Rick: Okay so he's running around… But of course, there is the recent phenomenon of Spanish Muslims as well. The portraits of Isabella and Ferdinand are vital and realistic. There are about 700,000 Muslims in Spain, and that includes nearly 10 percent of Granada's residents. Our stress-free Spain and Portugal vacations package together small groups, great guides, central hotels, all sightseeing — and memories to last a lifetime. Tucked into a bend of its river, Córdoba has a glorious past. As Christian forces pushed the Moors further and further south, this palace was the last hurrah of a sophisticated civilization. The biggest float, slathered in gold leaf, shows the sentencing of Christ. The tower offers a brief recap of the city's history — sitting on a Roman foundation, a long Moorish period capped by the Christian age. ... Tell me more about what you are hoping to see or do in Spain and I may be able to give more ideas. At Rick Steves’ Europe, we have two things in abundance: a passion for providing practical information for better travels, and talented people on our staff. Enjoy all of Rick Steves' TV shows on DVD, Travel as a Political Act as an 8-CD audio book, music from Rick Steves' European Christmas on CD, and special DVD/book gift sets! The flying buttresses were added to shore up the church after it was weakened by an earthquake in 1696. Buenos días. This restaurant has since closed (its owners have retired). Church bells ring not only a call to prayer, but a call to fiesta. Concepción: These orange trees are great for shade. The Moors left a distinct mark on Andalusian culture. Here, Semana Santa is an epic event that stirs the soul and captivates all who participate. Feeds 48 hungry vacationers. Adjust recipe measurements accordingly. And by merging Aragon and Castile, they founded what became modern Spain. Nowhere else does the splendor of that civilization, Al-Andalus, shine so brightly. This campaign was called the Reconquista. Malik: Yes — Moroccans, Algerians, Turks, Pakistanis. Flamenco guitarists, with their lightning-fast finger-roll strums, are among the best in the world. Muslim rule stretched as far as France. Nerja's castle was part of a 16th-century lookout system. That afternoon, the Christians set up their portable road altar and celebrated the first Mass in what would later become this glorious cathedral. Rick Steves' Europe. This one of my favorite shops. Located in the southwest corner of Europe, Spain dominates the Iberian Peninsula. Each striped tent is a private party zone of a family, club, or association. Sometimes you hardly hear the priest. A handy minibus service loops from downtown through Spain's best old Moorish quarter, the Albayzín. And back downtown, Granada's cathedral facade — also built shortly after the re-conquest — declares triumph as well. They ruled Spain for five centuries, inspiring a Europe-wide crusade among Christians to reconquer this land. For a time near the end of its Moorish period, Granada was the grandest city in all of Spain. Its southern province is Andalucía. Isabel: Well, that's what most of the people think. Driving is tricky — it's a one-way system; if you miss your hotel, you'll drive all around again. Málaga, the major city of the coast, is a good place to pass through. Artists such as Francisco de Zurbarán combined realism with mysticism. Rick Steves' Europe. The Moors built its spiraling ramp to accommodate a rider on horseback — somebody climbed this tower five times a day to call Sevilla's Muslims to prayer. Ask about seasonal specialties. The easiest is the Granada Card sightseeing pass, which covers other sights and may score you a reservation when the main website may be sold out. I'm posting new content all the time about Europe's top destinations and tips to help you have a smarter, happier trip. Start a New Topic. While capitalizing on the holiday culture, Nerja has retained some of its charm. Thankfully, the most important religious art was rescued and hung safely here in this convent-turned-museum. And the region's leading city is Sevilla. We start in Granada, enjoy Nerja on the Costa del Sol, and finish in Córdoba. Rick: This is your caseta? Add a few gallons of stock, and bring to a boil. The Moors made great gains in engineering, medicine, and even classical Greek studies. Because she's a busy mom of two young kids, Concepción sometimes sends her equally excellent colleagues Alfonso and Mercedes to lead these tours. With crystal teardrops her beautiful expression — halfway between ecstasy and sorrow — touches pilgrims. It was done at the height of his career, when stark realism was all the rage. Rick: How Andalus. From the St. Nicolás Terrace, as the sun sets, locals and visitors alike enjoy both a historical backdrop and a convivial moment. In the 16th century, Sevilla's Golden Age was powered by New World riches. Isabel: It lives in the countryside. Explore Spain! As the Muslims were slowly pushed back into North Africa, the towns really lost any of their strategic importance and they just lost [laugh]. The royal tombs are Renaissance in style. I find this strip of Mediterranean coastline generally overbuilt and very