Medina del Campo

Much that is preserved in Medina del Campo is from the 16th century, the early peak of Spanish power and still evident in the remnants of buildings, the castle and particularly in the local museum.

The Museo de Feria is one on the best museums I’ve visited. 

  In a wonderful old building

 with a spectacular ceiling best shown on the Museum’s own posters.

  For me the joy of this visit started with a video that used songs by Joachim Diaz. The language options included english but only Spanish was available. Thank heavens for moving pictures! I certainly could not keep up with what was said. But I enjoyed it anyhow.

Then, the exhibits: the 16th century sculptures representing Christ were the best I’ve ever seen. Striking realism and strong. Not the usual mamby pamby soft body type. No, a realistic looking body for an active young guy.

 
 
And in case you missed the degree of detail in this sculture: 

   
 One display I particularly enjoyed concerned printers in Medina del Campo. The sheer number of known printers here, and active in the second half of the 16th century,  was astounding. The trade marks of at least 15 different print firms were shown. 

   

  

and the frontispiece of one of the books printed in 1584.

 Imagine how rich, culturally and financially, a town had to be for that level of intellectual activity. Samples of the books are so impressive, their quality and age. Ah Christopher C, your invasion of the Americas resulted in amazing riches for Spain.

Medina del Campo has more riches than I’d expected including the quality of the (restored) castle. This castle had a moat, 

  and once, a movable drawbridge at the entrance

  as well as a tower with evidence it was hit by heavy artillery at some time with roundish impressions visible up higher on the tower.

   
 
Moving on from bows, arrows and hot tar, at some stage aspects were changed to enable the use of artillery. I like the old arrow slots with their inherent optimism.

  
Hard to know how close the current inner castle is, if at all, to what was there a few hundred years ago.

   

I visited the Queen’s palace. Not that big  but I really enjoyed many of the displays. From her bed, which I’d optimistically hoped was the real one (no), to a commode 

  that I’m sure didn’t see any Royal end bits. Still, interesting, made of leather and wood. 

And I loved the family tree!

  
Fred used a code for communications. This was mechanised with one fixed and one movable ring and 4 sets of options. Impressive.

  
Back out and into the 21st century, much modern art is on display along the edge of the nearby empty canal.

   

And modern sculptures in a nearby little plaza.

  I wasn’t sure if the next one was a joke or what it represented! Was it intended to be painted or did local wits do that? 

 

   I was also puzzled by a part of a kid’s playground. In the centre is a thing  you would expect a kid to pop its head through, naturally. Surrounding it, bits of stone. Some built up into small ‘model towns’ and the rest lying loose. Looked like stocks for delinquents-in-training. A proto version of equipment from the Inquisition? A neat idea if you are so inclined.

   The centre of Medina del Campo is worth visiting.

 One building says it originally dates from 1656 or 1657.  

 In the competition for historical relevance, some seem to have very little dating back even a hundred years. One at least used the original heraldic signs that might have been on it a few iterations ago.

  Medina del Campo has a huge plaza where markets were held.

 Yesterday little plaques in the plaza confused me. All those I saw said armeros (suppliers of weapons). 

 Today I found many other plaques, obviously the locations of the named trades in the old market.

   

  

  

 
And then I saw her: an older woman with a Fosters shopping bag! Yes, she had an old blue bag advertising Fosters beer! She didn’t know what it said, told me a son gave it to her. Well, my guess is he speaks considerably more english than her and had visited England or Australia at some stage. 

This is the sort of town in which to learn Spanish – not just because they speak the Castilleno version but because people here don’t speak english, none, in my experience. Too easy in other places to escape having to use it. All conversations I listen into here are in Spanish, all TV programs are in Spanish, everything is. 

As usually in Spain, the good cafes are those filled with locals. Where I had breakfast he adds garlic to the tomato mix for daily toast. Hmmm. Wow. Unusually, its orange juice was reconstituted and awful but, its tomato is wonderful. 

   
 Curses on Apple, and more so on my stupidity in installing the 9.3 system update. I can’t access many websites, use the scan app (so useful in museums etc here), or access links in anything. Serves me right for acting too quickly- I had good wifi so it seemed sensible to act. No, it wasn’t!

 I waited around today so I wouldn’t be the first at lunch. Mistimed it again! I arrived at 2 to an empty room. Again.

 I love the formal dining rooms in Spain, table cloths, napkins, lots of cutlery and glasses and formal service. Four more have arrived.  And by the time I left about 6 tables had people seated.

  
Guess what I had for main course?

  
Next leg

I’m again leaving by train tomorrow:  the 10.00 to Salamanca.  Snow is expected in the morning here and in a lot of other places in Spain including Salamanca. The temperature is predicted to be heaps lower. Under 10C has been fine so far as I’ve got the right clothes.  Tomorrow will test that!

This trip, I want to see if I can move out of tourist Salamanca. No, I’m staying in the same hotel as previously but, I want to see a different level of the city.  

I looked at Airbnb options and realised I want a hotel this time. I know what I’ll get and I’ll have to interact with people. In Airbnb it’s possible to be very distant from surroundings, living in an apartment, eating and being entertained there. So, a hotel in Salamanca tomorrow, the same as previously. 

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