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Heritage

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Again on the Way of St James

   Before finishing the year 2016, we have two activities you can read about on the blog. And today, you have our visit to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a charming village at the Region of La Rioja, on the Way of Saint James.

Santo Domingo is famous because it’s on the Camino, and for its markets, cultural events and of course the cathedral, Domingo the Saint, and the legend of Hen and Rooster Miracle . Click on the link and you can read more about it. In fact, in Spain we say “donde cantó la gallina después de asada” “where the roosters crow after being roasted”.

The Henhouse inside the Cathedral keep the attention of visitors and is fun for the children.

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              A stunning altarpiece

At the beginning of the trip we weren’t thinking of visiting all of the cathedral, but at least, the most interesting things. But the awesome altarpiece made by Damian Forment kept our attention most of the time. It doesn’t matter. It is a good excuse to come back only to visit the Romanesque capitals and presbytery.

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In any case, I asked some questions to the boys in order to have them observe and come to conclusions by themselves.

Faces, bodies, characters, the way sculptures are painted, and all the story told on the alterpiece made us spend so much time just looking carefully at it.

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                      What a pity the light!

The inside of the cathedral is not an easy place for photos. Here you have some nice ones, but perhaps next time Víctor has to use a tripod in order to have a good illumination all around.

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             Thanks to Father Merino

We thank Father Merino who helped during the visit. He also gave us the opportunity to visit the sacristy and some details of the sculptures of the doors. And then we had a very nice surprise: because Christmastime is not very far away, we had the opportunity to enjoy the Great Christmas Nativity scene, with hundreds of little sculptures, dressed on typical costumes, masters.

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If you have the chance to visit Santo Domingo during Christmastime, definitely take it! And don’t miss the nativity display which is also great for children.

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Looking at an altarpiece through the fashion

sello-mec-v2-smThe story of this post has its beginning on Internet. I’d known Consuelo Sanz de Bremond and her blog Indumentaria y vida cotidiana en España  on Twitter and Facebook. Then we were emailing each other, and finally, I met her last summer in a village close to Madrid.

I wished the team of Patrimonio para jovenes could take a special visit to the stunning altarpiece of San Julian de Ororbia.

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Ororbia is a village located just 15 minutes from Pamplona by car. And the altarpiece is one of the most interesting in Navarra. It was a pity that there was poor lighting which made picture taking difficult this time

The way we chose ( Consuelo and I ) to see the altarpiece was through the point of view of fashion – fashion at the beginning of the XVI century. The alterpiece of Ororbia offers great information not only about dresses but also about the way of life of the people from this time.

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During the morning we visited the altarpiece at Ororbia. There, everybody had time not only to understand the artwork, but to take their own photos as well. This is very important. Taking photos, even if they are taken with the mobile phones, means that they offer a personal point of view about the art.

In the evening, we had an informal dinner and chat. Consuelo, with a Power Point presentation, talked to us in a very friendly way about fashion and showed us how the old times have their influence on fashion today.

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To prepare this power point, Consuelo had the great help of Borja Centenera. This summer he went to take photos very carefully and with plenty of detail of the caps, hats, and shoes that Consuelo asked for.

We also had a workshop with fabric swatches. By touching silk, sheep wool, mohair, velvet and other swatches, the team could think and experience different textures and imagine their uses.

At the dinner, we were joined by the very nice people of Ororbia, that during these past months had helped us prepare this activity.

despedida-conferencia

If you are coming to Pamplona, don’t forget visit this area. Orobia is close to the interesting church of Santa Maria of Gazolaz, and the Otazu Winery, an area with a great landscape, heritage and lots of fun.

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Wow the horreos in Navarra!

            What does the word horreo mean?

  sello-mec-v2-sm  It is a word well known in some regions of Spain such as Asturias and Galicia which, being located in the north, are very humid areas. Long ago, the horreo was utilized to keep food preserved from humidity and animals, especially, mice

In the region of Navarra there are some horreos as well. Nowadays, we can visit 22 of them but some years ago there even were more. Modern times, new ways of living, and emigration from villages to cities has resulted in the destruction of some horreos.

