Granada

Written by: Mikaila Lupoli (Session 1)

We traveled from Seville to Granada for the final leg of our Southern Spain tour. I have been so excited to return to Granada since I saw on the syllabus that it would be a destination. As a 17-year-old girl, I fell in love with the beauty of the Alhambra; however, at 22, my adoration expanded. After exploring the city, we headed to the Alhambra and Generalife for an evening tour. Throughout the course, we have discussed the Spanish identity’s different components. At the Alhambra, I was able to see firsthand the intersections between the Muslim and Christian presences in Spain. Even though the Christians took over Granda in 1492, the presence of the Muslims is still prevalent throughout the city. As taught by Professor Juan Iso, the name Alhambra means “ the red one” because of the color of the stones. The Alhambra is positioned at the city’s highest point, on top of a hill, with many walls and towers to protect from enemies. Something that the guide pointed out during the tour that I found fascinating was the ability to feel like you are in different places while standing in the same position but looking in different directions. Overall, I think I was able to appreciate better and understand the magnificence and beauty of the palace and gardens this time, as I had a general lay of the land. 

We went to the Royal Chapel and a Flamenco show during our second day in Granada. In the morning, during our visit to the Royal Chapel, I was taken aback by the grandiosity. Before seeing the tombs of the monarchs, there is a huge grill. For the tombs themselves, I could not believe the intricacy of the marble carvings, especially the angels on the sides of the tombs. Queen Isabella of Castile, King Ferdinand of Aragon, their daughter Joanna and her husband Philip, and grandson Miguel are all buried in the Royal Chapel. If Miguel had not passed away, he would have been the King of Castile, Aragon, and Portugal, uniting European crowns. Their coffins are underneath the tombs, with a viewing window which I found to be so interesting. Although the Catholic monarchs were originally supposed to be buried in Toledo, they chose to have the Royal Chapel built in Granada instead as a result of the reconquest. This day was wonderful, as we went to the Flamenco show later on, which was a surreal experience. Although I did not know much about dance, I could see and feel the story of the Flamenco show. Thus far, Granada is one of my favorite cities that we have visited, and I am already itching to return. 


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