Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday 25 June 2018

Exploring Spain - Cordoba, Seville & Granada

The last couple of weeks I have been sharing some of our holiday to Europe. Today I bring you some of the amazing places we visited in Spain on our Spanish Wonders tour with Trafalgar.
Clicking on the headings will link you to more information on the web.
As I mentioned last week when you travel with a tour company they do take you to places you might not otherwise have visited, or heard about, and this was certainly true with our tour.  We discovered there are many Moorish influences in the architecture of Spain.  

"The Spanish occupation by the Moors began in 711 AD when an African army, under their leader Tariq ibn-Ziyad, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from northern Africa and invaded the Iberian peninsula 'Andalus'.

The Moors, who ruled Spain for 800 years, introduced new scientific techniques to Europe, such as an astrolabe, a device for measuring the position of the stars and planets. Scientific progress in Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geography and Philosophy flourished in Moorish Spain" Moors in Spain

On the way to Seville we visited the Mosque-Cathedral in Cordoba. What I thought was truly amazing about the Mosque is the unique combination of Moorish and Christian architectural styles and that the Christians were willing to keep this Moorish architecture when it was consecrated as a Christian Cathedral. 

 The site was originally a Roman temple, became a Visigothic church after the fall of the western Roman empire, before the Umayyad Moors built the Mezquita in 786AD when Córdoba reached its zenith under a new emir, Abd ar-Rahman 111 who is considered to be one of the great rulers of Islamic history.

The 1000 marble columns that support the roof symbolise the palm trees of the Arab states and are constructed from different marbles that expand and contract differently to each other in the heat. 

The Mosque was consecrated as a Christian Catholic Cathedral when Cordoba was re-conquered in 1236. In the centre of the mosque is a Renaissance cathedral which dates back to the early sixteenth century while, to the left is the Capilla de Villaviciosa built by Moorish craftsmen in 1371.

In the garden is the bell tower - the Torre de Alminar - which is 93m high and was built on the site of the original minaret.  Orange trees grow in the courtyard where the faithful washed before prayer.

Meanwhile in the backstreets behind the Mosque life continues. I love exploring backstreets and seeing every day life.

 For more information on the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba please visit here - Andalucia.com

This park is a lovely green space in the south of the city of Seville in the grounds of the baroque styled Palacio San Telmo which was built in 1682 as a marine academy. Maria Luisa Fernanda de Bourbon, daughter of King Fernando VII, donated a large part of the palace's extensive private grounds to the city of Seville in 1893. When she died the palace was bequeathed to Seville.

In the gardens you can buy a bag of grain and feed the pigeons. I loved the water lily pond.

3 - Nearby is the Plaza de Espana - Seville 

Plaza de España was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929 (Expo 29), along with many of the pavilions you can see in and around the Parque Maria Luisa.

 Plaza de España, designed by architect Anibal Gonzalez is a semi-circular brick building, built in Renaissance/neo-Moorish in style. In front of the building, following the curve of its façade, is a 500-metre canal crossed by four bridges, and in the centre of it all is the Plaza itself which is adorned by fountains. The Plaza itself measures 50,000 square metres.

The Plaza has been used over the decades as a location for filming several movies, such as Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia), and for the  Sasha Baron-Cohen film, El Dictador.  We wish we had know the Star Wars connection when we visited as our son is a movie buff and he would have enjoyed knowing that it was used as Theed Palace on planet Naboo in a scene from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
You can take a horse and carriage ride from here or buy from the many hawkers in the plaza.  

 The Alcazar is divided into sections dating from a succession of eras: Moorish (11th-12th century), Gothic (13th century), Mudejar (14th century), and Renaissance (15th-16th century), the Alcazar offers some of the best surviving examples of Mudejar architecture.

In the 13th Century the Christian king, Pedro the Cruel of Castile embarked upon a complete rebuilding and extending of the palace, employing the finest workmen from Granada and Toledo, and utilising fragments of earlier Moorish buildings in Seville, Cordoba and Valencia.

The detail of the architecture and decorations is amazing and certainly the work of master craftsmen. You can also enjoy the gardens.  
The Alcazar was used for filming some of the scenes for the Game of Thrones series. 

The name Alhambra has its origins in an Arabic word meaning "red castle or vermilion". The Alhambra is located on a rocky hill overlooking Granada, with difficult access, on the banks of the river Darro, protected by the mountains and surrounded by forest.

Created originally for military purposes, the Alhambra was a fortress, a palace and a small medina, all at the same time. Fortification has existed since the 9th century and the Alhambra became the royal residence and court of Granada in the mid-13th century after the establishment of the Nasrid Kingdom and the construction of the first palace by the founding king Mohammed ibn Yusuf Ben Nasr, better known as Alhamar. 

2.5 million people per year - almost 7,000 visitors per day - visit Alhambra.  From here you can also walk to the Summer Palace, but it started to rain as we were walking to the Palace, so we opted to return to our bus, and go on to our hotel. 

Look at this beautiful detail in the decoration of Alhambra. 

But before our visit to Alhambra we took a walk through the narrow streets and squares of the old town of Albaicin, visited a fruit and vegetable market,  and listened to the flamenco players on a terrace overlooking Granada and Alhambra. Too soon it was time for us to move on.

 Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this small look at some of the places we visited in Spain. Next week I will take you to Barcelona.

To find out more about visiting Spain you can click here - Touropia.com-Spain 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

If you are a blogger you can link up to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global right here -