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Title: Cathedral Cities of Spain
Author: Collins, W. W. (William Wiehe), 1862-1951
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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CATHEDRAL CITIES OF SPAIN

                     _UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME_

     CATHEDRAL CITIES OF ENGLAND. By GEORGE GILBERT. With 60
     reproductions from water-colours by W.W. COLLINS, R.I. Demy 8vo,
     16s. net.

     CATHEDRAL CITIES OF FRANCE. By HERBERT and HESTER MARSHALL. With 60
     reproductions from water-colours by HERBERT MARSHALL, R.W.S. Demy
     8vo, 16s. net. Also large paper edition, £2 2s. net.

               _BOOKS ILLUSTRATED BY JOSEPH PENNELL_

     ITALIAN HOURS. By HENRY JAMES. With 32 plates in colour and
     numerous illustrations in black and white by JOSEPH PENNELL. Large
     crown 4to. Price 20s. net.

     A LITTLE TOUR IN FRANCE. By HENRY JAMES. With 94 illustrations by
     JOSEPH PENNELL. Pott 4to. Price 10s. net.

     ENGLISH HOURS. By HENRY JAMES. With 94 illustrations by JOSEPH
     PENNELL. Pott 4to. Price 10s. net.

     ITALIAN JOURNEYS. By W.D. HOWELLS. With 103 illustrations by JOSEPH
     PENNELL. Pott 4to. Price 10s. net.

     CASTILIAN DAYS. By the Hon. JOHN HAY. With 111 illustrations by
     JOSEPH PENNELL. Pott 4to. Price 10s. net.

London: WILLIAM HEINEMANN
21 Bedford Street, W.C.

[Illustration]

[Illustration: BURGOS. THE CATHEDRAL]



CATHEDRAL CITIES
OF SPAIN

WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED
BY
W. W. COLLINS, R.I.

[Illustration: colophon]

LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN
NEW YORK: DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY
1909

_All rights reserved_

_Copyright, London, 1909, by William Heinemann and
Washington, U.S.A., by Dodd, Mead & Co_



PREFACE


Spain, the country of contrasts, of races differing from one another in
habits, customs, and language, has one great thing that welds it into a
homogeneous nation, and this is its Religion. Wherever one's footsteps
wander, be it in the progressive provinces of the north, the mediævalism
of the Great Plain, or in that still eastern portion of the south,
Andalusia, this one thing is ever omnipresent and stamps itself on the
memory as the great living force throughout the Peninsula.

In her Cathedrals and Churches, her ruined Monasteries and Convents,
there is more than abundant evidence of the vitality of her Faith; and
we can see how, after the expulsion of the Moor, the wealth of the
nation poured into the coffers of the Church and there centralised the
life of the nation.

In the mountain fastnesses of Asturias the churches of Santa Maria de
Naranco and San Miguel de Lino, dating from the ninth century and
contemporary with San Pablo and Santa Cristina, in Barcelona, are the
earliest Christian buildings in Spain. As the Moor was pushed further
south, a new style followed his retreating steps; and the Romanesque,
introduced from over the Pyrenees, became the adopted form of
architecture in the more or less settled parts of the country. Creeping
south through Leon, where San Isidoro is well worth mention, we find the
finest examples of the period in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, at
Segovia, Avila, and the grand Catedral Vieja of Salamanca.

Spain sought help from France to expel the Moor, and it is but natural
that the more advanced nation should leave her mark somewhere and in
some way in the country she pacifically invaded. Before the spread of
this influence became general, we find at least one great monument of
native genius rise up at Tarragona. The Transition Cathedral there can
lay claim to be entirely Spanish. It is the epitome and outcome of a
yearning for the display of Spain's own talent, and is one of the most
interesting and beautiful in the whole country.

Toledo, Leon, and Burgos are the three Cathedrals known as the "French"
Cathedrals of Spain. They are Gothic and the first named is the finest
of all. Spanish Gothic is best exemplified in the Cathedral of
Barcelona. For late-Gothic, we must go to the huge structures of
Salamanca, Segovia, and the Cathedral at Seville which almost overwhelms
in the grandeur of its scale.

After the close of the fifteenth century Italian or Renaissance
influence began to be felt, and the decoration of the Plateresque style
became the vogue. San Marcos at Leon, the University of Salamanca, and
the Casa de Ayuntamiento at Seville are among the best examples of this.
The influence of Churriguera, who evolved the Churrigueresque style, is
to be met with in almost every Cathedral in the country. He it is who
was responsible for those great gilded altars with their enormous
twisted pillars so familiar to travellers in Spain; and which, though no
doubt a tribute to the glory of God, one feels are more a vulgar display
of wealth than a tasteful or artistic addition to her architecture. The
finest of the Renaissance Cathedrals is that of Granada, and the most
obtrusive piece of Churrigueresque is the Cartuja in the same city.

Taking the Cathedrals as a whole the two most unfamiliar and notable
features are the Coros or Choirs, and the Retablos. These
latter--gorgeous backings to the High Altar, generally ill-lit, with a
superabundance of carving sometimes coloured and gilded, sometimes of
plain stone--are of Low-country or Flemish origin. The former, with one
exception at Oviedo, are placed in the nave west of the crossing, and
enclose, as a rule, two or more bays in this direction. Every Cathedral
is a museum of art, and these two features are the most worth study.

     NOTE.--_Since the revolution in Catalonia of July-August 1909, the
     King has decreed that no one can secure exemption from military
     service by the payment of a sum of money._



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

CADIZ                                                                  1

SEVILLE                                                                7

CORDOVA                                                               23

GRANADA                                                               31

MALAGA                                                                57

VALENCIA                                                              65

TORTOSA                                                               77

TARRAGONA                                                             83

BARCELONA                                                             91

GERONA                                                               101

TOLEDO                                                               107

SALAMANCA                                                            121

AVILA                                                                137

SEGOVIA                                                              145

SARAGOSSA                                                            159

SANTIAGO                                                             174

TUY                                                                  183

ORENSE                                                               187

ASTORGA                                                              193

ZAMORA                                                               199

LEON                                                                 205

OVIEDO                                                               217

VALLADOLID                                                           225

BURGOS                                                               233

INDEX                                                                249



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                _To face
                                                                    page_

Burgos.    The Cathedral                                   _Frontispiece_

Cadiz.     The Cathedral                                               2

Cadiz.     The Market Place                                            4

Seville.   In the Cathedral                                            8

Seville.   The Giralda Tower                                          12

Seville.   In the Alcázar, the Patio de las Doncellas                 14

Seville.   View over the Town                                         18

Cordova.   Interior of the Mesquita                                   24

Cordova.   The Campanario Tower                                       26

Cordova.   The Bridge                                                 28

Cordova.   Fountain in the Court of Oranges                           30

Granada.   Carrera de Darro                                           32

Granada.   Exterior of the Cathedral                                  38

Granada.   The Alhambra                                               46

Granada.   The Alhambra, Court of Lions                               50

Granada.   Generalife                                                 54

Malaga.    View from the Harbour                                      58

Malaga.    The Market                                                 62

Valencia.  San Pablo                                                  66

Valencia.  Door of the Cathedral                                      68

Valencia.  Religious Procession                                       72

Tortosa                                                               80

Tarragona                                                             84

Tarragona. The Archbishop's Tower                                     86

Tarragona. The Cloisters                                              88

Barcelona. The Cathedral                                              92

Barcelona. The Rambla                                                 96

Gerona.    The Cattle Market                                         102

Gerona.    The Cathedral                                             104

Toledo.    The Cathedral                                             108

Toledo.    The South Transept                                        110

Toledo.    The Zócodover                                             114

Toledo.    The Alcántara Bridge                                      116

Salamanca                                                            122

Salamanca. The Old Cathedral                                         124

Salamanca. An Old Street                                             128

Avila                                                                138

Avila.     Puerta de San Vicente                                     142

Segovia at Sunset                                                    146

Segovia.   The Aqueduct                                              148

Segovia.   Plaza Mayor                                               152

Saragossa. La Seo                                                    160

Saragossa. In the Old Cathedral                                      164

Saragossa. Easter Procession                                         166

Santiago.  The Cathedral                                             172

Santiago.  South Door of the Cathedral                               174

Santiago.  Interior of the Cathedral                                 178

Tuy                                                                  184

Orense.    In the Cathedral                                          188

Astorga                                                              194

Zamora.    The Cathedral                                             202

Leon.      The Cathedral                                             208

Leon.      The West Porch of the Cathedral                           210

Leon.      San Marcos                                                214

Oviedo.    In the Cathedral                                          218

Oviedo.    The Cloisters                                             222

Valladolid.Santa Maria la Antigua                                    226

Valladolid.San Pablo                                                 228

Burgos.    The Capilla Mayor                                         236

Burgos.    Arch of Santa Maria                                       242



CADIZ


At one time the greatest port in the world--"Where are thy glories now,
oh, Cadiz?" She is still a White City lying embosomed on a sea of
emerald and topaz. Her streets are still full of the colour of the East,
but alas! Seville has robbed her of her trade, and in the hustle of
modern life she is too far from the busy centre, too much on the
outskirts of everything, to be anything more than a port of call for
American tourists and a point from whence the emigrant leaves his native
country.

This isolation is one of her great charms, and the recollections I have
carried away of her quiet clean streets, her white or pink washed houses
with their flat roofs and _miradores_, her brilliant sun and blue sea,
can never be effaced by Time's subtle hand.

Landing from a coasting-boat from Gibraltar, I began my travels through
Spain at Cadiz; and it was with intense regret, so pleasant was the
change from the grey skies and cold winds of England, that I took my
final stroll along the broad Alameda bordered with palms of all sorts,
and lined with other exotic growth--that I bid good-bye to the Parque de
Genoves where many a pleasant hour had been spent in the grateful shade
of its trees. I shall probably never again lean idly over the sea-washed
walls and watch the graceful barques with their cargoes of salt, spread
their sails to the breeze and glide away on the long voyage to South
America.

Looking out eastwards over the marshes I was at first much puzzled to
know what were the white pyramids that stood in rows like the tents of
an invading host. Then I was told. Shallow pans are dug out in the marsh
and the sea let in. After evaporation this is repeated again and again,
until the saline deposit is thick enough to be scraped and by degrees
grows into a pyramid. Every pan is named after a saint from whom good
luck is implored. No, I doubt if ever my eyes will wander again over the
blue waters to the marsh lands of San Fernando.

[Illustration: CADIZ. THE CATHEDRAL]

Life is short and I can hardly hope that Fate will carry me back to
those sea walls and once more permit me as the sun goes down to
speculate on the catch of the fishing-fleet as each boat makes for its
haven in the short twilight of a southern clime. I cannot but regret
that all this is of the past, but I shall never regret that at Cadiz,
the most enchanting of Spain's seaports, began my acquaintance with
her many glorious cities.

In ancient times Cadiz was the chief mart for the tin of the
Cassiterides and the amber of the Baltic. Founded by the Tyrians as far
back as 1100 B.C., it was the Gadir (fortress) of the Phoenicians.
Later on Hamilcar and Hannibal equipped their armies and built their
fleets here. The Romans named the city Gades, and it became second only
to Padua and Rome. After the discovery of America, Cadiz became once
more a busy port, the great silver fleets discharged their precious
cargoes in its harbour and from the estuary sailed many a man whose
descendants have created the great Spain over the water.

The loss of the Spanish colonies ruined Cadiz and it has never regained
the place in the world it once held. Huge quays are about to be
constructed and the present King has just laid the first stone of these,
in the hopes that trade may once more be brought to a city that sleeps.

There are two Cathedrals in Cadiz. The Catedral Nueva is a modern
structure commenced in 1722 and finished in 1838 by the bishop whose
statue faces the rather imposing west façade. Built of limestone and
Jérez sandstone, it is white--dazzling white, and rich ochre brown.
There is very little of interest in the interior. The _silleria del
coro_ (choir stalls) were given by Queen Isabel, and came originally
from a suppressed Carthusian Convent near Seville. The exterior can
claim a certain grandeur, especially when seen from the sea. The drum of
the _cimborio_ with the great yellow dome above, and the towers of the
west façade give it from a distance somewhat the appearance of a mosque.

The Catedral Vieja, built in the thirteenth century, was originally
Gothic, but being almost entirely destroyed during Lord Essex's siege in
1596, was rebuilt in its present unpretentious Renaissance form.

Cadiz possesses an Académia de Bellas Artes where Zurbaran, Murillo and
Alfonso Cano are represented by second-rate paintings. To the suppressed
convent of San Francisco is attached the melancholy interest of
Murillo's fatal fall from the scaffolding while at work on the _Marriage
of St. Catherine_. The picture was finished by his apt pupil Meneses
Osorio. Another work by the master, a _San Francisco_, quite in his best
style also hangs here.

[Illustration: CADIZ. THE MARKET PLACE]

The churches of Cadiz contain nothing to attract one, indeed if it were
not for the fine setting of the city surrounded by water, and the
semi-eastern atmosphere that pervades the place, there is but little to
hold the ordinary tourist. The Mercado, or market-place, is a busy
scene and full of colour; the Fish Market, too, abounds in varieties of
finny inhabitants of the deep and compares favourably in this respect
with that of Bergen in far away Norway. The sole attraction in this City
of the Past--in fact, I might say in the Past of Spain as far as it
concerns Cadiz--lies on the stretch of water into which the rivers
Guadalete and San Pedro empty themselves. From the very earliest days
down to the time when Columbus sailed on his voyage which altered the
face of the then known globe, and so on to our own day, it is in the
Bahia de Cadiz that her history has been written.



SEVILLE


Seville, the "Sephela" of the Phoenicians, "Hispalis" of the Romans,
and "Ishbilyah" of the Moors, is by far the largest and most interesting
city of Southern Spain. In Visigothic times Seville was the capital of
the Silingi until Leovigild moved his court to Toledo. It was captured
by Julius Cæsar in 45 B.C., but during the Roman occupation was
overshadowed by Italica, the birthplace of the Emperors Trajan, Adrian,
and Theodosius, and the greatest of Rome's cities in Hispania. This once
magnificent place is now a desolate ruin, plundered of its glories and
the haunt of gipsies.

Under the Moors, who ruled it for five hundred and thirty-six years,
Seville was second only to Cordova, to which city it became subject when
Abdurrhaman established the Western Kalifate there in the year 756.

San Ferdinand, King of Leon and Castile, pushed his conquests far south
and Seville succumbed to the force of his arms in 1248.

Seville is the most fascinating city in Spain. It is still Moorish in a
way. Its houses are built on the Eastern plan with _patios_, their roofs
are flat and many have that charming accessory, the _miradore_. Its
streets are narrow and winding, pushed out from a common centre with no
particular plan. It is Andalusian and behind the times. Triana, the
gipsy suburb, is full of interest. The Cathedral, though of late and
therefore not particularly good Gothic, is, on account of its great
size, the most impressive in the whole country. The Alcázar, once more a
royal residence, vies with Granada's Alhambra in beauty; and as a
mercantile port, sixty miles from the estuary, Seville ranks second to
none in Southern Spain.

The Cathedral stands third in point of size if the ground space is alone
considered, after St. Peter's at Rome and the Mesquita at Cordova. The
proportions of the lofty nave, one hundred feet in height, are so good
that it appears really much higher. The columns of the double aisles
break up the two hundred and sixty feet of its width and add much to the
solemn dignity of the vast interior, enhanced greatly by the height of
the vaulting above the spectator. Standing anywhere in the Cathedral I
felt that there was a roof above my head, but it seemed lost in space.
And this is the great characteristic of Seville's Cathedral, _i.e._,
space.

[Illustration: SEVILLE. IN THE CATHEDRAL]

The _coro_ is railed off from the crossing by a simple iron-gilt _reja_.
The _silleria_, by Sanchez, Dancart, and Guillier are very fine and took
seventy years to execute. Between the _coro_ and Capilla Mayor, in Holy
Week the great bronze candlestick, twenty-five feet high, a fine
specimen of sixteenth-century work, is placed alight. When the _Misere_
is chanted during service, twelve of its thirteen candles are put out,
one by one, indicating the desertion of Christ by his apostles. The
thirteenth left burning symbolises the Virgin, faithful to the end. From
this single light all the other candles in the Cathedral are lit.

The _reja_ of the Capilla Mayor is a grand example of an iron-gilt
screen, and with those to the north and south, is due to the talent of
the Dominican, Francisco de Salamanca.

The fine Gothic _retablo_ of the High Altar surpasses all others in
Spain in size and elaboration of detail. It was designed by Dancart and
many artists were employed in its execution. When the sun finds his way
through the magnificent coloured glass of the windows between noon and
three o'clock, and glints across it, few "interior" subjects surpass the
beautiful effect on this fine piece of work.

In front of the High Altar at the feast of Corpus Christi and on three
other occasions, the _Seises's_ dance takes place. This strange ceremony
is performed by chorister boys who dance a sort of minuet with
castanets. Their costume is of the time of Philip III., _i.e._, 1630,
and they wear plumed hats. Of the numerous chapels the most interesting
is the Capilla Real. It possesses a staff of clergy all to itself. Begun
in 1514 by Martin de Gainza, it was finished fifty years later. Over the
High Altar is the almost life-size figure of the Virgin de los Reyes,
given by St. Louis of France to San Ferdinand. Its hair is of spun gold
and its numerous vestments are marvellous examples of early embroidery.
The throne on which the Virgin is seated is a thirteenth-century piece
of silver work, with the arms of Castile and Leon, San Ferdinand's two
kingdoms. Before it lies the King himself in a silver shrine. Three
times a year, in May, August and November, a great military Mass takes
place before this royal shrine, when the garrison of Seville marches
through the chapel and colours are lowered in front of the altar. In the
vault beneath are the coffins of Pedro the Cruel and Maria Padilla his
mistress, the only living being who was humanly treated by this scourge
of Spain. Their three sons rest close to them.

On the north and south sides of this remarkable chapel, within arched
recesses, are the sarcophagi of Beatrice of Swabia and Alfonso the
Learned. They are covered with cloth of gold emblazoned with
coats-of-arms. A crown and sceptre rest on the cushion which lies on
each tomb. In the dim light, high above and beyond mortal reach rest
these two--it is very impressive.

Each of the remaining twenty-nine chapels contains something of
interest. In the Capilla de Santiago is a beautiful painted window of
the conversion of St. Paul. The _retablo_ in the Capilla de San Pedro
contains pictures by Zurbaran. In the north transept in a small chapel
is a good Virgin and Child by Alonso Cano; in the south is the Altar de
la Gamba, over which hangs the celebrated _La Generacion_ of Louis de
Vargas, known as _La Gamba_ from the well-drawn leg of Adam. On the
other side of this transept is the Altar de la Santa Cruz and between
these two altars is the monument to Christopher Columbus. Erected in
Havana it was brought to Spain after the late war and put up here.

Murillo's work outshines all other's in the Cathedral. The grand _San
Antonio de Padua_, in the second chapel west of the north aisle, is
difficult to see. The window which lights it is covered by a curtain,
which, however, the silver key will pull aside. Over the Altar of
Nuestra Señora del Consuelo is a beautiful Guardian Angel from the same
brush. Close by is another, _Santa Dorotea_, a very choice little
picture. In the Sacristy are two more, _S.S. Isidore_ and _Leander_. In
the Sala Capitular a _Conception_ and a _Mater Dolorosa_ in the small
sacristy attached to the Capilla Real complete the list.

Besides these fine pictures there are others which one can include in
the same category by Cano, Zurbaran, Morales, Vargas, Pedro Campaña and
the Flemish painter Sturm, a veritable gallery! And when I went into the
Treasury and saw the priceless relics which belong to Seville's
Cathedral, priceless in value and interest, and priceless from my own
art point of view, "Surely," thought I, "not only is it a picture
gallery, it is a museum as well."

The original mosque of Abu Yusuf Yakub was used as a Cathedral until
1401, when it was pulled down, the present building, which took its
place, being finished in 1506. The dome of this collapsed five years
later and was re-erected by Juan Gil de Hontañon. Earthquake shocks and
"jerry-building" were responsible for a second collapse in the August of
1888. The restoration has since been completed in a most satisfactory
manner--let us hope it will last.

[Illustration: SEVILLE. THE GIRALDA TOWER]

The exterior of the Cathedral is a very irregular mass of towers, domes,
pinnacles and flying buttresses, which give no clue to the almost
over-powering solemnity within the walls. Three doorways occupy the
west façade, which is of modern construction, and there are three also
on the north side of the Cathedral, one of which opens into the
_Segrario_, another into the Patio de los Naranjos and the third into
the arcade of the same patio. This last retains the horse-shoe arch of
the old mosque. In the porch hangs the stuffed crocodile which was sent
by the Sultan of Egypt to Alfonso el Sabio with a request for the hand
of his daughter. On the south is one huge door seldom opened. On the
east there are two more, that of La Puerta de los Palos being under the
shadow of the great Giralda Tower.

This magnificent relic of the Moslem's rule rears its height far above
everything else in Seville. Erected at the close of the twelfth century
by order of Abu Yusuf Yakub, it belongs to the second and best period of
Moorish architecture.

On its summit at the four corners rested four brazen balls of enormous
size overthrown by one of the numerous earthquakes which have shaken
Seville in days gone by. The belfry above the Moorish portion of the
tower, which ends where the _solid_ walls stop, was put up in 1568, and
has a second rectangular stage of smaller dimensions above. Both these
are in keeping with the Moorish work below and in no way detract from
its beauty. On top of the small cupola which caps the whole is the
world-famed figure of Faith. Cast in bronze, with the banner of
Constantine spread out to the winds of heaven, this, the _Giraldilla_,
or weather-cock, moves to the slightest breeze. It is thirteen feet
high, and weighs one and a quarter tons. Over three hundred feet above
the ground, the wonder is--how did it get there? and how has it
preserved its equipoise these last three hundred years?

It is difficult to find a point from which one can see the Giralda
Tower, in fact the only street from which it is visible from base to
summit is the one in which I made my sketch. Even this view does not
really convey its marvellous elegance and beauty.

Next to the Cathedral the Alcázar is the most famous building in
Seville. It is now a royal residence in the early part of the year, and
when the King and Queen are there, no stranger under any pretext
whatever is admitted.

Its courtyards and gardens are its glory. The scent of orange blossom
perfumes the air, the fountains splash and play, all is still within
these fascinating courts save the tinkle of the water and cooing of
doves. Of its orange trees, one was pointed out to me which Pedro the
Cruel planted! and many others are known to be over two hundred years
old.

[Illustration: SEVILLE. IN THE ALCÁZAR, THE PATIO DE LAS DONCELLAS]

Of all its courts, the Patio de las Doncellas is the most perfect.
Fifty-two marble columns support the closed gallery and rooms above, and
the walls of the arcade are rich with glazed tiles.

Of all its chambers, the Hall of Ambassadors is the finest and is
certainly the architectural gem of the Alcázar. Its dome is a marvel of
Media Naranja form, and the frieze of window-shaped niches but adds to
its beauty.

Very little remains of the first Alcázar, which, by the way, is a
derivation of Al-Kasr or house of Cæsar, and the present building as it
now stands was due to Pedro the Cruel, Henry II., Charles V. and Philip
V. The first named employed Moorish workmen from Granada, who emulated,
under his directions, the newly finished Palace of the Alhambra. Many a
treacherous deed has taken place within these walls, and none more
loathsome than those credited to Pedro the Cruel. However, one thing can
be put to his credit and that is this fairy Palace, this flower from the
East, by the possession of which Seville is the gainer.

To the east of the Alcázar is the old Jewish quarter, the most puzzling
in plan, if plan it has, and the oldest part of Seville.

The balconies of the houses opposite one another almost touch; there
certainly, in some cases, would be no difficulty in getting across the
street by using them as steps, and if a laden donkey essayed the
passage below I doubt if he could get through. Poking about in these
narrow alley-ways one day, I fell into conversation with a _guardia
municipal_ who entertained me greatly with his own version of Seville's
history, which ended, as he melodramatically pointed down the lane in
which we were standing--"And here, señor, one man with a sword could
keep an army at bay, and"--this in confidence, whispered--"I should not
like to be the first man of the army"!

In almost every quarter of the city fine old houses are to be found
amidst most squalid and dirty surroundings. You may wander down some
mean _calle_, where children in dozens are playing on the uneven
pavement, their mothers sit about in the doorways shouting to one
another across the street. Suddenly a wall, windowless save for a row of
small openings under the roof, is met. A huge portal, above which is a
sculptured coat-of-arms, with some old knight's helmet betokening a
noble owner, is let into this, look inside, as you pass by--behind the
iron grille is a deliciously cool _patio_, full of palms and shrubs. A
Moorish arcade runs round supporting the glazed galleries of the first
floor. A man in livery sits in a rocking chair dosing with the eternal
cigarette between his lips. Beyond the first _patio_ you can see
another, a bigger one, which the sun is lighting up. The life in this
house is as different to the life of its next door neighbours as Park
Lane is to Shoreditch. One of these great houses--owned by the Duke of
Medinaceli--the Casa del Pilatos, has a large Moorish court, very
similar to those of the Alcázar. They will tell you in Seville, that
Pilate was a Spaniard, a lawyer, and failing to win the case for Christ,
left the Holy Land, where he had a good practice, and returned to Spain
to assist Ferdinand to drive out the Moors. "Yes, señor, he settled here
and built this fine house about five hundred years ago."

As a rule, in the better-class houses a porch opens into the street. On
the inner side of this there is always a strong iron gate with a grille
around to prevent any entry. These gates served a purpose in the days of
the Inquisition, when none knew if the Holy Office might not suddenly
descend upon and raid the house. Seville suffered terribly from the
horrors of those dark times; even now--when a ring at the bell calls
forth: "Who is there?" from the servant in the balcony above, before she
pulls the handle which connects with the catch that releases the lock of
the gate--the answer often is: "People of Peace." Some houses have
interior walls six feet thick and more, which being hollow contain
hiding-places with access from the roof by a rope.

In the heat of summer--and Seville is called the "frying-pan of
Europe"--when the temperature in the shade of the streets rises to over
115° Fahr. family life is spent below in the cool _patio_. A real house
moving takes place as the heat comes on. The upper rooms, which are
always inhabited in the winter, the kitchen, servants' rooms and all are
deserted, every one migrates with the furniture to the lower floors. The
upper windows are closed, shutters put up and a great awning drawn
across the top of the courtyard. Despite the great heat, summer is a
perfectly healthy period. No one dreams of going out in the daytime, and
all Seville begins life towards five o'clock in the afternoon; 2 A.M. to
4 A.M. being the time to retire for the night! Seville can be very gay,
and _Sevillanos_ worship the _Torrero_ or bull-fighter (_Toreador_ is a
word unknown to the Spaniard). If a favourite _Torrero_, who has done
well in the ring during the afternoon, enters the dining-room of a hotel
or goes into a café it is not unusual for every one at table to rise and
salute him.

[Illustration: SEVILLE. VIEW OVER THE TOWN]

There is another life in Seville, the life of the roofs. In early spring
before the great heat comes, and in autumn before the cold winds arrive,
the life of the roofs fascinated me. Up on the roofs in the dry
atmosphere, Seville's washing hangs out to air, and up on the roofs, in
the warm sun, with the hum of the streets far below, you will hear the
quaint song--so Arabian in character--of the _lavandera_, as she pegs
out the damp linen in rows. In the evening the click-a-click-click of
the castanets and the sound of the guitar, broken by merry laughter,
tells one that perhaps the _Sevillano_ has fathomed the mystery of
knowing how best to live. And as sundown approaches what lovely colour
effects creep o'er this city in the air! The light below fades from
housetop and _miradore_, pinnacle and dome, until the last rays of the
departing majesty touch the vane of the Giralda, that superb symbol of
Faith,--and all is steely grey.

Over the Guadalquiver lies Triana, and as I crossed the bridge for the
first time the remains of an old tower were pointed out to me on the
river bank. The subterranean passage through which the victims of the
Inquisition found their exit to another world in the dark waters below
is exposed to view, the walls having fallen away. It was therefore with
something akin to relief I reached the gipsy quarter in this quaint,
dirty suburb and feasted my eyes on the colours worn by its dark-skinned
people. The potteries of Triana are world-renowned, and still bear
traces in their output of Moorish tradition and design.

Seville's quays are the busiest part of the city, and the constant
dredging of the river permits of vessels of four thousand tons making
this a port of call.

Next to the Prado in Madrid, the Museum of Seville is more full of
interest than any other. It is here that Murillo is seen at his best.
The building was at one time the Convento de la Mercede founded by San
Ferdinand. The exhibits in the archæological portion nearly all come
from that ruin, the wonderful city of Italica. Among the best of
Murillo's work are _St. Thomas de Villa Nueva Distributing Alms_, _Saint
Felix of Cantalicio_ and a _Saint Anthony of Padua_. A large collection
of Zurbaran's works also hangs in the gallery, but his big composition
of the _Apotheosis of Saint Anthony_, is not so good as his
single-figure subjects, and none of these approach in quality the fine
_Monk_ in the possession of the Bankes family at Kingston Lacy in
Dorset.

Seville is the home of bull-fights. The first ever recorded took place
in 1405, in the Plaza del Triunfo, in honour of the birth of a son to
Henry II. of Castile. The world of Fashion takes the air every evening
in the beautiful Paseo de las Delicias. The humbler members of society
throng the walks watching their wealthier sisters drive down its fine
avenues--this daily drive being the only exercise the ladies of Seville
permit themselves to take.

It is a pretty sight to watch the carriages coming home as twilight
begins, and the last rays of the sun light up the Torre del Oro. Built
by the Almohades this Moorish octagon stood at the river extremity of
Moslem Seville. The golden yellow of the stone no doubt gave it the name
of "Borju-d-dahab," "the tower of gold," which has stuck to it under
Christian rule. But "how are the mighty fallen," and one of the glories
of the Moor debased. It is now an office used by clerks of the Port,
and, instead of the dignified tread of the sentinel, resounds to the
scribble of pens.



CORDOVA


It is hard to realise that the Cordova of to-day was, under the rule of
the Moor, a city famous all the world over and second only to the great
Damascus. Long before the Moor's beneficent advent, in the far-off days
of Carthage, Cordova was known as "the gem of the south." Its position
on the mighty Guadalquiver, backed by mountains on the north, always
seems to have attracted the best of those who conquered. In the time of
the Romans, Marcellus peopled it with poor Patricians from Rome, and
Cordova became Colonia Patricia, the capital of Hispania Ulterior. But
it was left to the Infidel to make it what is now so difficult to
realise--the first city in Western Europe.

The zenith of its fame was reached during the tenth century, when the
mighty Abderrhaman III., ruler of the Omayyades reigned, and did not
begin to decrease until the death of Almanzor at the beginning of the
next century. If we are to believe the historian Almakkari, Cordova
contained at one time a million inhabitants, for whose worship were
provided three hundred Mosques, and for whose ablutions nine hundred
baths were no more than was necessary. (The arch-destroyer of all things
Infidel, Philip II., demolished these.) It was the centre of art and
literature, students from all parts flocked hither, its wealth increased
and its fame spread, riches and their concomitant luxury made it the
most famous place in Western Europe. Nothing could exceed the grace and
elegance of its life, the courtly manners of its people, nor the
magnificence of its buildings.

From the years 711 to 1295, when Ferdinand drove him out, the cultivated
Moslem reigned in this his second Mecca. And now?--under Christian rule
it has dwindled down to what one finds it to-day--a quiet, partly
ruinous town. Of all its great buildings nothing remains to remind one
of the past but the ruins of the Alcázar--now a prison, a portion of its
walls, and the much mutilated Mesquita--the Cathedral.

[Illustration: CORDOVA. INTERIOR OF THE MESQUITA]

I could not at first entry grasp the size of this the second largest
church of any in existence. Coming suddenly into the cool shade of its
many pillared avenues, I felt as if transplanted into the silent depths
of a great forest. In every direction I looked the trunks of huge trees
apparently rose upwards in ordered array. The light here and there
filtered through gaps on to the red-tiled floor, which only made the
deception greater by its resemblance to the needles of a pine-wood or
the dead leaves of autumn. Then the organ boomed out a note and the deep
bass of a priest in the _coro_ shattered the illusion.

The first Mosque built on the site of Leovigild's Visigothic Cathedral,
occupied one-fifth of the present Mesquita. It was "Ceca" or House of
Purification, and a pilgrimage to it was equivalent to a visit to Mecca.
It contained ten rows of columns, and is that portion which occupies the
north-west corner ending at the south-east extremity where the present
_coro_ begins. This space soon became insufficient for the population,
and the Mosque was extended as far as the present Capilla de Nuestra
Señora de Villavicosia.

Subsequent additions were made by different rulers. The Caliph Al-Hakim
II., who followed Abderrhaman III., expanded its size by building
southwards as far as the inclination of the sloping ground would allow.
To him is due the third Mihrâb, or Holy of Holies, the pavement of which
is worn by the knees of the devout who went thus round the Mihrâb seven
times. This Mihrâb is the most beautiful chamber I came across in all
Spain. The Byzantine Mosaics which adorn it are among the most superb
that exist, the domed ceiling of the recess is hewn out of a solid block
of marble, and its walls, which Leo the Emperor of Constantinople sent
a Greek artist and skilled workmen to put up, are chiselled in marble
arabesques and moulded in stucco. The entrance archway to this gem of
the East, an intricate and well-proportioned feature, rests on two green
and two dark coloured columns. Close by is the private door of the
Sultan which led from the Alcázar to the Mesquita.

The last addition of all nearly doubled the size of the Mosque. Building
to the south was impracticable on account of the fall in the land
towards the river. Eastwards was the only way out of the difficulty
unless the beautiful Court of the Oranges was to be enclosed. Eastwards,
therefore, did Almanzor extend his building, and the whole space in this
direction from the transepts or _Crucero_ of the present church, in a
line north and south, was due to his initiative.

