Granada – La Alhambra

15 Feb

This weekend we took our students to Granada on a mini-excursion.  Here is what they had to say about it:

La Alhambra 

Brooke

“Today we went to the Alhambra which was soooo cool! Its huge and gorgeous! There is so much detail in every little thing that pictures don’t even do it justice! The ground everywhere had an intricate design of different colored pebbles showing pictures of so many different things like flowers, birds and more! The walls were extremely intricate with carves of diamonds and different small shapes all over. There were many gardens and fountains! We learn something new every day and we learned a cool fun fact today that oranges are tart and bitter if it hangs from a double leaf! Check your oranges! Tonight we went back to a part of Granada where we could see the Alhambra lit up from a far and it was a gorgeous sight! Great for Valentine’s Day!
Happy V-Day!”

Emily

“Today we visited the Alhambra. It is this huge city from ancient times. It was the last city of the Muslim dynasty before king Ferdinand and queen Isabella took it over. Once it was taken over by the Christian rule they added more to the city. They added a sanctuary for the summer time where they could spend the days. Alhambra means red castle because a night when they were building it at night it would be lit up by touches and glow a red color.”

Alex

“Tonight we visited the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Alhambra is the last city that represents the muslim dynasty before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella took it over. They destroyed the muslim mosk and turned this city into a space for them to live and turn it into a Christian sanction. There were many interesting parts of the castles. There were many many fountains and detailed walls with designs that are hundreds of years old. The Alhambra was very interesting and cool to see.”

Chandler

“Today (2/14/15), we visited the Alhambra. The Alhambra is an ancient Muslim/Christian city with palaces located in the walls of the monument. It is one of the most visited sites in Spain. Alhambra in Arabic translates to “Red Walls”. It was named the Alhambra because during construction, torches were used to light up the building, and it had a reddish tint to it. Inside the city walls, there are palaces, an aqueduct, and a village-type space called “Generalife”. There are three main palaces, used by Sultans and Kings. The construction of the Alhambra began in the 9th century. It was originally a Muslim city, but taken over by Catholic monarchs. When the city was seized by the Catholics, the mother of the Sultan at the time said the famous quote “Weep like a woman for what you could not defend as a man”. Charles V spent six months at the Alhambra for his honeymoon, and fell in love with the main palace. During the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte in France, he destroyed most of the city. The main palaces remain standing, but are unfinished. This is because the construction of the Alhambra was funded by taxes, and when the Muslims were forced out of Granada, the population decreased greatly. The Alhambra is one of the most beautiful monuments we have seen so far. The details and art of these palaces were amazing. It was a great trip!”

Timmy

“The Alhambra redefined beauty with the intricacies of the palace walls and gardens. Previously used as both a palace and fortress, the architecture is enclosing, and the decorations are elaborate. This effect establishes an essence of protection and invitation to remain within the confines of the walls forever- as though protecting visitors from the outside world, whose beauty cannot compare to that of the king’s halls. The palace’s beauty is defined by the combination of Christian and Muslim architecture. Originally constructed under Muslim rule, the Alhambra depicts religious value and scripture. The walls, engraved with praise, stretch high, connecting with the heavens. It is only when they arrive at the ceilings that they disappear. These ceilings resemble the heavens, painted delicately to remind Muslims of the seven stages of heaven they must pass. And joining these rooms are alterations done by the Christian monarchs, who ruled in the Alhambra after conquering the Nasrid Dynasty. These prayer rooms contained many windows, to connect worshipers with natural light. The ceilings were modest, usually constructed from wood. This design kept worshipers humble, recognizing beauty only found in scripture. The mix of Christian and Muslim architecture is inspiring and captivating, because it offers a satirical understanding. It reveals the passions behind individual religion while speaking to the beauty behind harmonious practice. Although won over war, the palace illuminates the cohesive potential between religions through the fluidity in the palace’s composition. The communication between the building styles depicts the beauty in a society in which distinct cultures harmonize and communicate, rather than instigate hostility. Ultimately, walking into the Alhambra was encountering a dream for what we as a community should hope to one day be.”

Mackenzie

“Today we went to the Alhambra. It is up in the mountains in Granada. We woke up this morning and had breakfast and then left for the Alhambra. Once we got there we went on a tour through all of the old building that were there. There were 3 Muslim palaces and 1 Christian palace. A stone wall was built to surround the city and most of it still stands today. “

Julia

“Today, in Granada, we went to see the Alhambra. We took a bus up the windy mountain road in order to reach the mountain fortress city. We toured with our guide, Fernando. He showed us the military buildings, the three Muslim palaces and the Christian palace by Charles V. We also saw the summer palace that the sultan went to to relax. The Alhambra was massive and beautiful. The intricate architecture was amazing and I was impressed that it has stood for so long. I loved visiting the Alhambra.”

Jake

“On the 14th of February we went and toured the Alhambra, it was a city with with 2 gorgeous castles. One was a Christian castle and the other was a Muslim. Everywhere we went there was running water and fountains. I learned that the running water was a natural air conditioner and because it was constant cold water it kept the rooms cool in the summer.”

Amanda

“Today we visited Alhambra which is a city in Granada. It was the last city Muslim dynasty ruled before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella took over. When they took over, they destroyed the mosque and added a summer home. There was a lot of water fountains and marble used for the flooring. The windows were Roman styled. It was very beautiful and really interesting to learn about the history behind it.”

Ashwini

“Today was, by far, was my favorite day during the trip! We are in Granada, and the city is, to put it simply, GORGEOUS!!!! This morning, we went to the Alhambra and had a tour guide take us around. The tour was for 2 hours approximately, but every minute was extremely interesting! We saw the Muslim and Catholic influence on the area, especially the impact on the architecture. The differences are very significant, and it was very interesting to see how different societies can have such different ideas.”

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