Trujillo is truly one Spanish city that I will not soon forget.  The city might be small, but it will leave a lasting impression on you.  I’ve collected some photographs of Trujillo’s Plaza Mayor.  The plaza was covered with a temporary bull ring, from Carnaval the day before.  However, I found some time to visit the Santa Maria Mayor Church in the plaza.  The church is beautiful and worth visiting.  I was also able to get up early and take some photographs of the plaza at sunrise.

I hope you enjoy the photos and I look forward to your feedback.  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Statue of Francisco Pizarro.

Statue of Francisco Pizarro.

 

Restaurants overlooking the plaza.

Restaurants overlooking the plaza.

 

Santa Maria La Mayor.

Santa Maria La Mayor.

 

Early morning photograph of the steps in the plaza.

Early morning photograph of the steps in the plaza.

 

Sunrise photo of the square.

Sunrise photo of the square.

 

Statue of a friar near the church.

Statue of a priest near the church.

 

View of the plaza from the church.

View of the plaza from the church.

 

Side entrance to the church.

Side entrance to the church.

 

Santa Maria La Mayor Church.

Santa Maria La Mayor Church.

 

View of inside the church.

View of inside the church.

 

IMG_4493

Road leading to the Plaza Mayor.

 

Famous storks of Extremadura.

Famous storks of Extremadura.

Stay tuned for new posts on Washington, D.C.  Enjoy!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

©2015 TORO Media, LLC

 

 

Trujillo’s High Fortress

There are moments during travel when you find yourself completely alone.  This is exactly what happened to me during my visit to Trujillo, Spain.  I awoke early in the morning after a wonderful evening of celebrating Carnaval.  Of course, most Spaniards were stumbling home or sound asleep when I was making my way from my hotel through the town.  I stopped for some coffee and water and eventually made my way up the windy road that leads to Trujillo’s famous citadel.

Road leading up to the castle from the Plaza Mayor.

Road leading up to the castle from the Plaza Mayor.

Thankfully, I arrived just in time to be the first visitor for the day. I was excited to have the entire castle to myself.  Of course, this meant cleaner shots.  I really felt like a kid in a candy store.  However, I would have preferred clearer skies, but I was thankful that it wasn’t raining.  I’ve put together some photos and a few videos (one is a bit shaky) for your enjoyment.

Front entrance to the castle.

Front entrance to the castle.

Trujillo’s castle was built in the 13th century on top of a 9th century Moorish fortress.(1) The fortress is built out of granite and it is an intimidating site.

View after walking in from the main gate.

View after walking in from the main gate.

 

Main courtyard.

Main courtyard.

 

IMG_4670

 

IMG_4676

 

IMG_4634

 

IMG_4655

Walking on the walls of the fortress.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

IMG_4593

 

IMG_4697

 

IMG_4674

 

IMG_4696

For more information on the castle visit Trujillo’s Office of Tourism/Plaza Mayor, 0, 10200, Trujillo, Spain/+34 927 32 26 77

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

©2015 TORO Media, LLC

My adventure into the Extremadura region of Spain was completed with a two day visit to Trujillo.  My trip to Caceres was wonderful, but I was ready for some better weather and CARNAVAL!  I came to Trujillo mainly to visit the fortress (blog post coming soon) but stumbled upon a wonderful festival.  My friends in Madrid were correct, Extremadura is where you want to be to get away from the hustle and bustle of Madrid, and see where Old Spain not only lives but thrives.  Trujillo is an ancient town known for the home of the conquestadors.  Francisco Pizarro is from Trujillo and a statue of him decorates the Plaza Mayor.  I also encountered his supposed family at the Francisco Pizarro Bar.

My trip to Trujillo was therapeutic.  I needed a dosage of simpleness and something genuine.  Carnaval provided me with the antidote to an ailment and I am grateful for my experience and new found friendships from this trip.  Enjoy the photos and your feedback is much appreciated!

IMG_4275

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

IMG_4330

 

 

IMG_4271

 

IMG_4335

 

Running of the Bulls 

 

IMG_4415

 

IMG_4351

 

IMG_4380

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

IMG_4473

 

IMG_4322

 

IMG_4267

 

Where to Stay

Izan Hotel

Plaza del Campo, 1

Trujillo, Spain 10200

www.izanhotels.es

Stay tuned for more information on Trujillo. Two more post on Trujillo’s Plaza Mayor and Castle will be coming next week.  Enjoy!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

©2015 TORO Media, LLC

The Medieval Streets of Cáceres

This past February, I traveled from Madrid to Caceres, which was my first trip to the Extremadura region of Spain.  My friends in Madrid told me that visiting Extremadura is the perfect place to see old Spain.  Like many areas of Spain, there have been settlements in or around Caceres since prehistoric times.(1)  The city was founded by the Romans in 25 B.C. and the city still has it’s ancient walls and and much younger medieval streets and churches.  I arrived via train and on my journey I saw a countryside filled with grazing cattle and pigs.  In 1986, Caceres was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Alfonso IX of Leon conquered the city from the Moors in 1227.(2)  Soon after, the town grew in prosperity due to free trade that the town’s merchants implemented.  Due to family dueling and bitter rivalries, King Fernando and Isabel ordered many of the town’s watch towers to be demolished.(3)

Caceres was untouched by the Spanish Civil War and stands gloriously as it once did.  I was so excited walking around the city late in the evening and also early in the morning taking photos and drinking coffee in one of the many cafes sprinkled throughout the town.  Caceres is known for it’s wine, which is a full bodied red that does not disappoint.  You can also taste amazing goat and sheep cheese that pairs well with your Extremadura wine.  A must try is Caceres’ famous stews, pork, and lamb.  The food here was amazing.

