The Alham­bra of Grana­da with Charles V’s palace from the Mirador de San Nicholas

The cov­er of the eBook shows a famil­iar view of the Alham­bra (“The Red One”) from the Mirador de San Nicholas on the par­al­lel ridge. The walls, gar­dens and lay­out of the ninth cen­tu­ry Moor­ish fortress still shine against the hori­zons of the Sier­ra Nevada.

There is much more to Grana­da in Andalu­sia than the Alham­bra. There is a very fine Cathe­dral built on the plan of the Tole­do Cathe­dral, over the Great Mosque. There is also the his­toric Albaicín dis­trict. Yet the Alham­bra by its grandeur, gar­dens, rich dec­o­ra­tions and visu­al promi­nence over­shad­ows all.

This is yet anoth­er of those aston­ish­ing ren­o­va­tions that stand as mon­u­ments to the deep lay­ers of Andalu­sian his­to­ry. It was con­struct­ed first (880 C.E.) over the ruins of a Roman fortress by the Emir of Grana­da as a strong­hold of the Ummayad Caliphate. The fortress — which encom­passed the gar­dens and “plea­sure palaces” of the Gen­er­al­ife — was final­ly ced­ed by its last Emir (‘Boab­dil’) to the armies of Fer­di­nand and Isabel­la of Aragon and Castille in the ulti­mate sur­ren­der of the Recon­quista in 1492.

From here, Colum­bus received his com­mis­sion to sail West to “the Indies” so it is fit­ting that the last archi­tect of the Palaces in the Alham­bra was the “Holy Roman” Emper­or Charles V (Charles I of Spain), the first glob­al ruler of whom it could be said that the sun nev­er set upon his Empire.

A PDF book with full-size images is avail­able for down­load.


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