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Features > Madrid, Spain (July 2006) > Madrid Bajaras Airport & Palace


Landing in Madrid's Barajas International Airport is quite an interesting experience. Although I flew Easyjet into another terminal, I met up with co-workers in the massive new Terminal 4 which is very colorful and large. The photo above is a vertical view down the terminal. The wood panels above and columns of slowly changing colors are very eye-catching.


Taxis in front of the upper level of the airport (you can also get a bus to another Terminal for access to the Metro system although it's not very easy especially with a replacement bus service on that Metro line before it reaches the city center).
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Ramp escalators make it easier for those with luggage carousels to move between the many levels of Terminal 4
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Iberia airlines is the regional carrier and a major presence in Terminal 4 although during the summer there was a strike for several days that reduced flight availability. Here passengers use the auto check-in machines.
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Have you ever felt like you're at the center of everything?
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Don't worry - you're not the only one to think so...
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My Easyjet flight in flight
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Looking down a corridor of the terminal
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Look - it's the founder of GE, Mr. Thomas Edison. And according to this ad for madridcreatividad.com "Edison has their site." I'm not sure if that means that Mr. Edison bookmarked it or he maintains it, but either way it just makes you want to visit, doesn't it? From looking at the website, it is an interesting contest to find and reward the most creative young entrepreneurial minds of Spain.
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This was my hotel, the NH Eurobuilding Madrid - very nice
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This is a nice looking church (monastery? convent?), but I don't know what it is or what it is called - it is near Padre Damian 23 in Madrid - if you know, please drop me a line and let me know
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A view of the famous Santiago Bernabéu Stadium where the team Real Madridplays can hold about 80,000 fans. Real Madrid was ranked 'The 20th Century's Best Club' by FIFA.
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Inside the stadium, taken from the reasonably-priced restaurant on the south side of the structure
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People who paid way too much money for a tour of the stadium
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Daniel enjoying a nice white wine and appetizers
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The overlooks the Plaza Mayor of Madrid. This square was home to much of the IMG_7362


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A series of bronze monuments in the plaza to to remember the atrocities of the Spanish Inquisition, this one reads "executions" in the upper right.

The Spanish Inquisition was started by Ferdinand and Isabella to maintain orthodox Catholicism. After the expulsion of the Moors, the country had a mix of Catholics, Jews, and Mulsims. After theories of false converts (conversos), a Papal Bull established the Inquisition. The first Auto de Fé was celebrated in Seville on February 6, 1481: six people were burned alive. Eventually the monarchy adopted control over the Inquisition at which point the Pope objected but eventually relented and allowed it to expand across Spain. From 1480 to 1530 an estimated 2,000 people were executed, the vast majority of them Jewish conversos. Overall it is estimated that 150,000 people were processed and 3-5,000 were executed. Frequently, cases were judged in absentia, and when the accused died before the trial finished, the condemned were burned in effigy.

In March 1492 it was decreed that all remaining Jews that had not converted must leave Spain and sell all land and forfeit all gold and silver money in order to avoid being a temptation to the conversos to return to their old religion. Some fled to Portugal where unfortunately there was an Inquisition founded in 1532.

In the 16th century the Spanish Inquisition turned to trials of Protestants although somehow mostly those of Jewish origin. These trials resulted in no executions. Lutheran trials were from 1558 to 1562 and hundreds were executed.

Converts from Islam or moriscos were also put on trial but due to influence in the region were spared severe punishments in most cases. From 1609-1614 it was decreed that all moriscos should be expelled although some stayed behind and faced further trials.

Regarding homosexuality, between 1571 and 1579 more than 100 men accused of sodomy were processed and at least 36 were executed; in total, between 1570 and 1630 there were 534 trials and 102 executed.

"One of the most striking aspects of the organization of the Inquisition was its form of financing: devoid its own budget, the Inquisition depended exclusively on the confiscaciones of the goods of the denounced. It is not surprising, therefore, that many of those prosecuted were rich men." - Wikipedia article above

When the Inquisition was established in a city, there was a period of grace of one month where one could confess any heresies, but in addition those that confessed had to also accuse all one's accomplices and as this cycle wore on the period would expire and the anonymous accusations would result most often in cost or pain.

There was also a component of censorship and banned Spanish books especially vernacular translations of the Bible. One of the most outstanding cases — and best known — in which the Inquisition directly confronted literary activity is with Fray Luis de Leon, noted humanist and religious writer of converso origin, who was imprisoned for four years, (from 1572 to 1576) for having translated the Song of Songs directly from Hebrew.

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