DAY 1 MADRID Full day tour of Madrid. We will begin the tour in the Museum of the Americas, space in which to begin the route and collect the basic information to understand the meaning of the historic relationship between Spain and the Americas, showing the keys to the historic and artistic interpretation of this heritage and chiefly the possibilities for continuing to discover that heritage in an educational journey. Delivery of the documentation for the trip and continuation with the Tour of the Instituto Valencia de Don Juan. Lunch in a restaurant where we will begin to savor the important gastronomy of this period. In the afternoon we will continue our walk through the Madrid de The Austrias, in order to later eat dinner in a restaurant. Lodging.
DAY 2 MADRID In the morning we will visit the Royal Palace, the official residence of the King of Spain. Used fundamentally for official ceremonies it is also of valuable historical-artistic heritage. Then we will continue our route with the Convent of the Descalzas Reales where we can find various jewels of American viceregal invoice such as the Christs on Cross made with maize paste that come from Michoacán (México). Lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit the Prado Museum, one of the best galleries in the world with works by Rubens, Tiziano, Goya, El Greco and Velázquez, among others and a selection dedicated to the Flemish School. Dinner in a restaurant and lodging.
DAY 3 MADRID (256 Km) – TRUJILLO (89 Km) – MERIDA (190 Km) – SEVILLE Breakfast. Departure at the scheduled time from Madrid for Trujillo, one of the most interesting destinations and place of origin of explorers, conquerors and settlers of the Americas. Among other buildings the Palace of San Carlos, the Palace of the Marquis of the Conquista, the Palace de Orellana Pizarro, the birth home of Francisco de Orellana, and the House Museum de Francisco Pizarro stand out. Lunch and continuation of the trip to Mérida, with tour of the Roman amphitheater, constructed in the Roman colony de Emerita Augusta, which was founded in 25 A.D. by Octavius Augustus, for the emeriti soldiers who graduated from the Roman army, from two veteran legions of the Cantabrian Wars. The amphitheater forms part of the Archaeological Site of Mérida, one of the principal and most extensive Archaeological sites in Spain, which was declared World Heritage Site in 1993 by UNESCO. After the visit, Continuation to Seville. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 4 SEVILLE Breakfast in the hotel and city tour. From amongst the many points of indisputable historic and artistic interest throughout the city, some key points of the viceregal route stand out, such as the Cathedral of Seville, where in addition to the Mausoleum of Christopher Columbus, one of the principal viceregal treasures can be found: The 12 silver candlesticks known as the “vizarrones”, cups, sent by the Archbishop Viceroy of New Spain, Juan Antonio de Vizarrón and Equiarreta, 1753, who was Archbishop of Mexico and Viceroy of New Spain. We will continue the Tour of the Convent of Saint Anthony, which houses two interesting Colognel pieces: a magnificent monstrance of Peruvian silver, gilt with enamels and precious stones, and an ebony cross with inlaid mother of pearl. We will visit The Royal Alcázares, also declared Monument. Lunch in restaurant. Tour of the General Archives of the Indies, the Shipyard and view of the tower de la silver. We will stroll through the Triana and Santa cross neighborhoods, the alleyways and gardens that adorn the city and finish by taking a boat ride on the Guadalquivir River, where they will explain how the galleons entered dodging the dangerous entrance to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, up to the port of Seville and show the function of the tower del gold and the use of the river to enter into the port, or of the actual General Archives of the Indies (former House of Trade of the commerce with the Americas). Dinner and lodging.
DAY 5 SEVILLE Breakfast and Tour of the House of Pilatos and of the Church of Saint Louis de los Franceses, representative temple of the Andalusian baroque, clear influence in the fountains of Colognel art. Later we will visit the Hospital of la Caridad and the Church of the Savior. Lunch and afternoon dedicated to the Museum of Fine Art, where we will be able to apreciate the painting that has had the greatest influence throughout the Americas, specially the work of Murillo and Zurbarán. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 6 SEVILLE – JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA (96 Km) – port DE SANTA MARÍA (17 Km) – CÁDIZ (23 Km) Breakfast and departure for the city of Jérez de la Frontera, also declared Historic Grouping, where the Cathedral stands out. We can contemplate the American lamp, tavernacle, manifestador and tray, the Convent of la Merced, with an antependium, chalices, tray and monstrance. In the same town, other churches that have American silver work are Saint Michael and Saint Dominic, the first two subject to a special category of protection. After visiting the city we will have the possibility to visit a wine cellar of D.O. sherry, complete with a tasting, and a walk through the facilities where they will show us how the wine is produced. Continuation to the port de Santa María. Lunch in restaurant. In the afternoon, city tour, which mainly highlights the Vizarrón House. Declared a Monument in the year 2006, it belonged to one of the families dedicated to overseas commerces in the 16th century, which also explains the architecture of this period, commerical relations with the Americas and the origin of many of the imported products, among them the most important grouping of silverwork donated to the Cathedral of Seville. Tour of the Main Church which features a silver antependium (today in the Chapel of the Tavernacle) commissioned by Juan Camacho Gaina from José de Medina in Saint Louis de Potosí in 1685. We will finish the visit walking around the exterior of the Battery de the Laja, the Castle of San Marcos, etc. Departure for Cádiz and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
*Note: if time permits, the route Pto. Santa María-Cádiz will be done in boat.
