Origin of Cordoba courtyards

To answer the question we need to go back in time, to the ancient civilizations that settled in the past, such as the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks or Romans. Back then, houses were already arranged, as in this case, around a central courtyard, where the family carried out their activities. Some of these civilizations brought their culture, their language… and, obviously, their architecture to the West. This is how this kind of building arrived in Córdoba, as well as in other corners of the Iberian Peninsula.

The courtyard in Córdoba comes from the courtyards of the Roman houses, that is, the typical Mediterranean house, with a simple outside, without steps (or at least, not many), which could be accessed through a courtyard, with marble flooring and central fountain. The Arabs kept this type of building, although they added the “riat” (flower beds) with flowers and water, coming from the well or fountain. In the Middle Ages, the courtyard is still one of the most important elements in all the buildings, even in religious ones.

However, what we know today as “Neighbours’ house” has its origin, already in modern times, in the need to increase the number of houses due to the demand after the migration from the countryside to the city. These houses had to be, first of all, affordable; therefore a kind of building similar to the old inns was created. Many of these houses were old houses that belonged to the aristocracy, which were modified by erecting stairways to get to the higher floor and building rooms for all the neighbours.

The popular courtyard in Córdoba, as we know it today, consists of a modest entrance in a hallway that leads to the courtyard, where the communal places of the house are: washing room, kitchens, and toilets, which also lead to the neighbours’ houses. The walls of the courtyard are usually whitewashed and full of flower pots with geraniums, jasmines, tuberose, roses and carnations, which give it a unique colour and scent. Besides, the typical well usually stands out, in the centre or on one side of the courtyard, and the stairway leading to the higher rooms. In some cases, we can even see orange and lemon trees.

In 1918, the City Council of Córdoba started the Festival of the Courtyards in Córdoba we are talking about, although there has always been speculation with the fact that it was created around 1933, since it was at this time when they started to become popular. The contests stopped during the Spanish Civil War, but they were resumed in the 1950s, especially thanks to the promotion by Mayor Antonio Cruz Conde, and some of the houses damaged during the conflict were even restored. Besides, in the last third of the 20th century, there has been a new boost to the festival with the creation of the Association of Friends of the Courtyards in Córdoba, whose aim is to prevent the loss of this tradition, as the population of the old centre of the city is gradually decreasing and becoming old. It is true that most courtyards are located in the oldest neighbourhoods in the city: San Agustín, Santa Marina, San Lorenzo, the Jewish Quarter and San Basilio.

Finally, we would like to mention the great effort and considerable investment it means for the residents in these neighbourhoods, who spend a long time caring for their courtyards in order for visitors and tourists to fully enjoy them in May.

20 Madrid Attractions You Need to Visit Before You Die

20 Madrid Attractions You Need to Visit Before You Die

20 Madrid Attractions You Need to Visit Before You Die

© iteijeiro/Flickr
Madrid skyline | © iteijeiro/Flickr

JESSICA JONES

Madrid might not have the status of Rome or Paris in terms of sights, but the Spanish capital is a pleasure to explore. From historical gems and world-class art, to an incredible food scene and picturesque parks, we take a look at the top attractions in Madrid to visit.
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Plaza Mayor
Madrid’s main square holds centuries of history in its cobbles and has been the scene of everything from coronations to bullfights and beheadings. These days it’s a nice place to stroll and sample one of the city’s famed foods: a calamari sandwich (bocadillo de calamares) from one of the bars surrounding the square.

Royal Palace
The official residence of Spain’s royal family is these days used for official ceremonies only (King Felipe and Queen Letizia live in the more modest Zarzuela Palace just outside Madrid). Members of the public can visit the palace and check out centuries worth of paintings, furniture and armour.

Madrid’s Royal Palace
©Eric Titcombe/Flickr
Retiro Park
Madrid’s most beautiful park is the ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon enjoying a picnic and messing about in a rowing boat on the lake.

The Crystal Palace in Madrid’s Retiro Park
© Felipe Gabaldón/Flickr
Templo de Debod
Madrid’s very own Egyptian temple was bestowed on the country by Egypt and moved, piece by piece, in the early 1970s. It is one of the best places to watch the sun set in Madrid.

Madrid’s Templo de Debod Egyptian temple
©Dani Romero/Flickr
KIO Towers
The seemingly gravity defying KIO towers in Madrid’s financial district lean at a 15 degree angle and were the first leaning skyscrapers in the world.

