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A short tour through the Alhambra

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When the Muslims arrived in Spain in the 8th century, they settled mainly in the south of the country. As a result, Andalusia, Al-Andalus, became one of the most beautiful kingdoms of the Middle Ages with great walled cities, fortresses and dream castles full of gardens, fountains and beautiful animals. In the midst of all this beautiful landscape, the Alhambra, the red castle of Granada, became one of the most suggestive and representative constructions of the Muslim splendour of those times. The charm that this ancient palace-cum-citadel holds is so appealing that for hundred of years artists from every period have paid tribute to its walls. An example is that of the well-known Washington Irving, who wrote "Tales of the Alhambra". Located at the top of the hill, dominating the meadows of Granada, you will see the steady walls of the Alhambra, a medieval fortress, erected to protect the people from Granada against the rise carried out by the Christian Barbarians in these fertile lands watered by the river Darro. The "red castle", which is of an unequal beauty, has a bubble being a wonderful war shelter. For this purpose, the castle was used by the Muslims, until 1492, when the last kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, Granada, surrended to the Christians. It was also used by the Spaniards during the Peninsula War against the French, when a large part of the castle was blown up by Napoleonic troops. After this last confrontation, the Alhambra was rebuilt and declared a National Monument up to this day. The Alhambra is currently one of the most loved and frequently visited monuments in Spain. Hundreds of tourists, wanting to enjoy the magic of these walls for just a few hours, book their tickets several months in advance. We enter the castle from the Tower of Justice, the main entrance of the complex located in the southern malls. The door, built in the 14th century by Yusuf I, has a vaulted horseshoe arch that gives onto a second arch engraved with the holy sentences from the Coran: "Allah is Great, there is no conqueror but Allah" We go through the arch virtually bumping into one of the oldest constructions in the complex: the Wine Gate. It is rumoured that the name of this isolated gate within the Plaza de los Aljibes, the Cisterns Square, comes from the custom the people from Granada had of leaving the wine they were going to consume before this gate, and this wine was tax free. We leave the Plaza de los Aljibes and head for the Palace of Charles V, which was ordered to be built by the Emperor to make the family holidays more comfortable in this Andalusian city. This construction stands out from the others surrounding it thanks to its distinct Renaissance style, awarded by the architect Pedro Machuca. Through the Tower of the Rauda, cemetery, we go into the famous Palace of the Lions, a beautiful construction built in the angle formed by the Baths and the Patio de los Arrayanes, the Myrtle Courtyard, which make up the private rooms of the Royal family. Close to the Palace of the Lions, we find the Courtyard of the Lions. Perhaps it is the most well-known part of the Alhambra. Its name comes from the twelve lion jets of the fountain in the middle of the courtyard. On the edge of the basis of the fountain a poem by Ibn Zamrak, skillfully engraved. Walking around the patio, the curious visitor can discover the Hall of the Mozarabes, the Hall of the Abencerrajes, the Harem, the Hall of the Kings and the Hall of the Two Sisters, whose name cames from the two big twin flat stones on the ground of the hall. The patio, also gives access to the scenic view of the Raksa, one of the most beautiful and evocative parts in the Alhambra, thanks to the fine filigree of the coffered ceiling and the brightly detailed ceramic tiles decorating the whole area. The scenic view gives us onto the Emperor's Chambers through which we will go down to the patio of the Wrought Iron Grill and the Baths. The Alcazaba, Citadel, and the Torres Bermejas, Vermilion Towers, are the oldest parts of the "Red Tower". The Alcazaba, originally dating back to the 9th century, was the private residence of Muhammad I, who ordered that the complex be walled. Within the Alcazaba, one of the most spectacular views of the city is from the Jardines de Adarves, Garden of the Ramparts, will delight those fond of photography. The general life is located at a certain distance from the main area of the fortress. Maybe because it was ended being legend palace for the Moorish kings.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: Spain
Language: English
Views: 160
Posted by: ang_ruiz on Jan 24, 2012

A short tour through the Alhambra

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