Spain & Portugal
Home Up

Home
What's New
Travel
Consulting
Patz Etc.
Search/Site Map
Contact Us

 

 

Another wedding anniversary came and we returned to western Europe . There are three sovereign states that make up the Iberian peninsula —Spain, Portugal, and Andorra, and we visited the larger two. The peninsula is located in southwestern Europe. Spain is the largest of the three and Portugal is the westernmost country in continental Europe. Both are responsible for the voyages of discovery that began in the 15th Century.

Locator Map for Spain   Locator Map for Portugal

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Map Overview of Our Tour of Spain and Portugal

This is an approximate overview of our trip. We flew to Lisbon and made a clock-wise circuit through cities and town in Portugal and Spain, ending back in Lisbon.

Here are three views of the Monastery of Jeronimos (St Jerome) in Lisbon, near the banks of the Tagus River. The right picture shows an internal courtyard.
 
tourist attraction

Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon   Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

Courtyard of Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

Tomb of Vasco da Gama   The Monument to the Discoveries, Lisbon

Tomb of Henry the Navigator

(L) The tomb of Vasco da Gama, inside Jeronimos Monastery, and (R) The Monument to the Discoveries, a tribute to Portuguese navigational skills in exploring the New World was built in 1960 to mark to 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator (tomb at far right).
 tourist attraction

Detail of the Holy Door of the Cathedral Vieja housing the remains of St James in Santiago de Compostela. "Santigao" itself is a contraction of 'saint Yacov', another of James's many names (Iago, Jacob, James, Jacques). "Compostela" derives from the words for 'the field of stars' as legend states that the remains of James were located by an arrow of stars showing the way. The original shrine was built in 868. The earliest recorded pilgrimage was in 1092. On the left, James and his two helpers are above the door. The right - a detail of the inside of the door.
 
tourist attraction
Holy Door of the Cathedral Vieja, Santiago de Compostela, Spain   Inside of the Holy Door, Cathedral Vieja, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Main View of the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela   View of Santiago Cathedral's Shadow on the Cloistered Nunnery Main view of the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela, and a view of the cathedral's shadow on the cloistered nunnery next door.
 tourist attraction
The Portuguese medieval walled town of Obidos. The name of the town derives from the Latin term oppidum, meaning "citadel", or "fortified city".
 
Obidos city wall, walled city, walled town  
 The Medieval Walled Town of Obidos, Portugal  Naimah on the Walls of Obidos, Portugal

The Medieval Walled Town of Obidos, Portugal

A View of Oporto from Vila Nova de Gaia A view of Oporto from Vila Nova de Gaia, on the other side of the Douro River.
The House of Sandeman, a prestigious maker of sherry and port. (R) Naimah in the aging caves. Both the wine name "port"  and the country name "Portugal" come from the Portuguese city name Oporto.    The House of Sandeman, Oporto, Portugal   Naimah in the Sandeman Port Aging Caves - Oporto, Portugal
Oporto Bolsa Building Exterior   Oporto Bolsa Interior View

Oporto Bolsa Historic Marker Plaque

The Oporto Bolsa (Porto stock exchange, or business club). (L) exterior view, (M) interior view, and (R) historic marker plaque.
The "Tower of Hercules" (Torre de Hercules) in La Coruna, Spain is a still-working lighthouse built on the base of an existing Roman lighthouse. The tower is known to have existed in the 2nd Century. It is said to be the oldest working lighthouse in the world and
is the 2nd tallest lighthouse in Spain.
In 2009, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
   oldest lighthouse in the world   
tourist attraction   
Tower of Hercules Lighthouse (Torre de Hercules), La Coruna, Spain   Tower of Hercules (Torre de Hercules) Lighthouse Plaque, La Coruna, Spain
The Walls of the Magnificent Dominican Batalha Monastery, Portugal   The Walls of the Magnificent Dominican Batalha Monastery, Portugal The shell of the magnificent Dominican Batalha Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tomb of Prince Henry the Navigator and his mother (Philippa Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, the richest man in Europe in the Middle Ages) lie here.
 tourist attraction
Fatima, Portugal, famous for the religious visions that took place there in 1917 is a shrine for many pilgrims.    Fatima, a Shrine for Many Pilgrims

Jerrold Patz and Antoni Gaudi, Leon, Spain

Jerrold Patz sitting with famous Spanish (Catalan) architect, Antoni Gaudi in Leon, Spain.