Gran Vía
Madrid’s most iconic street has a cinematic scope that has seen it star in Abre Los Ojos (the original Spanish language movie of the 2001 Tom Cruise remake Vanilla Sky). Head to the top of the Corte Inglés Gourmet Experience for a great view of the street’s famous Schweppes sign.

Madrid’s Gran Vía
©Felipe Gabaldón/Flickr
Rooftop bars
Head to one of Madrid’s rooftop bars for an unforgettable view over the city’s rooftops. We recommend Circulo de Bellas Artes for one of the best panoramas of the capital.

Puerta del Sol
All roads in Spain lead to the Puerta del Sol, known as kilometre zero and the very centre of the country. It is also home to the famous statue of the bear and the strawberry tree, the official symbol of Madrid.

The bear and the strawberry tree on Puerta del Sol
©Alex Lecea/Flickr
The Golden Triangle of art galleries
Madrid is home to some of the world’s best art galleries, and the three most famous are handily located close to each other in a triangle. The Prado (classical paintings), The Reina Sofia (modern art) and the Thyssen-Bornemisza (a little bit of everything) are full of artistic riches well worth exploring.

Madrid’s Prado Museum
©donfalcone/Pixabay
Palacio de Cibeles
This grand building was, amazingly, the headquarters of Madrid’s post office until 2011. Today it is the home of Madrid’s City Council and a visitor attraction because of the incredible views from its observation deck.

Madrid’s Palacio de Cibeles
©imagea.org/Flickr
Calle de Cava Baja
The ideal spot for a tapas crawl, Cava Baja is Madrid’s famous ‘tapas street’ and on an evening is teeming with people enjoying a drink and a bite. Some of our favourite spots are La Perejila, Txakolina and El Tempranillo.

Sobrino de Botín
Madrid is home to what is officially the oldest restaurant in the world – it has the Guinness World Record certificate in the window to prove it. Sobrino de Botín was founded in 1725 and has been going strong ever since. Its speciality is roast suckling pig and it appears in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.

Cine Doré
This old cinema shows classic Hollywood and modern films from around the world for a bargain €2.50. Its tumultuous history saw it bombed during the Spanish Civil War but today it is home to the Filmoteca Española, which restores and preserves old films as part of Spain’s Ministry of Culture. It appears in Pedro Almodóvar’s Hable con Ella (Talk to Her).

Madrid’s Cine Doré
©Juan Antonio Segal/Flickr
Plaza Dos de Mayo
This square is in the heart of the hip neighbourhood of Malasaña and is surrounded by a host of excellent bars, restaurants and shops. One of Madrid’s best nightlife spots.

The Rastro
Madrid’s famous flea market is held every Sunday morning, when the streets come to life with stalls, bars open out onto the streets and locals and tourists alike enjoy the fiesta atmosphere around the area of Lavapiés.

Madrid’s Rastro market
©Konrad Karlsson/Flickr
Almudena Cathedral
Madrid’s cathedral was consecrated by Pope John Paul on its opening in 1993. Its Baroque exterior matches the older Royal Palace next door, and it was where King Felipe and Queen Letizia married.

Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral
©Eric Titcombe/Flickr
Literary Quarter
Barrio de Las Letras is one of Madrid’s most beautiful and coolest neighbourhoods. It was the home of Spanish literary giant and Don Quixote author, Miguel de Cervantes and these days is full of quirky bars and restaurants. Make sure to look down once in a while; the streets are peppered with famous literary quotes.

Atocha train station
Madrid’s main train has a very unusual feature – its very own indoor rainforest, home to dozens of turtles.

Matadero
This former slaughterhouse (“matadero” in Spanish) situated along the River Manzanares was converted into an arts centre in the early 2000s. It has its own cinema and exhibition spaces and holds regular performances and food markets.

San Ginés for churros
You cannot possibly leave Madrid without trying churros con chocolate (sugar-drenched deep-fried dough sticks with hot chocolate) from San Ginés, which has been serving since 1894. It is open all night long, so is a great pitstop on the way home from a night on the town.

