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Alhambra - incredible relic of Moorish dominance in Spain

The majority of buildings here were built in the 1200s and 1300s as each successive ruler wanted to outdo what his predecessor had done

The majority of buildings here were built in the 1200s and 1300s as each successive ruler wanted to outdo what his predecessor had done

The Court of the Acequia is probably the most photographed scene at the Generalife

The Court of the Acequia is probably the most photographed scene at the Generalife

The Renaissance Palace of Carlos V was added to the Alhambra in 1527; parts of the Moorish complex were torn down to make room for this Christian addition

The Renaissance Palace of Carlos V was added to the Alhambra in 1527; parts of the Moorish complex were torn down to make room for this Christian addition

View of the Alhambra from our apartment; special tours of the Alhambra at night are available

View of the Alhambra from our apartment; special tours of the Alhambra at night are available

Puerta de las Granadas; tons of tourists including the occasional obnoxious one that has to photobomb my shot

Puerta de las Granadas; tons of tourists including the occasional obnoxious one that has to photobomb my shot

Puerta de la Justicia; main entrance to this UNESCO World Heritage Site

Puerta de la Justicia; main entrance to this UNESCO World Heritage Site

View from the Alhambra of the Albaicin, the historic Moorish district of Granada; the Albaicin is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site

View from the Alhambra of the Albaicin, the historic Moorish district of Granada; the Albaicin is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Courtyard of the Lions; the fountain featuring water pouring from the mouths of 12 lions actually dates from the 11th century

Courtyard of the Lions; the fountain featuring water pouring from the mouths of 12 lions actually dates from the 11th century

I gave Ben Tales of the Alhambra which he said he enjoyed reading; this is the room (pretty run down at the time) where Washington Irving wrote the book

I gave Ben Tales of the Alhambra which he said he enjoyed reading; this is the room (pretty run down at the time) where Washington Irving wrote the book

The Alhambra was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by the Sultan of Granada

The Alhambra was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by the Sultan of Granada

The Alhambra covers 35 acres or about 1.5 million square feet; Moorish poets described it as a pearl set among emeralds

The Alhambra covers 35 acres or about 1.5 million square feet; Moorish poets described it as a pearl set among emeralds

Tall, centuries-old cypress trees accentuate the buildings; my parents enjoyed visiting the Alhambra several years ago

Tall, centuries-old cypress trees accentuate the buildings; my parents enjoyed visiting the Alhambra several years ago

The Alhambra exhibits Spain's most significant and well-known Islamic architecture; it's one of the most visited palaces in the world with 2.4 million annual visitors

The Alhambra exhibits Spain's most significant and well-known Islamic architecture; it's one of the most visited palaces in the world with 2.4 million annual visitors

Generalife; it was easy to buy tickets online and avoid the long queues; best not to visit in the summer since it gets extremely hot here

Generalife; it was easy to buy tickets online and avoid the long queues; best not to visit in the summer since it gets extremely hot here

I found the intricate interiors of the buildings fascinating; under Islamic law no depictions of living beings are allowed so the walls and ceilings are covered with symbolic, geometric patterns as well as verses from the Koran

I found the intricate interiors of the buildings fascinating; under Islamic law no depictions of living beings are allowed so the walls and ceilings are covered with symbolic, geometric patterns as well as verses from the Koran

The Royal Complex or Nazrid Palace features highly decorative ceilings, intricate stucco work and beautiful tiled floors

The Royal Complex or Nazrid Palace features highly decorative ceilings, intricate stucco work and beautiful tiled floors

Palace of Carlos V features a circular courtyard inside a 56 foot high, 217 foot long square; with no precedent in Renaissance architecture it was considered very avant-garde

Palace of Carlos V features a circular courtyard inside a 56 foot high, 217 foot long square; with no precedent in Renaissance architecture it was considered very avant-garde

Puerta del Vino is one of the oldest constructions at the Alhambra dating from the time of Mohammed II

Puerta del Vino is one of the oldest constructions at the Alhambra dating from the time of Mohammed II

View of old Granada; part of Paulo Coelho's novel The Alchemist is set at the Alhambra

View of old Granada; part of Paulo Coelho's novel The Alchemist is set at the Alhambra

Patio de los Arrayanes; center of palace built in the mid 14th century for an emir

Patio de los Arrayanes; center of palace built in the mid 14th century for an emir

At the Alhambra the flag of Ferdinand and Isabella was first raised as a symbol of the conquest of Granada on January 2, 1492

At the Alhambra the flag of Ferdinand and Isabella was first raised as a symbol of the conquest of Granada on January 2, 1492

A small fortress was built on the site in 889AD but the current palace and walls weren't built until the mid 13th century

A small fortress was built on the site in 889AD but the current palace and walls weren't built until the mid 13th century

1832 Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving sparked the interest of tourists and visits to the Alhambra spiked

1832 Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving sparked the interest of tourists and visits to the Alhambra spiked

The Alcazaba, on the west end of the Alhambra, was the original citadel with watch towers and has the best views of Granada

The Alcazaba, on the west end of the Alhambra, was the original citadel with watch towers and has the best views of Granada

Courtyard of the Lions (35m by 20m) was built at the height of Granada's power in the second half of the 14th century; the courtyard is surrounded by 124 white marble columns

Courtyard of the Lions (35m by 20m) was built at the height of Granada's power in the second half of the 14th century; the courtyard is surrounded by 124 white marble columns

Water from the Darro River was piped from 5 miles away to power the many fountains like this one at the Generalife

Water from the Darro River was piped from 5 miles away to power the many fountains like this one at the Generalife

Pomegranate tree loaded with fruit; Granada was named for the pomegranate; Generalife Gardens designed to showcase sustainable agriculture

Pomegranate tree loaded with fruit; Granada was named for the pomegranate; Generalife Gardens designed to showcase sustainable agriculture

Barrio Castrense was a military garrison within the Alcazaba; could easily spend an entire day exploring the Alhambra

Barrio Castrense was a military garrison within the Alcazaba; could easily spend an entire day exploring the Alhambra

The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; today the buildings seen are reddish reflecting the red hue from the local clay; Alhambra translate as the red one in Arabic

The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; today the buildings seen are reddish reflecting the red hue from the local clay; Alhambra translate as the red one in Arabic

Court of the Water Channel is thought to best preserve the style of the medieval Persian garden

Court of the Water Channel is thought to best preserve the style of the medieval Persian garden

The Granada Cathedral (1561) wasn't built until after the Catholics acquired the Nasrid Kingdom from its Moorish rulers in 1492

The Granada Cathedral (1561) wasn't built until after the Catholics acquired the Nasrid Kingdom from its Moorish rulers in 1492

Posted by VagabondCowboy 20:14

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