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TRA 138 An Historical Journey to Andalusian Spain and Morocco

Course Description

For almost eight centuries, beginning in 711, the lands on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar shared religions and cultures, and created a level of civilization unparalleled in the region. Before this time, southern Spain had been the prosperous Roman province of Baetica with its capital at Cordoba, and Morocco was a kingdom of Berbers with close ties to the Roman Empire. All this changed dramatically in the early 8th century with the arrival of Arab armies, who in less than a century spread their conquests—and their Islamic religion—from Mecca and Medina to Fes in Morocco and Granada in Spain.

Join us on our 20-day historical and cultural journey to Anadalusia and Morocco in search of the roots of one of the most multicultural and religiously varied periods in Mediterranean history. We begin with nine days in Morocco, visiting the archaeological remains of Roman towns, and the Kasbahs (fortified Arab citadels), mosques, and museums of four important cities and their environs: Rabat, Fes, Marrakech, and Tangier. For another nine days in southern Spain, we'll explore the Roman theatres, aqueducts, houses, and temples of Merida and Cordoba, the Moslem Alhambra in Granada, the Jewish quarter of Cordoba, and museums of archaeology and ethnography.

Our pace will be leisurely, usually spending two or three nights at each hotel, with plenty of free time for you to shop for carpets in the traditional souqs of Morocco and for original fashions in the shops of Seville; to find your own perfect cafe for lunch or a drink; to search out a flamenco performance or simply relax by the pool over a good book.

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Accompanying Resource Person: Dr. John Humphrey

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