Morocco Inland & Coast 14 days Tour

YOUR PROGRAM

 

Day 1 Casablanca

 

Upon arrival to Casablanca; the biggest city of the country, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you would be able to go for a visit to the GREAT MOSQUE HASSAN II where you will meet a fascinating example of the Moroccan architecture. It is the largest mosque in the kingdom and the fifth largest mosque in the world. Its minaret is the tallest one in the world at 210 m. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 2  Casablanca – Rabat – Meknes

 

Continue the journey to Rabat, the political capital of Morocco for a sightseeing tour. See the OUDAYA KASBAH and it’s beautiful gardens are located at Abou Regreg river. It was built during the reign of the Almohad dynasty in 12th century. The MAUSOLEUM OF MOHAMED V and Hassan II and HASSAN TOWER which is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat. The tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world. Next stop, Meknes, the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail late 17th century. He built in the ingeniously designed granaries, really fascinating architecture of tiny windows, massive walls where he used to store grain and hay to feed his 15.000 horses. Take a great shot at the Bab al Mansour built in the 11th century.

 

Day 3  Meknes – Volubilis – Meknes

 

After breakfast we will go back on time to 3th century by a guided tour VOLUBILIS,  the most important archaeological site in Morocco which features the best preserved Roman ruins in this part of Northern Africa listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. After this visit we head back to Meknes, afternoon on your own.

 

Day 4 Meknes – Fes

 

Continue the journey to Fes. Your guide will show you Royal Palace gate and the Jewish headquarter. It was the first Mellah ever built in Morocco, dated on the 16th century. Towards your local tour guide visit all sites with cultural and historical interest including the famous AL QARAOUINE UNIVERSITY, the oldest in the region, the tanneries, the ATTARINE MUSSEUM and MULAY IDRISS MAUSOLEUM.  Visit as well the tiles cooperative and then experience a panoramic view over the whole Medina of Fes the oldest city and spiritual capital of Morocco. You can stroll through the many narrow streets and alleys.

 

 

Day 5: Fes  – Ifrane – Midelt
Next stop at Ifrane, a small town located in the so-called Moroccan Switzerland further to Midelt, a village situated on the foothills of the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains. From this vast plateau, we start crossing up those tough mountains which are still settled by a big Berber community. The landscapes here includes palm tree oases at Jbel Ayachi at 3747 m.
Day 6: Midelt  – Errachidia – Erfoud – Merzouga Desert 
Scenic drive to join the pre-Saharan zone passing first by ERRACHIDIA and ERFOUD, which is famous for its pottery and the interesting fossil quarries, some dated over 350 million years ago when the region was a part of the huge ocean. Heading up to the red colored sand sea dunes of  Merzouga via RISSANI. From a vast plateau, you will get impressed by the huge sand dune of MERZOUGA appearing from the horizon.  Then we will ride the CAMELS into the dunes of Erg Chebbi. This is a great opportunity to take lovely pictures of the sunset. When we reach the camp we will leave the camels and we walk to the highest sand dunes for sandboarding (optional) or relax and watch the sunset. We will spend the night in a camp (Berber nomad tents) with drums music in the middle of the Sahara.
Day 7: Merzouga – Tinghir – Todra Gorges
After a memorable night in the middle of the dunes, the camels take you back to the hotel where you can have breakfast and a shower. Enjoy the drive through the eastern slopes of the Atlas Mountains. After passing Erfoud, arrive at the TINGHIR OASIS with its green valley of palms and local villages. On to the impressive TODRA GORGES, in its narrowest point just 10 m wide. You can walk in the refreshing cold river and enjoy the view on the rocks, up to 150 m. high.
Day 8: Todra Gorges – Dades Valley – Rose Valley – Ouarzazate

From the great canyons of Todra, we go along the road of a thousand kasbahs, some of these fortified houses are restored. A visit to one KASBAHS is scheduled. We pass a town called Boumalen situated on the edge of DADES VALLEY which rises in the High Atlas Mountains, giving life to a huge Berber community by its rich agriculture. Continue to the ROSE VALLEY appearing with the green colors of its Alfalfa plants, olive trees, fig trees and grapes. Continue to OUARZAZATE a city situated in the middle of a bare plateau. It is mainly inhabited by Berbers, who constructed many of the prominent kasbahs and building for which the area is known. One of those building is Taourirt Kasbah diverted in the 17th century.  Ouarzazate is a popular film location, with Moroccos biggest studios inviting many international film companies to shoot their movies there.

