Spain's Alhambra in Granada mesmerizes. This Moorish fortress-fantasy palace complex of shady patios, intricate tiles, gurgling waters meandering and splashing everywhere, as well as its ornate stucco, plaster and woodwork were made an art form here. The best preserved medieval Muslim fortress-palace on the planet built through the reign of the Moors between the 8th and 15th centuries, the Alhambra was accomplished by the Nasrid Dynasty kings from the 14th century.
The interlinked complex can be a evidence of Moorish craftsmanship, culture and architecture, integrating light, space, water and natural surroundings with simple yet ornate structures and gardens. The oldest part of the complex, the Alcazaba, or citadel, was internal an ideal defensive position using a precipitous plateau in the middle of a river looking towards the towering Sierra Nevada. With its myriad of towers and zigzagging passages, it provides many vantage points. In the Torre en el Vela, the highest tower, spectacular views in the city along with the surrounding countryside unfold.
The jewel on the Alhambra, the refined Nasrid Palace, a network of numerous connected palaces, boasts elaborate Arabic calligraphy and ornate mosaics which grace the stucco walls. Intricately patterned halls and rooms result in courtyards stuffed with gleaming reflecting pools and greenery. Passing first over the Mexuar, everyone reception hall where the administration of justice was executed, you attain the Cuarto de Comares, a certified residence of the sultan, as well as the Cuarto de los Leones, the intimate royal apartments which housed the sultan's family, harem and servants. Stunning internal courtyards border the palaces. The legal court on the Myrtles, featuring its lustrous tiles, its arches of beautiful, latticed fretwork and its particular mirror-like pool reflecting my way through its waters, adorns the Cuarto de Comares. A legal court with the Lions, with its 12 stone lions spurting water and filling the central fountain, was the playground for the women. In the adjacent Hall in the Abencerrajas, intricate, exquisite plaster stalactites, hanging from the ceiling, are reflected in a pool, and nearby halls display once- stylish dressing rooms, lavish baths and decorative balconies.
Next to the palace, the Generalife, the recreational park with the Nasrid kings and something of Spain's finest gardens, captivates you featuring its lily ponds, rose terraces, shady cypress trees and its gently spraying waters.
Though less elaborate versus the Narid Palace, the controversial Palace of Charles V, built as soon as the Christian "reconquest" through the eponymous king, is nevertheless grandiose using its unique circle in a square design.
A nighttime trip to the Alhambra, using its fortress as well as fantasy palaces is enchanting. A good, beautifully illuminated cobblestone path, lined with large cypress trees, opens towards the pools and gardens and provides a glimpse of the stunning sights ahead. Scents of jasmine and orange fill the oxygen to evoke the magical feel with the palace, which consists of peaceful, spellbinding atmosphere. And also above, the towers with the Alcazaba unveil stunning vistas of the Albaican, the existing Moorish quarter of Granada, with its narrow, stone paths, steep hills and whitewashed homes, and it is lively restaurants. Granada's Alhambra, in all of the its enchantment and splendor, floats you far, a long way away from your Twenty-first century.
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