| Alhambra and the Generalife, Granada, Andalucia, Spain|
"There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada" is inscribed on on the ramparts of The Alhambra. These words address the unique beauty of Granada. 10 Best things to Do in Granada World Heritage Site, the complex of the Alhambra and the Generalife is the most emblematic, known and visited monument of Granada.
City, fortress and palace of the kings of the Nasrid dynasty, its rooms and gardens are the higher expression of the Muslim art in Europe.
The great extension of the complex and the beauty of its rooms cause that the visit lasts at least two hours and average. It is almost necessary to book in advance the entrance, especially at times of great affluence of visitors. The nocturnal visit is a magnificent alternative for those who already know the monument and wish to perceive the unheard perfumes, sounds and images that the night arise in the Alhambra.
The monumental complex is formed by the Alcazaba, fortified military area; the Palaces, royal residence; and the palace and the gardens of the Generalife, summer royal residence. The water, something not very abundant in North Africa, where the Nasrid dynasty was original, is present in the main rooms of the monument: the famous Patio de los Leones, the not less well-known Patio de los Arrayanes, the Sala de dos Hermanas, the Sala de los Abencerrajes, the real Baņos...
Built later, but already integrated in the monumental complex, it is the Palacio de Carlos V, initiated in 1527 by the architect Pedro Machuca in the purest Renaissance style.
All the history of Granada has passed in front of the Alhambra walls. The story says that there was a garden where the monarchs, persecuted princess between flowers. The walls of the Cuarto de los Secretos say that there is nothing that escapes from its ears. The Medina says that there were times of peace, and the Alcazaba that there were times of war. The Puerta del Vino says that there was joy and the jails say that there was sadness.
"Give him some alms, woman, because there is nothing in life as the pain of being blind in Granada", their walls has listened to. Restored day after day, and with care, the Alhambra looks marvellous to more than two million visitors every year. Return
A visit to the wondrous Alhambra
A visit to Granada is not complete unless you experience its chief attraction by far, the enthralling Arabian palace citadel Alhambra, which is situated on a hill overlooking the city. Alhambra isn't just one building but several buildings used as royal residential quarters, court complex, official chambers, bath and mosque built during the Nasrid dynasty in the thirteenth century.
As you walk through Alhambra's magnificent interior evocative feelings of awe and amazement prevails due to its expert craftsmanship and memories of a bygone era of gallant knights, helpless maidens and powerful emirs. You won't find anything of its scope or grandeur anywhere else. The expert blending of nature with sublime architecture using running water, pools, windows that frame vistas, gardens and lookout points invokes an idea of Paradise as described in the Quran.
The visit will take atleast 6-7 hours and you will see the Alhambra Palaces, walk upto the Alcazaba, a military fortress on the highest part of the hill, then the Nasrid Palaces that are brilliantly designed and constructed. The Generalife Gardens contains the summer palace of the ancient Moorish leaders, surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, fountains and patios. Occupying the largest part of the walled Alhambra, the Medina is where the craftsmen and servants lived and some evidence of their simple lifestyle still remains. You will need comfortable shoes and attire as well as a snack and water to sustain you throughout the tour.
Only a limited number of tickets are sold every day (upto a maximum of 6000 per day) and therefore the queues are rather long. As an alternative you can book tickets well in advance at www.alhambratickets.com, which is strongly recommended. Admission to the Nasrid Palace should be within a period of 30 minutes of purchasing your ticket so make sure that you enter within the time frame mentioned on your ticket, if not you will have to purchase another one. Once inside you can stay as long as you like. Be sure to take lots of film rolls and your identification with you.