The Red One

Photo essay: Visiting the amazing Alhambra palace complex in Granada, Spain

by Jahanshah Javid
The literal translation of Alhambra "red fortress" derives from the color of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made. The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; however, the buildings now seen today are reddish. Completed towards the end of Muslim rule in Spain by Yusuf I (1333-1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353-1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last days of the Nasrid emirate of Granada. It is a place where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge as Christian Spain won victories over Al Andalus. The Alhambra mixes natural elements with man-made ones, and is a testament to the skill of Muslim craftsmen of that time >>> Wikipedia

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more from Jahanshah Javid
Azarin Sadegh

I feel so jealous!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thank you so much for these lovely pictures...but actually on a second thought, maybe no thanks! Because now I feel so jealous of you when I look at this lovely place that I have visited a long time ago when I was bold and beautiful and young and restless (Thank you MPD, for these references!) 

gitdoun ver.2.0


by gitdoun ver.2.0 on

thanxx for sharing !


thanks JJ for bringing back memories of 29 years ago

by mahmoudg on

thanks JJ for bringing back memories of 29 years ago


Thank you, Aref-Adib, for the close-up pictures!

by yolanda on

I like the way you organized your photos! It looks like a giant patchwork quilt! I love the intricate details of the wall patterns! It blew me away! Thank you! Great job! I think you should publish a book on "Alhambra"!



Don't miss Cordoba & Seville

by Aref-Adib on

Thanks JJ.

Last year I went there pattern hunting! 


PS don't miss Cordoba and Seville! 

Reza-Rio de Janeiro

JJ , have fun...

by Reza-Rio de Janeiro on

Happy for you and the way you live your life...

I hope someday I will be as lucky too... :-)

But for now, I have some unfinished business in my own personal life and that is to help Free Iran and Iranians in my own way! No matter how small and insignificant may seem to others...

Would you please answer to my e-mail to you (to when you get a chance?

I have very serious concerns and questions about member's security and everyone's identities and personal informations on your site!!!

Be well and safe ham-meehan and "Stay thirsty my friend!" :0)


So gorgeous & informative! JJ, merci for sharing ANAR w/us!

by gol-dust on

I always wanted to see this place. Now, you saved me $$$$ and a long trip. Truly enjoyed them! Merci!

Ghaffar A. Namjou

Can’t miss the Flamenco shows

by Ghaffar A. Namjou on

Dear Jahanshah salam,

You are in Andalusia, how I envy you! Alhambra looks the same as 14 years ago when I visited it for the first time. Didn’t you feel as though you are in Little Isfahan while walking in Granada? It sure reminded me of Isfahan before the revolution.

I am sure your Spanish has improved by now and you can talk your way around the town. Now listen, you can’t miss Sevilla. That city is another little Isfahan. It has a nice river going through it with all kinds of activities on both sides of the riverbank. You will find Sevilla even more interesting with many cultural similarities to our own.

While you are there, you can’t miss the Flamenco shows. Try and see as many as the time allows you; I promise you won’t regret it. I have been a flamenco lover and a dancer for many years, so I like to ask you a favor. If your time allows and you have the desire; do a clip on the History of Flamenco and its roots for our countrymen. You will be amazed what you discover. I give you one tip; the Flamenco Melodies are from Iranian roots, which was brought into Spain by Zaryabi (Iranian musician) hundred of years ago.

Also see the movie Flamenco and Sevillana by Carlos Suara, while you are there, because it just might make you a Flamenco lover too. In closing, I wish you a nice trip around Spain and be very careful of pickpocketers. It is a nation pass time for the Spaniards.

Be safe, Ghaffar


If still in the area...

by alborz on

...don't miss out on Antiquera just off of the A-92 highway that connects Seville and Granada.  This small town shines bright in the sun and has a cathedral and beautiful private residences that have the traditional Islamic mosaic patterns.

Andalusia is also a great execuse for going to Gibraltar and see the the rock that is no more than British outpost on Iberia, complete with its double decker buses.  The crossing into Gibraltar takes you across the landing strip of its small airport.



Anonymous Observer

JJ...I thought you were poor like me...

by Anonymous Observer on

where do you get the dough for all these travels, Paris, Spain... ?

I wish I had that kind of money!!!


Thanks for the Intel

by SALTY on

Thank you JJ and Faryarm. I've already booked both the hotel and the palace visit. Can't wait to see it close up. All I am scared of is the weather. I grow up in Abadan and used to run barefoot in the streets with my Arab friends in the 50 degree celsius heat but now can't stand the hot weather :-(



by yolanda on

I like all the pictures with captions, which help me understand and learn the new stuff. Alhambra, CA is a city not very far from my home. Now I've just learned that this city is named after the book "Tales of the Alhambra". //,_California

That is pretty neat! Thanks for the great collection of pictures about the fortress and gardens!




by faryarm on


Try and book at the Alhambra Palace hotel; I was able to get last minute tickets (through the hotel) the night before , without waiting inline for tickets.

Unfortunately we could not do the full 3 hour tour and had to leave early to our next destination; but managed to shoot hundreds of images and clips within the 90 minute feast for the eyes.

The Alhambra is an absolutely fantastic place in the true sense of the word; testament to the beauty, creativity and vibrant spiritual force that WAS Islam; a civilizing force that left an indelible mark in Spain and became a major influence in later pulling Europe out of the dark ages.


Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Salty, book your hotel through You will save at least 30 percent. Get a guided tour of Alhambra or rent the audio guide device at the ticket office. Be there early in the morning an hour before the ticket office opens at 8 a.m. Make sure your camera battery is fully charged :o)


Nice Pictures

by SALTY on

I am going there in September any advice or suggestions? :-)


181 is my favorate!

by Sid Sarshar on

This essay is my official summer vacation.  Thanks for taking me there.


Thank you, I loved it ...

by Yana on

shad zee


Ari Siletz

Background music to go with the great slideshow

by Ari Siletz on

For the second viewing of these pics, here's Lily Afshar playing "Recuerdos [memories] De la Alhambra" on classical guitar. Play on a different tab for background music. Replay at 3:30 to avoid "Recuerdos De la dentist visit."


Wherever JJ may roam!!!

by Robert on

Jahanshah Javid

"Where I lay my laptop"

by Jahanshah Javid on

Ali P.,

I saw this headline in a London newspaper a couple of weeks ago: "Where I lay my laptop". It was about the growing number of people who can work wherever there's an internet connection. I'm one of them :o)

Ali P.

Best damn job in the world....

by Ali P. on

JJ jaan:

Maa nafahmeedeem...

Your this business or pleasure??