The AWAI Travel Photography Workshop, Seville (Day 3)

 The Mequita Cathedral Tower

Our third day at the AWAI Travel Photography Workshop took us to Cordoba, only 45 minutes away from Seville, on Spain's slick, fast train (AVE). In existence since Roman times, Cordoba is a city with a long and rich history. It was once one of the greatest cities of the medieval world, on a par with Constantinople. Our first photo shoot was at the Mesquita Cathedral.

The interior of the cathedral is vast, and has 850 columns supporting pink and white striped arches. Someone remarked that it looked like candyland!

Part of the ornate roof of the cathedral

In the 6th century, this was the site of the Visigoth Basilica of the martyred San Vincente. After the Islamic invasion, the Great Mosque of Cordoba, La Mesquita, was founded in 785. It was gradually enlarged over the following 200 years, resulting in a mixture of architectural styles encompassing Roman, Gothic, Byzantine, Syrian and Persian features. After King Ferdinand III reconquered Cordoba, in 1236, it was rededicated as a Christian cathedral

This was in one of the side chapels, dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle

After regrouping outside the Mesquita cathedral, we crossed the ancient Roman bridge to photograph the city from the other side of the Guadalquivir River. Although the present bridge probably bears no resemblance to the original one, there has been a river crossing here for over 2000 years. To get to the bridge, we passed through the Puerta del Puente (entrance to the bridge), designed by the architect Hernan Ruiz in 1572, during the reign of Philip II, (1556 to 1598).

View of Cordoba from the other side of the Guadalquivir River
(The Puerta del Puente can be seen towards the centre of the photo)

The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, 
The Palace of the Christian Kings

With no time to waste, we had lunch in a delightful restaurant, where we shared plates of tapas, before meeting for our next shoot at the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, the Palace of the Christian Kings. The palace is noted for its beautiful gardens and inner courtyards, developed over many hundreds of years. We all disappeared in different directions to find our iconic shots to take back for Efrain to critique. I must confess to finding this a little stressful, although Efrain is kindness itself when suggesting improvements to our photographs. It's just that none of us wanted to hear the dreaded words, "This may not be your best work, however...".

The immaculately laid out gardens of the 
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos

The prettily decorated narrow streets of Cordoba,
during the Festival de los Patios

Our last shoot before leaving Cordoba, was among the narrow streets filled with flowers for the Festival de los Patios. This is an annual festival, where householders compete for awards for the best patios and window arrangements. Homes are usually open for public viewing, but our arrival coincided with siesta time, so the patios were closed. We did, however, have the chance to admire and photograph the beatiful window decorations.

We had a wonderful day, and tired, but happy, we returned to Seville to edit our photos and report back to Efrrain. Time was running out, we only had one more day. Time was passing too quickly.

That evening in Seville, there was a procession through the streets as the marching band played. Quite beautiful!

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