Friday, June 19, 2009

Granada & Alhambra

Yesterday was another excursion day with a trip to Granada and a visit to Alhambra and the cathedral located there. Visiting groups are scheduled into the palace at Alhambra and we had to make an 7:00am start to get there on time. Everyone made it to the bus on time but lost part of the night's sleep in the process.

Granada is located approximately 150 miles east of Sevilla. The location has been inhabited since the earliest beginnings of civilization with Celtic, Phoenician, Carthagenian and Greek communities located there. The moderate temperatures resulting from the altitude, availability of fresh water from mountain snow melt, and proximity to the Mediterranean sea made it an attractive location for settlements. The estimated current population for the Granada urban area is approximately 473,000.

The number one attraction in Granada is Alhambra, the Moorish palace and fortress complex constructed in the 14th century. Built to house the Arab rulers, the exterior of the palace is relatively plain. The emphasis was on the creation of an ornate interior with beautiful gardens and water features.

My complete collection of photos from Alhambra are available at the following link: Alhambra Photo Album

Alhambra and Granada were eventually conquered and the Moors driven out with the combined armies of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile. This is the same Queen Isabella who sponsored the voyages of Columbus and Alhambra was the setting for some of their meetings. The Granada Cathedral, which is amazing in its own right, contains the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella.

Here is a link to photos from the cathedral and the rest of the Granada trip: Granada Photo Album.

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