Friday, September 09, 2016

Granada, Spain and the Alhambra

The Alhambra Palace and Fortress in Granada, Spain designated a world UNESCO site. The fortress was built first on some Roman ruins around 890 A.D. 
Then the palace was built by the Moors in the early 1300's.  The inside of the palace is very ornate with poems in Arabic carved in plaster on the upper walls, the lower walls have ceramic tiles in intricate designs. The poem would be the writing in the second narrower panel above the tiles. 
You could almost think this was a carpet, but it is a plaster wall. 
The ceilings are fantastic, there are two types, the ones made out of plaster and the ones done in wood, both are unbelievable. 
The wooden roof with inlays. 
Here is what that cupola ceiling with the windows looked like from the outside. 
Charles V of Spain added his own contribution to the fortress in the 1490's, I did not get a good picture of the outside so will borrow one from the Internet. There is also a big church, you can see it's top poking over Charles V palace, there but I did not have enough time to visit it.
It was very different architecturally especially on the inside, being grand and austere rather than intricately decorated like the Morrish palace.  Can you believe that big square building looks like this on the inside??
The gardens were beautiful with the Moorish influence of water everywhere, lots of fountains and ponds. The gardens we extensive with about 700m of pathways separated by hedges, three layers wide, there some flowers and shrubs I had never seen before 
The last place I visited was called the Generalife and it was where the non Royal members, or maybe even lesser Royal family members lived.  The quarters were smaller but the pools and surrounding vegetation were beautiful. 
This woman just stepped into the shot as I was taking it and I had to hurry to get back to the tour on time so did not stop to take a better photo. 
To anyone thinking of visiting be sure you plan ahead. They only allow so many into to see the palace at one time and there were no more individual tickets to be bought for a week and a half when I looked. We took a tour which picked us up in Almerimar, it was great, it was a 12 passenger van, he did all the driving, he arranged for the tickets, we skirted along the Sierra Nevada mountains, and we got a great commentary on every thing we saw. One of the reasons we stopped here is I wanted to see the Alhambra and I am so glad Barry was healthy enough to go with me, it was a great trip.