[Illustration: CORDOVA. THE CAMPANARIO TOWER]

The Mesquita at one time contained twelve hundred and ninety columns.
Sixty eight were removed to make room for the _Coro_, _Crucero_ and
_Capilla Major_, which is the portion reserved for service now. In the
_coro_, the extremely fine _silleria_, are some of the best in Spain.
The Lectern is very good Flemish work in brass of the sixteenth century.
The choir books are beautifully illuminated missals, especially those of
the "Crucifixion" and the "Calling of the Apostles." All this does not,
however, compensate for the partial destruction of the Mosque. So
thought the people of Cordova, who petitioned Charles V. in vain against
the alterations which have destroyed the harmony of the wonderful
building. When passing through the city at a later date and viewing the
mischief that had been done, the King rebuked the chapter thus: "You
have built here what you, or any one, might have built anywhere else;
but you have destroyed what was unique in the world."

Eight hundred and fifty columns now remain out of the above number. The
odd four hundred and forty occupied the place where now stand the rows
of orange trees in the courtyard, one time covered in, which is known as
the Patio de los Naranjos, or Court of the Oranges. The fountain used
for the ablutions of the Holy still runs with a crystal stream of pure
water, and is to-day the meeting place of all the gossips in Cordova.

Of the five gates to this enchanting court, that of the Puerta del
Perdon, over which rises the great Tower, el Campanario, is the most
important. It is only opened on state occasions. Erected in 1377 by
Henry II. it is an imitation of Moorish design. The immense doors are
plated with copper arabesques.

The exterior of the Mesquita is still Moorish despite the great church
which has been thrust through the centre and rises high above the flat
roof of the remainder of the Mosque. A massive terraced wall with
flame-shaped battlements encircles the whole, the view of which from the
bridge over the river is more Eastern than anything else I saw in Spain.

This fine bridge, erected by the Infidel on Roman foundations, is
approached at the city end by a Doric gateway, built by Herrera in the
reign of Philip II., that Philip who married Mary of England. It
consists of sixteen arches and is guarded at its southern extremity by
the _Calahorra_ or Moorish Tower, round which the road passes instead of
through a gateway, thus giving additional security to the defence.

The mills of the Moslem's day still work, both above and below bridge,
and the patient angler sits in the sun with his bamboo rod, while the
wheels of these relics groan and hum as they did in days gone by. More
cunning is Isaac Walton's disciple who fishes from the bridge itself. A
dozen rods with heavily weighted lines, for the Guadalquiver runs swift
beneath the arches, and a small bell attached to the end of each rod is
his armament. And when the unwary fish impales himself on the hook and
the bell gives warning of a bite, the excitement is great. Greater still
when a peal begins as three or four rods bend!

[Illustration: CORDOVA. THE BRIDGE]

The beggars of Cordova were the most importunate that fate sent across
my path in the whole of Spain. I found it impossible to sit in the
streets where I would gladly have planted my easel, and it was only by
standing with my back to the wall that I was able to make my sketch of
the Campanario. These streets are tortuous and narrow, and the houses,
built on the Moorish plan with a beautiful _patio_ inside, are low. At
many a corner I came across marble columns, some with Roman
inscriptions, probably from Italica, placed against the house to prevent
undue wear and tear. In the narrowest ways I noticed how the load borne
by the patient ass had scooped out a regular track on either wall about
three or four feet from the ground. Wherever I went, to the oldest
quarters of the town in the south-east corner or the modern in the
north-west, I could never rid myself of the feeling that Cordova was a
city of the past. Her life is more Eastern than that of Seville, and her
people bear more traces of the Moor. Decay and ruin are apparent at
every turn, but how picturesque it all is!--the rags, the squalor, and
the ruin. How I anathematised those beggars with no legs, or minus arms,
when I tried to begin a street sketch! The patience of Job would not
have helped me, it was the loathsomeness of these cripples that drove me
away. Begging is prohibited in Seville and Madrid and in one or two
other towns, would that it were so in Cordova.

Away up in the southern slopes of the Sierra de Cordoba stands the
Convento de San Jerónimo, now a lunatic asylum. Built out of the ruins
of the once magnificent Medînat-az-zahrâ, the Palace that Abderrhaman
III. erected, its situation is perfect. In the old days this palace
surpassed all others in the wonders of its art and luxury. The plough
still turns up ornaments of rare workmanship, but like so many things in
Spain its glories have departed.

Yes, Cordova has seen its grandest days, the birthplace of Seneca,
Lucan, Averroes, Juan de Mena--the Spanish Chaucer--Morales, and many
another who became famous, can now boast at best with regard to human
celebrities as being the Government establishment for breaking in horses
for the cavalry. Certainly the men employed in this are fine dashing
specimens of humanity, and they wear a very picturesque dress. But
Cordova like her world-famed sons, sleeps--and who can say that it would
be better now if her sleep were broken?

[Illustration: CORDOVA. FOUNTAIN IN THE COURT OF ORANGES]



GRANADA


Spread out on the edge of a fertile plain at the base of the Sierra
Nevada, Granada basks in the sun; and though the wind blows cold with an
icy nip from the snows of the highest peaks in Spain, I cannot but think
that this, the last stronghold of the Moors, is the most ideal situation
of any place I have been in.

The city is divided into three distinct districts, each with its own
peculiar characteristics. The Albaicin, Antequeruela, and Alhambra. The
first named covers the low ground and the hills on the bank of the
Darro, a gold-bearing stream which rushes below the Alhambra hill on the
north. The second occupies the lower portion of the city which slopes on
to the plain, and the Alhambra rises above both, a well-nigh demolished
citadel, brooding over past glories of the civilised Moor, the most
fascinating spot in all Spain.

The Albaicin district is practically the rebuilt Moorish town, where the
aristocrats of Seville and Cordova settled when driven out of those
cities by St. Ferdinand in the thirteenth century. Many traces remain
to remind one of their occupation in the tortuous streets which wind up
the steep hill sides, and the wall which they built for greater security
is still the boundary of the city on the north. The Albaicin is a grand
place to wander in and lose oneself hunting for relics and little bits
of architecture. At every turn of the intricate maze I came across
something of interest, either Moorish or Mediæval. A mean looking house
with a fine coat-of-arms over the door had evidently been built by a
knight with the collector's craze. He had specialised in millstones; a
round dozen or more were utilised in the lower portions of the wall and
looked strange with stones set in the plaster between them. A delicious
_patio_, now given over to pigs and fowls, with a broken-down fountain
in the centre of its ruined arcaded court, recalled the luxuries of the
Infidel. The terraced gardens standing behind and above many a blank
wall carried me back to those days of old when the opulence of the East
pervaded every dwelling in this Mayfair of Granada. Of all these the
Casa del Chapiz, though degraded into a low-class dwelling, is with its
beautiful garden the most perfect remnant of the exotic Moor.

[Illustration: GRANADA. CARRERA DE DARRO]

In the Carrera de Darro, just opposite the spot where once a handsome
Moorish arch spanned the stream, stands a house wherein is a Moorish
bath surrounded by horseshoe arcades. The bath is 18 ft. square, and in
the vaulted recess beyond is one of smaller dimensions commanding more
privacy for the cleanly Eastern whose day was never complete without
many ablutions.

Not far away up the hillside, in cave-dwellings amidst an almost
impenetrable thicket of prickly pears, live the _gitanos_. I fear they
now exist on the charity of the tourist, and make a peseta or two by
fortune-telling or in the exercise of a more reprehensible cleverness, a
light-fingered dexterity which is generally only discovered by those who
"must go to the gipsy quarter" on their return to the hotel. These
gipsies no longer wander in the summer months and lie up for the winter
as they did of yore. They are not the Romanies of old times, and a
nomadic life holds no charm for them now. They make enough out of the
tourist to eke out a lazy existence throughout the year, and are fast
losing all the character of a wandering tribe and the lively splendour
of their race.

Higher up, the banks of the Darro are lined with more cave-dwellings, a
great many of which, to judge by their present inaccessibility, are
undoubtedly of prehistoric origin. Those that I took to be of later date
have a sort of level platform in front of the entrance, from which the
approach of a stranger could be seen and due warning taken by those
inside of any hostile intent.

The Antequeruela quarter, called thus from the remnant of Moorish
refugees who driven from Antequera found here a home, extends from the
base of Monte Mauro to some distance below the confluence of the Darro
and Genil, Granada's other river. It is the most modern quarter and
busiest part of the city.

The life of an ordinary Spanish town passes in front of me as I sit in
the sun sharing a seat with an old man wrapped closely in a _capa_. It
is April. We are in the Alameda, a broad promenade which leads to the
gardens of the Paseo de Salòn and de la Bomba. On either side are many
coloured houses with green shutters. They are very French, and to this
day I try to recall the town in France where I had seen them before. How
often this happens when we travel abroad!--a face, a scent, a sound.
Memory racks the tortuous channels of half-forgotten things stored away
somewhere in the brain, and for days with an irritating restlessness we
wander fruitlessly amid the paths of long ago.

I turned to my companion on the seat, he looked chilled despite the
warmth of an April sun. "Tell me, sir, to whom does all the fine country
of the Vega belong?" "Absent landlords, señor; they take their rents
and they live in Madrid, and the poor man has no one to care for him."
"But surely he begs and does not wish to work or to be cared for. The
beggars in Granada are more numerous than in any place I know." "That is
true, señor," and with a shake he relapsed into silence, drawing his
_capa_ closer around him. The turn the conversation had taken was not
worth pursuing.

New buildings are superseding the old in Antequeruela, and poverty and
squalor pushed further out of the sight of El Caballero, his Highness
the tourist. Æsthetically we appreciate the picturesque side of poverty,
the tumble-down houses, the rags, the graceful attitudes of the patient
poor for ever shifting in the patches of sunlight as the great
life-giver moves round. Dinner will be ready for us at 7 o'clock in the
hotel, there would be no call to leave home if every town we came to was
clean and its people prosperous. "But what about _Los Pobres_, the
beggars?" you ask. "Are they really deserving of charity, or only lazy
scoundrels?" I cannot answer you. I can only tell you that I have never
seen such terrible emaciated bundles of rags as those I saw in Granada.

In Seville, though it is forbidden to beg, it was the one-eyed that
predominated; in Cordova he of no legs, who having marked down his prey,
displayed great agility as he scuttled across the street with the help
of little wooden hand-rests; but here not only were both combined, but
various horrors of crippled and disfigured humanity with open sores and
loathsome disease thrust themselves before me wherever I went. It was
disgusting--but oh! how picturesque! If only, my good _Pobres_, you
would not come so close to me!

They say Spain is the one unspoilt country in Europe. Personally I think
she is the one country that wants regenerating. Her girls are women at
sixteen, old at thirty, and aged ten years later. Her men take life as
it comes with very little initiative to better themselves. Very few
display any energy. Their chief thoughts are woman, and how to pass the
day at ease. Luckily for the country, at the age when good food and
clean living helps to make men, her youth is invigorated by army
service. True it is not popular. In the late war they died like flies
through fever and ill-feeding, and many were the sad tales I heard of
José and Pedro returning from the front with health ruined for life. It
was a sad blow to Spain, that war. Her navy demolished and her colonies
lost. It may be the regeneration of the nation, her well-wishers hope
so, but it is a difficult thing to change the leopard's spots. The
beggar being hungry begs, and well-nigh starves, his children follow his
example and probably his great grandchildren will be in the same line
of business a hundred years hence--_Quien sabe?_ who knows?

I still sit in the sun rolling cigarettes; it is extraordinary how soon
the custom becomes a habit, and think of all this. A string of donkeys
passes with baskets stuffed tight with half a dozen large long-funnelled
water cans. They have come in with fresh drinking water from the spring
up the Darro under the Alhambra hill, and a little later the
water-sellers will be offering glasses of the refreshingly cool contents
of their cans. Granada is a city running with water, but the pollution
from the drains and the never-ending ranks of women on their knees
wrinsing clothes in its two streams, into which, by the way, all dead
refuse is thrown, makes that which is fit to drink a purchasable
quantity only.

I watch the peasants from the Vega, who come in with empty panniers
slung across their donkeys, scraping up the dirt of the streets which
they take away to fertilise their cottage gardens. Herds of goats go by
muzzled until milking is over. They make for that bit of blank wall
opposite, and stand licking the saline moisture which oozes from the
plaster in the shade. The goats of Granada are reckoned the finest in
Spain, and, as is the custom throughout Andalusia, graze in the early
spring on the tender shoots of the young corn. This not only keeps them
in food, but improves the quality of that part of the crop which reaches
maturity. I could sit all day here if only the sun stood still. My
companion removed himself half an hour ago and it is getting chilly in
the shade, so up and on to the Cathedral.

What a huge Renaissance pile it is. Built on the Gothic plans of Diego
de Siloe it is undoubtedly the most imposing edifice of this style in
Spain. Fergusson considers its plan makes it one of the finest churches
in Europe. The western façade was erected by Alonso Cano and José
Granados, and does not follow Siloe's original design. The name of the
sculptor-painter is writ in big letters throughout the building. To him
are due the colossal heads of Adam and Eve, let into recesses above the
High Altar, and the seven pictures of the _Annunciation_, _Conception_,
_Presentation in the Temple_, _Visitation_, _Purification_ and
_Assumption_ in the Capilla Mayor. The two very fine colossal figures,
bronze gilt, which stand above the over-elaborated pulpits; a couple of
beautiful miniatures on copper in the Capilla de la Trinidad; a fine
Christ bearing the Cross and a head of S. Pedro over the altar of Jesus
Nazareno, are also by Cano. Many other examples from his carving tools
and brush are to be found in the Cathedral, of which he was made a
"Racione" or minor Canon, after fleeing from Valladolid when accused of
the murder of his wife. The little room he used as a workshop in the
Great Tower may still be visited and his remains lie tranquilly beneath
the floor of the _coro_.

[Illustration: GRANADA. EXTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL]

In the Capilla de la Antigua there is that curious little image which,
found in a cave, served Ferdinand as a battle banner; and also
contemporary (?) portraits of the King and his Queen.

To me the thing of surpassing interest, which ought to be the most
revered building in all Spain, was the Capilla Real and its contents.
The _reja_, which separates the choir from the rest of the chapel, is a
magnificent piece of work, coloured and gilded, by Bartolomé. As the
verger unlocked the great gate he drew my attention to the box
containing the lock with its three beautifully wrought little iron
figures and intricate pattern. We passed in, the gate swung to with a
click, the lock was as good as if it had but recently been placed there.
These _rejas_ throughout the country are all in splendid condition. A
dry climate no doubt preserves them as it has preserved everything else,
and I very seldom detected rust on any iron work. The humidity of the
winter atmosphere is insufficient, I suppose, to set up much decay in
metal, and certainly the only decay in Spain is where inferior material
has been used in construction, or the negligence of man has left things
to rot.

With the gate locked behind me I stood in front of the two marble
monuments, the one of the recumbent figures of Ferdinand and Isabella,
the other of Philip and Juana la Loca--crazy Jane. Beyond rose the steps
up to the High Altar, close at my side those--a short flight--that led
to the crypt where the coffins of these four rest. I felt surrounded by
the Great of this Earth, and certainly a feeling of awe took hold of me
as their deeds passed through my mind and I realised that here lay the
remains of those who had turned out the Moor, bidden God-speed to
Columbus, and instituted the Inquisition.

They are wonderful tombs these two. Ferdinand wears the order of St.
George, the ribbon of the Garter, Isabella that of the Cross of
Santiago, Philip and his wife the Insignia of the order of the Golden
Fleece. Four doctors of the church occupy the corners of the first tomb,
with the twelve Apostles at the sides. The other has figures of SS.
Michael, Andrew, and John the Baptist, and the Evangelist. Both tombs
are elaborately carved, the medallions in _alto-relievo_ being of very
delicate work. Next to that magnificent tomb in the Cartuja de
Miraflores at Burgos, these are the finest monuments in all Spain.

Above the High Altar is a florid _Retablo_ with not much artistic merit.
My interest was entirely centred in the two portrait figures of
Ferdinand and Isabella. They each kneel at a Prie-Dieu facing one
another on either side of the altar--the King to the north, the Queen to
the south. Below them in double sections are four wooden panels in
bas-relief, to which I turned after a long examination of these
authentic and contemporary portraits. These panels are unsurpassed as
records of the costume of the day and a faithful representation of their
subject. On the left is the mournful figure of Boabdil giving up the key
of the Alhambra to Cardinal Mendoza, who seated on his mule between the
King and Queen, alone wears gloves. Surrounding them are knights,
courtiers and the victorious soldiery. In the background are the towers
of the Alhambra. To the right is seen the wholesale conversion by
Baptism of the Infidel, the principal figures being monks who are very
busy over their work, inducing the reluctant Moor to enter an alien
Faith.

There is something very impressive about these panels, they render so
well and in such a naïve manner the history they record. The surrender
of the Moor after 750 years' rule, the end of his dreams, the final
triumph of the King and Queen, who devoted the first portion of their
reign to driving him out of the country, and the great church receiving
the token of submission at the end of last act, they are all here.--The
verger touched my arm, my reverie of those stirring times was broken, he
had other things to show and noon was fast approaching. Pointing to
three iron plates let into the floor of the chapel, he inquired if I
would like to see the spot where rest the coffins of these great makers
of history. Certainly; I could not leave the Cathedral without a silent
homage to those who placed Spain first among the nations. He lifted the
plates, and lighting a small taper which he thrust into the end of a
long pole, disappeared down the steps, with a warning to mind my head
for the entry was very low. I followed, stooping. At the bottom of the
steps was a small opening heavily barred. The verger pushed his lighted
taper and pole through the bars, and beckoned to me to look. I peered
into the dark chamber, there resting on a marble slab were the rough
iron-bound coffins of the "Catholic Kings." The taper flickered and cast
long shadows in the gloom, discovering the coffins of Philip and Juana.
It was all very eerie, a fitting climax in its simplicity to the
magnificent monuments above and to the history writ on the walls of the
Capilla Real. I shall never forget it.

In the sacristy I was shown the identical banner which floated from the
Torre de la Vela when the Alhambra had surrendered. Isabella herself had
worked this for the very object to which it was put. Next to it hangs
Ferdinand's sword, with a remarkably small handle. I had thought, from
the kneeling effigy in the Capilla Real, that both he and Isabella must
have been small-made and this verified my guess. Many other personal
relics of the two were shown me. The Queen's own missal, a beautiful
embroidered chasuble from her industrious fingers, an exquisitely
enamelled viril, &c. Time was short, my verger wanted his dinner, and I
had seen enough for one morning. He let me out through the closed door
into the Placeta de la Lonja and in a sort of dream I carried away all I
had seen.

The next morning I returned to the Placeta and stood in the doorway of
the old Royal Palace, now used as a drapery warehouse, and commenced the
drawing figured in the illustration. The rich late Gothic ornament of
the exterior of the Capilla Real is well balanced by the Lonja which
backs on to the sacristy. Here Pradas's work has been much mutilated and
the lower stage of the arcading built up. The twisted columns of the
gallery and its original wooden roof remain to tell us what this fine
façade once was.

There is a great deal of interest in this huge Cathedral, which to the
tourist is quite overshadowed by the Alhambra. In the north-west corner
of the Segrario which adjoins the building on the south, is the Capilla
de Pulgar. Herman Perez del Pulgar was a knight serving under
Ferdinand's banner. Filled with holy zeal, he entered Granada one stormy
night in December 1490 by the Darro conduit, and making his way to the
Mosque which then stood where the Segrario now is, pinned a scroll
bearing the words Ave Maria to its principal door with his dagger. This
daring deed was not discovered until the next morning, by which time the
intrepid knight was safe back in camp. His courage was rewarded by a
seat in the _coro_ of the Cathedral, and at his death his body was
interred in the chapel which bears his name.

Nearly all the churches of Granada occupy the sites of Mosques. Santa
Anna, like San Nicolás, has a most beautiful wooden roof. San Juan de
los Reyes contains portraits of Ferdinand and Isabella; its tower is the
minaret of what was once a Mosque.

The Cathedral itself is so crowded in by other buildings, that no
comprehensive view of the fabric is possible. Unfortunately this is the
case, with one or two notable exceptions, throughout the country. Its
fine proportions are thus lost, and it is only the interior with its
great length and breath, its lofty arches and fine Corinthian pilasters
that serve to dignify this House of God.

Taking a morning off, I walked out to the Cartuja Convent. The Gran
Capitan, Gonzalo de Cordoba, at one time granted an estate to the
Carthusians and on it they erected the convent to which I turned my
steps. The Order about this time was immensely wealthy and they spent
money with reckless lavishness on the interior of their church.
Mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, ebony and cedar-wood entered largely
into their decorations, as well as ivory and silver. But perhaps the
marbles in the church are the most remarkable part of their scheme.
These were chosen for the wonderful patterns of the sections, and with a
little stretch of the imagination I could trace well-composed
landscapes, human and animal forms in a great many of the slabs. The
overdone chirrugueresque work, to which add these fantastic wall
decorations, makes this interior positively scream. It is nothing more
nor less than a vulgar display of wealth. The cloisters of the convent
also attest the bad taste of the Carthusians, they contain a series of
pictures which represent the most repugnant and bloodthirsty scenes of
persecutions and martyrdoms of the Order.

In another convent, San Gerónimo, was buried the Gran Capitan. A slab
marks the spot, but his poor bones were exhumed and carried off to
Madrid in 1868 to form the nucleus of a Spanish Pantheon. Needless to
say, like so many other great ideas in Spain, nothing further was done,
and Gonzalo's remains still await a last resting-place.

One more fact before I reach the Alhambra. In the church of San Juan de
Dios you may see the cage in which the founder, Juan de Robles, was shut
up as a lunatic. What do you think his lunacy was? Having the infirm and
the poor always before him, this tender-hearted man went about preaching
the necessity of hospitals to alleviate their distress. Aye, he was a
hundred years and more before his time, so they shut him up in a cage
and there let him rot and die. Those that came after in more enlightened
days valued the good man's crusade at its proper price, and he was
eventually canonised, and his supposed remains now rest in an _urna_.

Up a toilsome approach, splashing through the mud, I drove on the night
I reached Granada. As the horses slowed up, I put my head out of the
carriage window, we were passing under an archway and I knew that at
last one of the dreams of my life was realised. I was in the Alhambra. I
became conscious of rows and rows of tall trees swaying in the wind. I
smelt the delicious scent of damp earth, and could just distinguish, as
the carriage crawled up the steep ascent, in the lulls of the storm, the
sound of running water. It was fairyland, it was peace. After that long,
tedious journey and the glare of the electric lit streets I had just
passed through, I sank back on the cushions and felt my reward had
come.

[Illustration: GRANADA. THE ALHAMBRA]

How is it possible to describe the Alhambra? It has been done so often
and so well. Every one has read Washington Irving, and most of us know
Victor Hugo's eulogy. I had better begin at the beginning, which is the
gateway erected by Charles V. under which I passed with such a happy
consciousness. Further up the hill, through which only pedestrians can
go, is the Gate of Judgment, the first gateway into the Moorish
fortress. Above it is the Torre de Justicia erected by Yusuf I. in 1348.
On the external keystone is cut a hand, on the inner a key. Much
controversy rages round these two signs and I leave it to others to find
a solution. In old days the Kadi sat in this gateway dispensing justice.
The massive doors still turn on their vertical pivots, the spear rests
of the Moorish guard are still attached to the wall, and you must enter,
as the Moors did, by the three turns in the dark passage beyond the
gate. A narrow lane leads to the Plaza de las Algibes, under the level
of which are the old Moorish cisterns. To the right is the Torre del
Vino, and on the left the Acazaba.

Come with me up the short flight of steps into the little strip of
garden. Let us lean over the wall and look out on to the Vega. Is there
anywhere so grand and varied an outline of plain and mountain? Do you
wonder at the tears that suffused the eyes of Boabdil as he turned for a
last look at this incomparable spot? The brown roofs of Granada lie at
our feet. Far away through the levels of the green plain, the Vega, I
can see the winding of many silver streams. Beyond those rugged peaks to
the south lies the Alpujarras district, the last abiding place of the
conquered Moor. Further on the mass of the Sierra Aburijara bounds the
horizon, west of it is the town of Loja, thirty miles away, buried in
the dip towards Antequerra. To the north is Mount Parapanda, the
barometer of the Vega, always covered with mist when rain is at hand.
Nearer in is the Sierra de Elvira, spread out below which are the dark
woods of the Duke of Wellington's property--he is known in Spain as
Duque de Ciudad Rodriguez. It is clear enough for us to see the blue
haze of the mountains round Jaen, and the rocky defile of Mochin. The
Torre de la Vela shuts out the rest of the view. There is a bell hanging
in this tower which can be heard as far away as Loja. Now turn and look
behind. Right up into the blue sky rise the snow peaks of the Sierra
Nevada. Mulhacen, the highest point in all Spain, is not visible, but
we can see Veleta which is but a few feet lower. The whole range
glistens in the afternoon sun, but it is the evening hour that brings
such wonderful changes of colour over these great snowfields, and, after
the sun is down, such a pale mother-of-pearl grey silhouetted against
the purple sky.

The entrance into what we call the Alhambra is hidden away behind the
unfinished Palace of Charles V. The low door admits us directly in the
Patio de los Arrayanes, or court of the Myrtles. Running north and south
it gets more sun than any other court of the Alhambra. What a revelation
it is! In the centre is an oblong tank full of golden carp. The neatly
kept myrtle hedges encircle this, reflected in the clear water they add
refreshing charm to a first impression of the Moorish Palace. On the
north rises the Torre de Comares, the approach to which is through a
beautifully proportioned chamber, the roof of which was unfortunately
destroyed by fire in 1890. The whole of the ground-floor of this tower
is known as the Hall of the Ambassadors. The monarch's throne occupied a
space opposite the entrance and it was here that the last meeting to
consider the surrender was held by Boabdil. The elaborate domed roof of
this magnificent chamber is of larch wood, but the semi-darkness
prevents one realising to the full extent its beauties. From the
windows, which almost form small rooms, so thick are the walls of the
Tower of Comares, fine views over the roofs of the city and the Albaicin
hill are obtained.

The Court of the Lions, so called from the central fountain upheld by
marble representations of the kingly beast, is surrounded by a beautiful
arcade. At either end this is thrown out, forming a couple of extremely
elegant pavilions. Fairy columns support a massive roof, the woodwork of
which is carved with the pomegranate of Granada. Intricate fret-work is
arranged to break the monotony of strong sunlight on a flat surface.
Arabesques and inscriptions, stamped with an iron mould on the wet clay,
repeat themselves all round the frieze. Orange trees at one time adorned
the court and cast gracious shade on its surface. The fountain threw up
jets of splashing water, the musical sound harmonising with the
wonderful arrangement of light and shade. I tried to picture all this as
I sat making my sketch, but even in April, though hot in the sun, I
required an overcoat in the shadow, and I must own that the ever-present
tourist with his kodak sadly disturbed all mental attempts at the
reconstruction of Moorish life.

[Illustration: GRANADA. THE ALHAMBRA, COURT OF LIONS]

On the south side of the court is the hall of the Abencerrages, named
after that noble family. The massive wooden doors, which shut it off
from the arcade, are of most beautiful design. The hall is rectangular
and has a fine star-shaped stalactite dome. The _azulejos_, or tiles,
are the oldest that remain in the Alhambra. A passage leads to what was
once the Royal Sepulchral Chamber.

On the east side is the so-called Sala de la Justicia divided into
several recesses and running the whole length of this portion of the
court. The central recess was used by Ferdinand and Isabella when they
held the first Mass after the surrender of the Moors. The chief interest
of the Sala I found to be in a study of the paintings on the
semicircular domed roofs. They portray the Moor of the period. The
middle one, that in the chapel-recess, no doubt contains portraits of
Granada's rulers in council. The other two represent hunting scenes and
deeds of chivalry. It is supposed that the Koran forbids the delineation
of any living thing. The Moor got over this difficulty by portraying
animal life in as grotesque a manner as possible, or by employing
foreign captives to do this for him. One theory of the origin of the
Lion Fountain is that a captive Christian carved the lions and gave his
best--or his worst--as the price of his liberation. Personally I think
they are of Phoenician origin. Animals and birds in decoration reached
the Moor from Persia, where from unknown ages they had always been
employed in this way; and the Môsil style of hammered metal work is
replete with this feature.

On the north side of the court lies the Room of the Two Sisters, with
others opening out from it, which seems to point to the probability that
this was the suite occupied by the Sultana herself. Moorish art has here
reached its highest phase. The honeycomb roof contains nearly five
thousand cells, all are different, yet all combine to form a
marvellously symmetrical whole. Fancy ran free with the architect who
piled one tiny cell upon another and on these supported a third. Pendant
pyramids cluster everywhere and hang suspended apparently from nothing.
In the fertility of his imagination the designer surpassed anything of
the kind that went before or has since been attempted. Truly the verses
of a poem copied on to the _azulejos_ are well set. "Look well at my
elegance, and reap the benefit of a commentary on decoration. Here are
columns ornamented with every perfection, the beauty of which has become
proverbial."

Beyond this entrancing suite of rooms is the Miradoro de Daraxa with
three tall windows overlooking that little gem of a garden the Patio de
Daraxa. It was here that Washington Irving lodged when dreaming away
those delicious days in the Alhambra.

The old Council Chamber of the Moors, the Meshwâr, is reached through
the Patio de Mexuar. Charles V. turned this chamber into a chapel, and
the hideous decorations he put up are still extant. An underground
passage, which leads to the baths, ran from the _patio_ and gave access
to the battlements and galleries of the fortress as well as forming a
connecting link between each tower.

The baths are most interesting, but to me were pervaded by a deadly
chill. I felt sorry for the guardian who spends his days down in such
damp, icy quarters. A remark I made to him inquiring how long his duty
kept him in so cold a spot, called forth so terrible a fit of coughing
that I got no reply. I was told afterwards that he was only placed there
as he was too ill for other duty, and it was expected he would not live
much longer! There are two baths of full size and one for children. The
_azulejos_ in them are very beautiful, as they also are in the disrobing
room and chamber for rest.

An open corridor leads from the Hall of the Ambassadors to the Torre del
Peinador which Yusuf I. built. The small Tocador de la Reina, or Queen's
dressing-room, with its quaint frescoes, was modernised by Charles V.
Let into the floor is a marble slab drilled with holes, through which
perfumes found their way from a room below while the Queen was
dressing.

The glamour of the East clings to every corner of the Alhambra, and the
wonder of it all increased as I began to grow familiar with its
courtyards and halls, the slender columns of its arcades, with their
tracery and oft-repeated verses forming ornament and decoration, and the
well thought-out balance of light and shade. What must it all have been
like when the sedate Moor glided noiselessly through the cool corridors,
or the clang of arms resounded through the now silent halls! It is
difficult to imagine. The inner chambers were then lined with matchless
carpets and rugs and the walls were covered with subtly coloured
_azulejos_.

Many are the changes since those days of the Infidel who cultivated the
art of living as it has never been cultivated since. Restoration is
judiciously but slowly going on, and every courtesy is shown to the
visitor. A small charge might be levied, however, to assist the
Government, even in a slight degree, with restoration, and I am sure no
one would grudge paying for the privilege of sauntering through the most
interesting remains of the Moorish days of Spain.

The unfinished Palace of Charles V. occupies a large space, to clear
which a great deal of the Moorish Palace was demolished. The interior is
extremely graceful. The double arcades, the lower of which is Doric and
the upper Ionic, run round a circular court which for good proportion it
would be hard to beat.

[Illustration: GRANADA. GENERALIFE]

On the Corre de Sol, a little way out of the Alhambra and situated above
it, is the Generalife. It belongs to the Pallavicini family of Genoa,
but on the death of the present representative becomes the property of
the Spanish Government. A stately cypress avenue leads to the entrance
doorway, through which one enters an oblong court full of exotic growth
and even in April a blaze of colour. Through a tank down the centre runs
a delicious stream of clear water. At the further end of this
captivating court are a series of rooms, one of which contains badly
painted portraits of the Spanish Sovereigns since the days of Ferdinand
and Isabella.

Up some steps is another garden court with another tank, shaded by more
cypress trees. One huge patriarch is over six hundred years old, and it
is supposed that under it Boabdil's wife clandestinely met Hamet the
Abencerrage.

Space will not permit me to tell of the many entrancing excursions I
made to the foot-hills of the Sierra Nevada and up the two rivers. I can
only add that the valleys disclosed to the pedestrian are a wealth of
rare botanical specimens, and if time permits will well repay a
lengthened sojourn in the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain.



MALAGA


Malaga disputes with Cadiz the honour of being the oldest seaport in the
country. In early days the Phoenicians had a settlement here, and in
after times both the Carthagenians and Romans utilised "Malacca" as
their principal port on the Mediterranean littoral of Spain. In 571 the
Goths under their redoubtable King, Leovigild, wrested the town from the
Byzantines. Once more it was captured, by Tarik, in the year 710 and
remained a Moorish stronghold until Ferdinand took it after a long siege
in 1487.

It is said that gunpowder was first used in Spain at this siege, when
the "seven sisters of Ximenes," guns planted in the Gibralfaro, belched
forth fire and smoke.

In the year 709 the Berber Tarif entered into an alliance with Julian,
Governor of Ceuta, who held that place for Witiza the Gothic King of
Spain. With four ships and five hundred men he crossed the narrow and
dangerous straits to reconnoitre the European coast, having secretly in
view an independent kingdom for himself on the Iberian peninsula. He
landed at Cape Tarifa.

This expedition was so far successful that in two years' time another
Berber, of a name almost similar, Tarík to wit, was sent over with
twelve thousand men and landed near the rock which received the name of
Jabal-Tarík, or mountain of Tarík, the present Gibraltar.

Witiza in the meantime died and was succeeded by Roderic, who, hearing
of the invasion of this Moorish host, hastened south from Toledo and met
his death in the first decisive battle between Christian and Infidel on
the banks of the Guadalete near Cadiz. Tarík then commenced his
victorious march, which ended in less than three years with the
subjugation of the whole country as far as the foot of the
Pyrenees--Pelayo, in his cave at Covadonga near Oviedo, alone holding
out with a mere remnant against the all-conquering Moor.

