Mrs. Warner shares stories about Spain
Posted: Friday, March 18, 2011 8:02 pm
The Symposium Review Club met recently in the lovely home of Tommye Faye James.
Serving as co-hostess was Elizabeth White. She served a Garden Club cake along with coffee.
The meeting was called to order by president Alice Dunlap. After a short business meeting, Lelia Warner gave the program on her recent trip to Spain. She and her husband, John, have spent a total of six weeks in Spain within the past two years since their son, Bill, is stationed in Madrid on military assignment.
Mrs. Warner told of the palaces and monuments. She said some are Iberian, but many mirror the architecture of France, inflecting the link between the royal families of Spain and France. Madrid is considered the country’s premier artistic and creative center.
More world class art is on view in the central neighborhood around the stellar Museo del Prado than within virtually any concentrated area in the world. The Prado Museum has more than 7,000 paintings, predominately from Spanish and Italian art masters. The Spanish artists include Diego Velazquez, Goya, El Greco and Murillo. The Italian artists featured are Raphael, Botticelli, Mantegna, Fra Angelico, Correggio and Titian. The Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens has gorgeous contributions, she said.
She said visiting the Plaza Mayor in the heart of Old Madrid is like stepping into the past, where one is surrounded by souvenir shops and outdoor cafes.
Toledo, well-known for making of swords — even thoses used at West Point, historically was one of the most successful blends of Medieval, Arab, Jewish and Christian cultures in Spain. It is the country’s religious center.
Less commercial than Toledo, Segovia typifies the glory of Old Castile. “Wherever you look, you’ll see reminders of a golden era — whether it’s the most spectacular alcazar on the Iberian Peninsula or the well-preserved Roman aqueduct. Here is the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain between 1515 and 1558. It stands on the spot where Isabella was crowned queen of Castile in 1474. She and King Ferdinand first met in this beautiful alcazar and this was their main castle home. She insisted on a separate throne, the same size as King Ferdinand’s in the throne room,” Mrs. Warner said.
Cuenca is a medieval town once dominated by the Arabs. It is a spectacular sight with its cliff hanging houses set on multiple terraces that climb the impossibly steep sides of a river canyon. The Jucar and Huecar Rivers meet at the bottom.
The ancient city of Avila is completely encircled by well-preserved 11th century walls, which are among the most important medieval relics in Europe. The city has been declared a national landmark and designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The next meeting will be at the home of Beverly Hunt, with co-hostess being Barbara Jones. The program will be given by Jane Huffstetler.
Published in The Messenger 3.18.11