of Satan.

The statue is within easy walking distance of the city's "Big Three" museums (Prado, Reina Sofia, Thyssen-Bornemisza) and is accessed by the Atocha metro station.



Like 3        Published at 13:46   Comments (0)


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