Saturday, April 25, 2015

An afternoon at the Alhambra Granada


On Wednesday 31 October 2012, my wife and I paid a visit to the Alhambra in Granada.


The Alhambra reigns supreme in the city of Granada and rightly so. If it stood on a flat plain, it would still be one of the most spectacular fortresses ever built. However, it sits at the top of the highest wooded hill in the city. Not only that - this red-walled palace has the fairy-tale backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada.


Alhambra viewed from the Mirador San Nicolás
There's lots to see in the grounds.......like the Convent of San Francisco where you don't have to have religious tendencies to stay because it also serves as a Parador...


Convent of San Francisco
There are pleasant views...

...the Sierra Nevada...

...and the Albaicin area of Granada...


Alcazaba wall

The distant views might be spectacular but the interior of the Alhambra is simply stupendous! There is so much of artistic merit to see. However, there are four main areas to explore: the Alcazaba, the Palace of Charles V, the Casa Real or Royal Palace and the Generalife Gardens.




The 'must see' part of the Alhambra is the Royal Palace which really comprises a number of buildings called the Nasrid Palaces. They are the central nucleus of the Alhambra. Visitors, who have already admired other parts of this magnificent fortress, are spellbound when they encounter the magnificence of these palaces. If you do not have time to explore the Alhambra in totality, you simply must allow time to visit the Nasrid Palaces! They are built around three courtyards - the Golden Room, the Myrtle Courtyard and the Lion Courtyard.
Such is their splendour and unsurpassed beauty, that I cannot really find the words to describe the exquisite detail of the palace interiors, so I won't! Instead, I will add a few of the many photographs that I took!

ceiling of the Comares Palace
Patio del Cuarto Dorado
In all the rooms of each palace and patio the walls and ceilings are exquisitely decorated.




Patio de los Arrayanes

Patio de los Leones
Sala de los Abencerrages

alcove in the Sala de la Barca
...even little alcoves are exquisitely decorated!




 







---another beautiful ceiling in the Hall of the Two Sisters!

Sala de las dos hermanas - ceiling

a view from the Alhambra
There are a number of lovely patios and gardens in the Nasrid Palace complex...

Jardines de Daraxa

another pleasant garden in the Alhambra - the Jardines del Partal...



and then, of course, there are the Generalife Gardens...



I have covered only a small part of this magnificent World Heritage site. To see more photos of the Alhambra and Generalife click on the link below...

http://www.panoramio.com/user/2391258/tags/Alhambra


more blogs by Robert Bovington...


"Spanish Impressions"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"
www.tablondeanuncios.com

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Padules (Alpujarra Almeriense)



The stone paved streets of Padules are typical of the Alpujarras — the façades of the houses whitewashed and little pots of plants sit on windowsills behind wrought-iron railings.

 Robert Bovington
www.tablondeanuncios.com










more blogs by Robert Bovington...
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rodaquilar - old gold mine

Rodaquilar - old gold mine © Robert Bovington

This part of Spain has always had an abundance of raw materials and this area of the Cabo de Gata has been extensively mined for 2000 years. The Romans extracted silver here. Later 'lead fever' took hold in the middle of the 19th century. However, the golden years for Rodalquilar followed the discovery of gold around 1880.

www.tablondeanuncios.com

more blogs by Robert Bovington...
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guernica

 In April 1937, at the behest of General Francisco Franco, the German Luftwaffe bombed the Basque city of Guernica with great devastation and loss of life.

So incensed was the artist Pablo Picasso at this episode in the Spanish Civil War, that he painted his famous mural 'Guernica' in protest. The picture hangs in the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.



Guernica is a city in the province of Biscay. It is regarded as the spiritual centre of the traditional Basque Country, which is probably the reason for its 'not-so-special' treatment during the Civil War - Biscay had supported the Republican side against the army of Francisco Franco. The actual capital of the province is Bilbao.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Los amantes de Teruel

by Robert Bovington



Once upon a time, in the city of Teruel, there lived a young man and a young woman who were very much in love. Diego de Marcilla and Isabel de Segura had been childhood playmates and both had belonged to wealthy and important families. Around the time that Diego and Isabel were eligible to marry, Diego's family had fallen on hard times. Isabel's father, the richest man in all Teruel, prohibited the union until the youth had found fame and fortune - a time limit of five years was agreed upon. Five years passed and not a word was heard of Diego de Marcilla. On the fifth anniversary of the agreement, Isabel's father gave her hand in marriage to an older man and, the very next day, the wedding was celebrated. Diego burst onto the scene.
He triumphantly announced his return only to discover that he was too late - there had been a misunderstanding - according to Isabel's father, the five years included the day of the agreement and not the day of departure! Being of a virtuous nature, Isabel would not betray her husband of a few hours and consequently refused the desperate Diego a last kiss. This was too much for the poor lad - for five long years he had yearned for the day that he would marry his childhood sweetheart. Now his dreams were shattered. Heartbroken, Diego collapsed and died on the spot. At his funeral, Isabel was grief stricken and, bending over to kiss Diego's lips, she dropped dead, falling over the body of the man she had loved.
 
This story is known as "los amantes de Teruel" - the Lovers of Teruel and it has inspired a number of writers. It also inspired the citizens of Teruel who demanded that the two be buried side by side so that "what was denied them in life could be given to them in death". Later, the mummified bodies of Diego and Isabel were exhumed and placed in the tombs where they now rest - in the cloisters of the Gothic church of San Pedro. They can be seen today, along with the exquisitely sculptured lids featuring the couple, both with an arm outstretched and their hands almost touching but not quite. Religious piety precluded them touching since Isabel was married to another! They are the work of sculptor Juan de Ávalos.

 
Mausoleo de los amantes en la iglesia de San Pedro de Teruel.
 
Escalinata - "los amantes de Teruel"



www.tablondeanuncios.com

more blogs by Robert Bovington...
"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"