Nestled in the Hill of Sarika fortress lies a tale of the Arabian Nights, battles and lost kingdoms, of great beauty ... It is perhaps the beginning of a story of the largest Muslim monuments. But to say this is not only to honor what the Alhambra represents: An ode to power, the human feat, to the sublime. A place where mathematics becomes beauty, where the whisper of water elevates us beyond where the legend is surpassed by reality ... the legacy of ancestors who filled us with art, knowledge and culture. The Alhambra is for me, the representation of paradise on earth. Not only were these kings wise, they knew how to live on earth all earthly pleasures that the "infidels" they were banned ;) It was a place that you would go with tears down your face (like the king moro they had to surrender and was left with mourn only) of you know that you are part forever ... Note: You should know that the audioguides are great, I recommend that you buy one for your tour. Be sure to go without hurry so that you can spend plenty of time and go at whatever pace you like, listening to stories, legends, listening to background music that relates to every building. It is a priceless experience to visit the Alhambra.
On a scorching day in August, moments before the rain started falling. The aqueduct and the rain...
The aqueduct of Segovia is the most important piece of Roman engineering in Spain and one of the most symbolic and best conserved monuments that the Romans left on the Iberian peninsula. It has to be the most important symbol for the people of Segovia. It can be found on their coat of arms.
It's missing the inscription, which was located on top of the aqueduct, so it can't be know with compete precision when it was built. The investigators believe it was built somewhere between the second half of the 1st century B.C. and the beginning of the 2nd century B.C., during the time of the Vespasian or Nerva emperors.
The city's origin isn't known either. They know the area was populated by the Vaccaeis before it was conquered and was settled with troops guarding and looking over the city.
One of my favourite places in Seville for the peace it breaths walking in the gardens. It is delightful in spring and refreshing in summer. You just have to see it.
It is referred to as "the twin brother of the Alhambra" and the truth is when you've been to both you realize that they really are identical, albeit with different feels.
The walls, the plasterwork, the different mosaics on the walls, the scriptures (being that animal representation was and still is prohibited), the praise to Allah the Great, the coffered ceilings, the different floors, the arches, etc. . It's a long list of spots, corners, of work in every small point, one really loses track of time and travels back to that period.
Those of us who have a student card, any, including those from the National University of Distance Education (UNED) do not pay, which is certainly an advantage. Don’t miss it: the gardens, the rooms, the curtains of the Royal School of Tapestries, simply stunning, the Giralda watching from one of the courtyards, the royal dependencies with their strict visiting hours in groups of 15. The only negative is the complex we have in Spain thinking that by taking pictures, even without a flash, ruins everything, but apart from that little detail, I sincerely recommend it.
Also, last but not least, it is situated in a marvellous triangle: between the Cathedral, the Giralda and the General Archive of the Indies.
In Plaza de la Independencia, at the intersection of Alcalá and Alfonso XII streets, very close to the famous Plaza de Cibeles, there is the Alcalá Gate (Puerta de Alcalá), one of the most famous monuments in Madrid.
This monument created by Sabatini is of neoclassical style and has three arches and two squared doors. It was completed in 1778, after 9 years of labor, and was built with granite from the mountains of the province of Madrid. It used to be the eastern limit of the city, and served as an entrance and exit, being located on a sheep track.
In 1986, Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel recorded a song called "La Puerta de Alcalá" which made it famous in half of the world.
The walls are the monument that best identifies Ávila .
Built throughout the 12th century, they have a perimeter of 2.5 KM. You can follow them along the outside of the city, discovering the nine entrances called:del Alcázar, Peso de la Harina, San Vicente, el Mariscal, del Carmen, San Segundo, de la Malaventura, de la Santa or Montrenergo, del Rastro). Following the perimeter of the walls from the outside lets us ee how they were built according to the terrain. They’re taller in the flat areas and lower in the areas that would be more troublesome for possible attackers.
Remember that you can climb up to the top of the walls and walk around the city. Take the time to absorb the views of both the urban city center and the nature to the distance. You can access the top of the walls from three points: the house of the CArnicería, the Puerta del Alcázar, or from the Arc of Carmen).
There’s a magnificent view of the city and the walls from Cuatro Postes.
One of the most recent offerings of Almohad art in Seville was the very famous Torre del Oro (Golden Tower)
Built in 1220/21 by order of the last Almohad governor of Seville Ibn Uhla, in order to close the passage to Arenal with a wall that connected it to the torre de la Plata (Silver Tower), between which passed the Guadalquivir. The river port was closed with a thick chain to the Tower fortress (now destroyed) in the current neighbourhood of Triana, and concretized the last stronghold which would form part of the walls of the Alcázar, which aimed to defend the city.
