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Spain, December 2017- January 2018

Tony, Tatiana with statue of a street sweeper, in Plaza de Jacinto Benavente. Monument built in honor of the Madrid street sweepers. Photos taken in Puerta del Sol (Spanish for “Gate of the Sun”) Large public square in the centre of Madrid, famous for the new years eve celebrations and other gatherings and protests. The plaza is the centre, (Km 0) of the radial network of Spanish roads. The Puerta del Sol originated as one of the gates in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century. Outside the wall, medieval suburbs began to grow around the Christian Wall of the 12th century. The name of the gate originated from the rising sun which decorated the entry, since the gate was oriented to the east.

Tony, Tatiana sat by a stone piller in Puerta del Sol.

People and shops in Puerta del Sol.

Plaque marking the Km0 spot. It is directly north of the former Post Office (Casa de Correos), which is now the seat of the Presidency of the Madrid Community.

Tatiana by large fountain in Puerta del Sol.

Fountain in Puerta del Soul.

Tony, Tatiana in Puerta del Sol with buildings behind.

Tatiana in front of the statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree (in Spanish, el Oso y el Madroño), east side of Puerta del Sol. Not entirely sure it’s a strawberry tree! Apparently, this is the heraldic symbol of Madrid!

Large equestrian Statue of Charles III of Spain, (King: 10 August 1759 – 14 December 1788). Strange tree-like shape along side. He was nicknamed “el rey alcalde” (“the mayor-king”) due to the extensive public works program he initiated. The large monument is in the middle of Puerta del Sol.

Tatiana in front of Charles III of Spain equestrian statue.

Tony, Tatiana in front of Philip III equestrian statue in Plaza Mayor de Madrid (Main Square). The rectangular plaza measures 129 m × 94 m (423 ft × 308 ft), and was built during Philip III’s reign (1598–1621). It’s surrounded by three-story residential buildings having 237 balconies facing the Plaza. It, apparently, has a total of nine entrances.

Decorative, large, round Triton fountain in Campo del Moro Gardens near The Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace). The fountain’s statue is not in view. The Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid), is the official residence of the Spanish Royal family, but it is only used for state ceremonies. The 18th century built palace is located on Calle de Bailén (“Bailén Street”) in the western part of down town Madrid, east of the Manzanares River, and is accessible from the Ópera metro station. Several rooms in the palace are regularly open to the public except during state functions.

Tony in front of the Triton fountain, the statue is now evident.

Bottom of statue with tactile stone wreath in the ‘central garden’ of the Plaza de Oriente, part of the palace gardens.

Three large stone statues seen from a distance in Plaza de Oriente.

Statue of Fernán González in Plaza de Oriente, part of the palace gardens. (10th century), he was the first autonomous count of Castile.

Tatiana next to statue of Fernán González. The stone statues in these photos are found at the north and south boundaries of the Central Gardens. The row of statues, popularly known as the Gothic kings— sculptures representing five Visigoth rulers and fifteen rulers of the early Christian kingdoms in the Reconquista. They are carved from limestone, and are part of a series dedicated to all monarchs of Spain.

The main facade of the Palace, the one facing the Plaza de la Armeria, consists of a two-story rusticated stone base, from which rise Ionic columns on Tuscan pilasters framing the windows of the three main floors. Córdoba, Andalusia, 21st December Córdoba is a historic and cultural city in southern Spain. It was a Roman settlement, before being colonized by Muslim armies in the eighth century. It became the capital of the Islamic Emirate, and then of the Caliphate of Córdoba, including most of the Iberian Peninsula. Recaptured by by Christian forces in 1236, during the Reconquista. Today it is a moderately sized modern city with a large historic centre.

Narrow street and walls in Córdoba’s atmospheric ‘old town’. Córdoba has the second largest Old town in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Short, narrow, cobblestone alleyway and wall in the historic ‘old town’.

Possibly an entrance into the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, better known as the Mezquita.

Part of an entrance into the Mezquita complex, arches seen in foreground, metal studded gate on right, maybe part of a portcullis. Behind is the Courtyard of the Orange Trees, view of an entrance from a distance. This maybe part of the original tower. The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba is the most important monument of all the Western Islamic world. The evolution of the Omeya style in Spain is resumed in the history of the Mosque of Córdoba, as well as other styles such as the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque of the Christian architecture, as seen in several of the following photos. Abderraman III built the Alminar (minaret: Tower to call for prayer), which still remains in the actual bell tower. In 1593 the Chapter of the Cathedral took the initiative of getting the Tower remodelled and mended due to deterioration . The Campanil (bell tower) was constructed by Gaspar de la Peña in 1664. The tower faces to the north.

In the Courtyard of Orange Trees, orange trees in view.

