Cosas de Sevilla #5 and #6, Fall 2017
Dear Friends and Family of The Texas Tech University Center in Sevilla,
¡Hola again from Sevilla! Week five was busy week capped by the weekend trip to the nearby cities of Granada and Córdoba.
Early Friday September 29th the group boarded the bus to head east towards Granada, a city about two and a half hours away from Seville, nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As soon as we arrived we went straight to the Royal Chapel and Cathedral. After the fall of Granada in 1492, Queen Isabel turned the city into the capital of Spain and built impressive monuments like the Royal Chapel; the final resting place for her and her husband Ferdinand. The Cathedral of Granada is attached to the Royal Chapel, and has very unique white painted walls that give a more open feel than other cathedrals.
After those tours we got situated at the hotel and had some free time until our next visit. During that free time most of the students went with Dr. Stratton and Sergio to visit a very unique monastery and then walk up to the famous lookout of San Nicolas from where they could see the Alhambra. We had the opportunity to walk around the downtown area composed of narrow streets which was the old silk market and bought souvenirs such as taracea, hand-crafted wood work, spices and teas.
We had a night tour this year of the palaces of the Alhambra, so we were unable to tour the gardens and grounds. The Alhambra was a Moorish fortified city situated on a strategic hill top, but today is a massive tourist attraction.
We visited the most important part of the Alhambra, the Nasrid Palaces and walked through the numerous courtyards and rooms making up the palace. Elaborate geometrical designs and floral patterns decorate the walls and ceilings. We finally made it back to the hotel after midnight and, although tired, it was a great visit the enchanting mountain city of Granada.
The next day, Saturday, we boarded the bus around 10:00 to head to Córdoba, a city of about 200,000 people, also in the region of Andalucia, like Granada and Sevilla. Our first stop, the famous Mezquita, originally built as a mosque on top of a Visigoth Church in the 8th century. A dizzying number of red and white double horseshoe arches architectural structures makes you feel as if you were in a forest of columns. After the reconquest of Córdoba, Christian rulers converted the building into a Cathedral, and to this day it is officially the Cathedral of Córdoba, although it is familiarly known as the Mezquita, or mosque.
After the Mezquita visit, a portion of the group stuck together and ventured over to the synagogue, one of only three medieval synagogues left in Spain. In medieval times Córdoba was regarded as the cultural headquarters of the world and a place where Muslim, Christian and Jewish cultures all flourished. We were able to get a feel for this with the combination of places we visited. The group then enjoyed some free time in Córdoba to shop for local handicrafts such as locally made silver filigree jewellery and hand-made leather goods. After lunch, everyone boarded the bus to make it back to Sevilla.
Before the trip, at The TTU Center in Sevilla, Wednesday evening was one of the semester fun activities, students having a unique opportunity to spend one evening a week with “tutors”. This activity has been a great opportunity for our students to meet Spaniards their own age and practice the language they study in the classroom. Some have made strong friendships with their tutors and will continue to meet, not just to practice Spanish, but to have a good time as well. This will happen every other Wednesday for the entire semester.
Week 6 was a four day week of classes. This was the first three day weekend for the students and many took advantage of it to travel to Brussels, Paris, Zurich and Amsterdam. A few students took advantage of the weekend to relax and enjoy a nice weekend in Sevilla.
I will try to attach a picture from the lookout in Granada.
¡Hasta la próxima!