Below I have provided a gallery of photos that hopefully express the beauty of the streets of Caceres.  This is a city to get lost in, to wander with pure excitement, and to get lost and to use your camera like there is no tomorrow.  Caceres was a wonderful city to visit and I learned enough about it’s history in just a few short days to want to return to the Extremadura region in 2016.

Plaza Mayor

Upon my arrival, the town square was buzzing with activity.  A tent was erected in the middle of the square and inside the locals were tasting food and wine.  I also came across a book sale (pictured below) but I decided against buying a few books due to lack of space and I just didn’t want the added weight.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

IMG_4247
San Francisco Javier Church

I made several attempts to enter the church and each time I was met by a locked door.  I couldn’t find the hours the church was operand and the tourist office nearby had no clue.  Anyways, the exterior of the church is beautiful and worth seeing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Plaza De Santa Maria 

Walking further into the winding streets of Caceres, I wandered into Plaza De Santa Maria.  The plaza has several important building and it is ideal for setting up your tripod and capturing some beautiful images.

Iglesia de Santa Maria on the left.

Iglesia de Santa Maria on the left.

IMG_4048

 

IMG_4213

Arco de la Estrella 
Arco de la Estrella

Arco de la Estrella

In 1726, Manuel Churriguera built this beautiful low-arched gate.  The gate connects Plaza Mayor with the old town.  It’s a beautiful structure and worth taking a few pictures early in the morning with less people crowding your shot.

Iglesia de San Mateo

Nestled in the center of the old town, is San Mateo church.  Construction began in the 14th century and was completed in the 17th century.

IMG_4150

 

San Mateo Church.

San Mateo Church.

More Photos
Arco de Angle.

Arco de Angle.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

IMG_4029

 

IMG_4142

 

I love this. ;-)

I love this. 😉

My two day trip to Caceres was a wonderful and enriching experience.  Of course, I wish I had more time to have seen more, but two days was enough to get a good feel for the city.

How to Get There

I arrived in Caceres from Madrid via train.  The travel time is 2 hours and 50 minutes one way for around €58 round trip.  I highly advise that you buy your tickets at the station.  You can also travel via bus.  The bus trip will take 4.5 hours at a cost of around €20.

Where to Stay

I stayed at a hotel a few blocks away from Plaza Mayor.  There are plenty of places to stay, but book your rooms in advance to get better prices.

AH Agora/Parras, 25/Cáceres, 10002, Spain/Phone: +34927626360

View more photographs of Caceres, Spain by Samuel J. Garza.

Enjoy!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

©2015 TORO Media, LLC

 

The Royal Palace in Madrid is a historic gem that is a must see while visiting Spain’s capital.   It is one of the largest royal palaces in Western Europe and the palace is the official residence of the Royal family.  However, during our tour, we learned that the palace is only used for official ceremonies.  The palace is owned and governed by the Spanish government.  The royal building was built on the site of a 9th century fortress or Alcazar and over the centuries, the Alcazar was replaced by the Royal Palace you see today.

Charles the V came to power in 1516 and restored the palace into the Renaissance style.  His son, Philip II, also added to the alcazar.  However, after a fire burned down the Alcazar, King Philip V built a new palace made out of limestone and granite in 1738.  The plan was to try to replicate the Versailles Palace in Paris.  There are over 2,800 rooms in the palace, which makes it the largest in all of Europe.(1)

This was my third visit to the palace.  While living in Madrid, it is a good place to take visitors to show them the history of Royal Spain.  I have always enjoyed learning more about the royal family and taking pictures of the palace.  However, I couldn’t take pictures inside the armory museum, which is one of my favorite rooms in.  Therefore, make sure you visit the armory prior to leaving.  The armory is located adjacent to the Plaza de la Armeria.

Although pictures are not allowed inside the rooms of the palace, you are able to take pictures in certain areas.  Enjoy the photos and I look forward to your feedback!

Plaza de la Armería

The square was built in 1882 and the Royal Guard holds their ceremonies in the plaza.

 

Pic20

 

Pic19

 

IMG_0786

 

IMG_0782

 

IMG_0779

 

Almudena Cathedral.

Almudena Cathedral.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

IMG_0693

 

IMG_0738

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Plaza Oriente

Plaza Oriente connects the Royal Palace with the Royal Theatre.   King Joseph Bonaparte built began the construction of the park in 1808, and it was finally completed after his death in 1844(2)

IMG_2041

Statues of the Gothic Kings/Plaza Oriente.

Sabatini Gardens

The gardens are named after a muslim leader based his troops here in the year 1109.

IMG_2055

IMG_2060

IMG_2063

 

IMG_2097

 IMG_0764
When to Go

Hours

October – March/Monday – Saturday:  9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday & Holidays:  9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

April – September/Monday – Saturday:  10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday & Holidays 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Admission

€8.00 & €10.00 for a Guided Tour

 

Special Thanks

IMG_1244

IMG_0610

Special thanks to Anna, for visiting me from Germany and joining me on the tour of the palace.  I am looking forward to seeing you this summer, amiga!

Enjoy!

Learn more about Madrid’s Royal Palace and Spain’s Royal Guard.

*sources taken from palace booklet and wikipedia.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

©2015 TORO Media, LLC

%d bloggers like this: