Palcio de Sivela, Aranjuez

Aranjuez, the summer palace of the Spanish royalty | Summer Palace Aranjuez, Spain

Aranjuez is just south of Madrid and home to the summer palace.  It was built in the second half of the 16th century under Phillip II.  The town was originally inhabited only by the court but now is a small but vibrant town dominated by the tourists who visit the palace.

The main entrance is through a gate that leads onto a large courtyard.

 

Palacio de Aranjuez pen and ink

Palacio de Aranjuez pen and ink, (5 x7″, 12.7 x 17.8 cm- to purchase see bottom)

 

Palcio de Sivela, Aranjuez

Palcio de Sivela, Aranjuez

Visitors would have entered through the doors to be confronted with a magnificent marble staircase and a ceiling high above.   Nowadays visitors enter through a much smaller entrance in the Renaissance style wing.  This style features a rather flat presentation, with pediments of various sorts adoring the windows.  Here you can also see the Romanesque arches, rounded versus the sharper edges of the Gothic style.

The interior visitors access is limited to two floors.  Once you climb the main staircase there perhaps a dozen rooms.  Some are more what you might expect in terms of high and painted ceilings, luxurious furnishings, and rich colors.  Others are intensely decorated with ceramics:

 

Aranjuez Ceramics

Aranjuez Ceramics

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Aranjuez interior

 

 

The palace sits on the conjunction of two rivers, the Tagus and Jarama.  The rivers feed numerous fountains and maintain the extensive gardens.

Fountains Aranjuez

Fountains Aranjuez

Fountains Aranjuez

Fountains Aranjuez

Aranjuez River Tajo

Aranjuez River Tajo

Nearby is the Palcio de Sivela, built in 1860 and completely restored in 1988.  Here is my impression of it

Palcio de Sivela, Aranjuez

Palcio de Sivela, Aranjuez (watercolor, 5 x7″, 12.7 x 17.8 cm) sold!

 

The pen and ink—

Lagunas de Cañada

On the back road to Aranjuez- Torcas de Palancares | las torcas

December 6, 2016

We set off on our journey from Valencia to Aranjuez at 7am on Sunday.  The train route takes you west through massive fields of grapes dotted by the occasional and equally massive wine storage units jutting some 25 meters toward the clouds, stopping in a seemingly endless number of small towns along the way.  Progress is slow and the it gets much slower as then we enter the National Park known as Torcas de Palancares, leaving the farms behind.

The ravines (barrancos) along the train route from Valencia to Aranjuez dig deeply into the rocky orange soil. Because it has been raining, itself a bit of a refreshing oddity, rivulets flow beneath the train as it slows to 20 kph as we inched across trestles, looking straight over the side at the rocky bottom far below.  You don’t feel confident out there in the middle.  They are going that slowly for good reason.

There are more people on the train – so vacant we practically got on a first name basis with the conductor- than live in the protected zone portion of the journey, judging by the total lack of dwellings and just the occasional dirt road.  A large bird, a hawk or perhaps even an owl, swoops across the tracks, looking for an unwary rabbit.  The boars are too big to lift so they are safe from his talons.

Continue reading