In the 70s, they began to be preserved as rural heritage. In Navarra, they are most commonly found in Valle de Aezkoa.

                      The horreos that we visited

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We haven’t visited Valle de Aezkoa yet. But we did visit some very interesting horreos.

The first one, is the oldest in Navarra: The Hórreo of Iracheta. From the XI century, it is the one farthest along the Pyranees area. It is in the area called “Valdorba.” It is an area with a very rich heritage, interesting romanesque art, and very cute villages plus it is located not far from Pamplona.

The Hórreo of Iracheta is made of stone, it is big and impressive. We used it for a great video and photo session with Borja Centenera and Clara Frago.

It was a sunny day of the beginning of June, a great day for shooting, and for a very nice talk about old constructions as well.

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                              Conjunto Monumental de Santa Fe

And at the beginning of September we went to the Valley of Urraul Alto. This is an area of Navarra full of beauty. Today it is almost depopulated and very unknown. Being interesting and unknown are two great reasons for the team of Patrimonio para jóvenes to go for a visit.

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This horreo was the first one some people from the Americas had seen in their life.  We also visited the interior of the Conjunto, the cloister and the church. Some people even had the pleasure of climbing the bell tower

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During this visit I announced another one: our workshop about old clothes apropos of the altarpiece of St Julian of Ororbia. This will be the topic of the next blog post. Have a nice week and visit Navarra at least online!

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European Heritage Days in Genevilla, Navarra

sello-mec-v2-smAt the end of May, when we visited Genevilla, I knew we had to come back. Its heritage, landscape and friendly people are well worth visiting again.

But I never imagined that the visit would come so soon.

               A newspaper advertisement  

I was reading a local newspaper when I came across news from the government of Navarra. They invited the city halls of the different villages of the region to participate at The European Heritage Days. One of the conditions was to present the program with a cultural association.

Patrimonio para jovenes had kept in touch with the people of Genevilla and offered our proposal: A workshop about the altarpiece of the parish. An awesome, stunning piece of art from Renaissance.

                    And the day arrives! 

And the 1st of October, there we were. And we couldn’t believe how many people came. It was a joy. But we were certainly dealing with a challenge: to talk to such a big group with a range of age we are not used to.

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Everybody was very interested and some of them looked carefully with bicoulars. So they appreciated the details from sculptures and how they were carved and polychromed.

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             The children  

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For children we prepared some big papers with the designs from the friezes of the altarpiece. Kids were looking at the altarpiece first and then they colored in the way they preferred. They had fun. By the way, thank you to the team that came as volunteers to take care of them.

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                      And the party 

After visiting the altarpiece, we had appetizers courtesy of the village council. It was a great time to talk, find old friends and make new ones.

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Here is a picture with some of us. It was such a cute, nice, friendly morning at Genevilla.

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And here you have the links to some websites that can be helpful if you want to visit this area :

http://www.turismo.navarra.es/eng/home/

http://www.turismotierraestella.com/

 

http://www.turismo.navarra.es/esp/organice-viaje/recurso/Localidad/2670/Viana.htm

http://www.alavaturismo.eus/index.php/es/

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Victoriana, in Memoriam

Victoriana, in Memoriam

A journalist named Nerea Alejos wrote about this story in the regional newspaper “Diario de Navarra” on 22 August.

 

sello-mec-v2-smUsually we are looking for stories, that are somehow or have something new. But sometimes just the opposite happens: stories are looking for us. For example, there was last year in Burgos with the matter of the “monster or Ravenna” at the Burgos Cathedral and now, we have Victoriana Arizaleta and in her memory, the yoke of a small bell on the bell tower of the parish of St. Roman in the village of Arellano,  Spain.


            1878

Arellano en memora de Victoriana

“In Memorian of Victoriana Arizaleta” and the year 1878. And nothing more, just ‘Jesus and Mary.’ A bell with no use nowadays but with the name of a lady.

At the beginning of the research, we asked the old people of the village.  Alvaro de Goñi, has also been looking at the archives there an we  supposed 1878 was the date of the Victoriana death. But to our surprise, it was the date of her birth.