 

Day 9: Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Ouarzazate
Travel to AÏT BENHADDOU, a kasbah famous as a film location for Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. It is located 35 km from Ouarzazate and it is a fortified city, built in the 11th century.  Once it was the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh. It is situated on a hill along the Ounila River. Most of the town’s inhabitants now live in a more modern village on the other side of the river; however, around five families are still living within this Kasbah.  Ait Benhaddou Kasbah has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and several films have been shot there.
Day 10: Ouarzazate – Tiz n Tichka Pass – Marrakech
Pass through picturesque villages surrounded by craggy mountains towards  TIZI ‘N’TICHKA PASS in the heart of the High Atlas Mountains. You will enjoy stunning views on this road where each new twist leads to a different and spectacular landscape.  Arrive at the red-colored imperial city of MARRAKECH, justly reputed the most fascinating of all Moroccan cities for an overnight. Visit famous DJEMAA EL FNA SQUARE. Coming alive at night with the local storytellers, entertainers, and succulent barbecue pits, the square is well worth a visit. A quiet cup of tea on the terrace of a nearby bar offers a spectacular aerial view of the bustling square.
Day 11 : Marrakech
Guided tour of Marrakech where to discover the BAHIA PALACE, the SAADIAN TOMBS, the magnificent KOUTOUBIA MOSQUE, among many other hidden treasures. Explore the OLD SOUK  (market) lined with fresh fruit, mounds of spices, woven Berber carpets and other handicrafts.
Day 12 : Marrakech – Essaouira
Continue the trip to Essaouira. Enjoy this beautiful day at the beach. The interesting architecture of the city shows characteristics of both Portuguese/French and Berber in a beautiful town protected by UNESCO. Its white houses, its relaxed atmosphere, its classic outdoor cafes, craft shops, and tasty fresh fish make a visit so special.
Day 13 : Essaouira – Al Jadida – Casablanca
Depart for returning to Casablanca, via Al-Jadida, another beautiful coastal town on the way to Casablanca, where we arrive in the afternoon.
Day 14 : Casablanca – Transfer to the airport
Airport private shuttle.
Halal Holidays in Morocco

Halal Holidays in Morocco

Halal Holidays in Morocco

 

Morocco is the up-and-coming destination for halal tourism. It offers a wide choice of halal-friendly accommodation in beach resorts, historic cities and mountain villages, great halal food and lots to see and do. Marrakesh, in particular, is proving to be an extremely popular city break destination for Muslim tourists.

Is it easy to find halal food in Morocco?

Yes, as a Muslim country, all of the food served in restaurants in Morocco is halal, with the exception of a few tourist establishments in resorts. It is also easy to find ‘dry’ hotels and restaurants which don’t serve alcohol.

Traditional Moroccan food

Make sure you try the following halal food during your stay in Morocco:

  • Couscous This fine wheat pasta, with the consistency of rice, is found throughout Morocco, served with fish meat and delicious tagines.
  • Tagines These traditional Moroccan stews take their name from the clay pots in which they are cooked. They are made with chicken, lamb or fish and flavored with herbs and spices, enhanced with such delicacies as green olives, preserved lemons, apricots and raisins.
  • Pastilla or B’stilla Traditional chicken or pigeon pies covered with layers of delicate flaky pastry, flavored with cinnamon and dusted with icing sugar.
  • Harira Soup This delicious soup is traditionally served at the start of the iftar meal during Ramadan and is made with tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils and lamb.
  • Mint Tea
  • Fragrant fresh mint tea is the most common beverage in Morocco, served with meals and at every time in-between. It is extremely refreshing!

 

Morocco’s Fascinating Culture and History

The History of Islam in Morocco

Islam was first brought to Morocco by Arab traders in the 7th and 8th centuries. In 788 Idris ibn Abdallah, or Moulay Idris I, as he is known in Morocco, who was the great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammed, decided to settle in Morocco. He founded the Moroccan Umayyad state, but his work was cut short when he was assassinated. It was left to his son, Idris II, born after the death of his father to unify Morocco and firmly establish its allegiance to Islam.

Islamic architecture and mosques in Morocco

Top 3 Mosques to Visit in Morocco

Koutoubia or Kutubiyya Mosque, Marrakesh
Completed in 1199, this mosque is one of Morocco’s great historic buildings. It takes its name from the booksellers which originally surrounded it. Its minaret is one of the most impressive in the Islamic world, built to an unusual square design from enormous blocks of local red sandstone, reaching a height of 77 metres.

