estimated cost → 1200
We will be working in total unity with Islamic School Tours towards a happy end user and further work coming from our collaboration, in shaa 'a Allah.
The services provided by Al-Andalus Experience include guidance and travel route advice only, such as recommending meals, booking any items for the group along the way and the alike. We have also included a guide for Sevilla's Alcazar and access via the group entrance to the Cathedral, Guided UNESCO tour of Alhambra Palace and Gardens, while the entry to Cordoba mosque will be 'Free and Easy' without any further guidance than that of the teachers inside the monument, ourselves acting as monitors only. Teachers can talk to their students and address them inside the Churches current cathedral, so the documentation towards the mosque visit should be complimented within this digital program guide.
We will be working in total unity with Islamic School Tours towards a happy end user and further work coming from our collaboration, in shaa 'a Allah.
I will continue working on this program until completed with more information and optional extra activities or meals along the program.
Our service, can be paid online through the fillowing link or by bank transfer:: https://rev.money/r/pllvUdgxgj. It only takes a few taps!
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN SEVILLE MEET AND GREET ISLAMIC SCHOOL TOURS GUIDE AT THE AIRPORT. WE WILL START THE DAY BY VISITING IN SEVILLE’S HISTORICAL CENTER. THIS INCLUDES THE ALKASR, ROYAL PALACES & GARDENS.
Seville, from Roman and Visigoth city, to Muslim and Christian epicenter.
Starting out with our visits straight after arrival in Seville, we will enjoy a whole day in the capital of Andalusia today. We will receive guided visits in Seville's historical center to include the Alkasr Royal Palaces & Gardens, allowing us access into the Cathedral of Seville, and in so the modern Giralda former minarete and it's courtyard, the original from a former Almohad mosque, which we may thereby imagine somehow.
After the visits & time for lunch we will have time to rest and return to Granada, our base town during this trip. We will be driving past and highlighting Torre del Oro, Jewish quarters, the old medina and city walls, Parque de Maria Luisa, Plaza de España, and the remains of the Almohad city walls by "La Macarena" church, also formerly a mosque..
7:36 - Departure
Depart from Bristol Airport (BRS)
11:04 - Arrival
Arrive at Seville Airport (SVQ)
Aeropuerto De Sevilla (SVQ)Ctra. de Madrid-Cádiz, km. 532
DAY 2: CORDOBA AFTER BREAKFAST WE WILL VISIT CORDOBA MOSQUE-CATHEDRAL, ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE PLACES OF WORSHIP IN THE WORLD. AFTER LUNCH WILL VISIT THE JEWISH QUARTERS AND MADINAT AL-ZAHRA. IN THE
9:00 - Pick-up
Depart to Córdoba, the Capital of Umayyad Caliphate
Welcome Tour of the Historical Medina in Cordoba
Our introductory walk in the most ancient areas of the medina of Cordoba, is the quickest way to dig into the roots and essence of the city, before a more formal monumental approach which you may take later.
Calle Buen PastorCalle Buen Pastor, Córdoba, Andalucía, ES, 14003
Umayyad Mosque of Cordoba
In the morning we will have our guided visit of the Umayyad Mosque of Cordoba, one of the oldest structures still standing when Muslims ruled Al-Andalus in the late 8th century.
Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba1 Calle del Cardenal Herrero, Córdoba, ANDALUCÍA, ES, 14003http://www.mezquitadecordoba.org
Medinat Al-Zahra. [OPTIONAL VISIT]
After this, we will continue to Medinat Al-Zahra, the Caliph's Court City Palace's archaeological site, research & exhibition center.
After arrival, check-in to our hotel in Cordoba's town center, a leisurely walk through the Medina Al-Qadima of Córdoba, our first welcome dinner and finally an evening rest at your hotel in Córdoba.
After lunch, free time is given for any extra activities, rest, or shopping! Besides a lively town center and many shops, there are today’s three active mosques in Cordoba worth visiting. This could be an opportunity to meet some local Muslims while touring around town.
