The Alhambra Palace

The second day of my all too brief visit to Granada was dominated by the must-do visit to the Alhambra Palace.  This is the single most-visited tourist site in all of Spain so it’s advisable to book in advance (http://apc.ticketmaster.es/nav/en/mucho_mas/granada/alhambra_y_generalife_09oz/alhambra_general/entradas.html?canalMB=ALH) which, unusually sensibly, I did, at a cost of €14.

Taking the bus up there was the easy alternative and, since there was a bus stop about twenty meters/yards from my hotel, there was no way I was doing anything else.  After a brief journey of around 7 or 8 minutes I was there.  There then followed some waiting around until the ticket office opened around 8.30 and then we were in.

To collect your tickets you must have the card with which you purchased them, so just remember that if Granny bought your Alhambra tickets then you need to pack Granny when you come to Spain.

A brief walk through some of the landscaped gardens and topiary-lined pathways brings you down to the first site to visit which is the Palace of Carlos V, a later Christian-era building erected after the reconquista, when Granada, the last of the Islamic ‘taifas‘ of Spain, was finally re-taken in 1492.

This is a somewhat deceptive building as it has a Romanesque facade but opens into a huge circular courtyard in the interior.

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From here you carry on down the slight hill towards the older Moorish parts of the palace complex which to be honest we’re really all here to see.  We enter into the Nasrid palaces, the first of which, known as the Mexuar, was an area used for conducting the business of the Moorish court, where ministers would meet and the Sultan dispense justice.

Alcazaba
The Alcazaba or fortress area outside the entrance to the Mexuar.
Tiles
The tiled walls and pillars of the Mexuar.
windows
The elaborately carved window surrounds with views over to Albaizin inside the Mexuar.

From here we enter the Comares Palace, also known as the courtyard of the myrtles, which was the residence of the Sultans and built to convey the wealth and power of the Sultanate since water was usually in short supply and the technology to provide the pools and fountains of the Alhambra was expensive and difficult to provide and maintain.

This area also contains the court of the ambassadors with its richly adorned walls, ceilings and courtyards.

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The next stop is the courtyard of the lions, named after the fountain in the centre which has twelve lions, one of which would spout water from its mouth, with each taking their turn every hour.  This is surrounded by some seemingly delicate pillars each richly carved and even though there was some restoration work taking place this was still impressive.

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From here I went out into the gardens past the Partal Palace and into areas filled with pools and beautifully designed gardens with the other buildings of the complex surrounding them.

The last leg of the trip round this magnificent site took me up to the Generalife, a villa situated higher up and surrounded by some beautifully designed gardens with pools and some wonderful views out over the city and the rest of the Alhambra complex.

With that it was time to leave and head down into the city again, this time to meet up with a fellow blogger with whom I have the honour of sharing a surname.  Alen McFadzean is a former journalist, among other things, who has a couple of excellent WordPress blogs, Because They’re There and Awkward Roads, both well worth your time perusing.

Alen has recently relocated from north-east England to the altogether sunnier climes of Orgiva, not far from Granada, so he accepted an invitation to meet up when I was in the city.  After a bit of intial confusion we met up in the city centre and spent the next couple of hours having a good old conversation and a few beers whilst we tried to establish some sort of distant familial connection due to the shared surname, prattled on about politics, especially the stupidity of Brexit (he’s now trying to get an Irish passport through his wife’s connections to that country) and generally put the world to rights over a glass and some tapas.

Having spent a very pleasant couple of hours in his company it was then time for Alen to head back to his new home in Orgiva and for me to wander off for some dinner and a few more relaxing hours watching the world go by in the warm evening sunshine with an ice-cold cerveza or two.

That was more or less the end of my Spanish adventure.  Some shopping was done for souvenirs and family gifts the next morning and then I travelled back to Malaga and stayed the next night there, as my flight home was very early the following day, but I shall definitely return to Andalucia again.

26 thoughts on “The Alhambra Palace

  1. Many thanks for the virtual tour of this place….if I ever get there, I won’t have the stamina to get round much of it, so good to see this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tak, fordi du har delt dette fantastiske indlæg, Mjollnir,
    Jeg synes, du har indfanget et enestående lys i din fortælling om Alhambra!!
    Lys og skygge sidder lige i skabet.
    Kompositionen er en historie i historien, som Alen McFadzean ville ha’ sagt 🙂
    Jeg har fået et nyt julegave ønske, en fontaine!!!
    Mange hilsner,
    Hanna

    Like

  3. Great images mate……what lens have you used for that cracking wide-angle of the hall of ambassadors I think, where you’ve managed to get both the floor and ceiling in the same shot?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andalusia is a gorgeous region. Many years ago, I went with my sister there after she won a vacation to Granada and Barcelona. I was her Spanish language interpreter of sorts. I think to tour The Alhambra properly, you need several days to take it all in. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aha. I’ve found your Alhambra post at last, Cuz. Great pictures. Those Moors really knew what they were doing!
    Things have cooled down big-time over here. You’d need your fairisle sweater on up at the Alhambra at the moment. Lots of snow on the mountains and lots of rain down below. It’s like a different country.
    Thanks for the mention and the links. Much appreciated. And if you’re ever in this neck of the woods again, drop me a line.
    All the best, Alen
    PS I’ve looked for those notes on family history I told you about but haven’t found them yet. They are definitely in the house somewhere. It’s just a matter of nailing them down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not to worry Alen, just whenever you’re ready and don’t be sending me your deepest, darkest secrets! Anyway, you’re just too used to all that baking heat down there although I saw some pretty heavy rain when watching the Malaga footie match yesterday. No surprise but we’ve a heavy dose of frost on the ground tonight and should see some snow before too long although there’s plenty of it up in the mountains. I don’t know when but I’d love to return to your part of the world and have suggested as much to she who must be obeyed. She was pretty impressed with my reaction to being back in Spain again and as she’s never been to the mainland I’d imagine we’ll be there at some point. Meanwhile enjoy your rain! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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