Monday, January 5, 2009

The "Grand" in Granada

"Do not cry like a woman for something you could not defend like a man."

- the last king of Granada's mother, to her blubbering son

In 1492, Boabdil, the last King of the Moors, surrendered his throne to the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella. With him went 700 years of Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula, and the end of the dream that was Al-Andulus. As he rode out, he took one last look at the city, with the red brick of the Alhambra on one hill, and the glistening white plaster of the houses of the Albayzin, he started to cry. At which point, his mother made her famous remark. 

I reckon that if Boabdil's mum had been in charge of the defences, Granada would still be the capital of Al-Andulus. 

Whatever the case, Boabdil's tears are understandable. Granada is a beautiful city, and the Alhambra is breath-taking. There's a grace and a simplicity about the Nasrid Palace that puts the grand houses of Europe to shame. It's quite humbling, to be honest, to walk through courtyard after courtyard and see this Muslim idea of heaven portrayed in marble and plaster and water. The Nasrid Palace has to be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. 

Thank God I took a shitload of photos, because I doubt I'll remember the details.


Anonymous said...

Sounds fantastic.

Your brother

Connolly's agent said...

it's good