Alhambra de Granada: An architectural retreat

Welcome to the palace city! Also known as La Alhambra, Alhambra de Granada is a legendary marvel for all the history lovers. Nestled atop a hill in Granada, Spain; La Alhambra is known as the history venue where the scholars as well as artists took refuge after the defeat of Al Andalus by the Christian Spain. Today, the entire zone is a threefold establishment holding a palace, a castle, and a dwelling wherein the myriad of edifices are on a height and reflect the look and feel of medieval Christian edifices. Among all these buildings, the citadel or alcazaba is the most ancient building that still lives on the secluded, steep land.

In the 11th century, the Alhambra de Granada after being abandoned for almost two centuries castle was renewed by Samuel of the Zirid Dynasty. He did so for defending a small Jewish group. Then, later Ibn Naser who was the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty and wanted to prohibit the maltreatment of King Ferdinand for freeing Spain from Moorish rule lived in an Alhambra Palace that was called the Palace of Badis. As time passed, he too renovated the palace city so that a King can also live here. On this line, he erected six palaces of which five were the royal northeast quarters, bath homes, and two circuit towers. This is the main reason why Alhambra de Granada is called the palace city, not a fortified town that strangely also boasts a full irrigation system no present before.

Currently, for the tourists, only some grand walls, towers, palace ruins, and fortifications are left. On my trip, I first began to ascend the hill on foot, which is known for its natural charm. This is the most suggested way to come here. You will reach La Alhambra via the 15th century Puerta de las Granadas that is known as the Gate of Pomegranates. Symbolically, this is the arch of victory that boasts tree-lined avenues. On your way here via a sheer climb, do spot the a fountain of the 16th century, Pillar of Charles V, and the Puerta de la Justicia that is called the Gate of Judgment acting as the main entrance. Formerly this gate was once utilized as a court of justice by the Moors. Today, we can admire its big horseshoe shape boasting an oblong tower. Above the gate, look for a mascot of Fatima’s hand with extended fingers against the evil eye.

To explore an Alhambra Palace that is the Moorish palace called Palacio Arabe, look for a small door holding a corridor that takes you via the Patio de los Arrayanes meaning the Court of the Myrtles. This patio is also called the Patio de la Alberca that stands for the Court of the Blessing or Court of the Pond. The latter name comes from the pong in its middle wherein goldfishes as well as myrtles are seen in it. Here, do also look at the walls of the Torre de Comares in the north. Also, check out the galleries on the north and south.

The walls are coated with tiled blues and yellows layered in the rim of blue and gold, whereas the columns holding the roof and gallery are irregularly placed and are embellished with varied vegetation. While gazing, spot a big square of arabesques over the arches and the pillars of the filigree work.

Then, the Patio de los Leones that is the Court of the Lions, a rectangular court, is surrounded by a low gallery boasting 124 columns in marble. Connected to this one is a pavilion that is adorned with the domed roof and filigree walls. Among all the highlights in the Alhambra Palace City, the most striking one is the Palacio de Generalife that is from the 13th century. What you see today is obviously the resorted one.

Nearby are the popular gardens that is the home of fountains, caves, and cypress avenues that reveal the restored Moorish style. You can also take a tour of the Torres Bermejas on Monte Mauror, which is a Moorish stronghold with the underground cisterns and stables. In the caves of Sacromonte, do attend the Flamenco Show held daily at 10:00.

The cost of admission ticket for Alhambra de Granada is €10. For visiting the gardens, there is an extra admission fee of €5. The visiting hour starts from 8:30 am, but it is recommended to reach here before 9:30 am so that you can buy the tickets. Otherwise, it is not easy to get a ticket because of crowd.

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