SPAIN IS KNOWN AND NOT VERY MUCH … GRANADA: ALGAMBRA
Granada reminds Seville, which is not surprising: the same Andalusia with a corrida, flamenco, wine and other southern mischief.
The ancient youth of Granada reminds Salamanca: one fifth of the city’s population, exceeded 2,000 years, are university students. Formed in the 16th century, today it is considered one of the most prestigious in Spain, and indeed in Europe.
But all these “similarities” disappear like smoke when you get acquainted with the Alhambra.
Because the unique architectural ensemble of the 13th century makes Granada unique, on the ground of which it stands with the apogee of the achievements of the architecture of the Moors in Western Europe.
The Nasrid dynasty presented it to humanity, in the 13-14 centuries it ruled the Granada emirate, the prosperous and richest state of Spain of that time. The brilliant rulers and the residence wanted to match themselves: everything “the very thing”, known at that time in architecture, park art and even engineering science, was used for the construction of this complex. The project was incredibly expensive: it was only the irrigation of gardens and parks, as well as the provision of fountains and water with water, at the expense of the mountain springs of Sierra Nevada.
In this “eighth wonder” of the world, the road goes through a shady park, the Gate of Justice in the form of a stone arch, a horseshoe (14th century), the Wine Gate and the Square Alhibes. The Muslim “paradise” on the land of the Pyrenees consisted of palace rooms connected by courtyards and shaded by different colors of gardens and reservoirs.
The center of the architectural composition is two courtyards, the Lion and Myrtle.
The myrtle courtyard, which adorns the canal with a living rectangle of myrtle, organically ends with the Komares palace tower. It is here that the throne room or the “Chamber of Ambassadors” is located, which still successfully strikes foreign delegations of tourists with magnificence and unusualness: the intricate draw of wall decor is lit with … stars, flickering under a dome in broad daylight. So “play” the sun’s rays penetrating through skilful window carvings.
The golden room leads from the palace to the most ancient room of the Alhambra, Meshwar, famous for the tiled plinth of the walls and the belvedere.
The lion’s yard and the Palace were named after the fountain, whose cup is held on its back by 12 cubs.
From it you can get into the halls: Stalactites, Long Bearded and Two Sisters (room for women). Each of them strikes the imagination of a preserved authentic finish of alabaster, ceramics, colored marble and mosaics.
About the Alhambra can be said that it is – poetry, frozen in stone. And this is not a metaphor, but a statement of fact: the walls of its buildings are decorated with an extraordinary pattern consisting of interlacing of plant twigs, bizarre or geometric figures and Arabic calligraphy. Ancient architects perpetuated their poetic-philosophical vision of the world, creating these unusual masterpieces: wall stone books.
On the other side of the square Alhibes, leading to the Muslim Alhambra, is the Christian Palace of Charles V, which began to build in the 16th century, but never finished. Now here, under the ancient motto “plus ultra” (farther ahead), the Alhambra Museum and painting are located.
The three landmarks of Granada are under UNESCO protection: the Alhambra, the adjacent Generalife gardens and the residential Moorish quarter of Albaycín. Of course, all of them are worthy of attention and description, but … “one cannot embrace the immense,” as Kozma Prutkov used to say. I can only say that the Generalife gardens, established in the 16th century, still flourish!
And although there has long been no such wonder of the world as the “Hanging Gardens of Semiramis”, passing by unimaginable cypress arches, I could not get rid of the feeling that this is it!
And the dwellings of the Moors, even having innumerable riches, were deliberately modest outside, so as not to “seduce unnecessarily.” Lovers of “raspaltsovki” have something to learn from the ancients!
The cathedral, the royal chapel-tomb, the Arab baths, Sacramonte, monasteries, churches and abbeys – all this is Granada.
And Granada is an unimaginable number of decorative orange trees and the most delicious ice cream in Spain.
The ski resorts of Sierra Nevada are also Granada, as is the birthplace of the world famous Federico Garcia Lorca, with all the literary festivals and competitions resulting from this fact …