commercialized. Order a drink, tip them, settle in, and consider it a concert. A century or so later — just after Columbus' New World discoveries — Queen Isabel built a more European style wing to the palace. Los Gallos has a cozier setting than venues like El Arenal, with cushy rather than hard chairs, and is cheaper and less pretentious. But if you were really interested, that movement would tell him something, don't you think? It's what conquering civilizations do: build their palace atop their foe's palace. During their rule, Christians, Jews, and Muslims shared the city peacefully. Towns like Arcos, with "de la Frontera" in their names, were established on the frontier that was on the front lines during the centuries-long fight to take Spain back from the Muslims. It's less crowded late in the day — but note that the last tour of the Royal Apartments departs at 13:30. We just use them for vitamins, perfume, or that kind of marmalade the British like... Hi, I'm Rick Steves…back with more of the Best of Europe. see our FAQ. She's a 17th-century doll — complete with articulated arms, and human hair — she's even dressed with underclothes. Andalucía's Moorish heritage sparkles in the historic capitals of Granada and Córdoba. Explore Spain's best old Moorish quarter, with countless colorful corners, flowery patios, and shady lanes. After the jamón ibérico, the plates just keep on coming. Serious concerts: My recommended concerts are careful to give you a good overview of the art form, covering all the flamenco bases. In fact, reliefs show the eventual forced conversion of Granada's Moors shortly after the Reconquista. Cool and inviting family courtyards are typical of Arcos. 00. Verified Purchase. I hope you've enjoyed our taste of Sevilla and Andalucía. Viewpoint-hop through town. This bluff, jutting jauntily into the sea, overlooks miles of coastline. In the evening, in the hilly Sacromonte district, Gypsy families entertain tourists with colorful folkloric shows. The Virgin's cape seems to protect everyone under it — even the Indians. In the raspy-voiced wails of the singers you'll hear echoes of the Muslim call to prayer — an evocative reminder of centuries of Moorish rule. Now it's a people-friendly view terrace. Grand gates lead to the courtyard. And some of our most vocal opponents are now our best friends, because they appreciate what we are doing and who we are. In the 17th century, all that money made the city an important center of arts and culture. The Golden Tower was the starting and ending point for trade with the New World. Then wander through the mysterious back streets. +952-522-289). We’re living in a time when groups who consider themselves “nations without states” are making bold moves for independence. Rather than exhausting, the museum is pleasantly enjoyable. Sevilla was Spain's commercial and material capital — its New York City, while Madrid was a newly built center of government, like Washington, D.C. Filled with precious goods — salt, silver, spices, and silk — it was protected within 10 fortified gates. But some minarets survived as church bell towers. Exhibits call up the era of Columbus and Spain's New World dominance. Rick Steves' Europe. Rick: So Jews, Christians, and Muslims, all living together peacefully here? But decorating with religious messages is fine. St. Mary of the Good Winds was the patron saint of navigators and a favorite of Columbus. According to legend, one morning Muslims said their last prayers in the great mosque. Written and hosted by best-selling guidebook author Rick Steves, each half-hour show takes viewers to Europe's most interesting places, from great cities to off-the-beaten-path discoveries. In the Barrio Santa Cruz is La Casa del Flamenco, which is a delightful arcaded courtyard that has nightly shows in the spring through summer. The intimate Dolls' Court was the king's living quarters. Rick: It's living well. Sevilla does festivals with gusto. The painting is called The Immaculate Conception, one of dozens Murillo painted on this subject. Isabel: This is a special jamón. From there, we travel to Arcos de la Frontera. This last and greatest Moorish palace is one of Europe's top sights. Title Author Replies Last Post ; Another Question: Canada or Mexico? Enjoying life with abandon comes easy here in the south of Spain. 4.4 out of 5 stars 75. Start a New Topic. Hi, I'm Rick Steves. Spain's economic Golden Age — the 1500s — blossomed into the golden age of Spanish painting — the 1600s. It honors King Ferdinand III, fondly remembered for freeing Sevilla from the Moors in the 13th century. In fact, each year, many compete and open their patios to the public. In the cool of the early evening, the community comes out and celebrates life on stately yet inviting plazas. Woman: My caseta. While the old wells now generally hold flower pots, they're reminders that these courtyards once functioned as water-catchment systems: They funneled rainwater into a drain in the middle, which filled the well. The wild asparagus dish is just right in springtime, as are the artichokes — here they're served with shrimp. Concepción Delgado, an enthusiastic teacher who's a joy to listen to, takes