Favorite thing: In Alhambra all the treasures are hidden inside, as well as in other moorish palaces. Outside Alhambra represents modest enough construction. Walls are unattractive, facades are not decorated. The Arabian governors did not like to parade luxury. They preferred to stay in stuffy premises rest in small court yard where fountains are murmuring and fishes are swimming in pools. Fragrant gardens have to slow walks.
Alhambra is a palace which was constructed in XIV century. Alhambra is the most known monument of moorish culture in Spain. The palace is included in the list of the world cultural heritage.
Usually in summer and in the beginning of autumn there are many visitors here and to get into the palace is very difficult. In April we have passed in the palace freely.
lets walk slowly back to the entrance now, Im tired, of course if you want to walk back down to the city you can use any of the exits, but Im going back to where I came in
look at this Wisteria vine, its trunk is so thick and twisted, I know it must have been here for a very very long time
we`ll just stop and take a look at the canons outside the Palace Carlos V, Carl is looking to see where they were ignited, but he thinks they have had so many coats of paint over the years that the hole for the detonator wick has been painted over
here are a few shops where you can buy a souvenir of your visit, I dont think I`ll bother, I dont think I will ever forget how wonderful the Alhambra is, in any case, there are so many things we didnt see that we`ll have to come back again
so now its past more lovely gardens and out of the Alhambra, I have had the most wonderful visit and I hope you enjoyed it with me
this was where the military and defensive oganisation was done, what a busy place this once was ! look at the remains of the houses, and the grilles in the floor - I can see rooms....would they be dungeons below there ? and over there were the baths, its like a seperate little town up here
be careful climbing the steps up to the towers and lookout points, they are very narrow, but the views when you reach the tops are definately worth the effort ! its such a clear day we can see for miles and miles
see the bell on the top of the Torre de la Campana ? it wasnt an alarm bell ever, it was installed after the conquest of Granada to signal irrigation times
I dont know about you, but Im ready for some food and a sit down, we have been here for over 5 hours ! lets walk slowly back to the entrance
did you enjoy the cup of hot chocolate ? wasnt the sun lovely and warm as we sat on the wall ? the cats that wander around here certainly like to have a fuss made of them
how differenet the Palace of Carlos V is to the Nasrit Palace ! it looks so stark inside after the Moorish splendour thats its almost a shock to see it
the square shape of the building doesnt prepare you for the massive circular courtyard within, just look at how that doorway was constructed - its design makes you more aware that you are standing in a circle in a square, come upstairs to the upper level, you can see what a feat of engineering and design this is, all the lines and curves of the stonework are so sharp and clear
but its a soulless place, it feels clinical, unused, unlived in, unloved
actually I dont think it was ever loved, it was commissioned in 1526 but never finished, it wasnt till the 20th century that it was roofed and finished
every year the Granada International Music and Dance festival is held here, in its favour the accoustics are very good, but to me it just looks like an inside-out bullring
the really good thing about this palace is the museum, there is no charge for entry, the information is in Spanish and English, and the displays are well lit and really interesting, especially the one about the restoration of the Lion Fountain, when it is complete people will be able to walk right up to it again, and touch it, a little bit of me is glad thats not allowed now, it will be really difficult to get a good picture of it when its surrounded by people
there are some lovely pieces in the museum, its a shame we arent allowed to take photographs
you see, I told you that the sun would shine and the sky would turn blue, look, its reflected in the pool, these gardens were built after the Moors were forced out of Granada, but they are still very old and beautiful, they lead towards the Church of Santa Maria de la Alhambra, there used to be a Mosque where it stands, which was for the people of the Medina, but it was destroyed and in the 17th century this church was built here
lets go and get a cup of hot chocolate before we visit the Palace of Carlos V, although the sun is shining its quite cool
this is the famous Room of the two Sisters, not real sisters, the name comes from the two marble slabs on the floor, look how wonderfully it is carved, but come and look at the fabulous views from the windows, down there is the Garden of Daraxa
we are nearly finished looking in these palaces now, we have been in here for almost three hours !
At one time this was a seperate building from the Palacio des Comares, now they flow into each other, in the centre is the Patio de los Leones, or Courtyard of the Lions, and at its centre is the famous Lion Fountain, how lovely these lions are ! they dont look fierce at all ! the fountain stands at the crossroad of four water channels, its roped off just now, you cant walk right up to it, because it is being restored, later in the museum you will see a restored lion and learn all about the restoration work
do you see the white marble columns all around the courtyard ? I read in my guide book that there are 124 of them in total, lets not stop to count them, there is still lots more to see
on each side of the courtyard is a room, we entered from the Courtyard of the Myrtles through the Sala los Mocarabes, we turn right and enter the Sala de los Abencerrajes, just look ! another fabulous ceiling, it looks like there is a city carved into it with towers and minarets, and the light coming in from the windows all around its 16 sided dome makes it look like a star, coming our we turn right and look in the Sala de los Reyes, then from there we are going to look in the Room of the Two Sisters
this translates as Courtyard of the Myrtles, Im not quite sure what a myrtle looks or smells like so I cant tell if there are still any here, but that doesnt matter, just look how beautiful this courtyard is, the long pool is like a mirror reflecting the sky and the buildings
lets go and stand behind the fountain at the end of the pool, from there you can see the symmetry of the building, perfectly balanced and mirrored in the pool, the water isnt still but it flows very very slowly so that the mirror like quality is maintained, a pigeon walks around the circular fountain, I`ll put a picture of him in a traveloge, he looks really cute
look at the ceiling under this archway, you can clearly see some of the colours used
next we go into the Audience chamber, its stunning and Im so busy just looking everywhere that I forget to take pictures, I just look and look, the sun is shining through the windows with their panes of coloured glass and lighting up the ceiling, and on the floor are very old coloured tiles, they are roped off but we wouldnt want to walk on them anyway, we just want to look
come now, lets go and look at the famous fountain in the Palacio de los Liones
Come out into the sunshine and look around, the little fountain in the centre was used for washing, make sure you dont trip over the edge ! Look up, these walls are decorated too, and there are shuttered windows - did the ladies of the Palace, safe in the knowledge that they couldn`t be seen, look down on the men going about their business and talking about important matters ? Im sure they must have, after all we women like to know everything thats going on
around the bottom of the walls are glazed tiles in jewel colours, topped by a deep frieze, some of the carvings are traditional Islamic ones, but here and there you will see carved flowers and foilage so the rulers must have been very progressive as at one time carving of organic things was considered a sin
the tour group that followed us in have all gone now, its quiet and peaceful again, lets go on, through the passage, into the Courtyard of the Myrtles
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