 

          Perhaps a well off woman, a kind of “patroness’?

 

We also worked with this theory, but it doesn’t quite fit. At the archive of the parish we’ve found the expenses for her funeral, which were quite normal. If she was rich,  she (or her family)  didn’t like putting  on a show of her capabilities.

Libro de cuentas, funeral

 

Things that we know

 

            Born in 1878, she married a barber from the village of Salinas de Oro. The wedding was in Estella in the year 1901.

She had at least three children and worked as a midwife in Arellano and other small villages around. One of her boys, Santiago, had been the mayor of Arellano for years.

Victoriana took care especially with the birthing of very poor ladies and  gypsies. This was reported to us by her granddaughter who now is more than 70 year old.

Victoriana cooked cheese just for the family, and liked to make artisanal works, crafts, and the very typical Spanish “Encaje de bolillos” that consist of making lace in a special way.

Pascasia Arizaleta

Devoted of the Heart of Jesus, we also found that Victoriana’s mother  has a silver heart dedicated to the Virgin Mary,  in the very same church. A fact discovered by Alvaro de Goñi, a young man from Arellano. In any case, we don’t know who paid for the bell yoke with the name of Victoriana. It is supposed be done by herself.

 

                 … And things we propose:

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           Births, wars… love and death… a work in the silence of the small villages isolated without the communication of today ( Internet, motorway, mobiles and so on )… a woman, a bell, a name. A bell that perhaps would be appropriate to ring again,  at least once every year, in memory not only of Victoriana but of all rural women of Spain.

                

 

 

                

 

 

 

 

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Arellano a charming village at Navarra

 sello-mec-v2-smHere we are again! The academic year 2016/17 begins and the blog continues with this entry about our visit to Arellano, which is  just a few kms. away from our last visit in Dicastillo.

Some years ago, we visited the Roman villa at Arellano, an archeological site located close to the village. And whatsmore…I remember getting into a small car accident right on the square of the village. Thank God, it was nothing very serious.

                             Almost by chance

                     It was during our visit to Dicastillo that we decided to continue to Arellano. There, we got to go into the medieval tower and enjoy the beautiful views of the landscape and the church of Arellano. The nice temperature and sun made everything easy.

If you go to Arellano, don’t forget visit this tower. It has free entrance and it was restored some years ago, so it is not dangerous to climb up to the top.

Arellano Rossi y Lucy contemplan el paisaje

                     The Church of Saint Roman. What a colors!

 Around the church there is a small, cute garden carefully watered  with some nice grass and plants. It is nice to be there, just having a friendly chat on a summer evening.  But even with this atmosphere, it is not possible to imagine the beauty that the interior of the church holds.

Alvaro de Goñi, a boy from the village opened the church for us and explained the stunning mural paintings.

Arellano, vista gernal de la nave

 

On the presbytery, there are remains of medieval paintings from the 14th century.

Arellano, detalle de metopa

All around the church we saw decorative paintings from the 16th century. There is also a frieze with the Magnificat prayer written and some decoration which you can also find at the Cathedral of Sigüenza,  close to Madrid but far away from Navarra.

                                  The painting altarpiece of Saint Cristobal

ARellano, San Cristóbal

The amazing painting of Saint Cristobal really attracted attention because of its size and colors. It has the curiosity of some original iconographical additions ( found only in Arellano?) . For exemple the travellers, the eagles -two of them alighted one flying) the Virgin Mary and the two caravels on the top. Check out the painting and look for this details if yo visit the church.

        The old organ is out of order nowadays but is a goosd instrument and it is just waiting for money to be restored

Arellano todos viendo el órgano

 

                                   But another story was coming across!

At the end of teh visit, we were climbing again, this time up the bell tower of the church, again enjoying the views , and were able to see the tower from where we were peeping out a half an hour beforehand.

But, when looking at the bells, we discovered a lady’s name written on the yoke of a small bell. “In memory of Victoriana Arizaleta ” . So, who was Victoriana?

