If you draw a triangle on a map of Andalucía with Seville at one corner and Granada at another, Córdoba is at its apex. As my final stop, this city truly felt like a culmination of my week in Andalucía.
That’s the Mezquita, which I have posted about before. Here’s a look inside.
The Mezquita is a cathedral built inside a mosque built on top of a church. Its bell tower encompasses the mosque’s minaret.
Orange trees are ubiquitous throughout Andalucía. (There are 25,000 trees in Seville alone.) This is in the Courtyard of the Orange Trees, which is part of the Mezquita.
Not far from the Mezquita is the Jewish Quarter.
This small synagogue is no longer used for worship, but it is open to the public. Its walls are done in the Mudéjar style. That’s the women’s gallery up above.
Córdoba’s Jewish Quarter is filled with narrow streets like this one. I’ve written a lot about the Moorish influence on Spain, but it should also be noted that Spain’s Jewish community used to be one of the largest in Western Europe.
My first day in Córdoba was wet and dreary, but the next day dawned cold and clear with spectacular blue skies, unlike any I’d yet seen in Andalucía.
It was the perfect finish to my 48 hours in Córdoba, and to my exploration of Andalucía.
As I am making my way around Spain through these blog posts, I’ve come to the realization that I’m nowhere near finished with this country. There’s still so much for me to see and, also, so many places I want to revisit.
After 48 hours in Granada, I moved on to the capital of Anadalucía. I didn’t have near enough time in Seville either, but I was able to thoroughly explore two of its main sights: the Cathedral and the Alcázar.
Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See) is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, and second-largest church in all Europe — only St. Peter’s in Rome is bigger.
It’s built on the former site of a mosque, but the only part of it that predates the Reconquista is the Giraldo. Built in the twelfth century, it was the minaret of the mosque and is now the Cathedral’s bell tower.
If you climb up to the top, the view of the Cathedral from on high gives you a sense of its immense size.
Seville’s Alcázar is where the Catholic Monarchs oversaw Spain’s explorations of the Americas, and where Christopher Columbus reported back to after his travels. (He is buried in the Cathedral.) The main difference between this royal palace and the Alhambra is that the Alhambra was built by the Moors for their use, whereas the Alcázar was built in the Moorish style for Christian rulers — the architectural style known as Mudejar.
Like the Alhambra, the Alcázar has some splendid gardens.
Which obviously require a lot of work to maintain.
As Spain’s fourth-largest city, Seville has a very different feel from the other Spanish cities I’ve written about so far. Its size, for one.
And some modern touches, for another.
All too soon, another 48 hours had flown by and it was time, once again, for me to move on. Adiós, Seville. Until next time.