Friday, October 2, 2009

Spain, Granada - Alhambra (Part 3 of 5)

Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace located in the province of Granada, is the most visited monument in Spain.

By far, it is the best well-preserved palace I have visited. The exquisite craftsmanship of the muslim artists could be found throughout Alhambra with its elaborate and deep engravings in the giant slabs of marbles.

Most part of Alhambra are heavily drenched in Islamic culture, including the craft souvenirs that are on sale. So naturally, it was rather unusual to spot the Roman Palace of Charles V situated in the midst.

The fortress was constructed out of red clay and gave it it's present name of Alhambra - literally translated to mean "red fortress". The fortress and the surrounding town are built on a hilly terrace which somehow reminded me of the dessert. So when I was walking through the extensive gardens, water fountains and ponds, it's was as if I discovered the oasis!

I find it to be such a pity that the great palace is rather bare, unlike the Schloß Schönbrunn in Vienna which is very richly furnished. Otherwise, it could truly be the most magnificient monument in Europe!

With little time left before the last bus departs for Málaga, I left Granada with an intriguing impression of the town with it's stone-cobbled long winding alleys which I'll surely be back to explore!

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