Glorious Granada (Part 2)…

My second day in Granada was quite eventful…After sleeping in and spending a good deal of my morning doing homework (I’m a nerd, I know), I went out for lunch with some peeps…We chose an Indian restaurant–an interesting experience, because I had never eaten Indian food before…I had some sort of prawns in a medium sauce with mushroom basmati rice–spicy, yet delicious…

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After eating, I headed off to the Catedral de Grenada…Commisioned by Carlos I (I think–dang it, where was Marta when I needed her?!?!) and constructed from 1536-1561, it has a distinct stylistic mix of the Renaissance-iness and the Baroque…It’s really, really pretty, with all the gold and paintings (including some by El Greco and Juan Ribera), and even though technically I wasn’t supposed to take photos, a lot of people were–and nobody stopped them (I figure that rule isn’t enforced)…

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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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YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH–Dirty South!!!!…

In the event that you did not get my titular reference to Li’l Jon (who’ll always be the King of Crunk), tomorrow I embark on my final “official” group excursion…

Now for those of ya’ll who ain’t in the know, right now, I’m on Spring Break…While some of my fellow U.S. college students like to brag about going to Cabo or Alcapulco or South Beach, I think I got them all beat, because I’m going to… Continue reading