The Alhambra, History and Art in Granada, Spain

13 September, 2012 0 Comments

The Alhambra

It’s hot in Granada, Spain. My pulse quickens. It may be a visit to the Alhambra, or it may be that I’m climbing up steep path of the de Gomérez, which is the access door, I just know that I’m about to visit the most beautiful monument that exists in Spain. History, Art, is pure beauty that is taking shape before my eyes. The silhouette of a fortress was born to be eternal, to dominate with eloquence to a city rendered to its shadow, from the hill of name al-Sabika, from where between chestnut and hazelnut trees, between elm and birches, welcomes thousands of tourists who visit each year to record in his memory one of the most magical moments that any traveler could want.

Now I remember what I learned about the Alhambra long time ago, in particular on the year 1,238 , when the king Muhamad decided to build it. In it, stone by stone, left all the poetry of a rich civilization in culture. In those years Spain was the center of the world and many men of great culture arrived in Granada and Cordoba to expand their knowledge.

When I’m passing under the door of the Justice gate, (La Puerta de la Justicia), which is the entry to all the monumental complex, little by little I am recalling each and every one of their palaces, of their rooms, patios and gardens: each one with its own history, each one of its time and with its own characteristics.


The history of Granada lived one their most important moments in the Torre de la Vela. In this tower is raised the Cross of the Catholic Kings after having taken the Nasrid city and entered in the Alhambra. It was the day January 2 1492.

This is our first important point during the visit. But before, after crossing the gate of Justice we are in the Plaza de los Aljibes, where the lockers and shops where you can purchase a map of the location are.

To the left is the fortified part, the area of the Alcazaba, where highlights the Torre de la Vela, from which you can see all Granada. It is logical that the Catholic monarchs placed the Cross in that place to show the people that the city had already been taken. This was an undoubted coup of fatal consequences for the Muslims.

Next to the Torre de la Vela is the Patio de las Armas , which also has great historical value. Dont forget to take pictures from here because the views of the Albaicín neighborhood are simply spectacular.


The Nasrid palaces are the best example of the Nasrid culture: a real gem that gives beauty beyond where you look, and that once more will lead us to imagine stories that there could be lived.

There, in the Mexuar, the first room that we are going to find, met the Great Court of the kingdom. This chamber was rebuilt in Christian era but was created, as well as the Fourth Gold, by Yusuf I. However, this room was modified in later stages. Example of this is the existence of four central columns or walls of tiles in which can be seen the emblem of Carlos V.

Yusuf I was one of the main supporters of the Alhambra. Thanks to Yusuf I today we can enjoy this magnificent building. Precisely, the famed Comares Palace was built by him, together with its no less known Patio de los Arrayanes (Courtyard of the Myrtles). This is a really lovely area thanks to the myrtle trees that give it its name, which are placed around the pond. In this pond reflects the carved columns and arches of around, highlighted even more by the pristine white marble of its floor. A visual wonder, without a doubt.

To the son of Yusuf I, Mohammed V, we owe the most famous and photographed from the Alhambra: the Patio de los Leones (courtyard of the Lions), well known by its central fountain with twelve lions of which the water flows. In this place the silence, the peace and quiet reign … You can’t avoid thinking about Mohammed, strolling around in there, book in hand, no more noise than the mild progression of water coming out of the mouths of the lions. And you want that moment imagined, to be there alone, with your thoughts, with your reading, only surrounded by the baroque style of its arches and their columns.

On each side of the courtyard, communicated with this, are the following two rooms: the Sala de los Abencerrajes, and the Sala de las Dos Hermanas. Later are located the private rooms of Carlos V and the Gardens of the Partal.

The gardens os the Partal– THE PALACE OF CARLOS V

This palace is also beautiful, but, perhaps for the nostalgia and the recollection of the chambers that I had just passed, it didn’t impress me so much as the previous. I honestly thought it was something added to that magnificent fortification that even it was not well with the rest of the set. The palace of Carlos V was built in the year 1526. Its construction was commissioned by Pedro Machuca. His style is renaissance and its greatest achievement, the central patio, has a circular shape and a extraordinary size of 31 meters in diameter.


Finally, the most beautiful gardens I have seen so far in Spain: the gardens of the Generalife. Without any doubt these gardens have been created for inner peace.

There is nothing better for rest of the entire visit to terminate at this point, walking between its cypresses, among the myrtle trees, among the orange groves, among the many and exquisite fountains and always under the watchful eye of the Alhambra. The Acequia Courtyard, the most famous, the Courtyard of the Cypresses… each with his own name and each with its own history.

There is a legend that says that in these gardens, which are hidden to the eyes of all, is the courtyard where the wife of Boabdil met in secret with one of his knights. This gentleman, of the family of the Abencerrages, attracted the curse to your entire lineage because, to be discovered, the Sultan ordered slay the most important lords of the Abencerrages. This legend is only one of the most many stories that are still alive around the Alhambra.

I would like to conclude with a poem that reads in the source itself of the Courtyard of the Lions, a reflection more of the wisdom which ruled the destinations of the world for years.

“Es un amante cuyos párpados rebosan de lágrimas,

lágrimas que esconde por miedo a un delator.

¿No es, en realidad, cual blanca nube

que vierte en los leones sus acequias

y parece la mano del califa, que, de mañana,

prodiga a los leones de la guerra sus favores?”

(“He is a lover whose eyelids are bursting with tears,

tears that hides for fear of a whistleblower.

What is not, in reality, which white cloud

that pours into the lions their ditches

and seems to be the hand of the caliph, which, in the morning,

bountiful to the lions of the war their favors.”)

 Photo Source: The Alhambra

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