Segments in this Video

Alhambra Introduction (00:46)


In the Sierra Nevada foothills in Granada lies a Nasrid Dynasty palace. (Credits)

Nasrid Dynasty Falls (01:12)

In January 1492, Sultan Boabdil surrendered to Ferdinand and Isabella—ending seven centuries of Islamic rule and the Alhambra’s Arabic era.

Christian Architectural Additions (01:20)

Charles V built a church and a square palace with a circular patio in the Alhambra. Designer Pedro Machuca trained in Italy; view Roman and Greek influences.

Renaissance and Islamic Juxtaposition (01:31)

A hidden passageway links Charles V's palace to the Nasrid palaces, which he left largely intact. Hear a comparison of the two architectural styles.

Alhambra Layout (02:19)

The dynastic city began as a citadel in the 11th century. View military architectural details and small palaces dotted around the gardens.

Nasrid Palace Layout (00:60)

The 5,000 square meter palace was built by two Caliphs in the 14th century around two courtyards. View the architectural layout.

Nasrid Palace Architectural Hierarchy (01:54)

Tour the royal justice court, oratory, and throne room. Chambers were increasingly exclusive towards the center of the complex.

Court of the Myrtles (02:24)

The Alhambra's Comares Tower is reflected in a pool, projecting royal power. View architectural detail in the Hall of the Ambassadors and in the bathing room.

Court of Lions (02:57)

Learn about architectural elements in the Sultan's private residence. Geometric ceiling designs and fountain layouts reflect Islamic culture and regulate air temperature.

Alhambra Art (01:29)

Artists used geometric forms to decorate the palace. Islamic law prohibits imitations of nature but rare figurative paintings reflect Gothic art influences.

Alhambra Poetry (01:34)

Hear Arabic quotes appearing in the architecture. Nasrid Sultans dedicated the palace to beauty and poetry.

Generalife (01:51)

An underground passageway leads from the Sultan's quarters to the Architect's Garden. Trees provide shade and evoke paradise.

Alhambra Water Access (01:07)

An aqueduct irrigates the Generalife and the royal city. During the siege, the Catholics blocked the channel to conquer the complex.

Conquering the Alhambra (01:30)

Catholic rulers added emblems and enlarged spaces. Prior to the 20th century, European art historians considered the Nasrid palace chaotic and tried to rationalize its design.

Alhambra Restoration (01:48)

Hear a description of the palace. The Romantic Movement rescued it from ruin; the palace became an exotic tourist destination.

Alhambra Tourism (00:31)

On a daily basis, 8,000 people visit the Nasrid palace.

Credits: The Alhambra - Granada: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture (00:29)

Credits: The Alhambra - Granada: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

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The Alhambra, Granada: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

Part of the Series : Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture
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The Alhambra is a palace—or rather a group of two palaces—built for two consecutive 14th century caliphs, Yusuf 1st (1333-1353) and Mohammed V (1353-1391). The two palaces are hemmed into an older fortress (10th century), crowning a 700 meter-long rocky peak. Here, refinement is everywhere—the porcelain mosaics on the floor, the plasterwork sculpted on the walls, the woodwork sculpted and painted on the ceiling-—everything is set out in geometric, floral, or epigraphic patterns. Overall this produces a complex yet harmonious decor. Understanding this division of space, means understanding an architecture that develops from the inside, and not from the facade, an architecture that uses geometry to hide the plan and not to display it.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL65321

ISBN: 978-1-60057-635-5

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

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