Experiencing the Spanish Culture via Excursions

Thanks to organizers at La Rioja University, all students had the awesome privilege of going on four trips! Our first outing was touring the streets of Logrono (the capital of La Rioja). During this trip, we saw iglesias (churches) such as Iglesia de Santiago, Iglesia de San Bartolome and Iglesia Imperial de Santa Maria.  We also saw the local police station (right of text), Puerta del revellin (one of the oldest walls in Logrono, and formerly the exit of the city to Santiago de Compestela) and Concatedral de la Redonda (a cathedral).



We also learned about the Camino a Santiago de Compestela (the walk to Santiago de Compestela), which really stood out to me.Pilgrims from all over the world come to Spain to participate in this walk, which can take up to 30 days. Some people participate for religious reasons, while others have nonreligious motives. Santiago a.k.a. James in the English bible was a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is believed that after his death (decapitation)

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his body was laid to rest in Santiago de Compostela; hence, why many believers join the Camino de Santiago (walk of Santiago). Photo courtesy of: focusmissions.org







Our next excursion was to a bodega called “Dinastia Vivanco” where different types of wine are produced. The idea to build this wine gallery originated from the Vivanco family who wanted to share their love for wine with the residents of La Rioja. Located within the gallery are various cellars at cool temperature (and with tons of barrels) where fermented wine is preserved. Also located withing the gallery are various equipments used by the first workers such as the very first wine press (below).

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According to the tour guide, the workers get their grapes from their oldest vineyard. He also mentioned that they produce about 20,000 bottles of wine in La Rioja per year.
Different aromas are produced for the wine such as mints, apples, roses, peach, coffee as well as other fruits and herbs.

Thirdly, we visited the following twin monasteries: Monasterio de Yuso, Monasterio de Suso (en San Millan). I was able to translate some information from the “Monasterios de La Rioja” booklet, since both tour guides spoke thoroughly in Spanish. According to the hungarian boxbooklet, in 1997 both monasteries were declared ‘Patrimonio de la Humanidad’ (World Heritage Site) by the UNESCO.

Monasterio de Suso was constructed between the sixth to eleventh centuries (“Monasterios de La Rioja”). Within the monastery are seven tombs of the infants of Lara and his tutor Nuno (“Monasterios de La Rioja”).Photo courtesy of: hungarianbox.wordpress.com
According to a blog post, the legend of the Legend of the Infants of Lara is an epic poem (hungarianbox.wordpress.com). The blogger also mentions that all seven infants along with their master/tutor “took part in the Reconquest, that period of seven centuries during which Christians and Muslims were in continuous war (hungarianbox.wordpress.com).”IMG_20130717_181557

According to the booklet, the construction of Monasterio de Yuso was the idea of King Garcia. He ordered the transfer of San Millan’s remains from Suso to the Monastery of Santa Maria Real de Najera (“Monasterios de La Rioja”). The church in the monastery started in 1504, according to the booklet.


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