03 June, 2013


Apologies for the lack of posts lately; I've been on holiday in Spain and am flying home for a few days tomorrow, so barely have any time to update the blog!  I will be back as soon as possible, though, with lots more posts about Edward II, his life and his reign.  :-)

Here are some pictures from my recent Spanish trip, where I was following in the footsteps of Edward II's maternal family.  Edward's grandfather Fernando III of Castile and Leon captured Cordoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248 - as well as numerous other towns across Al-Andalus - after more than half a millennium of rule by the Umayyad and Almohad caliphates.  The great warrior king and (centuries later) saint of the Catholic Church captured Seville after a sixteen-month siege on 23 November 1248 and entered the city in triumph on 22 December, perhaps, though I'm only speculating, with Edward II's mother Doña Leonor, then aged seven, present to witness her father's great success.  The Muslim defenders and inhabitants of the city were given safe conduct to leave if they wished, though some chose to remain.  A Muslim writer, however, according to Joseph F. O'Callaghan's A History of Medieval Spain, referred to Fernando as "the tyrant, the cursed one."

Fernando III and his eldest son, Edward's uncle Alfonso X, are buried in Seville Cathedral; sadly the Capilla Real (Royal Chapel) is not open to visitors, but I had a great time looking round anyway.  Edward's uncle Infante Felipe was archbishop of Seville, with another uncle, Sancho, archbishop of Toledo, incidentally.  Ah, I love Edward's Spanish connections.  The present, unbelievably massive cathedral dates to the 1400s and was, until 1248, the city's Great Mosque.

Capilla Real/Royal Chapel of Seville Cathedral.
I also visited (of course!) the city's Real Alcázar, Royal Palace, which was originally built by the Almohad rulers of Al-Andalus; here's a picture of the facade of the part of the palace built by King Pedro I 'the Cruel' of Castile (born 1334, reigned 1350-1369), whose daughters Constanza and Isabel married Edward II's grandsons John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster and Edmund of Langley, duke of York.  I hope to write a blog post about Pedro and his daughter Constanza sometime.  Pedro's fascination with Islamic culture is apparent in the architecture and design of this building.

Front of Pedro's palace.

Inside Seville Cathedral.
Inside Seville Cathedral.
Inside Seville Cathedral.
Inside Seville Cathedral.
Seville Cathedral.
The Giralda Tower of Seville Cathedral, once the minaret of the Great Mosque and later a bell-tower, a symbol of the city.
Seville Cathedral, intended by its architects to be so massive that 'later generations will think us mad'. It's one of the biggest, or perhaps the biggest, cathedrals in the world.


Kasia Ogrodnik said...

Kathryn, good to have you back :-) Even for a short time.
Seville Cathedral is beautiful, judging by the photos. Safe journey to Cumbria and back :-) I'm looking forward to your next posts.

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks so much, Kasia! Also really looking to reading lots more of your excellent posts!

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

Thank you Kathryn! I'm both honoured and flattered :-)

Anerje said...

Great pictures - and I'm sure it meant alot for you to follow in the footsteps of Edward's Spanish ancestors.

Christy K Robinson said...

Lovely photos, Kathryn. Was it frustrating that you couldn't enter the Capilla Real? If I'd made a trip to Seville to "see" the ancestors of half of Europe and America, and not got in, I'd be pretty upset. I've seen video and photos of the monuments, and assumed they were open.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back ... sounds like you had a great trip. Lovely pictures.


Carla said...

Hope you had a good holiday!

Sami Parkkonen said...

Well done again