Travel photography: Spain
Cities and Architecture - Part 2

November 14, 2015


Due to its strategic position on the Mediterranean, Cartagena was inhabited by a variety of ancient societies and has a very interesting history to show for. Once belonging to the Carthaginian civilization (hence the name) the city was the starting point of Hannibal's invasion of Italy in the Second Punic War. Nowadays it's still one of Spain's major ports.

The city hall and port of Cartagena at sunset.
Many of the city's historic sites date from the time of the Roman Empire. The most prominent is the recently restored Roman theatre of Carthago Nova (the name of the town during roman rule).
The entrance to the harbor.

Granada and the Alhambra

Granada is in my opinion as underhyped as Barcelona is overhyped. I hadn't even planned to visit it at first but thankfully changed my mind last minute. Although I only spent one afternoon there, it is in retrospect by far the city I liked most of the whole trip.

Located on the foot of the Sierra Nevada at an altitude of about 700 meters the old town is situated on and in between two hills and has just the right size for being easily explorable on foot.

View on the old town from the Mirador de Almanzora Alta.
The valley between the hills with a small river flowing through it adds an interesting, almost village-like character.
Views of the cathedral of Granada.
The cathedral is especially known for its two pipe organs. They were constructed after each other and each one took two years to complete.

The Alhambra

The Alhambra is one of Spain's major tourist attractions and a prime example of the Moorish style of Islamic art. The fortress was the seat of the Nasrid dynasty for about 150 years until it was conquered by the catholic monarchs of Spain in the course of the Reconquista.

The Alcazaba – the most western part of the complex is the citadel of the fortress.
The view on the Palaces, most notably the Palace of Charles V, with the Sierra Nevada as a magnificent backdrop.
A contextual image showing the fortress as the center of the city a few minutes past sunset.
View over Granada.

Malaga and Seville

The harbor of Malaga at sunset. Although the weather in the south of Spain was constantly sunny and warm the sunrises and sunset constantly fell short of my expectations. Low clouds and mist usually prevented me from getting a decent shot.
The Metropol Parasol are a wooden construction at the Plaza de la Encarnación in Seville. The building – resembling mushrooms is just a few years after its completion already a landmark of Seville but it is also highly controversial because of its appearance and a massive cost explosion for its creation.
The cathedral of Seville with the Giralda. The Giralda was the former Minaret of the Mosque of Seville. It survived the demolition of the Mosque after the Reconquista and was only remodeled at the top to serve as the bell tower of the cathedral.
Detail of the façade of the cathedral.
The Patio de las doncellas of the Alcazar de Seville. Unfortunately taking pictures was forbidden so this is the only one I could sneak.

Casa de Pilatos

The Casa de Pilatos is a prime example of the Andalusian palace and a mixture of Renaissance Italian and Mudéjar Spanish styles. It contains a variety of fine arts in the form of paintings, furniture and roman antiquities. It was also the location for various movies such as Mission: Impossible II, 1492: The conquest of paradise or Lawrence of Arabia.

The main and side courtyards.
The garden.
The statue of Athena - the Greek goddess of wisdom.

Plaza de España

The famous square in the Park of Maria Luisa in Seville is a half circle formed by the surrounding Building. This "hug" is meant to be a symbolism for Spain hugging its South American colonies (which I find amusing since hugging is not quite what the Conquistadores were famous for). The single road leading to the Canal de Alfonso XIII is also meant to lead the way to the new world.

I loved the Plaza de España since it is so photogenic. It doesn't matter where you are on the square there is always an interesting composition possible.

The two top images are taken within the golden hour, the bottom examples in the blue hour.

The next article in the Spain series deals with a very different topic than the last two. I don't want to spoil anything at this point, but what I can say is that some animals will be involved for sure! See it here.

Thanks for reading!

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