Monday, October 13, 2014

Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip - Last Day in Madrid

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
October 13, Tuesday – MadridSpain
After breakfast at Palace Hotel (scrambled eggs), went shopping and bought some Toledo steel earrings* for Bobbie Nell.**  Had lunch at Emperador Hotel - mediocre.  Went down & tried to get my money back on bullfight, but it turns out they had it after all.  Anyway, that man just about earned his 20% of ticket by the time I got through with him.  Had supper again at Baracca.

* According to the "PURCHASES" section of the trip diary, my mother purchased the pair of "Toledo steel" earrings at Abelardo Linares in Madrid, Spain.  I think, though, that what my mother was referring to was not Toledo steel such as that used to make swords and knives, but rather, damascened steel - darkly oxidized steel with gold, silver, or copper inlaid in intricate patterns that resemble damask fabrics.  Nearby Toledo, not far from Madrid, has long been famous for its damascene works.  Below is an example of detail from a damascened dish:
Damasquinado plato [Damascene dish] / Tamorlan (Own work) / CC-BY-SA-3.0

** Bobbie Nell is my mother's step-first-cousin, Bobbie Nell Brown.  

Below is the Palace Hotel (built 1911-1912), where Mom had breakfast, with the Fuente de Neptuno (Fountain of Neptune) in the foreground.  The fountain was completed in 1784 and moved to this location in 1898.
Madrid. Neptune fountain and Palace Hotel. Cánovas del Castillo square. Spain [12 Oct 2006] / Tomás Fano / CC BY-SA 2.0

On her way to or from the Palace Hotel or the Museo del Prado a couple days before, Mom probably passed by this building:
Madrid - Main Post Office [24 July 1968] / Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Palacio de Cibeles, formerly the Palacio de Comunicaciones (until 2011, pictured above), was built in 1905-1917.  Originally the main post office for the city, it was sometimes called (at least in 1968) "Our Lady of the Post," due to its cathedral-like appearance.  Sometime after 1968, it became the home of the Postal and Telegraphic Museum, until 2007, when the building became the Madrid City Hall.  Madrid's iconic Fuente de Cibeles (Fountain of Cybele, pictured below) is located in front of the building.  It was built in the late 18th century and moved to this site in 1895.
La Cibeles [24 May 2009] / Gonzalo Fernández / CC BY-SA 2.0


This is the 67th in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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