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Monday, March 04, 2013 (read 617 times)
Granada: Alhambra and Generalifeby Lauren
The Alhambra meaning “the red one” is the Arabic name given to a 10th century construction situated in Granada. Evidence of Moorish culturein Spain can be seen in the Spanish language itself – some common Spanish words of Arabic origin include: “alcalde” meaning mayor, “alcazar” meaning palace and “aljedrez” meaning chess. In fact, it is possible to say that the majority of words in the Spanish language which start with the letters “A” and “L” are of Arabic origin. More than a thousand Arabic words have totally integrated into the Spanish culture.
The Alhambra has been home to the various Kings of Granada for centuries and with each new inhabitant, a new section has been added to the building. However, each new addition has been done in such as way so as to keep the palace and fortress looking uniform and smart. Marble columns are present throughout as are fountains and reflective pools of water – for this reason the palace is always filled with the sound of running water. The palace has maintained a plain façade despite its various reconstructions.
The palace is set amongst elm trees causing some poets to describe the white building as “a pearl set in emeralds”.
The Generalife has always been the summer palace for the various Kings of Granada over the years. The Palace has an impressive water garden which consists of a rectangular pool surrounded by fountains and flowers. The Generalife and The Alhambra are divided by a ravine. There used to be a bridge over the ravine linking the two palaces but this no longer exists. Both palaces have been named World Heritage Sites, due to the fact that they have retained many of their original features. They are both major tourist attractions.
Photo by Macnolete
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