Today I begin a three-part photo essay series on Granada, starting with the Alhambra, which is the hilltop fortress palace of the last Muslim rulers of Spain, the Nasrid Kings, and one of Europe's greatest attractions. To avoid the famed queues, I bought our tickets in advance online and this made for smooth sailing into this stunning complex of palaces on Christmas Eve. The clouds and rain stayed away and it was a magical experience that didn't fail to impress. The Alhambra is a dazzling treatise on the beauty of symmetry.
Reflections in the pool in the Palace of the Nasrid, the most impressive of all the palaces we saw at the Alhambra.
Torre de las Damas (ladies tower), all that remains of the oldest palace, Palacio del Partal, at the Alhambra.
A view of Albaicín and Sacromonte from the fortress tower, Alcazaba.
Overlooking the Alhambra, is Generalife, which was built in the 13th century as a summer retreat. It is famed for its lush gardens but since we were there at Christmas the gardens weren't blooming but that still didn't take away from the splendor and lavish beauty of the palace.
An enclosed oriental garden called Patio de la Acequia.
Next in this series on Granada will be a photo essay of Sacromonte and the Gypsy caves nestled in the hill. So stay tuned!