Earlier this week, I visited Alcaza Real, which is one of the prime examples of the Mudejar architecture style. It was commissioned by Chrisitans but designed by the Moors. The construction of the building started after 1248, with Fernando III conquering Sevilla from the Moors. And, over the next 500 years, until 17 century, the building evolved slowly. The building entrance is called the Puerta del Leon (Lions Gate). It has a beautiful garden. Although the building is now devoid of furnitures, in the great hall, there hanged several magnificent tapestries, depicting various battles.
Here are some more pictures of Sevilla, including Barrio Santa Cruz, Catedral e Sevilla, Bull Ring, Festival of Bulls, and Torre del Oro.
This past Saturday, I visited the Body Worlds Exhibition. Then, I went to the Carnival party in Cadiz in the evening.
This weekend is the Carnival. I will be leaving shortly for Cadiz to join an all-night party. Last night there was a party at our school. Here are some photos from last night.
Sevilla is one of the leading tourist cities in Spain. Its history stretches back to before Muslims arrived in the Iberia Peninsula to the subsequent Catholization by the Isabel of Castile & Fernando II of Aragon. There are many beautiful buildings throughout the city.
Today, I visited Plaza de Espana. It is a spectacular building in a half moon shape. On both ends of the building, there are two magnificent towers. The building itself is made out of the reddish limestone stone. In the front, there is a row of mosaics, depicting each provinces & key cities in Spain. I enjoyed the sunny and cool weather, sat on the bench in front of the mosaics, and had a little snack.
In the plaza, there is a free military museum, with a good collections of firearms, e.g. hand guns, rifles, mortars, grenade launches, anti-aircraft guns, and bronze cannons. The building also houses several government ministries, e.g. Provincial Justice, Interior Affairs, etc.
Across the street is the Maria Luisa Park. It is a large & typical Spanish style garden. The garden and the Plaza de Espana are the result of the 1929 Fair of the America.
The streets in Sevilla are really alley ways, very narrow, and zig zag. Streets also have multiple names. Often, a street will have 4 or more names, unique in each section. It is quite easy to get lost, walking in the maze of Barrio de Santa Cruz. When you ask for directions, even the locals are confused about where they are at and have to look at the map for direction.
After my afternoon class, I was getting hungary because my host family does not allow me to eat food in my room; and, I had nothing the whole day. So, I decided to have dinner in a restaurant near the Alcazar. It was a typical Andalusian cuisine, rice plater with shrimp, clam, and calamari. The locals call it ??? It is quite similar to Jumbalya. Although it looked very tempting on the menu, it had a strong seafood smell to it. So, I was not particularly accustomed to it.
So, here are some pictures from my first three days in this intriguing Andalusian city.