Today we saw two of Spain's show stoppers, first Seville's Alcazar. It was originally founded as a fort in 913 and was expanded and rebuilt many times in its 11 centuries of existence. In the 1480's the Catholic Monarch, Fernando and Isabella set up court here. This was Spain's golden age and in these rooms historic characters the likes of Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci planned their trips of discovery. We spent a few hours exploring the various rooms and secret gardens before heading for Cordoba for the night.
Our hotel is called the Conquistador and is opposite the Mezquita situated in the pedestrianised historic zone and our room overlooks the Mezquita wall. Cordoba's heyday was from 912-61 and it was the biggest city in Western Europe with dazzling mosques, libraries, observatories and aqueducts. It also had a multicultural court frequented by Jewish, Arab and Christian scholars. The Mezquita is amazing with endless columns and arches. It was founded as a Mosque in 785 on the site of a Visigoth church. It is now a cathedral which was built in the middle of the mosque in the 16th century. At one time it was the biggest Mosque in the world and had 1293 columns, today 856 remain. Cordoba has a interesting Jewish quarter, a maze of narrow streets and whitewashed buildings which are very easy to get lost in. We had a wonderful tapas meal for dinner.