If it was located in any another place, if you didn’t visit it after the Nasrid Palace, if it did not enforce one culture upon another... I don't know, that’s a lot of ifs for the only Renaissance palace in our country. I think it does not get the recognition it really deserves and is always a "guest star" of the Alhambra.
It is true that after seeing the splendour of the Palatino Nasrid city, with its oriental architecture and its exquisiteness... bumping into the "rustic" Palacio de Carlos V is like realizing the tale of the thousand and one nights has come to an end.
But forget about everything we have seen before and let’s try to enjoy a Renaissance palace with an accentuated Roman impact. During my visit I was surprised at the set that Pedro Machuca (the architect who devised this place), managed to realize between the tough squared exterior made of hard albeit elegant shapes and the undulating interior, made from open spaces and sets of columns. It really is squaring the circle!
When looking at the Alhambra from the famous viewpoint of San Nicolás, one is grateful for the presence of this palace giving something special to the complex. It is true that to build it some areas of the Muslim palaces were demolished or changed, but... Today none of that remains and what we can see is a Renaissance palace unique to Spain. Sometimes it is used for shows and in the interior there are two museums that stand out: the Museum of the Alhambra and the Fine Arts Museum of Granada.
The final gift from the visit to the Alhambra is the Palaces and the Gardens of the Generalife. We had various surprises entering and learning about a unique culture and way of thinking. From a legacy that is now a World Heritage site.
In the Generalife one can rest, relax and enjoy on the one hand: the sound of the water, and on the other the incredible aromas of the plants, fruits and the orchard that surrounds the entire estate; as well as the amazing views to the city and to the Nasrid Palaces.
It is a joy to walk quietly through each patio of this oasis, how comforting it is to get to know the myths and legends of forbidden love... In such a "realist and materialist" society like ours, delving into corners like this fills you with hope ;-) as well helping to disconnect completely.
The Generalife is not ostentatious; it is a simple, quiet and peaceful place. It is a place to relax, to forget day to day life and to rest with your family. Sometimes it looks more like an Andalusian farmhouse than a palace.
I do not recall how much time I spent walking, enjoying the Patio de la Acequia (Canal), the Cypress Courtyard, amazed by its fountains, canals and water staircase, it helps soothe the high summer temperatures. Suddenly, at that moment, the heat dissipates and you forget to even take pictures. Moving water is a constant in the whole Alhambra, something very important in terms of purity in Muslim rituals.
A poetical and romantic place, I still have something pending, to visit at night. It must be a unique experience to walk there on a summer night, surrounded by the freshness of the fountains and the smell of the flowers ;-).
I love the view of this "casa blanca" from the trail taken once you leave the gardens of the Yusuf’s Palace, stop momentarily and take a snapshot, your vision will not be disappointed!
Take your time and enjoy every single corner, lattice, room. Feel the overwhelming power of the light play, the pleasant sound of the water. Delight in the marvellous reflections of the stagnant water because you are in front of the only complete medieval Arab Palatino (Royal residence) building still perfectly preserved today.
Declared UNESCO World Heritage with the rest of the Alhambra, the Nasrid Palaces are the start of the visit. Be careful! I highly recommend scheduling a time and buying tickets online if you do not want to have the unpleasant surprise of endless lines or signs saying there are no tickets available!
I recommend getting up early, being the first ones to get in (I did at 8.30 am) as then you will be able to go at your own rhythm and be one step ahead of the enormous crowd of people, despite there being "limited" access. Come with comfortable shoes, water and something to eat because time goes by without you even noticing and once you are done visiting you will need to charge the batteries!
The Palatino buildings consist of the Mexuar, where the public administration and state offices used to be; the Palacio de Comares, official residence and the Palacio de los Leones, private area where you find the harem.
We are faced with an excellent plan of spaces and uses, as well as one of the best evolutions of tastes and architectural eras of Arab art.
Did you know for example that the Palacio de los Leones (Lions' Palace), one of the most admired, was due to the interesting friendship between Mohamed V and the Castilian King Pedro I? Well, these types of surprises are around every corner.
Prepare your eyes, let yourself go and enjoy the beauty of these Palatino buildings. They say that when you go to Florence one suffers from Stendhal, I would not know what kind of illness this place causes, but it is definitely no syndrome, but more a glimpse of paradise ;-) I love this concept of paradise on earth!