DAY 7 CÁDIZ Breakfast. We will dedicate this day to visiting the city of Cádiz with Lunch included during the visit. Cádiz is celebrating the Bicentennial of the Constitution such that the number of cultural activities turns the city into a strategic tourist point of maximum interest. In This city, a good number of buildings have American connections: the Casa of the Juez, from the Indies, the Oratorio de San Philip Neri, the Convent de Saint Dominic, missionary hospice… Fruit of this tight connection with the viceroyalty are the many paintings that arrived to religious establishments and private residences. All of the area inside the walls of Cádiz have been declared Historic Grouping, but perhaps Cádiz stands out for its fortification structure. The city was attacked on several occasions by corsairs and pirates which also allows these stories of commerce and piracy to be set in Spain. Among them, Sir Francis Drake, English corsair, in 1587, commanded the first of a series of English or Anglo-Dutch attacks on the city which had as its final goal to destroy the security of the maritime traffic through the straight and of the arrival of the American route. We will visit some of the different fortifications of Cádiz, which exemplify the importance of the commercial port in these centuries, as well as the principal monuments and explanations of the entrance of the boats in the 16th century and the maritime commerce, centering on the defensive aspect against pirate attacks, and other maritime powers. We will take a walking tour, focusing on a few concrete points like the city wall (declared monument in 1985) the Battery of the Segunda water da, the castle of San Lorenzo de los Puntales, Bulwark of the Candelaria, constructed at the request of D. Diego Caballero de Illescas in the year 1672, when he was governor of the square and an endless number of notable monuments of the city such as Bulwark of Bonete, of the Capuchinos de los Martyres, San Carlos, the Slaughterhouse, of Saint Paul, of Saint Peter, etc. The tour will continue to show the principal civil constructions, promoted by the great families dedicated to overseas commerce, such as the houses of four towers, from the 15th century that exemplify the style of houses of shippers from the Indies, with a tower in each of the four corners, over which a shelter or tower is also raised, mirador or Casa del Almirante, etc. Last we will take a walk through the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in which the principal American donations will be pointed out and the history of their owners. Other monuments of the city include Its entry arches: of the Rose, of the Popolo or of the Bishop, also declared Monuments. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 8 CADIZ – HUELVA – Excursion to Palos de la Frontera, the Rábida and the Rocío Breakfast. In the morning, city tour de Huelva where the House of Columbus is found, declared monument in 1983. The Churches of Saint Peter and La Milagrosa, both declared monuments, are also found here. In 1967, in Huelva the Columbian places in the provice of Huelva were declared Historic-Artistic Grouping, including various municipalities related to the trips of Columbus and the encounter in the Americas. Then we will take an excursion to Palos de la Frontera to take a tour of the Monument to the Discoverers, conmemorating the 4th centennial of the Discovery of the Americas, and to the port from where Columbus’ ships left. We will visit the Monastery of Santa María de la Rábida. Built in the 14th-15th centuries, the Gothic-mudéjar church, the rooms decorated with frescos by Daniel Vázquez dayz, and the Cloister shine because of their artistic interest. In the museum there are numerous objects commemorating the Discovery of the Americas and a sculpture of Marian devotion under which is found the convent. The Monastery was declared National Monument in 1856. It also merited the declaration of First Historic Monument of the Hispanic towns in 1949. In the declaration of the 9th Iberoamerican Summit of the Chiefs of States and Presidents of Government in Havanna, La Rábida was recognized as a place of encounter of the Iberoamericn Community of Nations. Lunch and Continuation to AlMount where we will visit the famous Shrine of the Virgin of the Rocío. Return to Huelva. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 9 HUELVA – CORTEGANA (117 Km) – CUMBRES MAYORES (19 Km) –FRENEGAL DE LA SIERRA (38 Km)– SALVATIERRA (28 Km) – ZAFRA (74 Km) – BADAJOZ Breakfast. Departure for Cortegana where we will visit the Church of the Divine Savior. In the parish of the Savior and in the Chapel of la Soledad they have silver chalices, lamps, a monstrance, torches, etc. from Saint James of Querétaro, bequeathed by don Juan Vázquez de Terreros, merchant of this town who settled in Querétaro. They arrived in Cádiz in 1737. We will continue on to Cumbres Mayores where we will find the castle that has been declared Monument. In the parish of Saint Michael Archangel is found one of the most spectacular silver altarpieces from the 15th century, the altarpiece of the Virgin of las Dolores sent by Diego García Bravo between 1753 and 1758 from México along with the chalice, cruet, bell and plate. In the same parish also from Oaxaca, Captain Juan Gómez Márquez was dispatched between 1710 and 1718. After the visit we will continue our journey to Frenegal de the Sierra, declared Historic Grouping where we can visit the parish church, which conserves an altar cross made of silver and rock crystal (Mexico 1560 A.D.), exceptional piece due to the quality of the workmanship, the