This week we have been touring in Jerez de la Frontera and we have visited as usual the Royal School of Equestrian Art, the Tio Pepe wineries and the historic city center visiting the exterior of the Cathedral and the Alcazar.
The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art Foundation, based in Jerez de la Frontera, is known worldwide for its exhibition “How Andalusian Horses Dance”, a unique show that exhibits and summarizes, in a seemingly natural way, all the work that since its Foundation develops this institution.
Although the show “How Andalusian horses dance” is, facing the outside, a maximum exponent of the work carried out at the School, there are other aspects that are as important or more for the Entity. Among them we would highlight the cultural and social vehicle of the Equestrian Heritage; the selection of horses for the promotion, training of riders of High School, conservation and promotion of Dressage and Cowgirl; the preservation of the prestige of our riding, our breed of Spanish horses, our traditions and our culture; and with his show, to be hosts of the province of Cádiz and ambassadors of Spain abroad, making annual tours of various countries.
In the first half of the 19th century Jerez became the wine capital in the world. In 1835 Manuel Mª González Angel joined his savings and founded a small winery, the first of the Tio Pepe wineries in just 20 years González Byass had become the first wine exporting winery in Jerez. He built his first large wineries: Constancia, Apostles and the Square, and in the middle of the century La Concha, attributed to Eiffel, and that of Lepanto. When he died in 1887 he had left not only a flourishing business, but a unique monumental complex. The visit to the TIO PEPE winery of González Byass in Jerez transports us in time, to that advanced city of the 19th century.
The Jerez Cathedral is a beautiful 17th century building that combines Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical styles and stands on the primitive Major Mosque of Jerez and the old Church of the Savior. Inside, the chapels of the Immaculate, the Tabernacle and the Souls stand out, the latter dedicated to the famous Christ of the Beam, from the 14th century. In the cathedral museum, among other pictorial works of interest, is “La Virgen Niña” by Zurbarán and works by Juan Rodríguez “El Tahonero”. The bell tower, which is located outside, was possibly built on the minaret of the old mosque in Jerez.
The Alcazar de Jerez was built in the 12th century and is one of the few examples of Almohad architecture that exist on the Peninsula. Jerez becomes in this century one of the most important cities of Lower Andalusia, as evidenced by the monumentality of its fortress and the extension of the wall, with a perimeter of 4 Kms that enclosed a city of 46 hectares and that reached have a population of 16,000 inhabitants. From the original Islamic fortress, the two doors are preserved; the mosque, the Arab baths; the octagonal tower and the Pavilion of the Doña Blanca patio, located at the foot of this tower. Of later stages, to emphasize, the Tower of the Tribute of end of century XV, and of century XVIII, the baroque palace of Villavicencio and the Mill of oil.