Game of Thrones S5E9 : Sevilla + Osuna

At long last, we have been able to see more of Sevilla in the ninth episode of Game of Thrones. Until then, the characters were just strolling around the Alcazar's gardens, doing pretty much nothing.

But now that Jaime Lannister and Bronn have been imprisonned, we are allowed to see more of the kingdom of Dorne, which translates as the interiors of the Alcazar :





And also, of the city of Meereen, because the final showdown of the slaves pits is exactly in Osuna, a town of Andalucia. However, when you will see the "Arena de Toros", don't be too disappointed, because the place has been optimized with CGI to look like a Coliseum directly from "Gladiator".

Here is the view from the episode :


And here is the real place :


Game of Thrones in Sevilla : Alcazar again !

The fifth episode of the new season of Game Of Thrones has shown again the adventures in the kingdom of Dorne.

However, on the side of the sets, we discover almost nothing new compared to the other episode : it seems that the only past time of the people there is to stroll in the gardens of the Alcazar, aka "the Water Gardens."




The only exception being an interior scene, still in the Alcazar, of the banos de Dona Maria de Padilla:


Hopefully, we'll see more of Sevilla and the Alcazar in the next episode.

DIA DE LA CRUZ Granada 2015

The "dia de la cruz" is a day special to Granada, dating back to the XVIth century, when a cross was erected and the people danced and feasted around it to celebrate. Since then, each year, crosses are erected and decorated in a dozen of locations, with altars where the people place a lot of furnitures, not necessarily religious, but traditional.

Here is the one in from of the townhall :


Here is on Plaza Bib-Rambla :


And here is the one on the porch of the Church Santa Teresa de Jesus in the Realejo :







VIEW FROM THE GENERALIFE

Just for the pleasure...




ORATORIO DEL PARTAL

I have spoken before of the Partal palace, which is a shadow of its former self but still quite a sight to behold. There is a little extra which is worth watching when you'll reach that point : the oratory.


An oratory is, in a palace, a private chapel for the aristocrats where they can prey and meditate. This one dates back from Al-Andalus, obviously, just by looking at its decoration and at its orientation. In effect, the mihrab it shelters is orientated south-east/east, where Mecca is located in the Arabian peninsula, and obviously this is where the Sultans went in order to communiate with Allah. 


It has been only recently restored and due to its size and its fragilily, it's not open to the public, but you can easily take a peak and appreciate the decoration and its peacefulness.






GoT S05E02 : Dorne's Kingdom in Sevilla

Yesterday night, we discovered at long last the first images of the kingdom of Dorne, the fictitious kingdom which is part of Westeros, the main scene of Game of Thrones, HBO's series which is entering its fifth season. 




The author have never hidden the fact that Dorne was inspired on Medieval Spain and more precisely on the Andalucian moorish kingdoms. Therefore, it's understandable that the producers of the show chose to send their teams in Andalucia, and more precisely in Sevilla, whose Alcazar has hosted the "Water Gardens" of the royal family of Dorne.

As you can see below and online they needed almost nothing to create an enchanting set :


Let's see what new images the next episode will bring us.

BOABDIL

Among the dozens of rulers of the last muslim kingdom of Granada, most have been forgotten and today no one can cite more than the last one to rule : Boabdil, "el rey chico".


He is the one who faced the last onslaught of the Catholic Kings and had to relinquish the keys of the kingdom, in exchange for a safe passage for him and his entourage towards the other side of the sea. Much maligned because of this, his weakness was also due to the constant infighting and quarrels which arose among the rulers of Al-Andalus. The life of a Nasrid monarch was not at all the luxe, calme and volupté you could imagine when visiting the Alhambra.

The monument you can see near the Alcazar del Genil (a summer residence of the Nasrid rulers) has been erected where the ceremony of submission is supposed to have happened between the rulers.


However, you won't find any triumphalism here : an old and wise Boabdil seems to accept from a respectful young girl the hommage of the modern Andalucia for everything his culture has brought to their common land.


TORRES BERMEJAS

When you visit Granada, you'll probably ask yourself, what are these huge stocky towers on the right side of the "Puertas de las Granadas"?

The answer is they are the "Torres Bermejas" or Crimson Towers (below, seen from the Alcazaba of the Alhambra).







The second question you will probably ask yourself or your guide is : is it worth visiting?

Unfortunately no, first of all because they are pretty much abandoned to themselves, closed down, and second because the estate of the Alhambra does not seem to know what to do about them, so they guard the way, look to the horizon, like they have done for centuries and nothing else.



FUNDACION RODRIGUEZ-ACOSTA (again!)

I know I have already published a post about the Fundacion Rodriguez-Acosta, however a recent new visit to this unique Carmen, half-painting studio, half-amusement park for excentric aristocrats, reminded me that it is worth more than one publication.

Here are a few more photos to enjoy. 



Rodriguez-Acosta was a painter, but also a compulsive art collector. He worshipped classical arts and those two addictions are obvious when you see the statues that litter the place. Here are three examples : Mercury, Diana (with the dog), and Bacchus (below).


 

Another reference to classical Antiquity is obvious when you consider the ubiquitous columns all around the place, sometimes even they are intentionally made to look like decrepit and worn out.






Let's not forget the gardens, which can rival the Generalife :



And last but not least, here is the entrance to the labyrinthine subterraneans, which date back to Medieval time, and which Rodriguez-Acosta arranged a bit :





SEMANA SANTA 2015 : PROCESSION OF THE "BURIQUILLA"

During the Holy Week, 32 processions walk across the city streets before to go back to their churches. The processions start during the "Domingo de Ramos" (Palm Sunday). And the first of these procession is the "Buriquilla" which starts at the Church of Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro. As any Christian knows, it pictures the entrance of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, mounted on a donkey (hence the name "La buriquilla").



In the movie below you can watch it when it leaves Calle Elvira and enters the Calle Reyes Catolicos, at the junction with Plaza Real.


CASA DE ZAFRA

The "Casa de Zafra" is a very well conservated building from the time of Al-Andalus, a typical house of a wealthy family of the Nasrid kingdom. After 1492 it was reconverted as a convent (convent Santa Catalina de Zafra), which is why it was preserved so well. 





It is located just in the Carrera del Darro, which means, as you can see below, that the family of this house had a premium vista on the Alhambra back in the old Al-Andalus' days. 


In contrast to what many people think the houses of Al-Andalus were very sober. A patio, two porticos, a few arches... Not much more, except drawings which you can still see a few remnants on the plaster of the walls.




Opened since June 2014, the entrance is still free! The entrance is well hidden (see below), but if you have time to spare, it's worth a look.


Last, a video which is shown in a room during the visit : 





PLACETA JOE STRUMMER

The name of Granada is very often linked to artists of flamenco, poets like Garcia Lorca, paintors, etc. but there is also a famous name of rock'n'roll who fell in love with the city in the 80's and it is no one else but Joe Strummer, the leader of the band THE CLASH which revolutionized rock'n'roll. In 1984, Joe Strummer came to Granada and had such a good time that he came back many times.

30 years later, a popular initiative convinced the townhall to give his name to a little square in the Realejo, and last tuesday was the inauguration :



Of course, the most famous graffiti artist of the city had not waited this long to immortalize the man on the wall next the placeta :



To find an article about the inauguration, CLICK HERE.

And to find anecdotes in Spanish about the good time Joe Strummer had in Granada, CLICK THERE.