Over spring break, after the Camino and before the volcanic ash, I took a solo trip to Sevilla and Cordoba in southern Spain. Cordoba was the capital of Moorish Spain, or al-Andalus for centuries, and Sevilla was the home of the Almohavad dynasty in the magnificent Reales Alcazares. Both were reconquered in the thirteenth century by Fernando III of Castile.
The Gothic cathedral in Sevilla was built on the remains of a mosque that fell down in an earthquake. La Giralda, the mosque tower, is the only part still left standing, and the Catholic monarchs left it, only adding La Giralda, the eponymous weathervane, on top. The Reales Alcazares also had a significant Mudejar makeover (Christian architects using typically Moorish styles), much of which was added under Pedro IV (also the Cruel) and for the wedding of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Isabella and Fernando spent a lot of time there, and Isabella doled out monopolies for precious cargo from the Americas from her position in Sevilla, located securely up the river from the coast. I fell in love with the palaces and gardens of the Reales Alcazares, most of which are kept up from the original. It is technically still a royal residence today.
In fact, the reason my camera died before I got to Vienna is because I took so many pictures in Sevilla.
Here are pictures from Sevilla, I'll get to Cordoba in my next post.