[Illustration: MALAGA. VIEW FROM THE HARBOUR]

If you ask me, "What is Malaga to-day?" I can reply with truth, "The
noisiest town in Spain." Like all places in the south it is a babel of
street-cries, only a little more so than any of the others. The
_seranos_, or night-watchmen, disturb one's rest as they call out the
hour of the night, or whistle at the street corners to their comrades. A
breeze makes hideous the hours of darkness by the banging to and fro of
unsecured shutters. The early arrival of herds of goats with tinkling
bells heralds the dawn, which is soon followed by the discordant clatter
of all those, cracked and otherwise, which hang in the church belfries.
The noisiest town I visited, most certainly, but for all that a very
enchanting place. In a way not unlike Naples, for the Malagueno is the
Spanish prototype of the Neapolitan. Lazy, lighthearted, good-natured,
but quick to take affront, he gets through the day doing nothing in a
manner that won my sincere admiration. "Why work, señor, when you have
the sun? I do not know why the English travellers are always in such a
hurry. And the North American, he is far worse. I earned two pesetas
yesterday. To-day I have no wants, I do not work. To-morrow? Yes,
perhaps to-morrow I work, but to-day I sit here in the sun, I smoke my
cigarette, I am content to watch others, that is life!"--and who can say
that the Malagueno is far wrong? Not I.

Malaga's Cathedral, an imposing building of a very mixed Corinthian
character, occupies the site of a Moorish mosque which was converted
into a church. Of this early church of the Incarnation, the Gothic
portal of the _Segragrio_ is the only portion remaining. The present
edifice was begun in 1538 from the plans of that great architect Diego
de Siloe, but being partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1680, was
not completed until 1719. It cannot be called complete even now, and
the long period over which its construction has been spread accounts for
the very many inconsistencies in a building which is full of
architectural defects.

The west façade is flanked by two Towers, only one of which has been
finished; this is drawn out in three stages like the tower of La Seo at
Saragossa, and has a dome with lantern above. The doors of the north and
south Transepts are also flanked by towers, but they do not rise beyond
the cornice line. The interior, reminding one of Granada's Cathedral, is
seemingly immense. The proportions are massive and decidedly good. It
was in his proportions that Siloe excelled. The length of this is three
hundred and seventy-five feet, the width two hundred and forty, and the
height one hundred and thirty feet. The columns which support the heavy
roof consist of two rows of pillars one above the other. The vaulting is
of round arches.

A picture by Alonso Cano in the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, and
one of a _Virgin and Child_, in that of San Francisco, by Morales, were
the only two objects that I could say interested me, besides the
magnificently carved _silleria del coro_, the work of many hands, but
chiefly those of Pedro de Mena, a pupil of Cano.

With all its architectural incongruities it is an impressive fabric, and
rises high above the surrounding roofs, like a great Liner with a crowd
of smaller boats lying around her. So it struck me as I sat on the
quayside of the Malagueta making my sketch, sadly interfered with by an
unpleasant throng of idling loafers.

Beyond Malagueta lies Caleta, and on the hill above them is the Castilla
de Gibralfaro, from which when the sky is clear the African mountains
near Ceuta can be seen. Below the Gibralfaro and between it and the
Cathedral, lies the most ancient part of the city, the Alcazába, the
glorious castle and town of Moorish days. And now?--like so many of
Spain's departed glories, it is not much more than a ruined
conglomeration of huts and houses of a low and very insanitary order.

At the other end of Malaga is the Mercado, and close by is the old
Moorish sea gateway, the Puerta del Mar, washed by the waters of the
blue Mediterranean in their day, but at the present time well away from
the sea and surrounded by houses.

The everyday market is held in the dry bed of the treacherous
Guadelmedina, a stream which rose in the fatal October of 1907 and swept
away all the bridges, swamping the lower quarters of the city. Many
lives were lost in this disastrous flood and many bodies picked up by
fishing-boats far out at sea. However, when I made my sketch there was
no chance of such a visitation, and I found the market folk more polite
than the loafers on the quay.

The country lying at the back of the city and at the base of the
sun-baked and scarred mountains by which it is surrounded, produces
almost everything that grows. From this--the Vega--come grapes, raisins,
figs, oranges, lemons, water and sweet melons, quinces, pomegranates,
medlars, plantains, custard-apples, guava, olives and sugar-cane--a
veritable paradise for the fruit grower. Up the hill slopes, where the
olive luxuriates, fine woods of sweet acorn and cork trees are passed,
and any day you may see large herds of swine feeding on the acorns that
have fallen, and routing out other delicacies that their sensitive noses
tell them lie hidden beneath the surface. The pork of Estremadura is
reckoned the best in Spain, and that from these oak woods a good second.
The pig in Spain is a clean feeder, and you can eat him with perfect
safety anywhere. Such a thing as the offensive pig-sty, the disgrace of
rural England, is absolutely unknown here.

[Illustration: MALAGA. THE MARKET]

Malaga's climate is delightful, despite the fierce winds and the dust
they raise. Though rain seldom falls the cool sea breezes in summer
bring a refreshing tonic to the dweller up country; and many Spaniards
at this season come here for bathing, and obtain a maximum of sunshine
without the intense heat of the interior.



VALENCIA


Valencia del Cid is inseparably connected with the hero of Spanish
romance, Rodrigo Diaz of Bivar, to give him his real name, "Cid" being a
corruption of the Moorish _Seyyid_, and first appearing in historical
documents of the year 1064. Rising to great power, Alfonso of Leon
appointed him to the command of his army, but through jealousy banished
him in 1081. From that date the Cid became a true knight-errant. Barred
from the kingdom of Leon, he was ever ready to sell his services to the
highest bidder; and after many wanderings found himself with a goodly
following of knights, only too eager in those days, when might was
right, to be in the train of so redoubtable a champion, _en route_ to
Saragossa. The Moorish ruler of that city being at logger-heads with the
Count of Barcelona accepted the Cid's proffered services, and the result
was a battle in which the Catalans were badly beaten.

With no prospects of further service in Aragon, the Cid turned his face
south and marched on Valencia, whose Moorish King Yahya was only too
pleased to request his protection in advance, instead of succumbing to
his conquering arm. Thus began Rodrigo's connection with the city, which
with one or two intervals ended only at his death.

It was from the top of the Miguelete Tower, which is pictured in my
illustration of the Cathedral, that he showed his wife Ximena and their
daughters the fair land he had conquered. This was in 1095, when after
having rejoined Alfonso and left him again, he had returned and
recaptured the city after a siege of twenty months. Four years later
died the man whose name was a terror to the Infidel, and his widow
Ximena, following the traditions of her warrior husband, held Valencia
against overwhelming hordes of Moors. The story of the bitter end, how
she placed his body on his favourite war-horse and drove it through the
ranks of the enemy, has always been a theme for the balladmonger of
Spain.

It was in 140 B.C. that Junius Brutus founded a small Roman colony on
the banks of the river Turia. Pompey destroyed this settlement and
rebuilt it. In 413 the Goths took possession. The Emir of Cordova
captured it in 714 and Valencia remained a vassal state until the fall
of the Omayeh dynasty. Like other provinces, it became merged under the
single banner that floated over the greater part of the Peninsula at the
union of Aragon and Castile. Being a coast town and savouring of the
south, it was not until the time of the bigoted Philip III. that the
industrious and unfortunate Moriscoe was finally expelled from the
shelter of Valencia's walls.

[Illustration: VALENCIA. SAN PABLO]

Souchet sacked the place in the Napoleonic wars and received the title
of Duke of Albufera from his master. Rather an empty honour, Albufera
being the large and malarious tract of marshland along the coast a few
miles to the south of El Grao, and worth but very little.

El Grao is Valencia's Port, and is three miles distant from the city.
The road which connects the two is about the busiest high road I saw in
Spain. From sunrise till long after sunset two streams of vehicles pass
to and fro. Strings of laden donkeys, waggonettes crammed with
good-humoured laughing fisher and country folk pass along, an electric
tram carries those who can afford the extra _centimos_, and the
carriages of Valencia's well-to-do citizens take them to the harbour for
a breath of sea air out on the breakwaters. Everything seems alive, and
though there is that balmy feeling in the air which one gets in
Andalusia, there is none of the indolence and seductive _dolce far
niente_ of that enchanting province. No! quite the other way in
Valencia. The peasants are extremely industrious. The soil of the
_Huerta_ bears them three crops during the year. The system of
irrigation, the old Moorish system by-the-way, is perfect, and though
the product of a soil which is forced to bear more than it naturally
can, is reinforced at sowing time, in the case of corn, by Russian
grain, it cannot be said that Valencia depends on any outside help for
her prosperity. The swamps bordering the coast grow the finest rice in
the world. The wines of the province are good and cheap, held in much
esteem by French merchants to fortify the lighter produce of their own
country. So cheap are they in fact, that in some parts of the province
it costs more to get a drink of water than a glass of wine. Yet
drunkenness is unknown. If a Valencian took a drop too much, he would be
promptly boycotted by his neighbours, and for ever after looked upon as
a disgusting and outlandish boor, a disgrace to his village and a man to
be shunned.

The peasant is very illiterate and scrupulously honest--the one follows
the other. Like the Andalusian, he is absolutely trustworthy in all his
dealings, which are conducted by word of mouth. In buying and selling no
signatures to documents pass between the contracting parties. If any
paper is ever signed, it is confirmed by certain scratches or marks
known to belong to so and so--the signee. His word is his bond, it is
generally all he can give, but it is enough and is worth more than
signatures sometimes are. Further north, where modern ways of life are
more in vogue, and where all is more "advanced," there are ten lawyers
to the one in Valencia and the south.

[Illustration: VALENCIA. DOOR OF THE CATHEDRAL]

The Cathedral was originally a Gothic structure, but one fashion
following another, has been at different times so altered and robbed of
all architectural beauty that there remains but little of interest in
the building. It was founded in 1262 and finished two hundred years
later. El Miguelete, the celebrated Bell Tower, is so named because the
bells were first hung on St. Michael's Day. Like the Torre de Vela of
the Alhambra, a bell is here struck which regulates the irrigation of
the _Huerta_.

In this connection, and as an exemplification of the peasant's
trustworthiness, once a month, on a Thursday, the Tribunal de Aguas sits
in the Plaza de la Seo outside the Puerto de los Apóstoles or north door
of the Cathedral. Its presiding members are chosen by their fellow
peasants for their integrity and general standing in the community. They
exercise absolute control over the seven different irrigation districts.
The Government has once or twice interfered with this, but
unsuccessfully. Plaintiffs and defendants appear before this primitive
tribunal seated in a public square. The case is stated, _pros_ and
_cons_ weighed, and judgment given fairly on its merits. Any one passing
can stop and hear the arguments of both sides. As a proof of the
shrewdness the peasants possess and the confidence they have in their
dealings with one another, no appeal is ever made from the judgment of
their elders.

This north door has good sculptured figures in the jambs and archivolt.
Above is a fine rose window. These are among the remains of the first
building. Another relic of the early structure is the octagonal
_cimborio_ erected about the same time as the doorway, _i.e._, 1350. The
lancet windows over the Puerta del Paláu, which is surmounted by a round
arch with carvings in the jambs, are all of the same period. The third
doorway, the Puerta del Miguelete, is florid and overdone, and dates
from the eighteenth century. Its bronze doors however are extremely
fine.

The best features of the much-spoilt interior are the octagon and the
very beautiful Corinthian _silleria del coro_. The original _retablo_
over the High Altar was set on fire by the lighted cotton attached to a
pigeon let loose at a religious ceremony in 1469. The side panels alone
were saved from the results of the terrified bird's erratic flight.
Close by on a pillar is hung the armour of James I. of Aragon.

Over the sacristy door is a good painting by Ribalta of _Christ Bearing
the Cross_, and in the ante-room an _Adoration_ by Ribera, besides five
good examples of Juanes' brush.

Among the treasures of the Cathedral is an extraordinary piece of
goldsmith's work, a Calix, showing four different periods of this art,
_i.e._, Roman, IXth, XVth and XVIth centuries. It figures in
the picture of the _Last Supper_ by Juanes, which is now in the Prado at
Madrid. An interesting trophy also belongs to the Cathedral in the shape
of the chain which at one time closed the old Port of Marseilles.

The many different varieties of marble used in the decoration of the
building form a very pleasing series, and go some way towards
compensating the disappointment one experiences with the much-altered
style of what ought to be a grand interior.

I saw a good procession one evening wending its way through the crowds
which lined the narrow street near the church of Santa Catalina. The
balconies were filled with occupants who showered rose leaves down as
the effigy of St. John passed by. The light from the torches carried by
some boys flickered upwards and caught the faces of those peering over
from their vantage posts above. The crowd knelt as the saint passed, and
once more the vitality of the Church, which I could not but feel
wherever I went in Spain is _the_ thing that lives, was again in
evidence.

Over the door of the church of San Martin is a good equestrian group in
bronze. San Domingo has some very beautiful cloisters of late Gothic
date, and San Salvador possesses Valencia's miraculous image. Nicodemus
is reputed to have made this, the Christ of Beyrout. The marvellous
relic navigated itself from Syria across the waters of the Mediterranean
and reached Valencia against the river's stream. A monument on the bank
marks the spot where the wonderful voyage ended by the safe landing of
the Christ. It is much visited by the devout. In the chapel attached to
the Colegio del Patriarca hangs Ribalta's fine _Last Supper_. Every
Friday morning at ten o'clock the _Miserere_ is celebrated here. The
impressive ceremony commences with the slow lowering of this picture
from its place above the High Altar. The void is filled by a dark cloth,
which, as the service proceeds, is gently drawn aside disclosing a
second cloth, this is again repeated, followed by another, and when
this, the fourth cloth, is parted asunder a fine painting of _Christ
Crucified_ is revealed. Meanwhile chants appropriate to the solemn
service have been filling the church and increasing the tension of the
congregation. The whole ceremony is a very good piece of stage
management and certainly most thrilling and inspiring. The black
_mantilla_ for ladies is _de rigeur_.

[Illustration: VALENCIA. RELIGIOUS PROCESSION]

Valencia's walls, erected in 1356, were demolished in 1871 to give work
to the unemployed, and the spacious _Paseo_ made in their stead. The
trees planted along this carriage drive have added materially to the
health of the city.

Of the two remaining gates, the Torres de Serranos is much the better.
Built in the second half of the fourteenth century on Roman foundations,
its massive construction and great height are very grand. It is one of
the best gates I know. The archway itself is rather low. The double
floors above have fine Gothic vaulting and are approached by a flight of
steps. The gallery is supported on heavy corbels, and the cornice has
deep machicolations. The whole rises in isolated grandeur and may
perhaps gain, from the painter's point of view, by the absence of
flanking walls.

The Torre de Cuarto is another enormous gateway with two huge round
towers on either side. It still bears the marks of Souchet's
artillery--whose round shot did apparently no damage whatever. Not far
from this gate lies the Mercado situated in the middle of the old
quarters of the city. Valencia is quite a modern town, it is rapidly
losing everything of any age, and changing its narrow insanitary
streets for spacious well-built thoroughfares.

The Mercado is by far the largest and most attractive market in Spain.
Fruit and vegetables, wicker goods of all sorts, baskets, chairs, toys,
leather-work and harness, brightly coloured mule trappings, every
description of wood and metal-work, the usual assortment of old iron,
lamps antique and modern, oleographs and chromos, saints and virgins
jostling the latest cheap reproduction of a famous _Torrero_ or
_Bailarina_, furniture, worn-out field implements and new cutlery, lace,
everything, in fact, including smells, the variety of which I found
unequalled anywhere. Strong garlic assaulted my nostrils--in three more
steps I was in the midst of roses and carnations, half a dozen more and
a horribly rank cheese made the air vibrate; and so it continued from
one end to the other of this most fascinating kaleidoscopic throng, to
study which I returned every day of my sojourn in Valencia.

On one side of this wonderful market-place stands the Lonja de la Seda.
It dates from 1482 and occupies the site of the Moorish Alcázar. Perhaps
of all the examples of Gothic civil architecture in Europe, the Lonja de
la Seda can claim the first place. The west façade, facing the Mercado,
has a double row of square-topped Gothic windows, above which is a
traceried gallery running round the entire building with gargoyles and
a frieze of heads below the embattled parapet.

In the centre is a Tower with a couple of Gothic windows. There are two
separate buildings in this "Silk Exchange," one of which has a beautiful
court. The whole of the other is occupied by the Exchange Hall. The rich
star vaulting of the interior is borne by two rows of spiral columns
without capitals; they branch out to the roof like the leaves of a palm
tree and it is very evident that this beautiful treatment was suggested
by the growth of the tree.

Valencia has always been celebrated for a certain style or school of
painting, and in the Museum, which occupies the buildings of the old
Convento del Carmen, Ribalta, Espinosa and Juanes are seen at their
best. The school is noted for the peculiar deep red undertone of the
shadows, which is very markedly apparent in the works hanging on these
walls. There are also some beautiful examples of native faience and
pottery, for Valencia is still the home of Spanish lustre ware.

The Valencians are great bird fanciers, and very keen pigeon shots.
Numerous lofts built on the roofs for these birds cut the sky-line in
the old quarters of the city. Sunday sees the dry bed of the Turia full
of competitors in shooting matches, when toll is taken of the feathered
inhabitants of these airy dwellings.

If it were not for the rather bad drinking water and the malarious
marshes, the breeding-ground of a most particularly venomous mosquito,
Valencia would be as pleasant and lively a spot for residence as any in
Spain. The climate is good and it is near the sea. It stands on the edge
of a veritable fruit garden, and its people are pleasant and friendly.



TORTOSA


Journeying to Valencia from the north one is carried along a grand bit
of coast with glimpses of the blue Mediterranean rolling in on stretches
of yellow sand, and breaking into spray on the rocks above which the
train runs. The _rapido_ stops for lunch at Tortosa, and I got out
intending to stay if there was anything in the famous old city or its
Cathedral which might bear illustrating in this book.

I reached the best _fonda_ in the place, and was heartily welcomed by
its lively little landlord, who immediately handed me one of his cards,
whereon was set out, amongst many superlatives, the news that an
interpreter was attached to the house. "Gone away for the day, señor,"
was the reply when I asked for an interview. He was always away I fear;
however, I did not need his services and my host and I became fast
friends. So friendly indeed that I only just avoided an embrace at
parting on the day I left. He took great interest in my doings, and on
his side gave me much information. He explained to me how the mighty
Ebro, on which Tortosa is situated, and to which it owes its existence,
had risen in flood during the disastrous October of 1907. "Right up to
here, señor"--this while I was having lunch--and he pointed to a spot a
couple of inches off the floor of the _comedor_, which was on the first
floor of the house--"A terrible flood that?"--"Yes, señor, the streets
were for weeks full of mud and all sorts of things. Hundreds of poor
people lost everything and many were swept out to sea."

Another day I remarked on the gas that lit the _fonda_ and asked my host
why he had not put in electric light. "It is too expensive, señor; some
people have it, and the Market Hall is lit by it; but you must
understand that Tortosa long ago did away with oil lamps and was one of
the first places in Spain to use gas. And now?--well it is enough for
us, and the electric light is too expensive."

Elsewhere in Spain I have been told with pride that the country is still
in the foremost rank of civilisation--whatever the Progressive Press
says--and the almost universal use of electricity has been pointed out
to verify the boast. But Tortosa, which led the van when gas was a
novelty, is the only place of any importance that I know which is still
lit by this means.

Local tradition has it, that the city dates back to the time of St.
Paul who, I was told, settled here and built himself a nice little
house. Whatever the saint did it is on record that before his day the
town was an important Iberian port of the Ilercaones tribe, and in later
years under the Romans, possessed a mint of its own, being then known as
Julia Augusta Dertosa. Strategically the key of the great river, Tortosa
was subject to repeated attempts at capture by those not in occupation.
During the time when it was held by the Moors, Charlemagne's son Louis,
after an unsuccessful attempt, gained possession, only to be driven out
in the year 810. It was not until 1148 that the Infidel's reign was
finally terminated by Ramon Bereuguer, Count of Barcelona.

In the following year a desperate attempt was made by the Moors to
retake their stronghold, and the inhabitants, reduced to the last stage
of despair, contemplated the sacrifice of their women and children, and
then a final sortie to end their own lives. The women, however, showed a
true militant spirit, they courted death, but not in this mean manner.
Mounting the hardly defensible walls with every and any weapon they
could lay hands on, the men were directed to sally forth. The gates were
opened, and cheered on by their wives and daughters, the sterner sex
rushed out. So determined was the onslaught that the Moorish host was
beaten back and fled leaving all the plunder in his camp behind.

Ramon, to show his appreciation of the heroism displayed by the fair
ones, invested them with the Order of the Axe (La Hacha) and decorated
them with the red military scarf. Also decreeing that at their marriage
they should precede mankind, and to this added the privilege of
duty-free dress materials. What more could woman want?

The Cathedral occupies the site of a mosque erected in 914 by
Abderrhaman. A Cufic inscription in the wall at the back of the sacristy
relates this with the date. Bishop Lanfredo dedicated the building to
the Virgin in 1158, but the present structure dates from 1347. It is
extremely good Gothic, with a heavy baroque west façade, ugly and
ill-proportioned. Of the exterior but little is visible, and my sketch
simply includes the upper part of the façade, visible over the roofs of
the quaint old town, with the river flowing in front.

The interior is very simple and dignified. The slender columns of the
nave rise to a great height; the light that filters through the few
clerestory windows that are not blocked subdues the garishness of a bad
_trascoro_, and finds its way amongst the tracery of the arches of the
double apse. In Avila Cathedral this same feature prevails. A double
aisled apse with open-work tracery between the arches and below the
vaulting of the aisles.

[Illustration: TORTOSA]

The _silleria_ of the _coro_ were carved by Cristóbal de Salamanca in
1588, and are really beautiful. The two pulpits are covered with
interesting iron bas-reliefs, and the High Altar encased in a mass of
plateresque silver work. The _retablo_ is a good specimen of early
Gothic work, and I could not help thinking how much better such an one
is than the many overdone chirrugueresque atrocities met with in more
famous places.

Tortosa is the centre of a district the mountains of which yield many
different kinds of marble, and the Cathedral is especially rich in
these. Perhaps the chapel of Cinta contains the best; the most used is
the _broccatello di spagna_ a purple colour with tiny marine molluscs
embedded in the hard clay. The Cathedral is adorned at certain festivals
with a series of splendid tapestries, and amongst many relics overlooked
and left by the French is a fine Moorish casket of ivory.

Pope Adrian IV., the Englishman, was at one time Bishop of Tortosa, a
fact which added interest to this beautiful little Cathedral.

The cloisters are early pointed Gothic, now much dilapidated and uncared
for. On the encircling walls are many highly interesting mural tablets,
a few of which have recumbent figures cut in low relief with their backs
to the wall, as is the case in the earliest Gothic effigies of this
sort.



TARRAGONA


My recollections of Tarragona can be summed up in three words--blue sea,
sunshine, and peace.

Some fifteen or twenty years ago the quays of its fine harbour were full
of life and bustle, ships entered the port and ships went out. The trade
with France in light wines was good, and with England and America in
those of heavier quality, better still.

Nowadays it is cheaper to send wines by rail. Reus, a railway centre a
few miles inland, has captured a great deal of Tarragona's trade, and
modern history repeats itself once more. Cheap and quick delivery are
the watchwords. Hurry and hustle are leaving the old trading towns
behind. Barcelona is not far away. Centralisation is everything, and
thus it happened that I found very few places in Spain so reposeful as
Tarragona. And I might add so beautifully situated as this old city
which climbs and crowns a hill that rises from the very edge of the blue
Mediterranean.

Very few cities in Spain can boast of prehistoric walls still extant.
Tarragona can do so. The huge uneven blocks of granite, which may be
seen in my sketch of the Archbishop's Tower, occupy the lower portion of
the old Roman walls. On the north side of the city they are even more
visible than in the sketch. Some of the blocks measure thirteen by seven
by five feet. Three of the ancient portals, the stone of which is faced
inside, still exist, but apparently no records do, to tell us who placed
these Cyclopean defences where they stand to-day.

Many remains of Roman days may be seen built into the houses of the old
and higher town, tablets, mural inscriptions, bits of columns, &c. The
Cathedral possesses numerous plinths and pillars of marble from the
quarries at Tortosa, built into its walls, and the Font in the
Baptistery is an old Roman basin. What a glorious city it must have been
when the Emperor Augustus made it his capital! and the overland trade
met the sea-going in the harbour below.

Twenty miles away at Gayá the Romans tapped a continuous supply of fresh
water, and their aqueduct, a good deal of which remains, ranks next to
that of Segovia in size, and stands as an example of how the Romans
built. Roman villas with incomparable views out to sea, dotted the
hillsides; temples to every god and goddess rose in the city, which
contained a million inhabitants. It possessed a mint of its own, and,
favoured by nature and art, became known as "Colonia victrix togata
turrita."

[Illustration: TARRAGONA]

The Moslem sacked Tarragona, and for four centuries one of the glories
of Colonial Rome lay a heap of ruins. In 1089, at the commencement of
the building of the Cathedral, the see, much to the disgust of Toledo,
was raised to metropolitan dignity. Thenceforth, between the two cities,
endless disputes have arisen as to the Primacy of Spain.

Though begun at the above date, most of the Cathedral is of twelfth and
early thirteenth-century work. It is not known who designed this
magnificent church, the finest example of Transition in Spain. The
interior is very simple and very dignified. The roof is borne by grand
piers, thirty-five feet in circumference. Their bases are broken by four
seats, one in each corner, placed thus to enhance the line of the
composition, and break the otherwise too great severity of the
foundations.

There is no triforium; but an early pointed clerestory of large bays,
and a superb rose window in the west, of date 1131, admit a flood of
light. Nothing could well be simpler than the pairs of massive columns
which carry the centre arches of the vaulting, nor finer than the
delicate single attendant at their sides from which spring the
transverse sections. All these are capped with square Romanesque
capitals.

The chancel is pure Romanesque and very beautiful. The semicircular end
of the Capilla Mayor and the two small apses are the oldest part of this
noble building. The _retablo_ of the High Altar is alabaster, and carved
with reliefs of the martyrdom of Santa Tecla, Tarragona's patroness. The
delicate tapering finials and the figures under canopies below, are
carved in wood. Behind the High Altar is a very interesting urn which
contains the ashes of Cyprian, a Gothic archbishop.

The fine _cimborio_ which rises above the crossing has eight windows of
three and four lights alternately, which contain fragments of very
brilliant coloured glass. In the transepts are two magnificent wheel
windows full of good glass, indeed I know of no better scheme of colour
than that which adorns this window on the south side.

The _silleria del coro_ are the work of Francisco Gomar and date from
1478. The body of James I. of Aragon lies in a tomb at the west end of
the _trascoro_, having been brought here from the ruined Monastery of
Poblet--the Escorial of Aragon. A ruin where still lie under their much
despoiled and mutilated tombs some of the rulers of that kingdom.

[Illustration: TARRAGONA. THE ARCHBISHOP'S TOWER]

This grand Cathedral is not dependent on gloom or subdued light for its
great impressiveness. On the contrary it is the best lit of any of
Spain's Cathedrals, and it is on its excellent proportions and scale
alone that its reputation for solemnity will always rest, and its
majesty be ever remembered.

The west façade, commenced in 1248, is constructed of a light-coloured
stone, which time has improved into a very beautiful sienna brown. The
upper portion is unfinished. In the centre is a fine and deeply recessed
Gothic portal, flanked by two massive buttresses. Under Gothic canopies
stand statues of the Apostles and Prophets, the lintel of the doorway is
supported by a Virgin and Child, above which is the Saviour, and a row
of figures rising out of their tombs on the Judgment Day. Above all is
the already-mentioned rose window. So well does the mass of the building
rise above the adjacent roofs that this window is visible from the
breakwater of the harbour. The two doorways on either side of the façade
are pure Romanesque. Each is surmounted by a small wheel window. The
iron work which covers the doors is of a very intricate design; and the
huge iron knockers with grotesque heads, the hinges of the doors, and
the copper work as well, gave me many pleasant moments in marvelling at
the skill of the smiths of days gone by.

It was in the cloisters however that I found the greatest charm of the
whole Cathedral. The court is a veritable garden, where date palms, fig
trees and oleanders crowd one another in the neatly arranged beds behind
box hedges. I spent many pleasant hours in this delightful spot, my
solitude broken by occasional visits from the Sacristan, who, in his
faded and patched purple cassock, came in at odd times for a chat. Very
proud of his Cathedral was this quiet custodian, and I shall never
forget his soft voice and winning smile, nor the great interest he
evinced in my sketch. The swifts rushed screaming past, the bees hummed
from flower to flower, the scent of the plants was delicious, the warm
sun and the splash of the fountain--turned on for my benefit--all went
to help the welcome repose and forgetfulness of the outer world that
overcame me as long as I was at work in this little Paradise.

The double doorway in the north transept through which one enters the
cloisters from the Cathedral, is the finest of all. The capitals of its
detached shafts are wonderfully carved. They represent the Awaking of
the Three Kings by an Angel, the Nativity and the Journey of the Magi.
The arcading of the cloisters consists of six bays on all four sides,
these bays are subdivided into three round arches, with a couple of
circular openings above and enclosed within the arch. Some of these
openings contain very beautifully carved tracery.

[Illustration: TARRAGONA. THE CLOISTERS]

The capitals of the columns are a museum of quaint fancy and good
carving. In one set, all the incidents of a sea voyage are cut, in
another, mice are seen carrying a cat to his grave, who, shamming death,
turns and devours some of them before his obsequies are complete. There
is a Descent from the Cross, where one of the Faithful wields a pair of
pincers much longer than his own arms, so determined is he to pull out
the nails that cruelly wound Christ's hands.

Many fragments of Roman sculpture are let into the walls; and a lovely
little Moorish arch, with a Cufic inscription and date 960, reminds one
of the Infidel's rule over the city.

To reach times nearer our own, there are two inscriptions telling of the
occupation by British troops, which run--_5th Company_ and further on
_6th Company_--obviously pointing to the fact that these lovely
cloisters sheltered some of our own troops during the Peninsular War.
Like many other Cathedrals, Tarragona's possesses a grand series of
tapestries, which are hung round the columns and walls during certain
festivals. They are mostly Flemish and not in any way ecclesiastical.
One indeed that I saw was anything but this. Cupid was leading a lady,
who was in _déshabille_, into her chamber, wherein, by a four-post bed,
stood a gentleman with a lighted taper in his hand!

It was pleasant in the evening to stroll down to the harbour and out
along the mole, to watch the deep-sea fishing fleet race home with the
long sweeps out in every boat as the wind dropped and the sea became an
oily calm. I must own it was with great regret I left this now peaceful
spot--a city that once boasted of a million inhabitants, and prior to
that was a great Phoenician port! Of all the Cathedral Cities of Spain
I would rather return to Tarragona than any other, hold converse with my
friend the Sacristan, who knows and loves his Cathedral so well, and end
the day as the sun goes down watching the boats return from long hours
of toil.



BARCELONA


Barcelona the Progressive, the finest port of Spain, with its large
harbour, its wide boulevards, splendid suburbs, good hotels, huge
factories and modern prosperity has well earned the title of first city
of the New Spain.

Amilcar Barca in 225 B.C. founded the Carthagenian city which occupied
the Taber hill on which the Cathedral now stands, and twenty years later
it became a colony of Rome. Remnants of the old walls can still be
traced in the narrow streets which centre round the Holy Fabric. Under
the Goths, Barcino, as it was then called, rose to some importance,
money coined here bears the legend "Barcinona." The Moors were in
possession of the sea-washed fortress for about one hundred years, and
then the reign of the Counts of Barcelona, independent sovereigns,
began.

Count Ramon Berenguer I., who ruled from 1025 to 1077, instituted the
famous "Códego de los Usatjes de Cataluña," an admirable code of laws,
to which was added in the thirteenth century the "Consulado del mar de
Barcelona." This latter code obtained in the commercial world of Europe
the same authority as the old "Leges Rhodiæ" of the ancients.

When at the height of its prosperity, Barcelona, the centre of commerce,
received a severe blow by the union of Cataluña with Aragon, on the
occasion of the marriage of Count Ramon Berenguer IV. to Petronila
daughter of Ramiro II. King of Aragon. When Aragon and Castile were
united Barcelona became subject to the "Catholic Kings," and ever since,
in language, in habits and enterprise has shown her dislike for and her
struggle against the ways of Castile.

To-day Barcelona is far in advance of any other city of Spain. I felt I
was once more in Europe when the comfortable hotel 'bus rattled along
through the well-lit streets. Perhaps I was getting tired of life in the
Middle Ages, and was obsessed with Mediæval Cities! At any rate, a clean
bed in a modern hotel was a luxury I thoroughly appreciated, and I
started the next morning to explore, with a mind at ease and a
consciousness that there would be no irritating little pin-pricks, no
_mañana_ for a couple of weeks at least.

[Illustration: BARCELONA. IN THE CATHEDRAL]

The Cathedral stands on the site of a Pagan Church converted by the
Moors into a Mosque. The present edifice replaced the Christian Church
which superseded this Mosque, and was begun in 1298. The crypt was
finished in 1339 and the cloisters in 1388. The west façade was covered
with scaffolding while I was there, and so may perhaps be completed in
another thirty years.

The interior of this splendid Gothic church is very dark. The pointed
windows are all filled with magnificent fifteenth-century glass. At the
sunset hour, when the rays of light strike low and filter through the
many colours of these windows, the effect in the gloom of this solemn
building is most beautiful. As the orb of day sinks lower and lower the
light lingers on column after column right up the lofty nave to the High
Altar until he suddenly disappears, and all within is wrapt in deep
twilight.

The nave is very narrow and very high. The clustered columns seem to
disappear into space, and the vaulting is almost lost in the darkness.
There are deep galleries over the side chapels in the aisles, which have
a rather curious arrangement of vaulting. From the roof of the aisles at
each bay depend massive circular lamps which catch the light and
heighten the effect of mystery which is omnipresent throughout the
Cathedral.

