The cathedrals of Andalusia

If there is something that characterizes Andalusia, it is its union with Christianity and specifically with the Catholic cult. Their traditions in many cases are based on the Roman religion, as in the case of their pilgrimages, Holy Week and Christian dogmas settled in the region since centuries ago as the case of the Immaculate Conception due to different historical processes. For this reason, the region has scattered everywhere numerous temples for worship of all sizes, such as churches, chapels and chapels of all styles and buildings, however, as in the vast majority of Spanish regions or Europe, including Naturally, cathedrals stand out.

The construction of the same, unlike in the rest of Europe, occurred in later centuries, due to the eight centuries of Muslim culture that evidently could not erect this type of majestic temples. However, in the centuries following the so-called Reconquista, the influence of the Roman Church and the power it exerted in this region (case of the Inquisition or Counter-Reformation anti-Protestantism), many cathedrals were erected in different Andalusian cities. that in some cases they constituted majestic works if not of a style, if a mixture of several due to the different political and cultural moments during the time of their construction that in the majority of the cases exceeded a century.

In Andalusia, they are not only the main seats of the dioceses or archdioceses for the worship of the vast majority of the inhabitants of the locality, but because of the tradition of Holy Week, they are the places of procession of the different brotherhoods that carry out the penance stations in the Semana Andaluza.

In this Post, we will talk about the cathedrals of Andalusia, as monuments mixed of a religious feeling and furniture heritage that in some cases is of Humanity.
1. Cathedral of Seville: It constitutes the second greater temple of the Catholicism (behind San Pedro of Rome similar to the Cathedral of Colony). The example of the Sevillian cathedral, is a clear reference to a mixture of styles rather than different, although originally was made in late Gothic style. The cathedral is built on the remains of the Almohad Major Mosque of which the courtyard of Abluciones (Patio de los Naranjos) and its well-known Giralda bell tower which was the greater Minaret with a height of about one hundred meters. It began to be constructed at the beginning of century XV at the time that the mosque was demolished. Its Latin cross, its vaults of Aristas, stained glass windows and pillars make it the largest building of this style. However, the cathedral was enlarged in the following century with a neighboring building in Renaissance style, where you can see paintings of Murillo and the bell tower, was the work of Hernán Ruiz III. In the nineteenth century, several doors were added in neo-Gothic style, following the pattern of Violec le Duc, prevailing in those years. The cathedral is the center of the procession of Holy Week and has the tombs of the kings Ferdinand III the Saint, his son Alfonso X the Wise and Christopher Columbus, as well as the patron saint Virgin of the Kings, carving of the thirteenth century.

Catedral de Sevilla

2. Málaga Cathedral: The Renaissance and Baroque mixed building began to be built in the 16th century, whose architects were Diego de Siloe and the well-known Andrés de Vandelvira. The today still unfinished cathedral (one of the towers is unfinished), shows a cover with columns of Corinthian and Solomonic type with red marble doors. Its apse with rounded windows do not show great decoration giving prominence to the columns and the light that is accessed. The interior is formed by three naves with vaults that make them one of the tallest buildings in Andalusia, as well as their towers rising to more than eighty meters high. The construction of the same was on the remains of an old mosque and was initially made in Gothic Mudejar format and from which we can see the remains of internal courtyards of the Islamic era. The cathedral has organized visits on roofs and we remember that it is the central place for the processions of the magnificent Holy Week of the city.
3. Cathedral of Granada. Another magnificent example of a Renaissance building, with Baroque additions and whose construction was contemporary to other Renaissance buildings in the Nasrid city such as the palace of Charles V in the Alhambra. The building was built on the remains of the old Great Mosque, and in part of its construction followed the Herrerian style, the last part of the Renaissance. Diego de Siloe was also in charge of the works of the original Renaissance building, emphasizing in the construction the columns and vaults of great quality and restored. The cathedral itself, semicircular floor highlights its central chapel and adjacent chapels, highlighting Chapel of the Angustias, Chapel of the former and others that contain paintings and sculptures of Baroque type as several immaculate and works of Alonso Cano and Juan de Bank. Another of the chapels, perhaps the most important, is the Royal Chapel, where the remains of the Catholic Monarchs, their daughter Juana and her husband Felipe el Hermoso are found.