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca
Built-in 1993 to commemorate the 60th birthday of King Hassan II, this spectacular mosque showcases the best of modern architecture and Moroccan craftsmanship. Its interior displays colorful ceramic tiles, known as zellij, hand-carved stone and wood and elaborate marble floors. Its minaret is an astonishing 210 meters tall and the mosque is in a breathtakingly beautiful location, jutting out over the waves of the Atlantic sea. It is one of the largest mosques in the world – there is space for 25,000 people to worship here.

Kairouine Mosque (Al Quaraouiyine), Fes
Founded in 859 by Fatima El Fihria, a female Tunisian refuge, this mosque is one of the largest in Africa, where over 20,000 people can worship at one time. Its green pyramid-shaped roof and minaret are at the heart of the University, which is one of the oldest in the world. It was built in a plain and simple style which has been embellished over the ages, with Andalusian touches, elegant arches and grand pavilions.

Breath-taking Scenery in Morocco

Morocco boasts a diverse landscape, from snow-capped mountains to the sands of the western Sahara desert. It benefits from a the Mediterranean and an Atlantic coastline, with some of its finest sandy beaches in the resort of Agadir on the Atlantic coast. It has two dramatic mountain ranges: the Atlas mountains in the center of the country, providing a stunning backdrop to the Imperial city of Marrakesh, and the Rif mountains which run along Morocco’s northern edge.

Enchanting Medinas in Morocco

The names of Morocco’s magnificent cities even sound enticing as they roll off the tongue – Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, Marrakesh, Tangier. They each have their own fascinating history, and at the center of each is the historic medina or ‘old town’. This is usually the cultural heart of the city, surrounded by city walls, inside which can be found a maze of narrow streets, where its most interesting and most ancient buildings and monuments can be found. You will usually find historic mosques, a street market or souk, and lots of the traditional riads – mansions built around a central courtyard – many of which have now been turned into intimate, family-run hotels. Food served in Moroccan cities will always be halal, and if you are looking for an alcohol-free restaurant then the medina is a good place to start, as this is often the most conservative and traditional part of the city.

Great Climate All Year Round

Morocco is a fantastic choice for a halal-friendly holiday, all year round. Summers are hot and dry – perfect for beach-lovers – with the hot, sunny weather lasting right through September and October. The climate in winter remains mild, making it a popular choice throughout the year. Spring is a beautiful time to visit when the mountains are green, and flowers in bloom.

What kind of accommodation is available for Muslim families in Morocco?

Morocco offers a wide variety of choice for Muslim families. Choose from resort style halal-friendly hotels, exclusive villas or riad style hotels.

There are many alcohol-free or ‘dry’ hotels available, which only serve halal food. There are also a number of hotels such as Le Vizir Center Park and Resort, Villa Koutoubia and the Grand Mogador Tanger Sea View & Spa which offer dedicated swimming pools for women.

Top ‘dry’ hotels in Morocco
HalalBooking’s verified customers have rated the following Morocco hotels as superb or very good based on their own first-hand experience:

Riad Maison, Arabo Andalouse, Marrakesh
Villa Koutoubia
Residence Yasmina
Grand Mogador Tanger Sea View & Spa
Le Vizir Center Park & Resort
What is a riad?

A riad, which literally means ‘garden’, is a traditional Moroccan house built around a central courtyard, which often has its own small swimming pool. Many riads have been converted to small, authentic hotels.

Why are riads good for Muslim families?
Staying in a riad is a great choice for a halal-friendly holiday. Riads are small and family-run. Typically they have around five rooms. All of the food served is halal and the vast majority do not serve alcohol. Some riads are available for private hire by your family group, which allows your family to use the swimming pool in complete privacy. HalalBooking offers the opportunity to stay in a riad hotel in the medina of Marrakesh, in Fes, Errachidia and Essaouira.

Halal Villas in Morocco

HalalBooking offers a good choice of stylish villas and riads which are available to rent exclusively by your family group. Swimming pools in HalalBooking’s villas all offer complete privacy and are not overlooked in any way. Self-catering offers more freedom for Muslim families. It is easy to shop for halal food in Morocco and two of the supermarket chains, Marjane and Acima do not sell alcohol.

