Yesterday we went to Sevilla located in the South of Spain which was a two hour drive from our hotel. We learned many interesting facts from our amigo, Jamie (Pronounced Hi – May).
We learned about when first the Romans ruled, then the Moors ruled, then the Christians ruled. When we walked around the neighborhoods it started raining. We were talking about what the Roman cities had looked like. I learned that the cities had a hard square wall to keep people in the city so they felt like they truly belonged there. The wall was also used to be sure that whomever entered had to pay taxes. Also, in the Roman cities, there was a central city and many streets. Its streets were built like a grid system. After the Romans, came the Moors. The Moors took over Spain in 711 AD. When the Moors took over they started destroying all the Roman cities and building new ones that made pretty much no sense at all, in my opinion. The cities were built with tall, hard circular walls to defend themselves if any other Moors tried to attack their city. The roads especially had no meaning. All of them were windy and curvy and most likely would’ve made me a little carriage sick. Our guide says that they are for privacy so no one knows anything too personal about you, with twists and turns every few feet and no big open spaces. The roads can also be used for safety because if someone is chasing you, you can run away from them and since some roads overlap you could run on one street and maybe the bad guy would run and look on another street. After the Moors ruled, the Christians took over and defeated the Moors. The Moors lasted until 1492 (in Granada, see Brayden’s blog about the Alhambra).
The next place we visited in Sevilla was the Alcazar. The entrance of the Alcazar was a garden walkway telling you that the people who live at the Alcazar must be rich. Gigantic leaves stop the rain from falling on you and at times, block the sun. Fluorescent flowers fill your mind of all the rich beauty inside just waiting to be seen. All of this just makes you want to sit down and sketch the loveliness you see, whether it be above you, below you, or even around you. As you approach the castle you feel an emotion building up inside you. You’re ready to dance with joy because of everything you see. A huge castle so beautiful you couldn’t have imagined it to be so. It’s actually an old and run down building. I love that style. Our guide started to explain to us what the difference between an Alcazar (where we were), and an Alcazaba (a Muslim fortress) like the Alhambra. The difference is (drumroll please) the Alcazar is a place for only the king and his soldiers for his own safety but the Alhambra was meant for the king, his soldiers, and villagers, too! It is more like a walled village than just a castle for the king.
Did you know that the first king that stayed at the Alcazar stayed there somewhere around 900 AD? The Alcazar took ten years to build and you can imagine that they didn’t have modern technology like we do today so, every thing had to be done by hand perfectly and precisely.
While learning and thinking all about the Alcazar, we learned all about the different Muslims who came to Spain like the Moors, Arabs, and Syrians (which are all different types of Muslims). We learned that Moors are the largest of the Muslim’s population, but they are barely educated. The Arabs, not too many of them around, are highly educated and Syrians are A+++ educated. So, the Syrians decided to teach and the Arabs handled the Mosques, and… well, the Moors were just fighting soldiers who fought each other.
Then, we went to the place where Christopher Columbus was buried inside a Gothic Cathedral in Sevilla and also learn about Magellan. Wow! To see the ‘grave’ of the man that came from Spain to discover the place I was born, raised, and still being raised, and taught. Interestingly enough his ‘grave’ is carried by four bronze men making him look like he is a king being coronated in his throne except lying down and covered. Nothing too interesting.
Yes… the last spot. WE GOT TO RESTORE AND SEE HOW TO RESTORE PAINTINGS! This was, in my opinion, the best part of Spain. We got to clean a painting (not the whole thing though, that would have taken a month) from the 17th century. It was amazing how dirty a painting could get. Now this was all about the experience so don’t be on the lookout for facts because there aren’t any. It was super funny because Mom kept saying, “DON’T TOUCH!”, “STOP!”, “YIKES!”, in a voice that made her seem like she was squealing or she would open her eyes wide as if she was telling us “on the count of three get your fingers away from that,” but the thing is she just wanted Brayden and me to be careful. So, we were careful.
Long, lot of fun day. Yesterday was AMAZING!!!!