The sea brought the cultures of the East to Andalusia long before civilization had come to other parts of Spain. Empires from the East came and went, none more notable than the Moors, who arrived from North Africa, only 14km (9 miles) to the south.

In a strange reversal of fortune in the centuries to come, after having faced so many conquerors from the East, Spain itself was an eastern empire when it set out to forge a western empire with the "discovery" of the Americas.

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