Monday, January 26, 2009

Islamic Gardens.... Paradise on Earth

Alhambra .. Torre de las Damas

 Copyright ©Alice Joyce
Font size Paradise on earth.... an idealized world hidden within the walls of the Islamic garden.
Should the Arab world be outside your reach, you'll find that most memorable effect fully realized in the gardens of the Alhambra, looming over the city of Granada in southern Spain's Andalusia region.

Despite the crowds you'll encounter, a tour of Granada rightly pivots upon the Alhambra's wonders: The immense hilltop complex standing as a testament to eras of occupation by Romans, Goths, and the control of Christian monarchs after 1492. Yet, the grandeur of the Alhambra monument resides in neither the surviving citadel nor the palace of Charles V, but rather in the Medieval epoch's Nasrid palaces, and the exquisite gardens of the sultan's retreat, El Generalife - created by Muslim rulers.

Avid hikers may choose to follow a maze of narrow, winding streets to the monument's gateway, but a bouncing ascent aboard a minibus is the usual transport from Granada's centrally located Plaza Nueva.

Subsequent postings will delve into the architecture, ornamentation and plantings of this remarkable setting.

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