Text about the Alhambra 1913: DWIGHT L. ELMENDORF Lecturer and Traveler


Text taken from THE MENTOR 1913.09.15, No. 31 Spain and Gibraltar Written in 1913.

Granada is not especially attractive in itself. It is chiefly a city of the past. It is the Alhambra that draws the visitor there. This celebrated building is a dream of Moorish magnificence made real. It is impossible to do justice to its wondrous beauties in brief space. An extensive literature has been written in description and in appreciation of its architectural splendors and of its romantic interest. Washington Irving has done most for the subject in his “Tales of the Alhambra.” He lived there for a time, and wrote there during his stay. You will find his name registered in the visitors’ book under date of 1829. The Alhambra, like many Moorish buildings, is severely simple on the outside; but when you enter your senses are captivated by the exquisite beauty of design and decoration that stretches out before you as you go through the courts and halls of this wonder palace. While in the whole it presents an effect of uniformity, there is infinite variety in detail, and there are countless forms of beauty about you that captivate the mind and fill the soul with delight.

Aside from the Alhambra there are two buildings in Granada that command special attention,—the Palace of Charles V, which adjoins the Alhambra, and the Palace of the Generalife. Both of them have features of great architectural beauty. The former building was never completed. The palace of the Generalife is situated to the east of the Alhambra and 165 feet higher. It was the summer residence of the Moorish kings. From there the finest view about Granada can be had, covering the Alhambra below and stretching far across the vega (plain) to the distant mountains. The interior of the Generalife in its time must have been as beautiful as that of the Alhambra. The most beautiful spot is the garden of the Generalife, with its terraces, pools, grottoes, hedges, and overhanging trees.