So this is the part of Spain where the Moorish Kingdoms ruled for 800 years, until King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella “The Catholic Monarchs” conquered and united Spain under Christianity. Then they started up the Spanish Inquisition and purged the country of Muslims and Jews. Apparently they had to two choices: get out or convert. So lots of people left, lots of people converted, some fled into the hills and lived in the caves away from the cities, and lots of people were secretly murdered in the night. This happened for about four hundred years.
At least some of the moorish architecture remains, like the courtyard at the Seville Cathedral. The mosque is gone, and it was meant to have been a nice grande mosque so that’s a shame, but they actually did something clever with the courtyard. It was originally full of ablution fountains, but Catholics don’t use them so where there was once pools of water, there are now orange trees. Makes the courtyard look very pretty in my opinion.
Actually, there are orange trees all throughout Seville, lining the streets and making everything shaded and fruity. Apparently most of the oranges are bitter, and used for making perfume and exporting them to England for marmalade. But I digress…
The Seville Cathedral is… Well, it is nice, but it’s got all the same things all the other cathedrals have (gold, silver, statues, arty stuff). The main thing that’s special for a tourist like me who’s seen at least a dozen guided golden Ava Marias is that this is where they buried Christopher Columbus after they decided to dig him up from Central America and ship him back to Spain. All 150g of him, which was all they managed to cobble together after a hundred years or so letting him decompose in the local grave. I didn’t get to see how much of the body 150g is (and I only had the word of my tour guide that that’s what was in the tomb) but I expect it would be about a handful. Not much Columbus.
And we had Mexican for dinner. It was coincidentally culturally appropriate since we had just seen Columbus’ that day. I’ve only just realised that now, of course. I honestly just wanted to eat avocado and have spicy food at the time. Plus, being Australian we don’t get a lot of authentic Mexican food, so when we found a restaurant being raved about on TripAdvisor, we decided to try it. Pretty good.