Thursday, May 31, 2012

#981 Alhambra Palace, Granada, Spain

The crown jewel of beautiful Andalusia lies in the city of Granada (pomegranate!): The Alhambra Palace. An amazing Islamic structure in Europe, it was the last stronghold of the Moors before they were conquered by Isabel and Ferdinand, and expelled by the Inquisition.

The name comes from the Arabic name al qala'at al-hamra (red castle), and began in the 9th century as a fortress until the Nasrid emirs turned it into palace in the 13th and 14th centuries. Napoleon occupied it and almost blew it up, but the world didn't really take notice until the Romantics brought it to the world's attention in the 1830s. And what a beauty it is! A spectacular mix of architecture, history, gardens, and archaeological remnants, it tumbles over the hill and overlooks the modern town.
In the Medina
The Bathhouse
The large gated entrance - Puerto Justicia.
View from the Mexuar entrance way inside the Palacio Nazaries.
Patio del Cuarto Dorado (the golden room) in the Palacio Nazaries
The amazing muqarnas (stalactites) and the floral motifs made with wet plaster in the Palacio Nazaries  
The Torre de Comares of the Palacio de Comares and the Patio de los Arrayenes (Patio of the Myrtles)
Amazing muqarnas in the Patio de los Leones in the Palacio Nazaries
Patio de los Leones in the Palacio Nazaries
Patio de los Leones in the Palacio Nazaries
Jardines del Partal
View from the Torre de la Vela of the Alcazaba looking back towards the Palacio Nazaries and the Palacio de Carlos V 
Palacio de Carlos V
Gardens of the Generalife
View of the Alhambra palace from the Summer Palace.
Postcard of the Alhambra Palace with the Sierra Nevada behind.
Source: Lonely Planet 'Spain' 4th Edition.

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