Glorious Granada (Part 1)…

The third major city in our viaje is Granada, a very bustling (and touristy) city filled with sights and sounds…

In the 11th century, Granada was the capital of the reino zirí, one of the independent Islamic kingdoms that formed when the Califato (Caliphate) of Córdoba started to disintigrate…From the 13th-15th century, it was the capital of the reino nazarí, the time in which the Alhambra (which I’ll talk about in a bit) was built–and, the last reino of Al-Andalus…

Emirato de Córdoba

…Al-Andalus at its peak (when Córdoba was its capital)…

Grandada

…Grandada, the last kingdom standing…

In 1492, after many years of resistance of resistance, Granada was finally overcome by the Christian forces…Thankfully, as was the case with the Mezquita, the Alhambra was not destroyed after the city was conquered, given its artistic merit…

The Alhambra is a sort of city-palace–that’s to say, it’s a conjunction of various palaces, patios, and neighborhoods where the royal court resided…It’s name derives from the Arabic Al Qalá al-hambra, which means “red fortress”–a reference to the color of the the stone it was constructed with…

As you can see from these photos, the Alhambra has two key characteristics of Islamic architecture: a mixture of nature and architecture (e.g. the many luscious plants, the fountains with water directly from the Sierra Nevada [a nearby mountain]) and intricate decoration using simple elements (plaster and ceramic)…

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…Imagine: all of this used to be painted with reds, blues, and golds–

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–which is better preserved here (not the Alhambra, but still)

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…And adding to the scenery, some chick who got married while we were there…

Out of all the places in the Alhambra that we hit up, I had two favorite areas…First was El Patio de los Leones (The Patio of the Lions)–it’s name coming from the fountain in the center, which was a gift from the Jewish vizier, and, so I’ve been told (thanks to Walker’s presentation) used to function as a sort of sundial…However, it doesn’t work now, because when Grenada was conquered, the Christians broke it trying to figure it out…

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Second, I loved El Generalife, the garden that used to be one of the favorite places of relaxation for the royals…There’s not as much explicit decoration here like there are in other parts of the Alhambra–well, unless you count the plants and fountains everywhere…

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My other favorite part of the day was when we went to see a flamenco show–not that was truly something to watch…Originating here in Andalucía, flamenco is believed to have been formed perhaps at the end of the 15th century, a time when Spain’s Gypsy, Jewish, and Muslim populations had to endure great oppression (in lamens terms, you either converted to Catholicism or were burned to death)…It’s believed that, during this time of suffering, these three groups turned to each other for solace, and flamenco formed as a means of expressing their profound sorrow…

There are many quintessential themes that can be found in flamenco: depression, rage, anguish, passion, love, joy–you get the picture here…

There are three essential elements of flamenco: toca (guitar playing), baile (dance), and most importantly, cante (singing)…Cante comes in three different forms: cante jondo (“deep song”), characterized by the expression of deep anguish; cante chico (“small song”), which is much lighter and more frivolous than cante jondo; and cante intermedio (“intermediate song”), something that lies between the other two…Also important are the hand claps that accompany the guitar playing…

Because stupid WordPress won’t let me upload any of my good pics from the show, I’ll just leave it to YouTube to give you an idea of what goes down (yes, the vid’s long–but ya’ll know how to skip around)…

Update: So, apparently, there was just a problem with the horrendous Wi-Fi in our hotel–because now I can upload the awesome pics I took that night!!

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After the show, I headed with my boy Nick to an awesome pinchos joint called Sevilla…The beauty of getting tapas in Granada is that for every drink you get, you get a free pincho (the only downside is that virtually all of the bars close at midnight, :-/)…We got a special offer of 10 tapas for 12 euros–and they were delish (my fave was this sauteéd mushroom cap)…Once again, WordPress won’t let me upload almost all the good photos, so I leave you with this one I got on the house:

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Update: Here’s some more pics!!!!…

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To finish the day off, we hit up Burger King–because, you know, there’s nothing more Andalusian than enjoying some Chicken Pops after enjoying flamenco, :-)…

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Croquetas and lava cake–I love the fast food here, :-)!!…

But, this was only Day 1, my lovely readers–stay tuned for more of my Grenadine shennanigans in the next post, ;-)!!!!

2 thoughts on “Glorious Granada (Part 1)…

  1. rosa ogburn says:

    u messed up when describing your favorite thing you saw flamengo you said-not i think u ment to put -NOW, also why cant you up load ALL your pics on word press? I love what you do put down

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