Andalucia – Moors and more in Granada, Córdoba and Seville

Last month our study tour lecturer Sue Rollin led our ‘Andalucia – Moors and more in Granada, Córdoba and Seville’ trip. One of our regular clients and APA VIP, Peg Mastrianni, shared with us some amazing pictures from her time on the tour. Here’s what the group saw on their trip…


Here we are looking towards the Alhambra through the clouds and mist, early evening. We couldn’t wait to go inside. The Sierra Nevada mountains can be seen behind the clouds.

Local treats – my kind of shop window! They tasted as good as they looked too. Next we visited the Church of Santa Anna, 16th century, in the morning rain before clearing.

So many streets in Granada have the stonework pictured below, and of course we saw lots of pomegranates around as Granada = Pomegranate!

We then visited the Chapel of the Virgin de la Antigua, 17th century, carved of wood from Germany, then painted. The Christ child is holding a pomegranate.

Monasterio Cartuja

These are extraordinary gilded angels in the sacristy of Monasterio Cartuja, the former Carthusian monastery in Granada dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. I couldn’t get enough of these Spanish painted wood statues.

Late afternoon light looking out from Monasterio Cartuja. Also pictured is Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, Our Lady of Solitude, at the Monastery of San Jeronimo, Granada. She has painted glass tears on her cheeks. Finally you can see how beautiful the moon over Granada looked.


We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the Alhambra. The huge scale somehow doesn’t dwarf the intricate detail. Our guide Enrique made it come alive. Washington Irving was right.

Here you can see the palm trees and the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains on our cold, clear day at the Alhambra.


The Lions Fountain, guarding the Plaza del Populo, Baeza, was stunning even on a rainy day. This beautiful square was all but deserted on a Sunday afternoon. We then saw living history at the Palace Vela of the Cobos in Úbeda, designed by Vandelvira in the 16th century. The 91-year old owner showed us his elegant home with a library full of treasures including this book in Hebrew with text crossed out by Church censors during the Spanish Inquisition. The home has been in his family for generations.

La Mezquita Catedral de Córdoba

We took a lovely morning walk from the hotel to La Mezquita Catedral de Córdoba.

We arrived at La Mezquita, Córdoba’s mosque church. First built as a mosque in stages between the 8th-10th centuries, then taken over by the Church miraculously by painting over the original Muslim details and leaving them intact. The choir of the main chapel was carved in the 18th century with mahogany from Cuba. Somehow the details work together without clashing. Also pictured is a chapel used now as a local palace church.

Views from the Bell Tower of La Mezquita, originally a minaret it is 54 meters up; I counted 192 steps!

Palacio de Viana

The Palacio de Viana has 12 elegant courtyards and we saw all of them after touring the house. You’ll see below some of the treasures we saw at this 15th-19th house palace in Córdoba, now owned and maintained by a foundation. I didn’t want to leave Córdoba!

More from Córdoba

Pictured first is an example of the pebble floors in the patio of the Alcazar, Córdoba. I miss the stones of Andalucia! Then we have a look at the landscape and history of Medina Azahara with Cypress treses and stone.

Real Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Valparaíso

We had an incredible tour and elegant lunch at the 15th century Real Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Valparaíso, Cordoba. The monks left in 1835, after 400 years, but serenity and gracious hospitality remain.


We explored Carmona in the late afternoon. The beautiful town is 33 km north-east of Seville and built on a a ridge overlooking the central plain of Andalucia.

During our morning walk in Seville we were treated with blue skies as we walked through the many orange trees and examined the various Spanish tiles on display.

Hospital De La Caridad

Next we visited The Charity Hospital (Hospital De La Caridad) – the main building of the Charity Brotherhood (Hermandad de la Caridad). It is one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture and art of the 17th century. The altarpiece by Simón de Pineda is completely Baroque, very elaborated and covered in gold.

Casa de Pilatos

On our last morning in beautiful Seville, we visited La Casa de Pilatos – possibly the best Andalusian palace of Spain and a great example of the 16th century Sevillian architecture.

Iglesia del Salvador

One last blast from Seville. Iglesia del Salvador – Church of the Divine Savior – was built on the site of a mosque beginning 1684. I could not believe the beauty of this church. Over the top but takes one’s breath away!

Explore Andalucia with Art Pursuits

If you’d like to join us for our next study tour to Andalucia, you can join our Sherry and Flamenco Country – Gastronomy, culture and art in south-western Andalucia tour departing in March 2019. This new Art Pursuits Abroad Study Tour takes us off the beaten tourist track as we explore the rich history and cultural traditions of south-western Andalucia.

Comments (4):

  1. Patricia Heath

    December 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    I really enjoyed this! It brought it all back! Beautiful photos and I am most impressed that you could produce all this so quickly! Most enjoyable! Thank you!

  2. Patricia Kleinman

    December 16, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Dear Peg,

    Thank you so much for doing this. Great photographs. Good memories. It was good to see you again. Best

  3. Patricia Picking

    December 19, 2018 at 6:54 am

    I too have really enjoyed your charming photos with comment on our full and varied tour based in Granada, Cordoba & Seville. I am impressed that such a professional, concise review was produced so discreetly.
    Thank you Peg, for your company and especially the ‘Blog’.

  4. Gill Crozier

    January 1, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Thank you for this Peg. Wonderful photos conveying lovely memories.

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