A flight of steps in front of the High Altar--an almost unique
feature--leads down to the crypt, where rests the body of Santa Eulalia,
Barcelona's patron saint. Her alabaster shrine is adorned with reliefs
of different incidents in her life.

The _retablo_ of the High Altar is richly ornate with tapering Gothic
finials of the fifteenth century; below it is a sarcophagus containing
the remains of St. Severus.

Above the Gothic _silleria del coro_ hang the coats-of-arms of the
Knights of the Golden Fleece. Among them are those of Henry VIII. of
England. The only installation of the Order was held here by Charles V.

The side chapels contain very little of interest, but the cloisters are
otherwise. Entered either from the street or the south door of the
Cathedral their beauty is very striking. In the centre palms and orange
trees rear their heads, and the splash of the fountains, in one of which
the sacred geese are kept, is refreshingly cool after the bustle of
streets outside.

San Pablo del Campo, now a barrack, is the most interesting of
Barcelona's ecclesiastical remains. This church, built by Wilfred II. in
913, is more like the ancient churches of Galicia than those of
Catalonia. Very small and cruciform, a solid dome rises from the centre.
Its cloisters are perfect, the arcading is composed of double shafts
with well-cut figures on the capitals.

The peculiarity of Catalonia's churches is well illustrated in the
aisleless Santa Maria del Mar, San Just, and Santa Maria del Pi. The
first named has some magnificent glass and four good pictures by
Viladomát, and in the crypt beneath the High Altar a curious wooden
figure of San Alajo. San Just has the belfry common to the churches of
Catalonia, an open iron-work screen, from which depend the bells, and
Santa Maria del Pi contains a fine wheel window and more magnificent
glass.

A relic of Loyola, the sword that he offered on the Altar of the Virgin
at Montserrat, is still preserved in the old Jesuit Church of Nuestra
Señora de Belen.

Among the many notable buildings in Barcelona is the Casa Consistorial,
or Town Hall. It was built in 1378, and has a very original Gothic
front. A beautiful _patio_ with slender arches and twisted columns adds
to the interest of the interior.

The Casa de la Diputacion opposite contains the picture on which Fortuny
was at work when he died. The _patio_ here is perhaps better than that
in the Casa Consistorial. It is in three stages, from the topmost of
which huge gargoyles of all sorts of devils and monsters rear their ugly
heads.

In the old quarters of the city, where the five-and six-storied houses
almost touch, the streets are very tortuous and not considered safe at
night.

In this respect, however, Barcelona does not stand alone. Any one who
ventures into the low parts of a Mediterranean seaport after dusk
generally does so at his own risk. Very few brawls commence among the
hot-blooded lower orders of the south without the finale of the knife.

By far the most interesting suburb of the city is Barceloneta. This
self-contained town is entirely given up to the fisherfolk and seafaring
portion of Barcelona's inhabitants. Philip V., when planning his
citadel, now demolished, turned out the people who dwelt where he
afterwards erected it. To compensate them for loss of home and property,
he built this well-planned and well-paved suburb out along the coast to
the north-east. With the breeze coming in every afternoon off the sea my
favourite walk was through the park to Barceloneta. Of all the seaports
I know, Naples not excepted, though the Sta. Lucia of five-and-twenty
years ago might have beaten it, the harbour front of Barceloneta is
without an equal. Here one may watch the boat-builders at work under the
oddest roofs imaginable, carpenters busy with the shaping of masts and
oars, and ship's painters putting the finishing touches to boat
accessories. I used to stand awhile admiring the inventive turn
displayed on the exterior embellishments of the marine-dealers' stores.
Wonderful pictures, of ships that could never float, from brushes
wielded by very local talent in glaring vermilion and green. I watched
the holiday-makers sitting in ramshackle booths, rapidly putting away
all sorts of curiosities of the shell-fish order, and I wondered if they
would survive the day. Perhaps the copious draughts of wine they took
was an antidote, at any rate their laughter and good humour gave point
to my unspoken thought--"let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die."

[Illustration: BARCELONA. THE RAMBLA]

Going on, I often spent some time comparing the drill of artillery
recruits, whose instructors marched them up and down on a quiet bit of
the roadway, with those at home, and I generally finished my walk and
sat me down on the glorious stretch of sand that runs away north as far
as eye can follow. The evening would then draw in, and the twinkling
lights on the ships in the harbour warn me it was time to return. While
twilight lasted I retraced my steps homewards along the quay-side,
invigorated by an afternoon of sea breeze and salt spray.

The focus of Barcelona's life is the celebrated Rambla. The derivation
of this word is Arabic--"Raml-sand"--a river bed, for a small stream at
one time meandered down to the sea where now is the liveliest street in
the north of Spain.

On either side of the central promenade, under the shade of stately
plane trees, are the carriage drives. The broad walk itself is
thronged, especially in the morning when marketing is done, with an
ever-changing crowd. Boys distribute hand-bills, dog-fanciers stroll
about bargaining with dealers, itinerant merchants cry their wares. A
family of father, mother, and children cross the stream of promenaders,
followed by a pet lamb. Acquaintances meet and gossip away a good ten
minutes.

At the top end of the Rambla are situated the stalls of the
bird-sellers, who also deal in mice, a great place this for mama and her
small daughters. Lower down, the flower-sellers congregate under their
red-striped umbrellas. It was here that I made my sketch, in which
luckily, for a bit of colour, I was able to include the blue-bloused
porters in their red caps who wait about for a job with the rope of
their calling slung over their shoulders. Here too all the odd job men
stand awaiting hire. House painters in white blouses with insignia of
their trade--a whitewash brush on the end of a pole--held high, and
others--an endless variety.

Barcelona, being a business town, is democratic to the core, it is also
to the core, Catalan. The names of streets are displayed in Catalan as
well as Spanish. The animals in the Zoological Gardens also are known by
their Catalan, and Castilian as well as Latin names! Barcelona will have
no dealings with Castile, its people speak their own language and
address the foreigner in French. Barcelona is go-ahead. In the houses of
the new suburbs l'art nouveau screams at one, and everything is
up-to-date!

The Spaniard is well-known to be lazy, not so the Catalan. I have never
seen a Spaniard running, but I have seen a Catalan walking fast!



GERONA


The siege of Gerona is as celebrated in the Spanish history of the
Napoleonic wars as that of Saragossa. Both exemplify the bravery and
tenacity of the Spaniard of the north. In the first siege in 1808, three
hundred men of the Ulster Regiment, under their gallant leader O'Daly,
helped to garrison the place against two ferocious attacks by Duchesne
and his French soldiery. The first failed and the second ended in the
utter rout of the besiegers with the loss of all the artillery and
baggage train.

In the following year three French generals with an army of thirty
thousand men invested the city. Alvarez, the Spanish Governor, was
almost without any means of defence, and the women of Gerona enrolled
themselves under the banner of Santa Barbara, the patron saint of
Spain's artillery, and took their places on the ramparts side by side
with their husbands and sweethearts. Alvarez, ably seconded by a few
English under Marshall, held out until he was struck down by disease and
death. The city then, without a leader, its inhabitants starving, at
length surrendered.

So ancient is Gerona that its early history is lost in the mist of ages.
Charlemagne drove the Moors out when they were in possession, but it
soon passed back into their hands again. The Counts of Barcelona ruled
over the place until the union of Catalonia and Aragon, an event which
gave birth to the Crown Prince's title of Principe de Gerona. Hence we
know that in the twelfth century it was a city of great importance. In
consequence of its adhesion, at the end of the War of Succession, to the
house of Hapsburg, Gerona was deprived of its privileges and university,
since which time it has steadily gone down hill.

Down hill it may have proceeded, but I found it a very pleasant, quaint
old-world city set in the midst of verdant hills and running waters.
Shady walks are taking the place of now useless fortifications; and have
not I sat in one of the most delightful rose gardens you could wish to
rest in, and heard the note of the nightingale trilling on the perfumed
air? Most of Spain has gone down hill, and most of Spain is nothing but
enchanting.

[Illustration: GERONA. THE CATTLE MARKET]

Gerona is bisected by the river Oñar, and from its waters which wash
them, the houses rise tier above tier up the hill side. In the summer
when the river is running low, and if it happens to be a Saturday, you
will see one of the most remarkable sights that Spain can boast of.
Under and around the arches of the old bridge are congregated hundreds
of brown and fawn-coloured cattle. The background of ancient houses,
yellow, grey, white, brown--every tone, rises up above this throng.
Coloured garments, the week's washing, flutter in the breeze, green
shutters and blinds hang from the creeper-clad balconies.

It is market day. The lowing of oxen, mingled with the hum of bargaining
humanity in red caps and Prussian-blue blouses, surges up like the sound
of breakers on a distant shore. You who enter Spain by the east route,
go to Gerona at the end of the week--you will never regret its Saturday
market.

The Cathedral stands well. The west façade, a Renaissance addition, is
approached from the Plaza below by a grand flight of ninety steps in
three tiers. In the unfinished jambs of the south door are a series of
interesting terra-cotta figures dating from 1458.

There is nothing else in the exterior worthy of note, but directly I
entered I stopped in amazement at the daring of an architect who could
build so enormous a span as that under which I found myself. This span
is seventy-three feet, the clear width of the nave, and unsupported by
any pillars. No flying buttresses outside give additional strength to
the thrust of the roof. The stonework is perfect and the vaulting inside
simple. So bold and hazardous were the plans of Guillermo Boffy that the
chapter at first refused to sanction them. Being in doubts as to his
sanity, they sought the opinion of twelve other architects, who were
examined separately. As they all approved and passed Boffy's plans, the
construction of this marvel was commenced, and the first stone laid in
1416.

The apsidal chancel had been begun a century earlier and finished in
1346, pretty much on the same lines as this part of Barcelona's
Cathedral.

Unfortunately--how often does one have to acknowledge this!--the _coro_,
with its hideous _respaldos_, painted to imitate Gothic arches in
perspective, almost ruins this splendid and solemn interior. Among the
seats of the _silleria del coro_ there are still preserved some that
date from the fourteenth century.

Early carved work of the same period is found in the elaborate _retablo_
over the High Altar, which is surmounted by three fine processional
crosses. The _baldaquino_, also of wood, is covered like the _retablo_
with plates of silver. It is a mass of precious metal, enamelled
coats-of-arms and gems, and is an extremely interesting relic of that
century.

[Illustration: GERONA. THE CATHEDRAL]

Over the sacristy door are the tombs of Count Ramon Berenguer II. and
his wife Ermensendis, who died in 1058, predeceasing her husband by
twenty-four years. The sacristy itself contains a remarkable piece of
twelfth-century crewel work, said to be the earliest known specimen in
existence. It is covered with figures of a type similar to those of
contemporary MSS. The Romanesque cloisters form an irregular trapezium.
The columns are doubled and about a foot apart, not unlike those of
Tarragona.

The finest Romanesque example that Gerona possesses is the church of San
Pedro de los Galligans. The apse, little damaged during the siege, forms
a tower in the town wall. There is no doubt of the great antiquity of
this building, which dates probably from the early part of the tenth
century. The east end is mostly constructed of black volcanic scoriæ.
The nave and aisles, the bays of which are very simply built, are almost
prehistoric in their roughness.

In the cloisters attached to the church is the Museo Provincial. Many
relics of Gerona's heroic defence can here be seen, as well as some
early Christian and Hebrew remains.



TOLEDO


Standing high above the yellow Tagus, which, confined in a deep gorge,
rushes and swirls far below between precipitous granite cliffs, Toledo
was always an ideal position for a fortress before modern firearms
rendered Nature's defences of little avail.

Its name is associated with the great Cardinals of the Rodrigo, Tenorio,
and Foncesca families, as well as scions of the houses of Ximenes,
Mendoza, Tavera, and Lorenzana. The wealth of these Prelates was
immense, and their power, Ecclesiastical and Temporal, proportionate.
They practically had no rivals, they certainly feared none, they ruled
kings as well as countries, and their allegiance to Rome was purely
nominal. They made wars and fought in them. For their patronage of art
and literature future generations have had good cause to be grateful.
They built schools and improved the means of communication throughout
the land. Under their influence the Church was omnipotent, and they have
written their names deep in the pages of Spanish history. In fact, so
great was the power of Toledo's clergy that it grew to be the cause of
the foundation of the Capital at Madrid. Philip II., who removed the
Court from Valladolid to Toledo, found it better, after a short
residence here, to take himself and his Court to a town where he no
longer encountered the arrogance of Ecclesiastical rule.

Under the Romans, who captured it in 193 B.C., "Toletum" became the
capital of Hispania. Leovigild removed hither from Seville, and his
successor, Reccared, who embraced the orthodox form of Christianity,
made it the ecclesiastical as well as political capital of his
dominions.

For nearly four centuries, from 712, when the Moors took Toledo, it was
under their rule; but divided counsels and the treachery of the
down-trodden Hebrew enabled Alfonso VI. to enter in triumph with the
Cid. The King then styled himself Emperor, and promoted the Archbishop
to the Primacy of Spain. Under Alfonso's rule the city grew rapidly in
every way. Churches and convents were built, defences strengthened, and
Toledo knew no rival.

With far-seeing wisdom, Moor and Christian were allowed to intermarry,
and lived together in peace for wellnigh one hundred and fifty years.
The advent in 1227 of that ecclesiastical firebrand, St. Ferdinand,
however, altered this. One of his first acts was to pull down the
Mosque, wherein the Moors of the city, by Alfonso's royal prerogative,
had been allowed to worship, and commence the building on its site of
the great Cathedral.

[Illustration: TOLEDO. THE CATHEDRAL]

For two hundred years and more did the architects who followed Pedro
Perez add bit by bit, leaving their mark on its stones. Partly
constructed of granite it is immensely strong. A softer stone has been
used with great discretion in the decorative portions of the building.

No comprehensive view of the Cathedral is obtainable, so closely do the
houses surround it on the south and east, and creep up the hill on which
it is built, on the north. The west front is best seen from the Plaza
Ayuntamiento, a pleasant little garden which the Town Hall bounds on one
side. I managed a sketch from the narrow street below this garden.

Only one of the two towers of the west façade is finished as originally
intended. The other is capped by a dome, designed by El Greco, that
painter of the weird, and under which is the chapel wherein the
Mozárabic ritual is celebrated daily at 9 A.M.

The great west door, La Puerta del Perdon, is enriched with embossed
bronze work. Flanking on it either side are the doors of Las Palmas, and
de los Escribanos. The arches of all three have figures in the jambs,
which are continued round each arch in the very best Gothic of the
fifteenth century. Above the doors the façade is adorned with a
sculptured Last Supper and colossal figures in niches. In the centre is
a splendid rose window twenty-eight feet in diameter.

The north transept is entered from the steep Calle de la Chapineria by
La Puerta del Reloj, the oldest doorway of the Cathedral. Its bronze
doors, of later date than the doorway, were cast to match those of La
Puerta de los Leones in the south transept. This doorway's name is
derived from the Lions, which holding shields, occupy positions on its
pillars. Another entrance is through La Puerta de la Presentacion which
opens on the cloisters.

The effect produced by the magnificent interior is much enhanced by the
beauty of the glass which fills most of the windows. The earliest are on
the north side of the nave, and form a series which was commenced in
1418 and finished one hundred and fifty years later. The glass in the
rose window over the west door is superb, and the same may be said for
that in the north transept and the wheel window over La Puerta de los
Leones.

There is no triforium, and the transepts do not project beyond the nave.
The arches of the very beautiful chancel serve as niches for figures.
Here in each bay is a rose window forming a clerestory, and the colours
in the glass of these shine like jewels in a crown.

[Illustration: TOLEDO. THE SOUTH TRANSEPT]

There are in all twenty chapels, every one of which contains something
worth study. The lofty _retablo_ in the Capilla Mayor is of the richest
Gothic. Above is a colossal Calvary of later workmanship. Cardinal
Ximenes built this chapel, among the many monuments of which are the
tombs of Spain's earliest kings. Separating it from the _crucero_ is a
magnificent Plateresque _reja_, on either side of which stands a gilded
pulpit.

Behind the _retablo_ is the _transparente_, much admired by Toledans,
but the one jarring note in the finest of Spain's Cathedrals. This
theatrical mass of marble figures, in the midst of which the Archangel
Rafael kicks his feet high in the air and squeezes a gold fish in one
hand! is lit from a window let into the roof of the apse.

The Capilla de Reyes Nuevos contains the tombs of the kings descended
from Henry II. His tomb and that of his wife, as well as the spouse of
Henry III., a daughter of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, are among the
many that crowd the walls.

The Capilla de San Ildefonso is an extremely beautiful example of early
Gothic work. The much-mutilated tomb in the centre of Cardinal Albornoz
is a masterpiece of the same style. Many other great Ecclesiastics rest
in this elegant octagon, notably Inigo de Mendoza, Viceroy of Sardinia,
who was killed at the siege of Granada.

The Capilla de Santiago was erected in 1435 by Alvaro de Luna, the man
who saved Spain for Juan II. by repressing the turbulent nobles, and who
for his fidelity was rewarded by disgrace and execution in the Plaza
Mayor at Valladolid. The scallop shells which decorate the walls
represent de Luna's office of Grand Master of the Order of Santiago.

Cardinal Ximenes re-established the Mozárabic Ritual, which is
celebrated in the Capilla Mozárabe, as a reminder to the Pope that Spain
did not owe implicit allegiance to Rome.

The small detached Capilla de la Descension de Nuestra Señora stands
against the second pier in the north aisle. It marks the spot where the
Virgin came down and presented San Ildefonso with the _casulla_ or
chausable.

The Salle Capitular is a grand example of early sixteenth-century work,
with a Plateresque frieze and gilt _artesonado_ ceiling by Francisco de
Lara. It contains a series of portraits of the Cardinal Archbishops of
Toledo, and frescoes by Juan de Borgoña. The work of this painter is to
be met with throughout the Cathedral.

The _coro_ occupies two bays of the nave and is a veritable museum of
carving and sculpture. Its _silleria_ are in two rows. The lower is of
walnut and enriched with scenes representing the campaigns of Ferdinand
and Isabella. The upper of the same wood is a perfect classical contrast
and is inlaid not carved. Berruguete, whose work may be best studied in
Valladolid, executed the seats on the south side, and Vigarney those on
the north. A small figure of the Virgin in blackened stone looks really
ancient. It stands in the middle of the _coro_ on a pedestal. Nicolas de
Vergara was responsible for the two reading desks, which are
masterpieces of gilded metal work.

The Gothic cloisters enclose a delightful garden, and have an upper
cloister reached by a door in the Archbishop's Palace. From this
pleasant _claustro alto_ a very good idea of the size of the Cathedral
is obtained.

Space does not permit me to enlarge on the manifold works of art which
this noble building contains. The pictures, the iron work--though I must
just mention a beautifully fanciful knocker of two nude nymphs hanging
downwards from the head of a satyr whose hands clasped together form the
handle, which adorns La Puerta de la Presentacion--the sculpture,
notably that on the _respaldo_, or outer wall of the _coro_, and the
many relics in the Treasury, would all occupy more than I can afford.
Suffice it to say that nowhere in Spain is there a Gothic building of
such well-proportioned dimensions, such simplicity in its leading
features, such a fine idea in the interior of the spacing out of light
and shade, as in this magnificent Cathedral--the grandest of the three
due to French influence.

And Toledo's churches? There are nearly sixty still remaining, every
street seems to contain one! And Toledo's convents? There are almost as
many. Of the former, San Juan de los Reyes, on the high ground above the
bridge of Saint Martin, the last remnant left of a once wealthy
Franciscan convent, was built by Cardinal Ximenes in commemoration of
the "Catholic Kings" victory of Toro. On its outer walls still hang the
manacles and chains of the captive Christians who were set free at the
conquest of Granada, and the interior is embellished with the arms of
Ferdinand and Isabella, and covered with sculptured heraldry.

[Illustration: TOLEDO. THE ZÓCODOVER]

Santa Maria la Blanca, originally a Jewish synagogue, is in the
_Mudéjar_ style, and has some charming arabesques, with a fine cedar
ceiling said to be of wood from the trees at Lebanon. Almost
opposite--we are in the Juderia, or Jews' quarter, to the south-east of
San Juan de los Reyes--is another synagogue, el Transito. Built in 1366
by Samuel Levi, Pedro the Cruel's treasurer, in the Moorish style, it is
almost a better piece of architecture than Santa Maria la Blanca. Levi
lived next door, in the house known now as La Casa del Greco, that
painter having occupied it during his residence in Toledo. The house and
synagogue are connected by a secret passage from the vaults of the
former. These are of immense size and strength, and in Levi's day held
an enormous amount of treasure--too much for the poor man's good. His
royal master, when sufficient was accumulated, put him to death and
appropriated all he could find.

El Cristo de la Luz, one of the most interesting churches in Toledo, was
originally a tiny mosque. It is divided into nine different compartments
by four columns, from the capitals of which spring sixteen arches. It
was here that Alfonso VI. attended the first Mass after the city was
captured. Close by is the Convent of San Domingo el Real, where a
glimpse may be had of picturesque nuns while at their devotions during
early service.

As the station 'bus rattled up the steep winding ascent to the Despacho
Central we dashed through the Zocodovér, the square celebrated for
numerous _auto de fés_ and other executions. All day long it is crowded
with sauntering folk, who walk up and down, quietly enough now, on the
scene of much former cruelty, bloodshed, and many bull-fights.

On its eastern side a fine Moorish arch leads down the hill by a
footpath to the Bridge of Alcántara. Immediately the arch is passed on
the left lies the old Hospital de Santa Cruz. It is one of the best
examples of the Transition to Renaissance in Spain. The portal is deeply
undercut and elaborately carved in soft "white rose" stone and marble.
The inner gate is plateresque and only surpassed by San Marcos at Leon
and the gateway of the university at Salamanca. Cardinal Mendoza's arms
adorn the beautiful _patio_, which has a double arcade of great
elegance, and the stone work on the balustrade of the staircase leading
out of this is very fine. Opposite, on the other side of this steep
descent, are the Military Governor's quarters which are dominated by the
huge Alcázar, now the Military Academy for Infantry Cadets. Destroyed by
fire in 1886, the present edifice, rebuilt soon after, is seen in the
illustration of the Alcántara Bridge rising a great square mass on the
top of the hill. It was the fortress and palace of Moorish days. Alvaro
de Luna had a share in its alteration and Herrera completed it to the
present size by additions executed for Philip II. Many a time has it
been sacked by the conquerors of Toledo and many a prisoner of note
passed his last hours within its gloomy walls, before being led out to
death in the Zocodovér.

[Illustration: TOLEDO. THE ALCÁNTARA BRIDGE]

Both Toledo's bridges are magnificent. The Alcántara, crossed on the way
from the station, has but a couple of arches which span the mighty river
at a great height. It is defended by a gateway at either end, that on
the inner side being the Moorish Tower in my sketch. The Bridge of Saint
Martin has one arch of enormous span with four smaller, which carry it
over the rushing Tagus. Between these two bridges from the opposite bank
of the river one gets the best idea of Toledo's strength. Nothing in
Spain surpasses the grim majesty of the city, which rises above the
sun-baked and wind-blistered crags that form the gorge below through
which the river has cut its way. No spot could have been better chosen
for defence than the hill enclosed in this "horseshoe" of mad waters.
Small wonder that within its encircling walls grew up a race of Prelates
whose rule spread far beyond the borders of Castile, and whose powerful
hand was felt in countries of an alien tongue.

Of the eight city gates the most interesting is the Puerta del Sol, a
Moorish structure with two towers on either side of a horseshoe arch. It
is close to the little church of el Cristo de la Luz, and from either of
the towers a very good idea is obtained of Toledo's defences. Near the
Puerta del Cambon, another of the gates, is the site of the old palace
of the last of the Spanish Goths, Roderic, who lost his life on the
banks of the Guadalete near Cadiz when giving battle to Tarik and his
Berbers.

My whole impression of Toledo was that of a city of gloom. Its larger
houses were forbidding in the extreme. In these a huge portal, with
armorial bearings and massive pillars, defended by a stout iron-bound
door, opens into a dark porch, from which one enters the _patio_ through
an equally strong entrance. The windows that look on to the street are
heavily barred and none are within reach of the pedestrian. Its streets,
too narrow and steep for vehicular traffic, are as silent as the grave
(most Spaniards wear shoes made of esparto grass or soft leather), save
when a young cadet from the Alcázar passes along rattling his sword, and
attracts the attention of the señoritas who sit high up in those
inaccessible balconies. Built on the Moorish plan, these tortuous
thoroughfares twist and turn like a maze, and it seemed to me that the
sun never entered them.

Houses and streets, walls and towers, still remain as they were in the
great Cardinal's days, and stand, even now, as symbols of the iron rule
of the Church. The Cardinal's hat is to be found graved in stone over
many a door, and the "Sheaf of Arrows," the arms of the "Catholic
Kings," is still to be seen over the entrance of what was once the
palace of Pedro the Cruel.

Toledo blades are still made and proved in the ugly factory a mile
outside the city. Toledo ware (made in Germany) is sold by most of the
shops. The growing trade in liquorice is a modern industry, but if it
were not for another recent innovation, the Military Academy, it would
take no stretch of the imagination to carry one back again into the
Middle Ages and to sink one's individuality and become a human atom
under the rule of the great Church.



SALAMANCA


Before I ever thought that Fate would take me to Spain, I had formed in
my mind, as one is apt to do, a Spain of my own, a Spain of glorious
romance. I had been in many cities throughout the country, but it was
not until I reached Salamanca that, "Surely," thought I, "the Spain of
my imagination is now realised."

Here in the middle of the plain, with which one's thoughts are somehow
familiar, rises the great Cathedral, its towers are landmarks for miles
round. Here is a beautiful river winding through valleys deep cut in the
ochre-coloured soil, its banks are clad with verdure and it is spanned
by an ancient bridge. Away over the plain, just visible in the haze, are
the blue mountains of the south. In the midst of all, the dull mud and
yellow walls of the city, the many-hued roofs of red and brown, with
deep shadows under their eaves, rise tier above tier to the Cathedral
above. And this, the prototype of Spain's greatness, her Church, the
ever-present reminder that in days gone by its princes led her armies
to victory and placed her in the van of nations.

I am standing on the noble bridge, half of which is even now as it was
in the days of the Roman occupation. Those massive walls up there of
monasteries and convents always formed part of the picture of my
imagination. They bake under a September sun, just as all Spain ought to
do. A long string of heavily laden mules trots past, their bells
jingling merrily, their drivers shouting and cracking their whips. A
well set-up peasant with his head in a handkerchief and broad-brimmed
hat, cut-away tunic, red sash and tight knee breeches, canters by seated
on a high peaked saddle. His well-bred horse shows a good deal of the
Arab strain, across its quarters are a couple of rugs and its rider
carries an umbrella. A beggar stops before me, and prays that, for the
love of the Holy Mary, I will give him a _perro chico_. Two wizened old
cronies go by chattering about Manuelo's wife. One carries a couple of
fowls tied together by their legs, the poor birds are doing their best
to hold their heads in a natural position. Some little urchins are
throwing stones at the washerwomen by the riverside below. An old man
seated on a donkey's rump ambles past. Yes, this is what I imagined
Spain to be. I turn my steps towards the city. I wander by the Cathedral
and reach the great university of the middle ages. What would Salamanca
have been without its university! I pass many fine houses, with
coats-of-arms emblazoned over their portals. I gaze at their high walls
and windows barred to keep the intruder from the fair sex. Most of them
seem falling into decay, but this only adds to the romance. At length I
reach an arcaded square. The columns of the arcades are wooden, they are
at all sorts of angles, but the houses above still stand. The sun blazes
down on scores of picturesque market folk, who sell almost everything
from peaches and fowls to little tinsel images and double-pronged hoes.
Dogs are sniffing about picking up stray scraps. Children run in and
out, fall down and get up laughing. Every one is busy. The animation of
this little square, as I suddenly come upon it out of a deeply shaded
and aristocratic street, is just the Spain I had always thought of--a
Spain of contrasts. Brilliant sun and grateful shade. Seclusion behind
high walls, and a strange medley of noisy folk, for ever bargaining,
buying and selling. Certainly in Salamanca it is all here. I hear the
click of the castanets and the sound of the guitar in the evening, I see
the ardent lover standing at those iron bars whispering soft raptures to
his mistress, and the picture is complete.

[Illustration: SALAMANCA]

Salamanca is a sleepy old city which the world seems to have left
behind. In the summer it is a veritable furnace, in the winter it is
swept by icy blasts. Before the Christian era it was known as
Salmantica. Hannibal came and captured it in B.C. 247 and under the
Romans it was the ninth military station on the great road which they
built connecting Cadiz and Merida with Astorga and Gijón. Alfonso IX. of
Leon founded the university, which reached its zenith as a seat of
learning during the sixteenth century. Philip II., having transferred
his Court from Valladolid to Toledo, made Salamanca's bishop suffragan
to that city's, since when it seems to have been left out in the cold
and slowly but surely proceeded down hill. This is the reason, I think,
why it attracted me so much. It is essentially a city with a Past and of
the Past. The French under Thiébaut pulled it to pieces and used the
material from its demolished buildings to fortify the place. This was in
1811. The following year saw Marmont's troops utterly routed by
Wellington, three miles south of the fortifications. It was this victory
that gained him his Marquisate and a grant from Parliament of £100,000.

Like Saragossa, Salamanca possesses two Cathedrals. The older intensely
interesting in every way, the later, a huge late Gothic pile begun in
1513 and finished in 1733. This immense structure affords a good study
of the changes of architectural taste spread over the years which
intervened between these two dates.

[Illustration: SALAMANCA. THE OLD CATHEDRAL]

The west façade is a marvel of intricate sculpture in the
richly-coloured soft stone that has been used as if it were plaster or
wax. Late Gothic predominates amidst a deal of Plateresque and Barroque
ornament. Despite its incongruities it is extremely fine, but would look
even better if some of the numerous niches had not lost their statues,
and if little boys did not find a pastime in lodging stones amongst
those that are left, greatly I fear to their detriment. Over the double
doorway are high reliefs of the Nativity and Adoration of the Magi, a
negro prince being an especially good figure in the latter subject.
Above is a Crucifixion.

The north porch is also very fine and gains in effect, as indeed does
the whole of this side of the Cathedral, by the raised piazza on which
it is built. The approach is up some dozen steps, the whole of the
piazza being surrounded by pillars as at Leon and Seville.

Juan Gil de Hontañon, who designed this and the sister Cathedral at
Segovia, surpassed himself with the Great Tower and its
finely-proportioned dome, the top of which is 360 feet high. The
crocketed pinnacles, the flying buttresses, the dome over the crossing,
and the wonderful deep yellow of this huge church, whatever may be
one's opinion about the architecture, make it one of the most
impressive of Spain's Cathedrals.

I was disappointed with the interior on first acquaintance, but it has
only to be known to be appreciated. The imposing proportions, it is 340
feet long, 158 feet wide and close on 100 feet high, gradually asserted
themselves, and before I left Salamanca I was much in love with
Hontañon's masterpiece. A pierced balustrade takes the place of a
triforium, flamboyant Renaissance in the aisles and classical in nave.
It runs round the whole church and in the transepts and choir these two
occur together. Medallions in the spandrils of the arches add to the
rich effect.

Many details in this interior I found to be worth a second and third
visit. The Chapel of Dorado, a veritable museum, contains the tomb of
the builder, Fransico de Palenzuela. Its walls are covered with a
profusion of coloured saints on gilt pedestals. There is a very curious
old organ, standing at the back of an also curious old minstrel's
gallery. A sad-looking skeleton, with "Memento Mori" cut on a slab at
his feet, occupies a dark hole in one of the walls. Fine _azulejos_
decorate the chapel, and many other antiquities too, which I cannot
enumerate.

In the Capilla del Carmen rest the remains of Gerómino, the Cid's bishop
and confessor. An ancient wooden crucifix stands over the altar, it is
the identical one carried by the bishop in the wars of the Cid. Another
relic of the great Campeador is to be seen in the Relicario. A small
Byzantine bronze, "el Crucifijo de las Batallas," studded with chequer
work--a fine specimen of early Limoges enamel.

All this interested me muchly, but the "Catedral Vieja," a grand example
of late Romanesque style, interested me more. Fortis Salmantica, as it
was called, on account of the thickness of its walls, has not been used
for service since its huge neighbour was erected.

I made a drawing of the only view which can be obtained of the exterior
from the Plazuela chica. The central lantern is surmounted by the emblem
of nobility, a cock, and is formed by an octagonal tower with a stone
dome. The tower is arcaded and has four domed turrets and dormers at the
corners similar to those at Zamora. Street considers that he has "never
seen any central lantern more thoroughly good and effective from every
point of view than this is."

To reach the interior one has to retrace one's steps to the "Catedral
Nueva" and from its south aisle pass through a doorway into the other
building. This was erected on a lower level than its big neighbour and
with the attendant verger I descended ten steps and found myself in a
very beautiful mellow-coloured church. The arches of the nave and aisles
are pointed, but the windows and arcading are round. The capitals of the
columns are a museum of carved fantasies, imps, animals, birds, &c. On
the wall of the north aisle, which was partly demolished when the
"Catedral Nueva" was built, are some very curious frescoes; the church
has a clerestory of single lights but no triforium.

There is a wonderful _retablo_ in the Capilla Mayor by an Italian,
Nicolas Florentino. It is still in perfect preservation, and the
fifty-five frescoes set in white and gold of which it is composed have a
beautiful effect in the semi-gloom of the dark chapel. The Mozárabic
Ritual is celebrated six times a year in another chapel, La Capilla de
Talavera. The groining of its roof is the only one of the sort I have
seen, it is composed of parallel ribs which cross one another. In the
Capilla de San Bartolomé lies Bishop Diego de Anaya. His tomb is
surrounded by one of the finest examples of wrought and hammered iron
work in the whole of Spain. Some other members of this family are also
interred in the chapel, which contains a mediæval organ covered by a
screen of coloured Moorish arabesques.

