Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Castanea - Part 4 of 5

 one of the stunning floral displays in Murcia

Are you bored yet? I am so enjoying looking back on our week in Spain but I do have a lot of images - I hope the amount of information is not too much for you all, I appreciate you can have too much of a good thing. I am now going to accost you with even more images . . . 

from the left - Jill W, Jill G, Lee, Jane Sadgrove, Jane Bolsover (keeping us in order), me, the lovely waitress, Pauline and Marion

 one of the beautiful buildings overlooking the square where we had our lunch

Thursday afternoon saw us being collected from the studios and taken into Murcia for our tapas lunch and tour of the Real Casino, Museo Santa Clara and the Cathedral of Murcia.
Lunch was great fun with everyone in high spirits - nothing to do with the wine flowing. The food was delicious and just when you thought all the dishes had been brought out, more were served. Then the paella arrived, piles of luscious seafood in fragrant rice - gorgeous. After the paella there was a selection of puddings to fight over, Ohh!! Bliss!

our lovely waitress who always enjoys the Castnaea visits

 Our guide Pedro on the left, Diego and Jane Bolsover

Pedro our guide arrived at 4pm and after introducing himself whisked us off to our first venue - the Real Casino Murcia. To say the interior of this building is opulent and quite stunning is doing it an injustice. The Casino was built as a private club for the The Royal Casino of Murcia Society in 1847 and was a private men's club. since then it has had its ups and downs and a total refurbishment. It is still home to the men only club but the ground floor is now open to the public.

The Arabic Court is inspired by the Patio Door of the ambassadors in The Alhambra, and is lined with over 35.000 sheets of gold leaf

Salon de Baile, sumptuous neo-Baroque design with incredible chandeliers. they were the first electric lamps to be used in the city of Murcia

Tocador de Senoras - The Ladies Room. Ladies were allowed into the club for special events and had their own dressing room. As with many of the rooms in the Casino it is very plush and has a beautiful painted ceiling. This ceiling is canvas painted by Jose Marin Baido and represents the night and the goddess Selene. The winged woman who is falling from the sky has eyes that follow you around the room. It is the weirdest thing. You can stand anywhere in the room and she is looking at you - very spooky.

We then walked the short distance to the Museo Santa Clara. This Franciscan nun's convent was founded over the Alcazar Seguir, a 13th century Islamic palace attributed to the Emir Ibn Hud. The building is a remarkable patchwork of building styles and houses some amazing Islamic art and religious artifacts. I am hoping to be able to spend more time in this fascinating building next time I am in Murcia.

one of the beautiful restored arches in the convent

this image is slightly out of focus for which I apologise - we weren't able to use flash photography.A stunning ceiling based on dragons

We then walked back to the main square and the cathedral. I love this building with a passion. no photo can really do it justice. All I can say is if you get a chance to go to Murcia - go to the cathedral - you will not be disappointed. 

one of the doors decorated with tacks in a spiral pattern


 The end of along day but very enjoyable day. 'see no evil' is me, 'hear no evil' is Jane Sadgrove and 'speak no evil' is Jane Bolsover and Yes! we had had one or two glasses of wine.

Last one tomorrow  . . . x


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