FUN-travel: New 7 Wonders of the World Runner Up: La Alhambra – Granada, Spain

October 8, 2012 by  

  • The Alhambra is the last and greatest Moorish palace in Europe.  The name Alhambra comes from an Arabic root which means “red or crimson castle” due to the hue of the towers and walls that surround the entire hill of La Sabica which by starlight is silver but by sunlight is transformed into gold. The Alhambra was an “alcazaba” (fortress), an “alcázar” (palace) and a small “medina” (city), all in one. This triple character helps to explain many distinctive features of the monument.
  • The alcazaba fortress, created originally for military purposes, was the first structure to be built dating to the 9th Century. It was followed by the alcázar Palacios Nazaries which is the jewel of Alhambra. This 13th century Moorish royal palace consists of carved wood ceilings, ceramic tiles, molded-plaster walls, stucco “stalactites” and filigree windows. It’s an incredibly impressive size with 9 different rooms and areas.  The medina consisted of residences for members of the court. The Generalife Gardens were the Sultan’s summer palace with extensive vegetable and fruit gardens.
  • The Alhambra became a Christian court in 1492 when the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabel) conquered the city of Granada. Later, various structures were built for prominent civilians, also military garrisons, a church and a Franciscan monastery.  Charles V’s Palace featuring Renaissance architecture was built in the 15th Century.

  • We stayed at the Parador de Granada San Francisco which was originally a Moorish palace and converted into a Franciscan monastery in the 14th century.

    Generalife Gardens

  • In the summer of 2007, more than 90 million people cast their votes to determine which architectural marvels in the world deserved to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. There were a total of twenty-one landmarks vying for that title.
  • Of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, only the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt still stand. The pyramids were given an automatic spot after infuriated Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace to have to compete for something that had belonged to their country for so long. I agree!  We saw them in 2007.
  • It is our goal to see all twenty-one landmarks. Also, Chris and I have collectively seen a lot of the twenty-one, however, not together. So the rule is, we go back and see all of them together!

New 7 Wonders of the World we’ve been to:

  • #1 Chichen Itza, Mexico – 2005
  • #2 Great Wall of China – 2010
  • #3 Machu Picchu, Peru – February, 2012
  • #4 Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro – February, 2012
  • #5 The Coliseum – Rome, Italy – August, 2012

New 7 Wonders of the World Runner Ups we’ve been to:

  • #9 Statue of Liberty, New York – 2005
  • #10 Sydney Opera House, Australia – 2005
  • #11 Hagia Sophia, Istanbul – 2007
  • #12 Acropolis, Athens – 2007
  • #13 Angkor Wat, Cambodia – 2010
  • #14 Eiffel Tower, Paris – 2010
  • #15 Stonehenge, England – 2011
  • #16 Alhambra, Spain – August, 2012