A quintessential Grenada scene, with the Alhambra in the background
The Alhambra is a 12th- to 14th-century Moorish city, palace, garden, and fortress on a hill in Granada.
Koranic inscriptions and decorative designs cover the walls in the heart of the Alhambra, the 14th-century Nasrid Palaces.
Ceilings in the Nasrid Palaces are generally inlaid and painted cedar wood.
Mosaics of ceramic tiles are another common form of decoration throughout the Alhambra's palaces. The clay in Granada is very good, and ceramics have been made there for thousands of years.
View from a porch in the Alhambra into the old Moorish Albaycin district, which predates it.
After seeing little fragments of Moorish carving around Granada, the scale of the Alhambra (whole walls and ceilings with their decoration intact) is amazing.
How many years of how many carvers' lives went into making this fabulous place?
These niches in the arched doorways were thought to hold vases of flowers from the Alhambra's gardens.
Usually, this courtyard pool would reflect the tower above it, but it was being cleaned.
Like most of the Alhambra's palaces, the contrast between the plain exterior of the Hall of Two Sisters . . .
. . . and the eye-popping interior is spectacular.
The famous porch of the lions. Alas, the fountain surrounded by lion statues, which gives the porch its name, is being renovated, so we couldn't see it.
The exterior walls of the 13th century Alcazaba (fortress) of the Alhambra complex, including the watch tower where bells rang out on January 2, 1492, to mark the surrender of the Alhambra to Ferdinand and Isabella.
One of the many fabulous views of Granada from the walls of the Alhambra complex.
Old Moorish-era houses at the base of the Albaycin district. Note the traditional house shape of multi-story galleries around a central courtyard.
Granada's cathedral, as seen from the Alhambra. The round central area was formerly a mosque.
A view of the Sacromonte hill, with its cave houses and Moorish wall, from the Alhambra.
The 16th century palace that King Carlos V had built at the Alhambra, in neo-Roman style.
A decoration on the outside of the Palace of Carlos V.
A (10th century?) Moorish basin from Cordoba in the Museum of the Alhambra, a wonderful archeological museum.
One of the marble lions from the Fountain of the Lions, newly restored and on display in the Museum of the Alhambra. (An unrestored lion is behind it.)
The ancient Moorish art of marquetery (inlaid wood) is still being practiced near the Alhambra.
And a few more shots taken during a night-time visit to the Nasrid Palaces, which was absolutely magical.