Return to Granada, the last Muslim Kingdom of Al-Andalus
DAY 3: THE ALHAMBRA PALACE & THE MOSQUE OF GRANADA AFTER BREAKFAST WE WILL VISIT THE ALHAMBRA PALACE. THE DAY WILL BE SPENT EXPLORING THE MAGNIFICENT PALACE AND LEARNING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE PALACE
17:00 - 3 hours
A guided visit to the Alhambra palatial town, including the Nasrid Palaces, Alkasaba fortress, Generalife’s summer palace & gardens, and the old Medina of the Alhambra. Afterwards, we move on to visit the old medina of and it's main areas, divisions, and city walls. We will visit the Albayzin Mosque at the Mirador de San Nicolas, most famous viewing point of Granada and the Alhambra.
After a lunch break, we walk down to the town centre, visit the 'souq' streets, and the area's most historical points. After due resting, you will have the afternoon free to make your own plans for shopping or extra optional activities available in Granada. You may enjoy some free time in the modern town which is a fusion of Souq markets, old alleyways, the river side & the active modern city appeals.
Alhambra Palace and the Royal Medina - GUIDED TOUR. GT-ALH
Guided visit to the Alhambra palatial town, including the Nasrid Palaces, Alkasaba fortress, Generalife summer palace & gardens, and the old medina of the Alhambra.
Includes:Tickets: Monuments included, yet not guaranteed until the booking confirmation is duly reached.
Your guide will provide a historical account with insight into the different areas of the government city and Palaces of Alhambra. At the end of the tour you will have free choice to visit the fortress or ‘Alkasbah’ structure, and then to head down to town centre, at 10 minutes walking through the forest. You can have lunch, coffee, tea or lemonade. You will find lively Moroccan ‘souq’ shopping streets behind the more modern street fronts.
Booking Voucher & Instructions
The confirmation of the visit requires a minimum of 6 people
The tour will be carried out upon demand for any group size in English or Spanish according to the majority of the public, we can also provide German, French and Arabic if there is a majority interested.
Once you make your booking, you will be sent a booking voucher by email containing all of the details of this tour: meeting point and the full itinerary draft. You should bring your voucher along with you to the starting point.
Please don’t be late, we should all be punctual at the main entrance before starting the program.
The access to the main Palaces of Alhambra are timed, allowing a 30 minutes window to enter them, hence all timings will be placed around this time.Bring comfortable clothing and footwear, and it is recommendable to take some water for the walk.
DAY 4: THE ALPUJARRAS MOUNTAINS CHECK OUT FROM HOTEL AND TRAVEL TO ALPUJARRAS MOUNTAINS. THIS IS WHERE THE LAST REMAINING MUSLIMS OF AL-ANDALUS MADE THEIR LAST STAND. A GROUP FAREWELL MEAL WILL BE ARRA
9:30 - Departure
Shuttle Granada - Alpujarras
10:30 - 2 hours
Explore the Alpujarras
This is where the last remaining Muslims of Al-Andalus made their last stand.
Beautiful landscapes from villages as Pampaneira, Orgiva, Lanjaron etc.
Juma at Granada Mosque
Juma at Granadas Mezquita Mayor
20:00 - Departure - 1 hour 30 minutes
Shuttle to Airport farewells & departure.
0:00 - Departure
Depart from Malaga Airport (AGP)
Aeropuerto De Málaga - Costa Del Sol (AGP) (Aeropuerto De Málaga - Costa Del Sol)Av. del Comandante García Morato, Málaga, Andalucía, España, 29004http://www.aena.es
1:17 - Arrival
Arrive at Bristol Airport (BRS)
INFORMATION & DOCUMENTS
INFORMATION & DOCUMENTS
The scope and interest of Al-Andalus is immense since Al-Andalus was in fact the first monarchic democracy to be established in Europe, in the IXth Century. As a foundation stone of Europe and the modern world, we should try to come close to Al-Andalus, learn more about it. We might find clues about our world, how to live in it better and avoid falling into the same mistakes.
