Spain: A Historical Journey

Streaming until February 28


Hot Docs at Home Fri, Oct 30 12:00 PM
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Spain is a fascinating, yet complex country, filled with historical treasures and architectural wonders. In this series from historian Olivier Courteaux, we will embark on a virtual journey to some of the country's most iconic landmarks, including the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Great Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba and the famous Alhambra palace in Granada. As we examine the country's rich blend of European and North African influences, and survey the artistic masterpieces within its famous museums, we’ll immerse ourselves in the stories of the people, places and breathtaking landscapes that have left their mark on the country, making Spain one of the world's most distinctive and captivating countries. 

Led by Olivier Courteaux, who holds a Doctorate in History from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. A regular public speaker and the author of three acclaimed books on Canadian and European history, Dr. Courteaux has taught at York University-Glendon College, Ryerson University and the Royal Military College in Kingston, and led Canadian travellers on historical tours of Spain. 

The six lectures in this series will all be available to stream as of Thursday, November 26. Once they are online, you can access each lecture at your leisure by clicking on links in your confirmation email, or by visiting your My Shows page.

Lecture 1: The Great Mosque (Córdoba) and The Alhambra (Grenada)
After the Moors invaded the Iberian peninsula in 711, the region of Andalusia became a cultural melting pot, with artistic and cultural traditions that fused Islamic and Christian influences. We’ll explore the unique Andalusian civilization which emerged from this collision of cultures and the imprint it left on the region’s richly decorated churches and palaces.

Lecture 2: The Palace-Monastery monastery of El Escorial (San Lorenzo de El Escorial)
The reign of Philip II, which lasted from 1556 to 1598, marked the heyday of Spanish power in Europe. Built in 1584, the Palace-Monastery of El Escorial was his monument to Spain’s role as a center of the Christian world, and the retreat from which he modernized the country as his health began to fail.

Lecture 3: The Royal Palace (Madrid)
The official residence of the Spanish Royal family is a massive and majestic structure, sitting on land that has housed Spanish rulers since the time of the Moors. As we explore its opulent corridors, and survey the stunning art and artifacts within its walls, we’ll take a closer look at the Spanish monarchy and what it stands for today.

Lecture 4: The Wonders of Seville
Between 1492 and the 18th century, the picturesque river city of Seville became Spain’s central hub for trade and migration to and from the New World. As we explore the city's famous Archivo General de Indias, the Palacio de San Telmo, the Plaza de España, and the Alcázar, we'll examine the politics and culture of the Andulusian capital and their impact on world history.

Lecture 5: The Prado Museum (Madrid)
Since its founding in 1819, this striking building in the bustling heart of the Spanish capital city has housed one of the world's finest collections of European art and the world’s single best collection of Spanish art. Amid the captivating canvasses of Titian, Goya and Velasquez, we’ll trace the fingerprints of the influential monarchs who built its stunning collections, and survey the cultural and political upheavals that shaped the art on the walls.

Lecture 6: The Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao)
This architectural masterpiece, inaugurated in 1997 by King Juan Carlos I, is a symbol of Spain's modernity, embodying the challenges and opportunities that face the country in the age of globalization. We’ll use Frank Gehry’s stunning, rectilinear designs and the post-industrial city of Bilbao to examine the country’s lasting cultural legacy and assess its future potential.

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Additional Information

Course registration: $49 (Hot Docs Members: $33, $27, Free)

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