[Illustration: SALAMANCA. AN OLD STREET.]

The cloisters were built in 1170, but have been partly modernised and
totally disfigured by a coat of whitewash. An uncared-for garden filled
with rubbish occupies the centre. Surely some one might be found to tend
this little secluded patch of quietness and make it a place for
delightful repose instead of the disgrace it now is!

Before the French occupation Salamanca was a city of churches and
monastic buildings. To build their fortifications they destroyed
thirteen convents and twenty colleges besides many churches. The
south-west corner of the city is still an empty desert full of rubble
and stone strewn about everywhere, the remains of the now dismantled
fortress which overlooked the valley of the Tormes.

Among the churches left, that attached to the now suppressed Dominican
Convent of San Estéban is by far the finest. It is a miniature Cathedral
in itself. The Gothic exterior is extremely good. The great west façade
is highly enriched with Plateresque ornament. An elliptical arch of
great dimensions roofs the porch. Below it is a realistic group
illustrating the martyrdom of St. Stephen, with the date 1610 cut upon a
stone which one of the figures is picking up to hurl at the saint. The
_coro_ is over the west end, and for once the whole of the interior is
visible. This is very lofty, and the view up to the immense High Altar,
executed by Chirriguera himself, superb. There are two more altars in
the church by the same hand, and although his flamboyant style is not to
my liking, I could not help admiring the way in which he had evidently
allowed himself all the licence he was capable of in their sumptuous
design.

To the south of the little _plaza_ in which San Estéban stands are the
cloisters of the convent, in the upper storey of which is Salamanca's
museum. Unfortunately it contains nothing of interest. Columbus was
lodged by the Dominicans in this convent, and propounded those schemes
to the monks, which the learned members of the university had pronounced
worthless and crack-brained. He found in Fray Diego de Deza and the
other brothers warm supporters.

The once magnificent Convent of las Agustinas Recoletas, founded by the
Count of Monterey, has a beautiful church in the shape of a Latin Cross.
Over the High Altar is one of Ribera's masterpieces--_The Immaculate
Conception_. Monterey was known as "the good slow man" and was Viceroy
of Naples in Philip IV.'s reign. He accumulated great wealth during his
Viceroyalty and built himself the fine palace which stands close to the
convent. There is an anecdote current in Salamanca that when a peasant
woman craved an audience of the King, which he granted, she prayed "God
might make him also Viceroy of Naples."

The University which made Salamanca famous was united with that of
Palencia by Ferdinand, and very soon took the foremost rank as a seat of
learning in Europe, though at the Council of Constance in the year 1414,
Oxford was given precedence, a ruling which much disgusted the patriotic
Spaniard.

The building was entirely altered by the "Catholic Kings," who erected
the marvellous west façade, one of the best examples of Plateresque work
in the country. Like that of the Cathedral and San Estèban, it is a
wonderful example of what can be done with soft stone, and how well the
most delicate modelling has survived in this dry climate. Some of the
Moorish ceilings of the interior have been restored. The grand staircase
leading to the upper floors and cloister is especially well carved with
dancers and foliage. Over the door of each _aula_, or lecture room, is a
tablet denoting the science taught within. The fine library is rich in
theological lore and early editions of Aristotle, &c.

The little square on to which the west façade opens also leads through a
good doorway into the Grammar School, with a delicious cloister and
shady garden.

The four sides of the square and the walls of the Cathedral are covered
with numerous hieroglyphics and names in Roman characters. They are the
initials, signs, and names of the numerous scholars who have
distinguished themselves in different walks of life. A custom now
followed in all our own schools on boards of honour.

The Collegio Mayor de Santiago Apostol is a seminary for Irish priests.
The number in training is generally about twenty. This building,
originally founded in 1592 by Philip II. and dedicated to St. Patrick,
is a very good example of cinquecento architecture.

Among the many fine houses still left after French depredations, that of
La Casa de las Conchas is the most celebrated. It dates from 1512, and
is so named on account of the scallop shells which decorate the exterior
walls. The window grilles are exceptionally fine. The Spanish proverb
"La mujer y el vidrio siempre estan en peligro"--"a woman and glass are
always in danger," evidently held good when these intricate and
beautiful guards were let into the stone. The house has a lovely _patio_
and a very fine staircase. La Casa de Sal is another house with a good
court, the gallery above being supported by life-size figures. La Casa
de las Duendes, or Ghosts, built by Archbishop Fonseca, was supposed to
be haunted, hence the name. The Torre del Clavero is a good specimen of
the Castilian keep. It was built in 1488 by a Sotomayer who was Clavero
or Key-bearer to the Alcántara Order, and is still in the possession of
this noble family.

Throughout the churches, in these houses, and the convents which remain
unsuppressed are many fine pictures, and except for Seville, I found
here more of interest than in any other city of Spain. In the convents
of course mortal man is forbidden entrance, and I could only look at
their lofty walls and wish myself a nearer acquaintance with the
artistic treasures which I was told lay buried behind them.

Perhaps the best example of a square in the whole of the country is the
Plaza Mayor. A lofty colonnade runs around the four sides and every
evening the beauties and others of Salamanca make it their promenade.
The men stroll round in one direction and the women in the opposite. The
social life of a Spanish town passed in view before me, with all its fan
and language of the eyes, as I sat at one of the small tables of a café
and got this cheap and harmless entertainment for one _real_. The square
dates from 1720; the houses are four storeys high and on the north and
south sides bear medallions of kings and celebrated men. The
Ayuntamiento, with its chirrigueresque façade, occupies the centre of
the north side and adds greatly to the appearance of this fine Plaza
where up to fifty years ago bull fights took place.

My work over, I nearly always found myself wandering on to the desert
created by the French at the south-west angle of the city, and with my
pipe spending half an hour or so meditating on the Salamanca of the Past
and its contrast with the Present. The rock stands high here over the
road and river below, and there is a drop of 100 feet or more down on to
the former. It is but a narrow lane hedged in by a high wall and this
forbidding-looking rock. When walking along this lane one day I noticed
many crosses cut in the wall and chalked red. On inquiry I was told that
each cross represented a suicide. From the height above, those tired of
life or disappointed in love hurl themselves down and it is the
unwritten law or prerogative of him who finds the mutilated body to
carve a little cross on the wall at the spot where the unhappy mortal
has ended his days. But it was not to prevent suicides that I wandered
there and sat smoking my afternoon pipe. No, I fear it was something
inglorious, it was to get away from the stenches and filth of the town
and breathe the fresh air of the plain. I do not think that anywhere,
unless it be in Tarragona, were my olfactory nerves so insulted as in
Salamanca. Flies in thousands settled on my colour box and paper
wherever I sat sketching. I can now appreciate fully the torture of the
Egyptians during the plague.

Add to the flies beggars innumerable, with horrible sores, offal and
filth in the streets and some of the romance vanishes. Yet Salamanca
still remains the Spain of my imagination, for was not all this part and
parcel of my dream?



AVILA


Avila is one of the most perfectly preserved towns in Spain. It gave me
the impression of having been dropped from the sky,--complete as it
is--so desolate and barren is the boulder-strewn waste that surrounds
it. A sort of suburb pushes its mean houses straggling beyond the walls,
but Avila itself lies snugly within them. They are perfect--these walls
that entirely encircle the old portion of the town. Forty feet high,
twelve thick, with eighty-six defensive towers and bastions, and ten
gates, they are constructed of slabs of granite set end upwards, and
were always a hard nut for invaders to crack.

The Roman Avela afterwards fell into the hands of the Moors, who for
long held it as a fortress of the first class. Alfonso VI., the
conqueror of Toledo, drove them out after a lengthy siege, and Avila was
rebuilt by his son Ramon of Burgundy. It was then that the present walls
were built, being erected under the supervision of two foreigners, a
Frenchman and an Italian, Florian de Pituenga and Cassandro. Since their
day Avila has played an important _rôle_ in the history of the country
and witnessed many strange events.

In 1465 an extraordinary scene took place on the plain outside the city.
That unpopular king, Enrique IV., was reigning at the time, and the
hatred of the people towards him reached its height when his effigy was
dragged from the city and set upon a throne which had been prepared for
the ceremony of degradation. The Archbishop of Toledo having recounted
the people's grievances, removed the crown from the effigy's head,
others high in the land insulted it and at length pushed it off the
throne, the people then kicked it about and a game of "socker" ensued.
Prince Alfonso, a mere boy, was raised to the unoccupied seat, and
hailed King by the Archbishop, nobles and people, amidst a blare of
trumpets and general rejoicing.

Avila is an intensely cold place, frosts often occur here in May, but
the summer months are delightful. Every street, every house almost is of
interest, and in the old days of its importance there could have been
few strongholds in the country so safe as this.

The Cathedral is almost a fort in itself. The east end forms part of the
city walls, the apse abutting in line with the next two towers on either
side forms part of the defensive works.

[Illustration: AVILA]

Commenced at the end of the eleventh century by Alva Garcia, a native of
Navarre, this early Gothic building is still unfinished. Not much is,
however, of this early date, for the general style of the building is of
the end of the next century, and many alterations have followed this in
later years.

The west front has but one tower, the north--the other, the south, does
not rise above the roof. The favourite ball decoration of late Gothic
Spain is in evidence, and guarding the doorway are a couple of uncouth
mace-bearers. Very terrible are these hairy granite men, but not so
dangerous looking as the two lions which stand on pedestals and are
chained to the Cathedral walls. Always on guard, these four strange
figures have no doubt many a time struck a holy terror into the hearts
of would-be evil-doers as they entered the church, and I daresay kept
the thoughts of others in the straight line.

The north door is early pointed and carries figures in each jamb, the
tympanum is decorated with reliefs of the Betrayal and Last Supper, but
all the figures are sadly mutilated.

The third entrance is at the south-east corner of the Cathedral, and is
a later addition, opening outside the walls of the city on to the Calle
de S. Segundo.

The interior of the Cathedral is very simple and massive, partaking more
of strength than elegance. It is a fitting inside to the severity of the
fortress-like exterior. The nave is narrow and lofty, and so are the
aisles. The large clerestory windows have their tracery above blocked
up, and the lower lights have been treated in the same way, thus giving
a certain resemblance to a triforium, a feature the church does not
possess.

The aisles in the apse are double, like those at Tortosa, and although
the single columns in the centre are very beautiful, these aisles have
not the elegance of those in the other Cathedral. The apse is very dark,
the stone work at one time was painted red and the little that remains
of this colour adds to the religious gloom of its double aisles.

The columns throughout the Cathedral were built to bear great weight,
their capitals are simple and their bases the same. The little light
that glimmers through the windows adds greatly to the sombre strength of
this fine building, which, more than any other of its size, reflects the
life of the Spain of those days in which it was erected. Street thinks
it less influenced by outside art than any other building in the
country, and instances the unique method of laying the stone of the root
as supporting this opinion.

The transepts contain some good glass, as also do the windows in the
chancel. There are many good early tombs throughout the Cathedral.
Judging from their style Avila was left alone when Chirriguera was
erecting monstrosities elsewhere, and to me it is the most homogeneous
of Spain's Cathedrals. The _retablo_ over the High Altar rises in three
stages and contains pictures by Berruguete, Santos Cruz and Juan de
Borgoña. On this account my last remark might be criticised, for the
whole piece is a jumble of styles. The chancel is, however, too narrow
for a view of this medley from the body of the church, and wherever one
roams in the building nothing attracts the eye or disturbs the mind by
being too flagrantly incongruous.

So dark is the apse that the Renaissance _trassegrario_ does not obtrude
in the early Gothic of its surroundings. The very fine tomb of Bishop
Alfonso de Madrigal, the Solomon of his day, is fortunately illumined by
a little light, and I could see the effigy of this wise Prelate seated
at his desk busily engaged with his pen and scroll, while above him the
Magi and Shepherds are adoring in a good relief.

There are some early paintings in most of the chapels, the _retablo_ in
that of San Pedro being perhaps the best.

The work of Cornielis, a Flemish sculptor, _circa_ 1537-47, is admirably
displayed in the very beautiful carving of the _silleria de coro_, and
there is no better example of Spanish metal work of the fifteenth
century to be found than in the two iron-gilt pulpits.

The sacristy contains a splendid silver monstrance by Arfe, and an
Italian enamelled chalice of the fourteenth century by Petrucci Orto of
Siena. The cloisters are disappointing, having been much mutilated and
the fourteenth-century tracery of the arches blocked up.

Avila, like its neighbour Segovia, contains some of the best examples of
Romanesque work, and its many churches are archæologically as
interesting as the Cathedral.

Sheltering from the keen north wind under the arcade of San Vicente I
made a sketch of the gateway of that name. The church was founded in
1307 and dedicated to three martyrs who were put to death on the rock
which may still be seen in the crypt below. The west façade has two
incomplete towers, between which is a most elaborately carved Romanesque
doorway, standing in a deeply recessed arch.

[Illustration: AVILA. PUERTA DE SAN VICENTE]

The pure Romanesque nave has both triforium and clerestory and the
unusual feature of pointed vaulting. The proportions of this noble
church are very fine, but the interest of the non-architectural visitor
will be centred in the Tomb of San Vicente and his two sisters SS.
Sabina and Cristeta. A metal work canopy resting on twisted columns
surmounts the tomb which is a sarcophagus of the thirteenth century. The
legend tells how, after the martyrdom of these three, the body of the
first-named was cast out to the dogs, and that a serpent came out of the
hole in the rock (still visible) and watched over it. A Jew who mocked
was smitten unto death by the reptile and lies buried in the south
transept.

The transept choir and three semicircular apses are Transitional, and
carry a barrel vaulting.

Outside the city wall, a little way down the hillside and beyond the
dirty suburb that intervenes, is the late Gothic church of San Tomás. It
possesses a fine _retablo_ of the patron St. Thomas Aquinas. The High
Altar is placed in a gallery above a low elliptical arch, this feature
being repeated at the west end with the _coro_ above. At the crossing of
the transepts is the beautiful but greatly mutilated tomb of Prince
Juan, the only son of Ferdinand and Isabella, by whose untimely death
the crown of Spain passed to Austria. Two other tombs of great interest
are those of Juan de Avila and Juana Velasquez. Messer Dominco, the
Florentine, executed them both.

San Pedro, standing at the east side of the Mercado Grande, is another
Romanesque church of great beauty. Over the west door is a fine wheel
window. The interior is pure Romanesque and rich in ornament, and the
north portal is replete with the same.

Santa Teresa was born of noble parents in Avila. In her early youth her
heart hungered for saintly adventures in the broiling sun of Africa and
her mind was set upon martyrdom at the hands of the Moors. Fate,
however, decreed otherwise. At twenty years of age she took the veil and
within a few years had founded seventeen convents of bare-footed
Carmelite nuns. A favourite saint of Spain, the date of her death,
August 27, is kept all over the Peninsula and her festival celebrated
with great honour in Avila on October 15.



SEGOVIA


Dirty, dilapidated and sleepy, but the most enchanting town in Spain.
What a treat it was to find myself once more in the Middle Ages after
the bustle and noise of Madrid!

The springs of a Spanish 'bus are good. I never entered one without
great misgivings as to how long I was fated to remain in this world. To
drive into a town such as Segovia is a grand test for the nerves. Crack
goes the whip, off start the sorry-looking horses with a jerk. I am
flung violently against my neighbour. I hasten to apologise. A
disconcerting jolt knocks the hat over my eyes, before it is adjusted I
find myself in an attitude of prayer with my head buried in the lap of
the stout lady who pants opposite, another bump and she is embracing me,
we disentangle ourselves, we apologise, every one in the 'bus is doing
the same. The Jehu on the box fears no obstacles, a rock or a rut, they
are all the same to him, he takes them all with utter disregard to
everything in his way. We fly along, and somehow we land safely. We
always do. Yes, the steel of those spiderlike springs must be good, or
the saints are watching our venture. Perhaps both.

The scenery on the journey from Madrid is very fine after the train
leaves the junction at Villalba. Slowly we crawled up the incline
winding round and doubling on our course. Merry little snow-fed streams
eager to join with their fellows below sped along in a race to the sea.
The summer villas of the Madrileños dot the hill slopes on the ground
above the withy beds. We went up and up until the highest point on the
line was reached under the road along which, marching north, Napoleon's
troops toiled in the face of a fearful blizzard. Before entering the
tunnel at the top of the pass a glorious panorama is spread out to the
south. Away in the distance are the mountains of Toledo and the spires
of far-off Madrid. On leaving this point the descent became rapid, and
we whirled through a magnificent valley amidst true Alpine scenery. The
rugged tops of the Sierra rose above thick forests of pine, brawling
torrents dashed headlong down through green pastures, grand cattle were
browsing on every side, it was indeed more Swiss than Spanish.

[Illustration: SEGOVIA AT SUNSET]

One often hears the question asked--why are there no trees in Spain? A
French writer answers, that the Moors are responsible for the lack of
shade in a Spanish landscape. He tells us they cut down all the trees
they found, because trees harbour birds, and birds destroy all fruit and
grain!--a truly ingenious theory, quite worthy of the fertile brains of
the French, but surely a most ridiculous solution. The Moor brought the
orange and the lemon to Europe; he was a lover of shade, he was also a
great gardener. No, the reason why Spain has apparently no trees, is
that very few have been planted for hundreds of years. Wood is necessary
for fires in a country where there is practically no coal. The peasant
has always been poor, he has always taken anything that came to hand. He
helped himself to the wood of the forests around him. His betters did
the same. All the trees near Madrid are known to have been ruthlessly
cut down and sold to defray the expenses of Philip II.'s Court; and it
is only of recent years that any replanting has been taken in hand.

When the present King was a boy of four years old, a ceremony, now
repeated every year at the Fiesta del Arbol, was inaugurated. The Queen
Mother took him to Guindebra outside Madrid, where he planted several
trees. At every anniversary the day is devoted by school children all
over the country to this same object. As many as 10,000 saplings have
been put into the ground in a single day, thus laying by a store of
wealth for future generations.

Segovia is surrounded by trees. Hidden from the great plain in which the
town lies, they cover the banks of the two streams which join issue
below the city, thus forming the mass of rock on which it stands. These
valleys, eaten out by the running water, are among the great charms of
this romantic place. Nothing can exceed the beauty of early spring.
Fruit trees in full blossom, tall poplars bending their graceful heads
in the breeze and chestnuts bursting into leaf. The air is filled with
the twitterings of nesting birds, the sloping banks covered with the
tender green of young grass; all nature is alive, the sun is warm and
the sound of rushing waters brings peace to the soul. Perched high up,
hanging apparently on mighty rocks, the Alcázar broods grimly over the
gorge below. Still further up and beyond, rises the mass of the
Cathedral, towers, domes and pinnacles. Three hundred and thirty feet
high, the great tower rears itself like a sentinel, a landmark for many
miles. Round the base cluster the houses of the town like chickens
seeking shelter under the wings of a mother hen. No place in all Spain
appealed to me so much. No town was so replete with subjects for my
brush, and nowhere else did I feel the romance of this marvellous
country as in Segovia.

[Illustration: SEGOVIA. THE AQUEDUCT]

A town of Iberian origin and name, under the Roman rule it was of some
importance. The great aqueduct, which spans the valley that divides
Segovia in the Plaza del Azoquéjo, brought pure water from a mountain
torrent, the Rio Frio, ten miles away. It does the same to-day.
Constructed of granite blocks, laid Cyclopean fashion without mortar or
cement, it commences near San Gabriel. To break the force of the rushing
stream the conduit has many angles. Without doubt it is the most
important Roman remain in Spain, for this alone Segovia would be famous.

Once upon a time his Satanic Majesty fell desperately in love with a
beautiful Segovian. To further his suit, an offer was made to do
anything she might require. Her home was on a hill; her work, to fetch
water from the stream below. Finding the continual tramp down and up
rather irksome, this daughter of Eve bethought herself of a request to
mitigate her toil. "Done," said the Evil One, and the aqueduct was built
in one night! In terror she fled to the church, and the church
discovered that one stone had been left out, also that the aqueduct was
extremely useful. The contract was declared void and the maiden freed
from the rash promise she had playfully given his majesty. The country
folk still know it by the name of the Puento del Diabolo.

During the siege of Segovia, the Moors destroyed thirty-five of the
arches, but these were cleverly rebuilt in 1493 by Juan Escovedo, a
monk of El Parral, who received the scaffolding in payment for his work.
More recently, extensive repairs in the same way have been successfully
carried out. The most imposing view is in the Plaza del Azoquéjo, from
which it towers upwards in a double line of arches one above the other,
and its length is best grasped from El Calvario, a hill to the south of
the town.

The Cathedral is a late Gothic pile, built of a warm yellow stone, and
looks particularly impressive from the shady walk among the rocks on the
left bank of the Clamores, the stream which cuts off Segovia from the
southern plateau. It was begun in 1525 by the builder of Salamanca's
Cathedral which it greatly resembles, Juan Gil de Hontañon, and
continued at his death by his son. The weak point in the exterior, which
masses very grandly, is the western façade. The interior is very
striking. The wide span of the arches, the richness of the admirable
vaulting, the splendid late Gothic windows and the feeling of light and
space are fine examples of the last stage of Gothic work, just before
the influence of the oncoming Renaissance took hold of the architects of
that day. The floor is beautifully laid with red, blue and white
diamond-shaped slabs of marble; and the very necessary notice--"No
escupir, la religiosidad y higiene la prohibur"--keeps it clean and
decent.

In the _coro_, which occupies nearly the whole of the centre of the
nave, there is a _retablo_ by Sabatini. The _silleria_ are very fine.
They were rescued from the old Cathedral, which was destroyed in Charles
V.'s time by the Comunéros, who started business by pulling down
churches, appropriating all they could lay hands on, plundering the
wealthy and generally behaving as a mob that has the upper hand always
does. The outer walls of the _coro_ are stucco, painted to represent
different species of marble; described, by the way, in a reputable guide
book--"beautifully coloured marbles"!

Most of the _rejas_ which shut off the side chapels are good gilded iron
work. In that of la Piedad there is a good _retablo_ with life-sized
figures by Juan de Juni, 1571; and in the chapel of the Segragrio a
wooden figure of Christ by Alonso Cano. Through a fine Gothic portal in
the Capilla del Cristo del Consuelo I entered the cloisters in company
with a verger, who took great pride in his Cathedral. These cloisters
are surpassingly beautiful; a very good example of flamboyant Gothic. In
vain did I search for a corner from which to make a sketch. The
courtyard was overgrown with shrubs, tall cypresses and vines climbing
at random shut out everything. The garden itself was a mass of rubbish
and old timber. The well in the centre, overgrown with creepers and
weeds; while in the cloisters themselves preparations were afoot for the
coming Easter processions, and all available space taken up by
carpenters and painters at work on the Pasos.

In the little dark chapel of Santa Catalina on the west side, is the
tiny tomb of the unfortunate Infante Pedro, the three-year-old son of
Henry II. The poor little child was dropped by his nurse from a window
in the Alcazar, and ended his young life on the rocks below. 'Tis a
pitiful object this pathetic tomb, alone, here in this damp spot where
daylight only enters when the door is opened.

In the sacristy there is a Custodia in the form of a temple, six feet
high, silver and exquisitely chased. The vestments possessed by the
clergy are most rarely worked and of great value.

Segovia was once rich in churches. Like the rest of the city, a great
many have alas! fallen into decay, and those not in this state are
rapidly approaching it. They are mostly small and retain the apse.
Several are cloistered and every one of them is architecturally of great
interest. Here again is another charm of this romantic old city,
evidence of past glories and ecclesiastical power, the history of Spain
written in its stones.

[Illustration: SEGOVIA. PLAZA MAYOR]

San Millan, a Romanesque structure of the twelfth century, is the best
preserved church in Segovia. The exquisite arcades on the north and
south sides have coupled columns with elaborately carved capitals. Like
most of the buildings of this period solidity rather than grace was the
effect aimed at by their architects. It possesses a triple apse; the
piers supporting the roof are very massive, the capitals to the columns
are formed of semi-grotesque figures of man and beast. The two doorways
are good. In the church of San Martin there is a carved wooden Passion.
Four life-sized figures take the place of shafts in the great doorway,
and again a cloister forms the exterior of the south and west walls.

In the Dominican convent of Santa Cruz, founded by Ferdinand and
Isabella, is still to be seen a sepulchral urn of one of the original
companions of St. Dominic. "Tanto monta" the motto of the King and Queen
is cut both inside and out on the walls. Over the west portal are good
reliefs of the Crucifixion and the Pietà. La Vera Cruz, a church built
by the Templars in 1204, is difficult of access. I procured the key
after much trouble, and found the twelve-sided nave forming a sort of
ambulatory round the central walled-in chamber. It is an imitation of
the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. The Templars were suppressed in 1312,
so this gem had but a short existence as their house of prayer.

Nestling amidst a grove of acacia trees, hidden away under the rock, is
the Santuario de Fuencisla. Built to commemorate the miraculous rescue
of Maria del Salto, a beautiful Jewess, this little sanctuary is much
affected by pilgrims. The rock which overshadows it is known as La Peña
Grajera, or "Crow's Cliff," taking this name from the multitude of
carnivorous birds who always assembled here for a meal after a victim
had been hurled down to expiate his crime in a death below. Maria,
accused of adultery, was led to the top and pushed off the edge to find
the fate of so many before her. With great presence of mind she called
loudly on the Virgin, who hearing, came to her assistance; and so
retarded her downward flight that she alighted gently, escaping unhurt.
Here in days long gone by lived a hermit, whose good life and deeds are
still a much-reverenced legend among Segovians.

The monastery of El Parral, once a wealthy and powerful house of the
brotherhood of San Gerónimo, contains a very good _retablo_ by Diego de
Urbina. It was founded by a member of the great Pacheco family, who
fought three antagonists one after another and came off successful. He
vowed to build a church on the spot where his skill and prowess gave
him so splendid a victory, and to endow it as well. It is now a convent
of Franciscan nuns.

Next in importance to the Cathedral is the comparatively new building of
the Alcázar. Standing high up on the crags, below which the Eresma and
Clamores meet, it occupies an unrivalled position. A fine view of this
truly Castilian fortress is obtained from the beautiful walk which
encircles the city on the further bank of each stream. Above the tall
poplars and thick scrub rise its turrets and spires. The massive walls
go sheer up from the rock on which their foundations rest. The huge
embattled tower and drawbridge assist the feeling of strength; and it
only requires the weathering of years, adding broken colour to the
somewhat new-looking exterior, to make this a perfect specimen of
mediæval architecture.

The building was originally Moorish, but the many vicissitudes of
troublous times saw it in a bad state when Henry IV., "el Impotente,"
repaired and made it his residence. Within its walls Isabella was
proclaimed Queen of Castile in 1474. Cabrera, the husband of her
greatest friend, Beatrice of Boabdilla, held the fortress and its
treasure, and it was mainly through his valour that Isabella succeeded
to the throne. During the Comunéros insurrection the Alcázar held out
for Charles V. At the quelling of the revolt Charles did all in his
power to thoroughly restore the building and furnish it with great
splendour. His son Philip added much that the father's death had left
unfinished. Our own King, Charles I., was here entertained, and Gil Blas
confined a prisoner. The great fire, originated by some of the students
of the military college, almost entirely destroyed the whole castle in
1862. The present edifice dates from shortly after that year and is now
used as a storehouse for military archives and an academy for artillery
officers.

A very good gateway spans the road that leads out past the Santuario de
Fuencisla along the right bank of the Eresma. The river here is an ideal
looking trout stream, but alas! fish are not as plentiful now as when
Charles I. was entertained and fed on "fatte troute" in the Alcázar.
Follow the path over the bridge to the left, it soon narrows into a mere
goat track as it skirts the rock; a few steps farther on and the
wonderful position of the fortress-castle bursts into view. How
fascinating it looked as I saw it one night in the moonlight with the
silver beams glinting on its spires. All was very still as I entered the
wood of stunted pines beyond. Across the ravine rose the mighty
Cathedral silhouetted against a dark star-laden sky. A light here and
there shone from a window in the houses beneath. I heard the distant
cry of the watchman on his rounds. A faint scent from the heavy dew rose
to my nostrils, a scent of mother earth. It was with unwilling steps I
crossed the stream and sought my bed that night. Such moments are rare.

On the left bank of the Eresma, almost hidden in the trees, stands a
building which once was the mint of Spain. Up till the year 1730 all
Spain's money was coined here, the proximity to the impregnable Alcázar,
which was used as the Treasury, affording security against untimely
raids. The old mint is now a flour mill, but still bears the royal arms
over its gateway.

At one time Segovia was the great Castilian mart for wool. The church,
and monasteries of El Parral, El Paular, and the Escorial owning immense
flocks. These were driven to the pure waters of the Eresma, to be
cleansed before being shorn. After the sheep-washing, the animals were
put into the sweating house, and their legs tied together. The shearer
then commenced operations, and as each sheep passed out of his hands it
was branded; the shepherds standing by made a selection of the older
animals for the butcher, the remainder being taken away to their
mountain pastures. Even now there are many flocks in the country around,
particularly on the lower hills near La Granja, where I noticed a large
number not at all unlike the Kentish breed of Romney Marsh.

Seven miles from Segovia the summer Royal Palace of La Granja lies in
the midst of beautiful woods and clear streams. At the foot of the
Sierra, the highest peak of which, La Peñalara, raises its crest a few
miles off, this elysium is a beautiful spot for those who have earned a
holiday from the cares of State. The gardens are most charmingly
arranged, and the fountains with a never ending supply of water, better
than those at Versailles. Built by Philip V., whose tastes and
inclinations were thoroughly French, La Granja has been the scene of
important events in the history of the country. The treaty which handed
Spain over to France in 1796 was here signed by Godoy. In 1832 Ferdinand
VII. revoked the decree by which he had abolished the Salic law, and
summoned Don Carlos to the palace as heir to the throne, a call which
plunged his unhappy country into civil war. Four years later the Queen
Regent was compelled within its walls, by the leader of the
revolutionary soldiery, to accept the constitution of Cadiz.

Every corner of Spain holds history, but none can compare with Segovia
and its surroundings in romance and old-world charm.



SARAGOSSA


Saragossa lies midway on the railway between Madrid and Barcelona, and,
having about it a touch of both these, can qualify as one of Spain's
progressive cities. The unsightly factory chimney is beginning to sprout
up in the suburbs; old and narrow streets are making way for broader and
better; and insanitary quarters giving place to modern hygiene.

Aragon is the poorest portion of this fair land, and Saragossa is its
capital. In every age this little kingdom has been torn by war and has
suffered heavily, but its people have never wavered in their faith, and
are still among the most pious and superstitious of the many different
races that people the Iberian Peninsula. They possess that strong
attachment for their sterile plains and barren mountains so common to
those who wring from Nature a bare existence.

The Emperor Augustus, in the year 25 B.C., vastly improved "Salduba,"
and gave it the title of Cæsarea Augusta. When in the occupation of Rome
it was a free city and had a coinage of its own. The first place in
Spain to renounce Paganism, Saragossa has always been a city of great
holiness. When besieged by the French under Childebert in 540, the
inhabitants carried the stole of San Vicente round the walls--and the
invader fled.

The Infidel, however, proved less susceptible to a Christian relic, and
the city fell to the weight of his arms in the eighth century. Being a
Berber Infidel he recognised no Kalif of Cordova, and between the two
there soon began one of those internecine conflicts that in the end led
to the termination of Moorish rule.

It was in this connection that Charlemagne was implored to assist the
Northern Moor against the Andalusian and crossed the Pyrenees with an
eye, no doubt, in the long run, to the acquisition of new territory. No
sooner had he reached the plains of Aragon than he was recalled to quell
a rising in his own dominions. His back turned, and he being presumably
in retreat, the ungrateful people, eager for plunder, followed and
inflicted on his rearguard a terrible defeat in the most famous Pyrenean
Pass, the Pass of Roncesvalles, a disaster in which Roland, that hero of
romance, lost his life.

Thence onward, as the centuries went by, Saragossa was the scene of many
a fight. Alfonso I. in 1118 recovered it from the Moor after a long
siege, and Moslem rule was ended.

[Illustration: SARAGOSSA. LA SEO]

Saragossa is best known in the annals of its warfare for the heroic
defence, immortalised by Byron, in the war with France. In the month of
May 1808, the invader was close at hand, and the citizens organised
themselves for defence. A young aristocrat, José Palafox, was chosen as
the nominal leader, and had at his right hand the redoubtable peasant,
Tio Jorge Ibort--Gaffer George. His two lieutenants were Mariano Cerezo
and Tio Marin, while the courageous priest Santiago Sas assisted
greatly, through his influence with the populace, to keep things
together and prevent petty squabbles. One hundred _duros_ supplied the
sinews of war! Sixteen cannon, a few old muskets and two hundred and
twenty fighting men were all that the leaders could count upon to repel
the army of Lefebvre.

The siege began in June and was abandoned in August, in consequence of
the disaster to Dupont at Bailén. In the following December four
Marshals of France, Junot, Lannes, Mortier and Moncey, with eighteen
thousand men, invested the city, but it was not until February of the
next year that, having driven the defenders out of the Jesuit convent
across the river, the French were able to establish a foothold in the
outskirts of the city itself.

Every one knows how the Maid of Saragossa took the place of her dead
artillery lover who was killed at his gun; an episode that has since
become a theme to instil the young with heroic ideals. Such was the
spirit that gained for the city the proud title of _siempre heróica_.
Her citizens fought from house to house, every street had barricades,
and it was only that when decimated by pestilence and famine, with half
the place a smoking ruin, one of the most celebrated sieges of history
came to end.

As in Cadiz and Salamanca, there are two Cathedrals in Saragossa, La Seo
and El Pilar. The former occupies the site of a church which stood here
before the Moors took possession of the place and turned it into a
mosque. A year after the advent of Alfonso I., Bishop Pedro de Lebrana
reconsecrated La Seo, and its walls have witnessed many historical
events in the life of Aragon before the kingdom became merged into one
with Castile. It was before the High Altar that her Kings were crowned,
and at the font many a royal babe baptized.