catedral de Granada

4. Cathedral of Cádiz: it represents an example of Baroque cathedral, in a city that did not have a great cathedral (if we ignore the old Gothic cathedral) dedicated to a marine city and that came to have influence in the times of the American adventure. Its name is dedicated to the dedication of the Holy Cross, with Baroque style whose construction began in the eighteenth century using nearby materials such as marble, stone and oyster stone in some external areas. It is designed as three vaulted naves as ambulatory and numerous columns of Corinthian type that give it a spectacular appearance. The temple owns several domes, emphasizing two: the cupola of the cruise, composed by a drum and hemispherical cap; It sits on pendentives and on the outside is covered by golden tiles that lend great luminosity during the day.
5. Cathedral of Almería: Renaissance example with the exception of having a transition between the late Gothic before reaching the Renaissance with Baroque and Rococo additions a posteriori. Its structure is reminiscent of a fortress, and possibly it had that function in view of its strategic situation and possible attacks by Berber pirates. Its original architect was not like Diego de Siloe. Its main door wants to show great majesty and a message of religious greatness, becoming a living transmitter of messages and religious icons. On the outer wall of this chapel is the so-called Sol de Portocarrero , which over time has become a symbol of the city. It is a bas-relief located at the head, on the eastern side, and represents a radiant anthropomorphic sun with ribbons.
6. Cathedral of Jaén: The cathedral of the olive city, is a reference in the work of Andrés de Vandelvira and a classic example of Baroque, Latin cross plan, with three naves with flat apse, side chapels and central transept. Like many other Andalusian cathedrals and following the example of burying the Muslim past, was erected and consecrated to the Virgin of the Assumption shortly after being conquered Jaén by the Christian troops in the thirteenth century. Its main Baroque façade, its neoclassical choir stand out, and inside it is guarded as relic the canvas of the Face of Jesus, Holy Face, known as La Veronica, whose Legend indicates that it is the canvas where Santa Veronica wipes her face bloody of the Lord. The cathedral aspires to be a World Heritage Site.
7. Catedral de Jerez: Call of San Salvador, is a work with a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, which was erected on the old mosque and whose Gothic structure retains the buttresses and buttresses of this style and a transverse nave. The main façade boasts a triple door, and is adorned with Baroque motifs and imagery, as well as the two side doors, called Visitation and Incarnation and stained glass windows. As a work to highlight, we indicate that his museum has a pictorial jewel belonging to Zurbaran called La Virgen Niña. It is the nerve center of Holy Week Jerezana.
8. Catedral de Huelva: founded in the 17th century by the Dukes of Medina Sidonia as Convent of La Merced, the Huelva cathedral, similar to its Andalusian sisters, mixes Baroque and a late Renaissance with colonial and conventual flavor. The outer part is Baroque, being its main cover, inspiration for the colonial Baroque that would extend by the New world. Its interior is of Renaissance style, highlighting a major altarpiece presided by highlights the Virgin and Child made by Juan Martínez Montañés, but this is not the only work of the great image maker since the Main Chapel has its stellar work Virgen de la Cinta, 1616. But we must not forget the altarpieces attributed to the Circle of John of Mesa and images of Christ from the Gaditan-Genoese school as Christ of Jerusalem and Good Journey (crucified) and Our Father Jesus of the Chains.
9. Baza Cathedral: the oldest part of it is the lower part of the tower, which belonged to the old minaret of the 12th century mosque. Its construction on them, corresponds most to the Renaissance style, being another example of Andres de Vandelvira who made a masterpiece although he died before seeing it finished and was completed by his circle. If the building itself is fully Renaissance, with columns, arches and influences of Italian type, the interior with its altarpieces and chapels, has Baroque style. In one of the chapels located next to the entrance is the Brotherhood of the Supper (Baeza) Brotherhood of the Supper, a space in the interior and at the foot of the temple where all the processional images of this Brotherhood are shown, as well as its corporate standard.
10. Mosque -Cathedral of Cordoba: we must not forget the Caliphate temple, since although most of it is dedicated to the old mosque of the Caliphate era, it was built on an old Visigothic church from the 6th century, of which there are remains in situ, and later to the conquest by Fernando III, in century XIII, was reconverted to Cristino temple, being constructed in the interior structures of cupolas and vaults of edges of gothic style with a great contrast with the art of the caliphs. The Renaissance also sneaks into its corners as, the bell tower of Hernán Ruiz III, taking advantage of the old minaret, the Treasure of the cathedral has a collection of portapaces, chalices and copones of gold and silver as well as large crosses of precious materials.

