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Spain, Andalusia - Trip for Romance IV

Published: 7.6.2015
Cordoba was the richest city of the West and the center of Islamic culture. First emirs resided in Seville. In the sixth year of Arab occupation (716) Emir Alhor moved his court to Cordoba. The ruled as deputies of the caliph of Damask. They were military warlords subordinated to the might of the House of Umayyad.

In the half of the 8th century, the House of Umayyad were slaughtered by the descendants of Prohpet’s uncle Abbas. The new dynasty moved the residence of caliphs to Baghdad. Yet not all of the Umayyads were killed during the feast Abú-l-Abbás made for his friends. Two of them did not come so they were not killed. It was Abdarrahman III who was 19 years old and his younger brother. In 929, Abdarrahman III declared himself an independen Umayyad caliph. His successor, Al-Hakam II founded a library in Córdoba that had 400 000 precious works ranging from mathematics, astronomy to medicine.

Córdoba

Now the sun is setting. So I am about to start hitchhiking. It is half past eight and nobody stopped for me. I have to sleep in a tent at the river. In the morning, some car stopped for me quickly and soon I am in Seville.

Here Miguel de Cervantes was imprisoned in royal prison. And it was here where he wrote his famous Don Quijote. I travel by public transportation to the center. I didn’t know how large a city Seville is. I pass by a huge mushroom where is an observation platform. Then I was heading towards the largest cathedral in Spain! When it was finished in 1520, it was even larger than famous Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

SevillaSevilla - katedrála

Compared to Cordoba or Toledo, you would be bit disappointed as I were. Streets are narrow therefore easy to get lost in its streets. I am not afraid, though. Finding the right path is to find a piece of yourself within. I mean nooks you have never entered, capabilities you have never been aware of. The best point to navigate oneself is Giralda, the belfry to the famous cathedral. But it will easily get out of sight any moment while in the narrow streets. Seville as depicted in old paintings doesn’t exist. Beauties don’t walk in mantillas, scarfs lyingwith a comb of turtle shell. Women of Seville adapted to global fashion but still gently use their fans.

Sevilla

Seville was founded when the island was colonized by Phoenicians and Greeks. It was called Hispalis and it was conquered by Julius Caesar. Later, there ruled Vandals, Vizigoths, and great career it had during the rule of the Arabs. If Cordoba was center to knowledge, Seville was known for music and art. Notice how strictly sounds the name Cordoba. Seville, on the other hand, dance when you speak it...

Sevilla

Its time came in the 12th century. Almohad sultans created a great court in fortified Alcazar palace . The court has large gardens, and they decorated the city with beautiful buildings such as theGreat Mosque . Upon Ferdinand III’s conquest the courto f Moor sultans changed to the residence of Christian kings. When Toledo beacme the center of Castilian power, it initiated the time of sea voyages and Seville’s prosperity.

Sevilla - katedrálaSevilla

And now I am getting closer to monumental cathedral. Legend has it that its builders said: “We make a cathedral so huge everyone would thinkg that we went crazy.” Artists like Murillo, Zurbaran, and Morales decorated the sacristy. The cathedral has its own treasure – so many jewels, silver filigree, gold lined crosses, reliquaries one get dazzled by all this wealth.

To be continued...

 

Text and photo: Sylvie Halouzková



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