Saturday, 6 April 2013

Palacio Real de Aranjuez and some tilting at windmills

The Royal Summer Palace and gardens of Aranjuez grew up around a medieval hunting lodge standing beside a natural weir, the meeting point of the Tagus and Jarama rivers.
Today's palace of brick and white stone was built by the Hapsburg's in the 18th century and redecorated by the Bourbons. Inside there are numerous Baroque rooms, among them the Chinese Porcelain Room, the Hall of Mirrors and the Smoking Room modelled on the Alhambra in Granada.
The royal gardens - Jardín de la Isla - are freely open to all, and well worth taking a walk through.

Peeling bark has created an interesting camouflage design on the trunks of the Plane trees 
These are the plains of La Mancha - the land where Miguel de Cervante set his novel 'The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote' who mistook the windmills to be giants!!! These plains are also the home of the Crocus sativus - saffron crocus, and the largest area in the world for producing wine.
The small town of El Toboso celebrates its literary connection being the home of Dulcinea - Don Quixote's sweetheart.
Here I spied something that could be a future 'quess the quiz'!!!

60 comments:

  1. That is a great pallace, big contradiction with the simple white windmills.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. The windmills are sited on the tops of the hills to catch the wind as it comes over the flat plains.

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  2. Gorgeous photos, Rosemary!! The colours and composition are stunning. You visit the most wonderful places. Those Plane trees are fantastic. At first I thought you had applied a "paint" technique from a PhotoShop or something. Great find!

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    1. I do love the bark on these plane trees - you find them in town squares in French, and we also have them in London lining some of the streets.
      I suppose those of us in Europe do have lots of historic places to visit which are all within a short plane or train ride away.

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  3. All of the photos are beautiful, but the ones of the plains are breathtaking. I'd love to see that sight!

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    1. The weather was not typical Spanish spring weather, but I think that it made for some dramatic skies over the plains. I couldn't help humming the song in my head whilst standing on the hillside - The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain!!!

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  4. Silly Don Quixote, the real giant was the Palacia Real de Aranjuez! The size of that place is astonishing, beautiful and incredible. Thanks for all the gorgeous photos.

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    1. Your humorous comment gave me a chuckle Rosemary - the palace was an unexpected but pleasureable discovery whilst on the journey.

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  5. Beautiful photos! I really had no idea Spain was such a beautiful country and well worth visiting. Thanks for taking us with you through wonderful pictures Rosemary. Another country to add to my list of countries I'd love to visit once.
    Marian

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    1. This was a new area of Spain for us to visit. It is such a large country and with a wealth of history, wonderful art and architecture. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

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  6. Stunning pictures, Rosemary! I love Spain and Spanish scenery. I've read Don Quixote. It's worth to read..

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    1. I am sure that you would enjoy this area of Spain which you could readily relate to the book of Don Quixote. We ended up eventually in the house that Miguel de Cervantes was born in but still quite a journey on from here.

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  7. Hello Rosemary, I liked the pavement with the fish-scale pattern, which has an archaic look, but my favorite picture here is the one looking at the water through the iron fence. I love the feeling of being on the dividing line between the formal and the natural.

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    1. Hello Jim - sometimes when you take a picture, you think it is not very good or interesting, and that photo fell into that category. Yet when I cropped it and enlarged it I thought that it was much more successful than I had imagine. Thanks for your kind comment.

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  8. Those windmills are beautiful and what a great view of the plains of La Mancha.

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    1. Dear Paula - I think that the fact that the spring weather in Spain was unseasonable too lent more impact to the photo of the plains with the clouds rolling in across the sky.

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  9. What splendid photos, Rosemary. You obviously got an enormous amount from your Spanish trip and we are the happy beneficiaries. Lovely!

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    1. Thank you Perpetua - I am reliving the trip as I do each posting. It is amazing how much ground and things you can cover whilst away when you have no other chores to interfere with the day. Glad you have enjoyed seeing the photos.

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  10. More lovely photos - but I must admit to noticing that Spring doesn't seem to have sprung very far in Spain either!

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    1. You are right - it appears that the whole of Europe is experiencing a completely different spring. This time last year on my blog I was showing cherry and magnolia blossom and at the moment it is still just tiny little buds.

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  11. I haven't been to this town but the Palace is beautiful. Looks more Austrian than Spanish or Moor style of Architecture. Lovely gardens to stroll around. I always adore the Spanish landscape. I enjoyed reading Don Quixote when I was in school so many years ago. Wonderful photos Rosemary.

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    1. Thanks Pamela - the Palace was a little gem to come across and with beautiful grounds to stroll in. Don Quixote seems to have been on everyones school reading list - a comical read with serious overtones.

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  12. Beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for your visit Linda - happy that you enjoyed seeing the photos - please visit again.

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  13. I imagine that going out of season brings it own benefits such as less people and, in my view
    images that give a sense of tranquility. I would like to visit this area of Spain.

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    1. It is the first time we have visited this particular area of Spain - I think Spring and Autumn are perhaps the best times as it can get absolutely roasting hot in the summer.

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  14. Dear Rosemary, I am so excited by this post, especially to see the Palace at Aranjuez! Last year when I was guiding the Treasures of the Prado exhibition which came to Brisbane, I included The Stag Hunt at Aranjuez, by Martinez del Mazo, in my tour - a 1640 painting of the court at the hunting lodge. Now I see the palace built later. Also included was a Murillo, Immaculate Conception of Aranjuez (most beautiful), so you see I was chatting away about this place but had never seen it, of course. Lovely to see the plains of la Mancha too - we had a delightful little painting by Carbonero of Don Quixote and the gang, marching out on the plain. Thank you so much for an art thrill on a Sunday morning, Rosemary!

