The history of modern Spain is complex. Over periods encompassing many centuries, battles on the Iberian Peninsula for land and power raged between Christians and Muslims. Often conflicts also occurred between Christians as well as among different groups of Muslims.
Food, celebrations, cultural influences, and other facets of life blended or changed. As the powerful changed, so did the architecture of the day.
The period between 711 AD and 1492 AD is a time of significant upheaval in Spain. The architecture of this period reflects this turbulence in Andalucía in southern Spain. There the new architecture often built onto that of preceding rulers.
This story is about the architectural influences in southern Spain.
I find it fascinating that through remnants of past civilizations, archaeologists, sociologists, and historians can piece together, interpret, and explain how our ancient ancestors lived and impacted present civilization. Today we record so much about our history and what’s happening in our lives. But in many cases in the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea we still seek to reveal the mysteries of great ancient civilizations.
Throughout my explorations in Europe it has been easy to see that the Romans have been there! And I have only scratched the surface with my stories about Pula in Croatia, Tuln in Austria, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Cluj-Napoca in Romania, Cordoba in Spain, and in Malta.
I was delighted that I found not only remnants of Roman society from the 1st century BC in Cadiz but also excellent artifacts left by ancient Phoenicians beginning in the 6th and 7th centuries BC. This story is about my memories of the Phoenician settlement of “Gadir,” the Roman town of “Gades,” the Moor city “Qādis” (Arabic from which the name Cadiz is derived) and “Old Town” Cadiz.
This week I returned to Mijas Pueblo, Spain on the Costa del Sol near the Mediterranean Sea. Last year I “wintered” in this small village that is perched on a mountainside overlooking the city of Fuengirola and the valley leading to the sea. When I left Mijas in March, I reflected that I felt like it was “home” to me.
I established several relationships with people living in the Mijas community last winter and I felt that in many aspects I became interested in things that occupy the minds of the residents. If you follow my blog you also know that I had exceptional experiences over the spring and summer months in Austria. But I am happy to return to Mijas Pueblo and on the very first day found myself comfortably fitting in!
After stopping by the rental office and retrieving a bag I had left there, I found myself reconnecting. I once again went to Bella Vista, my favorite small cafe on the Avenida de Mejico leading into the pueblo. Bruno works there and he recognized me, we greeted each other, and in Spanish asked if I wanted my usual… pitufa con tomate, zumo de narajna, y té. Of course!! And then yesterday near my favorite grocery store I found one of the black cats that was a kitten last year.
It is nice to be home for the winter months. I am planning to explore more this winter than I did last year and have been identifying places that I will venture to from my home base in Mijas. As I conduct my explorations, I will post about them here in my blog. As always, if there are things you would like me to write about in my explorations, just email me or, like Peter and Linda, plan a trip to come visit!