Granada, the Alhambra, Andalusia • Spain

Discover the Alhambra in just over 9 minutes: a journey to Granada's most iconic fortress and symbol of cultural harmony. This video tour takes you through the magnificent Palace of Charles V, the intricate Nasrid Palaces, and the serene Generalife gardens. Experience the blend of Islamic and Christian architectural marvels that tell the rich story of Andalusia's past. A concise guide to understanding the historical significance and beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, perfect for history and architecture enthusiasts.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Spain: Semana Santa in Andalusia

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Andalusia in Spain. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.
Chapters: 

00:00 • intro

00:54 • Palace of Charles V, Museum of Fine Arts

01:40 • Nasrid Palace

07:31 • Generalife gardens

 

Granada, the Alhambra • Spain

 

Granada, a city steeped in history and culture, nestles in the heart of Andalusia, a region in southern Spain. Renowned for its architectural heritage and picturesque landscapes, the city is a symbol of a past where different cultures and religions coexisted harmoniously.

 

A Strategic Location

Granada is located at the base of the Sierra Nevada, the highest mountain range of the Iberian Peninsula. This geographical position provided a strategic advantage throughout its history. The city has been a significant crossroads for trade and culture, influenced by Romans, Visigoths, and later, the Moors.

 

The Alhambra: A Jewel of Islamic Architecture

The Alhambra, Granada's most emblematic monument, is a fortress and palace complex that overlooks the city. Its name, derived from the Arabic 'Al-Hamra' (the red one), refers to the color of its walls at sunset. Mainly constructed in the 14th century, the Alhambra is a masterpiece of Islamic art and a testament to the Muslim presence in Spain until the 15th century.

 

The Legacy of the Nasrids

The Nasrids, the last Muslim rulers of Granada, were the principal architects of the Alhambra. This complex represents the zenith of their power and artistic creativity. Each palace within the Alhambra tells a story, with architectural details reflecting the harmony between nature and human artistry. The courtyards, like the famous Court of the Lions, are exceptional examples of this symbiosis.

 

Generalife Gardens: A Terrestrial Paradise

Adjacent to the Alhambra, the Generalife gardens offer a refreshing contrast. Designed as a leisure retreat for the Nasrid kings, these gardens are a sublime example of Islamic garden art, featuring fountains, pools, and lush vegetation. They symbolize the earthly paradise, a quintessential element of Islamic architecture.

 

The Reconquista and Christian Legacy

In 1492, Granada was the last Muslim stronghold to fall to the Catholic Monarchs, marking the end of the Reconquista. This power shift led to significant changes in the city. Christian architecture, like the Granada Cathedral and the Royal Chapel where Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon are buried, was added to the cityscape, creating a unique blend of Islamic and Christian styles.

 

Granada Today: A Cultural Melting Pot

Today, Granada is a vibrant city that preserves its rich cultural heritage while embracing modernity. The Albaicín district, with its narrow streets and whitewashed houses, offers an atmosphere from another era and a stunning viewpoint of the Alhambra. Cultural influences are also evident in the cuisine, music, and traditions like flamenco, vibrant and passionate, echoing in the caves of the Sacromonte quarter.

 

Conclusion: A Treasure of Humanity

Granada, with its Alhambra and Generalife gardens, is more than a tourist destination; it is a living witness to history, a place where different cultures converged to create something unique. Visiting Granada means traveling through time, uncovering the richness of a legacy that continues to amaze and inspire visitors from around the world.

 

about the place, Granada:

Granada, located in the southeast of Spain, in the Andalusia region, is a city rich in history and culture. Founded by the Iberians, it was influenced by the Romans, Visigoths, and especially by the Moors, who left an indelible legacy, including the Alhambra, a lavish palace-fortress. Nestled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, the city blends Islamic, Catholic, and Jewish architecture, reflecting its multicultural past. Granada is a symbol of coexistence and art, offering breathtaking landscapes, rich gastronomy, and vibrant nightlife, attracting visitors worldwide.

 

Music:

 - YouTube video library -  Lost Love Song

 - YouTube video library - Song of Sadhana - Jesse Gallagher

 

Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of spanish traditional music in "Granada, the Alhambra, Andalusia • Spain", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

What's the weather like in Grenade?

 

Spoken comments in the film: 

Strategically built on the Sabika hill in Andalusia, the Alhambra was the fortified palace of the sultans of Granada, capital of what is usually called the "Kingdom of Granada". This state was ruled by the Nasrid sultans, and was the last Muslim enclave in Spain, before the total reconquest of the peninsula by the Catholic kings, Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. The capture of Granada ended more than 700 years of Muslim domination in Andalusia. These events also marked an important stage in the infamous period of the Inquisition which had just been decreed by the Catholic kings and which would continue for more than 3 centuries.

 

At the entrance to the Alhambra complex, a name coming from the Arabic Qalát al-Hamra which means 'the red fortress', and which was the residence of the Moorish sovereigns, stands a palace built by Charles V to mark the power of the kings of Spain. This palace now houses the Museum of Fine Arts of Granada.

 

The Nasrid Palace of the Alhambra is a masterpiece of Islamic Art. The walls and ceilings of the Nasrid Palace are a testament to the zenith of Islamic art in Andalusia. Marked by intricate geometric patterns and floral motifs, these decorations symbolize infinity and divine perfection. The beautifully carved cedar wood ceilings represent the cosmos. Fine stucco work and colorful ceramics complete this visual harmony, creating a space for contemplation and splendor.

 

The Hall of Kings is one of the most remarkable. This room has several alcoves with ceilings decorated with unusual  frescoes in the Muslim world, since they represent scenes from the court, therefore human figures, which is generally prohibited in Muslim works of art.

 

But a visit to the Alhambra of Granada would not be complete without its gardens and those of the Nasrid summer residence, the Generalife located a few hundred meters away.

 

 

Ceiling of one of the Alhambra palaces, Granada, Andalusia • Spain
Garden in one of the courtyards of the Alhambra palace, Granada • Spain

Garden in one of the courtyards of the Alhambra palace

the entrance to one of the rooms of the Alhambra palace, Granada • Spain

the entrance to one of the rooms of the Alhambra palace

an inner courtyard at the Alhambra, Granada • Spain

an inner courtyard at the Alhambra

Comares Patio, Alhambra, Granada • Spain

Comares Patio, Alhambra

Granada, Spain

© 2020 - 2024 • Jean-Marie Putz, PutzProductions