5 small Texas towns you must visit

Experience Southern gentility and hospitality in these small Texas towns. Each one has a unique heritage forged by its location and history.

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Experience Southern gentility and hospitality in these small Texas towns. Each one has a unique heritage forged by its location and history

Antique shops, independent boutiques, wine tasting, and water sports are some of the activities they have in store for visitors. These towns are fantastic for all kinds of trips, from a romantic weekend getaway to a family road trip.

Discover a new side to Texas!

German-Texan heritage in Gruene    

Gruene is a gem of a town located roughly halfway between Austin and San Antonio, in the Texas Hill Country. Gruene, pronounced “green,” was first settled by German farmers in the 1840s. the Gruene family introduced cotton farming, which brought prosperity to the area. Some fine examples of late Victorian architecture still stand, like the Gruene Mansion or Gruene House, both Bed and Breakfasts now. Gruene was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, which allowed it to retain an authentic turn-of-the-century look and feel.   

Antique stores, boutiques, art galleries, and a general store line the streets of Gruene. In addition, the town boasts the oldest continually operating dance hall in Texas, Gruene Hall, built in 1878. Another landmark is The Gristmill Restaurant, built in the shell of an 1878 cotton mill and has beautiful views of the Guadalupe River down below. In summer, people can rent tubing, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking equipment and go on the nearby Guadalupe and Comal rivers.  

19th century charm in Jefferson

Jefferson, once a bustling river port, now radiates Southern grace. The town was founded in the 1840s in Northeastern Texas. Jefferson is about 170 miles east of Dallas and less than an hour from the Louisiana border. Thanks to a giant log jam on the Red River, the water level of the Caddo Lake and Red Rover rose by several feet. This enabled commercial navigation to Jefferson from places as far as St. Louis and New Orleans along the Mississippi. The town flourished until 1873, when the Army Corps of Engineers blew up the log jam, considered a navigational hazard, thus lowering the water levels and making riverboat traffic no longer viable.

Many of the Victorian mansions were converted into Bed and Breakfasts. Jefferson has more registered historic buildings than anywhere in Texas, as well as the state’s oldest working hotel. The Excelsior House Hotel dates from 1858 and has had distinguished guests like Oscar Wilde or Ulysses S. Grant. Jefferson is said to be haunted, so visitors can learn all about local legends during a ghost walk. The Jefferson General Store, from 1879, is a must-visit. To take a break from so much history, swamp tours, canoeing, and fishing are available at the Caddo Lake close by.

Antique shops, independent boutiques, wine tasting, and water sports are some of the activities they have in store. These towns are fantastic for all kinds of trips, from a romantic weekend getaway to a family road trip. #Texas #travel

Historic Granbury

Granbury lies on the shores of Lake Granbury in North Central Texas. It all started when Tennessee emigrants came to settle on the Brazos River in 1854. Elizabeth Crockett, the widow of Davy Crockett, also settled here, on land given to the heirs of those who fought in the Texas Revolution of 1836. The settlement grew, and, in 1887, the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway connected Granbury with other towns.

Elizabeth Crockett also has her own statue at the Elizabeth Crocket State Historic Park, the smallest state park in Texas. Among other landmarks are the Historic Railroad Depot of 1914 or the Brazos Drive-In Theater from 1952, which is Texas’ longest continually running drive-in theater. The Hood County Courthouse, a three-story limestone building from 1890-1, dominates the square. The surrounding buildings, many of which are also registered historic landmarks, house boutiques, antique stores, and art galleries, among other businesses. The annual Granbury Wine Walk takes place in and around the square and features local wines, food, and art. Where to stay? In a Victorian B&B, where else!  

Marble Falls, the heart of the Hill Country

Marble Falls is nestled among rolling hills, vineyards, and lakes in Central Texas. Marble Falls Lake is within walking distance of the Historic Downtown area and provides a welcome respite from all that walking and shopping and visiting art galleries. Art features prominently in Marble Falls. Its main street is lined with sculptures, and the annual Sculpture on Main Fest showcases the best local artists. There are plenty of eating and drinking establishments, but one stands out: the Blue Bonnet Café. This café has been serving homestyle pies since 1929 and still draws big crowds. Be prepared to wait.

Marble Falls is surrounded by wonderful places to enjoy nature that are very close. Locals and visitors go boating, kayaking, and fishing at Inks and Buchanan lakes. Would-be speleologists should take a guided cave tour of the Longhorn Cavern. The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge preserves the habitat of endangered songbirds. Enchanted Rock is a colossal pink granite dome that people can climb or enjoy from a distance. The star of the Pedernales Falls State Park is the Pedernales River, which flows over massive limestone slabs and can turn into a raging torrent in the blink of an eye, as flash floods are common in the Hill Country.

Sulphur Springs’ revitalized downtown area

Sulphur Springs is in Northeast Texas, about 80 miles from Dallas. Its name comes from the now dried-up sulfurous water springs and it was settled in the 1850s. The advent of the railroad in 1872 gave the small town an economic boost. Later, in the mid-twentieth century, the dairy industry became a major component of the local economy. However, it started to decline in the late 90s, along with the town’s fortunes.

Recently, the town’s authorities started a process of revitalization of the downtown area, though. Behind colorful storefronts are independent boutiques, restaurants, and bars, among other businesses. Every façade has been restored to its past splendor. And the trees that line the streets provide welcome shade in the hotter months. The town square, also newly revamped, includes the Romanesque Revival courthouse (built in 1894-5), a very moving veteran memorial and a splash pad in the shape of the Lone Star. However, the biggest attraction are the glass public toilets. Not to worry! They are covered in one-way mirrors that reflect the light and blend in with the surroundings. 

Experience Southern gentility and hospitality in these small Texas towns. Each one has a unique heritage forged by its location and history
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5 pueblos texanos que no te podés perder

Viví la elegancia y la hospitalidad sureñas en estos pequeños pueblos de Texas. Cada uno tiene un patrimonio único forjado gracias a su ubicación e historia

Negocios de antigüedades, boutiques independientes, catas de vino y deportes acuáticos son algunas de las actividades que tienen reservadas para los visitantes. Estos pueblos son fantásticos para todo tipo de viajes, desde una escapada romántica de fin de semana hasta un road trip en familia.

Descubrí una cara diferente de Texas.

Herencia alemana en Gruene


Gruene es una belleza pueblerina ubicada aproximadamente a medio camino entre Austin y San Antonio, en el Texas Hill Country. Gruene, pronunciado “green“, fue colonizado por primera vez por agricultores alemanes en la década de 1840. La familia Gruene introdujo el cultivo del algodón, que a su vez trajo prosperidad a la zona. Todavía quedan algunos buenos ejemplos de la arquitectura victoriana tardía, como la Mansión Gruene o la Casa Gruene, ambos convertidos en Bed and Breakfast. Gruene fue incluido en el Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos en 1975, lo que le permitió conservar su aspecto y ambiente auténticos de principios de siglo.

Tiendas de antigüedades, boutiques, galerías de arte y un almacén general pueblan las calles de Gruene. Además, el pueblo cuenta con el salón de baile más antiguo de Texas en uso continuado, Gruene Hall, construido en 1878. Otro hito es The Gristmill Restaurant, construido en las ruinas de una fábrica de algodón de 1878 y tiene hermosas vistas del río Guadalupe. En verano, la gente puede alquilar flotantes, stand-up paddles y kayaks e ir a los ríos cercanos Guadalupe y Comal.

Elegancia victoriana en Jefferson

Jefferson, que alguna vez fue un bullicioso puerto fluvial, ahora irradia encanto sureño. La ciudad fue fundada en la década de 1840 en el noreste de Texas. Jefferson está a unas 170 millas al este de Dallas y a menos de una hora de la frontera con Luisiana. Gracias a un atasco de troncos gigante en el Red River, el nivel del agua del lago Caddo y del Red Rover aumentó varios metros. Esto permitió la navegación comercial a Jefferson desde lugares tan lejanos como St. Louis y Nueva Orleans a lo largo del Mississippi. La ciudad floreció hasta 1873, cuando el Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército hizo estallar el atasco de troncos, considerado un peligro para la navegación, reduciendo así los niveles de agua y haciendo inviable el tráfico fluvial.

