Spanish history

This tag is associated with 32 posts

Alhambra documentaries

A friend who is visiting us soon asked about the Alhambra in Granada; whether there were any documentaries about it and the best books. The official guide to the Alhambra is a good start but fairly basic as one would expect. One book to look out for, we’ve been told, is ‘Reading the Alhambra’ by José Miguel … Continue reading

A special shop and an old tile

We’ve discovered a shop in Granada called Tauriq. It’s near the cathedral on Calle San Jerénimo and sells old stuff: tiles, ceramic bowls from cities such as Seville and Granada, marble slabs, clay vases which once stored olive oil or wine, clocks and more (a shop that has several clocks ticking simultaneously always has the … Continue reading

Órgiva – Then and Now #12

A popular place to park in Órgiva is behind the ‘small’ BP petrol station (there are two). This, along with the fact the road that loops behind it takes you down to roads such as Estrella and Pago, means it’s often a bustling area. Vehicles vie for parking spaces and people gather to pay their … Continue reading

The cemetery above Órgiva

High above Órgiva a pine-clad hill is punctuated by a white, three-metre-high walled area: Órgiva’s cemetery. Today in the drizzle we headed up there for no reason other than to enjoy the amazing view of the Rio Guadalfeo valley and the Sierra de Lújar. A duvet of battleship-grey clouds slid eastwards across the mountains while the … Continue reading

A walk to Sacromonte, Granada

In brutal August heat with our backs as wet as newly-caught mackerel, we followed our noses to the area in Granada known as Sacromonte (‘sacred mount’). For every ten visitors to neighbouring Albaicín, one visits this area, it seemed to us anyway. High up, both have views that leave you – well – in awe of … Continue reading

‘When the Moors ruled Europe’ documentary

Following our previous post about our trip to the Alhambra, here’s a very good documentary entitled ‘When the Moors ruled Europe‘ – presented by the historian and broadcaster, Bettany Hughes. We think it’s one of the better documentaries and films out there (and there are hundreds). It’s not just about Granada but takes a broader look … Continue reading

The Long Good Friday in the Alhambra

Like all good tourists, we decided to take the plunge and go on a three hour tour. Our guide wore jeans in the heat, spoke to the group via microphone – which picked up everything including what his wife was cooking him for supper – and led us around the breathtaking Alhambra Palace in Granada. So much … Continue reading

Órgiva – Then and Now #9

Now you see it, now you don’t. The Guardia Civil headquarters in Órgiva, opened in 1948, was once surrounded by, well, not that much. Today, the Plaza Alpujarra stretches out in from of it, a car park to its right (near the site of the weekly market) and a bar to the left. Someone planted … Continue reading

A flag is raised in Órgiva

Deserted streets, overhead canopies bulging with rain water and the church bells ringing out for longer than usual – there’s a strangely damp, sombre feel to Órgiva today. Earlier, dressed in dark green and marching to a funeral-like drum, the Guardia Civil band headed up Calle Doctor Fleming to their base on Plaza Alpujarra. A … Continue reading

A day on the tiles

If we photographed every unique, ceramic tile spotted in Granada, there’d be a print for every resident of the city – such is the beauty hidden in the shady doorways and sometimes-forgotten facades of the city. In an antique shop on the Gran Vía de Colón, there were individual tiles for sale dating back to the … Continue reading

Órgiva – Then and Now #8

These photos were taken on Plaza García Moreno in Órgiva. Both show the church but in the older picture the building to the left has since been knocked down. It’s currently wasteland waiting to be developed. The older photo, probably taken in the late 1950s/60s, shows a religious procession. The modern photo was taken in front … Continue reading

1967: anatomy of a film – Jerez, Andalucia (part 1)

A sherry-drinking mouse up a ladder; a pale blue Austin whizzing around Andalucia; beautiful Spanish women – and it’s all from 1967, courtesy of British Pathé, which recently put 85,000 clips on YouTube. In this film there’s barely a a word of commentary that isn’t interesting or entertaining. Watch until the end – it’s fabulous; … Continue reading

Granada and Eastern Andalucia by David Hewson (book review)

Like many writers in their early days, David Hewson wasn’t exactly rolling in it. But years later – having turned a popular TV series, The Killing, into a hugely-successful series of novels – he’s perhaps made, well, a killing. He’s been a journalist (having helped launch The Independent newspaper) and writer for years. In 1987 David, by … Continue reading

A piece of the Alhambra in London

The piece of the Alhambra is a tile that’s been locked away in the British Museum’s collection – or gawped at – since 1802. The museum’s sheer size means you need to walk a million miles for one of its tiles, but found it was, in the dim light of the Enlightenment Room. A hummingbird … Continue reading

Songs about Spain – The Caves of Altamira

M grew up listening to the American group Steely Dan and always loved the song ‘The Caves of Altamira’ off their 1976 album, The Royal Scam. Only now, here in Spain, did curiosity lead us to find out where the caves are. And they couldn’t be further from where we live. It – the site … Continue reading