Granada, Spain – The Alhambra

by Sue on February 7, 2015

Alhambra

The Royal City of Alhambra sits proudly on a hill above Granada. It is known as one of the most important architectural structures of the Middle Ages in Spain and the finest example of Islamic architecture left in the western world. Visiting on a cool, rainy day at the end of January it held our attention for the entire afternoon.

Water, rare and precious in most of the Islamic world, was the purest symbol of life to the Moors. Coming from the deserts of the south, the Moors celebrated water and its abundance in their new home.

Alhambra walls

The Alhambra was once a city of a thousand people and covers an area of over 32 acres. Its enclosed by more than a mile of walls reinforced by thirty towers, many of which are in ruins.

Gardens in the Alhambra.

Alhambra fruit tree

The Generalife was a retreat where the monarchs of Granada could relax, away from the bustle of the court. Yet close enough to the palace to attend to any urgent matters that might arise.

View of Generalife in the distance.

View of Generalife in the distance.

Generalife and its gardens.

Generalife and its gardens.

Courtyard in the Generalife .

Courtyard in the Generalife .

The Alhambra’s Palacios Nazaries, the Moorish royal palace, was built mostly in the 14th century.

Alhambra - palace

I read that space in the Alhambra is open, like in the desert. The Courtyard of the Lions isn’t a house with a garden, but a garden containing a house. Refreshing water flows from the mouths of the twelve white marble lions.

Alhambra - palace courtyard

Courtyard of the Lions.

Ceiling detail in the Palace.

Ceiling detail in the Palace.

Palace door surrounded by intricate plaster design.

Palace door surrounded by intricate plaster design.

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life crowns the line of inscriptions written around the wall. This type of plasterwork motif spreading downward from an apex is an allusion to the inverted tree that sustains the celestial bodies in the heavens and buries its roots in paradise.

Alhambra - The Hall of the Kings

The Hall of the Kings.

Window with a view.

Window with a view.

After an amazing afternoon at the Alhambra, our brains totally saturated with history, our bodies damp and chilled, we return to our slice of history – Hotel Casa 1800 Granada. Located at the foot of the Alhambra, in a charming Old Granadian house from the XVII Century, we are ready for a siesta.

Hotel Casa 1800 Granada

Hotel Casa 1800 Granada

You may also enjoy our post:
Dining in Granada, Spain

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy Wilson February 17, 2015 at 6:18 pm

The Alhambra was equally beautiful, fascinating and time consuming when we saw it in summer sunshine! Good photos! Interesting that we are sitting in a library in Murwullingbaugh, Australia, with Dick, who was living in Spain and with whom we visited The Alhambra about 5 years ago. I shared your photos with Dave and him.

wendy@chezchloe February 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Really amazing job on capturing this place on film. We loved visiting here but were not successful with transferring its grandeur through the camera. Beautiful.

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