Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Isabella I of Castile

After spending a morning at the amazing Mezquita, enjoying a delightful lunch and checking out the cute shops we ventured to the Alcazar, a medieval fortress of the Christian Kings, rebuilt in 1328 by King Alfonso XI. The word Alcázar means palace in Arabic. It was the residence of the Christian Kings when they stayed in Cordoba and was one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Significant historic events were planned in this palace including the discovery of America. It was also the headquarters of the Inquisition and later served as a garrison for Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops in 1810. This intriguing place with a colourful history is now a World Heritage site.

DSCN8999

Battlements surrounding the Alcazar

DSCN9003

King Alfonso XI greets visitors to the Alcazar

DSCN9024

The round tower is the Tower of the Inquisition, added in the 15th century. The Main Tower in front was a place for the Inquisition to carry out its public executions.

DSCN9032

The gardens are a relaxing place to wander, with a wide variety of plants and trees overlooking stone fountains and large ponds

DSCN9053

Well kept gardens

The Moorish style Royal Baths are situated in the basement and are thought to have been built by Alfonso XI. The skylights in the shape of stars provided light and ventilation. The walls were made from hardened clay and some of the original marble floor slabs are still visible.

DSCN9047

Outside entrance to the Royal Bath House

DSCN9049

Entering the bath house in the basement

DSCN9051

Star shaped skylights for light and ventilation

Cordoba6

Inside the bath house. I may be touching a wall Queen Isabella touched.

Interesting 16th-century frescoes hang in a hall which housed the former chapel of the Inquisitions. A collection of Roman mosaic art and a sarcophagus from the 2nd and 3rd century that once belonged to a wealthy Roman Mansion, discovered under Corredera Square in 1959, are also on display.

DSCN9010

Interesting 16th-century frescoes

DSCN9007

2nd or 3rd-century sarcophagus

DSCN9026 (2)

Roman mosaic art discovered under a square in Cordoba

The Alcazar was yet another remarkable place to wander around and take in the history as we stepped back in time. Seeing places like this makes the history we learned in school come alive. It is no longer just stuff from textbooks but actual events and places. Queen Isabella walked these hallways, touched these walls and probably bathed in the bath house while deciding whether to fund the voyage of Christopher Columbus, which ultimately changed history. This is why travel means so much to me.

More to come as we visit the Jewish Quarter and a cool museum in Cordoba.

Thanks for travelling with me.

 


click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

Click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

Pig on Trial

click to purchase

Join me on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,143 other followers

Archives

Goodreads

click to read review