La Seo is constructed almost entirely of the dull brown brick with which
the older part of the city is also built; the interior piers and
vaulting alone being of stone. On the north-east wall, which faces the
gloomy palace of the archbishop, there is still extant the most
elaborate arrangement of brick work, inlaid with coloured glazed tiles,
blue, green, red, white and yellow, forming a very harmonious and
attractive scheme.

From the centre of the north-west façade, which is extremely ugly, rises
a well-proportioned tower arranged in four stages, with Corinthian
columns, the top of which is surmounted by a red tiled cupola and spire.
The colour of this took my fancy, it "sang out" so much against the blue
of the sky--a contrast I thought worthy of an illustration.

Entering the building by the door in the façade, I was immediately
nonplussed as to the orientation of the Cathedral. To add to the puzzle,
for the structure is almost square, four rows of columns seemed mixed up
in endless confusion, and the dim light admitted from the few windows
only accentuated the mystery. Very beautiful, however, is this Gothic
interior which runs north-east and south-west, and I soon found a spot
from whence to make a sketch. The columns rise from marble bases of a
rich crimson; the vaulting above was lost in gloom, the light coming in
from the south-west window struck vividly on portions of the Renaissance
_respaldos_, the niches of which are filled with saints and
archbishops, and the pattern of the marble floor served but to heighten
the general effect. In the picture may be seen a tabernacle with twisted
black marble columns, this marks the spot where the Virgin suddenly
appeared and held converse with Canónigo Fuenes.

Besides the archbishop's throne, the _coro_, which is not particularly
interesting, contains a huge reading desk. There is a great deal of
alabaster throughout the Cathedral, notably the very fine Gothic
_retablo_ of the High Altar by Dalman de Mur, around which are many
tombs of the Kings of Aragon. Close by, a black slab marks the place
where rests the heart of Don Baltazar Carlos, the son of Philip IV., who
was immortalised by the brush of Velasquez, and who died in Saragossa at
the early age of seventeen.

Among the chapels, that used as the _segrario_, or parish church, has a
magnificent Moorish ceiling, and the fine alabaster tomb of Bernardo de
Aragon. The Cathedral is rich in splendid tapestries and ecclesiastical
vestments. Among the former is certainly the best I have ever set eyes
upon. It is a very early piece and has a wonderful blue sky. In it are
woven the Last Supper, Christ bearing the Cross, the Agony in the Garden
and the Crucifixion, while in the lower right-hand corner our Saviour is
assisting with a long pole to stir up devils who are roasting in Hades.
Among the vestments is an extremely beautiful chasuble brought here at
the time of the Reformation from Old St. Paul's in London. I wondered,
when I looked at it, whether Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII.'s consort,
had been instrumental in its removal from England.

[Illustration: SARAGOSSA. IN THE OLD CATHEDRAL]

The Cathedral of El Pilar is thus named as it possesses the identical
pillar on which the Virgin descended from Heaven and appeared to St.
James. At first a modest chapel, it has grown by the addition of
cloisters and subsidiary chapels to the present stupendous building. The
length is close on five hundred feet and the breadth two hundred. The
possession of this miraculous pillar has brought untold wealth to the
Cathedral. Votive offerings on the anniversary of the festival at the
shrine often amount to many thousands of pounds. Jewelry, gems and
costly objects of every description are given; these are now sold by
auction, the large sum of £20,000 being realised a few years ago. To
these sales we owe a fine rock crystal and gold medallion, given to the
Virgin of El Pilar by Henry IV. of France, and now in South Kensington
Museum. Many examples of old Spanish goldsmith's work have also been
acquired for the same collection in this way.

The towers and pinnacles of El Pilar pile up grandly, and are best seen
from the fine bridge which spans the yellow flood of the river Ebro.
Silhouetted against the evening sky, with the smooth running waters
below, it seemed to me a worthy example in brick and stone of the
church's magnificence.

The interior is an immense temple, the frescoes of which are from the
brush of that extraordinary genius, Goya, who turned his talent to any
job that was productive of the cash he spent so freely. The _retablo_ of
the High Altar is a fine piece of work from the alabaster quarries at
Escatron. Composed of three good Gothic canopies with tapering finials,
it has seven smaller divisions below. Damian Forment was the artist who
designed and carried out this, one of the most beautiful _retablos_ in
the country. The _reja_ which stands in front of _coro_ is superb, and
considered to be Juan Celma's masterpiece. Behind the High Altar is the
celebrated chapel of the Virgin. The figure itself is of very old
blackened wood, evidently a specimen of early Christian work. On October
12, the anniversary of her descent, thousands of pilgrims flock hither
to kiss her foot through a hole in the wall at the back of the chapel.
The city is then full of visitors and it is next to impossible to find
quarters or a room of any sort.

[Illustration: SARAGOSSA. EASTER PROCESSION]

I happened to be in Saragossa for _Semana Santa_. and watched the
processions of groups of heavy wooden figures, illustrative of our
Lord's life-history, proceed through crowded streets. My sketch shows
the last _paso_ of the Crucifixion, with a figure of the Virgin bringing
up the rear, as they passed the intensely devout throngs on Good Friday.
Masked members of different religious brother and sisterhoods, walk
along keeping the route clear. The whole procession was led by soldiery,
and "Romans," men attired in the garb of ancient Rome, while an infantry
band followed the Virgin. The _pasos_ are deposited in the Church of
Santiago built on the spot where St. James passed a night. In the belfry
of this church is an old Gothic bell of which the inhabitants are justly
proud.

San Pablo is a very interesting fabric, dating from the year 1259. The
floor of the church is a dozen steps below the street. The _retablo_ is
another fine example of Damian Forment's art. The aisles are cut off
from the nave by a flat wall with square pillars and ill-proportioned
pointed arches. The _coro_ is at the west end, from whence also issue
the notes of a very beautifully toned organ. The extraordinary octagonal
brick steeple might pass as of Russian or Tartar origin.

Of all the gateways to the city, there remains but one, the Puerta del
Carmen. It has been left as it stood after the French bombardment, and
retains many marks of shot and soft-nosed bullets. The site of the
historic Puerta del Portillo, where the Maid of Saragossa won immortal
fame, is in the square of the same name. Outside it stands the Castillo
de la Aljaferia, the Palace of the Sheikhs of Saragossa, and the
residence of the Kings of Aragon. Ferdinand gave it to the Holy Office,
and from out its portals issued many terrible orders for the suppression
of the wretched heretic. There still remains a small octagonal mosque,
and many of the rooms have their original _artesonado_ ceilings. In it
also is the "Torreta," the dungeon in _Il Trovatore_; while from the
tower can be seen the Castillo de Castlejar, mentioned in the drama by
Garcia Gaturrio, from which the libretto of the opera was taken. This
one-time fine palace is now a barrack, and I used to watch the recruits
drilling and exercising outside. When the recruiting season commences,
the numbers are drawn among those liable to serve--the lucky ones being
those who are not compelled to take any part in the military service of
their country. There exist societies in Spain to which a sum of 750
pesetas can be paid, that undertake to pay another 750 pesetas to the
State, if the payee's name is drawn for service, 1500 pesetas being the
sum which enables any one to forego his military career. If his number
is not drawn, he loses his deposit, if it is, the society pays the full
sum.

In the old days the nobles of Aragon safe-guarded their privileges by
the Fuéros de Sobrarbe, a code something like our Magna Charta, which
reduced the King's authority to almost vanishing point. Pedro IV. got
rid of the Fuéros by cutting to pieces the parchment incorporating the
union or confederacy, whose members, if the King was thought to have
exceeded his prerogative, were absolved from allegiance. They were a
hard-headed race, these Aragonese, and are still like those of the other
northern provinces, very independent and jealous of Castile's rule.

Among other things handed down from time immemorial is a national dance,
and the Jota Aragonesa, the national air, known beyond the limits of
Spain. Very few of these old airs still exist. As a fact, the old songs
of Spain and their music are better known in the Jewish colony of
Salonika than in the country of their origin. The upper classes of this
colony still speak the pure Castilian of Cervantes' time, and being the
descendants of Spanish refugees hounded out of the country by the
Inquisition, still observe the customs, songs and language of their
immigrant forefathers.

The Aragonese also have a national game, Tirando a la Barra, which
consists in passing an iron bar from one hand to the other, thereby
gaining impetus for the final swing which sends it hurtling through the
air towards a mark on the ground, like a javelin. One or two good old
houses still remain in Saragossa to testify to its former greatness,
notably that of the great Luna family. Two gigantic uncouth figures with
clubs stand on either side of the doorway which is the centre of a
simple but good façade. The cornice above is very heavy and the eaves
project far out, a feature that I noticed was very characteristic of the
old quarters of the city. It was in this house that the besieged, during
the French war, held their councils. The Casa Zaporta can boast of a
very fine staircase and beautiful _patio_ with elegant fluted columns
and reliefs and medallions breaking the spandrils. A few other good
houses still exist, but as they are in the old quarters of the city, and
as these are rapidly disappearing, I fear that Saragossa will not
contain for long anything beyond her Cathedrals that is of tangible
interest.



SANTIAGO


The evening train from Pontevedra deposited me sometime about midnight
at Cernes, the hamlet outside Santiago where the line ends. The full
moon during the latter portion of the journey had been a source of
endless delight. My face was glued to the window watching the
ever-changing hills and valleys through which the train crept, shrouded
in that mystery which obliterates detail and suggests so much in great
masses of subdued light and deep shade.

I reached the hotel, procured a room, threw open the window, and stood
on the balcony listening to the intense stillness of a wonderful night.
Suddenly a dull rumbling down some side street disturbed my reverie of
the Santiago of days gone by. The only thing to be expected at this time
of night was the station 'bus, but I heard no clattering hoofs and was
lost in surmise, when out of the dark shadow of a narrow lane into the
moonlight swung a yoke of oxen drawing a long cart with slow majestic
pace. But what a cart! a low sort of wooden box balanced between two
solid wooden wheels. The rumbling was explained. It was primitive and
the most mediæval thing I had yet seen in a country which is barely
European.

The peasant owner, a few steps in advance, never turned his head, but
guided his beasts with a long stick which he waved from side to side
over his back. There was no shout, no cry of command. The _mise en
scène_ was beautifully arranged, it was complete. There was the
background of ancient grey houses, beyond them, tapering into the starry
sky, the slender pinnacles of the great Cathedral. A row of stunted
trees occupied places down one side of the little square which filled my
stage. The subdued colour and silence of the moonlit night, and the slow
passage of the ox-cart as it passed out of sight, bettered Irving's best
effects at the Lyceum.

A clock in a neighbouring tower struck the quarters, the moment had
arrived for the anti-climax! I expected every minute to see a door open,
a light stream across the square, a cloaked figure steal furtively out,
and disappear down into the shadow of the lane. It was perfect, nothing
could have been arranged better as an introduction to Santiago de
Compostela.

[Illustration: SANTIAGO. THE CATHEDRAL]

The body of St. James landed itself at Padron on the coast not far from
Santiago, and his bones were brought to the spot where now stands the
Cathedral. In the course of time their whereabouts was forgotten and it
remained for Bishop Theodomir to rediscover the sacred spot in 829,
guided thither by a star. Hence the Campus Stellæ--or Compostela.

The shrine of the saint is still visited by innumerable pilgrims, and
perhaps more arrive in Santiago than any other city of Spain. In olden
days so great was the number that "El Camino de Santiago"--"The road to
Santiago," gave rise to the Spanish term for the "milky way." I have
watched them in the Cathedral, peasants, men and women, come from afar,
to judge by their dress. They each carried a staff decorated with tufts
of herbs and little star-shaped pieces of bread tied on with gay
ribbons. I have seen women making the round of the altars in the
different chapels with great bundles of clothes, through which were
thrust umbrellas, balanced on their heads. They never lost the poise of
their burden as they knelt and rose again. But of all the pilgrims I
saw, one who might have stepped out of Chaucer's pages carried me back
to the days of long ago. She wore a short skirt of thick brown material,
sandals protected her stockinged feet, from her girdle hung rosary,
scallop shells and a stoneware pilgrim's bottle, a hooked staff lent
support to her bent, travelled-stained figure. Her leather wallet was
stuffed with bread, and covering her short cropped hair was a grey felt
hat, mushroom shaped. A little black dog entered the Cathedral with her,
and squatted silently by his mistress's side as she knelt praying in the
dim light of a grey day. Chaucer's "Wyt of Bath" had made a pilgrimage
to "Seynt Jame," and my pilgrim with her little lame companion might
very well have been with him too.

The Cathedral, founded in 1078, was built on the site of one destroyed
by Almanzor in 997. The legend of the destruction of the first church,
which had been standing for just one hundred years, was thus--Almanzor,
after sacking Leon and Astorga, swept all the country westwards with his
Moorish hosts until he reached Santiago. So great was his fame and in
such terror was his name held that no one had the courage to face him
and fight for saint and city. Riding through its deserted streets he
came to the church, and to his surprise at last espied a solitary
Christian, a monk, praying alone at the shrine of the saint. "What dost
thou here?" inquired the haughty Moor. "I am at my prayers," curtly
answered the holy man, continuing his devotions. This reply and the
courage of the single enemy so called forth the admiration of Almanzor,
that his life was spared and an infidel guard set over the tomb.

[Illustration: SANTIAGO. SOUTH DOOR OF THE CATHEDRAL]

The west façade, a Renaissance outer covering, so to speak, of the older
façade, would not look so imposing as it does if granite had not been
used in its construction. The grey tones of the lichen-covered stone
redeem the somewhat overdone florid design, and it stands well above a
double flight of steps on the east side of the huge Plaza Mayor.

The south door, or Puerta de las Platerias, takes this name from the
silversmiths whose workshops are still under the arcades around the
Plaza on to which it opens. It is the oldest portion of the Cathedral
and dates from the foundation. The shafts contain tiers of figures in
carved niches, and the tympanum has rows of smaller ones.

The north door fronts on to the Plaza Fuente San Juan, and faces the
convent of San Martin Pinario, which was founded in 912 by Ordoño II. In
the days before this Plaza was officially given its present name, it was
known as Azabacheria, _azabache_ is jet, and it was here that vast
quantities of rosaries made of this were sold to pilgrims.

In the south-east angle of the Cathedral is the Puerta Santa, bearing
the inscription "Hace est domus Dei et porta coeli." It is only opened
in the Jubilee year and then by the archbishop himself. The entrance to
it is from the Plaza de los Literarios. It will be seen from this that
the Cathedral is practically set in four great Plazas, el Mayor, de las
Platerías, la Fuente San Juan, and de los Literarios, and for this
reason, although the roof towers high above, it is one of the few
Cathedrals the size of which can be appreciated by an exterior view.

The early Romanesque interior is superb, and not unlike our own Ely
Cathedral. The finest thing in it of archæological interest is the
"Portico de la Gloria," which Street calls "one of the greatest glories
of Christian Art." This Portico, situated at the west end of the nave,
formed at one time the façade. The idea of the whole doorway is Christ
at the Last Judgment. His figure, twice life-size, occupies the centre.
Below Him is seated St. James, while around them are angels worshipping.
Four and twenty elders are arranged in the circumference of the
archivolt; each one holds a musical instrument, most of which are shaped
like violas and guitars. A most beautifully sculptured marble column
supports this in the centre, resting on a base of devils, with the
portrait of Maestro Matio, who executed the whole from his own designs,
facing the nave. An inscription under this doorway states that the work
was finished in 1188. To the right and left are smaller arches,
portraying in well-cut granite good souls on their way to Paradise and
wicked ones in the clutches of devils on their way to Hell. Nothing can
exceed the primitive religious feeling pervading this work. Mateo must
have given his whole soul with fervour to his labours; and the almost
obliterated traces of painting and gilding enhance their result by
giving a touch of warmth to the cold colour of the stone.

West of the portico, above which are the remains of a fine wheel window,
has been built the present Renaissance façade known as El Obradorio, the
two being connected by quadripartite vaulting. The nave itself has a
walled-in triforium, but no clerestory and the vaulting of the roof is
barrel.

The saint's shrine is in the crypt beneath the Capilla Mayor. The extra
extravagant _retablo_ above the High Altar is chirrigueresque, and
hardly redeemed by the lavish employment of jasper, alabaster and silver
with which it is decorated. A jewelled figure of St. James is seated in
a niche above the mass of precious metal in which the altar is encased.

It is all very gorgeous and must impress the pious pilgrim who has
journeyed hither from afar, but I could not help wishing it were
simpler. However, the one living vital thing in Spain is her religion,
and her Church knows so well how to conduct its business that my
feelings of regret are purely æsthetic.

The _cimborio_ is a fine creation, under which swings on certain
_fiestas_ the huge silver _incensario_, a lamp wellnigh six feet high.
The two bronze pulpits are real masterpieces of cinquecento art and are
adorned by subjects from the Old Testament by Juan Bantista Celma.

In one of the side chapels, known as the Relicario, are recumbent
figures on the tombs of Don Ramon, the husband of Urraca, Berenguela
1187, Fernando II. 1226, Alfonso XII. of Leon 1268, and that faithful,
pitiable figure Juan de Castro, wife of Pedro the Cruel. Even now, after
the spoliation by Soult, who carried away ten hundredweight of precious
metal in sacred vessels, the Relicario is a perfect museum. All the
other chapels contain good tombs, especially that of Espiritu Santo in
the north transept; and among other beautiful objects with which the
Cathedral is replete are two ancient _limosneras_ or alms-boxes, two
very ancient gilt pyxes, a carved wooden cross, similar to the
much-revered cross of los Angeles at Oviedo, given by Don Alfonso and
Doña Jimena in 874.

The large cloisters to the south-west of the Cathedral were built by
Archbishop Fonseca in 1521. They are bad Gothic enriched with
Renaissance details. The centre court is paved with granite and gives an
impression of bareness which is not redeemed by the architecture.

It was in this Cathedral that John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, was
crowned King of Spain.

[Illustration: SANTIAGO. INTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL]

Santiago possesses a much frequented university, which is extremely well
provided with books.

In the church of Santa Maria de la Sar may be seen relics of the Holy
Office which held its sittings in the adjoining monastery. The
president's chair, marked with a palm, a cross and a red sword is
perhaps the most notable. This monastic church, at one time owned by
Templars, is situated outside the city boundary on the Orense road. Like
all the others, in fact like the whole of Santiago, it is built of
granite. It possesses a triple apse; the nave is of five bays without a
triforium or clerestory, and the interior, in consequence, is very dark,
heavy and gloomy. In it is the tomb of Archbishop Bernardo, 1242. The
cloister at one time must have been exceptionally fine, but alas! only
nine arches now remain; and the whole edifice is of the fast-crumbling
away type not uncommon in the country.

The fine Plaza Mayor, or Plaza Alfonso Doce, is bounded on the north by
the huge Hospice erected by Enrique de Egas for Ferdinand and Isabella
for the use of poor pilgrims. The royal coat-of-arms is in evidence over
the entrance portal, enriched, in addition, with figures of saints and
pilgrims. The massive cornice has a course of heavy chain work and the
ball decoration so common in Toledo. This huge pile of buildings is now
used as a hospital. It is divided into four courts with fountains and
is admirably adapted for its present use. The small chapel is one of the
gems of Santiago. The roof springs from four arches with Gothic statues
and niches clustered round a central column.

On the west side of the Plaza stands the great Seminario founded in 1777
for the education of young priests. The ground floor is now occupied as
the Ayuntamiento of Santiago.

To the south is the Collegio de San Gerónimo, with a remarkable early
doorway. The college was known as _Pan y Sardina_ from the poverty of
its accommodation. Sardines, the staple industry of Vigo and other coast
towns of the district, are the cheapest food obtainable, hence the
appellation. Santiago is delightfully situated amidst heather-clad
hills, the lower slopes of which are well wooded with oak, fir, and
eucalyptus. Great boulders of granite stand out like the monoliths of
prehistoric ages. Many a pleasant walk through the purple heather
revealed to me a landscape such as one sees in parts of Cornwall and
Scotland. The grey city with its red-tiled roofs, its huge deserted
monastic buildings, the many spires and domes of the Cathedral and other
churches, all set in patches of brilliant green meadows and maize fields
look particularly beautiful from Monte Pedroso, a fine vantage point
surmounted by a huge Calvary.

The climate is comparatively moist, ferns of all sorts grow in the shade
of garden walls, and bracken is thick in the oak woods. The Galician is
well favoured by Nature, and being a patient, hard-working man of not
much mental capacity, very pious and an ardent advocate of small
holdings, gets through life with a contented spirit. He is very close
and knows the value of a peseta. Unfortunately he is looked down upon by
the Castilian, and the term "Gallego" is rather one of abuse than
respect. Driven to emigration by the subdivision of land which cannot
support more than those who own and work it now, he goes south in great
numbers and is the trusted _concierge_ in many a large house and hotel
in Madrid and elsewhere. The Panama Canal too attracts him from his
native hills, in fact the Gallego is to be met with wherever Spanish is
the spoken language.



TUY


The train deposited me one morning at this little frontier town. It was
very hot, and it was Sunday. The only porter in the station volunteered
to carry my bag to the Fonda, so we joined a long file of peasants and
tramped up the dusty road to the old Gothic capital which stands
splendidly situated above the river Minho.

From a distance the Cathedral rises like a fort, capping the white
houses and brown roofs which are terraced below. At one time in the far
away past Tuy was a town of great importance. Greek remains have been
dug up here, but history does not go further back than Ætolian Diomede,
the son of Tydeus, who founded what became under King Witiza the Gothic
capital. This was in the year 700. Ordoño I. rebuilt it two hundred
years later, and I did not find it difficult to trace the massive
granite walls which sheltered the inhabitants, and preserved it as the
most important city of these parts.

Truly a crown to the fortress, the castellated walls of the Cathedral
give it a martial air. The nave of five bays is early pointed, with a
blind triforium and blocked up clerestory. So narrow and dark are the
aisles and so massive the columns which support the fine vaulting of the
roof, that I could never get rid of the feeling that I was in some great
hall of an ancient castle. It only wanted a few halberdiers or
men-at-arms, instead of the black-garbed peasant women kneeling at the
different altars, to make the illusion perfect.

The transepts, which have aisles, are Romanesque with an early pointed
triforium. After the great earthquake at Lisbon many strengthening
additions were made to the interior, blocking out most of the light. In
the case of the aisles arches were run up at different intervals with no
sense of proportion, quite hap-hazard, and creating a very much askew
appearance in this part of the building. Transoms were built across the
nave to add to the disfigurement of one of the most perfect little
Cathedrals in Spain.

The west doorway is very fine, with four detached columns on either
side, thus forming a narrow porch. The upper half of these columns each
consists of a good figure of a saint whose feet rest on a devil. In the
tympanum are good reliefs and a well-cut Adoration of the Magi. The
archivolt is seven-fold and is an excellent piece of rich carving. All
is granite, and all is solemn, quite in keeping with this hard
material.

[Illustration: TUY]

The Cloister Court, round which runs a most beautiful arcade of early
pointed work with detached shafts, has unfortunately fallen into decay.
But the charming little garden in the centre somewhat compensates for
this. When I strolled in the silence was only broken by the cooing of
doves and the hum of bees. The sun seemed to find his way into every
nook and cranny, and here, thought I, is peace.

Away beyond the outer wall, a wall which is part of the old defence of
Ordoño's day, is the road to Portugal. Passing through vineyards it
reaches the river a mile distant and crosses the water by a very fine
bridge. It was from this road that I made my sketch of the quaint
old-world town. Down by the river at the end of the one broad street
that Tuy possesses is the old Convent of Santo Domingo. Now a barrack,
it still keeps its grand Transitional church. The chancel is extremely
fine and among its many tombs a knight in armour with his lady at his
side I thought the best. On the grassy platform in front of the church I
spent one or two pleasant evenings. The river flows below and the
mountains of Portugal rise sublimely from the opposite bank. I was
decidedly pleased with my short sojourn in this typical Spanish town,
the wonderful position of which, right on the frontier overlooking
another land, makes it one of Spain's most unique Cathedral cities.



ORENSE


"In the gold district," such is the meaning of Orense. In Roman days it
was the headquarters for working the gold in which the district
abounded.

Three warm springs, situated close to the road which leads out of the
town to the south-west, also brought fame to Orense, though they
possessed, apparently, no medicinal properties. Nowadays the poorer
classes use the water for domestic purposes, thereby saving fires.

In Visigothic times Orense was the capital of the Suevi, and was the
scene of the renunciation of Paganism by this tribe. Besides its warm
springs the town boasts of two other wonders, its bridge and its
Cathedral. The former is certainly a grand piece of work. The centre
arch rises one hundred and thirty-five feet above the river Minho, with
a magnificent span of one hundred and forty feet. Of the six remaining
arches some are pointed and some are round.

The Cathedral is a most interesting structure, more's the pity it is so
little known. Built on an artificial platform to throw it out from the
hillside, it rises well above the neighbouring roofs. Silversmiths and
metal workers ply their trades in the dark shops between the buttresses
which hold up this platform on three sides.

There is nothing much to attract one in the exterior of the Cathedral
except the Gothic north and south doors. They both have rounded arches
with good figures in the jambs and archivolts. The south is the better
of the two, as the north bears traces of alteration, the case in the
whole appearance of the exterior. A third door opens in the second bay
west of the north aisle, and is approached from the street below by
steps leading up between two shops. The massive north-west tower is
adjoining and stands over perhaps half a dozen small rooms where all day
long the musical tap of the metal workers' hammers are heard.

The side chapels of the interior are all recessed, and standing in the
south-west corner of the Cathedral I obtained an uninterrupted view for
my sketch along the south aisle into the apse. There is no triforium in
the nave, but a beautiful lancet clerestory enhances both this and the
aisles. I thought the octagon at the crossing extremely good. Two rows
of lights, one above the other, have an interior gallery with an
unobtrusive balustrade round each. The supporting corbels are well-cut
bosses. The spandrils between the arches are recessed with well-carved
figures of angels and archangels playing on musical instruments. Of
course this octagon bears no comparison with that at Burgos, it is much
simpler and much smaller, but has a tentative beauty of its own.

[Illustration: ORENSE. IN THE CATHEDRAL]

The transepts are of earlier date, and have been altered, though not
injudiciously. The _coro_ is small, very dark and solemn, and in this
respect bears favourable comparison with many another which may be far
finer. Its _reja_, like that of the Capilla Mayor, is a very good
example of wrought and hammered iron-work, and does credit to the skill
of those who no doubt sat in the little shops below giving their
life-work to the adornment of the church above.

The High Altar is a mass of silver with a background of glittering
carving which forms the gilded _retablo_. The warm yellow of the
Cathedral stone and the time-worn colour of the figures which decorate
this _retablo_ have a very pleasing effect to the eye. The ashes of
Santa Eufemia, Orense's patroness, rest beneath her effigy which stands
to the south of the High Altar, and those of SS. Facundo and Primivo
under theirs on the north side. Santa Eufemia's body was found by a poor
shepherdess lying out on the mountain slopes of the Portuguese border,
and was brought here to rest.

The Cathedral is full of fine tombs, among which that of Cardinal
Quintata in Carrara marble is the best. It is placed on the north side
of the chancel facing a much earlier Gothic tomb with a well-carved
canopy which stands on the south side. The present edifice was founded
in 1220 by Bishop Lorenzo, displacing the older church erected in 550
and dedicated to Saint Martin.

Wandering at random up the narrow streets which covered the hill I found
myself outside the Convent of San Francisco. Like so many institutions
of a kindred nature it is now a barrack, and difficult of access.
However, I managed to get in and found the chief interest centred in the
cloisters. They are beautiful relics of the thirteenth century. Sixty
arches complete the arcade, with coupled shafts standing free. The
capitals are well carved and the dog-tooth moulding above them has not
suffered much from the ravages of time.

Here, as in other towns where money in late mediæval days was scarce, it
is pleasant to find untouched remains of an earlier past. The streets
are mostly arcaded and very tortuous and quaint. The market is held on
the Plaza of the Cathedral, and fruit vendors sit in the sun on the
steps which lead into the Holy Fane. The _Alamedas_ are thronged at
night with a crowd which, for Spain, seemed to take life seriously.

I had finished my usual after-dinner stroll one evening, and returned to
my hotel. It was a balmy night and I pulled my chair out on to the
balcony. The lights in the cottages on the hill opposite went out one by
one, and away down below, amongst the dark foliage of a vineyard, I
heard the sound of a guitar. A voice breathed out a love song, and once
more I felt the romance of the South--that indescribable feeling which
comes over one when nerves are attune to enchanting surroundings.



ASTORGA


"No, you won't find much for your brush to do in Astorga, señor"--was
the answer to a query addressed to a fellow passenger in the train. I
fear he was not far wrong, though I knew with the Cathedral I should not
be disappointed.

It was a wet evening, and I landed at the station in the dark; gave my
traps to a porter, and found myself after a tramp through the mud at the
only Fonda in the place. My baggage was deposited in a sort of glorified
cupboard containing a bed. The small window had no glass, and I
discovered the next day that it opened on to the stables. I objected to
these quarters, and later on in the evening my belongings were moved
into a room just vacated by some one who had gone on to Madrid in _el
rapido_.

The next morning I made my way to the Cathedral. It stands well and
quite isolated, except for the "New Art" Bishop's Palace which is in
course of erection. The Cathedral is late Gothic, built in the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries on the site of a former church. The interior is
lofty and very beautiful, though spoilt by a bad _trascoro_ in execrable
taste and quite out of keeping with the elegant columns of the nave.
This consists of seven bays. The bases of the piers run up ten feet or
more, and resemble the later additions to Leon Cathedral and those at
Oviedo. The intersecting mouldings on them are the very last style of
Gothic work and exemplify the beginning of a more florid taste. There is
no triforium. The clerestory windows are of unusual height, as at Leon,
and are filled with very fine glass.

The aisles are also very lofty. The chapels attached to that on the
north have their vaulting carried up to the height of the aisle, a very
unusual feature. All the windows on this side, with one exception, are
blocked. In the south aisle the vaulting of the lateral chapels is low.
The windows are glazed and contain good glass; and in the first chapel
from the west is a very fine early German _retablo_.

The transepts are of one bay only. The south has perhaps the best glass
in a Cathedral which is specially rich in this.

[Illustration: ASTORGA]

There is much good iron work in the different _rejas_, and the walnut
_silleria_ in the _coro_ are exceptionally well carved. But the gem of
the Cathedral is undoubtedly the magnificent _retablo_ over the High
Altar. Its author, Gaspar Becerra, was a native of Baeza, and studied in
Italy under Michael Angelo. It is his masterpiece, and well merits this
title. Of the fourteen panels, _The Disputation_ and _Ascension_ are the
best. The exterior of this lofty church is much enhanced by its flying
buttresses. The west façade is good Renaissance work, with flanking
towers, only one of which is, however, finished. A flying buttress
connects them with the centre of the façade as at Leon, in fact I could
not help drawing comparison, when I knew them both, between these two
Cathedrals.

The warm red stone of which this at Astorga is built has weathered most
beautifully, and contrasts with the grey balustrade composed of figures
holding hands--a very quaint device, by the way--which adorns the ridge
above the clerestory. At the south-east corner, instead of the usual
pinnacle, a huge weathercock stands. It is a wooden statue of Pedro
Mato, a celebrated Maragato, in the dress of his tribe.

La Maragateria is a territory of small extent in the middle of which
Astorga is situated. The inhabitants, the Maragatos, mix with no one.
They live exclusively to themselves, preserve their costume and their
customs, and never marry out of their own clan. The men hire themselves
out as carriers, the women stay at home and work. It is supposed that
as they have many Arabic words still in use, they are a remnant of the
Moorish occupation left behind when Christian armies finally swept the
Infidel back into the south. This may be so, for the Moors are past
masters at caravan work, and the Maragatos are the great carriers of
Spain. When on the road their strings of mules take precedence, and
everything clears out of their way. The men dress in loose baggy
knickers and the women attire themselves in short red or canary-coloured
skirts with green or light blue lining, one pleat remains open and shows
either of these colours. They wear white stockings, black shoes, and
very gaily-coloured handkerchiefs cover their heads. On a Sunday they
swarm into the town, going off in the evening at sundown to their
different villages in picturesque chattering throngs. Twice a year the
whole tribe assembles at the feasts of Corpus Christi and the Ascension,
when they dance for an hour, el Cañizo, a dance which if an outsider
dare join in is immediately stopped.

I had heard a great deal of the dignity of the Spaniard, before I went
to Spain, and had failed to find that this reputation was at all
justified, except in the case of the _Guardia Civil_, until I came
across the Maragatos. I found them to be among the most self-respecting
and courteous folk that one could meet anywhere; they certainly are
amongst the most interesting of the many distinct tribes that people the
Peninsula.

Astorga, the Asturia Augusta of the Romans, is described by Pliny as a
"magnificent city." It was once the capital of southern Asturia and was
always an important outpost fortress. As indicative of its strength I
may mention that Astorga bears for arms a branch of oak.

Like Leon, the importance of its position as a base, both for those who
lived in the mountains to the north and west, as well as for those who
came from the plain, was always appreciated, and was for ever a bone of
contention between the inhabitants of these districts. The Bishopric was
founded in 747 by Alfonso el Catolico, but no man of note has ever been
appointed to the See as far as I could discover. Indeed, Astorga is
another of those old Spanish cities which are passed by in the train,
with the remark--"How nice the old walls look, I do wish we had time to
stop here."

A saunter round the walls I must own is very disappointing. It is so
evident that but little veneration is felt, or respect shown, for any
antiquities or historical associations. In many places they have been
pulled about for the sake of the building materials they yielded. They
are the rubble heaps of Astorga and have fallen into sad decay. One
portion is, however, preserved. In the south corner, where a pretty
little _paseo_ garden affords shade and a pleasant promenade, a splendid
view is obtained "over the hills and far away." Here, at any rate,
restoration has been undertaken for the sake of the common ground where
men and women walk, as custom dictates, every evening.