Muchas de las mansiones victorianas se convirtieron en Bed and Breakfasts. Jefferson tiene más edificios históricos registrados que en cualquier lugar de Texas, así como el hotel en funcionamiento más antiguo del estado. El Excelsior House Hotel data de 1858 y alojó pasajeros distinguidos como Oscar Wilde o el presidente Ulysses S. Grant. Se dice que Jefferson está embrujado, por lo que los visitantes pueden aprender todo sobre las leyendas locales durante una caminata guiada nocturna. La Jefferson General Store, de 1879, es una visita obligada. Para tomar un descanso de tanta historia, en el cercano lago Caddo se pueden realizar recorridos por los pantanos, hacer kayak y pescar.

Viví la elegancia y la hospitalidad sureñas en estos pequeños pueblos de Texas. Cada uno tiene un patrimonio único forjado gracias a su ubicación e historia. #Texas #viajes #EstadosUnidos

Raíces revolucionarias en Granbury

Granbury se encuentra a orillas del lago Granbury, en el centro-norte de Texas. Todo comenzó cuando unos pioneros oriundos de Tennessee llegaron a establecerse en el río Brazos en 1854. Elizabeth Crockett, la viuda de Davy Crockett (quien luchó en la Batalla del Alamo contra fuerzas mexicanas), también se instaló aquí. Esas tierras fueron entregadas a los herederos de quienes lucharon en la Revolución de Texas de 1836. El asentamiento creció, y, en 1887, el ferrocarril de Fort Worth y Rio Grande llegó a conectar Granbury con otras ciudades.

Elizabeth Crockett tiene su propia estatua en el Parque Histórico Estadual Elizabeth Crocket, el más pequeño de Texas. Entre otros lugares de interés, se encuentran el histórico Railroad Depot de 1914 o el Brazos Drive-In Theatre de 1952, que es el autocine más antiguo de Texas en funcionamiento continuo. El Palacio de Justicia del Condado de Hood, un edificio de piedra caliza de tres pisos de 1890-1, domina la plaza. Los edificios circundantes, muchos de los cuales también son monumentos históricos registrados, alojan boutiques, anticuarios y galerías de arte, entre otros negocios. El Granbury Wine Walk anual se lleva a cabo dentro y alrededor de la plaza y presenta vinos, comida y artesanías locales. ¿Donde alojarse? En un B&B victoriano, ¿dónde más?

Marble Falls, en el corazón del Hill Country

Marble Falls está ubicado entre colinas, viñedos y lagos en el centro de Texas. Marble Falls Lake se encuentra a poca distancia a pie del área del centro histórico. El parque junto al lago ofrece un respiro de tanto caminar, ir de compras y visitar galerías de arte. El arte ocupa un lugar destacado en Marble Falls. Su calle principal está llena de esculturas, y el festival anual de esculturas Main Fest exhibe a los mejores artistas locales. Hay muchos establecimientos para comer y beber, pero se destaca el Blue Bonnet Café. Este café sirve pastelería casera desde 1929 y atrae a grandes multitudes. Preparate para esperar un buen rato en la vereda.

Marble Falls está rodeado de lugares maravillosos para disfrutar de la naturaleza y que se encuentran muy cerca. Los lugareños y visitantes salen a andar en bote y kayak y pescar en los lagos Inks y Buchanan. Los aspirantes a espeleólogos deberían realizar una visita guiada a las cuevas de Longhorn Cavern. El Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Balcones Canyonlands preserva el hábitat de aves en peligro de extinción. Enchanted Rock es una colosal cúpula de granito rosa que la gente puede escalar o disfrutar desde lejos. La estrella del Parque Estadual Pedernales Falls es el río Pedernales, que fluye sobre enormes losas de piedra caliza y puede convertirse en un torrente furioso en un abrir y cerrar de ojos, ya que las inundaciones repentinas son comunes en el Hill Country.

Sulphur Springs y su centro modernizado

Sulphur Springs se encuentra en el noreste de Texas, a unas 80 millas de Dallas. Su nombre proviene de los manantiales de agua sulfurosa, que ahora están secos, y se estableció en la década de 1850. La llegada del ferrocarril en 1872 dio a la pequeña ciudad un fuerte impulso económico. Más tarde, a mediados del siglo XX, la industria láctea se convirtió en un componente importante de la economía local. Sin embargo, comenzó a declinar a finales de los ’90, junto con la fortuna de la ciudad.

Sin embargo, hace poco, las autoridades del pueblo iniciaron un proceso de revitalización del centro de la ciudad. Detrás de coloridos vidrieras se encuentran boutiques independientes, restaurantes y bares, entre otros. Cada fachada ha sido restaurada a su antiguo esplendor. Los árboles que bordean las calles brindan una agradable sombra en los meses más calurosos. La plaza del pueblo, también recientemente renovada, incluye el palacio de justicia, de estilo renacentista románico (construido en 1894-5), un monumento a los veteranos muy conmovedor y una fuente con la forma de la Estrella Solitaria, el símbolo de Texas. Sin embargo, la mayor atracción son los baños públicos de vidrio. ¡No es para preocuparse! Están cubiertos de espejos unidireccionales que reflejan la luz y se mimetizan con el entorno.

Mosaico bizantino, Catedral de Buenos Aires, clase de dibujo

De Bizancio a la Catedral de Buenos Aires, y de ahí, a mi clase de dibujo en el colegio. #mosaicobizantino #teselas #arte #historia #BuenosAires

No recuerdo si en los últimos años de primaria o los primeros de secundaria, la profesora de dibujo nos enseñó la técnica del mosaico bizantino en papel. Primero, debíamos hacer un dibujo con lápiz negro en una hoja Canson número 5. Luego, cubríamos toda la superficie con cuadraditos de papel de más o menos un centímetro de lado del color que correspondía a cada parte del dibujo.

¿Por qué usamos cuadrados y no triángulos o rectángulos? Porque la técnica, desarrollada en la Antigua Grecia y luego difundida por los romanos, utilizaba fragmentos de piedra llamados teselas. Esta palabra viene del latín tessellae, que significa “de cuatro lados.” Obviamente, si queda un espacio irregular, la tesela se corta a medida para cubrirlo.

Durante el Imperio Bizantino (394-1453), se comenzaron a usar las teselas de pasta vítrea y el fondo de oro que podemos disfrutar en los maravillosos iconos de Santa Sofía en Estambul, antes de que fuera reconvertida en mezquita y los taparan.    

Cristo Pantócrator, o Todopoderoso, en Santa Sofía

Este estilo de mosaico fue muy usado para decorar paredes tanto interiores como exteriores, y como pavimento. Todavía quedan muchos ejemplos en las ruinas de edificaciones romanas. Estos mosaicos, además de decorativos, tenían la ventaja de que eran duraderos e impermeabilizaban las paredes. Una de sus características es que no quedan espacios entre las teselas.

Para pegar los cuadritos cortados de revistas y papel glasé, usábamos plasticola. El papel glasé autoadhesivo era un lujo fuera de nuestro alcance, lo mirábamos con “la ñata contra el vidrio.” Al adhesivo en barra importado, también. La plasticola se me pegoteaba en los dedos y la arrancaba como piel vieja y sucia. Muchas veces, esa película pegajosa y negra de suciedad se traspasaba al collage, donde mis huellas dactilares le daban un je ne sais quoi al trabajo.

La flor de la pasionaria

La prolijidad no fue mi fuerte hasta promediada la secundaria. Tampoco lo fueron la paciencia ni la responsabilidad. Recuerdo estar haciendo ese trabajo un domingo a la noche para entregar el lunes. Me dolía la espada por estar encorvada sobre la hoja Canson, cortando y pegando papelitos, despegándome plasticola seca de los dedos, mientras oleadas de impaciencia me recorrían el cuerpo desde la base del cráneo hasta los pies.  

