Posted May 15, 2015
Madrid, Spain, has a “patron saint” who was supposed to create a spring of water by banging the ground. A spring is a place where underground water wells up to the surface – or where the water table is higher than the surface of the ground.
Springs can be very important sources of fresh water! Some springs are the source of rivers. I guess it is natural to come up with a story about how springs are created.
San Isidro is that saint, and today is his feast day. He is also the patron saint of farmers and farm animals.
|Picnics in the meadow by the spring have|
been going on for many years!
Here, captured by the painter Goya.
Some Spaniards attend masses, and others picnic by a hermitage built by the spring associated with Isidro - and of course they drink the spring water. There are also processions and fairs and concerts and performances and fireworks and special ring-shaped pastries.
I hate to mention it, but there are also bullfights on San Isidro Day. These seem to me to be a cruel bloodsport that should be banned, but some Spaniards see bullfighting as a valuable part of their heritage and even their birthright.
I was in Madrid last summer, and it's a fascinating city worthy of a look...or even a nice, long gaze.
Did you know...?
- Madrid is the highest capital city in Europe. It is 646 meters (more than 2,000 feet) above sea level.
- One of the grandest palaces I've ever seen is Madrid's Palacio Real.
- Madrid enjoys more cloudless days than almost any other city in Europe (averaging 250 cloudless days out of 365).
- Madrid has a wonderful park called Retiro Park.
- Spain helped save some Ancient Egyptian temples from rising waters, and so Egypt "gave" Spain one of the temples to be rebuilt in Madrid and enjoyed by all. Gorgeous, huh?
- Madrid boasts the Warner Brothers Movie World with five themed parts: Old West Territory, Hollywood, DC Super Heroes, Cartoon Villiage, and Warner Bros. Studios.
- Madrid also has a water park that sounds pretty cool!
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