Cathedral Mosque of Cordoba

This is the recommended itinerary for the visits to the Magnificent Churches of the different capitals of Andalusia, but you will not be able to enjoy them until you have access and walk through them, contemplating their artistic richness or enjoying a spiritual communion.

Mezquita Catedral de Cordoba

The inheritance of Sefarad in Andalucia

The Jewish people always had a great connection with the Iberian peninsula since it was the host country of these, which they called Sepharad. The legend indicates that the first Jews arrived in the Iberian Peninsula back in the 6th century BC after the destruction of Solomon’s temple by Nebuchadnezzar, however, the historical sources do not mention the presence of the Hebrew people until the time of Roman domination, concretely from the year 70, year of destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and his armies which caused the Jewish diaspora throughout the Roman Empire.

The Hebrew people settled in large cities and performed all kinds of professions such as artisans, merchants, bankers and doctors. During the domination of the Germanic peoples, specifically in the Visigothic period, they were the target of envy and political pressure for their financial activities, so at the time of the Muslim conquest in 711, the Mohammedans were received as saviors. The subsequent centuries of Muslim occupation, were of splendor for the Hebrew people who lived in their own neighborhoods called Jewish quarters and bequeathed to be respectable members even of the Caliphate court. They were only persecuted by intolerant people like the Almohads.

After the Christian conquests from the 12th century, they continued to live more or less calmly and even formed part of the courts of Christian kings as councilors, but progressively they suffered pressure in even racist attacks such as those that occurred in 1391 with the burning and killing of numerous Jewish quarters like Seville, Cordoba, Zaragoza, etc. The Jews were always associated in a pejorative way with the responsibility in the death of Jesus and even in having brought the black plague through Europe, in the fourteenth century, which decimated the population except for them because of their healthier health habits than those of Christians, which led them to be identified as guilty. Its situation was no longer the same as its period ended in the fifteenth century with the expulsion of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and a new diaspora for the world.

Of the Hebrews we have left their rites, religious buildings (synagogues), the constructions of their neighborhoods called Jewish quarters and their gastronomy. In this post, we indicate the best-known and best-preserved Jewish neighborhoods in Andalusia:
1. Jewry of Seville: Located in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz, Santa María la Blanca and San Bartolomé, was the area ceded to the Jews just after the Christian conquest in the thirteenth century. At that time the Jews were given 4 mosques to convert them into synagogues, Santa Maria la Blanca, Santa Cruz, San Bartolomé and the convent of Madre de Dios, now converted into churches. The neighborhood of Santa Cruz underwent a major reform in the 20th century due to the Ibero-American exhibition of 1929. Its corners, houses and balconies evoke a city that has not passed the time and very close to the great monuments of the capital of Seville. .
2. Jewish quarter of Córdoba: example of cohabitation of the three cultures, it was the Hebrew district of the Caliphate capital between the 10th century and the 15th century. The Jewish street is the nerve center and where the synagogue is located, one of the few preserved in almost complete manner even with the seven-branch candelabrum. On the street there is the statue of the Hebrew philosopher Maimonides who lived in the Almohad period and was a reference for Cordoba worldwide. today it is a pilgrimage center for Jews from all over the world.
3. Judería de Jaén: it was the most lasting since the Hebrew presence was maintained for twelve centuries and the Hebrew families that lived there were very important. It also has a 13th-century synagogue now converted into the Church of San Andrés. Curiously, its narrow streets also have the name of San Cruz district as in Seville. It is of great importance because the Arab baths of the city were located.
4. Judería de Lucena: the city located on the Caliphate route, has a Jewish quarter so large that in fact, between the 9th and 12th century, the city was inhabited exclusively by Jews, becoming a benchmark. It has a large synagogue and a cemetery, but it should be noted that in the 12th century, when they fell into the hands of the Almohads and due to the intolerance of this North African people, these Jews emigrated to Toledo, contributing to the cultural wealth of the city of Castellana .
5. Judería de Úbeda: it was of great importance during the centuries of Muslim occupation however part of its splendor and architecture disappeared due to the Renaissance reforms in the sixteenth century and its monumentality. However, we still have buildings like the Water synagogue, where a mikveh (Jewish ritual bath), a patio, a main hall with pointed arches, a women’s room and a warehouse for oil storage have been found.

