The RICHES OF PORTUGAL AND SPAIN will be at your fingertips as we begin the two week journey at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, birthplace to the voyages of discovery. Travel through the explorer's eye as we tour the Lisbon Maritime Museum with its navigational instruments and enjoy a special visit to the Astronomical Observatory of Lisbon with its original and functional scientific instruments.
The University of Coimbra (established in 1290) and Salamanca University (established in 1218), two of the world's oldest universities, will be highlighted by tours of their libraries and meetings with mathematical faculty. Coimbra's mathematics building is a sight in itself, with mathematical themes worked into the facade. In Salamanca we will begin a secondary theme to the tour, for in addition to viewing the early printed mathematical texts of Europe we also will see some famous texts of Latin America which happen to be held by Spanish libraries. Salamanca holds the world's only complete copy of the Sumario Compendioso (Mexico, 1556), the earliest arithmetic and algebra book printed in the New World. While there, test your powers of observation by trying to find "the frog on the skull" in the decorations surrounding the library's entrance.
On the way to Madrid, we will visit El Escorial, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the stern palace built by Philip II (who sent the Armada against Britain) and home to one of Spain's most famous libraries. It boasts a 40,000 volume collection including the Codex Vigilanus, the oldest European manuscript containing Arabic numbers, written in Spain in 976 AD.
Enjoy a half day walking tour of Madrid and a visit to the national library, and a full day escorted tour of Toledo with visits to its cathedral, Old Quarter, El Transito Synagogue, and Santo Tome Church. From Madrid, we will take the fast train to Cordoba, with its beautiful mosque, which was converted to a cathedral after the reconquest.
A stay in Granada is highlighted by a morning at the Alhambra, known for its mosaics. Our tour will supplement the usual Alhambra tour with a discussion of wallpaper groups and their consequence for symmetries of the mosaics. We end in Sevilla with visits to its Fine Arts Museum and a panoramic city tour.
Bruce Burdick, Professor of Mathematics at Roger Williams University, will be our math historian and guide, and is the recent author of Mathematical Works Printed in the Americas, 1554--1700.
The trip itinerary is not yet completed, but if interested please contact Lisa Kolbe for further information:
Development Manager, MAA