Coming to You from Lebrija, Spain

In another failed effort to gain access to the Parque Nacional de Donana, I misdirected us onto a two-hour plus route to the far entrance of the preserve.  Rather than make the long drive around the park to the entrance at Almonte, we branched off toward Lebrija.  The guidebook announced a promising church, so we got the tower in our sights and started off.

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We passed through this pretty plaza not far from the Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Oliva.

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Sighting the tower–it was restored in 1999.

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The altar—and a large fresco.

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The doorway in the courtyard—-and the Mudejar (Moorish) tiling, surely the oldest part of the church that used to be a mosque.

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More beautiful tile work.

We went on up the hill to the ruins of the medieval castle.

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And then to the church on the very top, honoring the patron saint of Lebrija.

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This ceiling vault was my favorite part.  The work must date back to the original Moorish building.

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Coming to You from historic Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain

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Today new friends took us on a tour of some historic landmarks in Sanlucar.  This is the portico of the Palacio de Orleáns Borbón (XIX Century), the summer residence of the Dukes of Montpensier and the current City Hall (Ayuntamiento).

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The entrance to City Hall–pretty amazing.

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Paintings on fabric decorate the reception area.

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And this is the ceiling….

We toured the gardens, with some really strange plants and trees.

Then on to the Palacio de Medina Sidonia, residence of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia. It contains the archive called of the Red Duchess (Duquesa roja), Isabel Álvarez de Toledo, considered one of the best historical archives in the world.  The Palacio is also a hotel.

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We wandered into a hotel that was almost a museum.  Called the Posada del Palacio, it looks like a fabulous place to stay (below).

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This was the first time we walked around the upper part of town.  The views were wonderful.

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