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  • Discover the legacy of al-Andalus as we explore the evocative architecture of Córdoba and Granada

  • Highlights include the Great Mosque of Córdoba and Granada’s famous Alhambra and Generalife – all UNESCO World Heritage sites

  • Learn about the wider heritage and context of this beautiful part of Spain

When Tariq, governor of Tangier, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar with his Berber army in 711 and swept through Hispania, one of Europe’s great civilisations was born and prospered for more than seven centuries: Islamic Spain.

Our journey begins in Córdoba, where we will survey the archaeological museum, built over the remains of the Roman theatre. At the heart of Córdoba’s Islamic inheritance lies one of Europe’s greatest buildings: the Mezquita, the Great Mosque, with its forest of columns under double-tiered arches, a superb mihrab and series of domes. It was transformed into a cathedral during the 13th century.

We will learn about the golden age of al-Andalus when the Great Mosque was built in Córdoba. This was also the time when the huge fortified palace city of Madinat al-Zahra was founded on the hills outside Córdoba. Building began in 940, at the behest of Abd ar-Rahman III. We will spend a morning surveying this site, which has been under excavation and restoration for over 100 years.

Other highlights of our time in Córdoba will include a walking tour by the Guadalquivir River, and a visit to the Alcázar with its Moorish-design gardens, containing cypresses, orange and lemon trees and water features.

Our tour then progresses to Granada, custodian of Spain’s most romantic Moorish monuments: not only the famed Alhambra of the Nasrid Sultans but also the adjoining Generalife with its evocative gardens.

A visit to the Renaissance cathedral and royal chapel in Granada, where we will see the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella, forms the finale of our tour. Built by Queen Isabella after the conquest of Granada, the cathedral is located on the former site of the ancient mosque.
Our tour concludes with a visit to the medieval town of Antequera, where we will take in dolmens (megalithic burial mounds).

In Córdoba our base will be the four-star Hotel NH Collection Amistad and in Granada we will stay at the four-star Hotel Barceló Carmen.

This tour will be led by Isaac Nugent, who holds an MA in Cultural Intellectual and Visual History from The Warburg Institute and an MA in Art and History of Art from the University of Edinburgh. He is currently completing an AHRC-funded PhD in Art History at the University of York. Prior to this, Isaac worked as a Curatorial Assistant for Modern and Contemporary Projects at the National Gallery; and he also works as a gallery educator at the National Gallery, contributing to a programme of tours, talks and workshops for schools, young people and adults. He has written book and exhibition reviews for a range of publications, including Burlington Contemporary, The Burlington Magazine and Dovetail.

Tour Code

Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, six breakfasts, one lunch, five dinners with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £545.

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