A walk through five lesser-known historic places in Aranjuez


Aranjuez Gardens

We all have in mind the Aranjuez's concert and his riot, we know that Catholic kings they chose this place, between the Tagus and Jarama rivers, as a place of Real Spring break, that its surroundings have been recognized by the UNESCO as World Heritage or that some of the best wines of the Madrid's community They are raised in two wineries in the municipality.

But what surprises when you reach Aranjuez is that, even if it's a Royal Site, typical of aristocratic heights, the pulse of the popular is evident in its streets, squares and markets, in the banks and tree-lined walks.

Aranjuez He is very much alive in his trade, in the immigration he receives, in young university students who let themselves be seen and in cultural promotion, both in the Joaquín Rodrigo Auditorium as in the Isabel de Farnesio Cultural Center.

Nothing better than a walk through five of its historical places Less known to check.

1.- Garage of the Queen Mother Isabel de Farnesio

The building, built by Ferdinand VI in 1758 for stables of his stepmother Isabel de Farnesio, retains the aristocratic facade, restored, symmetrical and of a magnificent scale. But inside we find the modernity adequate from the cultural center to such surroundings. A porcelain and red cat welcomes us from the height.

We reach him walking along the promenade of the Captain Street, wooded, shaded against the harsh summer heat, because in Aranjuez, as its people say, it always does two or three degrees more than in Madrid, and that is many degrees.

Constitution Square in Aranjuez @J. Alejandro Adamuz

2.- Constitution Plaza

In the square, a statue of Alfonso XII recalls the episodes of the cholera epidemic that Spain experienced at the beginning of the 19th century; At that time, the monarch improvised a hospital to treat the infected.

Fortunately, cholera remained for history and a statue for remembrance. Nowadays the Constitution Square of Aranjuez it houses two key buildings in the population's daily life: the town hall and the Market.

Several bars have their chairs in the square as terraces; people go out to take the fresco and a rumor of conversation rises from the shared tables. Meanwhile, shopping carts and baskets go to the Supply Markets, building of the late nineteenth century that today, inside, offers fishmongers, fruit shops and polleries, but also the daily rhythm of the municipality.

 3.- Aranjuez train station

The second railway line built on the Peninsula was the one that linked Madrid with Aranjuez, back in 1851. Its main objective was not so much the passengers, as the products of the garden that had to reach the capital, and was known as the Strawberry Train.

A recreation still circulates with its wooden wagons and hostesses dressed in period costumes, but it is only a longing for the enjoyment of tourists and hikers who want to spend a day in Aranjuez.

Currently the station does not see those historic trains depart, but if the busy commuter or suburban trains bird. And although it is not the original station of the line, which was in the Plaza de Armas of the Royal PalaceIt is worth stopping for a moment to enjoy the wooden coffered ceiling of the station and the transfer of passengers coming and going.

Osuna Palace in Aranjuez @J. Alejandro Adamuz

4.- Osuna Palace

Between the streets of the Queen and of The prince, near to Royal Palace of Aranjuez, we found a surprise: the Osuna Palace, former residence of Farinelli, one of the castrati most famous and handsome.

He stayed here while he was an advisor to Philip V and, no matter how strange it seems because of its physiological condition, there he enjoyed the desire of many women of high society because as they were right in comparing, let's say, the sexual enthusiasm with other lovers, that of the latter "It expires too fast, while Farinelli keeps it until the end".

The building undoubtedly lived better times, but today, at least, it houses the restaurant The Différence, where, if it is time, you can enjoy the famous strawberries of Aranjuez.

5.- Pavia Barracks

There are enclosures that pass to better life or use. This is the case with Pavia Barracks, ancient place of weapons of different armies. He currently lives more useful days, housing inside the Center for Higher Studies Felipe II, teaching center attached to the Complutense University of Madrid.

The military echoes of yesteryear no longer resonate in its cloister; The rumors of the students sound better today, whose only battle is during the final exams.

The center breathes vitality to the municipality. It is already known that students meet in a good bar or cafeteria and that culture is like an oil stain: the drop falls on the Pavia Barracks, but it spreads and is diluted throughout the municipality.

* This post from José Alejandro Adamuz, author along with Cristina Romagosa of the travel blog Now it's time to travel, it's her final work of the summer course The new traveling communication: blogs and tourism 2.0 in Spain, organized by Travel Inspirers in collaboration with the Rey Juan Carlos I University of Madrid, and held in Aranjuez in July 2013.