The ship is docked in Cadiz, Spain and this morning we are off to the White Villages of Andalusia! What will we find here?
The land is very flat, isn’t it? Driving out of Cadiz it is dry, with sand as far as you can see! Are we in the desert?
We have arrived at the city of Medina-Sidonia, a short drive from the port of Cadiz. As we enter one of three gates to the city, I feel we have found another world. Medina means city in Arabic and Sidonia is the word for this particular city. To make a long story short the Romans were here by the 3rd century BC and gained control over much of southern Spain. In 712 the town was conquered by the Muslim commander Musa ibn Nusair and was the capital of the province of Sidonia. In 1264, Alfonso X of Castile defeated the Moors in Medina-Sidonia and it become a stronghold along the frontier against the last Muslim country in the Iberian peninsula, the kingdom of Granada. As we weave our way along the Moorish medieval walls and tidy, narrow cobbled streets to the top, it is not hard to imagine the Muslim stronghold and fortress that it was. By the 15th century Medina-Sidonia was one of the most important ducal seats and Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, the 7th Duke of Medina-Sidonia, who was born here, led the Spanish Armada against England in 1588. All the buildings here are whitewashed and there are wrought iron railings and doorways called rejas (a grilled door), all along the climb to the top.
Here we can get a peek at how high up we are and the surrounding detail of the countryside! Barren!
So let’s get on with some doors and fascinating doorways!!
These doors are flanked with the tips of cannons for good measure! Never give up a good cannon!
As we walked up the hill the women came out and opened their exterior doors so we could get a peak at the Muslim architecture of their homes and the spacious inner courtyard gardens within. All I can say is WOW!
Outside there is not a tree to be had, but the gardens of lush vegetation inside is lovely!
There are many passageways to take us up up!
At the top of the village is the Santa Maria la Coronada Church. It was built on the foundations of the original castle and later mosque. It is a fine example of Andalusian Gothic architecture.
And the mayor’s office can be found here too.
And another view from the town square at the top……………
And now going back down, this time another small street…….
and a look at the countryside from this way……….
But, what do we see here? Trees and gardens of flowers!
We exit from the old part of the village to entire a vibrant new public square, thriving with shops and restaurants.
and we will leave here with one last look at the landscape!
I hope you have enjoyed our day trip to Medina-Sidonia! We will be traveling to another White Village of Andalusia farther up in the mountains……. see you next week with more doors!
This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0! Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors?