Saturday, November 10, 2007

Postcards from Spain

This post has no sewing or stitching content but is for those of my friends who enjoy seeing the different areas of Spain that we visit.
A few weeks ago we went on a short six day break to Salamanca, a city in Western Spain that dates back to pre Roman times.
The city lies on a plateau by the Tormes River, which is crossed by a bridge of Roman origin.
The Plaza Mayor is the central square in the city. It has a capacity of 20,000 people and was originally a venue for bullfights but is currently used primarily for concerts. The plaza is regarded as one of the finest squares in Europe.
Among the many tourist attractions we visited was the University of Salamanca which was founded in the year 1218. Many people continue to come from all parts of Spain to study at the University, and the students represent a high percentage of the city's population.
We also visited the old Romanesque cathedral which was founded in the 12th century and the adjoining new cathedral which was built from 1509 and was still being finished in 1734. In the treasury is the bronze crucifix that was carried into battle before El Cid.
Another must see is the House of Shells which was constructed during the 15th century. In total, there are approximately 400 shells on the exterior of the building. I don't know what it was used for way back when but these days the building is a public library.
Another place we visited was Segovia which is situated about an hour north of Madrid.
I think this was probably my most favourite place. It has a famous Roman aqueduct that is an engineering marvel of 166 arches and 120 pillars in two levels. It is made of 20,400 large, rough-hewn granite blocks, joined without mortar or clamps.
It was built to bring water from 15km away. Amazing!


Nancy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Margaret! The Spanish architecture continues to amaze me. Their buildings are really breathtaking. I think my favorite is the House of Shells, and you know why! What a unique looking building with the scallop shells decorating the exterior. I imagine that Captains of the Sea mingled there at one time!

Ginger said...

Margaret - these are fabulous pictures - thank you for sharing them and for telling us bout your travels. Happy stitching!

angelasweby said...

I love seeing your pictures of Spain. The sky is so blue and a wonderful backdrop to the towering buildings. I love the House of Shells too. I really enjoyed reading about your trip.
Hugs, Angela

Pat said...

The pictures are beautiful.Spain must be very lovely. The history that you shared is very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

patchwitch said...

Thank you for the pics and stories... Reading your blog is a mini-holiday for me each time. I can vidit you (virtually) or be your company on a jorney (like today).
Thanks again!

Sweet P said...

I love Spain. I can't to go back. Mmmmmm . . . DH has to travel to Europe in March, maybe I could convince him to take me along and I could take a side trip.

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are absolutly beautiful, thanks to share those beautiful things with us, and most of all you are lucky the sun is still shinning.
Have a nice day !

Andrea said...

More great pictures. I love looking at life abroad. Thanks for sharing.

Sachiko said...

Hi Margaret,

What a splendid place and a construction!Splendid architecture!
I feel the history.
Thank you for showing a photos!!


Christine said...

Oh Wow Margaret. I'm so happy you took your camera along and shared these pictures with us. What a treat as we don't see arcitecture like that in Canada. Nice read too.

Clare said...

Margaret, it all looks so wonderful, and a lot warmer than the Pennines! Like the new header too!

CONNIE W said...

Love your photos!

MysteryKnitter said...

Spain is quite a place!