ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

On subsequent trips to Spain I have really only spent time in Madrid. I sometimes stop in the Capitol for a week to see the new museum shows and drink a bottle or two of good Spanish wine before flying on to Paris.  This time I thought I would explore the Andalucia region in the southern part of Spain.

The area was a major Phoenician settlement in 1000 BC and was subsequently settled by the Greeks and Romans until the 5th century AD. The Muslims moved into the area and by the 10th century this region was one of the most splendid, sophisticated, tolerant and scientifically advanced kingdoms of the Medieval world. For me the mix of Moorish and Renaissance architecture was a huge draw…The Alhambra, The Mezquita, The Cathedral of Seville…all unique and awe inspiring.

ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

The Cathedral

My first stop was Seville a rich and fabled city with a current population of around 700,00. In the 15th century it was the center of control over the trade between Europe and the Americas. All the riches of the New World flowed to Seville  some of which can be still be viewed in its churches and palaces. Currently the main altar of the Cathedral is under renovation and a guide told me that they were using 1,100 pounds of gold leaf to restore the intricate carvings of the 15th century main altar which is about 21 Million $. Ahhhh…all for the glory of God.

ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

The Cathedral

Some cities have looks and others have personalities the sevillanos (Seville residents) are lucky they get it all…a flamboyant, charismatic metropolis that is a doused in never ending sunlight. A city with a dark soul and a complex personality….blood soaked Jesus’s carried throughout the streets during religious festivals juxtaposed with the sensual delights of Flamenco that fill the evening hours. A city that has thousands of years to develop a personality cannot be understood in a week but it is a place to start.ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

Seville is a great walking city….lovely fountain filled plaza’s, street musicians, cafe’s, horse drawn carriages, river walks and stylish young people parading  the boulevards and narrow streets of the old city. I did something that I rarely do…I took a double decker bus tour around the city and it was a great overview of the modern city…I would recommend it. The ticket also gives free admission to many churches and sights around town.

ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

Modern building houses a city market

The main attractions are the Cathedral and the Alcazar. The 15th century Cathedral, which is the third largest church in the world, has an abundance of riches including the tomb of Christopher Columbus, a treasury filled with jewel encrusted gold and silver religious statues, altars and chalices, magnificent stained glass windows and the soaring architecture of the Spanish Renaissance. It was easy to spend hours wandering the naves and side alters but get there early because once the tour buses start arriving with the Chinese tour groups it is not as pleasant.

ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

The Alcazar

The Alcazar…a palace once belonging to the Moorish rulers of Andalucia and taken over by Isabella as her palace once she had concurred the area…is a strange and wonderful compilation  of Moorish and Western architecture. The gardens and court yards are a sensual mix with a end result that is sublime. Plan to spend hours here either wandering the palace or strolling the gardens…I was entranced and I think you would be as well. Again get there early.

ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

Museum of Fine Art

The city has two main museums… the Modern which is housed in a 15th century monastery on the edge of town and the Museum of Fine Art. The collection at the Fine Art Museum is almost to a piece religious art. The various churches and monasteries around the region had valuable art by most of the famous Spanish artist and the works were either donated or confiscated for this museum. Holes in the collection were filed by loans of second tier works from the Prado. Of the two I most enjoyed the Modern…both for its buildings and its collection.

ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

Courtyard @ the Museum of Modern Art

As I always do I walked the streets…exploring the little narrow passages in the old city and stopping for a glass of wine and some tapas while I sat and watch the handsome peoples of Seville parade by. So different from Asia or the Middle East…it was good to be back in Europe.ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

About Larry Bosco

In 2010 I had one of those “Is this all there is” moments and so in January 2011 I retired from Real Estate Appraising, sold off all my worldly goods and headed out as a solo traveler in search of a new place to live. Since then I’ve traveled around the world, made new friends and had many great adventures and some not so great. After staying almost a year in Cuenca, Ecuador I have headed back to South East Asia where I began the journey in 2011. Currently I am living in Chiang Mai, Thailand
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8 Responses to ANDALUCIA….the sensual heart of Spain

  1. Maggie says:

    Larry I so love Andalusia with Granada being my favorite thank you for sharing this splendor.
    M

  2. Ashley says:

    Loved looking at this beautiful city through your eyes Larry!. Hope you’re well. We miss you!

  3. Debbie Wetzel says:

    I love the closeup shot of the Cathedral, beautiful building. Sounds like a good place to plan a future trip.

  4. Barbara Hood says:

    I could live in Seville. It is a great place to explore and there is so much to see and do and listen to. Food is good also. Of course, I could live almost anywhere. Restless is my constant companion and I always want to be where I’m not.

  5. Gene says:

    Did you go to Barcelona or Toledo? Enjoyed this segment of your trip. I was beginning to wonder where you might have landed because it had been awhile since we followed your journey.

  6. Diane Kimsey-Minor says:

    How wonderful it is to tour the beautiful world through your eyes. Thanks!

  7. Nick L says:

    Larry, your pics are great. Thank you. I’m now totalllllllly jealous.
    u,da,M

  8. Cathy D says:

    Love love love that part of the world….fortunate enough to have visited several times and each time is a treasure!! So happy you are enjoying it…

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