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the Alhambra in Spain

Visit the Alhambra for True Serenity

When you vacation in Spain, a spot you must try to see, particularly when you’re in the southern region of the country, is Granada.  Situated in the south about an hour’s drive from the Mediterranean Sea, the city of Granada of approximately a quarter million inhabitants is home to one of the most magnificent sites that I have seen anywhere is located, the Alhambra in Spain.

The Alhambra in Spain a Classic Moorish Palace on a Hill

The Alhambra is a classic Moorish palace and citadel that is one of the most visited vacationer spots in Spain.  It started as a fortification located on a huge high spot at the southeastern section in the city.  A natural location to construct a fortress complex, building began in 889 AD at a period when that area in the Iberian Peninsula had been controlled by Muslims.   In 1333 the Sultan of Granada added a royal palace within the complex, and from that time until the Reconquista in 1492 by Spanish Christians marked the peak in construction with the Alhambra.

Since there was never a grand plan for the complex’s entire site, the layout will seem somewhat rambling and unorganized.  The majority of the construction came before the landmark 1492 year, and as a result nearly all of the structures suggest the style of Moorish structures in Spain in the last century of Muslim reign within Granada.  On account of their commercial and political connection with regional Christian kingdoms and isolation with the rest of Islam, it has a look which is quite distinctive.

Following the Reconquista in 1492, Christians who inhabited the complex added their impact.  The palace of Charles V is a Renaissance building built in 1527, but in time the entire Alhambra site became abandoned and fell into poor condition.  It was rediscovered by travelers and scholars, and then the American writer Washington Irving is given much of the credit for bringing interest to the Alhambra with his work “Tales of the Alhambra”.  With that restoration began, and continues to this time.  Even with its centuries of neglect and a lot of ill-judged renovation, this really is one of the best examples of Muslim art in the concluding stages in Europe.

The Generalife Is a Section not to be Missed

An outlying structure and area of gardens connecting to the Alhambra is the Generalife, a truly breathtaking area that shouldn’t be missed.  It was built in the start of the 14th century, and restored quite a few times.   The final was initiated in 1931 and finished in 1951, and gives it the design visitors can appreciate at present.  The Water-Garden Courtyard is a long pool framed by flowerbeds, colonnades and pavilions, plus gorgeous fountains.

My impressions of the Alhambra are the breathtaking architecture and undulating topography, giving it the sensation of a huge section of verandas and palaces.  But is what really sets it separately is the use of water.  The builders laid about five miles of conduit from the River Darro at a monastery higher than Granada to the development.  This feeds the many fountains and pools, and the sounds from the cascading water gives the Alhambra a sense of peacefulness and beauty that is hard to equal anywhere.

The Alhambra from Luciano Bosticco on Vimeo.

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