Cordoba | La Mezquita Mihrab

Cordoba | La Mezquita Mihrab

La Mezquita in Cordoba is a fascinating building – the site was originally the location of a small temple, which was divided into Muslim and Christian halves when the Muslims conquered Spain in the 700s. The Christian half was eventually purchased a few decades later and the entire structure was demolished, to be replaced by the grand mosque of Cordoba. When Cordoba returned to Christian rule in the 1200s, it was converted back into a church, and a cathedral was built in the middle in the 16th century.

The result is stunning – the mosque architecture is simple arches on tall columns, but the effect is mesmerizing. The building just seems to go on forever! The Mihrab at the back of the mosque, indicating the direction of Mecca, is particularly stunning as you can see in this shot.

Charles V, the King of Castile and Aragon who granted permission to build the cathedral inside the mosque, famously said “they have taken something unique in all the world and destroyed it to build something you can find in any city” when he saw the end result – in a way I agree with him, but the building is still stunning!

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Seville | Courtyard of the Maidens

Seville | Courtyard of the Maidens

The Alcazar in Seville is a former royal palace built by the Moorish Muslim kings.  Today it’s one of the city’s major tourist attractions and draws thousands of people every day – there’s a huge line to get in, and once inside there are crowds in every room.  Probably not what the kings had in mind when they built it!  There are so many people that it unfortunately detracts from the experience.  It’s still a beautiful site with amazing gardens though – this is a view of the Courtyard of the Maidens.

Seville | Plaza de España Blue Hour

Seville | Plaza de España Blue Hour

Seville’s Plaza de España was built in 1928 for the 1929 World Expo, which was hosted in the adjacent park. The Plaza was used as a place to exhibit Spain’s industry; today the buildings are mainly occupied by government departments. All around the Plaza are little alcoves with beautiful tiles depicting each province of Spain.

This picture was taken during blue hour, after the sun had set but before the sky was completely dark. I used a Hoya NDX400 “black glass” filter (9 stops) and a 2 minute exposure for this shot.

Granada | Alhambra – Patio de la Acequia

Granada | Alhambra - Patio de la Acequia

This is a view of the Patio de la Acequia, one of the beautiful gardens in the Alhambra.  It’s actually located in the Generalife, which was a summer palace used by the Nasrid rulers at the time.  The water supply was particularly interesting to me (as an engineer!) since it all comes from one source and was then distributed around the palace.