I didn’t really know what I was getting into at the time, but after trudging through the cold drizzle, up a massive hill, and fighting my way through hordes of tourists I finally got to see why the Alhambra is such a big deal.
An artist’s depiction of the area below on the street leading the the Alhambra.
To start off, even in the rain, hundreds of years after the colorful paint decorating walls and ceilings faded away and people have altered and “restored” the beauty, it still holds its original elegant and detailed beauty, where unbelievable effort way put into every single colored tile along with all the delicate-looking stalactite arches carved along the ceilings.
Every single room I walked into made me stop and stare, and just as I thought it couldn’t get any better I walked into another, even more elegant and precise work of art, whether it was a trellised garden or a foyer.
It also helped that I could tell our group’s guide absolutely loved his job. He passionately explained the history and reasons behind such minute details of the house, such as curved entranceways (so outsiders cannot look directly into the building) and the continuing motif of water (fountains, small rivers) and green (gardens, plants) to foster tranquility and peace.
As the palace and fortress of the Berbers occupying the top of the tallest hill in the Albaycin, it shows the advanced skills and appreciation of beauty and elegance by the Muslim rulers that once occupied southern Spain before the Reconquista. You really have to go see it for yourself to truly believe and appreciate what a work of art it is. And while you’re at it, look out all the windows. The overlooking panorama of Granada and the Sierra Nevada is stunning.