Tuesday, April 29, 2008


The main reason we went to Granada was to see the Alhambra, which was the fortress/palace of Granada's Muslim leaders for hundreds of years. This was the last part of Spain to remain in Islamic hands (until 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella conquered them). The Catholic king and queen are buried in Granada in a beautiful chapel adjacent to the cathedral, incidentally.

The architecture of the Alhambra is simply amazing. This is a view through several doorways - every square inch in carved with non-representational art and Arabic words. This is a closeup of one of the walls. Nearly all the walls are like this.

The ceilings are decorated, too. This is a beautiful wooden one.Next to the Alhambra is Generalife, another palace (not an insurance agency, which is what it sounds like to English ears!). It has beautiful gardens with lots of fountains and ponds thoughout. Water served a practical function in helping to keep the palace cool in the very hot summer months (it was already in the high 80s in April!), but also symbolized life and purity.

And a view from the Alhambra of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance.

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