Frequent-solver Roderick Simpson identified Gumbo's locale as the Cathedral of Jerez, in Spain. Another frequent contributor to the solutions spotted lots of clues: Spanish garb of non-angel statues, size not huge and cathedral not wealthy (from bare stone and growth).
So here it is, a brief look at the Cathedral of San Salvador in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain—and its neighbors, the Alcazar of Jerez and kindly old Tio Pepe, the sherry-maker.
San Salvador is something of a latecomer, as Cathedrals go; it was built in the 17th century, in a mix or Gothic, Baroque and even neoclassical styles. It's been Jerez's main Catholic church all along, but only became a cathedral in 1980 when Jerez first became the seat of a bishop.
As Lynn noted, and I've seen everywhere: Build what you will, the grass will find a way.
The interiors are stark and dramatic; the light gives the impression of a much-larger building. Had the city been wealthier, perhaps the effect might have been spoiled.
Aside from the space itself, the most dramatic effects of the Cathedral are this series of stained-glass portraits.
Across from the Cathedral and sharing its height overlooking the city, is the Alcazar of Jerez, once the administrative and military center of Moorish Jerez and then home to wealthy Christians. A few pictures here as a reminder; a full report appeared on TravelGumbo earlier this year.
The other big attraction in Jerez is the wineries, where numbers of the best known sherries (named for the town, though our English spelling hides that) are produced. One of the largest is Gonzalez-Byass, whose best-known products go under the Tio Pepe name.
Tours are available at all, but we chose this one because of its location, right next door to the Cathedral and across the street from the Alcazar. In fact, you can even see the Cathedral behind legendary Tio Pepe himself.
These grapevines are at the entrance to the winery property; most are in other locations in the Jerez area.
The barrels below are a sort of "guest book" for Tio Pepe; distinguished visitors are asked to sign a barrel that's kept on display. Royalty by the numbers, poets, politicians (Winston Churchill is there) and more. My favorite, though, is the one at the bottom, signed by Jean Cocteau, French playwright and poet, who signed his with 1953 sketch "Here I have drunk the blood of kings."
Jerez is an easy day-trip from Seville; trains run frequently and take just over an hour—and you arrive at this stunning tiled station!
For more TravelGumbo blogs and pictures from Spain, click HERE