My entry is a photo-etching with chine-collé, of a courtyard at the Alhambra Palace. I have been lucky to visit this beautiful place on two occasions; the architecture is stunning; the decorative plaster work, mosaic tiles, wood and brick work, in repeat patterns, adorn every surface. Intimate rooms, graceful columns and archways lead you through to beautiful courtyards and gardens with splashing water features, a delight to the eye and mind.
I do hope some of you get the chance to visit this exhibition. I’m certainly looking forward to viewing the work up close, such a different experience seeing prints first-hand, as digital images don’t quite do them justice.
At last a watercolour I feel okay with showing! I really like using watercolour, I often use it to colour drawings; but I’ve been trying to just use it on its own which I find a bit more difficult. Anyway I’m pleased with this A3 painting of steps from one green courtyard leading down to another interior garden in the Alhambra Palace.
Continuing on from last weeks blog on Seville; I have a few more pictures to share with you. We went for a day trip to Cordoba, where you can see the famous Cordoba Mezquita or Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba. Just as it sounds, in a beautiful grand Mosque a Reanaissance Cathedral nave was literally built into the middle of the Mosque in the 16th century. King Charles V of Castille and Aragon, who gave permission for the Cathedral nave to be built, reportedly said on visiting “”they have taken something unique in all the world and destroyed it to build something you can find in any city.” As I do not have a fancy camera I could not take very good pictures inside the Mezquita, but I urge you to take a look at this collection of images here.
In Cordoba we also visited the ‘Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos’ or Palace of the Christian Monarchs. This fortress was one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. This palace is much smaller than the one in Seville; but it is still worth visiting and has beautiful gardens.
Back in Seville, one of the most modern structures we visited was the Metropol Parasol, it claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. It consists of six giant parasols in the form of giant mushrooms, which have a sky-walk and viewing platform atop; the underground levels house a small museum of Roman and Moorish remains discovered on site. The space underneath the parasols can be used for public events. I really liked the organic shape of this structure which offers (via a lift) very fine views of the city and the Cathedral.
I had a lovely holiday in Seville in the first week of April; my second visit to this beautiful Spanish city. We stayed in the picturesque neigbourhood of Santa Cruz, the Old Jewish Quarter in medieval times; a few minutes walk from Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcázar.
The Cathdral of Saint Mary of the See is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world; its bell tower known as The Giralda, is the former minaret of the mosque that stood on the site under Muslim rule. The weather vane ‘El Giraldillo’ atop, is of a bronze woman dressed in Roman attire, both the vane and tower’s names are derived from the Spanish word ‘girar’ meaning ‘to turn’.
The Real Alcázar is the royal palace originally developed by the Moorish rulers; it is regarded as an outstanding example of ‘mudéjar’ architecture. The term ‘mudéjar’ refers to the Muslims who stayed in Spanish territories after the Christian reconquest and who continued to practise their customs; this term refers to the mix of style between Christianity and Islam at this time in these territories.
The public Park Maria Luisa in Seville is a huge and beautiful green space set beside the Guadalquivir river. The Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, was held partly within the park, and many of the massive pavillions which are now museums date from this period. A particular favourite is the Mudejar Pavilion, which is now the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Sevilla.
Suffice to say I highly recommend visiting Seville, go for its wealth of history, beautiful buildings, friendly people, reliable sun, gorgeous ceramics, delicious tapas, and wonderful wines and sherries. I recommend a refreshing ‘rebjuito’, a cocktail of sherry (Fino or Manzanilla), lemonade or lemon/lime soda and mint. No visit is complete without seeing a flamenco show at the Flamenco Museum. Lasting an hour we were entertained by singing, spanish guitar, both female and male dancers, performing solos and as a group. It was thrilling.
I will be posting a second blog on my Seville and Cordoba holiday soon.