Metal/wooden gate with grid pattern, an entrance into the Courtyard of the Orange Trees (Patio de los naranjos). This courtyard, containing real orange trees, has to be crossed to enter the mosque-cathedral complex. It is a fairly large open space flanked by several galleries with rough uneven cobblestones in its central area. Apparently, the existence of orange trees in the courtyard began in the 15th century. Some of the arches seen in the previous photos may lead from the courtyard into the praying hall. olive and cypress trees were added in the 18th century.

Security guard at the Mezquita, oranges can be seen in the background.

Orange trees with security guard with his back turned.

Corridor with arches and lights going into the distance inside the mosque/cathedral. The Mezquita is a large mosque – and partly converted Roman Catholic Cathedral in Córdoba’s historic centre. In 784 AD Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque on the foundation of an earlier Christian church. The mosque was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers who owned it until the early thirteenth century. Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista, and the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church, culminating in the insertion of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the 16th century. It’s ecclesiastical name is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption.

Long corridor with architectural arches with red and white colouring and railings which possibly belong to a chapel.

Looking towards and open entrance with light and the back of grilled covered doorways.

Looking across the churches inner area.

Full view of the main hall with marble columns, floor space and arches.

Information board, column, plus black square on the floor.

Cross view of metal bars of a chapel with columns.

6 columns plus religious paintings and metal bars of another chapel.

Ornate wall with wooden cabinet, and columns and arches going into the distance.

Main area of the former mosque, now church, more columns and arches.

Two stone busts carved into the stone wall.

Stone wall with circle and square patterns.

Unusual goblet-shaped brass bars decorated with semi-scroll detail.

Columns and arches going off into the distance, one arch appears pink and lit up.

Pews. Something under a red drape, roped off and in between two columns. Arches in the distance.

Two pulpits and and altar plus a child’s pram!

Tatiana holding an audio guide next to a strange wooden stall with elaborate furnishings. Unsure of the stalls function.

Small throne like seat, surrounded by plants on an altar.

Diagonal shot across the hall with columns, arches, various plaques on the floor.

Column with parts of arches either side at the top.

Ornate coloured archway.

Stone arch in entrance with Coloured doors.

Golden shiny railings on top of an ornate terracotta coloured wall, tall ornate carvings on the left.

Altar, pews in centre, candlesticks and paintings in background, gold patterns and carvings on altar. Plaques on stonework at the bottom of the altar.

Multicoloured wall with goblet shaped bars, wooden carvings at top of photo including an angel.

Altar at different angle, people sat in pews.

Two arches in the courtyard.

Courtyard of the Orange Trees.

Large trough of water with small fountain jets, in Courtyard of the Orange Trees.

Tony, Tatiana in the Courtyard of the Orange Trees.

Pretty white wavy flower. Cordoba, 22nd December Photos taken at the Alcázar The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Spanish for “Castle of the Christian Monarchs”), also known as the Alcázar of Córdoba, is a medieval Alcázar (palace or fortress) located in the city’s historic centre. The fortress served as one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. The architectural ensemble has a sober looking exterior and a splendid interior, with the magnificent gardens and courtyards that maintain an Mudéjar inspiration.

Two square ponds with trees, sun shining off the water. Pathway between the two ponds with railings, trees in background.

Pathway with steps, wall on right with white flowers and two columns with lamps attached.

Pillar with egg-shape stone on top, shows a pond towards the bottom with trees in background, part of the palace to the left and part of the sky.

Courtyard with small drinking fountain with column behind and mosaic on the courtyard’s floor.

Another view of a pond in the garden, Tatiana taking a photo with her phone, column and path behind.

Tony with one of the towers of the Alcázar, plus walkway and hedges.

Pond with plants and trees.

Courtyard with mosaic, rectangular hedges, the roof of the main building can just be seen in background.

Tatiana with column with squared off hedge behind and orange trees.

Pond with fountains spraying arc of water. Plants and trees in background.

Looking across the pond with fountains spurting water.

Tony stood with pond behind and spouts of water, unusual sunlight.

Looking across the pond with a person walking in the background.

Trees in a row, seen across a pond. Palace building in far distance.

Tatiana next to a rough stone statue of a woman, near one of the garden’s ponds. Walking path and trees are visible.

Tony with female stone statue, a lot of sky is visible.

Strange statue of a woman bending over, holding something, trees in background, plus white wall and roof of fortress building.

Courtyard with part of fortress on left side, two women, Trees with sphere shape tops. Sky and palm tree visible.

Pond with spouts of water, a woman sat on steps across the pond. Trees and fortress building behind.

Tony, Tatiana with pond in background plus woman sitting on steps, orange trees and other foliage.

Pond with spurting water, fortress in background, orange tree in alongside.

View across pond, orange trees with sky at the top.

Another view of a pond with jets. Taken at a different angle.

Pond with steps and one ornate lamp, walkway, trees and couple of people are visible.

View of pond with jets from behind a leafy tree.

Tatiana in front of square hedge with cylindrical hedge and palm trees.

Circular mosaic plaza with tourists on steps, battlements in background, a person drinking from a fountain.

