There are visits that stir and excite, leaving within us an indelible mark. Juan Ramón Jiménez put it like this. “Granada has stolen my heart, I feel as though wounded, or in convalescence”. A large part of its charm is hidden in the legacy that the Arabs left in the city during Al-Andalus. Nasrid art or Granada art dominates the landscapes that constituted the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, and a quick glance at the landscape is enough to steal the heart of whoever looks for the rest of their lives.
“In the waters of Granada, only the sighs row”, said Federico García Lorca. One has to be ready to contemplate the corners gifted to us by the city of the Alhambra, because it has one of those types of beauty that grabs us within, like a pinch that stirs us and never lets us go. In all this mosaic of precious elements there is a veil that provides uniformity to such a jewel, which is Nasrid art, and among so many sighs, two are the greatest exponents that we must admire at least once in a lifetime. Two architectural marvels considered World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1984; the Alhambra and the Generalife.
The spell of the Red Castle
The work of art par excellence which represents the Nasrid style is the Alhambra. The Red Castle not only leaves an impression on the visitor through its interior beauty, but amazes us with its adaptation to the external landscape and how it has become integrated within nature. It seems that they were always as one: Sierra Nevada and the Andalusian fort on the heights, with the brilliance of the city of Granada at its feet.
Its charm has been the inspiration for various artists from all ages and places, and its preservation is an artistic, historical and cultural testimony, marking harmony between three cultures.
Thousands of people from all over the world travel to Granada with the dream of admiring The Alhambra, which receives thousands of visits every year, being the most visited monument in Spain in 2013.
Nasrid art began to be defined in the Alhambra; warm in its external colours and cool in the tiles which make up the interior turquoise blues and emerald greens. A breathtaking contrast that does nothing but increase its beauty through the details which define this ornamental style: its cambered arches, fine ringed columns, Mozarab vaults, plant motifs and inscriptions of Arab poetry.
The water gardens
The Generalife was a refuge of water and nature to which the kings retired when they wished to relax from their tasks in the palace. This ancient retreat is another of the most beautiful pieces in the mosaic making up Granada, and is also one of the most representative examples of Nasrid art, which was a characteristic of the final period of Hispano-Muslim art, the fall of the Nasrid dynasty and the end of Al-Andalus. Although it developed between the 13th and 15th centuries, the era of its greatest splendour was during the 14th century.
It seems like Nasrid art was created in order to particularly delight the senses. Its ornate decoration, the constant marriage with water, the vegetation, the light and the colours… Sensoriality and equilibrium are its main features. All this is present in the most prominent corners of the Generalife, the Patio de la Acequia, and the Patio de los Cipreses.
Architecture oozing poetry
If we had to match one image to Andalusian poetry, it would be Nasrid architecture. It is loaded with charm, almost baroque, and awash with carved wood, decorative interior arches and skirting adorned with glazed ceramic tiles.
I have seen you in dreams in my bed
and it was as if your soft arm was my pillow,
as if you hugged me and felt
the love and insomnia I feel,
as if you kiss my lips, my neck,
my cheeks, and accomplish my desire.
For your love! , if I did not visit your image
in dreams, at times, I would not sleep again
And there is no greater happiness than spending a few days in a city so full of beauty.