Wednesday, September 21, 2011

El Alcazar translates to "most amazing palace ever"

Hola! Estas 23:44 in Sevilla. (Hi! It's 11:44 PM in Sevilla) I am already exhausted from this week, and it's just started. It's been great though- I've made some friends who are all working in Grenada, which isn't that close, but at least I'm not a loner in the corner. Actually, that's not true. I'm in the corner with my friends. We had a tapas party tonight to meet other people in the towns, and we all just took the time to talk and get to know each other. It should be fun to see how we keep in touch and see each other. I guess that means we need to get cell phones soon!

Sevilla is beautiful. I'm staying in an amazing neighborhood, and when I walk to class or orientation, I get to walk past amazing buildings and fountains. If I knew what they all were, and the history, it'd be even cooler, but I'm not complaining. To start my history of Spain learning, I went to the Alcazar with a group of CIEE kids.

It was beyond amazing. The Alcazar was first built in the 9th century AD and it's the oldest royal residence in Europe because Rey Juan Carlos still stays there with his family when he's in Sevilla. It's been added onto and renovated as different powers and rulers lived there, but it has a lot of Moorish influence. Cool fact I learned: the Muslims used the color green to represent God, so there was lots of green in the decorations. I also learned that Sevilla was once the only gateway to the Americas! It's so weird to think about how far things have come. I'm having lots of "I can't believe I'm actually in Spain" moments, so expect to hear about them.

I'm sure you don't actually want to just hear about this place, so here are my favorite pictures from the trip:

The Puerto del Leon, entrance into Alcazar
An original arch from the 9th century Moorish palace.

Walking up to the main rooms. See how every section is different?

View of "los jardines" from a walkway on the wall.

One of the private rooms I believe.

View from courtyard into private rooms.

I love this courtyard! Apparently a Spanish Rey covered it up and turned it into a "salon de baile"

Arches in the private rooms

This is in the part built by the Catholic royalty. I don't think that this was a chapel, but I  could be wrong..

A door in one of the courtyards...

Me and the Alcazar are tight now.
I have 124 pictures from 1 trip, so if you want to see more, I'm sure you can.

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