Andalusia

Andalusia is a Spanish autonomous community, located in the southern area of the country. It’s a charismatic region and, in my opinion, it’s extremely interesting from a scenic and historic point of view.

There’s something different around here, when compared to the rest of the Spain. The landscape, the white houses, the cuisine and the way of leaving whilst coping with the region’s extremely hot temperatures. Something that is totally related to Flamenco. I’m absolutely in love with this music, I love its soul and personality. I’ve been dancing it for 8 years and that pretty much sums it up J

The history

The Romans occupied Andalusia for about six centuries. The 1st colony was known as Italica and its ruins can still be visited today, close to Seville. The roads and the aqueducts are also remnants of this period.

The Visigoths and the Vandals, two tribes from Northern Europe, followed the Romans. They were called Barbarians at the time.

Al-Andalus

However, a Moor invasion took place in 711, led by Tariq ibn Ziyad. As the years went by, the occupation took over the entire region of Andalusia and almost the whole territory of the Iberian Peninsula. The Arabs named this region Al-Andalus, which in their language means land of the vandals. The name Andalusia derives from this word.

This Arab culture left its mark on several things, both in Spain and Portugal, and not only in Andalusia. It influenced the cuisine, the architecture, the language, among other aspects.

Several structures were built during the Arab occupation, but palaces, mosques and fortresses can still be seen today. Among everything edified, the Great Mosque of Córdoba should be stressed out. This city was the Arab capital of Al-Andalus. I would not go into details about this mosque, which is nowadays a church, as I will write a piece exclusively about it.

Invasion from Granada

The Christians kept trying to expel the Arabs from the Iberian Peninsula, but they only achieved that in 1492, when Granada was conquered. This southern region of Spain was where the Arabs stayed the longest and, because of that, their influence is stronger in here.

Andalusia is unique and it is totally worth a visit, in my opinion.

Cities that you can´t miss

There are plenty of interesting spots that should be taken into account when visiting the region of Andalusia. It holds such a wide number of white house agglomerates that is quite hard to list all of them. But its 3 main cities and the most popular, and also the ones I emphasis, are Seville, Cordoba and Granada. I’ve been in Seville and in the other cities several times already, for quite some time. I recommend saving some time to go there, in order to properly experience this region’s soul. It’s quite likely that you will have a wonderful experience.

Seville

Square of Spain

Seville is a sensual city. It’s beautiful, has stunning buildings, very interesting quarters and the Flamenco music is felt around every corner.

It’s currently the main city of Andalusia. The Guadalquivir River runs through the city and, therefore, a boat tour is an extremely interesting way to be properly be acquainted with both banks of the river and glance some of its monuments.

Córdoba

Interior of the mosque

As I have mentioned before, Córdoba has a majestic history, having rivalled with cities such as Cairo or Bagdad. Without question, the Cathedral – Mosque is its main point of interest, but there are several others.

With time, stroll through the streets of the Jewish quarter, visit the Alcazar, the Roman bridge, the walls and finish your day at the Arab Baths. Experience Córdoba taking advantage of this mishmash of traditions and culture.

Granada

View of Alhambra

When we talk about this city we immediately think about Alhambra. It’s a magnificent complex of palaces, which is also one of the most visited in Spain and in the world. Do not overlook it.

Granada is located in the heart of Andalusia and it was the last city to be conquered by the Catholic Kings, already in the 15th century.