Five miles from Seville is the impressive ancient town of Itálica, founded in 206 BC — the first Roman settlement in Spain. The site comprises a vast amphitheater able to hold 25,000 spectators, wide paved streets, and ruins of villas with amazing mosaics. Emperors Trajan and Hadrian were both born in Itálica.
A replica of a heroic sculpture of Trajan. The original is in the Archeological Museum in Seville.
The splendid mosaics of the Casa del Planetario (House of the Planetarium) depicting the gods of the seven days of the week.
The impressive amphitheatre, the third largest in the Roman Empire.
Jerez de la Frontera is renowned for its fortified wine, known as sherry. The Moors originally called the town Scheris from which the words Xeres (evolving later to Jerez) and sherry were derived. De la Frontera (of the Frontier) is a suffix added to the name of a large number of towns throughout the province of Cádiz. It dates back to the time when the region was the frontier of the Christian territory.
A square in the historic center of Jerez.
We arrived a few days prior to the feast of La Virgen del Valle (The Virgin of the Valley), the patron saint of Jerez. We witnessed a large procession through the city center that was transporting the patron saint to the cathedral for her coronation on November 1st.
One of the many glasses of sherry consumed (mostly) by my husband.
On our way out of the city of Jerez we drove by a cemetery a couple of days before All Souls' Day. The Catholic cemetery was abuzz with activity, with relatives of the deceased cleaning the graves and placing large bouquets of flowers. We visited the cemetery but did not take any photos because I always feel uncomfortable using my camera in holy places. Cemeteries are called cementerios in Spanish, and also "campo santo" (holy field). Upon exiting we noticed the entrance to the Muslim Cemetery. The gate was locked and we asked permission to enter. We were escorted to a small area were we saw no more than 20 plots. There were a few small modest headstones but most had no plaques or any marker indicating who was buried there. By the size of the plots we surmised that they were children's tombs.
The beautiful gardens of an 800 year old palace in the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
The salinas (salt evaporation ponds) in Sanlúcar. They almost look like snow hills from the distance but they are mounds of salt.
A spectacular sunset in the town of El Puerto de Santa María.