Arellano en memora de Victoriana

After some research by Marta Castaño and Alvaro de Goñi we will know and I will report it on a new post.

See you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

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Dicastillo

sello-mec-v2-smDicastillo is a village located at the region of Navarra, not very well known but is well worth visiting. When arriving you can discover a stunning palace from the last years of the 19th century an the begining of the 20th. Its history and that of its owner the “condesa de la Vega del Pozo” has been studied by Blanca Sagasti. Her research is now in an interesting book : “ De la Casa familiar de los López de Dicastillo al Palacio de la Condesa de la Vega del Pozo “

Disc todos en la puerta

As a result of reading this book I kept in touch with Blanca . Then we visited the palace, today empty ( or almost) waiting for a new use. Nothing better tha reading the report by Reagan Hahn :

I knew we would experience something incredible from the minute the man pulled out a key to unlock the heavy gates. As they opened with a creak, the palacio stood before us in all of its architectural splendor. Beyond the building, tiny roses formed a blanket over the garden pagoda.

Dicastillo en el cenador

     Before the excursion…

  I had no idea that a palace was a building exclusively for leisure and that, “castle,” is a term reserved for residences designed for battle. Before the excursion I couldn’t have told you what it feels like to look out the window of a tower and see the mountains and fields of Navarra fill the horizon. Before I couldn’t, now I can. From the great, wide staircases, to the ornate fireplaces, every inch of the palacio drew you in.

Dicastillo comedor al contraluz

                  Beautiful in a tragic way !

Yet, to me, all the grandeur was beautiful in a tragic way. While the rooms were full of things, they lacked people. Only we, the privileged few, got to explore this grand home while the rest of the world lay ignorant to the treasures inside. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this fantastic edifice, and I count myself blessed to have been given the opportunity to explore a piece of history. I only hope that others will come to appreciate the palacio so that once again its rooms will be filled with life.

Disc EScudo de palacio

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Renaissance and Humanism in Navarra

sello-mec-v2-smForget about the motorways, forget about being in a hurry and try some little villages of Spain. Today we visited Genevilla, with no more than one hundred people living in it. It falls close to the regions of Alava and La Rioja where you can enjoy beautiful landscapes and more: you can discover an stunning Renaissance altarpiece. Not only does it have the usual scenes such as these from the gospel but mythological scenes as well.

Escenas marinas friso

A few days before our excursion, Borja went ahead of time in order to be able to give us all the useful information about the way,  and to meet the priest and people in charge of take care of the small church as well as other people from the village. What a nice experience Borja had! To meet people in their land and with their heritage, is all part of our project, Patrimonio para jovenes ( Heritage for youth )

The whole team was provided with an outline of the altarpiece drawn and explained, so that everyone could observe better and ask questions about it.

Explicando a Chrissy

They were asked what the scene they liked best and why .In general, people chose the group of apostles on the botton of the altarpiece. One boy said the scene of the martyrdom of St Stephen was the best one for him. Them he was asked for the reasons for  his choice.

One great moment was when the kids could touch the sculpture of the Eternal Father.It was a very big sculpture at the top of the altarpiece. Due to the risk of it falling, it was put in the sacristy. So they were amazed to see each detail of the sculpture so close to them.

Padre Eterno

Another “wow moment” was when Chrissy from Rhode Island came up to the bell tower and got to experience the space while climbing and enjoy the views! Here you have the photo dear Chrissy!

Chrissy en el campanario

After visiting the St Stephen Church, we went to have lunch in the cute garden of a rural house called “The Encinedo” owed by  Mari Asun. She was so kind to also guide us to a great area by the river, from where you can see Genevilla

Vista panorámica de Genevilla

Before coming to Pamplona we went to Santa María de Los Arcos, a very well known church because it is in an important place on the way of St James. All the baroque, the scenery, the colour, the theatricality and magnificence create emotions for the spectator. Last year I also  wrote another post on this website. If you are interested you can check it out for more details.

Retablo central de Los Arcos

Enjoy and discover our art and cultural heritage! Come and visit us! Visit Navarra!

