Stories

The Alhambra of Granada

by Jorge Sanchez - 3 years, 7 months ago

In December of the year 2012 I happened to be in Granada and tried to visit the Alhambra. I had already been many years ago, but I had the caprice to revisit the place. I knew that without reservations is very hard to get a ticket. Many tourists have to wait for days to obtain one. But I was very lucky and at the entry gate I was sold one ticket at once. The first place that I saw was the Palace of Charles V. He married a Portuguese princess (Isabel) in Sevilla, and planned to spend the honeymoon in Granada. A palace was built for him. Its architect was Pedro de Machuca, born in Toledo but formed as an artist in Italy; probably he was a disciple of Michelangelo. The Carlos V Palace is impressive, beautiful, but out of context within the premises of the Alhambra. Furthermore, some parts of the Alhambra had to be destroyed in order to erect that palace. In front of that palace is where the real Alhambra visit starts. There is another ticket control to get to the Nazari palaces, which are three: the Harem, the private one, and the Palace of the Audience, or Throne Hall, to receive the ministers. The most interesting palace is the harem. The women could see the sultan guests, but the guests could not see the women. Between palaces there were patios separating them. In one of the patios I saw the room where Washington Irving wrote his famous Tales of the Alhambra. Soon I got to the Patio de los Leones. It is so called because of the fountain with twelve faucets. It was a present from the Jew community. They represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The columns in the Patio de los Leones are made with an exquisite taste. Sometimes the columns in the patio are called palm trees inside a lovely garden. Finally I walked up to the Gardens of the Generalife and the small Sultan summer palace. From that summer palace there were wonderful views over the Sierra Morena and the highest peak in peninsular Spain: Mulhacen. In the evening I visited Albayzin, inhabited mainly by gypsies. Albayzin is a beautiful place, with narrow streets and small squares. Every house is decorated with plants and flowers. Walking is very pleasant. In Albayzin, in the square of the church of Saint Nicholas, while waiting for the flamenco show in Sacromonte, I had the opportunity to enjoy the night view of the Alhambra illuminated. It was beautiful!


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