At the spot where the Cathedral stands a great deal of demolition has
taken place, and even to-day the huge new château-like palace of the
bishop, now in process of erection, closes in a fine space and detracts
from the little antiquity which is left in this corner of Astorga. Such
is modern taste in Spain. Besides its walls, Astorga is celebrated for
its _mantecadas_, small square sponge-cakes, neatly folded in pieces of
greased paper, which find their way all over this part of the country;
but the farther off you find them the less do they resemble the
originals, and these are very good.



ZAMORA


Travelling through the great plain of Leon by train is apt to become
intensely monotonous, especially when, as in the case of reaching
Zamora, fate decreed that I should sit baking for hours in the slowest
of all, the undesirable _mercantilo_. Very few villages enlivened the
yellow landscape, which bare of vegetation lay blistering under the
midday sun; those that were visible were all _tapia_ built with unglazed
lights, and seemed to have grown outwards from the little brown-walled
churches in their midst. On rising ground beyond the limits of these
sad-looking hamlets, I could see the dwellings of the poorest of the
poor. Dug out of the bank-sides, they resemble rabbit holes more than
anything else. A door gives light, ventilation and access to the
interior, a tiny chimney sticking out of the ground above carries off
the extra fumes of smoke. Life inside must be nearer that of the beasts
than that of any other race in Europe; and as the slow _mercantilo_
crawled along I had plenty of time to note the stunted growth and
wearied mien of those whose day of toil ends in these burrows under the
earth. In many places, the year's vintage is stored in these
subterranean holes. At last the train crept into the station and I read
the name of my destination on its wall.

Zamora adds another to the list of those very interesting old cities of
Spain which still have a remnant of their ancient walls left standing.
Known at one time as Ocellum Duri, "The eye of the Douro," from its
strategical position on that barrier river, it still bears many traces
of a glorious past. Of old, an outpost for defence against the Infidel
of the south, with its natural barrier, Zamora nevertheless changed
hands many times. The veracious chronicler records how in 939 Ramiro II.
came to the city's relief and slew forty thousand Moors--their whole
force, in fact, to a man!--only to be revenged a few years later by the
all-conquering Almanzor.

Ferdinand I. in 1065 rebuilt the defences which this redoubtable warrior
had levelled and presented the city to his daughter Urraca, whose son,
Alfonso VI., was the first King of united Leon and Castile. Zamora
figures, too, in the Cid's meteoric life. He appointed Geronimo, his
confessor, who lies buried in Salamanca, to the Bishopric, and when
Sancho besieged the place, it being then held by Urraca, the defence was
so excellent that "no se tomó Zamora en una hora" (Zamora was not taken
in one hour) became a proverb. It was at this siege that five Moorish
sheiks brought the Cid tribute and saluted him as "Campeador."

There are more tangible remains of the quaint old city's importance to
be found in its Cathedral and streets than its proverbs and anecdotes.
Here is the house of Urraca, with an almost obliterated inscription over
the gateway--"Afuera! Afuera! Rodrigo el soberbio Castellano"--culled
from the ballad of the Cid, and referring to his exclusion from the
place.

In the church of San Pedro y Ildefonso are a couple of fine bronze-gilt
shrines containing the remains of SS. Ildefonso and Atilano. The
Romanesque church of the Templars, La Magdalena, dates from the twelfth
century. Its rose window is formed with small columns like the Temple
Church in London; and within are some beautiful tombs.

The Hospital is a good building with an overhanging porch, very
effectively coloured and having the appearance of glazed tiles. Many old
houses of the nobility now slumber tranquilly in slow decay, and Zamora,
like so many other Spanish towns of its class, seems left behind in the
modern hurry of life; and this is one of its greatest charms, the charm
that is so typical of old Spain.

The Cathedral abuts on to the city wall and is almost surrounded by a
bare piece of ground, where the remains of dismantled fortifications
give a deserted and forlorn air to the very unecclesiastical aspect of
the exterior. I made a sketch among these ruins and could not help
feeling the result looked more like an Eastern farm enclosure than a
really fine Cathedral. There was the huge unfinished square tower, baked
a brilliant yellow, the _cimborio_ and dome, with its eight curious
little domes, all roofed in cement, and a copy of, if not contemporary
with, the same in the old Cathedral of Salamanca; the low mud walls and
almost flat roofs; a party of peasants in a sort of nomad encampment,
innumerable fowls pecking at the dust--what more could you have to
remind one of the East. The sun was broiling, and nothing disturbed this
"bit" of the Spain of long ago.

The exterior of the Cathedral has been much marred by the poor
Renaissance north façade, not visible in my drawing, and a tower with a
slate roof. The south porch is, however, intact, and from it, for the
building stands high above the Douro, the view must have been grand
before the Bishop's Palace was built and obliterated the whole prospect.
A dozen steps, narrowing as they approach the portal, lead up to the
door which is surrounded by four good round arches with scroll mouldings
of simple design. Inside this I found myself in the south transept.

[Illustration: ZAMORA. THE CATHEDRAL]

The interior, with the exception of that portion east of the crossing,
which is poor Renaissance with perpendicular vaulting, is exceedingly
massive. The nave is but twenty-five feet in width, the columns which
support the bays are ten feet through; the aisles are very narrow, but
so good are the proportions of all these that this miniature Cathedral
is one of the finest Romanesque churches in the country.

The _cimborio_ is round in plan with sixteen windows from which the ribs
of the vaulting spring. Unfortunately the columns have been decorated
with a spiral pattern of a chocolate colour, quite destroying the beauty
and simple grandeur of a feature which for simplicity ranks next to that
of the Catedral Vieja at Salamanca.

In the Capilla del Cardenal at the west end of the nave is a very fine
_retablo_ divided into six panels painted by Gallegos, whose signature
is on the central one. I was examining this one morning when an old
priest passed through into the adjoining sacristy. He stopped and
explained the subjects to me, taking particular interest in this when he
learnt I was a painter and what my mission to Zamora was. I cannot
forget his courtesy and pride while showing me some of the treasures
the Cathedral possesses, and shared his regret that the wonderful
tapestries were only on view at certain festivals. In this chapel are
some good tombs of the great Romero family, others too of interest are
in the Capilla de San Miguel, and the finest of all that of Canon Juan
de Grado has the genealogy of the Virgin sculptured above the effigy of
the Canon. I was very grateful for the seats which here are available
for a rest and quiet examination of the church. In Burgos is the only
other Cathedral where it is possible to sit and gaze.



LEON


Situated on the edge of the great plain which stretches away south to
the Sierra de Gredos and beyond to Toledo, Leon served as a sort of
buffer town between the Highlanders of the north and the dwellers on the
Castilian uplands.

The headquarters of the seventh Roman Legion, from which the name is
derived, it may be described as a great fortress of bygone days.
Astorga, some thirty miles westwards, being an outpost in that direction
no doubt helped to preserve Leon from the ravages of the Galician
Visigoths.

The Romans held their fortress for five hundred years until Leovigild in
586 captured it after a long and strenuous siege. So highly was the
position and strength of these two towns appreciated, that when Witiza,
the King of the Goths, issued a decree levelling all defensive works to
the ground, they were exempted and their fortifications preserved.

The Moors held Leon for a very short spell, and then only as a defence
against northern invasion. When Ordoño I. descended from his mountain
fastnesses and drove them out, Leon changed front with its new
occupants, and became a stronghold to be held at all costs against
invaders from the south.

The great Almanzor, in his victorious march north with the soldiery of
Cordova, swept away all opposition and this buffer town was sacked.
However, after his defeat at Calatanavor and subsequent death, the
banner of Christ was once more unfurled to the breeze from what little
was left of its walls.

These were almost entirely rebuilt of _tapia_ and cob-stones by Alfonso
V., since whose time they have remained or slowly fallen away.

Leon stands in a verdant pasture valley intersected by many streams and
shady roads lined with tall poplars. The fields on either side are
divided from one another by hedges and willow trees, thick scrub follows
the streams and grows down to the water edge, and walking in these
pleasant places it was not difficult to imagine myself back in England.
The city itself is really little better than a big village, and
considering the important part it has played in the history Spain, seems
sadly neglected and left out in the cold. This, too, despite the fact
that it is an important junction and railway centre. There are no
buildings of any present importance, and those that once could lay claim
to this are in a state of decay. It is only on Sundays and market days,
when the peasants in picturesque costume and gay colours come in, that
Leon can boast of the smallest animation. I remember one Sabbath evening
as I stood on my balcony, that vantage ground from which one sees all
the life of the place pass by in the street below, watching the folk
parade up and down. A military band discoursed "brassy" music, the crowd
was packed as tight as sardines in a tin, when suddenly the "toot, toot"
of a motor horn was heard above the clash of cymbals and boom of the
drum. A large car came down a by-street opposite, turned sharply and
charged the crowd. The Spaniard is of an excitable temperament, loud
cries of disapproval, and screams from the gentler sex drowned all else.
The chauffeur discovered his mistake none too soon and attempted to turn
the car. At this the uproar grew louder and he brought it to a
standstill. Youths climbed the steps, boys hung on behind, "Toot, toot"
went the horn; the bandmaster, with an eye to the situation, waved his
_bâton_ more energetically than ever, the big drum boomed, the trombones
blurted out for all they were worth, but the hooting and whistling
drowned everything.

At last the car began to back and became disengaged, the chauffeur
adroitly turned, and started down the street followed by the noisier
elements of the crowd eventually pulling up at a café, just out of the
parade zone. In Leon as elsewhere, fashion dictates a limit to the walk
in either direction and the chauffeur had stopped beyond this. The two
occupants of the car got out in a very unconcerned manner, sat down at a
table and ordered a drink. For at least a quarter of an hour, while
these two were taking their coffee, the crowd stood round booing,
whistling and shouting. I do not think I have ever seen anything cooler
than the way in which, their thirst satisfied, and the account settled,
they got up and walked slowly after the car which long ago had
disappeared out of danger.

By this time, despite the presence of a couple of the _Guardia Civil_,
the crowd was excited. A cart full of peasant folk next essayed the
perils of the thoroughfare, they however got through safely after much
badinage and fun. No sooner had they gone, the band meantime had
vanished, when out from a wine shop came some peasants with castanets a
little light-headed for once. There were four of them, two men and two
women. They immediately began a dance on the pavement. A ring was formed
and a storm of hand-clapping encouraged them, for ten minutes they
footed it admirably. More castanets appeared from somewhere and soon
half Leon was dancing in the middle of the Calle. The feeble-looking
policemen, who had been terribly worried over the motor-car incident,
thrust out their chests, or tried to, and beamed all over. The scene had
changed from what had first looked very much like an ugly row, to one of
pure enjoyment, they were safe, every one else was out of danger, and
Leon too was saved.

[Illustration: LEON. THE CATHEDRAL]

The night I arrived in Leon, having finished dinner, I left the hotel
and taking the first turn hap-hazard wandered up the street. The
electric lights were soon behind me and I found myself in what seemed to
be a huge deserted square. The dark night was lit by milliards of
twinkling stars, and gazing upwards at them my eye followed the line of
what appeared to be immensely tall poplar trees. I looked again, I had
never seen trees that colour, then it slowly dawned on me that I was in
front of the great Cathedral. Slowly, slowly as my eye became accustomed
to the dark I made out tapering spires that met the very stars
themselves embedded in the purple-blue sky, an infinitude of pinnacles,
with a wonderful building beneath. The mystery of a beautiful night
conjures up all that is best in this country. Squalor and dirt are
hidden; one's thoughts take flight and wander back to the Spain of old,
the glorious Spain of bygone days. At moments like this I certainly
would never have been surprised to hear the clatter of hoofs and see a
band of knights with pennons flying and armour glinting appear suddenly
in the semi-darkness. Well, the days of chivalry have gone but the
romance of a starry night will never die.

The next morning I returned eager to discover what my impressions would
unfold. Much to my delight I found the restoration of the Cathedral,
which I knew was in progress, so far finished that not a single scaffold
pole, nor any rubbish heaps of old stones were anywhere to be seen.
Extremely well have the designs of Señor Don Juan Madrazo been carried
out, and the Cathedral to-day stands a magnificent church and grand
monument of Christianity.

Santa Maria de Regla is the third Cathedral which has existed in Leon.
The site of the first is supposed to have been outside the city walls.
The second was built where once stood the Palace of Ordoño II., and this
had been raised on ground occupied by Roman baths.

The present edifice was founded in 1190 by Bishop Manrique de Lara, a
scion of a great family which was always in revolt, but was not
completed until the early part of the fourteenth century.

With Toledo and Burgos, Leon's Cathedral forms the group of three great
churches that are distinctly French, and closely resemble Amiens and
Rheims. It would be difficult to find another building the interior of
which exceeded the colour elegance and grace of this airy structure.

[Illustration: LEON. THE WEST PORCH OF THE CATHEDRAL]

The west porch is the finest Gothic specimen of its kind which exists in
Spain and recalls those of Notre Dame de Paris and the Cathedral at
Chartres. Three archways are supported by cloistered columns to which
are attached figures under beautiful canopies. The archivolts and
tympanum are covered with sculpture representing the Reward of the Just
and Unjust, the Nativity, Adoration, Flight in Egypt, and Massacre of
the Innocents. All are extremely interesting, many of the figures being
in contemporary costume. Two grand towers flank the west façade, of
which the north is the older and some thirty feet less in height than
its neighbour. Both are surmounted by spires, that of the south being an
excellent example of open filigree work, rivalling those at Burgos and
very much better than that of Oviedo.

Between these towers and above the porch is a pediment with spires and a
glorious wheel window, underneath which is a row of windows that
corresponds to the triforium. This portion is part of the late
restoration.

The south porch also has three arches, which have been well renovated.
The centre one alone has a door to admit into the interior, it is double
and surrounded by figures in the archivolt with reliefs in the tympanum.
On the centre column is a figure of San Froilan, at one time Bishop of
Leon.

A beautiful balustrade follows the sky-line of the whole Cathedral. This
is broken by many pinnacles, some of which are spiral, with others on
the façades and finishing the supports of the flying buttresses, give
the exterior a resemblance to a forest of small spires.

The interior is a marvel of beauty and lightness. The nave and aisles
consist of six bays, no lateral chapels disfigure the latter with
chirrigueresque atrocities. The triforium runs round the whole
Cathedral. So cleverly has the spacing here been arranged, that with the
clerestory it makes one magnificent panel of gorgeous light. The windows
of this, forty feet high, were at one time blocked up for safety. They
now contain stained glass, and soar upwards to the vaulting of the roof.
Every window in the Cathedral is coloured and the effect as the sun
streams through can well be imagined.

No flamboyant _retablo_ spoils the simplicity of the east end, the place
of what might have been a jarring note amidst the Gothic work being
taken by good paintings in flat gilded frames. It was Señor Madrazo's
idea to remove the _coro_ from the centre of the nave, and had this been
done Santa Maria de Regla would have gained immensely. The carved
stalls are good, and the _trascoro_ sculptured in white marble, which
age has toned, and picked out in gold, is decidedly a fine work.

Among the chapels in the apse that of La Nuestra Señora del Dado
contains a miraculous Virgin and Child. Tradition tells that a gambler
who had lost heavily threw his dice at her and smote her on the nose.
This forthwith bled copiously, hence the miracle and the name of "Dado"
or "die." Another chapel contains the tomb of a great benefactress of
the Cathedral, the Condesa Sancha. An expectant nephew, seeing her
property slowly dwindling in the cause of the Faith, put an end to his
aunt, and thereby met his own death by being pulled asunder by horses to
which he was tied.

However, the chapels are not very interesting, but the tombs in the
Cathedral are. Of all these that of Ordoño II., behind the chancel, is
certainly the finest. The king lies at full length with a herald at his
head and a monk at his feet holding a scroll inscribed "aspice." He
wears his crown and carries the royal emblems. This tomb was erected
five hundred years after the king's death, and is guarded by a quaint
iron grille.

The cloisters, entered from a door in the north transept, are a jumble
of Gothic and Renaissance, with a Romanesque arcade and a good deal of
plateresque work as well. Some of the earliest frescoes in Spain are
fast disappearing from the walls. They illustrate events in the Life of
Christ, and are in an early Italian style that places their origin in
doubt. From the western spires to the angular exterior of the chevet, a
good idea is obtained of the beauty of the Cathedral as one stands in
these cloisters, and when they, too, are restored the great work begun
in 1860 will be finished.

Next to the Cathedral, and perhaps in a way more interesting, is the
convent of San Isidoro el Real. This, the Escorial of Leon and Castile,
is a building which Soult's soldiers desecrated in a most abominable
manner; next to the lower or Roman portion of the city walls it is the
most ancient building in Leon. The body of San Isidoro was brought
hither in the reign of Ferdinand I. who obtained it from the Emir of
Seville, and the present church was erected to receive it. This was in
1063, the original convent being a hundred years older. San Isidoro was
declared by the Council of Toledo to be the Egregious Doctor of Spain,
and in his capacity of titular saint fought with cross and sword at the
battle of Baeza against the Moors.

The church is Romanesque and dark with a lofty clerestory but no
triforium. The High Altar shares with that at Lugo in Galicia the
privilege of having the host always _manifestado_.

[Illustration: LEON. SAN MARCOS]

In the Panteon, a small low chapel at the west end, lie buried the Kings
and Queens and other royalties of Leon. The columns are very massive
with heavy capitals; the ceiling is adorned with early frescoes which
happily escaped the depredations of the French, they are crude, but the
colour adds to the impressiveness of this gloomy abode of the Dead.
Representing scenes from the Lives of our Lord and His Apostles, with
signs of the Zodiac and months of the year, they date from 1180. The
whole convent is replete with mural paintings, and before Soult sacked
it contained many extremely interesting and rare missals of the seventh
and eighth centuries.

Unique is another convent, that of San Marcos, which stands on the river
bank outside the city on the road to Astorga. Founded as a chapel in
1168 for the knights of Santiago, it was rebuilt in 1514-49 by Juan de
Badajos, and is certainly his masterpiece. It would be difficult to find
a façade of greater beauty than this marvel of plateresque work. The
remarkable pink and golden colour of the stone, intensified against the
background of a deep blue sky, the delicacy of the carving in which
angels and cherubs, griffons and monsters intermingle with floral
wreaths and branches of fruit in orderly confusion, the elegant pillars
and pilasters, all so truly Spanish under the blazing sun, fascinated
me immensely as time after time I returned to wonder and admire.

Here again I could conjure up the past, the romance of Spain's greatest
Order; well housed were those knights of old in their glorious Hospice,
and now--the river still runs under the walls of what afterwards became
a convent, its banks are lined with tall poplars, far away rise the
mountains of the north in rugged outline just as they did of yore--and
San Marcos? Alas! half is a museum and the rest a barrack. A forlorn air
pervades the place, the old garden wants tending, and despite the life
of the military, I could not help sighing once again, as I have so often
sighed in Spain--"How are the mighty fallen!"



OVIEDO


Oviedo, seldom visited by the foreigner, lies well situated on rising
ground in a fine open valley. Grand mountains surround and hem it in on
the east, south and west, to the north the country undulates until it
reaches the Biscay coast twenty odd miles away. These natural barriers
gather the clouds and the climate is humid; on an average there are but
sixty cloudless days in the year. While I was in Oviedo it rained almost
incessantly, and the "clang of the wooden shoon" kept the streets lively
with a clattering "click-clack." All the poorer classes wear sabots in
wet weather, sabots that are pegged on the soles, difficult to walk in,
but kept well out of the mud and puddles by these pegs. This particular
make is common to Asturias, just as the ordinary French shape is to
Galicia.

Oviedo is one of Spain's university cities, and I happened to strike the
week when the festivities in celebration of its tercentenary were in
progress. Wet weather and pouring rain never damp the ardour of the
Spaniard during a _fiesta_, and despite the rain, powder was kept dry
somehow or other, and enthusiasm vented itself regularly up to eleven
o'clock every night by terrific explosions. Functions of some sort
seemed to be going on all day long. Societies from the country paraded
the streets, led by music, in most cases bagpipes and a drum, and Oviedo
was evidently "doing itself proud."

I happened on a ceremony in the Cathedral one morning. The bishop was
preaching to an immense crowd when I entered. Seated in the nave were
the Professors of the University, Doctors of Law and Medicine, the
Military Governor and his Staff, the Alcalde and Town Councillors,
besides representatives from the universities of every European country,
except, strangely enough, Germany, and one from Harvard, the first to
attend a function of this sort since the war. It was a really wonderful
sight, for the Cathedral is not marred by a _coro_ in the nave. The hues
of the many-coloured robes, from canary yellow and scarlet to cerulean
blue and black, the vast throng literally filling every available bit of
space, even on to the pulpit steps, gave me a subject for my brush, and
I surreptitiously made a hasty sketch, to be finished afterwards in my
room.

[Illustration: OVIEDO. IN THE CATHEDRAL]

The Cathedral was founded by Fruela in 781, and enlarged in 802 by
Alfonso the Chaste, who made Oviedo the capital of Asturias, and with
his Court resided here. He created the See in 810. The present edifice
was begun by Bishop Gutierrez of Toledo in 1388, and the tower added by
Cardinal Mendoza in 1528.

Hedged in, although fronting on to a little _plaza_, the grand west
façade with its beautiful porch can hardly be said to be visible. This
lofty portico of richly ornamented Gothic, under the shelter of which
the gossips parade to and fro, leads into the Cathedral and stands
thrust out and between the two towers. Only one of these towers is
completed, and it is surmounted by a good open-work spire the top of
which rises two hundred and seventy feet from the ground.

I wandered about hopelessly trying to gain some idea of the exterior of
the Cathedral and found that it was only by walking outside the city
that anything at all can be seen of it, and then the towers and roof of
the nave, with the flying buttresses attached, were the only features
that came into view.

The entrance by the south door leads through a dark passage, in which
many votive offerings hang over a tiny shrine where burnt a little
flickering lamp; going in I found myself at the spot from which I had
made my sketch the previous day. What a relief it was to find no _coro_
blocking up the nave! The eye could wander over the whole of this lofty
interior--could follow the beautiful open work of the triforium and rest
on the stained glass of the clerestory windows. The aisles are very
shadowy, all the light being concentrated in the nave and the crossing,
and the vision, with a great sense of good effect, is led up to the
white tabernacle on the High Altar and the immense _retablo_ beyond. A
little theatrical if you like, but it is business, and the Church
understands this so well.

Among the chapels, good, bad and indifferent, is one containing a
gorgeous silver-gilt shrine wherein rests the body of Santa Eulalia,
Oviedo's patroness. In another, tucked away behind the north transept,
the Capilla del Rey Casto, lies buried Alfonso the Chaste who did so
much for the city. Six niches in the walls contain stone coffins, which
are supposed to hold the remains of Fruela I., Urraca, wife of Ramiro
I., Alfonso el Católico, Ramiro, and Ordoño I. The bodies of these
royalties at one time lay here, and a modern inscription on a mural
tablet relates how they were removed, but not how their tombs were
destroyed. Many other kings and princes we are told by this tablet also
lie here, and as there are but half a dozen coffins their bones must be
_bien mélange_.

There are the usual overdone chirrigueresque altars which do their best
to mar this imposing church, though I am glad to say they hardly
succeed. From them, however, it was a relief to be taken by a very
intelligent verger up the winding stairs which led to the Cámara Santa.

This is by far the most interesting portion of the Cathedral. Built by
Alfonso in 802 to hold the sacred relics brought hither from Toledo at
the time of the Moorish invasion, it stands above a vaulted basement;
the reason for this arrangement evidently being the damp climate, and
the wish to keep so holy a charge free from moisture. The chapel is
divided into two parts. The inner, of very small dimensions, has a low
barrel vaulting borne by arches with primitive twelfth-century figures.
The _sanctum sanctorum_ is slightly raised, and from this inmost Holy of
Holies the relics are shown to the devout who kneel in front of a low
railing every day at 8.30 A.M. and 3.30 P.M. The cedar wood _arca_ in
which they are kept is of Byzantine workmanship. The relics include some
of Mary Magdalene's hair, and crumbs left over from the feeding of the
five thousand.

The outer chamber of the chapel has a finely-groined roof, attached to
the columns supporting which are statues of the twelve apostles. The
richly-tesselated pavement resembles the Norman-Byzantine work of
Sicily, and was not uncommon in Spain prior to the thirteenth century.

A bell tower, in which at one time hung "Wamba," the great bell of the
church cast in 1219, stands partly on the roof and at the south-east
corner of the Cámara Santa. It was erected by Alfonso VI., and to judge
by its present state will not long survive, most decidedly "Wamba" could
not swing there now.

The Cathedral possesses three remarkable crosses, La Cruz de los
Angeles, Maltese in shape, is studded with uncut gems. It dates from
808, and like the cross at Santiago is 1200 years old. La Cruz de la
Victoria, the cross of Pelayo, is encased in beautiful filigree work,
and is the identical one borne aloft before Pelayo at his glorious
victory over the Moor at the Cave of Covadonga. The third is a crucifix
on an ivory diptych, absolutely identical with the Cristo de las
Batallas of the Cid at Salamanca. Many other relics of great
archæological interest belong to the Cathedral, and make it well worth
the journey to see. This journey from Leon is long and trying, but the
line, which climbs to an altitude of 4110 feet, is one of the finest
pieces of engineering skill in Spain.

[Illustration: OVIEDO. THE CLOISTERS]

The dark entry of the south door leads not only into the Cathedral and
up to the Cámara Santa, but also through a side door opens on to the
fourteenth-century cloisters. They are well kept and the little garden
court a paradise in comparison with some of those I know. The capitals
of the columns are well carved with prophets and saints under canopies,
angels and angels' heads, grotesques and good floral cutting; while into
the walls beneath them and round the arcades are let many tombs and
gravestones brought here from different ruined or desecrated churches.

I went off one morning to see the earliest Christian church in the
country. Braving the rain I tramped through mud ankle-deep for an hour
up the hill slopes westward. It was a case of two steps forward and one
back, but the spirit of the tourist was on me. I could not leave Oviedo
and acknowledge I had not been to Naranco. I was desperate and I got
there. What a charming out-of-the-way spot it is! Hidden behind a grove
of ancient chestnut trees, under the brow of the mountain, stands Santa
Maria.

A triple arched porch at the top of a dozen steps gives entrance on the
north side to this minute and primitive place of worship. I entered and
found myself in a barrel-vaulted parallelogram, with a curious arcade
running round the walls. The west end is raised three steps above the
nave, from which it is cut off by three arches ten feet high at the
centre. The east end also has this feature, but the floor is level with
the nave. All the columns in the church are of twisted cable design
with shield capitals containing figures in low relief. The arcades,
which are walled up, have depending from the plain groining bands slabs
of cut stone with plaques below, something like a ribbon and medal in
the way they hang. The interior is but thirty-five feet in length and
fifteen feet across.

Beneath the church is a semicircular stone crypt, similar to that
beneath the Cámara Santa; it is entered from the cottage in which at one
time lived the officiating priest. The caretaker inhabits this cottage,
which is built on to the church, and I had come at her dinner hour.
Alas! she could not leave me in peace, and I must own to a defeat. I was
practically driven away, for the meal was spoiling and required her
undivided attention, but I had seen Santa Maria de Naranco; I had
grasped how in the early days, when the Infidel was overrunning the
land, this little building on the lone hillside was a centre of the
Faith, and how from the surrounding mountain fastnesses worshippers had
gathered here and gone away strengthened by prayer, and how from this
little seed of the Church sown on the forest-clad hill Spain's
mightiness had grown.



VALLADOLID


For nearly one hundred and fifty years, from the reign of Juan II.,
1454, to Philip II., 1598, Valladolid was a royal city and the capital
of Castile. It lies on the plain through which the river Pisuerga
meanders, just touching the outskirts of the city on the western side.
In the Moorish days Valladolid was known as Belad al Wali, "The Town of
the Governor," and flourished as a great agricultural centre. It is
still the focus of the corn trade of Old Castile. It was here that
Prince Ferdinand, despite attempts on the part of his father Juan II. to
frustrate it, was introduced to Isabella the reigning Queen of Castile
and Leon. Many suitors had proposed themselves and paid their addresses
to this paragon among women, but possessing a will of her own she made
her choice and selected the Prince whom she married on October 19, 1469.

Valladolid suffered more severely at the hands of the French than any
other city of Spain. They demolished most of the good houses and
despoiled the churches; among those that are left, however, I found
plenty to interest me and to make a stay, after I had discovered them,
well worth the while.

I made a sketch of Santa Maria la Antigua, which is the most interesting
edifice in the place. The fine Romanesque tower is surmounted by a tiled
steeple which recalls Lombardy, and although many additions have been
made to the original fabric the whole building piles up very well, the
early Gothic east end being particularly beautiful. This church dates
from the twelfth century, but the greater part of it is pure Gothic. The
roof is richly groined; there are three parallel apses, and the _coro_
is at the west end--an always welcome place to find it. The _retablo_ by
Juan de Juni, whose work is scattered throughout the churches of
Valladolid, is fine though over-elaborate.

Another good church is San Pablo, partly rebuilt by the great Cardinal
Torquemada, whose name will for ever be associated with the terrors of
the Inquisition. I found another subject for my brush in its very
intricate late Gothic west façade. The upper part of this contains the
arms of the Catholic Kings, below which on either side are those of the
Duque de Lerma. The niches are luckily all filled with their original
figures, and the wonderful tracery of the round window is also in good
preservation. The grey finials are weather-worn and contrast well with
the rich yellow and pink of the rest of the front, a façade which is
absolutely crammed with intricate design. Two hideous towers of later
date and of the same stone as that with which the Cathedral is built,
flank this and detract unfortunately from one of the best examples of
late Gothic work in the country.

[Illustration: VALLADOLID. SANTA MARIA LA ANTIGUA]

Hard by, up the street pictured in my sketch, stands the Colegiata de
San Gregorio, with an equally fine façade, though being an earlier
Gothic it is more severe in type. The doorway of this is surmounted by a
genealogical tree and the arms of Ferdinand and Isabella. Some of the
figures of rough hairy men with cudgels are very primitive. San Gregorio
was a foundation of Cardinal Ximenes, it is now used as municipal
offices. Passing through the doorway I entered a beautiful little court,
rather dark, but with sufficient light to enable me to appreciate the
good artesonade ceiling of its cloisters. The second court is a blaze of
light. Spiral fluted columns form the cloister, the ceiling of which is
picked out in a cerulean blue and white; they support a recently
restored gallery, a mixture of Moorish, Romanesque and plateresque work,
into which the sheaves and yoke of the Catholic Kings is introduced as
at Granada and Santiago, making a very effective whole. A fine old stone
stairway leads from this court up to what in the old collegiate days was
a library.

Of the Cathedral I fear I can write but little. It is a huge gloomy
edifice without a single redeeming feature, and of all those I saw the
most incomplete and disappointing. The exterior north and south walls
are still unfinished, the stone work is not even faced! The east are
built of brick, and the west façade, altered by Chirriguera himself from
the original plan of Herrara, is extremely bald and ugly.

This enormous building is four hundred feet in length and over two
hundred wide, yet these proportions give it no grandeur. The interior is
absolutely devoid of ornament, and if it were not for the _silleria_ in
the _coro_, which were originally intended for San Pablo and are good,
there would be nothing to warrant a visit to this cold and depressing
church. By the way, the sacristy contains a silver _custodia_ in the
shape of an open temple, a good example of the work of Juan de Arfe.

There is a third-rate French air about Valladolid, at least so it struck
me, and it was only after a visit to the old Colegio de Santa Cruz,
wherein is the museum, that my first disappointment wore off and I felt
that I was still in Spain.

[Illustration: VALLADOLID. SAN PABLO]

The contents of the museum are mostly objects which the French plundered
from the churches and monasteries of Castile, and were recovered after
their disastrous defeat at Vitoria. The styles of Berruguete, Hernandez
and Juan de Juni can be examined here at leisure. Some of the life-size
carved wooden figures of the last named, formerly used on the
processional cars which parade the streets at certain festivals, are
remarkable more from the extravagant attitudes of the figures than from
their artistic merit. The custodian who accompanied me was a pleasant
fellow, and evinced surprise that a _pintor_ could not see the beauties
he pointed out. I fear he thought little of my artistic discrimination;
especially when in the Sala de Juntas he invited me to ascend a pulpit
over which hung a large crucifix, and with fervour solicited my
admiration of the face of Christ, on which was a most agonised look,
"cheap" and quite according to academic rules. "No, no, it is bad."
"But, señor, He suffers." I could not make him understand that acute
suffering need not be so painfully apparent.

In this Sala are placed the whole of the _silleria de coro_ from the
church of San Benito. Arranged on either side of the room they give it a
superb effect. At the far end are the red velvet-covered chairs of
Spanish Chippendale used by the Council of the Academy of Arts at their
meetings. Beyond them, on a raised platform, are the two bronze-gilt
kneeling figures of the Duke and Duchess de Lerma. A few pictures hang
on the walls and other treasures and relics help to make this fine Sala
an ideal council chamber for the academicians.

Of the hundreds of carved figures in other rooms those by Berruguete,
very Greek in type, flat brow and straight nose, are artistically by far
the best, though the "Death of our Lord," a life-size composition by
Hernandez, follows not far behind. Just as Madrid contains the finest
armoury in the world, I doubt if any other museum can compete with
Valladolid's for figures and compositions of carved wood.

The University holds at present a high rank, most of its professors
being progressive. The building itself is a chirrigueresque concern of
the seventeenth century with a very extravagant façade. It possesses a
good library which is get-at-able, and not like others belonging to the
church which are very difficult of access. À propos of this one of the
professors here told me the following hardly credible experience of a
friend of his, whom I will call A.

There is a movement at present in Spain to catalogue some at least of
the many thousands of priceless historical Arabic documents and MSS.
which, hidden away in Cathedral and other libraries, would throw
invaluable light on the history of early times if they could be
examined. A. is engaged in trying to compile this catalogue, and,
hearing that in a certain Cathedral city--not Valladolid--the Cathedral
library contained some treasures of Arabic lore, procured an
introduction to the bishop, and requested permission to search the
archives of the diocese.

