June 1-5, 2014

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Opportunity to see parts of Cordoba such as the Jewish Quarter. Walk through the old Jewish quarter and visit one of the three remaining Medieval Synagogues surviving in Spain.

Moses Maimonides 1135 - 1204






Western wall of the Synagogue of Córdoba

The Tower of Calahorra to one side of the Roman Bridge



Cordoba was the political and intellectual center of Andalusia from the 8th to the 12th Centuries. It was the home of the Umayyad Caliphs and it was the largest city in Western Europe at that time. While in the 11th century Paris was the largest city in Northern Europe with a population of 25,00 and London had a population of 10,000, Cordoba was a thriving city of over 250,000. Cordoba’s architectural jewel is the Great Mosque began by Abd-el-Rahman in the 8th century and completed by Almanzor in the 11th Century.

Floor Plan


We will also see the Alcazar, Roman Bridge, and the Plaza de la Corredera.





Located on the banks of the River Guadalquivir, there has been a settlement near the site of modern Sevilla since the 9th Century BC.

Its location where the river is no longer navigable destined it to be an important link between the Atlantic Ocean and the hinterland of Andalusia. When the Romans arrived in the Peninsula in 206 BC (and stayed for 700 years) during the 2nd Punic War, they founded the colony of Itálica, 5 miles north of present day Sevilla. Itálica later became the birthplace of the Emperors Trajan and Hadrian. While most of the archaeological treasures are now in Seville, the site is worth visiting. The most important remaining site is that of the Amphitheatre, with its seating capacity of 25,000. The Romans also rebuilt the site of Ancient Seville, which took the name Hispalis and became one of the most important cities in the Roman World. In 426, Seville was captured by Germans, it remained a part of the Visigoth Kingdom until the arrival of the Moors in 711 who turned it into one of the Jewels of Andalusia. It remained under Moorish control until it was re- conquered by the Christian King Fernando III in 1248.

The 550 year Moorish occupation is very evident in the Seville of today.

Among the sites we will visit as a group are:

The Sevilla Cathedral and La Giralda. The Cathedral occupies where the 12th Century Great Mosque of the Almohads once stood. The great Gothic Church, one of the largest in the world was begun in 1401.

The cathedral has a wonderful art collection and claims to house the tomb of Columbus:


La Giralda,which now serves as the bell tower for the Cathedral is with thePatio of the Oranges,is all that survives of the 12th century mosque. For those with the energy, a climb to the top of the Giralda provides a magnificent view of the city.


Reales Alcázares or Royal Palace is Seville’s oldest and most historic palace complex.

Alcazar aerial view

Entrance gate to Alcazar

The site was occupied even before the arrival of the Romans. Parts of the current complex were constructed in the early 10th century during the Moorish period when is became a royal residence. At that time Seville was the cultural center and most prosperous city in Moorish Spain. During the Almohad period (1147-1237), the Alcázar was home to the rulers of a vast empire. After 1248 it became a residence of the Christian kings. The greatest addition during the Christian era was during the reign of Pedro I (1350-69). In 1362 Pedro ordered the construction of a royal residence within the palace complex. The result was a masterpiece of Mudéjar art and architecture possibly only surpassed by the Alhambra in Granada.


Palace of Pedro I

Patio of the daughters


Ceiling of the hall of the ambassadors

Gardens of Alcazar


Mudejar celling

Mudejar walls

Plaza de España, built in 1929 as part of an Exposition be revitalize Spain’s role in Europe.



View of Giralda from Jewish quarter

Archive of the Indias. Built between 1584-98, it was originally a merchant exchange.

The University, formally the 18th century Royal Tobacco Factory, where three-quarters of Europe's cigars were manufactured.
It was also where Bizet worked on his famous Carmen opera.

Torre de Oro

Seville Art Museum


Puerta de Jerez

The Puerta de Jerez is a city square in Seville. Its name comes from the old Jerez door, one of the entrances of the walls of Seville to the city, It is a natural access to the historic area of the city, where it empties the Constitution Avenue and San Fernando Street . It also has direct access to the river through the gardens of Queen Christina , the walk of Queen Christina and Calle Almirante Lobo.
Today it is almost entirely a pedestrian area. In front of the palace of San Telmo, next to Cristina building, is located a Metro station, "Puerta Jerez" station, on Line 1 of Metro de Sevilla.

17th century city hall


Jerez de la Frontera is in southwestern Spain, with a population of 209,000, is internationally known for its sherry wine production as well as its horses.

Jerez de la Frontera’s origin dates to the Phoenicians and rose to importance under the Moors because of it strategic frontier location. The impressive Alcazar (fortress) is a reminder of the town’s strategic and military importance:


During the 12th century Almohade periods the town grew dramatically with the building of city walls and the Alcazar/fortress, several Christian attempts to capture the city were unsuccessful. The Castilian King Alfonso X finally captured Jerez in 1264 and converted the city mosques to churches.

The Jerez area was famous for its wine production since Phoenician times, which was greatly expanded following the Christian reconquest and the1492 New World discovery that opened new markets. Jerez became particularly famous for its outstanding Sherry (the English word Sherry derive from Jerez), which by the 16th century had the reputation of being one of the world’s finest wines. In 1587 Sir Francis Drake brought 2,900 barrels of Sherry back to England increasing the popularity of Sherry among the British.


Jerez is also the home of famous horses they have bred for centuries. Today this rare and noble breed of horses may be seen at the Palacio Duque de Abrantes, home of the "Royal Andalusian Riding School", where dressage demonstrations are presented.



Between the Atlantic coast to the west and the Ronda Mountains to the east are a cluster of beautiful mountain villages known to the Spanish as, "Los Pueblos Blancos", the white villages. Every year the houses are meticulously whitewashed to provide a contrast to the brightly colored flowers which fill the streets.


Most of these villages were founded by Berber tribes who settled the area during the eight centuries of Moorish occupation. They were hill farmers and the land that they settled in Andalucía was similar to what they left behind in North Africa. Because of the constant threat of attack they chose sites high and easy to defend.

Ronda is a little town situated high in the Serranía de Ronda Mountains 698m above sea level.

Its nearly impregnable position kept the Christian forces at bay until 1485. Today its main attraction is the deep Tagus Gorge which is spanned by three bridges over the Guadelevín River.

On both sides of it you can see houses clinging to the cliffs that look as though they might fall into the chasm at any time.

The town of Ronda and its surrounding mountains were legendary hideouts for bandits and smugglers. The El Tajo, a 100m ravine divides Ronda into two distinct parts: La Ciudad is to the south and is the Moorish Old Town with a labyrinth of streets and alleyways.