antiquity and the excellent state of preservation. Lunch and departure for Salvatierra de Barros, town known for the quality and variety of ceramics that they produce, whose relation to a type of Colognel Mexican ceramic made in Puebla is evident. It features a parish church where a monstrance and a Eucharistic urn can be seen, both made in Puebla de los Ángeles, México, around 1724. Continuation of the trip to Zafra, Extremaduran town that contributed to the settling of the Americas. Certain characters stand out, characters like Pedro Arias de Almesto, or Pedrarias de Almesto, who participated in the search for Dorado along the Amazon River as secretary for Lope de Aguirre. He published the “Adventure of the Amazon”, where he surprisingly relates the sad end of Pedro de Ursúa and other characters who succumbed to the craziness of the tyrant Aguirre. Soldiers such as Hernando de Santana, conqueror of the Yucatan Penninsula, or Juan Jaramillo de Andrade, in Colombia, were also born in this city, which merits a tour through the rest of the historic center and the castle, today a national parador. Departure for Badajoz and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 10 BADAJOZ (95 Km) – CÁCERES (299 Km)– PLASENCIA Breakfast. Tour of Badajoz where there are two priority areas in which to admire its marvelous monuments: the Campo de San Juan and San Andrés. The first is one of the oldest neighborhoods, outlined in the medieval period. In it, we will be able to visit places like the Plaza de España (principal nucleus of the city, where many interesting buildings are concentrated), Municipal Palace (within the style of Ecclecticism, a mixture of classical elements with archaic ones) and the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist (the most important monument of the city, its construction began in the year 1232 and was finished several centuries later, which allows us to see a mixture of various styles). The neighborhood of San Andrés is more modern than the other and its most interesting places are Cervantes Square (of extreme beauty and in nineteenth-century style) and the Casa Puebla (with an ecclectic style with a certain Andalusian influence. Departure in coach for Cáceres, lunch and city tour in which is highlighted the palace de Toledo Moctezuma constructed by Juan Cano de Moctuzuma. The palace reflects manierist and baroque features while maintaing the solidity of the strong medieval houses. Recently they have concluded its restoration and adaptation for the seat of the Provincial Historic Archive, works done by the Ministry of Culture. Particularly notable are the rescently restored frescos in four of its salons, two with Roman themes (portraits of emperors and equestrian figures) and two Mexican (Mexican kings and urban landscapes); in addition to heraldic shields of the family. Another building of significant Americanist interest is the Episcopal Palace with a Renaissance façade and datable to 1587. Within the Historic Grouping, two medalions with figures which look to be two American Indians, a man and a woman, give the idea of the participation of the region in the colonization of the Americas. Finally, the palace of Hernando de Ovando, along with the Episcopal Palace, was built by a family connected to the discovery and colonization, for a brother of the builder served as the first Governor of Hispaniola, Friar Nicolás de Ovando. After the visit we continue our journey to Plasencia. Dinner and lodging in the city.
DÍA 11 PLASENCIA (43 Km) – HERVAS (98 Km) – SALAMANCA Breakfast in the hotel. Tour of Plasencia. Its medieval outline reveals itself clearly in the remains of its walls, between which stand large towers and doors, such as the Puerta del Sol or the Postigo de Santa María. In the center of Plasencia rises its Main Square, meeting place of the city. Here also stands Town Hall. One of the most representative monumental groupings is that formed by the Old and New Cathedrals. Palatial architecture also has good examples in Plasencia, like the Monroy Palace or the Palace of Two Towers. Continuation of the trip to Hervás. The town of Hervás arises in the 12th century from a hermitage situated next to the Santihervás River, from where it gets its name, built by the Templars. The Templars were expelled at the beginning of the 12th century and a castle is constructed with a church in its interior. Diverse people who repopulated the territory began settling around the castle. Its most notable monuments are the Church of Saint Mary, the Convent de the Trinitarians, Museum Pérez Comendador-Leroux, the Bridge of la Fountain Chiquita and its well preserved Jewish Quarter. Lunch. Departure for Salamanca and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 12 SALAMANCA (214 Km) – MADRID Breakfast in the hotel and morning city tour. Salamanca is located next to the Tormes River and it is one of the most spectacular Renaissance cities in Europe. It is bien known for its old University (founded in 1218), and probably it is the most popular place to learn the Spanish language. This University is still what give ambience to the town. You can see hundres of students walking through the streets and enjoying the numerous areas which are perfectly decorated until late in the evening. In the city, gold sandstone has been used in every important architectural style from Renaissance to baroque; even the modern neighborhoods are constructed to a great extent with sandstone. The city has been declared “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO. Lunch. Departure for Madrid with short stops en r1oute and end of services.