8/2/14

MADRID in February 1956


For the past few days I've been featuring slides from the Betty Schnabel estate taken by either Betty or her father, Donald, in Madrid in February 1956. These are part of the photo collection I purchased last year. Thousands of slides…seriously, thousands for less than 2 cents a slide. It will take me years to go through all of them.

For the first few posts I asked if any readers knew the locations, and if so to please let me know. Mike Brubaker and Intense Guy both stepped forward to educate me.

Cibeles Palace
Monumento a los Caídos por España

Well, this time I'm starting off with one I was able to research myself thanks to having enough sense to type "garden maze madrid" into Google.


Click on image to see it larger.

The Sabatini Gardens
The Sabatini Gardens (in Spanish: Jardines de Sabatini) are part of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, and were opened to the public by King Juan Carlos I in 1978. They honor the name of Francesco Sabatini (1722–1797), an Italian architect of the 18th century who designed, among other works at the palace, the royal stables of the palace, previously located at this site.

In 1933, clearing of the stable buildings was begun, and construction of the gardens begun, which were only completed in the late 1970s. The gardens have a formal Neoclassic style, consisting of well-sheared hedges, in symmetric geometrical patterns, adorned with a pool, statues and fountains, with trees also disposed in a symmetrical geometric shape. The statues are those of Spanish kings, not intended originally to even grace a garden, but originally crowding the adjacent palace. The tranquil array is a peaceful corner from which to view the palace. (Source: Wikipedia)
I'm really drawn to this place. I keep thinking it would have been a good set for an old episode of the tv show The Avengers or maybe an old Bond movie. There's something surreal about the place, especially with the pond drained of water.

Now we move on to the next shot. I haven't a clue other than it's also in Madrid. Put on your thinking caps and let me know what we're looking at.


Click on image to see it larger.

UPDATE: Thanks to Intense Guy this has now been identified as the Royal Palace of Madrid. You can read about it here.

And finally we head out of Madrid and on the road to…I'm really not sure. I can tell you this fellas name is Bill, but then things get weird. It says "Papraga, El Escorial, Spain." I find "El Escorial" at Wikipedia, but nothing about a place called "Papraga." Google keeps trying to convince me I really want "paprika" and I'm just as willing to convince them that I don't want that because I hate paprika.


Click on image to see it larger.

But moving forward with Bill…we are heading to El Escorial. In the distance, to the left of Bill's hat, you can see the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escoria.
The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the King of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometres (28 mi) northwest of the capital, Madrid, in Spain. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and school. There is another town, 2.06 km further down the valley (4.1 km road distance), called 'El Escorial'.

The Escorial comprises two architectural complexes of great historical and cultural significance: the royal monastery itself and La Granjilla de La Fresneda, a royal hunting lodge and monastic retreat about five kilometres away. These sites have a dual nature; that is to say, during the 16th and 17th centuries, they were places in which the power of the Spanish monarchy and the ecclesiastical predominance of the Roman Catholic religion in Spain found a common architectural manifestation. El Escorial was, at once, a monastery and a Spanish royal palace. Originally a property of the Hieronymite monks, it is now a monastery of the Order of Saint Augustine. (Source: Wikipedia)
Click on the link to actually see a photo of what we're heading to.

And I thought I'd Google "Bill" to see what shows up. For your viewing pleasure…Bill at Wikipedia. Not OUR Bill, just a bunch of links to bill and Bill.

This is actually my submission for Sepia Saturday this week and it's way off theme. The only way to tie it to the theme would be postcards > travel > slides. Thin, very thin. Grabbing at straws really. Thin straws.

Seriously, imagine sitting in the living room of the Schnabel home in 1956 watching their vacation slide show. Hours of it. Here you only have to do it in small doses.

27 comments:

  1. I haven’t seen these gardens but this year I was bowled over by the gorgeous gardens at the Alcazar in Corduba. thank you for viewing the Schnabel vacation collection- so that we don’t have to!

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    1. That's what I'm here for. Weeding through the mundane so others don't have to.

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  2. Aren't they great slides though? I'm of no help at all except as an audience.

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    1. I'm sorry Alex, but I can't comment at your site. You belong to Google+ which does not allow comments from nonmembers.

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  3. The Schnabels certainly took fine vacations. The Sabatini Gardens are spectacular. I love to see geometric gardens but have no patience for creating them myself.

    I wonder if Papraga was simply a misspelling.

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    1. That dawned on me too because there's nothing online for Papraga.

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  4. I've been having a good grin at this post. But Google having a mind of its ownl It's not as smart as it thinks it is I'm always having trouble trying to bring it around to my way of thinking. And then those interminable slide shows. Click. Clunk. Click. Clunk. On and on and on. Even worse than the 3000 digital images people take on their cruises ! Postcards mean travel so there's nothing wrong with the way you interpreted it. A great post.

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    1. Google can lead you down some dark paths and then have you looping back around going, "Huh? How did I end up here?" It's like traveling the universe without a map, just a weird guidebook.

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  5. I love that last photo. It really makes me feel like I am there.

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    1. And they're driving a Ford with a AAA emblem on the back. Just like being at home.

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  6. I have never been to Madrid - once changed planes there but that doesn't count - but we are planning to visit the city next year along with our friends who live in Spain. You pictures make me even more keen to visit the city.

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    1. You'll certainly get there before me. And when you go I hope you post lots of photos.

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  7. Always love your work! You really inspire me. One day (when I am retired) I would like to follow your lead and research and reunite lost photos.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoy it, but I don't actually try to reunite photos with old family members. There is a wonderful site that does that:

      http://forgottenoldphotos.blogspot.com

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  8. I think the camera is a Kodak Pony 125? I have one in my collection. They were mid range. Very nice

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    1. I'll have to look that one up. I've never heard of it. Thanks for the info!

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    2. And I've added you to the list in the left column. I didn't know about your site.

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  9. I remember many family slide shows with color images like this. They had a real magic since color television was still just a dream. The little squares of film had a sweet aroma that mixed with the musty odor of the hot projector bulb, and every 13th slide was upside down or backwards. "Was that the road to Campostella or Barcelona? How much did we pay for that meal?"

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    1. Family slide shows were fun. Neighbors slideshows were torture.

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  10. The mystery photo is intriguing. I see a cart full of hay to one side of the statue. The mystery building is the Royal Palace of Madrid. The statue is in Plaza de Oriente.

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    1. Yes, the hay cart is interesting.

      Thanks for the identification!

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    2. I think C-505 (route number) is now M-505. M-505 goes from Madrid to El Escorial - it too, has a stone wall running along it like in the photo.

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  11. It has to be a very interesting journey to take of time long ago of such a specific area.

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  12. A very interesting choice of shots from that huge collection, and at least they re not going to waste in your care. We visited Barcelona this year, but that's all we saw of Spain. Maybe we'll 'do' Madrid next time!

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    1. I'll be expecting a slide show!

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