Recuerdo que la clase de dibujo donde aprendimos sobre el mosaico bizantino estaba relacionada con una visita guiada que hicimos con el colegio a la Catedral de Buenos Aires. Uno de los aspectos que nos señalaron fue el piso del templo: 2.600 metros cuadrados totalmente revestidos en, you know it, pequeñas teselas formando diferentes motivos florales. Entre estos se encuentra el lirio, que simboliza la segunda venida de Jesús, y la pasionaria -o mburucuyá-, que representa la Pasión de Jesucristo.   

Lirios azules

El piso es de estilo Art Nouveau y no condice con el de la catedral, que es entre barroco y románico. Fue colocado entre 1907 y 1911 como parte de los trabajos de restauración de la catedral para el primer Centenario de la Revolución de Mayo. Las teselas fueron encargadas a una fábrica inglesa sobre un diseño del arquitecto Carlos Morra para reemplazar las losas blancas y negras de la década de 1830, que estaban muy deterioradas.

No quiero imaginarme las horas de trabajo intenso y dolor de espalda que debe haber exigido este piso. Por lo que pude averiguar, primero se armaban los fragmentos en planchas llamadas matrices, que luego se colocaban sobre una base de cal y arena. Mi yo escolar y mi yo actual saludamos con respeto a esos artesanos. Y les envidiamos la paciencia.       

The London cathedrals you can’t miss

The London cathedrals you can’t miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city’s cathedrals.

London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city’s cathedrals.

Westminster Cathedral

Not to be confused with Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales. It is also the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster.

Westminster Cathedral is located on Victoria street. The nearest tube and train station is Victoria. As you walk along Victoria Street, you discover a wide piazza among commercial and office buildings. That is the main entrance to the cathedral. You will probably think that you have been transported to Constantinople. No, you are still in London.

The London cathedrals you can't miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city's cathedrals. #London #travel #cathedral

Built in the late 19th century (1895), the cathedral building is actually Victorian. However, its design style is Early Christian Byzantine. The nave and the mosaics reminded me of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (modern-day Constantinople).

The cavernous nave and chapels are decorated with over one hundred different types of marble from all over the world, like red granite from Sweden or lapis lazuli form Chile. The effect is truly astounding.

The mosaics are Neo-Byzantine in style. They were installed between 1912 and 1916 by members of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which stood for traditional craftsmanship and often inspired by medieval, romantic or folk styles.

Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1P 1LT

Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile

This is a little-known cathedral, or, at any rate, I never heard of it until now. It is the cathedral of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London.

This is bit is confusing to me: “Though independent from the authority of the Latin Rite hierarchy in England and Wales, and instead under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchial bishop, territorially, the cathedral is considered to be part of the Marylebone deanery of the Latin Rite Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster.”

The Ukrainian Catholic church bought this building in 1967. It was originally built in in the Italianate classic design in 1891 for the Congregational King’s Weigh House. The architect, Alfred Waterhouse, also designed the Natural History Museum. learn more about the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile here.

22 Binney Street (Chancery), London, W1K 5BQ

St. George’s Cathedral, Southwark

Two cathedrals grace Southwark: St. George’s, which is Catholic, and Southwark Cathedral, which is Anglican. Of the two, St. George’s is lesser known. Let’s change that.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the St. George is the seat of the Archbishop of Southwark, which the London boroughs south of the Thames, the Medway and Kent.

The London cathedrals you can't miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city's cathedrals. #London #travel #cathedral


The building was designed by the renowned Victorian architect Augustus Pugin and was officially opened in 1848. Almost a century later, in April 1941, an incendiary bomb caused a lot of damage. After rebuilding, the cathedral was reconsecrated in 1958.

St. George’s Cathedral is a stone’s throw away from the Imperial War Museum and the South Bank. It’s a short walk from Waterloo Station.

Lambeth Road, (SE1 6HR)

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral is the best known of all London’s cathedrals. It’s one of the quintessential landmarks we think of when we think of London.

The London cathedrals you can't miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city's cathedrals. #London #travel #cathedral

St. Paul’s has a very long history that goes back to the 7th century. The current building was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the English Baroque style, after the Great Fire of London of 1666 destroyed the medieval cathedral.

This was not the only time that St. Paul’s was under attack. The suffragettes planted a bomb in 1913, but it didn’t go off. However, the German bombs during the Blitz did not miss the cathedral, which then became a symbol of resistance.

The London cathedrals you can't miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city's cathedrals. #London #travel #cathedral

St. Paul’s is the seat of the Bishop of London and is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of London. It’s a wonderful building. If you have time to visit just the one cathedral, do choose St. Paul’s.

St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral is located on the south bank of the Thames in Bankside. It is the seat of the Diocese of Southwark of the Church of England, which serves South London and Surrey.

Its full name is The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie. Its history dates back to the Doomsday Book (1086), as it mentions the existence of a minster at that location. The Normans re-founded it in 1106 as a priory under the Augustinian rule.

The London cathedrals you can't miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city's cathedrals. #London #travel #cathedral

The many highlights of Southwark Cathedral include a Roman pavement, the stained glass, Edmund Shakespeare’s memorial stone (he was William’s brother), and the altar piece and screen. And a lovely café to sit and relax. Find visitor information here. You’ll find the cathedral behind Borough Market, at the foot of London Bridge.

London Bridge, London SE1 9DA

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The London cathedrals you can't miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city's cathedrals. #London #travel #cathedral
The London cathedrals you can’t miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city’s cathedrals. #London #travel #cathedral
The London cathedrals you can't miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city's cathedrals. #London #travel #cathedral
The London cathedrals you can’t miss! London is rich in history and art, and you can experience both at the city’s cathedrals. #London #travel #cathedral

Jefferson Boulevard, a historic shopping street in Dallas

Jefferson Boulevard is one of the few historic shopping streets in Dallas.

If you want to experience a neighbourhood feel, come to Oak Cliff. A short distance from downtown Dallas, yet the atmosphere feels like it is a million miles away.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, there was a community south of the River Trinity by 1845. In 1887, two developers, one of whom was Thomas L. Marsalis, bought land there including that community. Their idea was to create an elite residential area and vacation resort.

Jefferson Boulevard is one of the few historic shopping streets in Dallas.

It went well until the economic depression of 1893. By 1900, middle- and working-class families had bout subdivided plots. An independent district thus far, Oak Cliff voted for the annexation to Dallas in 1903 due to the area’s depressed economy. 

Oak Cliff is made up of many different neighbourhoods, like the trendy Bishop Arts District or the historic Winnetka Heights. However, I am going to focus on Jefferson Boulevard.

My first impression was that Jefferson Boulevard is the hub of the Mexican American community. Many businesses cater to their needs, like a panadería (bakery) or stores that sell quinceañera and wedding gowns. Most signs are bilingual. There is a cluster of brightly painted storefronts on the Texas Theater end of the boulevard that I find particularly attractive. Unfortunately, at the time of writing (December 2020), I noticed that a few stores stood empty.

Jefferson Boulevard is one of the few historic shopping streets in Dallas.
The Jefferson Tower

I enjoy walking along Jefferson Boulevard. It has a neighbourhood feel that is hard to find in other areas. It looks unspoiled by modernity. It lacks the pretentiousness that other parts of Dallas like to flaunt. Here, you can relax and be you.

One of the landmarks on Jefferson Boulevard in the Jefferson Tower. Built in 1928, it was the first high-rise on Oak Cliff and it still dominates the boulevard. I love its striking Art Deco architectural features.

The other landmark is the Texas Theater, opened in 1931. Although it was Dallas’ first air-conditioned theater, it became famous for being the place where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested on 22 November 1963.

Jefferson Boulevard is one of the few historic shopping streets in Dallas.
The Texas Theater

The Oak Cliff Cultural Center is right next door. Although it is now closed until further notice due to the pandemic, it holds art exhibitions from various local artists, both established and up-and-coming. I interviewed two of the artists for the Dallas Observer last year.

