The Alhambra is a must-see when you’re in the Andalusian region. I already covered a lot of this in a previous post – especially my favorite part: Generalife, the summer palace – but today I’m focusing on the most well known palace in the Alhambra: the Nasrid Palace.
Although the Alhambra is built like a fortress – Christian kings regularly tried to kick the Nasrids out again after their defeat in 1250AD – the Nasrid Palace itself is anything but. The palace is built on top of a steep hill, and it has a fortified wall all the way around it.The outside walls are all plain, with all the beautiful Moorish decoration on the inside, to show that the palace is meant for insiders and not outsiders.
I got very lucky when I took this shot of the ‘Court of the Myrtles’. A big group of tourists just left this part, so al of a sudden it was just Christophe and me, with nothing but the sound of the swallows passing by, and the water running into the pond. Those Moors sure knew what they were doing while building this!
As you move through the palace, you’ll discover one great thing after another. The details of the ceiling, the carvings on the wall, the precision & great sense of symmetry of the whole complex.. It’s breathtaking.
Just look at this dome! It’s located in ‘The Hall of The Abencerrages’. This hall is made out of 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. It’s impossible to capture the subtle lighting on photo, but hey.. I tried!
Another highlight of this tour, is the ‘Court of the Lions’, which meant the beginning of a new style, an exuberant mixture of Moorish and Christian influences that has been called Nasrid style from later on.
The square is paved with coloured tiles, and the colonnade with white marble. In the center of the courtyard is the celebrated Fountain of Lions, a magnificent alabaster basin supported by the figures of twelve lions in white marble. Beautiful!
As if my picture didn’t persuade you, The Nasrid Palace is definitely a must-see when visiting the Alhambra. Make sure you’ve booked your tickets in advance, because getting into the palace when you buy your tickets is almost impossible. So please do! I know we did .. Pity the fools who didn’t!
More about the Alhambra & the Nasrid Palace:
- Adress: Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada
- Tickets & Reservation: click here for availability
- Extra tip: Bring some water! It’s pretty hot in Granada all year round, so carry some water with you. Buying drinks inside the complex is possible, but expensive.