27 November 2013
For over three hundred years, Butrón Castle has, since the 16th century, been the bastion around which the history of Vizcaya has been formed through continuous bloody battles between the noble families and opposing groups.
Secure in their impregnable Castle, the nobles of Butrón exercised their power over the territory using the power and worth of their troops.
The primitive tower house, the start of the Butrón lineage, was built in the mid-13th century, and was shortly after transformed into a castle by the V Lord of Butrón in the mid-14th century.
When the battles between the two opposing sides finished at the beginning of the 16th century, the building was abandoned and left to deteriorate, until it was restored at the end of the 19th century, the result of which we can see today.
15 November 2013
The Alhambra the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra, is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid 11th century by the Berber king Badis ben Habus of the Kingdom of Granada who built its current palace and walls, and later converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.
22 October 2013
El Chorro (“The Spurt“) is a small village located in Málaga (Andalusia) in southern Spain, near the town of Álora. It is one of the most popular rock climbing attractions in Spain as it is located next to Desfiladero de los Gaitanes (“Gorge of the Gaitanes”), This village is also frequented by mountain bikers, hikers, and campers.The gorge is famous for a dangerous bridge called Caminito del Rey (King’s little pathway). The path provides access to a hydro-electric plant and took its name after an official visit by Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1921. Official access to the path was removed in 2000 on grounds of safety. At present though the walkway is accessible by climbers, it is dangerous. The local government agreed to share costs of restoration of the “Caminito”.
The gorge runs from the end of the “Embalse del Gaitanejo” to “El Chorro“. There are two extremely narrow sections at each end of the gorge with a wider bowl in between. In addition to the currently defunct walkway, the old Málaga-Cordoba railway line runs through the gorge in a set of several tunnels, bridges and dams cutting through the gorge.
3 June 2013
Lloret de Mar is a town on the stunning Costa Brava coastline. It has population of 34,000, who live almost exclusively off the tourism the town attracts every year. It measures around 50km2, and its main heritage are the beautiful beaches it offers. Lloret de Mar is close to both Blanes and Tossa de Mar.Lloret de Mar is the perfect place to sample Catalonias delicious gastronomy. Excellent traditional dishes from Catalonia served in welcoming restaurants, as well as the typical mediterrenean cuisine in the tapas bars. International food has also made it’s way into this town, as a result of its cosmopolitan nature. There are restaurants from many different european countries, such as asian and american food.This municipality belongs to the region of La Selva, located in Girona, whose capital is Coloma de Farners. Lloret de Mar is a town with more than a thousand years of history, it is a cosmopolitan city with a great offer of leisure activities whether it be cultural or sport related; with castles, monuments, beaches, restaurants and outdoor sports all on offer.Search and book your holiday accommodation now in Lloret de Mar and enjoy a fantastic holiday on the Costa Brava, Spain.
20 May 2013
As Catedrais beach (Playa de Las Catedrales in Spanish) translates as ‘Beach of the Cathedrals‘. It is the turistic name of Praia de Augas Santas (‘Beach of the Holy Waters’). The Spanish beach is located in the Ribadeo municipality, in the province of Lugo (Galicia), on the Cantabric coast, and it lies about ten kilometres to the west from the town of Ribadeo. Its name is derived from the formations of its cliffs.
It has been declared a Natural Monument by the regional Ministry for the Environment of the Xunta de Galicia.
The place’s more characteristic features are its natural archs and caves, which can be seen only in low tide. During high tide, the beach appears quite small, but is still suitable to go for a swim. High tide is an interesting time to visit the place and wander over the top of the cliffs, from West to East, heading to the Esteiro Beach. During low tide you can appreciate the size of its magnificent cliffs and the picturesque sea caves, which go from small cracks on the rock to big caves whose roofs collapse due to the erosion of the waves. Also during low tide you can gain access to a sand deposit delimited by a rocky wall made from slate and schist of strange and complex forms: more than 30-meters-tall arches which remind to cathedral flying buttresses, dozen-meters-long caves, sand corridors between rocky blocks and many other curiosities. When low tide is lower than usual, you access to the nearby beaches through the sand extension. However, it is advisable to be back before the water starts to cover the beach again, which happens very quickly, since the coast stretch is almost horizontal.
26 April 2013
The Roman Walls of Lugo were constructed in the 3rd Century and are still largely intact today, stretching over 2 kilometers around the historic centre of Lugo in Galicia (Spain). The fortifications were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in late 2000 as “the finest example of late Roman fortifications in western Europe.” The walls have also held Spanish monument status (Bien de Interés Cultural) since 1921.In 2007, the walls were twinned with the Great Wall of China during a ceremony attended by China’s then-ambassador to Spain, Qiu Xiaoqi.