small groups on English-only walks. This Madonna and Child shows how Murillo wraps everything in warm colors and soft light. This is Sevilla. Rick: Yes. It seems fragile — all silver and candles. Add another pallet if necessary. Muslim Córdoba had hundreds of mosques, but most of them were destroyed. In the year 711, these North African Muslims crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and quickly conquered the Iberian Peninsula, eventually converting most of its inhabitants. In fact, its design is based on a triumphal arch, and it was built over a destroyed mosque. But the charm of Sevilla is best enjoyed in its traditions — like flamenco. Their refreshing gazpacho, a chilled tomato-garlic soup, is a great starter. Adiós. Starting with the shawls that you can see here. This inspirational style fit Spain's spiritual climate during an age when the Catholic Church was waging its Counter-Reformation battle against the Protestant rebellion. Spain. The culture of the Moors was exquisite…artfully combining both design and aesthetics. With this powerful new realm, Spanish royalty were able to finance many great explorers — including Columbus — and establish Spain's Golden Age. You'll pay a bit more, but I can't think of a better way to cap your visit to Granada. Hi, I'm Rick Steves. Attracting up to 8,000 visitors a day, it's the reason most tourists come to Granada. Read more. I hope you've enjoyed our look at some of the highlights of southern Spain. To learn more, we're joined by Malik Basso, a member of Granada's Muslim community. And you’ll see what I mean on the Rick Steves Travel Talks page, where you can watch more than 60 travel classes for free. Isabel: So this beautiful shutter reminds us of the times when the women were hidden from public. Her name is "hope," which is what we all need. And the recent news of the Catalan government pushing to separate from Spain, along with Madrid’s harsh response, has taken many by surprise.The big question for ma They seem to celebrate the humanistic spirit of the Renaissance, and with it, a promising future for Spain. To learn about this tradition without actually supporting it, you can tour Sevilla's Plaza de Toros and checkout its bullfighting museum. Concepción does no tours on Sundays or holidays. The top Spanish artists —Velázquez, Murillo, Zurburán — all called Sevilla home. Complete Video Script. It was decorated Mudéjar below, and Renaissance above. Peek politely into private patios. Whether providing for its 2,000 thirsty residents, masking secret conversations, or just flowing playfully, water was integral to the space the Alhambra created. Constructed in the 1480s, it's composed of hundreds of figures. My Account. Post questions and answers about travel in Spain. Nerja has several well-equipped beaches. The exorcist would stand within this protective circle and cleanse the baby of any evil spirits. Concepcion: Well, not to eat. And relax is what countless expat residents do. Advance tickets are strongly recommended. All that survives of Moorish Sevilla's main mosque is its courtyard of orange trees and a towering minaret. This fine building provided a fitting resting place for Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon, who ruled during the final Reconquista victory. While in Sevilla, they ruled from here…the Alcázar. See the Travel Details above for recommendations highlighted in bold, excerpted from Rick's guidebooks. They never lose their leaves. Locals decorate them with pride. Imagine the city, paved streets, lit at night by running water, piped in lamps powered by oil [laugh]. Feel the wind funnel through the streets as cars inch around tight corners. Sevilla's Semana Santa, or Holy Week celebrations, are the most magnificent in Spain. It was the cultural capital, with over ten times the population of Paris. Rick: What's so special about this particular Mary? Rick Steves' Europe. Others will sit down to a classic Andalusian dinner. Rick: So there are all these traditional things to buy…isn't it just for tourists that they sell these? Spaniards consider Andalucía the home of flamenco. The Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas is considered Zurburán's most beautiful and important work. Whether finding new ways to stay cool, checking out a new dance, learning how the Moors made their mark, appreciating a new artist, or just joining the party, travel shows me how life can be enjoyed to its fullest in ways I haven't even considered. It's the third-largest church in Europe (after St. Peter's in the Vatican, and St. Paul's in London) and the largest Gothic church anywhere. Thank you. Rick Steves, America's leading authority on European travel, returns to transport viewers to the continent's bustling cities, quaint villages and picturesque countryside. Sevilla's passion for religious art is preserved and displayed in its Museum of Fine Art. During the week leading up to Easter, the city is packed with pilgrims witnessing 60 processions carrying about 100 religious floats. The chapel is dedicated to Santa Maria de los Buenos Aires. These are sour orange trees. Travel with Rick on this video guide to Southern Spain and find out what to do on your next trip. Like many along this coast, they actually try not to integrate. ... You should go to Mexico because you already were in Spain for 6 days and you travel infrequently. With all this religiosity, it's no surprise that Sevilla is also famous for letting loose in vibrant festivals — and we're here for the biggest of all: the April Fair. Then, fry up as many pieces of chicken as can fit in the pan. