Takes you right into the heart of southern Spain by uncovering the delights of Granada, Seville and Córdoba, the sparkling coastal resorts and the magnificent landscape – visits Seville, a city of drama and passion, home to those most Spanish creations, flamenco and tapas, and the greatest gothic cathedral in the world, La Giralda – explores spiritual Córdoba, with its Great Mosque and medieval quarters, and refined and wistful Granada, with its extraordinary garden-hung Alhambra palace and spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada – relaxes on the best of southern Spain’s beaches and seaside towns, travels over to Gibraltar and shows you the best places to unwind with a glass of sherry
Features: dynamic two-colour layout for navigation; a magazine style, combining photography, itineraries and the author's personal take on the country; extensive listings of hotels and restaurants - all personally visited and recommended for a really local flavour; and, top 'Don't Miss' sights at the start of every regional chapter.
Excerpt: Córdoba: La Mezquita
La Mezquita is the local name for Abd ar-Rahman’s Great Mosque. Mezquita means ‘mosque’ and even though the building has officially been a cathedral for more than 750 years, no one could ever mistake its origins. Abd ar-Rahman I, founder of a new state, felt it necessary to construct a great religious monument for his capital. As part of his plan, he also wished to make it a centre of pilgrimage to increase the sense of divorce from eastern Islam; Mecca was at the time held by his Abbasid enemies.
Islam was never entirely immune to the exaltation of holy relics, and there is a story that Abd ar-Rahman had an arm of Mohammed to legitimize his mosque as a pilgrimage site. The site, at the centre of the city, had originally held a Roman temple of Janus, and later a Visigothic church. Only about one-third of the mosque belongs to the original. Successive enlargements were made by Abd ar-Rahman II, al-Hakim, and al-Mansur. ...click here to read the rest
Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls can be reached at: email@example.com