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Spain

Alhambra

The incredible Islamic architecture of the famous landmark, Calat Alhambra, will leave you in wonder. The palace and fortress of the Moorish empire is draped in elegant designs from top to bottom. Located in Granada, Andalusia, the fortress was built strategically at the top of a hill to overlook Granada by Abdullah Ibn Muhammad (800-912). Not only will you get to see the intricate designs of the palace but enjoy a view of Granada as well. Along with the palace, the Generalife was constructed in the 14th century to further enhance your experience. Forming a peaceful atmosphere, the Court of the Lions includes a beautiful garden with creative fountains that spring out water. There is even a theatre within the Generalife which holds international dance and music performances. The greatness of Alhambra and Generalife was recognized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization which listed the palace as a World Heritage Site. With the Alhambra, you simply cannot go wrong due to the variety of attractions within the palace. One thing for certain, the gorgeous buildings of the Alhambra will compel you to have a greater appreciation for Islamic architecture!

The Great Mosque of Cordoba (Mezquita)

Still intact from the Moorish rule, The Great Mosque of Cordoba is a reminder of the times Spain was a Muslim country. Dedicated to worshiping a higher power, the building served as a temple, church, mosque and now a cathedral. The jaw-dropping mosque was built by the great Ibn al- Rahman in 784. Many tourist agree that the Mosque is even more beautiful than the Alhambra due to the carefully elaborated designs. The Hypostyle Hall in the cathedral consists of a prayer hall with symmetrical arches painted with red and gold colors. The mihrab is absolutely gorgeous with complex patterns covered with different shades of gold, red and black. You will find yourself gazing at the architecture with your eyes locked. Just inches above the mihrab lays a dazzling dome with golden arches that overlap each other. Geometry at its finest, the Great Mosque of Cordoba exhibits the intelligence of Muslim architectures in such an early period of time. A visit to the gorgeous Cathedral will not only amaze but inspire you. Beware though, praying in the mosque is strictly prohibited and security have been known to follow people and even escort some out of the building for trying to offer salah inside.

Museu Picasso

Debate about the literal and the figurative interpretations of Pablo Picasso’s artwork right from his birthplace. The Museu Picasso located in Barcelona holds the largest collection of Picasso’s paintings with over 3,000 pieces. The unique design of the museum makes it even more attractive. The Museu Picasso includes some of his early works painted at the age of 14 such as Science & Charity, a portrait of his mother and father. Highlight of Picasso’s painting includes The Harlequin, a painting of a mythical character that is often associated to the Greek gods and known to have invisibility powers. One famous collection found in Museu Picasso is the Las Meninas. In this collection, Picasso imitated and recreated 58 times the painting, Las Meninas by Diego Vazquez. That’s right an artist interpreting another artist’s work, you must see it to believe it. If you are intrigued by the abstract world, take a stroll down the halls of Museu Picasso to experience the fascinating artwork of the world famous artist. It will open your eyes about the various meanings behind one piece of artwork.