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, They are informative and enjoyable to watch. The towering main altarpiece is covered in gold leaf. They have a stuffy and expensive formal restaurant upstairs, but I'd eat in the more relaxed and affordable tavern on the ground floor. [Laugh] Take 25. Ayo is a very big personality — one of the five kids who discovered the Nerja Caves, formerly a well-known athlete, and now someone who makes it a point to hire hard-to-employ people as a community service. Although you can just show up for Concepción's tours, it's smart to confirm the departure times and reserve a spot. Stir briskly until the rice has become coated with the oils and spices. Like the sultan, we can escape from the palace into what was the most perfect Arabian garden in Andalucía. This one's missing an ear — it was awarded to the matador who also performed well. The Baroque-era choir stalls are made of New World mahogany. Now you could just stare at the pretty colors and textures, but I recommend eating it for the full experience. This huge rectangle dominates the tangled medieval town that surrounds it. Once the grandest city in Spain, its power ebbed and glory faded. Rick: OK. Because of the exclusivity, it has a real family-affair feeling. Natural air-conditioning. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. The paella fires get stoked up at about noon and continue through mid-to-late afternoon. A 100-mile drive back inland takes us to the city of Córdoba. Title Author Replies Last Post ; Easiest way to travel from Barcelona to Mallorca : Today, it has a Deep South feel — a relaxed vibe that seems typical of once-powerful places now past their prime. With exquisite carving, it's considered one of the masterpieces of 18th-century Andalusian Baroque. Here we've got the mantilla. Spanish wine has moved up on the respectability ladder lately. Malik: Well, it was the first mosque built in Granada after the Reconquista. And here, as throughout Andalucía, festivals fill the calendar. From Granada, it's a two-hour drive over the mountains and down into Europe's fun-in-the-sun headquarters: the Costa del Sol. You want a recipe for a wonderful trip? Some of the larger tents are sponsored by the city and open to the public, but the best action is in the streets, where party-goers from the livelier casetas spill out. I'm thankful we're here in late April…beating the brutal heat of the Andalusian summer. Rick Steve's DVD's are some of my favorite travel videos. 12 New Shows 2019-2020. Rick: It feels cool. Just [thumping]. The main church is a reminder of that reconquest. Enjoy the Roma musicians who perform here for tips. This was a Moorish style done by Moorish craftsmen but for Christian rulers after the reconquest. Rick: Refreshing too, on a hot day. Rick: Have you actually seen this one going through the streets? Grab one of a hundred tables under the canopy next to the rustic open-fire cooking zone, and enjoy the beach setting in the shade with a jug of sangria (Playa de Burriana, tel. Blend history, culture, local friends, and great food. Dish out servings daintily, and garnish with a wedge of lemon. Exploring these labyrinthine back lanes and inviting neighborhood squares, you feel the Arab heritage that permeates so much of Andalucía. It held giant hymnals — large enough for all to chant from in an age when there weren't enough for everyone. The explorers Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and Amerigo Vespucci all sailed from right here. A painting in the adjacent treasury takes us back to 1236, when Christians conquered the city and everything changed. From here, wander into Sevilla's pedestrian-zone shopping center — which Spaniards prefer to the suburban mall. A wonder of the medieval world, it's remarkably well-preserved, giving today's visitors a chance to soak up the ambience of Islamic Córdoba in its 10th-century prime. This stone was scavenged from an ancient Roman temple — you can just make out the Latin inscription, and this 2,000-year-old Tree of Life. Isabel: Because the pig lived outside. In the early 1800s, Spain's liberal government disbanded many of the monasteries and convents and secular fanatics were looting the churches. While Granada was the last Moorish capital, the capital through the glory days of Muslim rule was Córdoba. Make up two supposed itineraries, one for Mexico and one for Spain. The mihrab — the focal point of worship in a mosque — was built in the mid-10th century. Fishermen do their thing, while the tourists do theirs. Zurburán presents the miraculous in a believable, down-to-earth way. The Virgin of Macarena is a protector of matadors and the favorite among Sevillanos. 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