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Monday, January 25, 2010

Los Cipreses

Influences from other nations...

The River Guadalquivir
(or in Arabic guad = river, al-kebir= the big/large)

The ruins of an ancient Roman city, Italica fundado 206 antes de Cristo

The city of Sevilla is full of history and culture...

Italica was an interesting city to see because although it is located not far from Sevilla it feels like a completely different place and time. There is one house called the Casa Pajaros that has been preserved enough to see the different rooms and atrium space. I was struck by the size of the house and by its organization.

It was the home of a wealthy aristocratic family and as such the mosaic work was particularly ornate. The house's namesake comes from one such mosaic floor located near the main entrance, which features more than 30 types of birds!

The main gathering room was the comedor located in the back center of the house complex across from the entrancway past the atrium (which is located in the center of the house, from which all rooms were accessible.

Later on we visited the "spa" or bathhouses. Apparently this was a popular meeting place where one could relax and enjoy the series of cold, roomtemperature, and hot baths while catching up with neighbors and friends.

Too bad this tradition has not lasted...not necessarily the communal baths, but rather the purposeful allotment of time for relaxation with friends as an important part of daily life.


The other important note form our trip to Italica was a story about LOS CIPRESES!!

The guia told us that Cipress trees are planted at many ancient archealogical sites because they have a special root system that grows very deep instead of spreading laterally. (so they do not disturb the mosaics or home foundations)

Also the branches reach very tall toward the sky pointing to heaven and to God. In this way the trees indicated a connection to the divine through nature.


  1. Viva Lubnan! I had to throw that in there. (Viva España tambìen) I didn't realize that many places have Arabic names as well.

  2. I like that story about the trees. I was just learning about foundations in construction technology class and this was related.