Jefferson Boulevard is one of the last original shopping streets in Dallas. Its architecture, from the 1920s and 30s and mid-20th century, remains more or less intact. It is pedestrian-friendly, another feature hard to find in the city, and there is lots of parking. What more do you need?

Jefferson Boulevard is one of the few historic shopping streets in Dallas.
Jefferson Boulevard is one of the few historic shopping streets in Dallas.

St. Margaret’s Chapel Edinburgh Castle

St. Margaret’s Chapel Edinburgh Castle
La Capilla de Sta. Margarita en el castillo de Edimburgo

St. Margaret’s Chapel

Built on the highest point of Castle Rock, St. Margaret’s Chapel dominates Edinburgh Castle and the city below. This small unassuming Chapel, with an internal width of 3 metres and a 4.8-metre-long nave, is Edinburgh’s oldest building.  

King David I (1124-1153) had the Chapel built in about 1130 and dedicated it to his mother, Queen Margaret. It is a simple rectangular stone construction, with an entrance door near the back of the nave, and a round chancel arch decorated with chevron mouldings. The arch leads to the small apsed sanctuary. The ornate arch and three of the walls are original. The walls are 61 centimetre thick.

St. Margaret’s Chapel is redolent of earlier Celtic Chapels in Scotland and Ireland. However, the style is Romanesque, as evidenced by the round-headed windows and the round arch.

This Chapel is still standing after some brutal historical events. When the Earl of Moray captured Edinburgh Castle from the English in 1314, King Robert the Bruce had it demolished to prevent it falling onto English hands again. However, St. Margaret’s Chapel was spared. Before he died, Robert the Bruce gave orders for the Chapel to be repaired.

The Chapel was virtually forgotten after the Reformation in the 16th century. It was also used to store gunpowder. Restoration work began in the 1850s. The stained-glass windows, which depict Scottish saints, were installed in the 1920s. the Chapel was rededicated in 1934. It is still used for religious services, like baptisms or weddings. The St. Margaret’s Chapel Guild ensures that there are always fresh flowers.

La capilla de Santa Margarita

La capilla de Sta. Margarita domina el paisaje desde el punto más alto del Castillo de Edimburgo. Esta pequeña capilla, de solo 3 metros de ancho interior y una nave de 4,8 metros de largo, es la construcción más antigua de la ciudad.

El rey David I (1124-1153) mandó a construir la capilla en 1130 dedicada la memoria de su madre, la reina Margarita. Es una construcción rectangular de piedra, con una entrada en la parte posterior de la nave y un arco decorado con motivos angulares. El arco separa el ábside de la nave. El arco triunfal y tres de las paredes son originales. Estas tienen un espesor de 61 centimetros.

Si bien la capilla tiene características parecias a capillas celtas de Escocia e Irlanda, su estilo es románico, como lo indican las ventanas redondeadas y el arco triunfal.

La capilla soportó varios eventos históricos violentos. Cuando el conde de Moray recapturó el Castillo de Edimburgo en poder de los ingleses en 1314, el rey Robert the Bruce lo mandó a demolir para evitar que volviera a caer en manos inglesas. Si embargo, ordenó conservar la capilla. Antes de morir, ordenó que fuera restaurada.

La capilla cayó en el abandono luego de la Reforma Protestante del siglo XVI. Incluso, se la utilizó como polvorín. Los trabajos de restauración comenzaron en la década de 1850. Los vitrales con santos escoceses son de la década de 1920. La capilla fue vuelta a consagrar en 1934. Todavía se usa para servicios relgiosos como bautismos o casamientos. La Cofradía de la Capilla de Sta. Margarita se ocupa de que simpre haya flores frescas.

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St. Margaret's Chapel  Edinburgh Castle
La Capilla de Sta. Margarita en la castillo de Edimburgo 
#Edinburg #Castle #Scotland #Escocia #viajar #travel

Who was St. Margaret?

Although born in exiled in Hungary in 1045, Margaret of Wessex was an English princess, sister to Edgar Ætheling, claimant to the throne of England. Her family returned to England when she was ten but had to flee after the Norman invasion of 1066.

Their ship, headed to the Continent, was blown off course and ended up in Scotland. King Malcolm put the family under his protection. He eventually fell in love with and married Margaret in 1070.

Margaret was a devoted catholic. She exerted her influence on her husband, who was not vey religious. Queen Margaret promoted the arts and education, advocated religious reform in Scotland and founded several churches. She fed the poor and nursed the sick.

Pope Innocent IV canonized Margaret in 1250 for her life of holiness and reform of the Church.

Saint Margaret is the patron saint of Scotland and her feast day is 16 November. Incidentally, my mother-in-law’s name was Margaret, and she was Scottish.    

¿Quién fué Sta. Margarita?

Si bien nació en el exilio en Hungría, Margarita de Wessex era una princesa inglesa hermana de Edgar Atheling, pretendiente al trono de Inglaterra. Su familia volvió cuando ella tenía diez años, pero debieron escapar de los invasores normandos en 1066.

Su barco se dirigía al continente, pero una tormenta lo desvió a las costas escocesas. El rey Malcolm los puso bajo su protección. Con el tiempo, se enamoró y casó con Margarita en 1070.

Margarita era muy devota y su influencia suavizó el carácter y las decisiones de su marido. Promovió las artes y la educación, abogó por la reforma religiosa en Escocia y fundó varias iglesias. Hizo también muchas obras de caridad.

El papa Inoncencio IV canonizó a Margarita de Escocia en 1250 por sus obras de caridad y la reforma de la iglesia.

Sta. Margarita es la patrona de Escocia y su santo se celebra el 16 de noviembre. Mi suegra era escocesa y se llamaba justamente Margaret.

St. Margaret's Chapel  Edinburgh Castle
La Capilla de Sta. Margarita en la castillo de Edimburgo 
#Edinburg #Castle #Scotland #Escocia #viajar #travel

Edinburgh Castle

The igneous rock intrusion known as Castle Rock that looks over Edinburgh has always played a defensive role, from a fortress in Roman times to royal residence in the Middle Ages. King David I built some of the remarkable buildings in 1130 that are still standing.

The English captured and destroyed the castle a few times, but the Scots always reclaimed and rebuilt it. The castle was the scene of sieges and battles. As a royal residence, it is where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her son James IV of Scotland and later, James I of England. The castle withstood the Jacobite rebellions in the 18th century.

Nowadays, Edinburgh Castle serves as a military station, is home to the Scottish National War Memorial and of the Crown Jewels (the Honours of Scotland). The Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, where Scottish kings were crowned, has been on display since 1996, when it was returned from Westminster Abbey. I have been immensely lucky to have seen the Stone in both places.

Edinburgh Castle is part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

El Castillo de Edimburgo

La formación de roca ígnea conocida como Castle Rock que ese eleva sobre Edimgburgo siempre cumplió un papel defensivo, tanto como fortaleza romana o residencia real medieval. El rey David I construyó en 1130 algunos de los edificios majestuosos todavía en pie.

Las fuerzas inglesas capturaron y destruyeron el castillo varias veces pero los escoceses siempre lo recuperaron y lo arreglaron. El castillo fue escena no solo de batallas sino de asedios. Como residencia real, fue donde la reina María Estuardo dio a luz a su hijo Jacobo IV de Escocia y I de Inglaterra. Tambié soportó las rebeliones jacobitas del siglo XVIII.

Hoy en día, el Castillo de Edimburgo cumple funciones militares, alberga el Monumento Nacional de Guerra y las joyas de la Corona, u Honores de Escocia y la Piedra del Destino (Stone of Scone), donde eran coronados los monarcas escoceses. La Piedra del Destino estuvo en la Abadía de Westminster hasta 1996, cuando fue devuelta a donde pertenece. Tuve la gran suerte de verla en ambos lugares.

El Castillo de Edimburgo forma parte del grupo Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, declarado Patrimonio Histórico de la Humanidad por la UNESCO.