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    1. That is wonderful Patricia, I am delighted, it is great that you have now seen a more complete picture of the area that you were talking about. One of the great things about blogging are these little coincidences that crop up from time to time. We had no idea that we would be visiting the Summer Palace, it was a little extra added in to our itinerary. It is still Saturday here, but glad it gave you an art thrill on your Sunday morning.

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  15. Thanks for the photos and interesting commentary. Always learn something new in your posts.

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  16. Anda le .Anda le, "Rocinante" let us attack now Sancho..!!
    Poor Don quixote.. so in love was he with Dulcinea...
    You touched my heart today Rosemary with this wonderful post.
    There are no words than can express the true beauty of the "Palacio Real de Aranjuez " simply enchanting.
    I was wondering did you get to "El Escorial"..
    I am but 5 hours away. How it makes me feel I must pay another visit to these magnificent palaces and
    the beauty of Spanish architecture.
    Thank you Rosemary..
    Muchos Gratias..
    val xx

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    1. Dear Val - it is lovely to think that you have been here and know what it all looks like.
      We didn't visit El Escorial, we had the opportunity, but as time was of the essence when we arrived in Madrid we took to the Art Galleries instead. I would have liked to have visited but perhaps another time.
      Glad that you enjoyed the post.
      I wonder if your publishing problems has resolved itself yet?

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    2. My post is appearing and being published on my blog... but does not appear on my reader list.
      I am so disappointed.. as my members dont know i have written a post.
      I have seen a few people are having problems..
      blogger is changing.
      They are connecting more with google and circles and so on.
      So pleased you enjoyed Madrid.. Its a fantastic city.

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    3. As I mentioned previously it has happened to me twice, but for you it seems to be ongoing. A post I did not the 1st April did not show on followers sidebar so I published another one on the same day to link them together, but very few people saw it.
      I do not know the answer regrettably.

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  17. Lovely post. Beautiful building and grounds, and I do like those tree trunks.

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    1. Yes, the camouflage effect on the trunks is very intriguing.

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  18. Great photo shoot Rosemary ! Spain is a very beautiful and multifaceted country. Kisses !

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    1. Thanks Olympia - so many people associate Spain with the Costa Brava when they are so many other wonderful aspects to Spain. Beautiful mountains and landscape and of course great architecture.

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  19. Dear Rosemary - I'm guessing by the way Palacio Real de Aranjuez sprawls out that it was meant to be a Spansh version of Versailles. Were you able to go inside?

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    1. It is possible to go inside Mark but sadly we were pressed for time. I have looked at pictures on the internet of the interior and it is very very elaborate - a baroque show piece. The golden royal barges for travelling to the palace along the river are also housed there.

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  20. Beautiful Beautiful
    and I read your post about El Greco the other day, I painter I've learned to appreciate as I grew up. (all these faces, the bodies, the colours! So much happening)

    Now I'm looking at those windmills thinking: The DO look like giants!

    Happy sunday evening to you : )

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    1. Dear Demie - El Greco, was of course, as you are aware, a fellow countryman of yours. Until we visited Toledo I did not realise that the biggest collection of his work was in the city.
      It was interesting to travel in the footsteps of Don Quixote bringing the story to life.
      Hope all is well with you.

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  21. Beautiful pictures the plains look so vast and the windmills are so attractive too.
    Sarah x

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    1. Yes, it gives the song 'the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain' some realism.

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  22. what a great tour I just made with you and the famous windmills made me smile!!! Love the shot with the tree barks! wishing you a good new week from sunny, but still cold tulipland!

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    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed the tour Jana, and yes, it is sunny here too but still cold.

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  23. Oh I love those photos Rosemary and especially liked the textured bark on the trunks of the Plane trees. Your trip must have been wonderful and so much history
    Patricia x

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    1. The more we are able to see in our lives the more history seems to fall into place. It is true that travel broadens the horizons. I always enjoy seeing the lovely patterns on the trunks of those Plane trees too.

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  24. Dear Rosemary, Beautiful part of the world and beautiful photographs. Again your artistic eye is able to see the larger picture and then the details. I loved all of it. ox, Gina

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    1. Thank you Gina for your very kind comment. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Our visit to the palace was an unexpected treat, something that we just happened to past enroute.

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  25. Hallo Rosemary!Welcome back from your wonderful trip in Spain!Magnificent places and very beautiful photos!!Thank you for sharing!Have a lovely week!
    Dimi..

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    1. Thank you for your kind welcome back Dimi - the trip to Spain went very well, glad you liked the photos.

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  26. Those photos of the plains are sooo beautiful !!! I was in Spain just once, and it was a great holiday ... Looking at your pictures I wish to see more of this beautiful country. Thank you for sharing, Rosemary !

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    1. Spain is a big country with lots of diversity, and it is easily possible to make several visits. Thank you for your comment Dani.

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  27. Beautiful scenes all round, the buildings, gardens and scenery are spectacular.

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    1. Thank you Karen - we were not scheduled to visit the palace, it was a diversion from our journey, but we are pleased that we had the opportunity to visit.

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  28. Such gorgeous photos as usual. Love the windmills. We don't have scenery like this in Australia so it's captivating to me! Glad you liked the curry :) I'm going to try it your way too! Xx

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    1. Yes, roll on another bowl of your green Thai curry tonight - H liked it too.
      I think that seeing different images from around the world which are totally new to you is one of the joys of blogging - thanks for your comment Annabel.

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  29. Now I see why you are enjoying so many Spanish tortillas for breakfast. Thanks for stopping by. The photos are superb!

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    1. Thanks for the reminder of the recipe - I am trying it out tonight.

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