Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Nasrid Palaces of the Alhambra

We arrived for our time slot for the Nasrid Palaces. In order to get tickets to the Alhambra and Nasrid palaces for the summer months, you have to get them online. Luckily, I was majorly stressing about getting everything planned for the trip in April, mostly because I wanted to get it planned before going home for the summer. That way, I wouldn't have to worry about it while home and could just enjoy hanging out with my family.

I say luckily, because I checked in early April, once we had our Granada plans set, and the entire month of July and almost all of June were completely sold out. There were just two time slots available for the days we were going to be there. Obviously, I immediately booked the tickets after getting confirmation that, yes, Allison and Anna would be with us.

We entered the palaces with our time slot. They were definitely my favorite part of the Alhambra. Everything was just so amazingly intricate and detailed. The architecture and design was just incredible.

This is the Patio del Mexuar, or Court of the Council Chamber.

Every little part of the palace was intricate. Nothing was left boring.

There was a lot of stucco.

This is the Patio de los Arrayanes, also known as the Court of Myrtles (not really sure how that translates.) Also known as the Patio de la Alberca. Also known as the Court of the Blessing. Also known as the Court of the Pond

It is a symbol of power for the palace.

It is also their air conditioning system. 

Well, to be more specific, it kept the palace cool because of breezes from the pool of water.

Lots of beautiful stucco. They knew how to do stucco properly.

This is the Hall of the Ambassadors. This was the reception room for the Sultans. The throne would have been there, but there wasn't a sultan receiving us, unfortunately.

Apparently, in this room, Christopher Columbus was received by Isabella and Ferdinand and given permission to sail to the New World. Pretty awesome.

I have walked where Columbus has walked.

I have also walked where Ferdinand and Isabella walked.

And also Cleopatra, but that was another time in Turkey.

The ceiling in the Hall of Ambassadors.

The floor of the hall of the ambassadors.
This is the view into the Courtyard of the Lions and the Fabulous fountain.

This part was built from 1362-1391. It's a good example of the mix of Moorish and Christian styles in one, which is called the "Nasrid" style. Hence the name of the palace: The Nasrid Palace.

The courtyard's origins go back to the Persian gardens and the root of Islamic gardening. The courtyard is divided into four parts, each representing one of the four parts of the world. Each part has a water channel representing the four rivers of paradise. The column forest are supposed to represent the palm trees of an oasis in the desert.

This is the fabulous lion fountain. Apparently each one represents the 12 tribes of Israel. It is believed to have belonged to a Jewish vizier named Yusef Ibn Nagrela, who was accused of wanting to build a bigger palace than the king.

This is the Hall of the Abencerrajes.

Apparently, its name comes from a legend where the father of Boabdil, the last sultan of Granada (possibly the one who's mother told him to stop crying like a girl) invited all the chiefs of the line to a banquet. During the party, while I am sure they were having a wonderful time, he murdered everyone. Sound familiar anyone?

So beautiful.

Here is a strange looking deer, or something.
See, told you Washington Irving had a plaque.

Here's Anna!
Here we are.

Here's a creepy tunnel that I do not recall walking through. Apparently I was walking toward the light of death and then returned, but somehow got a picture.

This was cool looking.
An attempt at a jumping picture, which did not work out well.
This one also did not.
This one kind of worked.
Whoops, too soon.
And us giving up on a jumping picture.
These were more successful, because I was the photographer.

Me with the the Patio de Daraxa, or the Court of the Vestibule, behind me.

Allison and the Court of the Vestibule.

We rested briefly at the court of the vestibule, because we were mildly exhausted. Anna promptly fell asleep when we arrived at the restaurant for lunch.
We continued walking around the palace grounds, just looking at everything and being fascinated.

The back of the church I believe.
I love this picture.

Look towards the Palace of Carlos V.

Overall, Alhambra was incredible. I am so glad that Anna convinced me to change our plans and go there!

And to conclude the blog, here is a lion, next to a line of lion door knockers that are not on a door.
 And a cat, who was pretending to be a lion.

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