New York, New York
July 3, 2003
This building is a fairly new discovery in terms of what it was in its day. It had always been known as an old armory kept just outside the city wall. Beneath the dirt floor, however, is exciting evidence of Columbus' shipyard. There are even remains of the old broken down olive oil vessels and jars used to "shovel" in the dirt to raise the floor for the armory years and years later. Talk about back-breaking work! Permission to dig further has recently been granted. Perhaps I'll return and see more of this great discovery in a few years!Among other sites, I saw part of the great cathedral campus affectionately referred to as "El Aleman" (the German). This name refers to the German peoples who settled in Sevilla and helped build up the city and church areas to make them rich and great. Although this particular site was originally Muslim, the Germans added many decorative and structural features. The products of the original bitter-orange trees of the Muslims still grow inside the gates. The Muslims used these oranges to "wash" before praying. The orange would be cut in half and then rubbed on the body. Sticky, sticky! It is amazing to see such a beautiful mix of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian culture whose evidence still survives to this day.
From journal Cultural Crossroads in Spain's Andalucia