Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We made reservations weeks ahead to take Ben to the Alhambra in Granada, the last palace of the North Africans and the first palace of the Spanish kingdom. Completed towards the end of Muslim rule in Spain by Yusuf I (1333-1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353-1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last days of the Nasrid Kingdom. It is a place where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge as Christian Spain won victories over Al Andalus. The Alhambra mixes natural elements with man-made ones, and is a testament the skill of Muslim craftsmen of that time.

Again, as we've seen before, the Arabic architecture was astonishingly light and airy! I caught myself thinking several times, "I wonder where they studied engineering?"

We were amazed by the intricate wall carvings and the beautiful tiles, typical of Islamic architecture. Although their religion bans them from making "images," their walls are highly decorated with inscriptions from the Koran, as well as geometric patterns. Balance and equilibrium brought a sense of stability to the architecture.

When Ferdinand and Isabella ran the last reigning North Africans from the Alhambra, they did very little in the way of remodeling. Thank goodness! the whole place is a wonder and a beauty to behold.

Rows of arches, repetitive shapes, matching elements, and other features make the Alhambra a jewel of a place!

Within the Alhambra is the Palace of Charles V, built in 1527.

The monarch certainly enjoyed their privacy and the beauty of these gardens! everything was enchanting.

One can easily spend all day enjoying the beautiful architecture and the many gardens. John and Ben had a hard time dragging Jan away from the flowers – there was every shade of pansy imaginable

Come and see us and we’ll make sure to reserve a day at the Alhambra – bring your walking shoes!

1 comment:

Ken & Cindy said...

Oh, I LOVE pansies. I would have loved walking around looking at the flowers with Jan. And.....seeing the beautiful architecture too.