July 1, 2016: Hospital de Orbigo to Astorga

A view of the Ayuntamiento, the municipal building.  Note the mechanical figures at either side of the bell at the top.
A close-up of the mechanical figures that strike the quarter hour.
An interesting monument in the square next to the Plaza Mayor.
Gaudi’s Palace for the Archbishop.  Like so much we have seen in Spain, part of it is covered with scaffolding.  With Spain’s economy is such difficulties over the past several years, it is good to see that funds are still being allocated to preserve its cultural heritage.
A model of the Achbishop’s Palace.  For a Gaudi building, it looks so normal.
The red and white banding on the arches in Gaudi’s Palace immediately  call to mind the Alhambra.
A looking-glass forest of arches.  Note the circular windows at the top.
Gaudi is fascinated with the circles.  He put them low down on the stairwells, perhaps as a way of letting light in, but a rather strange placement.
Circles above the arches, but also squares below them.
A close-up of the red banding on the pillars.  It isn’t solid, as you can see, but rather patterned with leaf-like  and other figures.
One of the statues from the garden of the palace.
Those who have been to my house know that I love santos (wooden statues of religious figures), though most of mine come from Guatemala.  I am in love with all these wooden statues of St. James, particularly in his pilgrim garb, as here.
Here’s another one.  I just love the hat and the gourd.  Before I leave Spain, I hope to acquire such accessories.  And maybe even a St. James Pilgrim santo, if I can find one I can afford.
Quite a few  of the statues show St. James as a blond.  Perhaps the French influence.?
St. James reading.
St. James riding.
St. James praying.
I liked this arrangement of bishops flying across the wall.
An interesting Archangel Michael.  He is looking straight down at the demon, making one think that the statue is meant to be placed high up so that we viewers can look up into his face.  But if it were high up, then we couldn’t see the arresting demon.
And the reason for the palace — the archbishop. Here is his princely throne.
It’s hard to get a good frontal shot of the cathedral because there is no plaza in front but rather a building right across the street.  Here is a side view.
A very nice principal doorway to the cathedral.
For me, the most notable aspect of the cathedral interior was its  massive pillars. I took this photo with a pilgrim walking past one of the columns in order to give perspective on their size.  The columns seem more Romanesque than Gothic and called to my mind Durham Cathedral in England.
The cathedral museum had some interesting  pieces.  Look at the size of the emeralds on this remonstrance.
The museum also had some beautiful books with music for the choir.  These huge books are so lovely.


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