Friday, February 20, 2009

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain-Nasrid Palace & the General Life Gardens

Until this day, I find it difficult to describe what it was like to see and experience the Alhambra in person. The incredible history, the detailed architecture, the great use of space which allowed for some incredible views of the City below and the creative use of flowing and reflecting water and gardens throughout the grounds is simply amazing. I would say that my visit here is probably one of the best experiences that I have had during my travels and something I will never forget.

When going through the Alhambra you should know that Islamic art does not use representations of living beings, but uses geometric patterns, especially symmetric (repeating) patterns. With this in mind you'll find that the palace is decorated with stone and wood carvings and tile patterns on most of the ceilings, walls, and floors. The design and structure in the Nasrid Palace is considered to be the finest examples of Islamic architectural art to be found outside of the Islamic world.

Nasrid Palace consists of several different palaces connected together. The first room that you enter is called the Hall of the Mexuar and it is the place where the administration of justice was performed

The Mexuar court stands out for the magnificent facade of the Comares Palace.

The Courtyard of the Mexuar, Fountain – The central fountain is a copy of that located in the Garden of Lindaraja.

Here in the oratory room, you'll find that the tiling is of a decorative glazed ceramic, used in the Nasrid Architecture.

Comares Court and Tower

The lions court is the most well-known part of the Alhambra. Its name comes from the 12 lions of the fountain located in the center of the courtyard. The lion sculptures are one of the rare representations in the Alhambra of living beings in all Muslim art. Unfortunately during my visit the lions were removed and the fountain enclosed.

Palace of the Lions – Columns - The gallery of the courtyard is supported by 124 columns in white marble. Each column is decorated with calligraphic inscriptions.

Dome of the Hall of the Two Sisters – Most impressive and recognizable architecture element of the hall is the dome of mocarabes, a decorative element present throughout the monument.

The Portico Palace with the Torre de las Damas (Ladies Tower) is the oldest palace in the Alhambra. It is surrounded by gardens and a reflecting pool.

The General Life Gardens was the recreational place for the Nasrid Kings.

The Acequia Real

The Mirador with some awesome view

Patio of the Sultan

I hope to create a photo Album on the Slow Travel Site for the Alhambra which will include these photos, the photos I posted earlier of the Alcazaba and others...

For Information on the Alhambra: Click here on the World Heritage Site or on the Wikipedia Site HERE.


  1. Wow Kathy, your photos are just breath-takingly beautiful! What an amazing place. I can see how it was a lot to take in! I love Islamic art but didn't know about the honeycomb patterns (mocarabes) or that they don't usually have respresentations in their art.

    You caught some great reflections, and I also like the bits of fall colors on the leaves in your view.

    Wonderful post! And Happy Friday!

  2. What a gorgeous sight, and your photos are wonderful, Kathy.

    Even the names are so exotic (The Lion's Court)

    Thanks for this, and I hope you have a great weekend!

  3. Thanks so much Girls.

    Annie, I didn't know that about Islamic art too until I was there and it was mentioned to me. And my photos don't do those mocarabes justice. It is so interesting and unique and it was great seeing that particular style in person. I love the fall colrs too. It was very beautiful on all the trees around the grounds. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Sandra, thanks so much! I know what you mean about the names. I loved learning about these different palaces and rooms. Very exotic, I totally agree. Have a great weekend too Sandra.

    Lesli, that you so much. I enjoy photography beautiful places and the Alhambra was off the charts! Have a great weekend Leslie!

    Whoo hoo! It's Friday!

  4. Amazing photos. I looked through my Spain photos and found one of the 12 lion fountain for you .. on my blog. I think we both took some of the same pics! It's a place worth photographing for future memories for sure - thanks for sharing. Menehune

  5. Hi Candi, glad you liked the photos! I'm still in awe with that gorgeous sunrise in Haleakala that you took! I love sunsets and sunrises too. It was so awesome taking these photos of this incredible place.

    Have a great weekend Candi!

  6. Hi Menehune, glad you liked the photos. Thanks for letting me know that you have a photo of the 12 lion fountain. I have to find your blog so I can look at your collection. I really was thrown off on the lighting a bit and wished I had practiced that more before I left because the details of the architecture is just amazing.

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Your photos are gorgeous! They look very professional. I loved visiting the Alhambra but my photos from the visit are unfortunately not very good, so I am enjoying seeing yours!

  8. Hi Chiocciola, thank you so much. The Alhambra is an amazing place to photograph. I wish I could've done better on some of the interior shots because of all the detailed architecture to capture, but lighting was not kind to me and I had to lighten up a few of my shots. Thank goodness for photoshop. :)

    I'm very glad you enjoyed seeing them. Have a great weekend Chiocciola!

  9. These photos are incredible. Many of the carvings look like lace. Too bad the lions weren't there when you were there...but there was still so much to see. I am so glad you were able to go to see the Alhambra and you are sharing it with us.

  10. Great photos, Kathy! Makes me want to go there!

  11. I just saw the Spain On the Road Again episode when they are visiting the Alhambra. WOW!! What an amazing place! I was so glad to know about it from your posts first. It helped me enjoy the show even more.

  12. Hi Girasoli, thank you so much for your kind comments on my photos. I totally missed the episode last night. Maybe I'll get to see a rerun on it. Hey, maybe a Spain trip maybe in your future now! :) You never know. Thanks again for your comments. Have a great Sunday!

    Hi Nancyho, thank you so much for your comments. Spain is a fantastic place to visit. I hope that you will get a chance to visit there too. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great Sunday!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.