Coming to Spain has taught me that a single country can hold so much history. After taking courses like culture and society of Spain, international relations, and art history of Spain, I am now aware that the influence of three cultures in today’s Spain has been introduces centuries ago.
As taught in my class, Spain’s history began in the early 8th century. From the Romans, to Visigoth, to the Moorish. Today, Spain’s three cultures include the Catholics, the Muslims, and the Jews who share a strong faith in religion, but don’t share the same religion.
When you step foot into the Mezquita you can’t help but notice the tremendous roman influence. The Mezquita was built in the 8th century, this was a Mosque yet was later turned into a catholic church. It is most known for it’s arches that are red and white today. I enjoyed wandering the area, and was surprised to see how different it was than previous Moorish buildings I’ve been to. It was surrounded with new renovations that included stained glass windows and art work which wasn’t originally there. It was uncomfortable knowing that La Mezquita was stripped inside out and transformed into a church, yet I was happy to know that certain Islamic aspects of it were preserved.
Light in the Mezquita
Wandering away from the group was my favorite part. I began to explore the different art work that is spread throughout the mosque. I came across a beautiful ray of light that shined through a stained glass window. I stood under the spotlight and made a selfish wish. A wish to gradually increase my knowledge and one day be the smartest I can be.
The Mezquita was divided in three parts, the oldest is the mosque and the newest was a cathedral built in the 16th century. Stepping foot into the cathedral was a shock since the Mezquita was dark and closed, as opposed to how tall and open the cathedral was. Of all the cathedrals I have seen in Spain, this one wasn’t particuarly as large. I enjoyed the gold, white and silvered bronze architecture that complimented the Jesus on the cross. It was amazing to know that the divide was sharp yet, so similar in many ways.
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
My exploration ended with a visit to the gardens outside the mezquita. During this time I began to think about the influence that still survives in certain cities in southern Spain. Like my visit to Granada, the art that surrounded the area within the city continued to show it’s arabesque influence.
I enjoyed the walk along the gardens and I was happy to notice the same palm trees I see in Sevilla. The sun shined so beautiful on the building, into the distance you can see how the birds fly across and stand on top of the building. I was very happy for my last cultural visit, I was left with the impression that many of these surrounding buildings are filled with such rich history.