Spain (Day 10)

October 30


Our penultimate day in Spain.  How ’bout a train ride from Seville to Cordoba, 90 miles to the northeast . . .  

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[As I recall, our train came in to a gate about 50 yards to the left of this one . . . ]

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[Then it’s not often that the first dozen photos in a new city are of the hotel room?]

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[But our monster suite in the Macia Alfaros Hotel was impressive . . . ]

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[With art!!]

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[And a bathroom!!]

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[And a bath tub!!]

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[A living room with desk!!]

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[Enough room for a par-tay!!]

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[A bedroom suite, with columns!!]

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[And a bed!!]

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[And a big mural in the hotel entry way – may guess it’s of Cordoba!!]

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[After the exhaustion of touring our hotel room, we were hungry . . . ]

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[Unfortunately, fine outdoor dining was spoiled by rain (which is suppose to fall mainly on the plain) . . . ]

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[But on the inside they were hanging ham.  Seven Spanish jamones are covered by European law . . . ]

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[I can’t remember what we ordered, but I’m sure Bill and I had the local beer . . . ]

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[Then it was out into the rain, crossing the street to . . . ]

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[The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita, whose ecclesiastical name is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, is the Catholic cathedral of the Diocese of Cordoba. The structure is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture. According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint  Vincent of Lerins, originally stood on the site.  In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers.  Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista, and the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church, culminating in the insertion of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the 16th century (Wikipedia) . . . ]

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[From the original Muslim minaret to the current Bell Tower, this structure has played an important role in the image and profile of Cordoba.  While throughout its history it has maintained the same essential function, summoning the faithful, its forms and styles have changed over time.  Standing at 54 metres, it is the tallest building in the city (]

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[Since the early 2000s, Spanish Muslims have lobbied the Roman Catholic Church to allow them to pray in the cathedral. This Muslim campaign has been rejected on multiple occasions, both by the church authorities in Spain and by the Vatican (Wikipedia).  This apparently is still the case, which seems odd since the officially accepted name for the place is Mosque-Cathedral?]

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[A further review at the end of this missive . . . ]

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[The Bell Tower – though you already know that . . . ]

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[Once inside, it’s an amazing collection of different “rooms” in different styles through the ages . . . ]

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[The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite, and porphyry.  These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Merida amphitheatre.  The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns.  The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch. The famous alternating red and white voussoirs of the arches were inspired by those in the Dome of the Rock and also resemble those of the Aachen Cathedral, which were built almost at the same time.  Horseshoe arches were known in the Iberian Peninsula since late Antiquity, as can be seen on the 3rd-century “Estela de los Flavios”, now in the archaeological museum of Leon.  A centrally located honeycombed dome has blue tiles decorated with stars (Wikipedia).]

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[The building’s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam.  It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the gibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray.  The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.  Hisham’s mosque covered an area of 460 by 280 feet (140 m × 85 m).  It was flanked by stout, fortified walls, with watch towers and a tall minaret.  There were nine outer gates and eleven inner doors.  Each door led to an aisle within the mosque. The court had spacious gates on the north, west, and east sides, and fountains for the purification of the pious.  The eleven north-to-south aisles were crossed by twenty-one narrower ones running from east to west (Wikipedia).]

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[The Super, with one of the 856 columns . . . ]

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[And I believe there are 37 chapels contained herein.  I’d go crazy trying to figure out which is which.  So, to make it easy on myself, just enjoy the photos . . . ]

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[And here comes the Zamboni?]

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[Yea, it is all kind of unbelievable . . . ]

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[The intricacies of the ceilings . . . ]

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[In the Saint Theresa Chapel . . . ]

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[An up and coming cub reporter?]

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[Walk this way . . . ]

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[High Altar of the Mezquita Cathedral . . . ]

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[Time for an outside walkabout . . . ]

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[The weather limited our excitement for covering a lot of ground . . . ]

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[The Roman bridge of Córdoba is a bridge in the Historica centre of Cordoba, Andalusia, and southern Spain, originally built in the early 1st century BC across the Guadaliquivir river, though it has been reconstructed at various times since.  Most of the present structure dates from the Moorish reconstruction in the 8th century (Wikipedia).]

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[The Mosque-Cathedral as seen from the bridge . . . ]

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[In nicer weather, we likely would have crossed the bridge to see why the chicken did . . ]

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[Appears to be an aardvark . . . ]

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[I believe there were thoughts of walking back to the hotel . . . ]

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[The remains of a Roman temple, which was discovered in the 1950s during the expansion of City Hall.  It is located in the angle formed by the streets Claudio Marcelo and Capitulares.  It was not the only temple that the city had, but it was possibly the most important of all, and the only known by archaeological excavation.  It is a Pseudoperipterus, hexastyle and of Corinthian order temple of 32 meters long and 16 wide.  Its construction began during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) and ended some forty years later, during the reign of Emperor Domitian (81-96 CE).  Presumably it was dedicated to the imperial cult.  The temple underwent some changes in the 2nd century, reforms that coincide with the relocation of the colonial forum (Wikipedia).]

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[But after finding these, I seem to recall we took a cab?]

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[Seems odd this was the last photo taken in Cordoba?  The Super, as the masked avenger outside the cathedral?]

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[The further review as previously promised . . . ]

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[This was taken as we were exiting the Cathedral.  I thought it strange I could find nothing about this specific sculpture.  Teno, who died in 2013, is probably most famous for his Don Quixote sculpture in the Kennedy Center.  A special case is that of Aurelio Teno, silversmith of initial office, draftsman, apprentice sculptor, painter by effusion of his temperament and expansive man in thought and will, who found no space in Cordoba necessary to his eagerness for progress, marched to Madrid to achieve a place among modern artists. Difficult task has been his, but, finally won the game. He was applauded by the public, the most demanding critic with his abstract paintings, his audacity in the “pot-art”, in his sculptures, and, above all, in the happy realizations of pieces of goldsmith’s work about informalist design and metal applications precious, rare stones and tree roots. Teno won international awards for some of his works, and, lately, he was awarded the realization of a monumental statue in the United States (]

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Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.  ~  Unknown

Up Next:  Toledo, the last day?

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