The Alhambra Palace is one of the great Islamic Moorish Palaces of Spain. The last Islamic Caliphate it fell finally on January 2, 1492 ending a 700 year Islamic presence on the Peninsular. Much of the Islamic Alhambra was built over by successive Spanish Kings but one area of the Islamic Palace remarkably survived and today gives a glimpse of the sumptuous architecture and wall decorations that once filled the citadel of the Alhambra. A delight and a remarkable testament to its Berber rulers the Alhambra is true eye candy even for the most seasoned and jaded traveler. I hope you enjoy the photos , Paul Williams.
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Photos of the Iconic Islamic Architecture of the Alhambra Palace, Granada, Spain
Although the Berber Moors started their conquest of the Iberian peninsular, present day Spain and Portugal, in 711 it was not until the 11th century that Granada was founded. At that time Granada was a hamlet called Gárnata, and after the fall of the Umayyad Andalusian kingdom, Al-Andalus was fragmented into a number of minor states and principalities, most notably the Emirate of Granada.
One of the great tourist attractions of Spain is the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Completed towards the end of Muslim rule of Spain by Yusuf I (1333–1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353–1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last centuries of the Moorish rule of Al Andalus, reduced to the Nasrid Emirate of Granada.
The Royal Complex consists of three main parts: Mexuar, Serallo, and the Harem. The Mexuar is modest in decor and houses the functional areas for conducting business and administration. Strapwork is used to decorate the surfaces in Mexuar.
Serallo, built during the reign of Yusuf I in the 14th century, contains the Court of the Myrtles. Brightly coloured interiors featured dado panels, yesería, azulejo, cedar, and Artesonado are highly decorative ceilings and other woodwork. Lastly, the Harem is also elaborately decorated and contains the living quarters for the wives and mistresses of the Berber monarchs.
Court of the Myrtles
The present entrance to the Moorish palace is by a small door from which a corridor connects to the Court of the Myrtles, also called the Court of the Blessing or Court of the Pond, from the Arabic birka meaning “pool”.
Hall of the Ambassadors
The Hall of the Ambassadors is the largest in the Alhambra. It is a square room, that was the grand reception room of the sultan with a throne placed opposite the entrance.
Court of the Lions and the Fabulous Fountain
The Court of the Lions, a unique example of Muslim art
The Court of the Lions is an oblong court surrounded by a low gallery supported on 124 white marble columns. A pavilion projects into the court at each extremity, with filigree walls and a light domed roof. The square is paved with coloured tiles and the colonnade with white marble, while the lower parts of the walls are covered with blue and yellow tile tessaltions, with a border above and below of enamelled blue and gold.
Hall of the Abencerrajes
The Hall of the Abencerrajes gets its name from a legend according to which the father of Boabdil, the last sultan of Granada, having invited the chiefs of that line to a banquet, massacred them here. This room is a perfect square, with a lofty dome and trellised windows at its base. The roof is decorated in blue, brown, red and gold, and the columns supporting it spring out into the arch form in a remarkably beautiful manner.
The Alhambra and the old Moorish quarter of El Albaicin are UNESCO World Heritage Sites
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