Friday, February 22, 2013

Penner's Spotlight - Carol McClain - Spain

Pens on a World Map
Penner's Spotlight
Name: Carol McClain of New York
Location: Córdoba, Spain
No trip to Spain would be complete without a trip to Córdoba. In the level land north of the Río Guadalquivir lays the capital of the Córdoba Province. You may crave the fine leather that bears the name of the city here, but better than cordovan leather are two magnificent sites: 
-the Mezquita

The Mezquita—no picture can portray this holy shrine. It was a church in Visigoth times (and you can see some of the original church). Later, the Muslims turned it into a mosque. On Christianity’s return to southern Spain, it became a cathedral. Each era created architecture more beautiful than the last.

Today as you enter the cathedral, 850 red and blue columns surround you, a visual forest—too dark and too grand to capture in a photograph.

In the far corner (facing south, which is unusual) is the Mihrab, the mosque equivalent of a high altar, where Muslims faced to pray.  
In the center of the room, sixteen columns were removed to make a chapel, fronted by the Royal Chapel—a burial place for kings—never opened to the public. However, the curators of the Mezquita were kind, and the chapel is not entirely walled off. The dome and the walls can be glimpsed—stunning.

In the Tesoro (Treasury) is a huge monstrance—the Christians wanted something glorious enough to hold the body of Christ. It has a crucifix with the body of Christ carved from a single piece of ivory, and much more. 
Then we come to the Cathedral itself. Glorious in gold and silver and carved mahogany. To me, the Mezquita is a must see, along with Alhambra, the Cathedral of Sevilla, and the Prado.

Spain is a glimpse of paradise.

Have you visited an unique church during your travels? Do you have an interesting story about Spain? We'd love to hear about it. Please join the discussion in the comments.

Carol McClain is a novelist as well as multi-published author in the magazine market. She has taught high school English for over thirty years and has eclectic tastes that run from teaching high ropes, playing bassoon, and painting portraits.

She is also active in ACFW where she coordinates the monthly courses. When she's not traveling, she's writing (aka ignoring her husband) in northern New York. You can follow her blog at

Would you like to be featured on "Penner's Spotlight"? Here's how.

I'd love to see a glimpse of your travels. It doesn't matter if you write a few sentences or the full 300 words. It's about sharing part of our journey with each other. For more on what to do for a "Penner's Spotlight," visit the link below:


  1. Morgan, fascinating blog - again. And Carol - you are living MY dream! Thank you for sharing your photos. We are just about to retire and I plan to travel and write. What bliss! Best, Cheryl Colwell

    1. Cheryl, I think Spain is my favorite place to visit. The Alhambra and Sevilla are as fabulous as Cordoba. Next trip--Toledo and Barcelona. Gracias para su visita.

    2. Thanks so much for stopping in again, Cheryl! I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts. :) Have a fantastic weekend!

  2. Wonderful photos and full of information! Thanks for that visual trip!

    1. Thank you, Karen. Spain is a fabulous spot to visit. The people are friendly and the history wonderful.

    2. Hi my Louisiana friend! :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by and joining the Spain conversation! Have a fantastic weekend!

  3. Thank you, Morgan. It's really fun being featured as a guest blogger.

    1. Hi Carol! :)

      You're welcome. Thanks so much for being my guest! I enjoyed our "trip" to Spain. It was fabulous! Have a fantastic weekend! Hope you talk to you soon!

    2. haha! I meant "Hope TO talk to you soon!" Though as writers, we do tend to talk to ourselves, don't we? hehe. :)