Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Simple beauties at Granada

Here is a simple post on the beauties ... some things at Granada that I simply loved.. 

Granada, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Andalucía, has many important examples of medieval architecture dating to the Moorish occupation of Spain. It’s best known for the Alhambra, a grand, sprawling hilltop fortress complex encompassing royal palaces, serene patios and reflecting pools from the Nasrid dynasty, as well as the fountains and orchards of the Generalife gardens.

I'll go back some day for sure *smiles*

Monday, 28 September 2015

The Alhambra Granada 10

My last post on the Alhambra at the Granada is a round up of all the beauties there... 
Do visit their site to see the other spots & places

So if you ever happen to be in Spain, do visit the Al Hambra Granada. 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Alhambra Granada 9

Are you bored?? I sure hope not!! 

In the Nasrid Palaces, this area on the outside is called the Palace of the Lions.

When Mohammed V succeeded his father Yusuf I, he did more than just finishing the alterations that his father had started. He actually started building what would become his great work of art, the marvellous legacy he left us in the Alhambra: the Palace of the Lions (Palacio de los Leones). This palace comprised the private chambers of the royal family and it was built in the angle formed by the Baths (Baños) and the Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes). 

In this palace is where Nasrid art achieved its greatest degree of magnificence. The beauty of this palace shows incomparable sensibility and harmony. Light, water, colours and exquisite decoration turn this palace into a marvellous pleasure for the senses. The abstract and geometric decoration steps back in this palace for a more naturalistic style to dominate, as the result of the Christian influence, which was even stronger due to the friendship between Mohammed V and the Christian king Pedro I, the Cruel One. 

The palace comprises a central patio surrounded by several galleries with columns in the way a Christian cloister would be. From the central patio you may access the different halls: the Hall of the Mocarabes (Sala de los Mocárabes) to the west, the Hall of the Kings (Sala de los Reyes) to the east, the Hall of the Two Sisters (Sala de Dos Hermanas), the Hall of the Ajimeces (Sala de los Ajimeces) and Daraxa's Mirador (Mirador de Daraxa) to the north and the Hall of the Abencerrajes (Sala de los Abencerrajes) and the Harem (Harén) to the south.

Didn't I warn you that every pillar ... I fell in love with... will be on this blog.. *smiles*

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Alhambra Granada 8

And finally at the popular Narsid Palaces.....

Mohammed ben Al-Hamar (Mohammed I) was the first king to move to the Alcazaba and no records about a new palace being built are kept until those of Abu l-Walid Ismail (fifth king of the dynasty). A palace was built near the Great Mosque (Gran Mezquita) but only the Mexuar is now left because Yusuf I destroyed it completely. He started some improvements in the Comares Tower (Torre de Comares), the Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes) and the Baths (Baños). These improvements were finished by Mohammed V, who added them all to the Mexuar, extended the gallery that would later be called Machuca and constructed the Palace of the Lions (Palacio de los Leones). These two kings were the most important ones as regards the construction, reconstruction, and decoration of the Alhambra. 

There are three independent areas in the Nasrid Palaces (Palacios Nazaríes): the Mexuar, which corresponds to the semipublic part of the palace or selamlik, for justice administration and State affairs; the Comares Palace (Palacio de Comares), which was the official residence of the king; and the Palace of the Lions (Palacio de los Leones), which was the private area of the palace, where the Harem was located. Not only were these areas different because of their functions, but also because of their artistic characteristics. The Comares Palace (Palacio de Comares) was decorated in a typically Muslim way, but the Palace of the Lions (Patio de los Leones) presents Christian influences, probably as a consequence of the friendship between Mohammed V and his Castilian counterpart Pedro I, the Cruel. 

Since the Catholic Monarchs took the city of Granada, a great number of restorations have been carried out, although the most important works were done under the order of Charles V, when severalrooms were added to the Alhambra and the Charles V palace (Palacio de Carlos V) was built. Nevertheless, the Alhambra has always maintained its character of Muslim palace

It was simply the busiest time of the year when we went.... As you can see I have so many tourists in my images *smiles*

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Alhambra Granada 7

Today we focus on the detailing of the doors, windows and alleys at Alhambra in Granada. 

More in the next post!! 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Alhambra Granada 6

Today we take a look at the Court of the Myrtles

The Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes) has received different names throughout time. Its current name is due to the myrtle bushes that surround the central pond and the bright green colour of which contrasts with the white marble of the patio. It was also called the Patio of the Pond or the Reservoir (Patio del Estanque o de la Alberca) because of the central pond, which is 34 metres long and 7,10 meters wide. The pond divides the patio and receives its water from two fountains (one at each end of the pond). There are chambers on both sides of the patio and several porticoes on the shorter sides of it. These porticoes rest on columns with cubic capitals, which have seven semicircular arches decorated with fretwork rhombuses and inscriptions praising God. The central arch is greater than the other six and has solid scallops decorated with stylised vegetal forms and capitals of mocarabes. 

On the ends of the southern gallery are larders with kitchen shelves of mocarabes and the following legend: «May our Master Abu Abd' Allah, emir of the Muslims, receive God's help and protection as well as a glorious victory». Most inscriptions that appear in this patio are praises to God or to the emir. The chambers that existed in this portico were partly demolished in order to build the Charles V Palace (Palacio de Carlos V). On the top floor, on a corridor, there is a six-arched gallery with a higher lintel in the centre. This gallery is decorated with wooden terraced bases covered with stylised vegetal forms and latticework from the 19th century. 

As it has already been said, several chambers have disappeared, but certain signs of their existence have been found. The disappearance of these chambers has contributed to the popular belief of the legend that says that Charles V destroyed the winter palace of the Alhambra in order to build his own. However, several experts, although in disagreement about the content of these chambers, do agree on the lack of signs to determine the existence of the winter palace. 

The lateral sections were the women's residence. On the ground floor several doors connect (or used to connect) with other chambers. The patio's decoration in this gallery, except for the tile skirting board, was redone during the 19th century, copying that of the opposite portico. 

On the top part of the northern gallery, behind which the Comares Tower (Torre de Comares) stood, there is a parapet with two little lateral towers, which were remade in 1890 because this gallery's and the following hall's ceiling burned. The gallery's ends have larders with arches, domes and kitchen shelves of mocarabes, on a skirting board covered with tiles from the 16th century. On the top of the skirting board there is an inscription from a poem by Ibn Zamrak in honour of Mohammed V after Algeciras was conquered in 1368.

Each tile is of a different era, and thats what creates magic in this place!