Undoubtedly the heritage of Safarad, has significantly enriched the culture and has influenced the development of the Andalusian people.

ZOOS AND AQUARIUMS OF ANDALUCIA

Since time immemorial, human beings have wanted to enjoy nature and the animals that populated it, becoming captives since ancient times, representing more or less fortunate their ecosystems and reaching our days. These places are the zoos and for a long time they were the place of exhibition of exotic animals but under conditions that in some lamentable cases.

Today, the situation has changed and these exhibition halls have become sites for conservation, education and training on wildlife. Only privileged people can enjoy the exotic nature in their natural habitat and today, thanks to technology, they adapt and replicate ecosystems in the same city. These places are conservation centers not only to enjoy the vision of these species, but as centers of recovery to reintroduce or recover endangered species, many maintained by foundations. Andalusia has some of these enclosures that allow you to enjoy nature and be a source of disclosure.

In this post we show the most known and important according to their task :, of which we can enjoy species that are located in the 5 continents.
1. Zoobotanico de Jerez: Opened in 1953, it went from being an exhibition center for exotic and strange species (case of the white tiger) to a conservation center involved in recovery, recovery and conservation of endangered species. Years ago began with the recovery of the red panda emblem of the zoo for many years, however for two decades it has been breeding Ibis Hermit, a species that after more than 5 centuries, has been recovered for breeding in the Natural Park of the Strait of Gibraltar . The Botanical Zoo follows the breeding program of the Iberian Lynx and has recently started a recovery program for the Iberian Wolf. Numerous educational and training activities contribute to the spread of wildlife.

Lemur en el Zoo de Jerez

2. Zoo of Córdoba: the zoo of the Caliphate capital was a center that was about to be closed, however a change of administration and mentality, led to a turn and participation in projects of breeding and recovery of various species such as the wolf Iberian. In summer the center organizes a series of activities such as night stays in the same for children and discover the wildlife at night. It has a breeding colony of Mora tortoise, terrestrial turtle that in Andalusia only lives in the Doñana Park.

Colonia de Tortuga Mora. Cordoba

3. Sealife de Benalmádena: one of the first aquariums in Andalusia, with species of all pairs, whose novelty, as in the great American centers, was to have manual contact with species such as blankets, rays, shark eggs, etc. The activities organized by the center, among them is the contact in private with species in very small groups, especially for children that allow contact with marine species. It was one of the first enclosures where sharks were raised in Andalusia.
4. Bioparc de Fuengirola: Center opened in 1977, reformed in 1999 and acquired by Bioparc, as one of the best conservation areas for tropical species representing and emulating the jungle and tropical ecosystems of America, Asia and Africa. The center is involved in the recovery of species such as the leopard of Sri Lanka, the orangutan of Borneo or the gorilla. We must not forget that it is home to the Komodo Dragon, the largest and poisonous lizard on Earth and unique in its kind in Andalusia.
5. Seville Aquarium: Opened with an immense saltwater tank with Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean species. Highlight its bull shark and other non-marine species such as yacaré, anaconda and sea turtles. The center organizes night activities for children as well as private dives to emulate the stay with animals in an absolutely underwater environment. The center plans to continue with its expansion in the coming years.

