Today we went to the gorgeous Alhambra. We entered through a large gate to the dim hallway leading inside the Alhambra. It was full of small beautiful plants and large elegant keyhole arches, ancient stone walls and newer brick staircases. Through the tiny courtyard we went in the chilly morning to the palace of Carlos the V. The palace was similar to the grand colosseum of Rome, but smaller. The palace of Carlos the V was built after the time of the Moors, in 1526 by the emperor, Carlos the V. It had Roman influence and was designed by Pedro Manchuca.
After visiting the gorgeous palace, we went and got tickets and headed into the astonishing Alhambra. We got into the Alhambra with its intricate and decorative details on the walls. We saw the faint paint of the color that had been added long ago. We went through a small cramped door into these magical palaces. The palaces were the Nasrid palaces. The first one was the mexuar. The name comes from the arabic term Maswar meaning the place where the ministers of the consul met. It was built by Isma’il in 1314. The second palace was the Comares. Built in front of the golden room (cuarto dorado) Muhammad V in 1370. The final palace is the palace of the lions. It is probably the most famous palace in all of the Alhambra. It has 12 white marble lion statues forming a fountain. Each lion is slightly different.
After that we headed into a neat little garden cramped with ripe pomegranates, marigolds, cabbages, and many other wondrous flowers. We walked into another grove with tidy trimmed hedges and little patios. La Generalife is a large garden with little and big waterways. It was built between 1100 CE and 1300 CE. The Spanish word for pomegranate is granada, so that means the city of Granada (the city that the Alhambra is in) is called pomegranate.
Now I will be talking about Arabic script in the Alhambra. Arabic script is a very fascinating writing system used for many languages beside Arabic including: Azerbaijani, Pashto, Persian, Kurdish, Lurish, Urdu, Mandinka and many more. Arabic script is similar to cursive and consists of 28 basic letters, though in Arabic script sometimes letters join. I don’t want it to get too complicated, but there is a whole ton involved the Arabic alphabet. In the Alhambra there was one very common phrase in Arabic script that I was assigned to figure out. That phrase meant “There is no Victor but God.” In Arabic it is said “ghalib ‘iilaa”
Arabic script has been adapted little by little in some languages like Persian and Urdu. It is the second most common system of writing after Latin. Arabic script descended from the Nabataean alphabet, which descended from the Phoenician alphabet. Strangely Arabic script is read from right to left instead of left to right, though numbers are read from left to right. Also Arabic script does not write short vowels; they just simply leave them out. That means if you wrote a sentence like: “The book in the tree is very ugly and rotten.” it becomes “Th bk ‘n th tree ‘s vr ‘gl ‘nd rttn.” The first piece of Arabic script dates back to 100 BCE. I hope you found the Arabic script as interesting as I did.
Below: dark green: official language, light green: spoken language
Below: Arabic script in the Alhambra (we took the pictures)