Pasyal sa España

2011 Oct. 21-30

by Norman Bituin





Sevilla and Cordoba

 (Part 2 of 3)



Oct. 25-26 Tu-We, Sevilla


Sevilla is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and is the fourth largest city of Spain. Sevilla is more than 2,000 years old and was known from Roman times as Hispalis. Following Roman rule, there were successive conquests by the Vandals and the Visigoths during the 5th and 6th centuries. After the conquest of Hispalis by the Moors in 712, Sevilla was taken by the Muslims from the 8th to 13th centuries. In 1248 forces of King Fernando III of Castile won victory in Sevilla's chapter of the peninsula's Catholic Reconquista (Reconquest). Although it has a strong medieval, renaissance and baroque heritage, the city was greatly influenced by Arabic culture.

Sevilla was the start of our leisurely drive to the Andalusian provinces in southern Spain - on the Autovia, the Spanish "Interstate".


"El Toro Negro", a national symbol of Spain, stands watch on the highways.  


My Garmin GPS was invaluable, but still difficult to navigate the narrow streets. 





Pedestrian shopping street leads straight to the Cathedral and the Real Alcazar.










Ayuntamiento de Sevilla (City Hall)


Plaza Nueva, in front of the Ayuntamiento


The plazas reminded me of the "old country" where people socialize and while away the time.








The "Catedral de Santa María de la Sede" in Sevilla is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world.

Construction began in 1402 and continued until 1506. The cathedral also serves as the burial site of Christopher Columbus.



A perfect time and place for a mid-week wedding









One of the 80 chapels in the Cathedral



Going around town:- by horse carriage, by monorail and by walking. Is that a 3-legged lady?


So close, and yet so far? A view of the Catholic Cathedral from the door of the Moorish Alcazar. 



Sevilla by night

We slept one night in Sevilla as our next stop, Cordoba, was only 74 miles away. All other days, we drove back to our Mijas resort.





Walk down Calle Manos Gago to Calle Levies #18 to see and enjoy free flamenco dancing at La Carboneria.



A 15-minute walk from the Cathedral is La Carboneria, where flamenco dancing is free. I had beer and tapas for 8 euros.






         Photography was ok, but video was not. I used my camera to surreptitiously take these two very short clips (baka mabisto).

                 click>>> Video clip 1  Video clip 2  [pls. be patient - may take some time to load; plays with Windows Media Player]


The street at night


The plaza at night




The Cathedral at night


The Real Alcázar is a fortress, inhabited by Muslim and Christian royalty for many centuries since

construction began in 913 A.D. Inside its walls are beautiful, tended gardens and Moorish palaces.

(Oct 1-Mar 31 winter schedule is in effect and it closes at 5pm, so I came back following morning).















 The Alcazar Garden has glittering pools and fountains and small courtyards filled with palm, cypress, myrtle, mulberries and magnolia.




Oct. 26 We, Cordoba


At the time of Julius Caesar, Córdoba was the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior Baetica. It was captured in 711 by an Arab/Berber Muslim army. In 716 it became a provincial capital, subordinate to the Caliphate of Damascus. In 766 it was chosen as the capital of the independent Arab Muslim emirate of al-Andalus. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Córdoba was one of the most advanced cities in the world as well as a great cultural, political, financial and economic center. Córdoba had 3,000 mosques, splendid palaces and 300 public baths, and received what was then the largest library in the world, housing from 400,000 to 1,000,000 volumes. It was conquered by Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad, lord of Sevilla, in 1070.  On 29 June 1236, after a siege of several months, it was captured by King Ferdinand III of Castile, during the Spanish Reconquista.


On the road to Cordoba, just 74 miles from Sevilla


At a gas station restroom, this FC Barcelona team soccer fan obviously didn't think much of Madrid or Sevilla.


Entering the city of Cordoba

 (This photo only from Google Images)



Roman walls surround Cordoba's Old Town, the second largest in Europe


School kids on their lunch break


... while adults enjoy their meals outside.


Maybe it's time for San Mig too!



           Frommer: "The old Arab and Jewish quarters are famous for their narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses boasting

                            flower-filled patios and balconies. It's perfectly acceptable to walk along gazing into the courtyards; this isn't an

                            invasion of privacy. The citizens of Cordoba take pride in showing off their patios as part of the city's traditions".













The Cathedral and former Great Mosque of Córdoba, in ecclesiastical terms the "Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción" and known by the inhabitants of Córdoba as the Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque–Cathedral), is today a World Heritage Site. The site was originally a pagan temple, then a Visigothic Christian church built in 600 A.D., before the Umayyad Moors at first converted the building into a mosque. The Great Mosque of Cordoba was begun between 784 and 786 during the reign of 'Abd al-Rahman I. After the Spanish Reconquista, it once again became a Roman Catholic church, with a cathedral later inserted into the centre of the large Moorish building. The Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Islamic architecture and was considered a wonder of the medieval world by both Muslims and Christians. It was described by the poet Muhammad Iqbal:

                                "Sacred for lovers of art, you are the glory of  faith,

                                            You have made Andalusia pure as a holy land!"






Towering Moorish columns and stunning architecture


A Catholic cathedral inserted at the center of the Moorish mosque after the

 Christian Reconquista in 1236 makes La Mezquita an "architectural oddity".






Cordoba is a destination for Catholic pilgrims at Easter. During Easter week, half of most city roads are cut off due to processions of masked penitents carrying crosses and walking barefoot, transporting the Virgin or Jesus on their shoulders. Andalusian Catholics take Easter week very seriously. Since the early 2000s, Spanish Muslims have lobbied the Roman Catholic church to allow them to pray in the cathedral. The Muslim campaign has been rejected on multiple occasions by both Spanish Catholic authorities and the Vatican. In Easter 2010 there was a violent incident over the matter when an organized tour of racially diverse young Muslims began to pray in the Mezquita. However, most Spaniards proudly boast of their Arab or Jewish roots. The positive influence of Moorish Spain is still very much alive in artistic style, music, dance and even the culinary traditions of the region.






Looking at the churches and our shared history and culture, this could almost be any town in the Philippines.




Oct. 27 Th, Fuengirola


Just a day to rest and relax at the Mediterranean beach in Fuengirola, a few miles from our Mijas resort base.




... and shopping at the giant department store chain El Corte Ingles.


From the store window looking out at the ocean




  Next: Granada, Gibraltar and Malaga (Part 3 of 3)



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