Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Alhambra....with Thanks to Washington Irving

The Alhambra is a combination fortress and palace built at Grenada, Spain by the Moors. The Moors, originally from North Africa, ruled Spain from approximately 800 AD until the last ones were thrown out by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1491 or early 1492. The last remaining Moorish ruler located at the Alhambra cut a deal and left, so the Alhambra was not fought over. Ferdinand and Isabella liked it; it was there that Columbus came to see the Spanish monarchs. One of their grandsons, Carlos the Stupid or something like that had one wing destroyed, but it remained in pretty good shape until being neglected in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Washington Irving visited and actually lived in the Alhambra in 1829. His resultant book, Tales of the Alhambra, aroused interest in the buildings and was largely responsible for preservation efforts that have kept the Alhambra as one of the world’s architectural wonders.

Alhambra means “red fortress”, which is what it looks like from the outside.

The doorways show their Moorish ancestry.

Some windows are shown below.

Blue was used as an accent color as you can see here. The tracery is both rock carving and some sort of stucco process.

Lots of people, including this boy.

The Moors loved water and the sound of it.

This reflecting water feature is in one of the gardens.

This plaque is on the wall of the room Washington Irving lived in at the Alhambra.

It is impossible to show the wonder and beauty of the Alhambra in a few photos. I have many more photos and will try to share them with you later.


  1. Amazing. Looks like it could've been in Shiraz.

  2. Linus, that's exactly what I was thinking. Very Persian.

    Amazing. I hope we get to go there someday.

  3. Spain is getting more appealing all the time.