When it was recovered by Fernando III, the tower was used for a while, as a chapel dedicated to St. Isidore. In 1760, Sebastian Vander Borcht was responsible for adding a circular body.
Currently, the entry gate is, in reality, the gateway of the old wall. It was used as a prison in the middle Ages and in some cases, kept precious metals that were bought by the fleet of the Indies.
Two versions circulate about the origin of its name. One indicates that it comes from the azulejos that covered it and the sunlight that when shining gave them golden tones. Another tells us that the King Don Pedro had locked in the tower a lady of unique beauty, of whom he had fallen in love, taking advantage of the absence of her husband away fighting in the war.
Currently, it has been converted into a Naval Museum holding inside engravings, models, old navigating tools, marine charts and historical documents.... such as the naval history of Seville and of numerous illustrious sailors.
Unfortunately, I have only photos of its building because the day I went, I think it was a Monday, it was closed. It's been Spanish heritage since 1949. Visits can be made from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00.
Walking around there is another one of the wonderful vivid experiences, especially, having seen live and direct the Guadalquivir River, of which I had heard so much about at home and in many songs. Of course, under the blazing sun on a hot day.
The Casas Colgadas constitute one of the most famous postcards of Cuenca, they are an undeniable symbol. From the gorges of the Huecar River, one has the most spectacular views of these houses and it is where most of the visitors of the city go to take pictures with the houses in the background; you can't miss the opportunity. They are literally flying, hanging buildings, above the river's ravine.
The current Casas Colgadas are the result of a remodeling process that started in the Middle Ages on the original medieval houses. They used to be part of a range of houses hanging above the Huecar ravine. The curious current state of these houses is the result of the reforms undertaken in 1928 by the municipal architect Fernando Alcántara and of the later reconstructions, in 1950 and 1978.
Since 1959 there is a restaurant in the Casas Colgadas where you can try local traditional food and, since 1966, one can also find the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art, with works of famous artists like Saura, Oteiza, Chillida, Torner, Zóbel or Tapies, as well as of other artists of the so-called "Abstract Generation" of the mid 20th century.
To me, the most appealing aspect of the Arch is its symbolism. It wasn't built to recall an act of war, like most arches, but as a welcome gate, to welcome all those who came to visit the Universal Exposition of 1888 in Barcelona.
It's made of a brick structure and it is of neo-Mudejar style. One can see representations of industry, commerce, and handicraft in the upper part of the arch. It is approximately 30 meters high and features the coat of arms of all Spanish provences.
It was reformed in 1989, and is in very good condition. It is located on a very wide avenue between the Paseo San Juan and Paseo Lluis Companys. If we follow the latter, we'll arrive at the Ciudadela park, a lovely park where one can enjoy a variety of experiences. The Zoo of Barcelona is next to it.
Cangas de Onis is one of the most popular resorts in Eastern Asturias because of its location, which is the required step for anyone who wants to climb to the Lagos de Covadonga. Although it is known as Puente Romano, the bridge that is visible today is actually the medieval bridge that was built above it. It would be possible to say that today, it is a gateway to the Picos de Europa.
Spent New Year's Eve in the town of Ronda, Spain. We arrived just before sunset & trekked down the side of a mountain to get this shot of one of the most amazing man-made wonders I've ever seen. I was totally transported back through history.
If I remember something from Toledo are its numerous hills, with or without stairs, and its marzipans. Oh the marzipans! But this corner is about the Alcázar of Toledo, a construction located in the highest hill of the city, where you can also find the old part of town.
The history goes back to Roman times in the 3rd Century, when it was built as a palace. Throughout the centuries, its function has changed; its history is quite varied.
We know that it has been a Roman palace and also the house of Charles V; that in 1963 it was a state prison and during the Civil War it housed the military academy. It is also known as a military fortress, a medieval castle and the headquarters of the Casa de Caridad (a poorhouse).
Today, it still stands thanks to numerous reconstructions since it has suffered from fires and a famous siege. Lately it seems that they have found a more adequate use for the place, since 1998 it houses the Castilla-La Mancha Library, but it shares the space with the Army Museum.
The Merchants exchange was built in the city centre as a demonstration of power and also of what a great city Valencia was at the time. Opposite the Central Market and the Temples of the two Saint Johns, "Barri del Mercat" (District marketplace).
This corner has been described by many chroniclers of Valencia as a colourful and noisy scene equipped with a sensual charm, which is difficult to avoid. It is obligatory if you visit Valencia.