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  • Granadian Pearl of Alhambra

    Alhambra ©Bert Kaufmann

    Alhambra ©Bert Kaufmann

    The Alhambra is the most visited monument from the Moorish period.

    Looking for a loot, The Berber prince Tarik Ibn Ziad, traveled across the Gibraltar along with his friends and supporters from North Africa in 711.  In 2 weeks, he conquered Andalusia, opening a path to Moors to rule almost the entire peninsula.

    In short time after 2 arrivals, Tarik arrived at at the place where Granada would be established. He only found a little Roman-Celtic settlement, situated on a high plateau, divided in three heights, and a Jewish community, but the view astonished him. Through southwest the highly snowed Sierra Nevada could be seen. In southeast could be seen the extended fertile hills.

    The North African knight decided to stay there. The Berbers did not bring women with themselves, but blonde Christians and brunette Jewish woman did the replacement. The Moors, as how they were started to be called, forged families, constructed houses and later schools for their own children. They’ve raised  beautiful mosques and palaces. Step by step, the Albaicin hill was terraced and occupied by the first and only settlement created by the Moors in Spain and Granada.

    Alhambra, Granada ©JuliánRejasDeCastro

    Alhambra, Granada ©JuliánRejasDeCastro

    The Shattering of the Prince

    The political instability complicated prince Tarik’s existence. He was condemned by his military chief Musa ibn Nusair  for not respecting the rules and commands, and again, many commanders put their fate to the Caliphate of Damascus. After a while, the Islamic law was introduced, but unfortunately the Moorish principalities were conquered by Christians and changed the principalities completely.

    In 1238 Mohammed al Ahmar proclaimed Granada as the capital of his Kingdom, and he also proclaimed himself the Monarch. He founded the Moorish dynasty and their leaders eventually succeeded to live peacefully with the Christian neighbors for 250 years.  It was this time when Granada regained its defense walls, and commerce and craftsmanship flourished, and elite Moorish artists and architects thought that in these walls and corner they’ve found the Muslim paradise on earth from The rechristened Spain.

    Wise Doctors worked at hospitals and public baths were filled with people.

    The Sorrowful Retreat

    The Fortress from the hill transformed into a complex palace, an example of a unique Moorish architecture. Inside the walls appeared many oriental buildings after a century. The capo d’opera of the assemble is a Royal Palace.

    The Moorish leadership tempered in 1492, when the city was ruled by the young King Boabdil, the twelfth king Nasrid. The Christian knights waited the city to starve to death, ready to invade. To prevent Alhambra from being destroyed and massacred, he gave up the castle to rulers like Ferdinand de Aragon and Isabella de Castilia, and has gone saddened. A promise was made by the conquerors, to maintain religious tolerance towards the Muslims. This promise, however, was short-lived, many Muslim books were burned and the people were forced to convert.

    Nowadays, after a half of millennium, the Palace of Alhambra from Alhambra is the most visited monument in Spain. Per day, about 6.600 of visitors are passing through its halls, gardens and the interior yards of the palace, with the arcades being brilliantly preserved.

    If you are looking for a flight to Granada, you can find on the site www.travelgrove.com

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