Better than reading on, come here and feel for yourself the timeless beauty of these Palatino buildings, unique in the world. Advice: the best views, apart from the viewpoint of San Nicolás, are the one from the Patio de la Acequia in the Generalife.
The Madrasah of Granada is located directly opposite two of the most important monuments: the Cathedral of Granada and the Royal Chapel of Granada. This palace is commonly known as the Madrasa of Granada, but is also called Yusufiyya or Muslim Yusuf I University, House of Science and Old Town Hall, in Arabic. It was the first university in Arab Granada inaugurated in 1349 by King Yusuf I of Granada and was active for years and became a great center of Koranic Studies. It still retains an mihrab. Its facade is Baroque and is currently closed for renovation, but it usually operates as an exhibition hall with 115 seats, for the exclusive use of the University of Granada.
In between palm trees and cypresses, between the blue colour of the water and of the sky, will paradise be found? The porch of the Palacio del Partal gave me one of the most beautiful and spectacular images of my emotional visit of the Alhambra.
In the background, the beautiful setting of Albaicín and Sacromonte. In these moments I can only feel inspired by the tales of "One Thousand and One Nights" and of course the spirit of Washington Irving that invades every corner with his tales of the Alhambra.
I can only thank those "magicians" of beauty, ve bequeathed us their rich heritage and after I relax, enjoy and let myself be devoured by the landscape. This is the sensation produced by El Partal. In a word, sublime.
The Palacio de Comares was the first to be built in the city of the Alhambra, it is also the first to start the visit of the Palatino (Royal residence) Nasrid city.
The Palace is a statement of intent and when you go in each room, you realize that everything was designed to impress, intimidate, to state "without words" that we are facing a superior power.
We are in the old royal residence. Open to the public, it is reached through the large Patio de los Arrayanes (Myrtle Court). When you enter this patio, you get this feeling that an invisible hand is preparing you for something breath-taking, I cannot help thinking of the impression all these theatrics must have left the ambassadors, viziers or plain visitors to the Sultan. Now I let myself go and enjoy its awesome beauty.
The entire Palacio de Comares is made up of: The Mexuar y Oratorio, the Patio de los Arrayanes, El cuarto y patio dorados (The golden room and patio), La Sala de la Barca and the spectacular Sala de los Embajadores (Ambassadors' Hall), better known as the Torre de Comares.
The water, the fountains, the play of light from the colourful stained glass windows or cumarias (where the name Comares comes from), the smell of the hedges, absolutely everything is perfectly designed to impress. Understanding the design is simpler when we realise that the complex was built in the moment in which the Muslim power was reduced to small territories in Al-Andalus and king Yusuf needed to build a place to defend himself and declare his power at the same time.
I recommend not rushing you visit, do not miss any detail of this palace, if you go in and out too quickly you won’t give yourself enough time to enjoy and appreciate the entire beauty of it. Be impressed by the wonderful and dazzling lighting produced by the stained glass windows, and enjoy Muslim art in its purest form, as this palace is where you’ll find a unique representation of what’s known as Nasrid art, without Christian influences.
It was one of the areas that moved me the most during the visit to the Alhambra. After leaving the beautiful Palacio del Partal and walking through the gardens, we get to a small terrace where we find the foundations and the remains of what used to be, according to the guide, another beautiful palace in the city.
Listening to the explanations, most of all, looking at the remains, I cannot help but imagine how spectacular this place must have been, built in the period of the Sultan Yusuf III and demolished during the period of Felipe III. Some kind of political plot was the cause of the demolition of the palace.
Nevertheless, it still preserves the beauty of those places that enhance your imagination, one tries to imagine how it used to be. The large canal that remains and a few small cottages make the place bucolic, where the birds frolic among the myrtle hedges, box trees and the countless flowers you find in the Palace ruins.
Here we enter the so called Alhambra Alta (Upper Alhambra) and Paseo de las Torres that lead up to the Generalife. The entire upper area is dotted with archaeological remains and/or foundations of ancient dwellings, canals, where the remains of the Palacio de los Abencerrages also stand out. As you can see, history repeats itself.