Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Granada's Alhambra

Monday we had another early wake-up call as we needed to be at the gates of Granada's Crown Jewel tourist sight, the Alhambra, by 8:15 a.m., due to our reserved ticket entry time to this historic hilltop Moorish complex.

So what is it?

The Alhambra is a Moorish style royal palace that was the last and the greatest of its kind.

During the Reconquista, Granada was the final city needed to be conquered by the Spanish Catholic kings. The last Moorish King of Spain, Boabdil, surrendered the city and the Alhambra in 1492 to end the Reconquista.

The complex is divided into four sections of which the Palacios Nazaries is by far the most impressive and would be our first stop.

The Moors loved tiles

Laurie and the ever present
Moorish wall art

No icons allowed.

A Ceiling

More Wall Art

There would be many
archways . . .

And fountains

Fountains and flowing water are a big part of the relaxing lifestyle that one would have found here 700 years ago.

Remember, the Moors ruled Spain during Europe's Dark Ages when most of Europe lived in filfthy conditions.

Moorish art, architecture and sanitation systems were light years ahead of their Catholic neighbors.

Heading into the Palacios Nazaries

Allah Be Praised

A Ceiling

Blue Stalactites

The Courtyard of the Myrtles

Wall Carvings Abound

A Ceiling

Just flat out impressive

How did they do this
without computers?

A Ceiling

Wall Carving Close-up

Stalactite Arch

The Courtyard of the Lions

An Ornate Ceiling

The color blue symbolizes Heaven

Yep, another Ceiling

A Serene Garden

He lived here for one year, 1829.

He wrote a book, "Tales of the Alhambra," based on his experiences and stories he had heard during his time here.

The view of the Albayzín district

Wonderful Fountain

We have got to expel
these heathens from Spain!

We finished touring the Palacios Nazaries and could not come away more impressed.

To sum it up in just one word, WOW!!!

We still had three more parts of the Alhambra to visit so we headed next to the Alcazaba which is an empty old fort in ruins.

Entry Arch to the Alcazaba

Alcazaba Entry Arch
from the other side

Since this part of the Alhambra is just ruins, we decided not to enter.

Instead we aimed for . . .

King Charles V's Palace

This was added to the Alhambra after the Reconquista and has none of the charm of the Palacios Nazaries.

Horse hitch

Tired lion still standing guard
against a return by the Moors

Entering King Charles V's Palace

This palace had a huge courtyard

The Generalife Gardens

This was our fourth and final stop on the Alhambra tour. These gardens also house the Moorish kings' Summer Palace.


Water everywhere to
soothe the soul

We visited the Alhambra for about five hours and were simply awed.

It was now time to wind our way back down the hill to the main streets of Granada and some nourishment.

Walking the cobblestone path
called La Cuesta de los Chinos

Nice spot for a sreet lamp

Our waiter at a café on the
Paseo de los Tristes

Tapas, tapas, tapas . . .

Excellent Guitarist

We bought his five Euro CD.

Clam Shells

The clam shell is the symbol of the Camino de Santiago. St. James, Santiago in Spanish, is credited for helping the Catholics route the Moors.

His full title is San Santiago Matamoros, i.e., St James Moor Killer.

Nice ecumenical touch.


Not Real.

Colorful Moorish Cloth

I needed a break from
the oppresive heat!

A strawberry slush was perfect!

For a small fee he will artfully
write your name in Arabic

It was time to head back to the hotel for both a break from the heat and a siesta before going out for our evening paseo and a 10:00 p.m. dinner.

Not everybody is happy in
these tough economic times

Someone painted a soccer ball
and the number 7 to this statue

Isn't that David Villa's number?

Just another church

Another Camino de Santiago

An Excellent Street Band


We ate a fine dinner at this outdoor café on the Plaza de Bib-Rambla. In the background you see my table view of, in order from left to right, an ice cream shop, our restaurant and another ice cream shop.

That is just not right!

We went to the one on our
far right for dessert

And it was SO good for us too!

In the morning we will be boarding another train, this time bound for our final stop in Spain's Andalicia, the city of Córdoba and its much heralded Mezquita.

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