Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
For many years I have been distantly aware of the existence of Alhambra and that one talks about it in hushed tones of awe. I knew that it was built buy Arabs and that it was in the South of Spain but I thought it was a white city. Despite my ignorance, or perhaps because of it, when Patrice and I decided to go to Sevilla for a long weekend, I suggested that we go to Granada to see Alhambra.
Alhambra means ‘The Red One’ in Arabic and I suppose that’s becasue the fortified walls look red in the setting sun. According to Wikipedia, It was built as a small fortress in 889 and its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-11th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.
Alhambra is listed with UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, one of 44 that are listed in Spain. I rate it with Machu Picchu as a site that is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Like other stupendous sites it is super popular, which is why we queued from early in the morning to buy time-allocated tickets to visit the palaces.
I wasn’t prepared for the beauty of the Generalife (summer palace and Alameda gardens) and Alhambra palace and fortress. The gardens are immaculately maintained, beautifully laid out and both cool and calming thanks to the generous use of water. The Arab plaster work inside Alhambra is breathtaking in its intricacy and overwhelming abundance.
Alhambra is extremely popular and rightly so but for me the number of tourists, especially in organized groups was off putting. It was very difficult to have a moment to myself to relax and enjoy the serenity and master craftsmanship with packs of tourists surging towards me. I fantasized about being allowed a private tour of the place. I’ve tried to minimize the numberof tourists in my photos here to share with you the majesty of the place.
I feel honoured that I was able to visit Alhambra and I would like to share it one day with my family.