Skip the Queues Seville Style.

I signed up for a Skip the queue tour of the Seville Palace, Gardens and Cathedral. It seems that most towns in Andalucía have an understandable multicultural society going back over many centuries. Given that Africa, specifically Morocco, is but a few kilometres across the ocean from the southern most outpost of Spain, it is not surprising. “Stopping the Boats” was an impossible catch cry. Hence over Millenia, hordes of Arabs (Muslims) invaded Spain, to be then overrun by Christian hordes and so it alternated between these cultures. Forts, Palaces, Mosques were thankfully mostly not destroyed but “modified” by the Christian Kings.

To my eye, there is much beauty in Islamic architecture with its delicate complex mosaics and blue and aquamarine colours. The mosques were huge open plan areas of worship surrounded by an oasis of green gardens and wonderful use of natural light. Sadly the Christian conquests saw darkness descend literally and figuratively as they bricked up the arches and constructed ornate cathedrals within the mosque.

Here are pictures of the Alcázar and gardens (Palace)

Christian kings live in the palace and to their credit, additions and modifications were mostly in the Islamic style.

Here is the “bath room ” for the princess and Queen. I assume in the days of the Sultan, there were many wives. What appears to be a mirror, is water

Another picture of the gardens

As to the cathedral, only a few pictures.

The Bell Tower – which was originally the minaret of the Mosque

The “thing” in pure silver and gold that is carried along in the feast of corpus Cristie. That is the extent of my religious knowledge

The casket contains the remains ( called “relics”) of Christopher Columbus

Actually poor Columbus wished to be buried in the New World, but Spain wanted him for themselves. Over the centuries his remains were frequently exhumed and transported to various locations around the world so much so that eventually upon his return to Spain, specifically, Seville, poor Christopher was in small pieces! Hence inside the huge casket in the cathedral of Seville, there is a bit of him. On the 500th anniversary of his discovery (1992) it was rather unsettling to the civic fathers who were about to spend millions of dollars on fireworks, so poor Christopher was again exhumed and his DNA compared to the DNA of his great grandson. To the utter relief of all concerned, the DNA matched, so the thimble full of dust that is Christopher Columbus’ presumed left big toe , was safely returned to the casket and in 1992, millions of dollars of fireworks went up in smoke.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s