This is what Al-Andalus Experience is about, for you to get beyond the veils of your daily life and step into the true lands of Al-Andalus through it's generous heritage which can most be witnessed in Cordoba and Granada provinces.
Unfortunately there is a general miss culture which has lead to offering the worldwide public a'historicalpantomime' going as far as to bend history into a series of fables and chronicles which in many cases pay little tribute reality. This is well known to modern Spanish historians and researchers and we know exactly where the mistakes or'blackholes' are in both popular and official account of history. As an organization we are in touch with researchers and historians as well as publishers and editors, it is our intention to rediscover the true history of Al-Andalus and we’re working on several projects in this line. Through our tours we invite you to participate in the memory of Al-Andalus and also help you actively to discover it.
Al-Andalus Experience originally emerged partly due to the lack of a service that goes about solving logistic problems for Muslim travellers in Spain. A great part of our team and collaborators are of Muslim faith and religion, hence we appreciate the needs and interests of Muslim travellers.
It is evident that our world needs to go beyond the veils and prejudice of labels, to hold respect for the diverse nature of humanity, if we are to walk into a peaceful and blessed future.
RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY IN THE IBERIAN PENINSULA, ARIANS AND TRINITARIANS
Because of the size and geography of the Iberian Peninsula, there has always been many different'pockets'of population. These pockets where extended around the country in a very decentralized and disperse manner. As to religion, the Visigoths where Arian – followers of Ario – a form of Christianity which had extended throughout the Roman Empire during the 4th century and which negated trinity, considering it a form of polytheism. Though there weren't confrontations with the so called'orthodoxChristians', the majority of Hispano-Roman population was Catholic, defenders of the idea of three personalities of one same God.
The global picture of Europe until then had been very divided, religious views within Christianity not being an exception. In the peninsula, thousands of slaves, many of whom were Germanic, joined with their kin, who had become the real masters of Spain. In this equation we must not forget about the large population of Jews which spread out through Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. The further the aristocratic power changed from milder Arianism to Catholicism, which was completing itself by the 8th century, times got worse for the Jews.
The Catholics where an aristocratic minority of only around 12% including clerics who held much corruption and confusion at this time, weak knowledge and lack of a consensus or any religious criteria. Moreover, they where opposed by a mass of what they considered as'heretic'Christian movements throughout the entire peninsula. Within the Visigoths there weren't only Arian Christians but also Priscilian, following another old Unitarian Christian, Priscilio, with similar views to Ario.
THE COUCILS OF TOLEDO AND NICEA
The need for finding a unifying criteria in the diverse picture of Christian religion during the early middle ages forced the Church to form regular local Councils. The Councils where frequently gathered in order to adopt the necessary means to regulate constant abuses taken by the cleric and noblemen over the lower classes, as well as to learn about and eradicate'heresies'.The Councils where formed by select bishops and took place in Toledo. From Toledo the issues treated where taken to the supreme Council in Nice for further consensus by the Church in Rome.
It is well known about this period that Iberia, just as the rest of Europe lived a severe'darkage' in which human rights where abused on a regular basis by the Clerics, wealth and work were taxed at will by local Monarchs and epidemics where frequent. It was also a time when Iberia lived a profound religious crisis. Religion was divided within Christian faith itself and further, there was discomfort within the Jewish communities who where submitted to a miserable condition close to slavery.
In this state of affairs it shouldn't surprise anyone that there where XVII Councils in Toledo from 325 to 694-712, reflecting the needs for the Church to adapt and to solve the problems throughout the Peninsula
During the Council celebrated in 589, the division in Christianity was officially solved through the conversion of King Recaredo to Catholicism in 587 and Arianism was condemned as a'heresy'.From here on the documents have a constant mention about Christian'heretics',through which we learn that they where'UnitarianChristians', followers of Ario. This and other descriptions of the Arian doctrine which are issued in the Councils, where otherwise completely wiped out during the later'Inquisition'.