St. Margaret's Chapel  Edinburgh Castle
La Capilla de Sta. Margarita en la castillo de Edimburgo 
#Edinburg #Castle #Scotland #Escocia #viajar #travel

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St. Margaret's Chapel  Edinburgh Castle
La Capilla de Sta. Margarita en la castillo de Edimburgo 
#Edinburg #Castle #Scotland #Escocia #viajar #travel

Texas Hill Country road trip

“The soul of a journey is liberty, a perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases. We go on a journey chiefly to be free of all impediments and of all inconveniences.” William Hazlitt (1778-1830), On Going a Journey

“El alma de un viaje es la libertad, la libertad perfecta, de pensar, sentir, hacer lo que a uno le plazca. Vamos de viaje principalmente para liberarnos de todo tipo de impedimentos e inconvenientes.” William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

I think that a road trip embodies Hazlitt’s sentiments. We decide where to go, where and when to stop. Having our own transport gives us the liberty to do as we please. We leave behind the trappings and drudgery of daily life and go in search of adventure

The Texas Hill Country provides that sense of adventure that is missing from our 9-to-5 life. Get out of your (home) office and hit the road. Take a road trip around the Texas Hill Country and come back home renewed and refreshed.

My husband and I have done may road trips in the Texas hill Country. We love the slower pace of life of small towns and the friendliness of the locals. Each town we’ve visited has a distinctive feature that sets it apart, like San Saba, the self-styled Pecan Capital of the World, or Hico, whose motto is Where Everybody is Somebody!

Here’s some of the things what you can see and do in the Hill Country.

Best time to visit

My personal preference is the early spring, when the bluebonnets and other beautiful Texas wildflowers are out in full bloom. I also love the fall for its gorgeous colours and the cooler weather.   

Texas Hill Country road trip

Hico

Hico was incorporated in 1883. Its historic downtown bears witness to the town’s heyday as a cattle and cotton market. Plate-glass windows, cast-iron support, colourful facades, brick and stone adorn the old buildings that line the streets. Most businesses cater to the tourist trade, which is the main industry along with ranching.

The figure of Billy the Kid dominates the town. There is a fiberglass statue (1987), which to me looks like made with dripping wet sand. And there’s the Billy the Kid Museum, which intends to prove that he didn’t die in New Mexico but escaped and live out his life in Hico. If you’re a fan of conspiracy theories, fill your boots.

Texas Hill Country road trip

Look out for the vintage and new murals that adorn the downtown area, and the historic watering trough (1914) for horses and dogs.

We ate good barbeque and sides at Po Campo.  

Llano

Llano styles itself the Deer Capital of Texas. The hunting season is November-December, and hunters are welcome here. Llano, which is Spanish for plains, was founded in 1855 on its namesake river. The Inks Bridge (1936) and the Llano County Courthouse (1893) are two of the town’s landmarks.

Head to Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (yes, that’s a mouthful) to enjoy some of the most delicious Teas barbeque around.

San Saba

San Saba was founded in 1854 and got its name from the San Saba River. The town calls itself the Pecan Capital of the World. True or not, you’ll find many businesses that sell and buy pecans from the area’s orchards.

Texas Hill Country road trip

The downtown area is spread along one street, where you’ll find the Texas Renaissance style County Courthouse and businesses like Harry’s Boots and Hats. We always stay at the Dofflemyer Hotel and eat at Pepperbelly’s Mexican restaurant. Our favourite place for breakfast is Donut City (204 Commerce St.) Their kolaches are to die for.

Among the activities you can do in San Saba are wine tasting at Wedding Oak Winery, visit the actual Wedding Oak Tree (an ancient oak tied to local Indian lore), or have a stroll around Mill Pond Park.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Although the Longhorn Cavern isn’t very old as a geological formation, it has a fascinating human history. It is said that the Comanche Indians came down there to mine a type of local flint, Confederate soldiers used the guano from the bats to make powder (a thriving industry in Texas at the time), it was used as a night club -or speakeasy-, and lastly, it was used as a nuclear shelter during the Cold War.

You can do the walking tour or the wild cave tour. We opted for the less adventurous option. I don’t like enclosed spaces and my husband is too tall to fit in some of the tunnels.

Texas Hill Country road trip

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, you’re supposed to make an online reservation if you want to go to any state park. We did not make a reservation at any of them. So, day after we visited the cavern, we took a chance and returned to the Longhorn Cavern State Park. There was hardly anyone around. We did a short, easy hike which suited us very well.

If you go, do stop at the Longhorn Cavern lookout on Route 4. The views are really worth it. Bring a picnic.

Pedernales Falls State Park

The Pedernales River flows placidly over and around limestone slabs that create pools and falls. We did some light trekking along the river to the limestone formations. It is a wonderful place to be. If you go swimming, keep an eye on the water. If it starts to rise o gets muddy, run. Flash floods are very common.   

Texas Hill Country road trip

Creo que un road trip encarna las ideas de Hazlitt. Uno decide adónde ir y cuándo y dónde parar. El transporte propio nos da la libertad de hacer lo que nos plazca. Dejamos atrás las monotonía de la vida diaria y salimos a la aventura.

La región central de Texas, conocida como Hill Country, nos da esa sensación de aventura que nos falta en nuestra vida de 9:00 a 18:00. Al salir de la oficina o escritorio en casa y recorrer el Hill Country renueva las energías.

Mi marido y yo hemos hecho varios road trips por el Texas Hill Country. Nos encanta el ritmo lento del campo y la cordialidad de la gente del lugar. Cada pueblo tiene un rasgo distintivo, como San Saba, la autoproclamada capital mundial de la nuez pecan; o Hico, cuyo lema es Donde todos son alguien.

Estas son algunos de los lugares para visitar en el Hill Country

La mejor época para ir

A mí me encanta el principio de la primavera, cuando florecen los bluebonnets y otras flores silvestres de Texas. También adoro el otoño por sus colores y temperaturas cómodas.

Texas Hill Country road trip

Hico

Hico fue fundado en 1883. Su casco histórico da cuenta de su pasado como mercado ganadero y algodonero. Vidrieras, rejas de hierro forjado, fachadas coloridas o de ladrillo adornan las edificaciones antiguas. Hoy, la mayoría d elos negocios están orientados al turismo, las mayor indutria local junto con la ganadería.

La figura de Billy the Kid domina el pueblo.Hay una estatua de fibra de vidrio de 1987, que parece que la hubieran hecho con arena mojada. El Museo de Billy the Kid intenta probar que el bandolero no murió en Nuevo México, sino que se instaló en Hico. Si te gustan las teorías conspirativas, no te lo pierdas.

Texas Hill Country road trip

Hay varios murales, antiguos y modernos en el casco histórico. También un bebedero de 1914 para caballos y perros.

Almorzamos en Po Campo una rica barbeque con guarniciones.

Llano

Llano se autodenomina la Capital Texana del Ciervo. La temporada de caza es en noviembre y diciembre y los cazadores son boienvenidos acá. Llano fue fundado en 1855 sobre el río del mismo nombre. El puente Inks (1936) y el Palacio de Justicia del Condado de Llano (1893) son dos de sus atracciones.

Comimos la mejor barbeque texana en Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que. Muy recomendable.

San Saba

San Saba fue fundado en 1854 y tomó el nombre del río que lo cruza. El pueblo se autodenomina capital mundial de la nuez pecan. Sea o no verdad, vas ver mayoristas que venden y compran nueces de los huertos de la zona.

Texas Hill Country road trip

La zona céntrica consiste en una avenida, sobre la que se encuentran el palacio de justicia de estilo renacentista texano y negocios como Harry’s Boots and Hats. Siempre q nos alojamos en el hotel Dofflemyer y cenamos en el restaurante mexicano Pepperbelly’s. Nuestro lugar preferido para desayunar es Donut City. Los kolaches son una manjar.

