Tuesday, May 1, 2012

La Alhambra - Granada, Spain

On Saturday, a week ago, Margot and I drove to Grenada to visit the Alhambra.

The drive there is very pleasant. The elevation gets up to about 3500 ft or so on the highway with much higher mountains nearby. We were getting a little nervous as the temp kept going down as we went up. However, the weather in Granada was very nice.

The Alhambra is comprised of several elements. This is a picture of the Alcazaba or fortress section.

The other sections include the Nasrid Palace, the Generalife, Palace of Carlos V and the gardens surrounding the buildings.

The Alcazaba is the oldest part of the complex. It dates to the 1300s although there were some Roman fortifications on the site much earlier.

This is a little wider view of the fort.

We didn't spend too much time in the fort and focused most of our visit on the Nasrid Palace.

This is the gate through which one must pass to get from the fortress to the palace.

Here are a couple of shots of the outside of the Nasrid palace.

The Alhambra is the most visited site in Spain according to some sources.

The complex lay in ruins and largely forgotten for many years. The Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving, published in 1832, was instrumental in increasing interest in the complex.

Irving stayed in the Alhambra while collecting material for his stories.

You Kindle owners can get a copy of the book from Amazon for $0.99 if you want it. Tales of the Alhambra from Amazon

The Nasrid palace consisted of a number of structures and gardens built over the years by successive Muslim kings. The buildings underwent a number of changes in subsequent years after the re-conquest of Granada in 1492.

A beautiful pool - a central element of Islamic architecture.

This is a garden in the center of the palace.

Click to enlarge.

Another view of the garden from a second story window.

Another garden.

The walls are covered with carved marble and tile.

I understand the stalactite type ceiling motif is classic Moorish architecture.

More carvings.

Still more.

And more.

If you want to learn more here are a couple of links.


Wikipedia Link

Can any of my Saudi friends tell me what this says?

Please use the comment area if you can make this out.

Here we are with the old city of Granada in the background.

The ceilings are intricately done in wood normally.

A different sort of vaulted ceiling.

Click to enlarge.

This room is amazing.

I don't remember the story on this star shaped structure.

After 1492 several churches where built on the property.

Same church different view.

Another church.

This is a view of the old city of Granada directly at the base of Alhambra.

As we were enjoying the view, I noticed this crowd of people across the valley. At first I thought it was a wedding or something at the church. Then I realized that everyone was gathering to admire the view of the Alhambra.

When we finished our visit we decided to see if we could locate this spot.

We guessed the location and plugged it into the GPS and started out. We never did find that location but did find this spot on the way. Notice the snow covered mountains in the background behind the Alhambra.

I walked several blocks up the street and followed a tour group into a neighborhood. I stepped into the entry way of a restaurant to get this picture of the Alhambra.

The streets were very narrow - many pedestrian only. It was hard to keep track of which direction you were headed.

Finally a picture of the city and mountains near the exit of site.

Here is a link to a posting about a visit I made with a colleague a couple of years ago. Alhambra is in the second half of this posting.

Alhambra visit in 2010

Recent postings about Spain

1 comment:

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