The Alhambra

Granada Travel Blog

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Nazrid Palace

It is Palm Sunday, and the streets of Granada are full of people dressed up -- and many of them with palm tree branches and fans.  It's a very festive feeling.  I did have to go back to the spice market at the cathedral again today to pick up lavendar, tea and saffron for more of the people at the convention who were not able to get out to the markets.  They too loved the smell of the items I had picked up previously.  I bought over 100 Euros worth of spices today for this group.  I should have been paid a commission!

Today I finally am going to tour the most famous place in Granada, the Alhambra.  Alhambra is from the Arabic word for "red", which is the color of the walls, the fortress and the towers within the Alhambra.

In front of Palace of Carlos V
  The Alhambra was built by the Moors when they occupied Spain from about 900AD up to the time when Ferdinand and Isabel drove them out in the late 1400's.  It is atop some of the highest elevation in Granada, affording a great view and obviously making it easier to defend at the time it was occupied by the Moors.  My friend, Scottie, took the tour with me, as he arranged for an afternoon off from his convention duties.  We did the magic wand tour and spent about 3 hours walking around the grounds.

The Alhambra is a large compound within fortress walls.  It contains ancient baths, a treasury, the Moorish Palace -- called the Nazarid Palace for the rules of that time period, the Palace of Carlos the V, the Holy Roman Emperor who reigned here after the Moors were driven out, and a summer palace that was used in hotter months.

Easter Procession in Granada
  It also has lavish gardens and grounds throughout the compound.

Walking through the Alhambra and learning its history give you a real appreciation for the complexity of the history , the contributions and the conflicts embodied here among the cultures who have lived here -- particulary in juxtaposition to what is going on today in these cultures.

As we walked back down the hills to our hotels, we ran into an Easter Procession that is evidently very common in Andalucia during Holy Week.  Men dress up in robes and conical hats and masks-- mainly all white (and looking very KKK like to Americans) but also with red or green conical hats and masks.  I understand that this tradition goes back to the time of the Moorish occupation and the celebration of Easter in those times.  Although the practice of Christianity was forbidden by the Moorish rules, a blind eye was turned on the Easter Procession as long as those in the procession masked their identity.  I guess this was one of the earliest forms of "don't ask, don't tell" in history!  In the procession we watched, there were lots of men in robes , followed by a scene depicting the Last Supper.  The streets were very crowded with folks all craning to see the procession.  It was very exciting to watch and be a part of!

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Nazrid Palace
Nazrid Palace
In front of Palace of Carlos V
In front of Palace of Carlos V
Easter Procession in Granada
Easter Procession in Granada
Scottie at the Alhambra
Scottie at the Alhambra
Manning a cannon at the Alhambra
Manning a cannon at the Alhambra
View from Terrace
View from Terrace
Palace of Carlos V
Palace of Carlos V
Palace of Carlos V, Holy Roman Emp…
Palace of Carlos V, Holy Roman Em…
Fray Luis de Granada
Fray Luis de Granada
Doors to Palace of Carlos V
Doors to Palace of Carlos V
Palace of Carlos V
Palace of Carlos V
Ceiling at Alhambra Palace
Ceiling at Alhambra Palace
Alhambra Palace
Alhambra Palace
Gate to Nazrid Palace
Gate to Nazrid Palace
Alhambra
Alhambra
Alhambra Palace
Alhambra Palace
Courtyard at Alhambra Palace
Courtyard at Alhambra Palace
Lion Fountain in Courtyard
Lion Fountain in Courtyard
Carved Ceiling at Alhambra Palace
Carved Ceiling at Alhambra Palace
Ornate Ceiling Carvings
Ornate Ceiling Carvings
Entering the Palace
Entering the Palace
View of Sierra Nevadas from Alhamb…
View of Sierra Nevadas from Alham…
Garden at Alhambra
Garden at Alhambra
Gardens at the Alhambra
Gardens at the Alhambra
in the Gardens
in the Gardens
Maze
Maze
Alhambra Garden Walkway
Alhambra Garden Walkway
Hyacinth Tree at Alhambra
Hyacinth Tree at Alhambra
On the way to the Summer Palace
On the way to the Summer Palace
Alhambra Summer Palace side view
Alhambra Summer Palace side view
Summer Palace at the Alhambra
Summer Palace at the Alhambra
Magic Water Fountains
Magic Water Fountains
Water Fountains at the Summer Pala…
Water Fountains at the Summer Pal…
Late for the Procession!
Late for the Procession!
Granada Easter Procession
Granada Easter Procession
Granada Easter Procession
Granada Easter Procession
Granada Easter Procession
Granada Easter Procession
Granada Easter Procession
Granada Easter Procession
Clerics in Procession
Clerics in Procession
Float with Last Supper Depiction
Float with Last Supper Depiction
Granada
photo by: Chokk