Alhambra Highlights

The Alhambra in Granada, Spain is worth all the hype. While planning another visit to Spain, I came across this video on YouTube, which shows many of the highlights of the palace/fortress in a computer generated animation.

The American writer Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra is a great primer for anyone considering a visit. Irving is given credit for initiating the historical preservation movement thanks to this account of his travels to Spain and the Alhambra specifically. When I first toured the Alhambra, my guide made special note of Irving and went so far as to thank him for making his job possible. This sounded a bit over the top until I did some more research and discovered into what sorry shape sites such as this had deteriorated.

In earlier posts I also mentioned H.V. Morton’s A Stranger in Spain. He touches lightly on Granada but his insights into Spain in general are well worth your time. Like Irving, his account is first hand. Both of them interacted extensively with the local populace, experienced the authentic culture, and are capable writers.

Good research ahead of a trip makes it much more enjoyable and fulfilling. I’ll post more on that soon.

Alhambra’s Lion Fountain

When visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, one of the must-see items is the lion fountain.

I first became aware of the Alhambra when I read Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra. Many people don’t know that Irving was responsible for one of the earliest conservation efforts of historical sites. He traveled to Spain, rode from Seville to Granada, and found the Alhambra in a sorry state of disrepair. His book was a huge seller during his time, igniting the imaginations of people in various countries. One of the most amazing things is how his writings remain relevant more than a hundred and fifty years later. His discussion of the Spanish character, the context in which the Alhambra exists, and his interpretation of the sight ring true. It is interesting to read how travel was conducted all those years ago. It certainly makes me appreciate all the conveniences available in the current age.

Published in: on October 7, 2008 at 2:24 pm  Comments (1)  
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