Day 12 – The Alhambra in the morning

This morning we start through the gate to the Alhambra, which our guide emphasizes is its own city surrounded by fortresses located on a hill above Granada. It was built by the Nasrid rulers of the Emirate of Granada in the 13th to 15th centuries.

Above the Muslim-style gate is a Madonna, placed there after the Christian reconquest.

Our guide describes how the walls were built.

With the reconquest, King Carlos V, who owned most of “America,” decided to create a palace in Alhambra and bring his court there. Its architect studied under Michaelango. Unfortunately, circumstances forced Carlos to abandon his plans, and the building went to ruins. It served as a shelter for homeless people in the 1930s.

One of the walls of Granada can be seen from the Alhambra.

The ample greenery around the Alhambra softens the sharp lines of its architecture.

As usual in Muslim sites, water gives a calming effect.

Looking into the Patio of the Twelve Lions.

The intricate plaster in this particular ceiling was once colored, as was all the plaster work in the palace.

A closeup of the same ceiling shows its intricate construction.

Muslims are forbidden to depict animals and humans in their art, but here are twelve lions surrounding a fountain. The friendship between Muhammed V and the Catholic Peter the Cruel resulted in an exchange of cultural elements. Peter helped Muhammed V recover the throne of the Nasrid kingdom and fashioned some of the Alcazar in Seville with Muslim elements.

Three ceilings in the ceiling depict Western scenes in violation of Muslim religious rules.

The Alhambra requires an army of gardeners to maintain its grounds.

Orange trees abound. These bitter oranges are known by their double leaf. Many such oranges from Spain are exported to England to be made into marmelade.

Near the summer palace, artichokes grow in a small field, as do many other vegetables. The produce is donated to charity organizations.

The summer palace gardens also feature roses.

A view from the Alhambra to the Sierra Nevadas.

I am captivated by the intricate patterns of the Muslim designs.

The logo of the Nasrid family, founder of the Alhambra, is found in tiles throughout the Alhambra.

I try to imagine the walls and ceilings before the colors faded.

This afternoon we explore Granada.

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