A lot of things are called ‘Al’- in El Andalus or Andalusia as it is written in English: Alcazar, Alhambra; and all those words that the Arabs brought with them to Spain: for shop and a carpet as one might expect; but also meatball, bathrobe, basil, mayor and of course alphabet. And many more.
The main cities of the South all have fortresses, gardens and palaces from that era; and on bus journeys into the interior you can see Moorish castles on hills.
They must have loved the plentiful water, the shady trees and the often fertile fields of grain and olive bushes stretching into the distance. Better than back home.
They were gradually defeated by the Northern Christians who destroyed most of their mosques; or in the case of Cordoba converted them into churches. In 1453 Arabs did the same- but the other way round-in Istanbul when they converted the masterpiece of Christian art, the Hagia Sophia, to Islam.
The trip report continues on
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