Two advil and a quick stop for a tensor bandage and we were off exploring. I love just being able to walk around these wonderful European cities, they have so much history and so much life to them. Between school and the books I love to read (especially historical romances) my imaginings don’t live up to the actual castles and history that we saw today. I think my mouth was open all day.
The Seville Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the world. It sits on a large boulevard and lovely square where you can just picture the many pageants and celebrations that have taken place over its 1000+ year history. Right now it is getting ready for Easter and everything is being polished. The Silver Altar had 3 men hanging from ropes madly polishing it to get it ready for the Holy Week celebrations.
In 1172 a mosque was originally built on this site. The Giralda bell tower was originally the minaret, built in 1184, 5 times a day the muezzin had to climb the tower to call the faithful to prayer. At over 343 feet high, this minaret/tower had ramps installed instead of stairs so that the muezzin could ride a wee donkey up. I must admit I was very thankful for the ramp. I managed to make it up and down without the help of a donkey.
The cathedral is also famous for having the tomb of Christopher Columbus. I don’t know why but I actually teared up when I saw his tomb, he was a hero to us as we went through our Grade 8 history lessons.
There is still a lot of controversy regarding his tomb or actually the bones in the tomb. The Dominican Republic insists that they still have Columbus. Spain did a DNA comparison of their bones with Columbus’s son who is buried in Spain and they came up as a perfect match. And to add further controversy to Columbus they are now doing DNA testing to see if he was actually Pedro Ataíde. Supposedly the story goes that Portugal couldn’t afford to do anymore exploring so the King, sent him off to Spain under the name Christopher Columbus with a totally changed history, including the fact that he was a good Catholic rather than Jewish. Spain had just kicked out all the Jewish people and confiscated their treasures, which is why they had the resources to do so much exploring. Yes I love this stuff, now someone just needs to write a book with a beautiful strong heroine in it. 🙂
Our next tour was of the Real Alcazar. The Royal Palace, where King Felipe VI and the royal family are allowed to reside when in town. According to our tour guide, the royal family isn’t overly loved by the people anymore and because of the huge revenue loss it is preferred that they don’t ever use the Real Alcazar as it would have to be closed to the public. Once again it was built on the ruins of a muslim fortress. A more current fact about the Real Alcazar is that it was used as Dorne from the Game of Thrones. The palace is still opulent, with beautiful tile work and amazing gardens.
Touring is exhausting, next stop was for a wee gin and tonic and a rest for our legs before we start the walk home. Instead of taking the short way home we decide to take a walk through the old Jewish centre. The streets are so narrow that you could reach out your window and pass a beer to the apartment on the other side. Now they are full of little cafes and bright colourful shops. Yes we did get lost. You could barely see the sky so had no idea of what direction we were going. We also in the middle of nowhere came across some more Roman Ruins, lol every corner you turned there was something. Luckily we did find a restaurant, San Marco, for dinner and took a picture of it so we could gps it, otherwise we would never find it again. The atmosphere was wonderful and the food was great. FYI the salad appetizers were big enough to feed a family. The walk home was lovely with all the old buildings lite up, I must say that Seville does a wonderful job of keeping their historical buildings in such good repair. 20000+ steps and I was ready for my bed.