An ave is a bird and apparently an AVE is a highspeed Spanish train, the sort that fly from Madrid to Córdoba. After two days of being caught between German, English and Spanish, of touching stone carved in the 10th century and 100 year old tobacco drying caves, of incredible weather and nearly indecipherable Andalusian accents we headed back to Madrid. Felix is an archeologist working to excavate the site of a 10th century palace, the ancient home of a Muslim califa. The complex water systems he is uncovering are like organic termite tunnels and all lead to a main basin that would have fed into the house, the animal stalls and the extensive gardens.
On the same parallel, the same hillside, is nested Madinat al-Zahra and at the risk of sounding like a tourist with a year’s subscription to National Geographic – wow. This site, much larger, is in constant repair- a job which I cannot imagine. Arabic decoration is unmistakably beautiful and painstakingly intricate. Pieces from the facades are scattered all across the hillside.
La catedral de Córdoba. Go visit it yourself. I just want to somehow record how it felt walking in such a sacred and historic place…I feel as though I dreamt the whole thing. To be in the heart of that maze, en el fondo of a building that has been utilized for centuries and centuries of worship, regardless of the deity, to see the Catholic religion literally stacked on top of, grown into the Muslim architecture...how did I feel? I could not breathe. Humanity. Our constant reaching into the past, to touch our primal selves, while constantly reaching upwards and pushing each other out of the way to do so. These pictures are ridiculous but perhaps provide a small comparison of the difference in elaborate décor.
The Fundación Juan March recently opened a new exhibition of contemporary Russian art, El Museo Prado opened a large exhibition of Rembrandt narrative paintings and the Museo Thyssen opened an exhibition titled 1914!, which covers the years of the first World War.