El Greco's masterpiece, "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz" ("El Entierro Del Senor de Orgaz" ) was painted in 1586. It is housed in a small church, Iglesia de Santo Tome in Toledo, Spain. On the right is a detail of the painting's lower section. Note that only two heads are facing forward to the viewer: the little boy on the left (El Greco's son), and El Greco himself, ~7th from the left. El Greco is also waiving at us.
 picture: entrance to "El Entierro Del Conde de Orgaz"
tourist attraction 
Entrance to El Greco's Masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz   El Greco's Masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz   Detail of El Greco's Masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz

Entry to the Valley of the Fallen   Franco Tomb

Tallest Memorial Cross in the World, Spain's Valley of the Fallen   Funicular to the Base of the Tallest Cross in the World, Spain's Valley of the Fallen

The Tomb of Francisco Franco, at the Valley of the Fallen Basilica, near Madrid. The site, officially called Monumento National de Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caidos (National Monument of the Holy Cross of the Valley of the Fallen) honors the people killed in the Spanish Civil War. It has the tallest memorial cross in the world, 152.4 meters (500 feet) high. It has a funicular to assist those in getting to the top of the mountain and the base of the cross (R).
  tallest cross in the world   tourist attraction  

Knights Templar Castle in Ponferrada, Leon Province, Spain. Although the walls are strong and thick, they did not prevent the city's conquest by the Moors, Norsemen, and even Napoleon. On the right - a sign detailing preservation works on the castle, and, finally, Jerrold Patz at the Ponferrada Castle gate.
 
tourist attraction, walled city, walled town
Knights Templar Castle in Ponferrada, Spain   Knights Templar Castle in Ponferrada, Spain

Knights Templar Castle in Ponferrada, Spain   Jerrold Patz at the Ponferrada Castle Gate

Madrid Statue Honoring Cervantes and Don Quixote Statue in tribute to Cervantes in Plaza de Espana, Madrid depicting his fictional character Don Quixote.
(L+R) Panoramas of the walled city of Avila, (M) Naimah peeking through the walls.
 
Avila city wall,  walled city, walled town   
Panorama of the Walled City of Avila, Spain   Naimah Peeking Through the Walls at Avila, Spain

Panorama of the Walled City of Avila, Spain

Roman Bridge in Salamanca, Spain   Gateway on Salamanca's Plaza Mayor

Detail of Gateway to University of Salamanca, Spain Moorish Bidge at Toledo, Spain

(L) A Roman bridge in Salamanca that is still in use, (M1) a gateway on Salamanca's Plaza Mayor, (M2) detail of the gateway to the University of Salamanca, Spain's oldest extant university (founded in 1218) - Columbus, in order to gain funding for his voyages, made his case to geographers at Salamanca University, and (R) a Moorish bridge at Toledo.
  "Spain's oldest university"   "one of the oldest universities in Europe" "oldest university"  
The Alhambra in Granada is the most-visited site in Spain. The name is derived from the Arabic word for 'red', probably due to the color of the clay, the complete name was الْقَلْعَةُ ٱلْحَمْرَاءُ = al-Qal'at al-Ħamrā' = "the red fortress") . It was the palace for the Moorish Caliph and was built between 1248 and 1354. It was the palace, administrative center, and court for the Moorish rulers. Its intricate plastering are detail-rich and its gardens are refreshingly cool. It is one of Spain's many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In 1527, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor erected his palace there.
 
tourist attraction
Entry to the Alhambra, Granada, Spain   Detail of Alhambra Wall Decorations   Alhambra Courtyard with Reflecting Pool
Alhambra Dome Detail   Alhambra Doorway Detail

Alhambra as Seen From the Gardens of the Generalife   The Old City Walls of Grenada, Spain

Additional Alhambra detail work. (L) a dome and doorway detail, (R) The Alhambra as seen from the Garden of the Generalife, and a view of the old Granada city wall.
 tourist attraction
The Gardens of the Generalife ('gardens of heaven') are adjacent to the Alhambra. They are lush and full of flowers and water features. The Gardens of the Generalife, at the Alhambra, Grenada, Spain   Water Feature at The Gardens of the Generalife, at the Alhambra, Grenada, Spain

The Gardens of the Generalife, at the Alhambra, Grenada, Spain

Jerrold Patz at the Alhambra's Patio of Lions   Jerrold Patz at a Water Feature of The Gardens of the Generalife   Naimah at the Sculpted Hedges of The Gardens of the Generalife (L) Jerrold Patz at the Patio of Lions in the Alhambra and (M) at a water feature in the Gardens of the Generalife. (R) Naimah posing in the sculpted hedges of the Gardens of the Generalife.
 tourist attraction
Cordoba Spain's Mosque of the Caliphs. A major mosque built in 784 by the Moors, it now contains a small church added in the 1236. At the time, it was the 2nd largest mosque in the world. The building is known for its giant arches and over 1000 columns. The archway details show red sandstone interlaced with white granite. (R) details of the intricate carvings of the mirhab and geometric details of the niche and ceiling dome.
 
tourist attraction
Cordoba's Mosque of the Caliphs Arch Detail   Cordoba's Mosque of the Caliphs Arch Detail

Cordoba's Mosque of the Caliphs Mirhab Niche Detail   Cordoba's Mosque of the Caliphs Dome Detail

Seville Plaza de Toros Plaque   Seville Bull Ring Spain is noted for its bull fighting. (L) Here is a plaque for the bull ring, and (R) the Seville bull ring
Three items of curiosity at Seville: (L) A multi-lingual sign for a bookstore. Note the irony of the store name - "Babel". (M) Our hotel room TV greeted us by name, and (R) A multi-lingual historic marker for the home of La Giralda. Multi-Lingual Bookstore Sign, Seville, Spain   Seville, Spain Hotel TV Greeting   Multi-Lingual Historic Marker, Seville, Spain
Seville Cathedral Where Columbus is Buried   Seville Monument to Columbus (L) Seville Cathedral where Christopher  Columbus is buried and (R) a statue honoring Columbus. Note the "1492" in the capital, and the ship hanging mid-high.
Seville's Royal Palace, Real Alcazar, originally a Moorish fort, then a palace for King Peter I. The courtyard building (R) was begun in 1364.
 
tourist attraction
Seville's Royal Palace, Real Alcazar   Seville's Royal Palace, Real Alcazar
Seville's Royal Palace, Real Alcazar, Wall Detail   Seville's Royal Palace, Real Alcazar, Courtyard Wall (L) Detail of the wall painting (in the arches) from the Real Alcazar [above (R)]. (R) Detail of a courtyard wall.
 tourist attraction
Details of the interior of the Real Alcazar: (L) Wall decorations, (M) gilded ceiling, (R) intricate door details.
 
tourist attraction
Seville's Royal Palace, Real Alcazar, Wall Detail   Seville's Royal Palace, Real Alcazar, Gilded Ceiling Detail

Seville's Royal Palace, Real Alcazar, Interior Detail

Olive Trees in Spain   Olive Trees in Spain Spain is the largest producer of olives (and olive oil) in the world, producing more than all other countries combined. We saw hundreds of miles of olive groves on the plains of southern Spain.
No trip is ever complete without a few group portraits. On the left, our travel group on Plaza de Espana in Madrid, the site of the 1929 World Exposition. On the right, we are in the House of Sandeman's Port cave on the banks of the Douro River. Group Photo at the Plaza de Espana, Madrid   Inside the House of Sandeman's Port Cave, Oporto, Portugal

to top of page

 

Here is a montage of additional pictures.

Mouse over any picture for a description. Click on any picture to expand it into a larger view.

to top of page

 

Vasco da Gama tomb tourist attraction  Cascais  port wine Franco's tomb  Salamanca manhole cover streetcar "Sam and Gooloo"  "oldest working lighthouse in the world" tomb of Henry the Navigator Sandeman Port "Washington Irving at the Alhambra"  "The Gardens of the Generalife"  Mike Taeko Peter Jillian Wilfredo Nellie "Vilamoura Casino"  Henri Rina Constantino Globus "Prado Museum" prado  "San Simon cheese"  "tetilla cheese"  "stork nest"  "tallest cross in the world" "second largest mosque in the world"  condova  plaza de espana   roman water wheel madrid leon