Finally christian kings took Alhambra in 1492 and only buildings are left there on the high hill to remind us from muslim times of Spain.
High on the hill stands palace and alcazaba – muslim fortress. Looking down to old town.
By the way – Alhambra means red castle. This is because it was built from local earth and rocks which look reddish.
In Albayzin there is also a nice terrace high up, where one can see over Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada backside. Everything in one place! Valleys, fertile lands, mountains, snow, water, warmth, sun – what more man could want?
Palace of Alhambra – heaven in earth?
Now the journey inside Alhambra walls have started. Alhambra hold it’s kingdom over 200 hundred years longer than any other muslim state in Spain. Partly because their ruling family had a cunning way of negotiate themselves over troubles. Partly because this realm was very difficult to conquer.
As it was a habit in Spain at times of 900-1492 AD there were lot of wars, alliances and agreements between muslims and christians in Al Andalucia – and also with Nothern African berbers. All the time the alliances were changing and sometimes muslim fought together with christians against other muslim states! It was not simply christians against muslims.
Building behind is convent of San Francisco. At the time of Nasrids this was part of the palace, with its own mirhab or prayer room. When laying siege over Granada Queen Isabella promised that she would build a shrine inside Alhambra to her beloved Saint Francis. So the monastery was placed in Moorish palace and it became a rest place for Christian monarchs for two decades. One can still see – especially inside – some marks from muslim times.
Here located once the great mosque of Alhambra. When Christian monarchs besieged Granada and took the palace, they turned the mosque into catholic churc – church of Santa Maria de la Alhambra. Not much left from original building…
Gardens of Alhambra
Rulers of Granada were worshipping their God in their special way. Therefore sound of water in fountains and beautiful gardens were important. They wanted to purify their soul by meditating life in simple but lovely surroundings.
Here rosegarden on May.
Some people say that Generalife has got it’s name from the fact that it lies on the slopes of the hill – ”Hill of the Sun = Cerro del Sol”. Here one can see nicely Alhambra palace on left. In front of below lies city of Alhambra – but Generalife is high on the hill.
View from windows of ”Court of la Acequia” towards Alhambra. Earlier time there used to be a bridge over ravine which amir used when traveling from Alhambra to his summer palace. Behind is a fountain once again. The idea of fountains was too cool hot weather at summertime.
There is a three in patio of Cypress of Sultana with story behind it. This famous three – Cypress of the Sultana (Ciprés de la Sultana) – grows now for memory of one of amirs wifes – the guilty one. According to the legend, Boabdil’s wife used to meet a knight of the Abencerrajes family. This triggered the death of the people of this noble tribe whose throats were slit. Too bad for them…
North part of summer palace would need a little bit restoraation work – surface start to deteriorate. But one can imagine ho nice it must have been drink some cold drink sitting in the terrace up there – feeling warm summer breeze coming from sea … from Malaga.
Alhambra by night
Maybe you did not know but there is also a possibility to see Alhambra by night. There are tours both for palace and garden.
Sierra Nevada in South-East
After laying under siege nearly one year city of Granada surrendered for united Christian army. Last sultan – called Bombadil – gave the keys of Alhambra to Christian envoys and later on the day met new rulers of Alhambra – Isabel and Ferdinand. Then he had to leave.
Then last sultan of Granada left his palace and started troublesome march over Sierra Nevada. And when he was climbing slopes of Sierra Nevada to south, he took last glimpse over his beloved valley of Granada. And he looked his palace – Alhambra – on the hill. And he cried!
On the next day we still give some glimpses to Sierra Nevada which looks very majestic.