by Robert House
|The Statue of Christopher Columbus asking for fund from Queen Isabel|
This blog post is coming from the city of Granada, located about an hour and a half plane ride from Barcelona and in the South of Spain. Granada is such a beautiful, amazing city. The city is located in the Andalucia region of Spain that also happens to be home to a mountain range called Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada receives a lot of snow fall during certain parts of the year and also serves as a ski resort for the tourist and the locals. The mesmerizing thing to me is that the beach is only located about 50 minutes away from the base of the mountain. So in certain parts of the year, you could be skiing on the Sierra Nevada in the morning and then sunbathe on the beach by the afternoon.
One Of The Gardens Inside The Alhambra, BEAUTIFUL!!!
Granada is a famous city, not only for its mountain and beaches, but also for the city where Christopher Columbus begged for funding from the Spanish Monarchy, Isabel of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon, to finance his expedition in search of India. Granada itself has a very Moorish, Muslim, influence that can be attributed to the conquest of Spain by the Muslims in 711 AD. The Muslims ruled Spain for about 700 years until Isabel and Ferdinand kicked out the last Muslims in Spain from Granada.
|The Alhambra Before Sunset|
The Muslims spread a lot of their culture in Granada but none more representative than the Alhambra. We visited the Alhambra on a tour. Here we learned that Granada was one of the Muslim’s strongholds in Spain, and the Alhambra is one of the palaces they rule from. Once Isabel and Ferdinand took back Spain from the Muslims in 1492, they built a new version of the palace on top of the Muslim version. According to the Muslim religion you are supposed to be beautiful on the inside and not show the flashy and beautiful adornments on the outside. If you examine the Muslim part of the Alhambra you see the outside of the buildings are plainly constructed but on the inside you find the most elaborate, detailed decorations. The newer version of the Alhambra palace constructed by the a Christian monarchy was elaborately decorated on the exterior and in the interior of the building. The Alhambra and its different styles represent the Muslims influence, not only present in Granada, but throughout Spain as a whole.
Also during our trip to Granada we were treated to dinner and flamenco show where local musicians and dancers performed after our meal. The passion and dedication they put into every dance move and note showed me the commitment they all put into their craft. It was simply breath-taking. Granada, unlike Barcelona, is a lot more slow-paced and gives the sense a more authentic Spanish experience. Granada is not only special for it physical beauty but for its people and rich historical background!