San Lorenzo de El Escorial. I’ve been there many times, but last time was special because I was with my husband Luis, my son Gabriel and his girlfriend Juliete. Also known as El Escorial de Arriba is a town and municipality in the Community of Madrid, Spain, located to the northwest of the region in the southeastern side of the Sierra de Guadarrama, at the foot of Mount Abantos and Las Machotas, 47 kilometres (29 mi) from Madrid. It is head of the same name judicial party. The settlement is popularly called El Escorial de Arriba, to differentiate it from the neighbouring village of El Escorial, also known as El Escorial de Abajo.
The Monastery of El Escorial is the most prominent building in the town and is one of the main Spanish Renaissance monuments. Especially remarkable is the Royal Library, inside the Monastery.
The monastery and its historic surroundings were declared a World Heritage Site UNESCO on November 2, 1984, under the name of “El Escorial, monastery and site”.
The site also enjoys protection on Spain’s heritage register; since June 21, 2006, it has been protected by the Community of Madrid as a Property of Cultural Interest.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial is located on the southern slopes of the Mount Abantos (elevation 1753 m). The average altitude of the municipality is 1,032 metres (3,386 ft), and most of the urban area is above 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). The hamlet initially sprang up around Monastery of El Escorial, gradually extending up the mountain. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the town underwent a strong urban expansion, particularly towards the southeastern side of Mount Abantos.
I’ve been many times at the Crystal Palace, also in Retiro’s Park. It’s not only beautiful, but also a place of quietness and play at the same time. You have the serene setting with the lake bordering the building with lush vegetation during the year and the busy comings and goings of tourists and children. Yes, its a place the children look for because the birds and turtles that live on or around the palace. The turtles and ducks are a joy. But, de
Ending on the spot you choose to watch the palace, it can have a calming effect and it can be an inspiration, as the one I had to picture this magnificent building. If you would like to know more about it, please use this link https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palacio_de_Cristal
I decided to pay tribute to another angel’s statue that adorns Madrid’s rooftop. Many people think that’s another fallen angel or even Ícarus… But, not at all. I’m gonna tell you that story.
Once upon a time there was a building in Calle Milaneses and the people who lived in that building want to put a statue on the top to decorate their precious home and also the city. Madrid is a city that has many statues on rooftops, the majority of them expressing grandeur posing for magestic historical moments. But I have no idea why, Miguel Ángel (:-)) Ruiz, was particularly inspired that day and decide to make a statue that everyone would talk about it. Well, instead of making another famous king of a general, he did “Aerial Accident”.
In his interpretation, 10.000 years ago a “man with wings” went away for a fly. He was coming back home, flying backwards, taking a little sun bath and didn’t realize that on the grass field he´s used to land, had grown up an entire city… and Booommm!! He clashed violently on the top of that same building.
He is not a fallen angel, he is not Icarus, he is just an “Aerial Accident”.
Today was a holiday in Madrid, a nice break in the middle of the week. A sunny but cold day, perfect for a good walk at the Retiro Park, before lunch, “to open the appetite”, like my father used to say. In the South side there’s a fountain that I like a lot, not so big, but quite interesting because on top of the fountain there’s the statue of the Fallen Angel (Angel Caido).
This statue was first created in plaster by Ricardo Bellver in 1877 during his retirement in Rome. Bellver was inspired by the Fallen Angel Satan in the poem called the Lost Paradise by the English poet John Milton. With this sculpture of Lucifer he won the first prize on the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Madrid. In 1878 it was nominated for the Paris World’s Fair, but they only accepted marble or bronze statues. For this occasion a bronze version was made and the plaster statue was destroyed.
When the statue returned to Spain, it was displayed at the Museo de la Trinidad (now part of the Museo del Prado). Later the masterpiece was given to the City of Madrid and it was moved to its current location in the Retiro Park It was placed on a special designed octagonal pedestal with figures of devils on each side grabbing fish, lizards and snakes. The construction was placed in a large fountain where all the devils are gushing water. The fountain was inaugurated in 1885.
At that time the sculpture and the fountain received al lot of criticism by the people, being maybe the World’s only statue of Satan, but at the same time it also gained a lot of admiration by critics. The dramatic figure was one of its kind with its unique expression. Salient detail is that the statue stands 666 meters above sea level, which is the Number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament.
You can find the Fountain of the Fallen Angel in the south of the Retiro Park, on a roundabout where Paseo Fernan Nunez, Paseo Republica de Cuba and Paseo Uruguay meet. Take your time and really admire this beautiful work of art.
Since I’m still feeling the French atmosphere after last weekend in Paris, I decide to pay homage to, perhaps, the most famous building in Madrid, a wonderful Beaux Arts architecture – an extremely elegant French style characterized by conservative lines and impressive sculptural elements. The magnificent edifice has been designed by French brothers Jules and Raymond Fevrier to host the headquarters of the insurance company La Unión y el Fénix, and completed in 1910 by Spanish architect Luis Esteve.
In 1972, the building was acquired by Metrópolis Seguros and a series of restorations begun. Nowadays, it retains its former appearance, excepting the original statue on top of the dome representing Phoenix and Ganymede, which has been replaced.
Metropolis Building’s main features include the bright white façade, which is lavishly decorated with sculptures and various ornaments, as well as the spectacular black dome on top of which a gorgeous statue of Winged Victory designed by Spanish architect Federico Coullaut-Valera Mendigutia rises to the sky.