Al Andaluz, March 30, Granada

Pat Gibson
3 min readApr 16, 2024


We had breakfast at the hotel and found a cab to take us to the Alhambra. I highly recommend the long history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site that can be found on Wikipedia.

I had been to the Alhambra several years ago when on a cruise with my oldest daughter and her family. It was a flying trip. We rode a bus from the coast to Granada and spent the day, but the tour of the Alhambra was fast. We also had a catered lunch but most of the time was spent on the long bus ride. I remembered wishing I could have more time to tour the other buildings and the gardens in the complex.

David included a stop in Granada just so I could get that time. We spent several hours walking around the grounds and at our set time, joined the crowd walking down the stairs to the actual palace. It is a large group of buildings. One of the exhibits was a tribute to the architect who was most responsible for saving the building. Leopold Torres Balbás is credited with applying internationally accepted practices as well as archaeological know-how that helped save the structure we see today. He set the standards that are still followed as witnessed by one of the photos David took.

The plaster ornaments that resemble stalactites have to be carefully monitored. This is scaffolding to repair some of them in one of the corridors.

The interior of the building is very different from what I remembered from my last visit. There was a sign explaining the picture above that told how many changes done during the 1800s have been reversed over the years. It has been 12 years since I visited the first time, and I could see the difference. Many of the tiled surfaces have been replaced or repaired. Some of the Moorish plaster work that was obviously Islamic scripture has been recovered from under the plaster of the first Christian occupants of the place in 1492.

Here are just a few of the pictures we took. We did walk through the gardens but did not hike to the Generalife (Summer Palace) across the canyon. It was raining and cold. Perhaps I can manage another trip some day in the summer.

Beginning our tour.
The Court of the Lions
Another view of the Court of the Lions. The original statues have been replicated and replaced. Even a stone lion can’t last for 600 years!
This is one of several frescoes that were added after 1492 and the residency of Ferdinand and Isabella. The gold leaf is still bright.
This carved and inlaid wooden ceiling is thought to be over 700 years old.
The view across the valley is long and beautiful.
This is a remaining part of another castle built during the Renaissance. This structure is the only part that survived the many remodels and rebuilds on the mountain.
This enclosed court would be a cool refuge in the hot summers of southern Spain.
The grounds around the many buildings are filled with flowers and carefully tended trees.

We had a delightful supper and retired to the hotel to get dry and warm. We had a lovely visit about travelling with a couple from Australia. The hotel had a nice small lounge with free beer and snacks.

Official Site | Council of the Alhambra and Generalife (



Pat Gibson

A fan of Liad, Valdemar, Pern, and Narnia, I am a writer, an educator, and a thinker.