A walkway over the walls now allows visitors to stroll along the entire length. The town also has a visitor’s centre dedicated to the walls, the Centro de Interpretación de la Muralla. Since the inscription of the walls on the World Heritage List in 2000, Lugo holds a popular festival called Arde Lucus each year to celebrate its Roman past.
The city walls were built between 263 and 276 A.D. to defend the Roman town of Lucus Augusti (present-day Lugo) against local tribesmen and Germanic invaders. The walls formed part of a complex of fortifications which also included a moat and an intervallum (the clearing between the walls and the city). The entire length of the walls is around 2,120 m, enclosing an area of 34.4 hectares. Not all of the town was enclosed by walls: much of the southeastern part of the town remained unprotected, while in other places unused areas were enclosed by walls.
The width of the walls is around 4.2 m and the height of the walls varies between 8 and 12 m. The walls consist of internal and external stone facing with a core of earth mixes with gravel, pebbles and worked Roman stone recycled from demolished buildings, cemented with water.
There are 10 gates in the walls: five dating to Roman times and five added after 1853 to accommodate the expanding town population. The best preserved of the five original gates are the Porta Falsa and the Porta Miña, the latter of which still has the original vaulted arch set between two towers. Five stairways and a ramp provide access to the parapet walk over the walls. Within the walls, a number of double staircases provide access to the towers from the parapet walk.Of the original towers, 49 are still intact, and another 39 have partially survived. The towers were built at irregular intervals along the walls. They consist of two stories and are mostly semicircular; a few are rectangular. The gaps in the wall for the towers vary in length from 5.35 m to 12.80 m. Different materials were used for the construction of the towers. Often the base of the tower was constructed of dressed granite, with the remainder in slate.During the Middle Ages, pilgrims passed through the gates of the Lugo walls, particularly Porta Miña, on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
25 April 2013
Burgos Cathedral is a Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral in Burgos, Spain. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is famous for its vast size and unique architecture. Its construction began in 1221 and it was in use as a church nine years later but work continued off and on until 1567. It was primarily built in the French Gothic style, although Renaissance style works were added in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on October 31, 1984. It is the only Spanish cathedral that has this distinction independently, without being joined to the historic center of a city (as in Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Ávila, Córdoba, Toledo, Alcalá de Henares or Cuenca) or in union with other buildings, as in Seville.he construction of the cathedral was ordered by King Ferdinand III of Castile and Mauricio, the English-born Bishop of Burgos. Construction started on the site of the former Romanesque cathedral on July 20, 1221, beginning at the chevet, which was completed in nine years.
The high altar was first consecrated in 1260, then there was a lengthy hiatus of almost 200 years before construction was recommenced. The cathedral was completed in 1567, with the completion of the lantern spire over the main crossing (which rises above a delicate openwork star vault).
The architects who directed its construction were a Frenchman in the 13th century and a German in the 15th century. In 1417, the bishop of Burgos attended the Council of Constance and returned with the master builder John of Cologne (Juan de Colonia), who completed the towers with spires of open stonework tracery.
Among the most famous of the bishops of Burgos was the 15th-century scholar and historian Alphonsus a Sancta Maria.
In 1919 the cathedral became the burial place of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (“El Cid”), and his wife Doña Jimena. On October 31, 1984, it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
It had very important modifications in the 15th and 16th centuries (spires of the principal façade, Chapel of the Constable by Simón de Colonia, cimborio of the transept by Juan de Vallejo: these elements of advanced Gothic give the cathedral its distinguished profile). The last works of importance (the sacristy or the Chapel of Saint Thecla) occurred during the 18th century, the century in which the Gothic statuary of the doors of the principal façade was also transformed.
At the beginning of the 20th century, some semidetached construction to the cathedral was eliminated, such as the Archepiscopal Palace and the upper floor of the cloister. The style of the cathedral is Gothic, although it has inside some Renaissance and Baroque decorations.
The cathedral contains the works of artists such as the architects and sculptors of the Colonia family (Juan, Simón and Francisco), the sculptors Gil de Siloé, Felipe Vigarny or Juan de Anchieta, the sculptor and architect Diego de Siloé, the grillworker Cristóbal de Andino or the painter Sebastiano del Piombo (“Holy Family”), among many others.The principal façade was inspired by the French cathedrals of Paris and of Reims. It consists of three bays topped by two lateral square towers. The steep spires are a German influence that were added in the 15th century and are the work of Juan de Colonia.
Some elements of great interest within of the cathedral are the ‘Papamoscas’ (Flycatcher), an articulated statue which opens its mouth upon the sounding of the bells every hour, the Romanesque sepulchre of Mudarra, the vengeful stepbrother of the death of the seven princes de Lara (brought to the cathedral from its original location in the Monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza due to its abandonment by alienation), the carved chairs of the choir, the sepulchre of the Bishop Mauricio, the tomb of El Cid and his wife Doña Jimena, the letter of security of El Cid and his chest.