The climate in the VII century didn't get any better. The clergy and the two main Visigoth noble families, that of Wamba and Chindasvinto, where divided into Arian(Unitarian)and Catholic(Trinitarian).An interesting characteristic of the Visigoth kingship is that the crown was not hereditary, but through appointment by council of clerics. The king before last, Vitzia, was of an Arian Christian profession as was his inheritor Aguila. After Vitzia's death, Aguila took the throne but however, shortly after, it was given to Rodrigo who was Catholic. This is thought to be the straw that broke the camel's back.
THE DECADENCE OF THE VISIGOTH KINGDOM AND THE FORMATION OF AL-ANDALUS.
Towards the beginning of the VIII Century, the Visigoth kingdom who's capital was Toledo, was in the midst of a political and social crisis provoked by the impoverishment of economy, frequent droughts, hunger in the lower classes, lack of prestige of the monarchs and how not, a rivalry in the noble class.
As the post of the throne was not hereditary but by appointment, the main noble families rivalled against each other to achieve it. Kings where frequently assassinated by members of the noble class who aspired to take the throne. This struggle ended weakening the Visigoth Kingdom. In this state of affairs, the king before last, Vitzia, tried to make the crown hereditary. As it happened, when he passed away, his young son Aguila was proclaimed king, but part of the noble class refused to accept him and put the charge onto a noble man named Rodrigo, duke of the Betic region, who was Catholic. In spite of his efforts, Rodrigo couldn't avoid a civil war breaking throughout the country. The sons of Vitzia had decided to get back in throne to whatever effect. From here the story becomes unclear and there are many elements of legend in it.
A common mistake is to think Northern Africa as being Berber in the modern understanding of the term, by the 8th Century. At this point Modern Morocco was indeed nothing but an extension of the Visigoth Kingdom, where population had been stirred in excess through increasing desertification of more Southern areas(ModernSahara). In any case, the monotheistic vision of Islam, a newly revealed religion, had already reached these lands along with a wave of cultural and scientific achievements from the more developed cities of Egypt and Damascus. These where Eastern cities which thrived ahead of their time in a cultural revolution, later to become the Islamic Golden Age.
Returning to the political state of affairs, it is at this point when the sons of Vitzia decided to seek help from the nearby Muslims to dethrone Rodrigo. The Archbishop of Seville, Oppas, uncle of Aguila - the dethroned son of Vitzia - asked his governor Count Don Julian of Ceuta to negotiate with the governor of North Africa under the Umayyad Dynasty of the Caliph Al-Walid I of Damascus, Musa Ibn Nusayr.
History tells us that in 711, Don Julian, Count of Ceuta, helped the Islamized Berber Tariq, the Lieutenant Colonel of Musa across the strait from Morocco to Spain. The sons of Vitzia, archbishop Oppas and other Gothic noblemen summed to a small group of Muslim troops which where commanded by Tariq. Since then the name given to the rock is Gibraltar, or JablTarr, Arabic for'Mountainof Tarr(iq)'.
It is not known how many Muslims went into Spain, some say only 400, others 7000, others 12.000 troops. The prior more likely and whoever they were, they were only relatively new Muslims since the new Prophet, Muhammad, had revealed the religion of Islam only 50 years before.
Another element that historians give importance to is the discomfort in the Jewish communities, many of which lived in exile around Tingitania, north of current Morocco. Many refugees from Iberia, both Jewish and Visigoth lived in Ceuta and many are likely to have joined the famous''Arabinvador'' troops into the Iberian Peninsula.
What conclusively explains such a speedy penetration into the peninsula, as well as the later permanence of Muslims in Spain, is the fact that the Unitarian Visigoths where much closer to eastern cultural revolution and the new Muslim faith, than to the alternative Roman Catholic Church. Hence they would give support to the allied army as they moved swiftly through the Peninsula from city to city.