Entre la actividades apra ahcer en San Saba se encuentran la cata de vino en Wedding Oak Winery, visitar el Wedding Oak, un roble antiguo con leyendas indias o pasear por el Mill Pond Park.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Sin bien la caverna Longhorn no es una formación geológica muy antigua, tiene una historia humana fascinante. Se dice que los comanches extraían una tipo de pedernal, los soldados confederados hacían pólvora con el guano de los murciélagos (industria pujante en esa época en Texas), la usaron como nightclub y, por último, como refugio nuclear durante la Guerra Fría.

Hay dos opciones para visitar la caverna:walking tour (caminata) o wild cave tour. Nosotros hicimos la caminta porque mi marido es alto y no iba a caber en ciertos pasadizos. Además a mí me hubiera dado claustrofobia.

Texas Hill Country road trip

Debido a las restricciones por el covid-19, hay que reservar online para entrar a los parques estaduales. No hicimos ninguna reserva y nos quedamos afuera. Entonces volvimos al Longhorn Cavern State Park al día siguiente. No había casi nadie. Hiicmos una caminata corta y facilonga que nos vino bien.

Paramos en el mirador sobre la Ruta 4. Las vistas son muy linda. Ideal para hacer un picnic.

Pedernales Falls State Park

El rio Pedernales fluye tranquilo entre bloques de piedra caliza que forman piletones y cascadas. Hicimos una linda caminata hacia estas formaciones de piedra caliza. Es un lugar precioso. Si vas a nadar, cuidado con las crecidas repentinas. Si el agua comienza a subir o se pone turbia, a salir del agua.

Texas Hill Country road trip

5 fascinating London churches you must visit

5 fascinating historic London churches you can’t miss ***

Las 5 iglesias de Londres que no te podés perder

As well as places of worship, London churches are the guardians of history and art of a city. They bear witness to changes in society, even politics, the advent of new traditions and customs, and the impact of historical events and urban planning.

In London, two catastrophic events have changed the face of the city. The Great Fire of 1666 destroyed large swathes of the city. And so did the Blitz, the bombing of London by the German air force in 1940-41.

These London churches lived through both catastrophes. Most of them are located within the City of London.

Además de funcionar como lugares de culto, las iglesias londinenses cumplen un rol de conservación de la historia y el arte de una ciudad. Son testigos de cambios sociales y políticos, nuevas tradiciones y costumbres, así como tambié del impacto de hechos históricos y hasta de planeamiento urbano.

En Londres, dos terribles catástrofes cambiaron la cara de la ciudad. Una fue el Gran Incendio de 1666, que destruyó grandes sectores de la ciudad. La otra fue el Blitz, el bombardeo alemán de 1904/41. Estas iglesias londinenses sufrieron ambas catástrofes. Casi todas están ubicadas dentro de la City.

5 London churches you must visit

5 iglesias londinenses para visitar

These are, in no particular order, the most fascinating London churches you should visit.

Esta son las iglesias londinenses, en orden aleatorio, que no te podés perder.


1. All Hallows-by-the-Tower (Tower of London)

Founded in 675 AD, All Hallows-by-the-Tower is the oldest church in the City of London. Although it has suffered significant alterations throughout the centuries, some original features remain, like the Saxon arch.

We can go further back in time to the 2nd century AD and see the Roman pavement discovered in 1926. It tells us that there has been human activity on this site for the last two millennia.

Al haber sido fundada en el año 675 dC, All Hallows-by-the-Tower es la iglesia más antigua de la City de Londres. Si bien ha sufrido modificaciones alo alrgo de los siglos, todavía quedan algunos detalles originales como un arco sajón.

Podemos retroceder aún más, al siglo II dC y ver el pavimento romano descubirto en 1926. Este demuestra que este lugar estuvo habitado duranto los últimos dos milenios.

 5 fascinating historic London churches you can't miss ***Las 5 iglesias de Londres que no te podés perder

Although All Hallows-by-the-Tower survived the Great Fire, it sustained extensive bomb damage during the Blitz. Only the tower and walls survived. The church was rebuilt and rededicated in 1957.

The Undercroft Museum has a collection of Saxon and religious artifacts, as well as the Roman pavement.

You can see the original crow’s nest from the Quest, the ship that took Ernest Shackleton on his final expedition to South Georgia in 1922, where he died.

As it’s next to the Tower of London, All Hallows-by-the-Tower was used as a temporary place of burial after execution on Tower Hill.

All Hallows was also used to interrogate imprisoned Templars following their arrest in 1308.

Si bien All Hallows-by-the-Tower sobrevivió al Gran Incendio de 1666, sufrió graves daños durante los bombardeos alemanes. Solo la torre y paredes quedaron en pie. La iglesia fue reconstruida y vuelta a dedicar en 1957.

En la bóveda (Undercroft) hay un museo que contiene objetos sajones y religiosos, adem5s del pavimento romano.

Podés ver la cofa (o carajo) original del Quest, el barco que llevó a Ernest Shackleton a su última expedición a Georgia del Sur, donde murió en 1922.

Al estar junto a la Torre de Londres, All Hallows fue utilizada como lugar de eentierro temporario de prisioneros ejecutados.

También fue escenario de interrogatorios durante el juicio a los caballeros templarios en 1309/11.


2. St. Lawrence Jewry (Guildhall)

5 fascinating historic London churches you can't miss ***Las 5 iglesias de Londres que no te podés perder
The interior

St. Lawrence Jewry was originally built in the 12th century near the medieval Jewish ghetto, hence the word Jewry in its name.

The construction we see today dates from 1670-87. It was built by the great architect Sir Christopher Wren after the medieval church was lost in the Great Fire.

It was not unscathed during the Blitz either. After suffering extensive damage, the City of London Corporation restored the church to Wren’s design: a classic interior, stunning glass windows, white walls and dark wood.

St. Lawrence Jewry is the official church of the Lord Mayor of London and the City of London Corporation.

La iglesia de St. Lawrence Jewry fue construido por primera vez en el siglo XII. Estaba ubicada cerca del desaparecido barrio judío medieval, de ahí el nombre (jewry es judería en inglés).

La construcción actual es de 1670-87. El encargado de hacerla fue el gran arquitecto Sir Christopher Wren luego de que la iglesia medival se perdiera en el Gran Incendio.

Tampoco salió ilesa de los bombardeos de la Segunda Guerra. La Corporación de la City de Londres se encargó de restaurarla según los planos de Wren: diseño clásico, imponentes vitrales, paredes blancas y madera oscura.

St. Lawrence Jewry es la iglesia oficial del Lord Mayor (alcalde) de la City y de la Corporación de la City de Londres.

5 fascinating historic London churches you can't miss ***Las 5 iglesias de Londres que no te podés perder
The exterior

3. St. Katharine Cree (Aldgate)

St. Katharine Cree is located in the Aldgate ward near Leadenhall Market.

Although the original church dates back to the 13th century, the current building is one of the few London churches to have survived the Great Fire. It was used by the livery companies to feed workers as their halls were rebuilt.

Additionally, St. Katharine Cree is the only surviving Jacobean church in London (1633), with its original rose window and stained glass.

While the church survived the fire, it suffered some damage during the Blitz and the Baltic Exchange terrorist attack of 1992 by the IRA.

St. Katharine Cree está en el distrito de Aldgate, cerca del mercado de Leadenhall, en la City the Londres.

Aunque la iglesia original se fundó en el s. XIII, el edificio actual es de 1633 y es una de las pocas iglesias londinenses que sobrevivieron el Gran Incendio. Los gremios la utilizaron como comedor para sus obreros mientras reconstruían las sedes.

También es una de las pocas iglesias de estilo jacobino todavía en pie en Londres, con su rosetón y vitrales originales.

Si bien sobrevivió al fuego en 1666, St. Katharine Cree sufrió daños durante el Blitzkrieg y el ataque terrorista perpetrado por el Ejército Revolucionario Irlandés en 1992.

5 fascinating historic London churches you can't miss ***Las 5 iglesias de Londres que no te podés perder
St. Katharine Cree on Creechurch Lane

St. Katahrine Cree is a guild church now, as opposed to a parish church. It ministers full-time to the non-resident City workers on weekdays.

