More Songs About Buildings and Memes: Street Art of Granada and Seville

Rather than stuff our faces with turkey this thanksgiving, we decided to stuff our faces with the sights of southern Spain (a polite way of saying their food and associated customs of when you can eat it, truly sucks--granted the olives and Manchego cheese were good). Here's some of what we saw, in no particular order, though starting with Seville where we flew into. 

poster in Seville

looking through the orange grove at the Seville cathedral

inside the Seville cathedral

The interesting thing about southern Spain, is the Islamic influence standing side by side with the Catholic and also Judaic influences, the religions and cultures repurposing the existing structures for their own purposes. If this cathedral was a "put this in your pipe and smoke it" bragging right to the Muslims, the Alhambra in Granada was one hell of a rebuttal (though chronologically or historically, probably the other way around). Unfortunately we missed out on the Alcázar in Seville because the morning we set aside to see it it was closed, but I'm sure there was plenty to pack your pipe with there. One of the coolest features of the cathedral though is the Giralda which was originally a minaret of the pre-existing Almohad mosque, blemished with a Catholic bell-tower sitting on top.

another shot through the orange grove at the Giralda

Funny, when writing the introduction to my recent Poste Restante, the example that came to mind when I was thinking of places I had never been was the Plaza de Toros in Seville, and here I was standing in it, imagining all the carnage that has taken place, and still takes place in this plaza. Besides the ritualized slaughter of bulls, 300 horses a year are killed in the process just in this ring. Sitting in the empty ring was good enough for us. 

plaza de toros, Seville

If you're looking for more touristic shots that's about as far as I got, before becoming fixated on the details (all my shitty digital camera is really good for).

Graffitied tiles in Seville

moldy tiles

inscription in marble

inside of our hotel room

replica(?) of an Egon Schiele that we happened upon in a hotel lobby, along with many more...

A lot of Seville was under construction, everywhere you turned, roads were ripped up and buildings were shrouded in scaffolding. We decided to check out Granada as Seville seemed a bit white-washed for our tastes. It was a nice 3-hour train ride away through pastures of olive and orange trees. 

The most obvious feature of Granada ("pomegranate") is the Alhambra

view of Granada from the Alhambra

door and wall detail, Alhambra

roof in Alhambra

Alhambra arches

tile detail, Alhambra

The Alhambra was breathtaking, but it's not like you can't find pictures of it that somebody with a good camera and lighting took (like Jess when she gets around to putting her pictures up). What really fascinated us about Granada though, was the streets and the street art, though again, many of the main boulevards were ripped up. We wandered around taking these pictures, mostly in the Albayzín, the old Islamic quarter now seemingly populated with bohemian students, guys with dread-mullets (rasta in the back, shaved in the front) and frumpy girls with long betty boop (with 80s wave) hair with bangs. I swear, every guy and girl fell into this category.

Granada graffiti at night 

Hitchcock meme

8 mm meme

"I'm looking for you"

mermaid of Albayzín

Andalucían lexiconography 

no shooting (partially in chalk or pastels)


un peso por su pensamientos

the writing's on the wall

reggaed rag-a-muffin


blurred dread-mulleteers


another callejone


Miro Influenced Graffiti?

blue creature

mushroom tree

juggling bomber

deconstructing to construct

ET scoping the cathedral

"pigs" in the alley

deconstruction blues

chico y gallo

All and all, worth the trip for the Alhambra alone and for the street art of Albayzín, even if flying these days truly sucks, especially over thanksgiving. If it was any consolation, our delays were in the Madrid airport, which was hands down the coolest airport I've ever been in. 

Madrid Airport

people mover

Check out Jess's site for more pics. Next stop, Morocco for Xmas! 


(c) 2006 Derek White. Just ask if you want to re-purpose any of the content herein. 



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