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Newsletter May 2007

Dear clients and friends,

The temperature’s rising and summer is just around the corner in Andalucia. This month’s newsletter offers you a selection of mouth-watering dining suggestions, more divine destinations, and very special offers straight from the heart of southern Spain!

News and Toolbars

On a computer a toolbar is a row or a block of onscreen buttons that when clicked, activate certain functions. The first toolbar appeared on the Xerox Alto computer in 1973. Nowadays, we use toolbars in common applications such as Microsoft Word where you can spend many happy hours customising them to you suit your individual taste.

Usually, toolbars and add-ons for web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox are free. They are easy to download and install, even for the most timid of computer users. However, having too many toolbars can reduce the area in which you can view web pages so don’t get carried away and use more than two or three. Choose the ones that will help you best.

The most popular toolbar that I use is the Google one.

To read the complete article, click below: 

Divine Destination - Cordoba

The Mosque that is a Church

The most striking thing about the Mezquita is that, incongruously, it is an Islamic mosque containing a Christian church, which is Cordoba's cathedral. What one sees from outside is confusing indeed: a huge, flat-roofed, low-lying building with a large baroque church jutting up in the middle. It rather resembles a multi-tiered wedding-cake, having a heavy, elaborate style which is so unlike our less-gilded, modern times.

But before joining the politically-correct chorus which loves to bemoan this Christian crime against Moorish art (which, undoubtedly, it is), consider the chequered past of this sacred site from its very beginning.

First, the Romans built a pagan temple here, on the right bank of the Guadalquivir River, on which Cordoba was the highest navigable point. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the new Germanic masters of Spain (the Visigoths) replaced it with the Christian church of Saint Vincent. When the Arabs conquered the peninsula in the early 8th century, they tore down the church and began building their great mosque which, commensurate with Cordoba's importance as the centre of Muslim power in Spain, became one of the largest mosques in all of Islam.

To read the full article, please click on the link below:

The London Book Fair

The London Book Fair is the world’s leading spring publishing event for both traditional and electronic media. This year the market focus was dedicated to Spain, the homeland of the second most widely-spoken language in the world. Spain, the birthplace of Cervantes and Galdós, has an immensely rich literary history. Directors of, Chris Wawn and Michelle Chaplow, attended the event to find out more. The Spanish Ministry of Culture, the Spanish Association of Publishers’ Guilds, and The Institute for Foreign Trade put together an excellent programme of seminars focusing on literary rights and publishing. They also showcased a diverse range of Spanish literature which included a collection of old manuscripts and photographs from La Biblioteca Nacional de España (The National Library of Spain) in Madrid. The programme also featured a performance by the Spanish musical group, Música Antigua-Eduardo Paniagua, which was very well-received.

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Did you know?

Cordoba is particularly well known for its colourful patios which are opened up to the public in early May and can be visited according to pre-established routes. The patios are internal, open courtyards that are part of the traditional architecture of the Andalucian townhouse. They are also important to the social life of the household being a communal area. The sleeping accommodations and the living rooms are built around the space. Cordoba takes a special pride in its patios and lavishly decorates them with flowers.

A Patio Contest is held from the 3rd-13th of May, 2007 in which home-owners compete for the coveted prize of the most beautifully-decorated patio. The map provided by the Tourist Office will help you find the competing courtyards. This competition is not to be missed by those who love flowers and gardens or even by those who are just interested to nose inside the confines of private homes. It is a serious competition and not an event put on for tourists or visitors from other towns. However, remember that almost all of the patios are closed from 14.00 to 17.00 -- just the time when the day-tripper would most like to visit them.

Around the same time as the Patio Contest is the “Crosses of May” (Cruces de Mayo) festival. The large, 3 metre-high crosses identify distinct zones of the town which compete for the prize of the best florally-decorated cross. The contest is very competitive. Finally, Cordoba’s own summer fair (feria) is also held every year in May, during the last week, making this month an extremely exciting time to visit.


If you were planning a weekend escape to Cordoba this month, then we’d recommend: El Caballo Rojo (The Red Horse) on Calle Cardenal Herrero 28. This is one of Cordoba’s most famous restaurants and it specialises in many local dishes, some of which hail from the city’s Moorish times. If you’re in a hurry, try their diverse tapas bar instead. You’ll be pleased that you did.

If you’d like to see more suggestions on dining delights, click below:

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