(Very old) Writing on the wall

(Very old) Writing on the wall

Today we went to the justly famous Mezquita de C√≥rdoba, the mosque/cathedral complex here in Cordoba. The mosque is huge and largely intact, a vast forest of columns and red and white arches that really gives on the sense of being in the woods rather than being in a building. As a sense of the size of the thing, after the Christian reconquest they built a quite large cathedral in the middle of the mosque, and you don’t actually see it right away when entering the the mosque. Even Sub-Evil, who’s quite jaded for a 14 year old, decreed that it was one of the most beautiful spaces he’d been in.

I took hundreds of photos in our 2.5 hours there, most of which attempt (usually with limited success) to capture the vast space and repeating columns and arches. As it’s rather dark, however, motion blur and lack of depth of field are chronic problems, and it’s going to take a while to sift through and pick a few that appear to have worked.

Thus I leave you with a little detail shot instead. The mihrab (prayer niche) is a truly remarkable piece of work, with wonderfully rich tile work and calligraphic decoration. In almost any other building it would be a showstopper; the Mezquita, however, is so large that you could almost miss it amongst all the other visual stimuli.

At one point there was this neat patch of light on a bit of the mihrab, so I took it’s picture. (Several, actually, but I’ll only bore you with one.)

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Last views of the Alhambra

Last views of the Alhambra

Last night the three of us climbed up into the Albaycin, which is the site of the original Moorish town, and the historical location of the old Muslim neighborhood in Granada. There are wonderful “postcard” views of the Alhambra from there, but unfortunately it was overcast and the light was all “blah”. WeatherGirl and Sub-Evil Boy eventually got bored and headed back down the hill, but I stuck around hoping for the sun to creep below the clouds as it was setting. Happily I was rewarded with this wonderful view for the last 10-20 minutes of sunlight. Absolutely splendid.

The big square tower in the foreground and a bit to the left, along with many of the other buildings and towers in the left and center foreground, are part of the Nasrid (Muslim) palaces, and contain some spectacular rooms and spaces. The church spire in the back center is a Christian church built on the site after the Catholic reconquest. The large, square, decidedly non-Muslim building that dominates the right hand side is the palace of Charles V (the grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella who captured Granada, eliminating the last Muslim kingdom in Spain), and houses some excellent museums.

And that’s only a quarter to a third of the entire Alhambra complex!

Tomorrow we leave Granada for Cordoba, so more wonderful stuff to see and photograph. Unfortunately the internet at the next hotel looks to be stupidly expensive, so there’s likely to be radio silence for the next week…

Ciao!

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