Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

The Alhambra from Mirador San Nicolás, near sunset. The 12-acre complex of buildings was constructed beginning in the 13th century, first by Moorish kings, and in the 15th to 16th centuries by the Catholic monarchy. Note the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. That is the water supply for the entire area.

View from the opposite direction of the first photo, the Albaicín neighborhood as seen  from El Alhambra

The Generalife, the sultan’s summer palace where the royals would go on a hot summer day, an easy stroll from the Alhambra.

The Moors developed a remarkable system for water distribution, which they learned from the Romans. Water was diverted from the Sierra Nevada. It coursed through the Alhambra and then into the Darro river just below. Fountains are found throughout, accompanied by the gentle sound of running water.

View of the Alhambra from the gardens of the Generalife.

Bridge across the moat connecting the Alhambra with the Generalife.

The Alcazar, the fortified area of the Alhambra, enclosing the royal palaces.

Puerto de Vino, the entrance to the Alcazar.

The reflecting pool

Islam forbids the representation of people or animals, so the elaborate decoration of walls contains geometric tiles and inscriptions from the Koran.

Tom, María and Roger at the end of the tour, taking us almost two miles around the 12 acres of the Alhambra.

Statue of Washington Irving, who wrote Tales of the Alhambra in 1829 during his four-month stay here. His efforts led to a greater interest in the preservation of this remarkable monument to Moorish architecture.

Coming soon: photos of Granada and other sites in Andalucía