 

 

 

 

 

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Nicolás Alba, the craftsman

logo-mecnaPatrimonio para jóvenes is a project focused on helping to discover the hideen places (in terms of art and cultural heritage) from young people, especially for foreign students. And today, her you have an expemple; Nicolas Alba’s workshop, in the midddle of the beautiful landscape of Valle de Yerri 

To meet this craftsman, not this artist ( he defined himself as a craftsman) you have to leave the motorway and drive for small and charming roads . Go slow, only slow you came come across the creativity .

En el campo

Nicolas works with iron, and the iron in his hands looks like silk, meaning softness and light. You can also find sculptures inside a box with labeled “Rain and Wind” . He also works as a scenographer, an indeed during the day of our visit Nicolas was very busy working on a new theatrical production.

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His workshop is full of objects like masks, gloves, jars filled with small pieces of iron, and the sculptures big and small as well as bridges.

Máscaras

Built bridges, iron bridges, bridges are like a lifestyle , an attitude, a behavior. We all need to create ways of communications with others, discover means to avoid isolation, fear, unbridgeable steps.

Nicolas, a very shy man, is full of sensitivity and during our visit a new bridge was built, one of friendly conversation, empathy, and the joy of discovering this kind of spark and light inside the creative moment. That’s not forgetting that a “creative moment” only appears after the darkness of many hours of work which sometimes seem sterile , even sad .

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The informal chat and questions from the team was great. Everybody was interested about how an idea arrives, what happens if people don’t like a new sculpture shown in an exhibition, or if someone understand it with a very different meaning or point of view from which it was created.

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At the end of the visit we shared a very Spanish typical food: “Tortilla de patata” or spanish omelette. It was not a very long visit and not very far from Pamplona, but it was a deep experience of communication, creativity and friendship.

Please don’t forget to check out Nicolas’s website and the one of the Valle de Yerri. See you soon!

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Charming and hidden sites of Segovia

Around the city of Madrid there are many other very interesting cities well worth visiting in terms of art and cultural heritage. Some of them are World Heritage sites such as the one we’ve just visited: Segovia.

 They are not very big in terms of population and size, and as a result of being so close to Madrid, there are thousands of tourists, especially students and teenagers, that make a round trip in one day to Segovia (or Toledo, or Avila) in a rush. The aqueduct, cathedral and Alcázar form a kind of check-list. They are great and stunning places, but they are not all that there is to see. You can still discover more beauty, but never in a hurry.

Our visit was focused on industrial heritage, such as The Royal Mint of Segovia, which you can read more information about here

Casa de la Moneda, explicación de Jose 2

We had a great visit with a very friendly guide, José, and had a lot of fun reflecting not only about the history of the coins but about how the new museology helps the public understand the exhibition ( both the permanent or the temporary one ) . It is a great space and an interesting building with a great promenade by the side of Eresma river.

Asomados en Casa de la Moneda

 

After leaving the Royal Mint you can walk close to the river and find the Carmelite friar house and the tomb of Saint John of the Cross, one of the most important saints and writers in the history of Spain.

Then to the La Fuencisla, where you can experience the majesty and superb atmosphere of baroque decorations

Rejas de La Fuencisla

Continuing with industrial heritage, we visited Museo Zuloaga, an old church converted into a ceramic factory at the beginning of the XX century. The artist Daniel Zuloaga bought it and not only made it into a factory and office, but also a house. Here you can see the bathroom is decorated in a very original way, isn’t it?

Museo Zuloaga, cuarto de baño

The museum is not opened daily because there is not enough money to afford it. A pity. If only half of the people that arrive to Segovia weekly would like to visit it! But they don’t know it exists! What can we do to avoid forgetting our culture?

Museo Zuloaga entrada

Regarding ceramic and Zuloaga, we had an informal talk about artists, (painters, writers ) from the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX. They are known as “Generation of 98.” The talk was around the charming fireplace you can see in this picture. It looks like scenery from a film , doesn’t it?

chimenea de Zuloaga

So if you want to visit Spain, definitely come, but please don’t run, walk!!! There are beautiful sites waiting for you !