This will be the last of my Nasrid Palaces entries, inshaAllah, before I proceed to the other parts of the Alhambra and the rest of my adventures!
Phew, about time, I think! This was getting quite dragged out.
Right, so anyway…
Upon exiting the Palace of the Lions, I walked into what felt like a significant shift in construction era.
From the ubiquitous and abundant use of marble in the different halls of residence to a more marked presence of wood and plaster, I knew that this particular annexe was built in a different century.
The 16th century, to be exact.
My hunch was right! These were definitely built after the Moorish expulsion from the Alhambra!
These halls were, in fact, part of the Emperor’s Chambers. They were designed to be Charles V place of residence while the Charles V Palace was being built.
These halls have square coffered ceilings and have the motto ‘Plus oultre’ which means far beyond. Very different from the Arabic inscriptions of praise to Allah, Muhammad and the Sultan, right?
But if I were to be honest… It was the garden below that truly grabbed my fancy!
The Daraxa garden, remodelled in the 16th century, is the best example of a closed garden, a place of charms and delights. It has the strong and sober style of the courtyard of Toledo, with its Castilian gallery, with bolsters and posts. In the center stands a big and beautiful Renaissance fountain. Six narrow beds along the walls of this garden full with dense boxwood hedges, each one occupied by cypress and orange trees, crown the fountain and make a compact and dark mass which makes even more paradisaical the effect of the water of the fountain.
It was so lush! Everything was in bloom, the sound of the trickling water from the fountain was utterly relaxing and the smell – oh, the smell – was heavenly. Imagine the fresh scent of citrus from the orange trees, mixed with the smell from other trees, just enveloping the entire garden.
I could just sit in the garden the whole day.
Which I did (well, not the whole day), by which I mean I sat by the garden and journalled for a while. It was a place of peace, a place where my mind was clear enough to form the thoughts that needed to be formed.
Now, I sure wouldn’t mind having this garden in my own home!
P.s.: I’ve also finally edited the Seeking Spain page (see tabs) to ease navigation around the blog! (: