Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Astorga: Camino Museum

Tying still more things together: within the Gaudi Palacio was a museum of the Camino Santiago as well as a museum of the many Roman bits in the area. We were enthralled.
Camino triptych bit

"According to the guidebook, the Pilgrim Special at the
Trinity Club is only 7 dineros"

"Yeah, but they only serve lamb"

Roman bit

Pre-Roman bits

Unhelpful model

Somebody molested it

Roman roads

Tell me this is not Celtic and we are not talking about a North
Atlantic culture

Very old capital

Arab coins: "the South shall rise again"

One of the most interesting capitals dog wow!

Medieval sarcophogus


"I'm sorry, you only had one stamp for day 37, so you'll have
to start over again"

All roads in Spain converge on Santiago

Working on hand-enlargement therapy course
from Trump University

St. James Matamoros, killing Moors thousands at a time


Really tied everything together...

Astorga: Gaudi Palacio

We decided not to wait on the mass, the procession, etc., despite the inevitable mirth. It was hot. We proceeded on to the Gaudi Palacio, a building whose design he worked on for a time. It was to be an episcopal palace, although clearly this was at the end of the time when the princes of the church lived like princes. Gaudi purists will not find the building attractive, although there are hints and teasers throughout of what was to come. I found it more reminiscent of the crypt at Colonia Guell. But this was still a time of architecture in crisis, not knowing which way to go: the Palacio Gaudi in Astorga was neo-Medieval at a time where everything was neo-this or neo-that. Later, Gaudi showed the way out. Only it was a dead-end. A beautiful and historic dead-end.

Tying things together: when Hernan Cortes
returned to Spain in 1528, he brought with him
something called "cacao"; and he brought it to
Astorga, from which chocolate then spread
throughout Europe and the world

We knew of this from our cacao workshop in Arequipa, Peru,
back in March, and although we did not do the Chocolate
Museum in Astorga, we did buy a bit of the good stuff... 

Entrance to the palacio

Helpful plans

All in tile

"Take that, infidel tourist pig-dog"

Cathedra, as in ex cathedra

In the crypt; neo-Moorish?

Gaudi restaurant, across the street

Gaudi hardware store: he would have been so proud

Astorga: The Cathedral

From Las Medulas we drove on, in ever increasing heat, to Astorga and its aire de camping-cars, which happily provided a bit of desperately-needed shade. Initially, our interest in Astorga was to see the Gaudi palace there, an episcopal palace whose design he worked on from 1889, very early in his career; before he was Gaudi, you might say. But there was much more of interest as it all unfolded and tied so many things together.
Over the years we have camped in aires and campgrounds by
racetracks, olympic sites, futbol stadia, piscinae, alpine ski jumps,
and more; Astorga was our first bull ring, however

City walls, Gaudi's episcopal palace, and behind it the cathedral

Roman bits uncovered by the walls

Astorga is on the Frances Camino Santiago, so we felt right
at home, except that my blister is now nearly healed

Inside the very late Gothic 

As with most Spanish cathedrals, any view of the thing is
obscured/prohibited by the choir, an actual large building
smack in the middle, and the screen, which prevented us knaves
in the nave from seeing all the hocus-pocus the priests were
up to; but this is the 21st century, and CCTV screen lets us
see all


The choir building; plus men in black now shooing us tourists
out; it was Annuniciation, or Assumption, or the Inquisition or
something, and major festivities were about to begin

So we went outside to admire all the sandstone carving

And watch the Caminantes arriving

Fun was about to begin

Arrival of the town band

Really tying things together: as a former oboist
I was astounded to see the band had not one but
two marching oboists, who cheerfully posed;
I have seen marching bassoonists, but never
marching oboists; notice their reeds are removed
and carefully protected

Arrival of the colors

Arrival of military types; we think the very interesting head-gear
worn by the general on the right is actually the summer version
of a Darth Vader helmet

Arrival of the bishop/cardinal/whatever

The Holy Mobile that was to be paraded about
town after the Mass

Exterior view of cathedral

Caminante atop the tower