Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Alhambra! (Part 1)

I think that the hardest part of doing this blog post was choosing the pictures to include from the over 200 I took the day I was at the Alhambra (so you're getting two posts on it). It's magnificent and HUGE!

And I got to explore this great fortress/palace with some great friends, some of the other senior missionaries in the Spain Malaga Mission (shown above, left to right, me, Hermana and Elder Wiscomb, Hermana and Elder Coombs, and Hermana and Elder Wilson).  The Alhambra is probably the most famous of the fortress/palaces in Southern Spain, and, like the others, has a lot of Moorish (Muslim) influence, as well as Christian influence from when Ferdinand and Isabel conquered the area. As soon as we got there we had to hurry over to the Nasrid Palaces as they  give you a specific time to enter, and if you miss it you're out of luck. First up was the Patio de Machuca (with the tile work I think) and the Court of the Myrtles (pictured to the left).

The Nasrid Palaces were built in the early 1300's by the Moors and includes some incredible tile work on the walls. This pattern was a favorite of my friend, Elder Castillo, and he convinced my companion, Hermana Chantrill, to make a QUILT out of this pattern (about the same size I think). Blow it up and take a good look at it - it is really complex, and is taking a lot of thinking, time, and trial and error, although she is having an absolutely great time doing it!
The plaster work on walls, arches, and ceilings (which were also sometimes wooden, like I think the one to the right is) was also absolutely amazing.

Another look at the Court of the Myrtles (so named for the myrtles which would line the pool). The big mass of water helped keep the palace cool, and also was a symbol of wealth and power as there wasn't much water available, so keeping the pool filled was difficult and expensive.
This is the Lion Fountain in the Court of the Lions. It's pretty impressive. It was near here where Granadans claim that Columbus came to his agreement with Isabel and Ferdinand to finance his trip to the "Indies". Of coarse Seville and Cordoba would beg to differ, claiming that privilege for themselves.

Another part of the Court of the Lions. I thought it was pretty cool the way the roofs layered up.

Lots of arches, pillars, and highly decorative walls and ceilings. Once again I was spending much of my time looking up!

This cool domed ceiling was in the Hall of the Abencerrajes, said to be called that because the sultan invited their chiefs to a banquet in this room, and then massacred everyone.

Yet another ceiling highly decorated with plaster.

I just thought all these arches were cool, and they led to the next picture...

About the only surviving stained glass window was installed above the Sultan's throne to shine its multicolored light down him to make him appear more impressive.

Gardens and fountains were all over the place and quite beautiful. This was in a courtyard.

The Church of Santa Maria de la Alhambra (obviously added after the Catholics took over), was built in the mid 1500's.

Nice detail.

And to finish it off, the early 14th century Partal, with its portical and pool.

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