Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Spain 2016 - Niebla again.

We were in Niebla about a month ago but had said then that we wanted to return to do some sketching. It is about an hour away and we split up when we got there. Mum and Dad into a cafe for coffee and me to walk around the outside of the walls. Mum then went into the castle to sketch and Dad returned to the car to read.
The walls around the town are fringed by a wide walkway and landscaping. It looks as though there may be floodlights too.
Its not very touristy. It is just a town that happens to be totally walled, except for the castle that we visited last time and Mum returned to to sketch. I was there for 2 hours and saw about 10 people that I could identify as tourists. We were wandering, backpacks, camera and guidebooks in hand. Not many considering it was a lovely spring day.
A work crew was making repairs to the area with the town crest.
The area at the "front" of the walled section has parking, some stores and bars and ornamental orange trees.
Although there are oranges on them, there are also fragrant blossoms.
There were flocks of goldfinches in the trees and this little guy singing his heart out. He's a Serin, a very common Mediterranean finch.

I sat on the low wall beside the path, ate my sandwich and sketched this cross on a pillar. There was no indication as to why it is there.
I'm not sure that they would have needed all this fortification if they had just let these really nasty looking cactus take over.
The walls on the "back" side of the town are not in as great shape. It is unclear what is original and what has been repaired over the years. This part looks almost like adobe.
The edges of the towers (50 of them) are stone and certainly look original.
Parts of the walls have bricks and some evidence of previous windows or doorways.
I'm sure that the vibration from the railway right next to the walls isn't good for them.
Next to the railway, the Rio Tinto, named after the red tint that iron deposits give it. The Romans first mined here and the Rio Tinto Mining Company still exists.
There is one section of wall that there is no path around. At that point I walked back in to the town through one of the 5 original gates.
The gates are still being driven through.
All have gatehouses
which allow pedestrians to avoid sharing the narrow gate openings with cars.
Once inside the town again I realized that I was close to the church. The back door was open and peering inside I saw there was activity. I asked permission to take pictures and it was granted with a surprised look. About 10 people were readying the pasos for the next procession.
I had wondered if the flowers on the paso, that I saw in Ayamonte, were real. Here was my answer, at least in Niebla, they are.
They were covering the paso with Christ carrying the cross, with red carnations.
I'm not sure if the buckets of lilies were for the church decoration but
some were on this paso.
The church is Santa Maria de Granada and this is the ceiling over the altar.
It was built in the tenth century
and there is still evidence of its time as a Mosque
in the patio and
the minaret.
The casa de cultura in the square outside the church was closed. It used to be a hospital.
I found another gate out and after quickly sketching it, was able to walk outside the walls again.
A mule snoozing under an olive tree and
a Lesser Kestrel. We saw a lot of these flying and hovering over the town, perhaps updrafts from the walls helped.
This statue, in one of the squares, is of the leader of the area when the Moors were in control. It was the period of Niebla's greatest prosperity.
We all met back at the car and then I drove home. We had beautiful weather while we were there and the rain held off while we had a glass of wine at Neptuno.
This trio were patiently waiting for their owners to finish their afternoon libation.
Got back to the apartment and it poured!

1 comment:

  1. Oh this looks like an awesome day! I miss you - wish I could have been there.