Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chinchón - the town

Chinchón is a very old and small town located in the SouthEast of providence of Madrid. It is one of the lesser known day trips from Madrid. If you are going from Madrid there is a bus, the 337 that you catch near the Conde de Casal (line 6) metro stop. Just a word of warning (because I wish someone had told me.) you catch the bus on the side of the street. There is no bus station as you might expect for catching a long range bus. The ride takes about an hour winding through little towns and scenic countryside.

You arrive just down the street from this church.

And as you walk up the road towards the heart of the town, plaza mayor, you see this quaint plaza on your right. I think that it was used to gather, the bulls before the fights. Most plaza mayors were used for bull fights here. Maybe this one still is.

See the stone with the square hole? That was used to flatten the fields during sowing season.

That red fence is probably the chute that they used to drive the bulls down and into the plaza. There is only a portion of it left, it does not go all the way to the plaza.

Here I want to the say that the architecture is so very Californian, but I know that the reverse is true.

Small side streets in the sun baked town.

There is a saying that most Spaniards seems to know when you mention Chinchón:
"Chinchón tiene una torre sin iglesia y una iglesia sin torre "
Which means "Chinchón has a tower without a church and a church without a tower"

Here is a quote I stole from the Wikipedia in Spanish and then translated.

"This tower was part of the ancient parish church of Our Lady of Grace, built in the fifteenth century. The tower was restored long after the French destroyed the whole (in 1808), but not the church, which has been completely buried over time. So there is the saying that Chinchon has a tower without a church and a church without a tower as the next and present church of the Assumption lacks it."

I think that is next photo is the church without the tower. The area in front is the plaza.

And here is a view of the famous tower.

Another view from this medieval Plaza above the tents of a small market selling clothes and fruit.

After we left the museum, which will have a post of it's own next, we left the plaza and walked up the hill to see the castle. As you exit the plaza to the South there is a street that goes up the hill, and then to your left you will see steps that will lead to a park with spectacular views of the town and the surrounding countryside.

Then as you turn, you will see the castle.

The castle is, sadly, not open to the public. I am not sure that they are using it for anything. But it IS still a castle, and you can walk around it wondering what life was like back then.

And whether there was once a moat.

Here are views as we walked around the the town. It was a 100F (38C) degree day so the sun was baking the city.

If you go to a small town in Spain, do not forget to look over the doors, there are often images of various saints above them. This one seems to be showing a sore to a dog that doesn't care. (Click to enlarge.)

We wandered down to the plaza, found a restaurant that was not charging too much for lunch ate and then left. There is nothing to do except eat and walk during lunch time (3-5pm) in Chinchón. everything is closed.

Here is one of the reasons Chinchón is famous. It is a anise flavored liquor and you can get either dry, semi, dry or sweet. I have only tried the sweet, and boy is it, but it is good. Try some over ice one warm summers day. 

Next post will be the museum, and all of it's textile history.

No comments:

Post a Comment