Tatiana sat on stone wall of steps that lead from the fortress to the garden, hedges and trees behind.

Two square ponds, wall with battlements, one of the two towers, railings and lamps, are all visible.

Looking down stone steps with circular mosaic, hedges visible with roofs of buildings. A lamp and steps visible on the right, part of a pond is seen on the far left.

Similar steps as seen in previous photo, stone plant pots are visible.

Mostly view of the ground with some railings, tower is in view on the far left.

Some of the ground, a hedge, the tower again, more railings and trees.

Tony touching a statue of a night wearing a cloak and a helmet. It’s attached to railings and looks out over the grounds.

Side of arch and entrance/exit of the Alcázar, building in far distance, two people on are on the left.

Noches Magicos written on an advertisement board, En el Alcázar, Entrance under stone arch, a lamp in the middle of photo, 4 metal flagpoles on open ground with poles and wall in back.

Inside a small local tavern near the Guadalquivir River, locals eating,bar in background, extra fan on ceiling is visible. Christmas decorations are also visible. Ronda 23rd December 2017 Ronda is a city in the Spanish province of Málaga, located approximately 100 km (62 mi) west of the city of Málaga, in southern Spain. The Guadalevín River runs through Ronda, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 100-plus-meter- deep El Tajo canyon, upon which the city perches. Plaza de toros de Ronda (Ronda Bullring). Apparently, it’s the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain and entirely made of stone. Built in 1784, in the Neoclassical style, by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who also designed the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge).

Tony, Tatiana in Plaza de Toros, in front of the bullring’s metal entrance, a white building can be seen inside the gate along with part of a courtyard, located in Ronda’s ‘old town’, to the north of the gorge.

Tony, Tatiana in front of a bronze statue of Cayetano Ordóñez or his son, Antonio Ordóñez, famous 19th century Matadors. A wall with semi-circular holes is behind.

View of the El Pajo canyon with Puente Nuevo (Old Bridge), buildings visible across the other side of the bridge, railings and people in view, the other side of Ronda visible across the bridge, hills in distance, cars on the bridge.

Canyon with shadow of the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), foliage with rocks, buildings in sunlight, hills visible in the distance.

Canyon visible on the left, walkway on the opposite side with people looking at the view of hills.

Tatiana in front of rock wall of canyon, buildings visible on other side. Puente Nuevo (New Bridge). This bridge is the newest and largest of three bridges that spans the deep chasm that carries the Guadalevín River and divides Ronda. It is 66 meters long and 98 metres high with three spans. The bridge caries vehicular traffic and towers some 120 m (390 ft) above the canyon floor. The construction of the newest bridge (the stone one that stands today) was begun in 1759 and took 34 years to build, being completed in 1793. There is a chamber above the central arch that was used for several purposes, including as a prison.

Tony at the bridge, buildings on other side of canyon are visible.

3 pedestrians walking towards the camera, modernish building behind, landscape in background, a lot of sky visible, more buildings with steps and a railing.

Tony, Tatiana in front of canyon with the bridge above, car on bridge and building with a red tree behind, possibly the Parador Hotel, buildings and balconies on opposite side of the canyon.

Spiked railings in foreground, canyon and buildings are again visible.

Trellis on left side, buildings on both sides, view out over the hills and landscape on other side of canyon.

View across the canyon, walkways with a wall of foliage and buildings, more trees in distance.

Windy path with steps going down the canyon/gorge, some buildings on left, canyon rock face on the right and trees are visible.

Landscape with fields and hills, on left side is a white building with a brown roof, high small garden walls.

A road at bottom of the canyon, building with balconies is visible. Cádiz 28th December Cádiz is a historic city and sea port in Andalusia, south west Spain.

View of a long pedestrian street in the ‘old town’, street chairs can be seen along with a balcony, a long wall with several gateways is visible to the right.

Plaza de San Juan de Dios with a wavy pattern on the ground, trees and lamp posts are visible, several colourful old buildings are in view.

Souvenir shop, plus a balcony above the Evo Bank.

Individual seats with pigeons in the plaza’s central area. A building with a canopy is visible.

A seafood restaurant under a canopy in another part of the plaza, old Spanish couple and some younger people on their phones. Food display case in view.

Billboard of the seafood restaurant several, trees are in view. A lady is seemingly looking at a menu or her phone. Lights are visible in the plaza.

A large plant pot in the plaza, more trees and people are in view. Green and white buildings can be seen along with a mosaic pattern on the ground.

Tatiana near lamp, Plaza is lit up, illuminating several buildings. Ornate lamps are noticeable.

More lights and trees in the plaza.

The plaza again lit up by lamps and light bulbs in trees.

A large, long Fountain at one of end of the plaza, plant pots are visible. Other objects include a lamp post with lights ,a road and a strange round tower with a billboard.

Tree in centre, lit up doorway, light bulbs on the trees.

More trees with lights, some of the shops are lit up.