Seventh Heaven 

I  don’t think I have ever given much thought to why we say we are in seventh heaven when we are feeling very happy.  Our guide in Alhambra explained.  She pointed out features in the palaces, such as stars with 8 points and rings of 8 stars, that were representative of the 8 tiers of heaven in Arabic beliefs.  She said they believed that, upon your death, you travel through 7 levels before you are fully prepared to enter the 8th and final level of heaven.   So, when we say we are in seventh heaven, what we are saying is that we are as close to being in heaven as we can get while still alive.

Evidence of this Arabic influence in Southern Spain was everywhere.  I especially noticed it in and around Christian Churches.   

8 pointed stars were evident many places.  This star was in a courtyard.

Another courtyard star.

Some stars were a little more subtle . 

In the Cathedral courtyard . 

Christian Churches were often built on sites that were one Muslim places of worship.   As in other parts of the world, when the Christians conquered territory in what we now know as Spain, buildings used for worship were repurposed or destroyed and Christian Churches were built using the old foundations.  Often the conquered people heloped build the Churches and snuck symbols from their beliefs in the decor.

About Gramma Barbie

I am first and foremost young at heart. I am proud to be a mother and grandmother. I have been a nurse since graduating from BCIT in 1974. I am now ready to also be known as a world traveller.
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