The Muslims made a pact with noble Visigoths helping them to enter the peninsula, respecting their property, status and privileges. In just 3 years a mixed army of some 3 to 12 thousand men took power over the peninsula up to Zaragoza, and in one more year the entire peninsula was under Muslim government. Many towns opened their doors to the Muslims offering no resistance and in fact welcoming them as their rescuers, others surrendered through advantageous agreements.
An example of such agreements is that of a Visigoth duke, Theodomiro from Murcia, who could continue to govern in his territory – which was to be newly named Tudmir – after his agreement with the Muslims.
Musa, a charismatic figure himself, freshly invigorated by the cultural revolution in the east and moreover by the spirit of a newly revealed religion, would enter into Iberia in 712 C.E. further establishing an independent state from Rome. This was celebrated by the casting of new coins in Toledo stating the Quranic verses''Thereis no god but The God''(lailaha illa Allah),''Hewas not borne nor does he beget''(lamyalid wa lam yulad). These first Quranic verses casted onto Iberian coins where to express the one common thing between the three subsequent cultures living in al-Andalus. One same God worshipped by three cultures: Christian(mostlyUnitarian), Muslim and Jew. Al-Andalus was born.
It is paradoxical that the latest of the Councils of Toledo, number XVIII from 712, has been removed from the safely preserved Church archives and nothing is know of it. There is obvious speculation over what this Council document contained since this was the year when coins where cast in Toledo and the new independent state of al-Andalus was formed.
A famous battle in Covadonga in Asturias, was to later symbolize the resistance of a Catholic-Christian north Spain by the hands of the Asturian King Pelayo. Much in the same manner the battle of Tours in Poitiers 732 E.C, is generally remembered as: when Europe was saved from the Islamic advance, by merit of French Charles Martel. Though there remain many historical paradoxes, some say the battle was simply one of many battles between northern and southern Gales, each accusing the other of being'heretic';in a time when Spain and France were effectively'onesame land'.
From these independent Kingdoms in the north of Spain and in a parallel manner to the Crusades in the rest of Europe, the Catholic Kingdoms of Spain initiated the so called'Reconquista':A series of battles spread over 800 years whereby the Kingdoms of Aragon, Navarra, Castilla and Leon supported by the Church of Rome, steadily gained land over the'arabized'Spanish Muslim state.
On the other hand, within the newly named al-Andalus, in spite of Islam becoming the official religion of the new state, no one was forced to convert. On the contrary, Christians and Jews where allowed to practise their religions and even Muslims shared churches with the old Christians before building their own mosques. A minority of Catholics also remained, mostly religious clerics and monks.
Some More Specific Details
The biggest part of Spanish history is closely related to the history of Islam, especially after the Islamic history left eight centuries of an indelible mark in the Iberian Peninsula. This Islamic presence had different levels: after the rapid entry (711) and the establishment of the first group of Muslims, Cordoba becomes the most powerful city, the new province of a Muslim empire: al-Andalus. In the hands of the Umayyad dynasty, almost three centuries, the power gets more centred, the territory is administered, the economy develops and the society as a whole blossoms as a consequence of the Caliphate in Cordoba(929).The sharp fall from the Caliphate happens during the reyes taifas period that was facilitating the advancements of the Christians.
The capture of Toledo by the Castile (1085) would announce the beginning of the Reconquista byconfronting first one of the Berber empires, Almoravids, and eventually the Almohads. The defeat of the Muslims in 1212“LasNavas of Tolosa” battle made an end to their superiority in the peninsula. Nevertheless the last political Muslim entity remained for another three centuries: the Nasruddin kingdom in Granada.
The capitulation of Granada in 1492 saw its last Muslims living consequently under Christian domination, to be named“Moriscos”thereafter, before an expulsion by Royal Decree in 1609.
Most local Muslims here in Spain, nowadays believe that the invisible seeds sown by the Muslim saints during these centuries allowed the present communities to reap the fruits in our contemporary multicultural societies.
Tour Mnager & Conducting Guide
Ahmad Zaruq Summers
Alhambra Logistics & Ticket arrangements:
AbuBakr 663 937 889
Islamic School Tours
Sajid +44 7561 377368