The Top five reasons to visit Morocco

  1. Delicious Halal Food
  2. Fascinating Culture & History
  3. Breath-taking Scenery
  4. Enchanting Medinas
  5. Great Climate All Year Round
  6. Delicious Halal Food in Morocco

Top Places to stay in Morocco 

The enchanting city of Marrakesh needs no introduction. Stay in the heart of the ancient medina for an atmospheric halal city break experience. Find out more about halal-friendly holidays in Marrakesh.

Fes is another of Morocco’s imperial cities and also a great choice for a city break.

Set on the Straits of Gibraltar, the port city of Tangier is characterized by its whitewashed hillside medina. Further south, overlooking the Atlantic coast, Essaouira is a charming fortified town, set on beautiful sandy beaches. Essaouira is home to artists and craftsmen and famous for its marquetry, or inlaid woodwork.

Those seeking golden sand and a laid-back resort atmosphere should head to Agadir. For mountain scenery head to the distinctive mountain village of Chefchaouen, with its unusual blue-washed buildings high in the Rif Mountains, or to Errachidia, which is the ideal base from which to explore the dramatic Ziz Valley.

What is the currency in Morocco?

The local currency is the Dirham – it’s a closed currency so you can’t usually obtain it outside Morocco. Take cash in major currencies to exchange or withdraw it from a cashpoint machine with your credit or debit card.

Top Tips for Shopping in Morocco

The renowned Moroccan souks offer an authentic shopping experience, which is as much about the experience as what you choose to buy.

Don’t forget to barter – haggling is an accepted part of shopping in the traditional markets, so you need to negotiate for the best price.
Make sure you have cash ready to pay – either the local currency, Dirham, or a major international currency that will be accepted in some places.
Don’t be surprised if you’re offered a glass of mint tea to seal the deal!
What should I buy as a souvenir of my halal holiday in Morocco?

These are some unique gifts that you can bring back to remind you of Morocco:

1. Leather goods – Morocco, and especially the city of Fes, is famous for its traditional tanneries. Buy a pair of brightly-colored authentic slippers known as ‘babouche’ or ‘belgha’ – great for wearing around the house when you get home.
2. Woodwork – Essaouira is famous for its beautiful marquetry, or inlaid woodwork, made from the local Thuya tree, a mahogany-like hardwood. You can buy beautiful furniture bowls and ornaments.
3. Lanterns – the intricate lanterns with brightly-colored glass are available in the souks of Marrakesh or Fes and look beautiful inside or out. Great for reminding you of your holiday when you’re back home!
4. Hand-painted ceramics – lovely pottery is painted in bright colors with traditional patterns and is perfect for gifts or to spice up your home.
5. Djellabas – the traditional Moroccan dress worn by both men and women is a great cover-up. Women have a fantastic choice of colors, materials and patterns.

El germen del Renacimiento europeo está en Cordoba

No es hasta los siglos XIX y XX cuando historiadores y arabistas, a menudo foráneos, comienzan a destacar la importantísima dimensión cultural de la Córdoba omeya, «luz de Occidente», la mayor ciudad europea del momento. Un crisol de culturas y religiones que interaccionan entre sí, que si bien sufre un progresivo proceso de arabización e islamización promovido por las élites gobernantes, alcanza momentos de esplendor mientras hubo convivencia y tolerancia.

En la corte omeya será acogida toda una pléyade de sabios venidos de toda Al-Ándalus y más allá que estudia y desarrolla las tradiciones filosóficas y de conocimiento de griegos y romanos.  Física, Matemáticas, Medicina, Astrología, pero también se van a producir un fenómeno importante de mecenazgo y fomento de las artes como la Arquitectura, orfebrería, poesía, ilustración o música. Destaquemos por ejemplo la figura de Ibn Firnas, pionero de la aviación y primer ser humano documentado que consiguió volar en el año 875 con alas diseñadas por él mismo. Generalmente olvidado, Firnás se anticipa quinientos años al gran Leonardo y nada menos que un milenio a los pioneros occidentales modernos. Nacido en Ronda en 810, se arrojaba desde los alminares cordobeses probando sus inventos ante la atónita mirada de la muchedumbre. Pero no estaba loco. Era profesor de poesía en la corte de Abderramán II, destacado filósofo, físico y astrólogo. Pocos le conocen hoy en día en la ciudad que le vio volar.

