Visit to the Inquisition Exhibit
In sorting out the who's who of the unification of Spain that ensued from the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand, MMLA students from level 4 went straight to the source at a Sephardic Palace in the heart off Granada's Albaycin, and learned about the expulsion of non-Catholics in 1492 and what life was like for those who decided to stay and convert to Catholicism. For many students, a Menorah with the heart of Mary added to it, was the first time they'd heard the term "syncretism". Also housed at the Palace was an exhibit on torture apparati used by the Inquisition to force confession of supposed heretics. The exhibition left no one unchanged as we contemplated the tactics used by Torquemada and his squad of inquisitors, to extract confession or induce public shaming. Discussion that followed the visit over delicious ice-cream from "Los Italianos", students' favorite parlor in the center of town, revolved around that ever so important year 1492 - when the so-called Catholic Kings also conquered Granada and sponsored Columbus's first trip across the Atlantic Ocean. This coming weekend when visiting the Alhambra, we'll have a chance to get a feel for what life was like for the Moors who had lived in Spain since the year 711, before their throne at the palace here in Granada was conquered and they were expelled from Spanish territory as well.