Today we went to Alhambra, the bastion of the last Muslin kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula. Also described as the red castle or the red fort.
THE WINE GATE:
This name or a large, ordinary archway originated from the times when wine was deposited here for consumption by the citizens of Alhambra (beginning in 1556).
The Wine Gate allows access to the Higher Royal Street, the very heart of Medina. Medina is a small little village isolated from the sultan’s palaces and from the defensive fortress. It is in fact, also used to separate the military area from Medina.
ENTERING THE MILITARY DISTRICT:
The Military District was used as the residential area for the guard and soldiers that protected Alhambra. It is surrounded by wall-walks and towers, with a maze in the center that allowed people on the other side to escape safely and quickly should the enemy attack.
Many dungeons are still preserved, with a special layout in the shape of a wine bottle:
THE TOWER OF HOMAGE:
The fortress chief usually lived here, high in the air. With six floors, this is Alhambra’s tallest tower. Along with a top floor concealing four dwellings, it also contains an inner courtyard.
Archeological findings show this tower may have been built on top of the ruins of a much older tower, dating from the 9th century.
MORE PICTURES FROM THE MILITARY DISTRICT:
THE GATE OF ARMS:
An arch dating from the thirteenth century, connects Alhambra to the city of Granada. The gate has a shape of a keyhole, with symbolic meaning. It is using a key to open the doors to the city, allowing them to go through.
PICTURES FROM: THE PATH TO THE FOREST:
THE COURTYARD OF THE MILITARY DISTRICT:
The courtyard of the Military District is a small area with trees and flowers. Nothing too grand, but not entirely simple in the eyes of the soldiers and the sultan.
THE FIRST PALACE: PALACE OF MEXUAR
This is the front of the Palace of Mexuar. The sultan who lived here had wanted it to be simple, and it evidently doesn’t look like the palaces we see in the movies.
The colors that are seen in patters such as mosaics are mostly orange/brown, blue and yellow. The blue was mad of stone called lapis-lazuli, which was worth more than gold in that time period. The black color was created by using coal as paint.
THE PALACE OF THE LIONS:
The Palace of the Lions is perhaps most recognizable for the fountain that depicts twelve lions, guarding the water. It has, in a way, become the overall symbol of this particular palace.
The Palace of the Lions is also well known for the amazing artwork on the walls, catching visitor’s attention.