FERIA DEL CABALLO
Jerez is well known for Horses and Sherry. It is Spain's capital for Horse breeding and a destination for horse-lovers from all over the world who meet here each year for the FERIA DEL CABALLO. It started in 1289 as a livestock market and has developed into a show of the most beautiful horses in Spain, some of which are Spanish Barbs, Friesians and Iberian crosses. Nobles and VIP's, their wives, children and families, parade through the fairgrounds until the wee hours of the morning.
Jerez - The Feria - Canestas or Stands
You will see the sheer fun and informality of most of the Canestas (stands) where, with very few exceptions, anyone can go. Big parties of families and friends gather together, they eat and drink, they dance, they party some more – and this being southern Spain the party goes on most of the night as the week of festivity progresses to a peak. There were few tourists at the event, but everyone was friendly and welcoming.
My hotel recommended Gaitan: "...nice restaurant with good traditional food. Specialities: oxtail, cod in garllic, king prawns, stuffed partridge. Popular with the locals...." The meal was average - boquerones stuffed with ham and spinach (9.00E) were unfortunately lightly breaded and fried which muddled the flavors. The artichoke cream soup (6.00E) was good but I had to remind them about the cabrales sauce that accompanied the veal (15.98E), which was a pleasent combination. I skipped dessert.
Catedral de San Salvador - 2 - The interior
The Cathedral was begun in 1695 and completed in 1778, so is not really all that old as cathedrals go. Note the starkness of the stone columns in the nave, and the contrast with the rich carvings in the arches and vaulting. The dome itself is relatively plain, but the transept vaults in particular have fine carvings.
The statues on the columns depict the apostles, as do the clerestory windows above the nave. The stained glass is quite simple, but allows plenty of light to flood in - too much in fact for me to get a good picture of any of the windows.
The cathedral is open for visits between 11 am and 1 pm. There is no admission charge.
Services are held daily in the evenings.
The Alcazar of Jerez
The Alcazar was built in the 12th century. Some of the original Islamic Alcazar still exists, including the two gates, the mosque, the Arab baths, the palace of the Patio of Dona Blanca, and the octagonal tower - seen in the photo. Other parts date from the 15th and 18th centuries.
Entry to the Alcazar, including the Camara Obscura, was just 3.30 euros in September 2003