Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Alcazar of Cordoba, where Isabella and Ferdinand tortured everybody

Our last morning in Cordoba, before the patios, we headed first to the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, or the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs. Also known as the Alcazar of Cordoba. Apparently everything in Spain has 3000 names. We went early because it was free from 8:30-10:30, so we got there around 8:30.

This specific palace was a Medieval palace. It was built by Alfonso XI of Castile, beginning in 1328, during Visigoth times, along the Roman wall.. It's probably most famous because it was one of the primary residences of Isabella and Ferdinand. They donated the palace to the Inquisition in 1482. It was central in the discovery of "false converts" throughout the Inquisition and was one of the first permanent tribunals of the Inquisition. The baths and other parts were converted into torture chambers and interrogation chambers.

More and more I'm realizing how limited our learning of Isabella and Ferdinand was growing up. I mean, yes, they funded Colombus' travels to the Americas, but they were also responsible for the murder and exile of an alarming number of people.

It also housed Napoleon's troops in 1810. It became a prison later, until it finally became a historical monument in the 1900s.

Rick Steves described it was "overrated." I would describe it as "beautiful" and "interesting" and "wonderful."

There were a lot of Lord of the Rings-esque statues throughout the gardens and palace.

 You could climb the tower, which we did first. It was already quite hot.

 There were a large number of pigeons hiding out throughout the palace.

The view was lovely!
 The view was lovely in the other direction, too!
 And this direction!

 Overlooking the gardens of the palace.
 There is a pigeon hanging out in that hole.

 There's a pigeon who is not hiding. Probably because he was too fat to hide.

 A Roman sarcophagus
 A mosaic of the ocean, according to the sign

 Roman mosaics

The remains of the 10th century royal baths.

 The gardens.

The tower from the gardens.

 It's just so pretty!

Adrienne. Notice how the picture is normally centered.

 Me posing like the statue.

 Adrienne cutting me off to annoy me.
 Oh look, you can barely see the top of my head. Adrienne is continuing to try to annoy me. I will not be annoyed!


 There's Aragorn, son of Arathorn.

 There's a tree, cut out like a house.

 A statue of two people getting married.

 Adrienne and Anna grabbing the giant vase.

 A mosaic in the fountain!
 I mean, how could someone look at this and think "This is overrated." Rick Steves, occasionally you are an idiot.

Ok, that's harsh. But you judged the palace harshly, I shall judge you in return.

 But seriously...

 It's just so lovely!

 There were little pieces of beauty everywhere!
 And this wonderful wall.
Also, there were barely any people there visiting, which made it much more enjoyable because we could easily see everything! It was so nice!

And that is the final blog about Cordoba. Now on to my 4th city of the trip, Seville!

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