Explaining that he was unable to help in the matter, the bishop sent A.
to the chapter authorities. The basis of their refusal was that any MS.
if taken down from its shelf might be injured, and if once taken down
might not be replaced in the same position! "Yes, they certainly
possessed many supposed Arabic documents, but as none had been disturbed
in living memory, why take the trouble to make a catalogue? Surely this
would be superfluous, the books were there no doubt, A. could see them
in their shelves, the librarian would be happy to show them, but no,
they could not be taken down."

In the library of the Escorial the books are all placed with their
titles against the wall and their edges turned towards the spectator, so
that no vulgar touch could defame them by reading. Small wonder that the
Progressists of Spain shrug their shoulders sometimes at the many petty
obstacles encountered in their attempts to better their country, and
regard it as an almost hopeless task.

Two foreign colleges are situated in Valladolid, the Scotch and the
English. The first named was founded by Colonel Semple in Madrid and
removed hither in 1771, the second by Sir Francis Englefield, who came
to Spain after the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. They are both
seminaries for the education of young priests and with the Irish College
in Salamanca complete the trio.

The focus of the city's life is in the Plaza Mayor, a fine square where
the first _auto da fé_, which Philip II. and his court witnessed, took
place in October 1559. It was here also that Alvaro de Luna was
executed, after faithfully serving his King, Juan II., for thirty years.
Spain thereby lost the strong will and the arm which enforced it, and
which out of chaos had brought the country into a semblance of order by
quelling the turbulent nobles. Such has been in the past the fickleness
of Spain's rulers that not one of the great men who have served their
country, with perhaps the exception of General Prim, and he died a
disappointed man, has ever ended his life in peace and quiet. They have
nearly all died at the stake, on the scaffold, or been foully murdered.

The much dilapidated house in a narrow street where Columbus died is
fast falling into ruin, but that in the Calle de Rastro, where Cervantes
lived and wrote the first part of Don Quixote, is in better condition.



BURGOS


Unlike most folk who enter the country from the north, I left Burgos for
the end of my last visit to Spain, and found it in a way not unlike
Cadiz, the first place I arrived at. They are both clean cities--for
Spain; the streets in both are narrow, and the houses tall with
double-glazed balconies. There is but little traffic in either, the
squares in both are numerous, but the resemblance stops at this. The
streets of Burgos run east and west in lines more or less parallel with
the river Arlanzón. They are draughty and cold. The city stands 2785
feet above sea level and the winds sweep down from the distant sierra in
bitter blasts. The life of Burgos is eminently ecclesiastical with a
large sprinkling of the military element, for here all three branches of
the service are quartered. It is a quiet place and I worked in peace
unmolested.

What a pity the builders of the great Cathedral could not find another
site whereon to erect their wonderful church. How much better it would
have looked if placed on the flat ground near the river than on the
spot where a summer palace of Gonzalez once stood. However, one cannot
move mountains and I was perforce obliged to plant my easel on the slope
of the hill and paint the stock view from in front of the west façade.

In 1075 Alfonso VI. moved the Archiepiscopal See from Oca to Burgos and
gave the site of the royal palace for its erection. The present edifice
was founded in 1221 by Ferdinand el Santo on the occasion of his
marriage with Beatrice of Swabia, who in her train brought the
Englishman, Bishop Maurice. Employing a French architect, Maurice was
more or less responsible for the present building, though another
foreigner, John of Cologne, added the beautiful open work spires with
their parapets to the towers of the west end. It is curious that this,
the most richly ornate Cathedral in the country, should be the outcome
of patronage of the foreigner, though at the same time it is the most
Spanish of the three "foreign" Cathedrals. So rich is this magnificent
Church in every style of architectural decoration that it would take a
lifetime to know it thoroughly.

John of Cologne's beautiful spires are better than those at Leon and
Oviedo, and rise with the towers that support them to a height close on
300 ft. The gorgeous central lantern, with its twelve traceried
pinnacles, the grace of those that surmount the Constable's Chapel, the
many, many others that break the skyline and adorn this glorious fabric,
all go to make it a building that, despite the different styles
employed, will be a wonder and a joy as long as man's handiwork lasts.

The lower portion of the west front was renewed in 1790. The Puerta
Principal in the centre is flanked by two small doors, with reliefs of
the Conception and Crowning of the Virgin, while the chief door has four
statues of Ferdinand el Santo, Alfonso VI., and Bishops Oca and Maurice.
Large Gothic windows occupy the third stage of the front, their bases
being filled with statues. The central stage, which has a single arch,
contains a splendid rose window. The upper portion of the two towers is
occupied by very beautiful perforated double windows in which crochet
decoration is profusely used. It is altogether a wonderful façade which
I greatly wished could be seen from the level.

The chief entrance on the north is closed. It is on the street, and
through it the descent into the north transept is by the well-known
Escalada Dorada. The early Gothic portal--Puerta alta--is adorned by
statues and with the whole of this façade is one of the earliest
portions of the Cathedral. The door, which on this side leads into the
Cathedral, is the Puerta de la Pellejeria and opens on to the
north-east angle of the transept below the Golden Staircase.

On the south the Puerta del Sarmental is approached from the street by
three tiers of steps, it is also part of the original Gothic and is
decorated with statues and coats-of-arms. Above it rises a similar
façade to that of the north transept. The arcading in both these façades
is most beautiful and from some points, where the roof-line can be seen
cutting the sky, they look like two towers surmounted by an elegant
balustrade. Very probably the pitch of the roofs was intended to be
higher, and the building of the central lantern has interfered with the
original design.

The nave of pure early Gothic is lofty but sadly spoilt by the height of
the _coro_. The aisles are low, but very beautiful. The _cimborio_ runs
up in double stages with windows in each and balustrades, it is a
perfect maze of intricate design and fine carving. The walls are covered
with the royal arms of Charles V. and the City of Burgos; there are
figures of patriarchs and prophets standing in the niches, seraphim and
angels occupy the recesses of the spandrils, and the beautiful groining
of this superb octagon is quite unmatched anywhere in Spain. It all
looks as if just finished, the stone is white and in perfect
preservation. How my neck used to ache when looking aloft, unweaving the
intricacies of that splendid interior! To strengthen the Cathedral and
support the weight of this addition, the original piers were altered at
the crossing, and the huge cylindrical columns, which are richly chased
with Renaissance decoration, substituted. One can hardly say that Juan
de Vallejo has spoilt the church by this octagon, for his work here
would grace any building, but all the same I think the Gothic of the
interior has suffered by the introduction of his designs, and I would
sooner have seen the crossing in its original state.

[Illustration: BURGOS. THE CAPILLA MAYOR]

The triforium is composed of wide bays with an uneven number of closed
lights in each. A single arch, the mouldings of which are surmounted by
carved heads, spans each group.

The clerestory contains a little modern glass, most of the old having
been destroyed by a powder explosion in the fort on the hill above.

In the _coro_ the _silleria_ are exquisitely carved; the main panels
represent subjects from the New Testament, the lower, which are divided
by pilasters with arabesques, represent scenes of martyrdom. Philip
Vigarni, who was responsible for this fine _coro_, surpassed himself in
some of its decoration, which adds one more item to all that ought to be
thoroughly studied in the great Cathedral.

On the north side of the High Altar, in front or which hangs a
magnificent silver lamp, are the tombs of three of the Infantes of
Castile. Behind this, the _trassagrario_ is covered with well-executed
reliefs in white stone, some of this is very soft and has crumbled away
a good deal. Every morning a deposit of dust is swept up and it will
soon be necessary to thoroughly restore these fine panels or the designs
will be lost for ever. They represent the Agony in the Garden, our Lord
bearing the Cross, the Crucifixion, the Descent, the Resurrection and
the Ascension. The three centre are by Vigarni, and the others by
Alfonso de los Rios.

Nearly all the chapels are replete with interest, be it architecture,
tombs, pictures or relics, but of them all the Capilla del Condestable
is the grandest. Built in 1487 by John of Cologne for the Hereditary
Constable of Castile, Don Pedro Fernandez de Velasco, it is the private
property of the Duque de Frias. The _reja_, the masterpiece of Cristobal
Andino, bears date MDXXIII. and is certainly the finest in the
Cathedral. It is a worthy entrance to this magnificent octagon, which,
viewed from outside, rises detached from the main building with eight
elaborate pinnacles pointing heavenwards. The tracery of the pierced
ceiling of the Lantern with its gilded bosses, vies in intricacy with
that of the Cathedral itself. There is a double clerestory with
sculptured knights at the bases of the columns holding coloured metal
banners. The undercutting of the mouldings in the arches is very
marvellous, the lowest course is formed of detached figures hanging
downwards and from a little distance off looks like a piece of lacework.
In front of the _retablo_ and High Altar are the superbly sculptured
tombs of the Constable and his wife. He is in full armour, she lies by
his side on a richly embroidered cushion with her little lap-dog
nestling comfortably in the folds of her robe near her feet. The chapel
teems with interest; the wealth of red marble from the quarries of
Atapuerca and the very effective chequer arrangement of black and white
steps leading to the High Altar give it just the note of colour its
whiteness otherwise would lack.

Attached to the chapel is a small vestry entered through a diminutive
plateresque doorway of exquisite design. Amongst other priceless relics
the vestry contains a fine gold chalice studded with precious stones and
a good Madonna by Luini.

Another fine picture, a _Virgin and Child_ by Sebastian del Piombo,
hangs over the altar in the Capilla de La Presentacion. In the Capilla
del Santissimo Cristo is a very ancient crucifix of life-sized
proportions. Tradition and the vergers say that it came from the East
and was carved by Nicodemus. The figure is flexible and very
attenuated, it is covered with a buff-coloured leather to represent
dried flesh and is very gruesome. In San Juan de Sahagun are six panels
of the fifteenth century; good specimens of the early Spanish school,
they represent the Nativity, Adoration and four scenes from the Passion.

The great Bishop Alfonso de Cartagena lies interred in the Capilla de
San Enrique, and his tomb is remarkably fine. Others in this chapel and
in the cloisters are cut in slate and have been worked with great
cleverness considering the way in which a blow splinters this material
so easily.

The Chapel of Santa Ana, unfortunately restored recently, belongs to the
Duque de Abrantes, and contains the best _retablo_ in the Cathedral. On
it are displayed incidents in the Life of Christ which spring from and
are enclosed by the branches of a genealogical tree. It is a quaint idea
very well carried out.

It is a difficult task to try and give an idea of the contents and
admirable style of all these chapels in the space of a short chapter,
suffice it to say that they are, one and all, worthy pendants to the
rest of the great church, and exemplify in their contents the glorious
age of the ruling bishops and nobility of Old Castile.

In the south transept is a wonderful low doorway in front of which I had
often stood examining the well-carved wooden panels on the doors
themselves. It leads into the cloisters, but it was not until I had
become thoroughly acquainted with the groups representing the Entry into
Jerusalem and the Descent into Hades which grace this portal, that I
passed through. The door dates from the early fifteenth century and
considering the many thousands of times it has swung open and shut is in
most excellent preservation.

The cloisters are fourteenth-century work and form an upper storey to a
basement cloister of low arches surrounding a courtyard which at the
time of my visit was undergoing extensive repair. In the centre is a
huge cross; the flagstones of the court were all up, and the bones from
many disturbed graves were being thrown into a pit. The beautiful
cloisters proper are filled with modern opaque glass--"Muy frio"
answered the verger to my question, "Por que?"--and no doubt it is in
the winter months. But the charm about a cloister is the vista through
the arches; this Burgos has lost for the sake of the well-being of her
priests; the pity is that funds would not allow of better glass when the
utilitarian aspect demanded the shutting out of the cold winds.

The sacristy on the east side of the cloisters is a very beautiful early
fifteenth-century room with a fine groined roof, the peculiarity of
which is that it has no supporting columns. The half-piers end in
corbels of hunting scenes and I daresay have often recalled to many a
priest days of his early boyhood.

The Chapter House, with an artesonade ceiling, contains some good
pictures and is reached through the Capilla del Corpus Christi. High up
on the wall of this chapel, and fixed to it with iron clamps, is the
Cofre del Cid, a wooden coffer which the Campeador filled with sand, and
telling the Jews it was full of gold, raised six hundred marks. He
redeemed the pledge later on and paid up the sum he had borrowed. The
tomb of Enrique III.'s head cook, who is lying in armour with a sword,
occupies a space on the floor. He was not a bad-looking man and I
daresay took his turn at the enemy and used his sword when occasion
offered. Street writes of these cloisters--"I know none more interesting
and more varied"--but I left them and the many fine tombs and statues
they contain wishing that priests were not mortal nor liable to chills.

[Illustration: BURGOS. ARCH OF SANTA MARIA]

The capital of Old Castile is a quiet little place and I felt I was in a
northern clime far away from the charm of Andalusia and the south. The
name Burgos is of Iberian origin, "Briga" signifying "a fortified hill."
Founded as long ago as 884 by Diego de Porcelos, it was for many
generations the capital of Castile. At the marriage of Ferdinand I. in
1067 Castile and Leon became one and ten years later the seat of
Government was removed by Alfonso VI. to Toledo. Serious troubles ensued
between the inhabitants of the two cities. Old Castile could not brook
the interference of the great archbishops of New Castile and the loss of
prestige attached to royalty and its court.

In Charles V.'s reign Burgos joined the Comunéros, the opponents of
centralised government, but was wisely pardoned with other towns by the
King, who held a court in state for this purpose in the Plaza Mayor at
Valladolid. As a result of this forgiveness the inhabitants erected the
fine entrance gateway of Santa Maria of which I made a sketch. Since
that day, except for Wellington's futile sieges, Burgos has slept the
sleep of the just and being an eminently ecclesiastical city will
continue in this happy state.

Much of interest lies tucked away in the narrow streets. There is the
Casa del Cordon, at one time the palace of the Velasco family, and a
royal residence. Within its walls the Catholic Kings received Columbus
on his return from the New World, and here was signed the incorporation
of Navarre with Castile. This fine example of a town house is flanked by
two square towers, with a rope from which it takes its name carved over
the portal. The Casa de Miranda, with a noble courtyard and
well-proportioned fluted columns, near which is the Casa de Angulo a
strong fortress-like building. The façade of the old Collegio de San
Nicolas is replete with fine workmanship and the church of this name
with tombs. The richly-carved stone _retablo_, illustrating events of
the saint's life, is also a work of real art. Under the wall of the
cemetery stood the house wherein the Cid was born, and in the Castle on
the hill, now a ruin, he was married. The nuptials of Edward I. of
England with Eleanor of Castile were celebrated in this fortress, which
can also claim the birth of Pedro the Cruel.

For a provincial town Burgos possesses a most interesting museum. Among
the many relics I saw was a bronze altar font with coloured enamels of
saints and a Moorish ivory casket, both from the monastery of San
Domingo de Silos. The fine kneeling figure in alabaster of Juan de
Padilla, who lost his life at an early age during one of the sieges of
Granada, is almost as beautiful as that of the Infante Alfonso in the
Cartuja. Roman and mediæval remains, found at different times and taken
from disestablished convents, added to the interest of a short visit.
There is so much to see in Burgos and its surroundings, and the seeing
of it all is so pleasant, so undisturbed, and so different to the south,
where for ever I was annoyed by touting loafers and irrepressible boys,
that when I left it was with feelings of great regret.

[Illustration]

Across the river, about an hour's walk one morning brought me to the
Convent of Las Huelgas, which is still inhabited by shy nuns. Founded in
1187 by Alfonso VIII. it has always loomed large in the history of
Castile. Many of her kings have kept vigil before the High Altar, when
receiving knighthood, our own Edward I. among them. Many royal pairs
have been wedded within the church, and many sleep their long sleep
within its quiet precincts. The Abbess was mitred, she possessed powers
of life and death, she ranked as a Princess-palatine next to the Queen,
and she was styled "Por la gracia de Dios." Her nuns were, and still
are, daughters of noble houses, and some even of royal birth. In the
chapel of Santiago hangs a copy of the embroidered banner captured at
the great fight of Las Navas de Tolosa, a victory which crippled and
drove out the Infidel from the north. The original hangs in the nun's
choir, a fitting pendant to the splendid tapestries which cover the
walls. I was told of other treasures invisible to the eye of man and
once again wished I could have changed my sex for a short time. Being
mere man, I heard the gate shut as I left the convent with a rather
crestfallen feeling, so walked another half-mile on to the Hospital del
Rey.

Alfonso VIII. built this Hospice for pilgrims _en route_ to Santiago.
But little remains of the original building, though the Renaissance
façade and thirteenth-century doorway, with curious figures of Adam and
Eve, repaid me for my extra trudge and I returned to my hotel with the
imagined slight dissipated and my _amour propre_ restored.

My last pilgrimage in Spain happened one cold afternoon when I went out
to the Cartuja de Miraflores. The clouds hung low over the hills and the
damp smell of autumn was in the air. The road thither passes through
avenues of great poplars. The leaves had begun to fall and it was wet
under foot. A slight drizzle was imperceptibly saturating everything and
I thought the time of my departure from sunny Spain not ill-chosen.
Despite all this, and the depressing day, I can always recall with
pleasure the road that my companion and I traversed before we passed
under the arch that marks the monastic boundary.

Beggars accosted us at the door of the monastery, for once I gave them
alms and received a blessing. We passed in, and found ourselves in a
pretty little courtyard filled with dahlias and other autumnal flowers.
The bright colours cheered us a bit, the church lay on our left, we
entered it under a Gothic arch. A monk in the stalls was at prayer, he
also kept an observant eye on the two visitors. Our footsteps seemed to
sound intensely loud on the stone pavement, and we spoke in very low
whispers. The cold white-washed walls and this solitary figure droning
out his prayers were depressing.

We furtively admired the finely-carved stalls, the grand _retablo_ over
the High Altar with its terribly life-like crucifix, all the time with a
feeling on my part of that vigilant eye boring a hole in my back like a
gimlet. We next examined the alabaster tomb the masterpiece of Gil de
Siloe, executed to the order of Isabella the Catholic, which stands in
front of the altar. Juan II. and his wife Isabella of Portugal lie side
by side clothed in their robes of state. At his feet are two Lions, at
hers a Lion and a Dog. I forgot the solitary monk and the gimlet stopped
its work as I became lost in admiration while following the intricacies
of Gil de Siloe's greatest production.

At the eight corners of this magnificent tomb, most undoubtedly the
finest I have ever seen, and by some considered unsurpassed in Europe,
sixteen lions support the royal arms, above them along the cornice
beautiful little statuettes stand under canopies which are a marvel of
delicate tracery. The embroidery on the robes of the royal pair is
exquisite and the imitation of the lace work unsurpassed.

For a long time we stood discussing and admiring the marvellous
cleverness of the designer of a monument which is worthy of the great
and pious woman who erected it to the memory of her parents.

Hard by in the west wall of the church is the tomb of the Infante
Alfonso, whose death at the early age of sixteen left the accession
vacant for Isabella and so changed the history of Castile. It is
likewise a wonderful piece of work by the same skilful hand. The young
Prince kneels alone in an attitude of prayer which gains dignity from
the half-shadow thrown by the recess in which the monument is placed.
The arch above is decorated with a twining vine, while men-at-arms
support the tomb.

We turned from the contemplation of these two memorials and the monotone
of the old monk's prayer filled the church. I think we both shared a
feeling of relief when we found ourselves once more outside under the
grey sky, though I shall ever remember the impression of that aisleless
church with its magnificent tombs, that white robed monk with his
droning voice, the chill of the autumn air and those long lines of
stately poplars under which I passed in my last pilgrimage in Spain.



INDEX


Abderrhaman, mosque of, 80

Adrian IV., Pope, 81

Albornoz, Cardinal, tomb of, 111

Alfonso VI., 234, 235

Alfonso VIII., 245

Alfonso de Cartagena, Bishop, 240

Alfonso el Catolico, 197;
  coffin of, 220

Alfonso the Chaste, 218, 220

Alfonso the Learned, sarcophagus of, 10

Alfonso de los Rios, 238

Alhambra, 31, 46, _sqq._
  Court of Lions, 50

Almakkari, historian, 23

Almanzor, 200

Alva Garcia, 138

Alvaro de Luna, 232

Antequerra, 48

Arabic documents, 230

Aragon, union of, with Castile, 67

Arfe, silver monstrance by, 142

Arfe, Juan de, 228

Arlanzón, river, 233

Astorga, 193-198
  Cathedral, 193, _sqq._
  Historical sketch, 197

Augustus, Emperor, 84

Averroes, 30

Avila, 137-144
  Cathedral, 81, 138

Avila, Historical sketch, 137

Avila, tomb of, 143


Badajos, Juan de, 215

Baeza, 195

Barcelona, 83, 91-99
  Cathedral, 92, _sqq._
  Church of San Pablo del Campo, 94
  Church of Santa Marica del Mar, 95
  Church of Santa Marica del Pi, 95
  Historical sketch, 91, _sqq._
  Rambla, 97

Barceloneta, suburb of Barcelona, 96

Bartolomé, and the Capilla Real, Granada, 39

Beatrice of Swabia, sarcophagus of, 10

Becerra, Gaspar, 195

Beggars, at Cordova, 29, 30;
  at Seville, 30, 35;
  at Madrid, 30

Bernardo de Aragon, tomb of, 164

Berruguete, carvings by, 113, 141, 228

Boabdil, figure of, at Granada, 41

Brutus, Junius, founds colony on the Turia, 66

Bull-fights, at Seville, 20

Burgos, 233-248
  Capilla del Condestable, 238
  Capilla del Corpus Christi, 242
  Capilla de la Presentacion, 239
  Capilla de San Enrique, 240
  Capilla del Santissimo Cristo, 239
  Cathedral, 233, _sqq._
  Chapel of Santa Anna, 240
  Church of San Domingo de Silos, 244
  Church of San Juan de Sahagun, 240
  Convent of las Huelgas, 245
  Collegio de San Nicolas, 244
  Historical sketch, 234, _sqq._
  Museum, 244


Cadiz, 1-5
  Académia de Bellas Artes, 4
  Cathedral, 3, 4
  Historical sketch, 3
  Mercado, 4

Cæsar, Julius, captures Seville, 7

Calix at Valencia, 71

Campaña, Pedro, pictures at Seville, 12

Cano, Alonso, pictures by, at Cadiz, 4;
  at Seville, 11, 12;
  builds façade of Cathedral at Granada, 38;
  pictures by, 38;
  pictures by, at Malaga, 60;
  figure by at Segovia, 151

Cartuja de Miraflores, 246

Casa Consistorial, Barcelona, 95

Casa del Cordon, Burgos, 243

Cataluña, union with Aragon, 92

Cervantes, house of, 232

Charles V., palace of, 54;
  arms of, 236

Chartres Cathedral, 211

Chirriguera, High Altar by, 129, 141, 228

Cid, the, 65, 201

Cofre del Cid, 242

Columbus, monument at Seville, 11;
  house of, 232

Comunéros, 243

Cordova, 23-30
  Capilla de Nuestra Señorade Villavicosia, 25
  Cathedral, 24, _sqq._
  Convent de San Jeronimo, 30
  Historical sketch, 23, 24
  Mosques, 24, 25

Cornielis, work of, 141

Corre de Sol, Granada, 55

Cristóbal, carving by, at Tortosa, 81


Dalman de Mur, High Altar by, 164

Damian Forment, retablo, 166, 167

Darro, river at Granada, 31, 33, 34, 37

De Gainza, Martin, 10

Diego de Porcelos, 242

Diego de Siloe, plans Cathedral at Granada, 38;
  at Malaga, 59

Duque de Lerma, 226


Edward I., marriage of, 244, 245

El Calvario, 150

El Campanario, tower at Cordova, 27

El Cristo de la Luz, Toledo, 115

El Grao, port of Valencia, 67

El Parral, Segovia, 154

El Transito, Toledo, 114

Englefield, Sir Francis, 232

Escovedo, Juan, 150

Essex, siege of Cadiz by Lord, 4


Ferdinand I., 200, marriage of, 243

Ferdinand and Isabella, monument at Granada, 40;
  portraits, 41, 44, 225;
  arms of, 227

Ferdinand el Santos, 234, 235

Francisco de Lara, ceiling by, 112

Francisco de Palenzuela, tomb of, 126

Fruela I., coffin of, 220


Gallegos, panels by, 203

Gayá, 84

Genil, river at Granada, 34

Geromino, tomb of, 126

Geronimo, 200

Gerona, 101-10
  Cathedral, 103, _sqq._
  Church of San Pedro de los Gallegans, 105
  Historical sketch, 101, _sqq._

Gibraltar, 58

Gil de Siloe, 247

Giralda Tower, Seville, 13, 14

Gomar, Francisco, work at Tarragona, 86

Gonzalo de Cordoba, 45

Grado, Canon Juan de, tomb of, 204

Granada, 31-35
  Albaicin, 31
  Alhambra, 31, _sqq._
  Antequeruela, 31
  Capilla de la Antigue, 39
  Capilla de Pulgar, 44
  Capilla Real, 42
  Capilla de Trinidad, 38
  Cathedral, 38, 44
  Church of San Juan de los Reyes, 44
  Church of San Nicólas, 44
  Church of Santa Anna, 44
  Convent of Cartuja, 45
  Convent of San Geronimo, 45

Greek remains, Tuy, 183

Guadalete, river at Cadiz, 5;
  battle on banks of, 58

Guadalquiver, position of Cordova on, 23

Guadelmedina, the, 61

Guillermo Boffy, 104

Gutierrez, Bishop, 219


Hernandez, 229, 230

Hontañon, rebuilt dome of Seville Cathedral, 12;
  Salamanca Cathedral, 125;
  Segovia, 150

Hospital de Santa Cruz, Toledo, 116


Infante Alfonso, tomb of, 248

Inigo de Mendoz, tomb of, 112


James I., of Aragon, armour of at Valencia, 70;
  tomb of, 86

Jews at Seville, 15

John of Cologne, 234, 238

John of Gaunt, 178

José Granados, builds western facade of Cathedral, Granada, 38

Juan II., 24

Juan Bantista Celma, 178

Juan, Prince, tomb of, 142

Juan de Borgoña, frescoes by, 112, 141

Juan de Castro, 178

Juan de Juni, 228

Juan de Mena, 30

Juan de Padilla, figure of, 244

Juan de Vallejo, 237

Juanes, _Last Supper_ by, 71


La Magdena, Zamora, 201

Lanfredo, Bishop, 80

La Peña Gajera, 154

La Peñarala, 158

Las Navas de Tolosa, 245

Leon, 205-216
  Cathedral, 209
  Chapel of La Nuestra Señora del Dado, 213
  Convent of San Isidoro el Real, 214
  Convent of San Marcos, 215
  Historical sketch, 205, _sqq._

Leovigild, 205

Loja, 48

Loyola, relic of, 95

Lucan, 30


Madrazo, designs by, 210

Maestro Matio, portrait of, 176

Malaga, 57-63
  Alcazába, 61
  Cathedral, 59
  Historical sketch, 57, _sqq._
  Mercado, 61

Malagueta, river, 61

Manrique de Lara, Bishop, 210

Maragatos, the, 195

Marcellus peoples Cordova, 23

Maria Padilla, mistress of Pedro the Cruel, coffin of, 10

Maurice, Bishop, 234, 235

Mena, Pedro de, pupil of Cano, 60

Mendoza, Cardinal, 219

Meshwâr, 53

Miguelete Tower, 66

Minho, river, 183

Monte Mauro, 34

Morales, 30

Mulhacen, 48

Murillo, pictures at Cadiz, 4;
  _San Antonio de Padua_ at Seville, 11;
  in Seville Museum, 20

Museum, Seville, 20


Napoleonic Wars, 67

Naranco, 223
  Church of Santa Maria, 223, 224

Nicodemus, 239

Nicolas Florentino, retablo by, 128

Nicolas de Vergara, carving by, 113

Notre Dame de Paris, 211


Oca, Bishop, 235

Oñar, river, 102

Ordoño I., coffin of, 220

Ordoño II., 213

Orense, 187-191
  Cathedral, 187, _sqq._
  Convent of San Francisco, 190
  Historical sketch, 187

Oviedo, 217-224
  Capilla del Rey Casto, 220
  Cathedral, 218
  Historical sketch, 218, _sqq._


Panteon, Leon, 215

Parapanda, Mount, 48

Pedro the Cruel, coffin of, 10;
  trees planted by, 14

Pedro Mato, statue of, 195

Pelayo, 222

Petrucci Orto, chalice by, 142

Philip II. destroys mosques at Cordova, 24

Philip Vigarni, 237, 238

Philip and Juana la Loca, tomb of, at Granada, 40;
  coffins of, 42

Pisuerga, river, 225

Pliny quoted, 197

Pradas, work of, at Granada, 43


Quintata, Cardinal, tomb of, 190


Ramiro II., 200

Ramiro, coffin of, 220

Ramon Berenguer I., Count, 91

Ramon Berenguer II., and Emensendis, tombs of, 104

Reus, 83

Ribalta, painting by, at Valencia, 71

Ribera, _Adoration_ by, 71

Roman remains, at Tarragona, 84;
  at Segovia, 149

Roman Sculpture at Tarragona, 89


Salamanca, 121-135
  Capilla del Carmen, 126
  Capilla Mayor, 128
  Capilla de San Bartolomé, 128
  Capilla de Talavera, 128
  Cathedrals, 121, 124, _sqq._, 127
  Church of San Pedro, 143
  Collegio Mayor de Santiago Apostol, 132
  Convent of las Agustinas Recoletas, 130
  Grammar School, 131
  Historical sketch, 123, _sqq._
  University, 131

San Pedro, river at Cadiz, 5

Santa Eulalia, body of, 93, 220

Santiago, 171-181
  Cathedral, 173, _sqq._
  Collegio de San Gerónimo, 180
  Historical sketch, 172

Santos Cruz, pictures by, 141

Saragossa, 101, 159-170
  Church of San Pablo, 167
  Cathedrals, 162, _sqq._
  El Pilar, 165
  Historical sketch, 159, _sqq._
  La Seo, 162, _sqq._

Sebastian del Piombo, 239

Segovia, 145-158
  Capilla del Cristo del Consuelo, 152
  Cathedral, 150, _sqq._
  Chapel of Santa Cantalina, 152
  Church of San Martin, 153
  Church of San Millan, 153
  Church of la Vera Cruz, 153
  Convent of Santa Cruz, 153
  Historical sketch, 149, _sqq._

Semple, Colonel, 232

Seneca, 30

Seville, 7-21
  Capilla de San Pedro, 11
  Capilla de Santiago, 11
  Cathedral, 8, _sqq._
  Historical sketch, 7
  Jewish quarter, 15

Sierra de Elvira, 48

Sierra Nevada, 48, 55

Souchet, sacks Valencia, 67


Tarragona, 83-90
  Cathedral, 84, _sqq._
  Historical sketch, 83, _sqq._

Toledo, 107-119
  Bridges, 116, 117
  Cathedral, 109
  Capilla de la Descension de Nuestra Señora, 112
  Capilla de Reyes Nuevo, 111
  Capilla de San Ildefonso, 111
  Capilla de Santiago, 112
  Church of San Juan de los Reyes, 114
  Church of Santa Maria la Blanca, 114
  Convent of San Domingo el Real, 115
  Historical sketch, 107, _sqq._
  Jews' quarter, 114

Torquemada, Cardinal, 226

Tortosa, 77-82
  Carving at, by Cristobal, 81
  Cathedral 80, _sqq._
  Historical sketch, 78, _sqq._

Triana, 19

Tribunal de Aguas, 69

Tuy, 183-185
  Cathedral, 183, _sqq._
  Convent of Santa Domingo, 185
  Historical sketch, 183, _sqq._


Urraca, 200;
  coffin of, 220


Valencia, 65-76
  Cathedral, 69
  Church of San Martin, 72
  Church of Santa Catalina, 71
  Convent del Carmen, 75
  Convent Espinose, 75
  Convent Juanes, 75
  Convent Ribalta, 75
  Historical sketch, 65, _sqq._
  Mercado, 73, 74

Valladolid, 225-232
  Church of Santa Maria la Antigua, 226
  Colegiata de San Gregorio, 227
  Collegio de Santa Cruz, 228
  Historical sketch, 225
  Scotch and English Colleges, 232
  University, 230

Vargas, Louis de, _La Gamba_ at Seville, 11, 12

Vega, the, 62

Velasquez, tomb of, 142

Vigarney, carvings by, 113

Viladomát, pictures by, at Barcelona, 95


"Wamba," great bell, Oviedo, 222

Wellington, Duke of, 48

Ximenes, 112, 227


Yahya, Moorish King, 65


Zamora , 199-204
  Capilla del Cardinal, 203
  Capilla de San Miguel, 204
  Cathedral, 201, _sqq._
  Church of la Magdalena, 201
  Church of San Pedro of Ildefonso, 201
  Historical sketch, 200
  Hospital, 201

Zurbaran, pictures at Cadiz, 4;
  at Seville, 11, 12

Printed by BALLANTYNE & CO. LIMITED Tavistock Street, Covent Garden,
London

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber.

matyrdoms of the Order=>martyrdoms of the Order

Witiza in the meantime died and was suceeded=>Witiza in the meantime
died and was succeeded

The whole rises in isolated grandeur and and may perhaps gain=>The whole
rises in isolated grandeur and may perhaps gain

and if it happen to be a=>and if it happens to be a

the arches of the the old bridge=>the arches of the old bridge

so named on acount of the scallop shells=>so named on account of the
scallop shells

she is embracing me, we disentagle ourselves=>she is embracing me, we
disentangle ourselves

but a short exsistence as their house of prayer=>but a short existence
as their house of prayer

who fought three antagonists one ofter another and came off
successful=>who fought three antagonists one after another and came off
successful

I was immediatley nonplussed=>I was immediately nonplussed

Bernardo de Arragon, tomb of, 164=>Bernardo de Aragon, tomb of, 164





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