Plaza Mayor de Cáceres
The Romans founded Cáceres Spain in 25 BC. Following the Romans, the Barbarians, the Visigoths, the Moors, and the Christians occupied Cáceres. Through it all Cáceres’ medieval quarter has remained remarkably intact. Today UNESCO recognizes historic Cáceres for its blend of Roman, Moorish, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. (more…)
The inside of the Catedral y Mezquita de Córdoba looks like a mosque…
It is not unusual for a cathedral in Andalusia to be constructed on the foundations of a Moorish Mosque. Indeed, post the Reconquista, the Spanish symbolically reasserted the supremacy of Catholicism by rebuilding mosques as churches. The Moors, as they occupied Iberia, had done the same thing: early Christian churches were recast as mosques when the Moors took control in the 8th Century. (more…)
Looking up inside Seville’s Cathedral.
Seville’s cathedral, the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, is the largest cathedral in the world. It gets this distinction through a technicality: There are two larger churches in the world, the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil and the Vatican’s St Peter’s Basilica, but these structures are not seats of bishops and thus do not qualify as cathedrals. (more…)
Casa de Pilatos’ inner court: The place to be when it is hot.
La Casa de Pilatos is an Andalusian palace in historic district of Seville Spain. The house dates from the 16th Century. It is the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli. (more…)
Near a bus stop is Hospital de las Cinco Llagas, the current seat of the Parliament of Andalusia.
Many large cities throughout the world have hop-on hop-off tourists buses. We generally avoid them thinking that we are more likely to find the unexpected if we walk. One day in Seville a tout on the street told us that we could take our pooch Gigi along with us on one of these buses. There’s a pleasure in seeing the world through your dog’s nose-eyed view but taking a 25 kg canine along comes with access compromises. As a result we are always looking for things to do where we can take Gigi with us. Touring Seville via the double-decked tourist bus suddenly became an option worth considering. A few days later we boarded the bus with our occasionally well-behaved canine. (more…)
Plaza de España
In 1928 Seville hosted the Ibero-American Exposition. Many participating countries built pavilions to house their exhibits. These buildings remain today and are now used for other purposes. Spain’s contribution to the exhibition, the Plaza de España, covers 11 acres and is the largest and most famous of the pavilions. (more…)
The Metropol Parasol
Supported above a plaza in the old quarter of Seville Spain is the Metropol Parasol. More of a massive sculpture than a functional building, the wooden structure shades La Encarnación Square. The structure consists of six giant mushroom-shaped parasols that are connected together to make a continuous cover over the plaza. It is claimed to be the largest wooden structure in the world and the largest structure held together by glue. (more…)
Extensive gardens surround the royal palace.
The Reales Alcázares de Sevilla was constructed in the 10th century as the palace of the Moslem governor. After the Christian re-conquest of Seville in 1248, the Spanish used the complex as a royal palace. Today the Alcázar still functions as the Spanish royal family’s residence in this city. Though it now also accommodates thousands of tourists each day, the complex retains the same basic purpose for which it was originally intended: as a residence of monarchs and heads of state. The Alcázar is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. (more…)
Inside Ronda’s famous bullring
Ronda in the Andalusian highlands of southern Spain is a popular tourist destination. Surrounded by steep hillsides and split by a deep gorge, the whitewashed town is protected by its geology from the encroachment of modernity. (more…)
A narrow lane inside the Albayzín.
Separated from the Alhambra by the steep sides of the Rio Darro drainage is the Albayzín, Granada’s historic Moorish quarter. Narrow lanes bracketed by whitewashed buildings criss-cross the Albayzín. It is postcard perfect Andalusia. (more…)