The legendary Alhambra

alhambra granada generalife

A long, long time ago, when the Moors ruled in Andalucía, a King with only one son ruled in Granada. Astrologers foresaw that the young prince Ahmed would have a great future. The only thing that could have stood in the way of this was…love.
His father decided to save him from this danger and so built a separate but beautiful palace surrounded by gardens and a wall close to his stronghold. He did this all to lockup his son and save him from the charms of women. In fact, Ahmed was not even meant to learn the meaning of the word “love”.

This is the beginning of the legend of Prince Ahmed al Kamel. As you’re probably imagining, the efforts of the king were in vain, but if you want to learn the details, you’ll have to read the Washington Irving original “Tales of the Alhambra, Legend of Prince Ahmed al Kamel, or, The Pilgrim of Love”.

But if you want to see the palace with your own eyes (Generalife and Alhambra itself), then you’ll have to reserve tickets, as it attracts visitors from across the globe. The tale of Prince Ahmed is, of course, just a story, as the Generalife palace was merely a private residence and gardens for the rulers in Granada, but I´m sure that the palace was home to many romances… As it stands, Alhambra is the most popular tourist attraction in Spain and if you’re planning to visit Andalucía, it’s one of those “must see” places. I know that some of you are planning holidays in the south of Spain and so I´ll try to show more places which captivated me whilst I was there. However, I have to start from Alhambra, as the tickets are surprisingly (at least for me) difficult to get hold of. The photos you see here were taken in March and so it wasn´t even close to peak season, however, even reserving several weeks in advance didn´t allow us to gain access to the famed Nasrid Palace. As no tickets were available on the website, we only managed to see Generalife, the gardens and the Alcazaba. In any case, it was still worth it and I hope I’ll have the opportunity to go again some time.

Remember that Spain is not just beaches, and Andalucía itself is one of the most amazing regions in Europe. This is thanks to the unique mixture of the Arabic and European styles & cultures. The Moors ruled here for many hundreds of years (in fact, Alhambra was the last remaining stronghold to fall), and was probably the most glorious era for the Moors culture. They left behind beautiful architecture, which amazes people to this day. If you go to Andalucía, you can’t miss this and the photos speak for themselves.

So here’s some “technical” information:

Online tickets: www.ticketmaster.es

If the online tickets are sold out, another option is to visit with a guide or to purchase the Granada Card (http://en.granadatur.com/granada-card)

P.s. For the intrigued! Thanks to a certain pigeon, Prince Ahmed from the story mentioned above fell in love with a Christian Princess. With the help of an owl and parrot, he crossed half of Spain to find his love, in Toledo. It wasn´t easy, but thanks to magic, cunning and a flying carpet, all ended well. That’s the abridged version of the tale. I have to add that they lived happily ever after 🙂

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