St. Katharine Cree es una guild church. No tiene funciones administrativas como las iglesias parroquiales y su congregación son los empleados de la City.


4. St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate (Bishopsgate)

St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate is located in Bishopsgate, between Liverpool Street Station and the London Wall, in the City of London.

St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate (without significa afuera o extramuros) se encuentra en Bishopsgate entre la estación de Liverpool Street y la Muralla Romana.

5 fascinating historic London churches you can't miss ***Las 5 iglesias de Londres que no te podés perder

The original Saxon church was first mentioned in the 13th century. There were three other churches on the site, concluding one that survived the Great Fire, although it fell into disrepair later.

The present, and fourth, church dates from 1729. The pulpit, organ and font are original from the 18th century.

Even though the Blitz did not affect St. Botolph’s, the 1993 bomb planted by the IRA did. It blew up the roof, doors and windows. It was restored and the churchyard was the first in London to be converted into a public garden.

La primera mención a esta iglesia es del siglo XIII. Hubo otras tres edificaciones en este solar, incluyendo una que sobrevivió al Gran Incendio, aunque luego cayó en el abandono.

La actual, y cuarta, iglesia es de 1729. El púlpito, órgano y pila bautismal son también del s. XVIII.

Aunque el Blitzkrieg no afectó a St. Botolph, el ataque terrorista del ERI (IRA) de 1993 le voló el techo y puertas y ventanas. Luego fue restaurada. Su cementerio fue el primero en convertirse en un parque público.


5. St. Bartholomew-the-Great (Barbican)

St. Bart’s is London’s oldest parish church. It was established in the 12th century, together with an Augustinian priory and a hospital. The priory was dissolved in 1539 and the land was sold at a later date.

As to original features, St. Bartholomew’s has a 12th-century arcade and gallery, and a 13th-century clerestory. The alternating bands of flint and stone were added in the 14th century.

St. Bartholomew es la iglesia parroquial más antigua de Londres. Fue fundada en el siglo XII, junto a un hospital y un monasterio agustino. Este último fue disuelto en 1539 y los terrenos se vendieron años después.

En cuanto a detalles originales, St. Bartholomew tiene arcos y una galería del siglo XII, y un triforio del siglo XII. Las franjas de sílex y piedra clara fueron agregadas en el siglo XIV.

5 fascinating historic London churches you can't miss ***Las 5 iglesias de Londres que no te podés perder

St. Bart’s has been used a s location for many movies, like Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Shakespeare in Love (1998) or Sherlock Holmes (2012).

St. Bartholomew is the parish church of the Diocese of London. It’s next to Smithfield Market, which used to be a medieval place of execution. William Wallace was famously executed here in 1305.

Esta iglesia ha aparecido en varias películas, tales como Cuatro bodas y un funeral (1994), Shakespeare in love (1998) y Sherlock Holmes (2012)

St. Bart’s es la iglesia parroquial de la Diócesis de Londres. Se encuentra junto al mercado de Smithfield, que, a su vez, era donde ejecutaban a los criminales en la Edad Media. La mejecución más famosa fue la de William Wallace en 1305.

5 fascinating historic London churches you can't miss ***Las 5 iglesias de Londres que no te podés perder

This list of London churches is by no means complete. I have previously written about other churches, like the Temple Church (the Templar church), or St. Mary-le-Bow (the Cockney church).

I hope this list of London churches will help you plan a great day out in this wonderful city.

Esta lista de iglesias londinenses no est5 apra nada completa. Ya he escrito sobre otras, como la iglesia de los templarios, o St. Mary-le-Bow (la iglesia Cockney).

Espero que este post te sirva para planificar un día inolvidable en esta ciudad tan maravillosa.

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5 fascinating historic London churches you can't miss ***Las 5 iglesias de Londres que no te podés perder
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Regency Bridge, the last suspension bridge of Texas

Regency Bridge is the last suspension bridge open to motor traffic in Texas. It straddles the Colorado River in the Texas Hill Country.

You wouldn’t normally associate Texas with suspension bridges, would you? Actually, there are a couple of those bridges in the Hill Country and they’re both in San Saba: Beveridge Bridge and Regency Bridge.  

Regency Bridge is also known as the “Swinging Bridge” because is sways. I don’t know about you, but the idea terrifies me. When we went to see the bridge, my husband walked half-way along without batting an eyelid. I, on the other hand, was petrified because I have a fear to heights. My legs refused to go beyond the steel tower. I had to zoom in to take pictures of my husband on the bridge.

Oh, and the wind blowing through the steel cables makes an eerie sound.

Regency Bridge is the last suspension bridge open to motor traffic in Texas. It straddles the Colorado River in the Texas Hill Country.
The Colorado River

The history of the Regency Bridge

Regency Bridge straddles the Colorado River and connects the counties of San Saba and Mills. Although it’s been bypassed by paved farm roads, the bridge was vital for farmers and ranchers for going to market.

The first bridge was built in 1903, but it collapsed in 1924. According to local records, a boy, a horse, and some cattle died as a result. The bridge was rebuilt but was washed away by a flood in 1936. A crew of workers rebuilt the bridge in 1939.  It was repaired since then, with the latest facelift being in 2014.

Regency Bridge has one lane and is located at the intersection of San Saba Country Road 137 and Mills County Road 433. It’s near a tiny community named Regency.

Approach

Bridge specs

The bridge’s overall length, including both approaches, is 403 feet. The main span in 343 feet long between towers.

The wooden deck is 16 feet wide.

It’s a cable suspension bridge supported by permanent abutment towers. The cables are anchored to the ground into concrete behind each welded steel tower.

The cables are 3 ¼” in diameter are consist of 475 strands of No. 9 gauge galvanized wire.

The wooden roadway is supported on timber stringers and steel floor beams hung from steel suspension rods.

Regency Bridge is the last suspension bridge open to motor traffic in Texas. It straddles the Colorado River in the Texas Hill Country.

Regency Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s the last suspension bridge open to motor traffic in Texas.

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Regency Bridge is the last suspension bridge open to motor traffic in Texas. It straddles the Colorado River in the Texas Hill Country.

Jorge Luis Borges in Austin, where the poet was a visiting professor

Jorge Luis Borges in Austin: a visit to the University of Texas at Austin campus where the celebrated Argentinean poet was a visiting professor.


Professors from the University of Austin organize a picnic on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol in Austin. The center of attention is Jorge Luis Borges, the celebrated Argentinean poet, professor, essayist and short-story writer.

Later, helped by Professor Marta Luján, also from Argentina, Borges, almost blind by then, reads with his hand the carved reliefs of the building in an intimate act of communication.

Jorge Luis Borges in Austin: a visit to the University of Texas at Austin campus where the celebrated Argentinean poet was a visiting professor.
Texas State Capitol

Jorge Luis Borges in Austin

Visiting professor at UT

Borges came to Austin several times. The first time was in 1961-62, when he came as a visiting professor to the University of Texas under the auspices of the Tinker Visiting Professorship in Spanish, which aims to bring Latin American writers to certain US houses of study.

That semester, he gave two courses: an overview of Argentine poetry and a seminar on Argentinean poet Leopoldo Lugones, whose work greatly influenced that of Borges’.

Jorge Luis Borges in Austin: a visit to the University of Texas at Austin campus where the celebrated Argentinean poet was a visiting professor.
UT campus

Borges also gave lectures on great Argentinean writers and the American poet Walt Whitman. Borges returned to Austin on other occasions to give courses and conferences, which always ended with a standing ovation

I tried to follow in Jorge Luis Borges’ footsteps in Austin, as I had done when I visited Harvard and learned that he also was a visiting professor there. First of all, I did some research online and found some interesting information, on which I based my visit.

First, I went to the Texas Capitol. I had read that Borges enjoyed picnicking in the sprawling gardens. It is not clear if he did it once or on several occasions. No big deal, it’s a lovely place to sit on a bench under the trees, among sculptures and monuments that reflect Texas history. It was inevitable to speculate under which tree Borges and his colleagues might have sat.

