Granada, the city of Andalusia, is one of the favorite destinations of Spanish and world tourism thanks to its rich architectural and artistic heritage as the magnificent monumental complex of the Alhambra which is also considered the symbol of this beautiful city.
As the Spanish poet, Federico García Lorca used to say
“Granada is a city of leisure, a city for contemplation and fantasy, a city where the lover writes better than in any other place the name of his love in the soil. The hours there are longer and tastier than in any other city in Spain. It has complicated twilights of constantly new lights that never seem to end. ”
A description that suggests fascinating urban scenarios full of surprises.
The Alhambra is one of the jewels of this beautiful city and also one of the most important and grandiose Islamic art complexes that can be admired.
Military and fortified area of the city became a royal residence in the thirteenth century, the Alhambra imposes itself on the landscape of the Andalusian city as an inaccessible and imposing castle with a typical reddish color.
Its name, Alhambra, in Arabic, means precisely “red castle” but, in reality, the impressive monumental complex is not only a castle but also a small city (medina) and a royal palace (alcazar).
Its history, over time, has a destiny that is common for so many important buildings: after a period of opulent use follows a period of slow and inexorable abandonment and use not certainly suitable for a royal residence and then, finally, be occupied by Napoleonic troops. But then comes the moment of rebirth, recovery and restoration that has given us this wonder of human ingenuity.
In 1870 the Alhambra was declared a national monument. Considered the eighth wonder of the world was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
The imposing Arab fortress inside preserves a sequence of buildings, gardens, refined public baths (Baño de la Mezquita), several palaces that hide within them the beautiful rooms that have painted walls or richly decorated with stuccos and with the typical blue majolica (azulejos). But in the Alhambra there are also many rich fountains and lots of water games. In fact, water is a crucial and fundamental element of this monumental complex. Channels, fountains and pools where the elegant architecture is reflected, amplifying in this way the almost magical charm of this place.
It is impossible not to be amazed to admire the marvelous room de las Dos Hermanas, considered the most beautiful environment of the whole architectural complex, the so-called “house of the sultan”, with its walls entirely decorated and a great vault characterized by the presence of 5000 grooves.
The Alhambra complex is visited every day by thousands of people, more than 3 million visitors a year, and even for this it is necessary and appropriate to book the visit well in advance. Night visit is also very impressive.
Many visitors agree that this complex is so beautiful that it is practically impossible to describe. It is absolutely necessary to visit it!
All photo source Pixabay