Es sólo un botón de muestra de lo que se cocía en Al-Ándalus, pues todos sabemos que la lista de sabios andalusíes es extensa y sobrevive incluso al Califato. Ibn Hazm, Ziryab, Averroes, Ibn Shaprut, Maimónides, Mohamed al Gafequi son sólo los más reconocidos. El propio califa Al Hakam II es apodado «el Sabio», pues era arquitecto, poeta, filósofo, lector compulsivo e impresionante mecenas de las artes y ciencias. Construyó él mismo una inmensa biblioteca en el Alcázar de Córdoba con hasta 400.000 volúmenes recuperados por toda una legión de agentes que viajaban por todo el mundo conocido, traducidos al árabe por sus propios copistas e iluminadores para su estudio y desarrollo científico. Además, desde otras capitales romanas se trajeron a Medina Azahara (La Ciudad Esplendorosa, «Versalles de la Edad Media») y a Córdoba gran cantidad de objetos de origen romano, incluidas esculturas y sarcófagos ilustrados, que restauraban y reutilizaban como verdaderos objetos de prestigio, antigüedades que tanto apreciaban a pesar de incluir la forma humana. Es decir, se estaba produciendo una recuperación literal de la Antigüedad Clásica

A medida que la investigación avanza nos describe un pronunciado aspecto bizantino en la Dinastía Omeya, tal vez sorprendente en una cultura islámica. Pero no hemos de olvidar que eran originarios de Siria, área intensamente romanizada como la Bética y acusados de ser tolerantes con los «infieles» por los Abasíes de Bagdad, que trataron arduamente de exterminar a los Omeya de la faz de la Tierra

The Top 6 Reasons to Visit Spain

The Top 6 Reasons to Visit Spain

The Top 6 Reasons to Visit Spain

By Halal Trip | 23, Dec, 2016

Among all the hot travel destinations in the world, Spain manages to come off right at the top because it is packed with splendid answers to ‘Why travel to Spain’. There are so many must-visit places in Spain and enjoyable things to do that once you arrive in the country you will feel you want to extend your holiday, just to experience more. For those of you who are still unsure whether visiting Spain is the best holiday option for you, here are some top reasons to visit Spain listed by HalalTrip.

1) Warm Weather – Great for Travel!

When you are thinking of why travel to Spain, you should consider whether the weather would be at its best for you to have the best vacation experience. The beauty of this country is that no matter what season it is, you would find that it is the best time to travel to Spain. In general the seasons of spring and fall are not very hot and would allow you to travel to most of the top attractions in Spainwith ease. Summer tends to get slightly warm but is great for those who love the sun.

2) A Winter Wonderland

Travelling during winter would be great if you want to avoid large crowds. Also it is good to note that the South of the country is found to have less extreme cold weather during winter.You would also be able to get great off-season travel deals since most tourists do not travel during this time of the year. You can even engage in fun activities like skiing in the mountain ranges which is one of the bestthings to do in Spain, and of course enjoy the beauty of Christmas décor that adorn the streets.

3) Architectural Masterpieces

If you try to find why is Spain a popular travel destinationthe architectural wonders located all over the country come off at the top of the list. From awe inspiring cathedrals featuring the works of famed artists such as Gaudithese sites will give you enough of reasons to visit Spain. Try to include visits to the La SagradaFamilia and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela to your itinerary.

4) Great Mosques – Witness their Magnificent Splendor

Among all of the mosques in Spain, The Great Mosque of Cordoba should be a must-visit location for every traveler. Having a history dating back over thousands of years, this mosque has even been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other mosques which thrive on rich history and unmatched architectural splendor are the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, Almonaster Mosque and the mosque within the fortress of Alcazar of Jerez de la Frontera.

5) Spanish Cuisine – The Most Coveted in the World

The Muslim traveler would be much pleased by the great options of Halal food in Spain. Owing to the significantly higher number of Muslims in Spainyou will find many stylish eateries producing great Halal dishes for you to enjoy. Also there are ample choices of vegetarian dishes which are equally exquisite in taste.

6) Unmatched Natural Beauty

Travelers from around the world find many reasons as to why go to Spain on holiday. Among these is the natural beauty of the island. With mesmerizing sites such as mountain ranges, LagoMartianezWater Park, beautiful Atlantic beaches and hidden beaches like Calas, your vacation in Spain will make you feel like you are in paradise.

If you are planning to travel to Spain, HalalTrip offers useful information for Muslim travelers on where to find facilities such as mosques and Halal food. 

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