UT campus

The University of Texas campus, where Borges taught the courses, is a 20-minute walk down Congress Avenue from the Capitol. It took me the same length of time by car because there isn’t a direct easy way to get there and I had a hard time finding a place to park. It must have been infinitely easier in the 1960’s

After I parked, I walked down Guadalupe Street, known as The Drag. Borges met with students and teachers at a bar called Nighthawk, which no longer exists. But the atmosphere must have been similar. There are many stores and bars and places to eat cheaply, ideal for students.

Jorge Luis Borges in Austin: a visit to the University of Texas at Austin campus where the celebrated Argentinean poet was a visiting professor.

The campus is beautiful. It is dominated by a tower from the 1930s and part of the main building, the heart of the historic campus. Students were milling about, talking and laughing. There was a sense of optimism and the omnipotence of youth in the air.

I walked along tree-lined avenues adorned with fountains, and past the buildings of the various colleges and student residences, until I came across Batts Hall.

Jorge Luis Borges in Austin: a visit to the University of Texas at Austin campus where the celebrated Argentinean poet was a visiting professor.
Batts Hall

Batts Hall (1951) was the headquarters of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages ​​and where Borges had his office. Today it is occupied by the Information Technology Department.

Borges and Texas

Borges admired Texas, his first point of contact with the US. So much so that it inspired him to write a sonnet dedicated to the state. In it, he highlights the similarities of the Texas plains with the Argentine pampas, the cowboy and the gaucho. Borges also wrote a story called El soborno (The Bribe), set in Parlin Hall, where the Department of English is housed.

Jorge Luis Borges in Austin: a visit to the University of Texas at Austin campus where the celebrated Argentinean poet was a visiting professor.
Parlin Hall
Texas
By Jorge Luis Borges
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

And so it is here too. Here too, as at
the Americas’ other edge: the measureless
plain where a cry dies unattended. Yes,
here too, the Indian, mustang, lariat.

Here too the secret bird that ever yet
over the clamorings of history
sings for an evening and its memory;

here too the stars with mystic alphabet
that dictate to my writing hand below
such names, today, as the unceasing maze 
of days and turning days does not displace,
as San Jacinto and the Alamo,
and such Thermopylaes. Here, too, is rife

with that brief unknown anxious thing called life.    





Texas
Jorge Luis Borges


Aquí también. Aquí, como en el otro
confín del continente, el infinito
campo en que muere solitario el grito;
aquí también el indio, el lazo, el potro.

Aquí también el pájaro secreto
que sobre los fragores de la historia
canta para una tarde y su memoria;
aquí también el místico alfabeto

de los astros, que hoy dictan a mi cálamo
nombres que el incesante laberinto
de los días no arrastra: San Jacinto

y esas otras Termópilas, el Álamo.
Aquí también esa desconocida
y ansiosa y breve cosa que es la vida.
From Poems Found in Translation

Austin, and American culture in general, fascinated Borges. Of Austin, he said it was one of the most beautiful cities he had visited because he could dream well.

Me, I didn’t care much for Austin the first two times I came. But this time it was different. I had a mission: to see where Borges’s had been, which lent another meaning to my visit.

A Desk for Borges 

El universo inagotable de Borges 

Borges in Texas 

Forgotten but Not Gone 

Originally published as Siguiendo los pasos de Borges en Austin

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Jorge Luis Borges in Austin: a visit to the University of Texas at Austin campus where the celebrated Argentinean poet was a visiting professor.

Visit Clerkenwell, London’s vibrant urban village

Clerkenwell is London’s hub for creativity with a strong sense of community thanks to the many creative businesses that settled here .

A 10-minute walk due north separates St. Paul’s Cathedral from the urban village of Clerkenwell. Once the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller, Clerkenwell is now home to a community of creative young professionals.

Who were the Knights Hospitaller?

The very name evokes romantic notions of chivalrous knights. The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, more commonly known as the Knights Hospitaller and later the Order of Malta, was a religious military order founded in Jerusalem in the 11th century.

The order’s original mission was to care for the sick and poor pilgrims in their hospital in Jerusalem, that is why they were called Knights Hospitaller. They combined that humanitarian task with defending the Holy Land during the Crusades.

Clerkenwell is London’s hub for creativity with a strong sense of community thanks to the many creative businesses that settled here .
Priory church

From Jerusalem, the order spread throughout Europe. In Clerkenwell, a Norman baron and his wife founded the Benedictine nunnery of St. Mary’s and the Priory of St. John of Jerusalem in the 12th century. Thus it became their European headquarters.

Why is the area called Clerkenwell?

The area that developed around the nunnery and priory received its name from the Clerks’ Well located next to the nunnery. Clerks -inferior clergy- used to perform miracle plays around the well in the presence of the king and queen and their court. By the 13th century, the plays had lost their ecclesiastical spirit.

Clerks’ Well was the most famous among the many freshwater wells in the area. Some were said to have healing properties and attracted people searching for cures for their ailments.

If you walk around the area, you will not be transported back in time to the Middle Ages. There’s precious little medieval architecture left.

Clerkenwell is London’s hub for creativity with a strong sense of community thanks to the many creative businesses that settled here .

Would you believe that the original well was rediscovered by accident in 1924? It was covered by new buildings after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The well is now inside the basement of the office building located at 14-16 Farringdon Road.   

The evolution of Clerkenwell

Clerkenwell experienced a population growth after the reign on Elizabeth I. By 1619, noblemen and gentlemen had moved to the area, and it became a fashionable place to live.

The medicinal properties of the many wells attracted the public, so a number of houses of entertainment sprung up around the wells.

The rural setting was gradually overtaken by the urban growth brought about by the construction of the Regent’s Canal to the north (1812), the New North Road and the North London Railway in the 1850s.

Clerkenwell was traditionally associated with breweries, distilleries, clock making and printing, mainly during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century.

Clerkenwell is London’s hub for creativity with a strong sense of community thanks to the many creative businesses that settled here .
Playful architecture

The area was badly hit by bombing during World War II. As a result, people moved to other neighbourhoods, away from destruction.  Neglect was inevitable, as was the construction of housing estates and buildings for light industries in the 1950s and 60s.

Clerkenwell’s urban regeneration began when Clerkenwell Green was declared a conservation area in 1969. Slum clearing took place well into the 1970s.

By the late 1980s and early 1990s, craftspeople took over the warehouses. Later, these premises were converted to hostels, offices, apartments and hotels. The loft-living trend came here to stay.

Today, Clerkenwell is London’s hub for creativity thanks to the many creative businesses that settled here. And it has a strong sense of community as well.

What to see in Clerkenwell

The Museum of the Order of St. John and St. John’s Gate is where you should start your exploration. The crypt of the original church consecrated in 1185 can be see only with a guided visit.

Clerkenwell is London’s hub for creativity with a strong sense of community thanks to the many creative businesses that settled here .
The medieval crypt

St. James Church on Clerkenwell Close. This church was built in 1792 on the site of the 11th century nunnery. It sustained bomb damage during the war but was restored.

There isn’t a patch of green on Clerkenwell Green, but still, go see it.

Fans of Zaha Hadid’s work can see the office of her architectural firm. Obviously not open to the public, but at least you can see the front door! (10 Bowling Green Farringdon)

Jerusalem Tavern (55 Britton St.) There have been several taverns on this spot. This one dates form 1720.

Take a moment to breathe deeply at the Cloister Garden.   

Clerkenwell is London’s hub for creativity with a strong sense of community thanks to the many creative businesses that settled here .
Cloister garden

The hustle and bustle of Smithfield Market is a stone’s throw away.

Any of the pubs, gastropubs and restaurants. Clerkenwell has earned a reputation as the gastronomic hub of London.

An urban village

It’s hard to believe that Clerkenwell is an urban village in the heart of London. Unlike other boroughs, there are no big monuments, palaces or popular attractions. It’s where history coexists in harmony with the pace of modern life. It’s a place of old stones and young spirits.