Great Place Wednesday: The Alhambra; Granada, Spain

The Alhambra (literally “red fortress”) is one of the world’s greatest treasures- a series of buildings, gardens, and fortresses atop a hill overlooking Granada, Spain. With thousands of years of history, this structure has seen the rise and fall of the Moorish people in Spain, the rise of Spain as the world’s first super-power, and has seen literally millions of visitors coming to wander its incredible grounds.

The Alhambra survives today as one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture and garden design in the world.  According to the local lore, when Ferdinand and Isabella’s troops finally seized the Alhambra from the Moors in 1492, the exiled Emir turned back and wept at the loss of his beloved palace.

The gardens demonstrate many of the typical elements of Islamic garden design: overflowing ponds and fountains (ablution), symmetry,walled gardens, and intricate patterns and details throughout.  It is home to two of the most famous gardens in the world: the Court of the Myrtles and the Court of the Lions.