It is finally time for spring break here in Spain, and I could not be more thrilled. I have 11 days of class and am so excited to be gallivanting throughout the south of Spain. One of the best aspects of this country is the diversity and uniqueness of each city. I especially love the cities Córdoba and Granada, in the southern region of Andalusia. This area of Spain has a very “eastern feel” since it was under the control of Arab tribes for years. I personally love eastern culture, specifically its artistry and cuisine. I am studying the history of Spain with a concentration on its art, which has only augmented my enthusiasm for this excursion through the south. I was more ready than ever for this experience, and it has exceeded my expectations.
The highlight of my time in Córdoba was the mosque. It was constructed in the 8th century when the Muslims were in the peak of their power in Spain. From an art perspective, this building is an absolute marvel. My friends and I arrived in the morning to be greeted by a sunny patio filled with orange trees and flowing fountains. Upon walking inside we were taken aback by the grandiose interior. We were bombarded with beautiful colors shining through stained glass windows, and red and white arcs supported by marble columns in every direction. It was one of the most impressive places I have ever seen. We meandered through the columns and gawked at the impressive artwork, adorned with gold and vibrant colors, on each inch of the buildings. The interesting aspect of the building is that once the Christians came back to power in Spain, the ruler decided he wanted his cathedral in the middle of the mosque. So we also had the opportunity to pray in the pews of the cathedral!