By Jeffrey Kennedy
No matter if traveling top quality or on a constrained finances, this most sensible 10 consultant leads you to the easiest of Andalucia and the Costa del Sol. Dozens of 10 lists - from the head 10 shores to the head 10 bodegas (sherry cellars), eating places, lodges and museums - supply insider wisdom. Maps are incorporated.
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The establishment here of the Real Maestranza de Caballería (Royal Academy of Knights) in 1572 set the stage for the birth of bullfighting as we know it. The Maestranza’s role was equestrian training of Spain’s aristocracy and students would challenge wild bulls on horseback. Legend relates that when one rider fell from his horse and was attacked by a bull, a bystander distracted the animal by waving his hat. The man’s grandson Pedro Romero (1754– 1839) perfected the Ronda School of bullfighting.
The architectural styles are a blend of mainly Moorish traditions – note the lavish use of the horseshoe arch, glazed tilework and wood ceilings (see pp16–17). La Casa de Pilatos, Seville Few palaces are more opulent than this 15th–16th-century mansion. A mix of Mudéjar (Christian-Islamic), Flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance styles, it is also adorned with Classical sculptures, including a 5thcentury BC Greek Athena and important Roman works. A noble residence to this day, it is filled with family portraits and antiques from the last 500 years (see p75).
D Map C3 Sierra Nevada Spain’s highest mountains and Europe’s southernmost ski resort can be found in this national park. It’s a wonderful area for hiking, horse-riding and mountain biking (see pp32–3). Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Park This part of the Sierra Morena in Huelva Province is very rural in character; traditions cling tighter here, notably the culinary techniques that give rise to its worldfamous ham, jamón ibérico. Sierra Nevada 44 Parque Natural de la Sierra de Cardeña y Montoro This beautiful park is home to prolific forests of holm oak, cork and pine.