We continue to have beautiful sunny weather which our guide tells us is very lucky for this time of year. Today we went to Granada to see The Alhambra, a palace and fortress complex. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered to Renaissance tastes. In 1526 Charles I & V (1st King Charles of Spain, 5th King Charles of Austria) commissioned a new Renaissance palace (pictures 2 – 4) better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style. The palace was never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada.
This place was unbelievably beautiful. The guide told us that all of the art work that was on the walls would have been painted in blue, green, yellow and red. In some of the pictures, the original color is visible. It must have been something to see when it was first built. The palace also has beautiful wooden ceilings. There are over 10,000 phrases written in the walls. The 8th picture shows the same phrase twice – “There is no victor but Allah”. We actually got to stand in the room where Christopher Columbus said goodbye to the King and Queen before he left on his voyage in 1492. Leslie is totally in love with the carvings on the wall and is trying to get Don to agree to have some of it added to the house.