Tiburón toro. Acuario de Sevilla

6. Mundo Park (Guillena): It is a zoo created as a foundation by José Luis Malpartida (specialist and animal breeder of cinema), whose mission is the conservation of species as well as the recovery of exotic species abandoned in native ecosystems. In this enclosure you can enjoy a falconry experience and enjoy direct contact with raptors.

7 peculiar cemeteries of Andalusia

Today we talk about necrotourism or cemetery tourism.  An activity that in this area of ​​Europe can seem quite shocking or even morbid difficult to understand in a state with a Catholic culture and very reserved with respect to death, however in other parts of Europe such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany or in United States, the visit to the graveyards is a place more like a tourist monument.

 Whether for the forms or the construction of their tombs, in many cases true mausoleums or for stories that happened there, the cemeteries become not only a place of pilgrimage on November 1 but also a tourist or cultural visit.In many cases, dramatized routes are carried out where stories related to the cemetery or paranormal phenomena occurring in it are told. In this post, we are going to talk about the most peculiar cemeteries of Andalusia, which are reference for visits as cult place or simply curiosity.

  1. Cemetery of San Fernando (Seville): This first route we started in the cemetery of the Andalusian capital.  Its origin is from the end of the XIX century, and it was built for reasons of high demography since the burials were carried out in the parishes and the city had collapsed in that aspect. This gigantic cemetery has real works of art as tombs as in the case of the bullfighters Joselito el Gallo or Juan Belmonte. There are also celebrities from the world of music such as Antonio Machín, however the most imposing place is possibly in the middle of it, in a roundabout, stands a cross with a Christ work by Antonio Susillo (buried just below) with a legend since It is called Christ of the Honeys due to an extraordinary event in which the image one day began to cry honey. The supposedly miraculous event had the simple explanation of a beehive that had been created spontaneously inside his head, and in summer it melted giving a really exceptional scene but with scientific explanation.
  2.  Cemetery of Villaluenga del Rosario: located in the same town in the Sierra de Grazalema area.  It is a work of art since it is a small cemetery whose niches are built inside a church (Salvador) in ruins that was destroyed in the nineteenth century and that is native to the eighteenth century. The location of the niches, their small size and being located inside a church, gives a more sacred if it fits.
  3.  Casabermeja Cemetery: Called San Sebastian and located in the town of the same name in the area of ​​Malaga. It is a cemetery known vulgarly as a town, since its niches and tombs are so well preserved and well cared for that they simply remind one of the white villages of Cádiz or of the Axarquía de Málaga. Its uniqueness stands out for the fact that the locals themselves are responsible for keeping the graves tidy and painted as if it were the first day, being the possible best care in Andalusia, to the point of becoming a busy place in days before and after of all the Saints.
  4. Cemetery of Benadalid: curious cemetery of the town of the Serrania de Ronda since it is built on a castle that was originally Roman although the remains that have reached us are Arab. It is curious to see some niches built on the patio of a medieval castle and where battles between Moors and Christians are depicted.
  5. Cemetery of Granada: Known as San José and dating from 1805 being one of the oldest. This cemetery, like that of Seville, has sculptural works from its niches that are worth seeing. It is located in the area of ​​the Alhambra with views of the Generalife, and Sierra Nevada and next to a Nasrid ruins of the fourteenth century. It has legends like the bride who died on her wedding day and who wanders by the same or the Christ who works miracles. Another point to discover the mythical city of Granada.
  6. English Graveyard of Malaga: the largest port capital of Andalusia also has its cemetery with history and worth visiting.  It is a Protestant cemetery of the early nineteenth century, since the British consul of that time requested a piece of land from the authorities for the eternal rest of his countrymen. The place was also chosen for the seat of the Anglican church, its tombs are real sculptural works and it is a place of great cultural and ethnological interest for what it represents.
  7. Monturque Cemetery: The town of Córdoba, whose cemetery is called San Rafael, is located in an area of ​​Roman remains of the first century AD. c, with a structure of niches and tombs located in the central zone of the forum and constituting an exceptional case of related archeology and necrology.

These cemeteries are not the only places of worship for the dead to visit since there are the different necropolises that we show in our Roman Route.  We can indicate that the world related to the show as well as its cults and burials are also a source of tourist attraction even if it is difficult to understand.