Granada, Multiple Ways
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Photos I took in Granada in 2005, along with Google Earth views of the same subject. Click on the rendered images to trigger that view using Google Earth.
Posada de Colon, Calle de Cruella
This is the hostel I stayed at when I visited Granada in 2005. It's still in business! For the moment, anyways. I'm not surprised it stuck around because I found it to be a great place to use as a home base. The building it occupies is marked with a white X, above. It had an interior light-well/mini-courtyard, a small rooftop patio, rooms were clean. No kitchen to speak of, but free internet on a few computers. Reading recent reviews, it looks like little has changed. That includes their terrible directions - bad then, bad now. In the style of "turn left at the broken fountain" type of thing.
This church was only a few blocks away from Posada de Colon. I just walked by it and took a few photos. That's a shame, because it is one of the top things to see in Granada, a prime example of baroque decoration. This actually the rear of the church, and my attempts to find out more about the trompe d'oeil have come up dry. According to Wiki, "Begun in 1575, they were constructed over a period of 200 years, between the 16th and 18th centuries. The monastery was active from 1608 to 1857. In the period of the revolutionary wars, the buildings were turned over to military use, and from 1866 to 1902 they served as a barracks. The church was restored to religious use in 1938, but the monastery was made available to the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca. In 1972 it became a regional museum, and in 1993 the decision was taken to undertake a full restoration. This was completed in 1999. It is an exceptional example of conservation architecture. The architect responsible was Juan Urquiaga."
There's not much to say about this one beyond my love of this image, definitely top ten from this trip. It still needs work - I have yet to find the right balance of brightness and contrast for its various levels - but it captures a moment for me so thoroughly that I am instantly transported there. Intense heat, dry smells, the zoning effect of many hours of walking in a new and unfamiliar place. As I recall, I was supposed to go to the Alhambra that day but got their too late, and wound up just walking around, soaking it all in. Another good day.
btw - here's a view of the front of this hotel. I had no idea it was so fancy:
I call this image/design/photo-edit "Enveloped," because almost all surfaces in the Alhambra are inscribed or carved or decorated in some way, so that being there creates a sense of being enveloped in an a very particular aesthetic.
I'm not even going to try here to capture the full impact of the Alhambra. It deserves its own entry. Suffice to say one of the most beautiful structures I have ever visited. Well, combination of structures, really. I could spend a week there.
"...the Alhambra, the last bastion of Muslim rule in Spain, built in Granada over the course of 250 years by the Nasrid sultans, who ruled the city up to its capitulation to the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, in January 1492.
On entering the palatine city, Isabel and Ferdinand declared: ‘This sumptuous and excellent edifice shall … be well repaired and maintained, in order that it stand forever as a perpetual memorial’ – arguably, more as a perpetual monument to their victory of Christianity over Islam than to architectural excellence. Alas, when their great-grandson, Philip II, moved his royal court to Madrid, the Alhambra started its long decline into disrepair; a state exacerbated by Napoleon’s troops in the Peninsular Wars, when it was used as a barracks. By the mid-19th century, the once sumptuous palaces were home to squatters, including wealthy Grand Tour travellers, such as, in 1829, the American writer Washington Irving, whose book on his sojourn developed many of the Alhambra’s popular romantic myths." (The Alhambra: A Sumptuous but Fragile Jewel, History Today, 2018)