Institute of Classical Architecture & Art

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The Rich Art & Architectural Heritage of Andalusia, Spain

May 14 - 21, 2017

Tour arrangements by Classical Excursions

Andalusia, Spain is known as “the bridge between two continents,” Africa and Europe, as well as “the gateway to Europe”. The Andalusian region has been coveted by many cultures since the earliest period of mankind, and it is one of the areas of settlement of our prehistoric ancestors. The diversity of the landscapes, which form the Andalusia region, provide an entire regional spectrum. It is this variety of environments that create a superb mix of visual and cultural experiences within a unique range of monumental cities to traditional towns. Andalusia has been a continual source of inspiration for architects, artists, composers and writers.

With that in mind, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is inviting you to join art and architectural historian Dr. Johan Cederlund, director of the Anders Zorn Museum, on an exclusive tour of the finest areas and sites that behold this extraordinary region of southern Spain. Dr. Cederlund is a veteran tour leader and lecturer, as well as an author of books on art and architecture and curator of international art exhibitions viewed in Spain, Sweden, New York and California.

Dr. Cederlund will start his private tour in Malaga, located on the glamorous Costa del Sol and home to centuries of civilizations: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors and Iberians. Modern Malaga is a cultural center offering a wide array of first-rate art museums and superb cuisine. Among other sites featured on the itinerary are private visits to two art museums. Museo Picasso, which is housed in a 16th-century palazzo called El Palacio de Buenovista. The second, Museum Carmen Thyssen, a splendid private collection affiliated with the aristocratic Thyssen- Bornemisza family of Madrid and focusing on 19th century Spanish paintings.

In Malaga, we will visit the historic town center including the Plaza de la Constitucion, the cathedral, Picasso’s childhood home and the Roman theater. We will also see the intriguing 11th century Moorish fortification Alcazaba.

For anyone visiting Andalusia, a stop at Granada is a must. The Alhambra palace is considered one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in Spain. It attracts more visitors than any other historic monument in Europe. Our tour includes a private visit to this exceptional and singularly unique building in the world.

Other highlights in Granada include a private visit to the Carmen Los Cipreses, one of the more important buildings in the historic Albayzin Moorish quarter of Granada facing Alhambra, as well as an evening visit to the privately owned Palacio Nasrid in Granada, including some Spanish wine with the owners.

During the tour, participants will also visit Cordoba and its famed Moorish mosque La Mezquita de Cordoba, which was completed in the year 900 and became an important prototype for future Moorish architecture. Cordoba became a world-class metropolitan city with a population of more than 100,000. While in Cordoba, we will also stop at the Royal Palace Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos for an exclusive tour of the palace and the gardens.

We continue on to Andalusia’s capital city of Seville, known architecturally as a transitional city between Moorish and Spanish Spain. Here we will visit the art museum, Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, housed in a 16th century fort, originally a cloister. The museum features paintings from the golden age of Spanish art, works by such world-renowned artists Murillo and Zurbaran. While in Seville we also visit the royal palace Real Alcázar, originally built by Moorish Muslim kings and known to be the most beautiful palace in Spain. It is considered one of the best examples of mudejar architecture found on the Iberian Peninsula. The upper levels of the palace are still used as the Seville official residence of the royal family and is a Unesco World Heritage site. Additionally we will visit the famous cathedral clock tower called La Giralda. In Seville participants also visit the Casa de las Dueñas which is the official residence of the Dukes of Alba in the city, and was the favored residence of Cayetana, 18th Duchess of Alba. She spent much time here during her life, and said that she felt most at home in Seville. More recently, Cayetana married her third husband, Alfonso Diaz, at the palace chapel in 2011. Three years later she passed away in the palace, surrounded by Alfonso and her six children, aged 88. Her eldest son, Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Martinez de Irujo, inherited the title Duke of Alba.

Another palace that we will visit on the tour is the Countess of Lebrija’s home in Seville, Palacio Lebrija, where we will have a VIP visit, including a glass of wine. The Palacio Lebrija is known to be the best-paved house in the world with over 500 square meters of Roman Mosaic flooring. The countess was an archaeology enthusiast and therefore incorporated many original Roman finds into the house.

Casa De Salinas is a fine example of a classical XVI century Andalusian courtyard house inspired by Greek and Roman architecture with Moorish details interspersed throughout. The owners of this privately owned palace will greet us with a welcome drink to make our private visit extra special.

The tour will also feature a visit to the XV century privately owned Bailen Palace with the owners in the heart of historic Seville; an evening visit to the private home of the Consul General of Italy in Seville; and a special farewell dinner on the roof top terrace of a private home in Seville with spectacular views of the most significant monuments in the city.

Another beautiful city not to be missed is Cadiz, known as Europe’s oldest city, founded by the Phoenicians more than 3000 years ago. In Cadiz, we will explore the historic city center with its charming narrow passageways and cobblestone streets.

Our accommodations include a four-night stay at the renowned five-star Hotel Alfonso XIII in the heart of historic Seville, a two-night stay at the Vincci Selección Posada del Patio in Malaga, and the Alhambra Palace Hotel in Granada.

For further details, please contact contact@classicalexcursions.com or 413-446-8728.

The tour price is $4500 per person, based on double occupancy. A single supplement of $1,200 per person applies. Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. Make your contribution online now, or call 212.730.9646 ×106.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro; Wikimedia Commons/Cat