Entering the Alhambra, Granada, Spain
The Alhambra has captivated me for quite some time. I think years ago I must've watched a documentary about the historical walled palaces and gardens because ever since then the architecture, the theological history, the geopolitical struggles have all captivated me.
The palace and fortress complex was originally constructed in the seventh century on the grounds of an original Roman fortress. The Alhambra is a UNESCO world Heritage site and it's located just outside of Granada in the Andalusia region of Spain. The old fortress sits atop their highpoint looking down on the city below looking down onto the rivers flow and looking high up into the mountains. Geographically there could be no more perfect a spot to build and construct a fortress.
The magnificence of the site goes beyond beautiful architecture and deep into the religious history that is been embraced by the occupiers of this intriguing site over the centuries. The archways are constricted to near-perfect mathematical principles and in the 14th century were inscribed in Islamic text with the fundamentals of so many equations which are the basis to so many systems in the world today. Throughout the palace grounds and gardens and key the thread binding the buildings and walls, an entire system if you will, together is the water. Water flows through channels and conduits, it sits still in pools and ponds, it trickles through fountains. The trickling water attracts birds from afar and nourishes the beautiful green inviting vegetation so stark and juxtaposed against the dry Spanish stands.
I will be honest, when it comes to mystical sites like this one I can be a bit of a romantic. Prior to our visit I digested Washington Irving's Tales of the Alhambra Book, twice. In this book he shares recollections of his time spent living in this beautiful Moorish palace. There is a part of the book where Washington discusses and theorises more recent ways of thinking engaging our brains and letting our egos defying us with wants and needs. He asks whether these ways of thinking and the universal pursuit of gain is muting poetic feelings and love and creativity and "steep himself to the very lips in old Spanish romance."
After wondering the beautiful archways and entrances and gates, I sat in the cool quiet peace of the entranceway, reading back through my favourite verses of the book.
What a reminder of civilisation than these palace remains. In today's world we think we know all the answers we think we have the solutions because we have evolved to walk around with a little computer and narcissistic tool in our pocket. The focus seems to have shifted into a more narrow world, one which arguably is quite unaccepting to that which it doesn't yet understand. One which is focused around the self rather than the community and controlled through fear rather then acceptance.
Overwhelmed by it all, we retreated back to the grounds of the Hotel America located within the same walls as the palace.