Last week, 28 students from Hamilton, Grinnell, Scripps and Smith College visited the Spanish region of Andalusia as part of the Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain orientation trip. Andalusia is the most populated Spanish Autonomous Community. Its name derives from the Arabic Al-Andalus. The region´s history and culture have been influenced by the earlier Iberians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, Byzantines, as well as the Arabs, and later the Castilian and other Christina North Iberian nationalities who conquered the Moorish kingdoms in the latter phases of the Reconquista. Among other products, Andalusia is also known for its olive oil production.
The group visited three main cities: Cordoba, a long time center of Moorish Spain preserved monuments, and the most important capital of Europe in the 10th century; Seville, the Andalusian capital of today, and the third largest city of Spain; and Granada, known as the Moorish Jewel, and located at the foots of snowy Sierra Nevada mountain range.
In Córdoba, the students were able to visit The Great Mosque of Cordoba, one of the most impressive historical monuments of the region. In Seville, the students went to the enormous cathedral (third biggest in the world), with its Arabian bell tower,La Giralda (once a minaret), and the palace of Alcázar.
On their way to Granada, they stopped for a sample of various olive oils in the region Almazara (where the oil is produced). Once in Granada, they visited the great Arabian palace La Alhambra, and witnessed a traditional Flamenco spectacle.