The AWAI Workshop, Granada, by Jerry Newsome (Part 1)

I didn't go to Granada with the AWAI Travel Photography Workshop, but Jerry Newsome of Statesboro, Georgia, did. I have asked Jerry to be my guest blogger to tell us about that add-on trip, and to share with us some of the magnificent photos he took. Jerry sent me such a wealth of information, that I have decided to upload his blog in two parts. Here is part one (carry on reading down for part 2).

The AWAI Travel Photography Workshop in Granada by Jerry Newsome

The Alhambra Palace, Granada

Following the photography workshop in Seville, Spain, an optional add on trip to Granada, Spain, was also orchestrated by Jackie Gray and Efrain Prado of AWAI. The add on trip originally was to have gone to Marrakesh, Morocco, but due to the bomb blast there a few days prior to leaving, the destination was quickly changed to Granada. Four members, Jerry, Brent, Simone, and Lynnia continued with the optional trip while the other members returned to their homes. We missed them, their participation, and their camaraderie but the workshop continued and we went to photograph and learn more from Efrain. I was surprised to learn that Granada is a Spanish word for pomegranate and the stylized symbol of pomegranates were everywhere to be seen especially on posts and fountains.

Another view of the Alhambra Palace, Grenada

Our first subject to photograph at dusk was the Alhambra, literally "the red one". It is a palace and fortress complex occupying the top of the highest hill in the area. Construction began in the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers at that time. Over the years various Catholic and Christian rulers came and went adding their touch and influence.

 A garden of the Alhambra Palce

The complex grew without a formal master plan but always included flower gardens, running water and fountains. Charles V, (Holy Roman Emperor in 1527), incongruously inserted his palace within the Nasrid fortifications. Disruptions, wars and lack of interest eventually caused the complex to fall into ruins and disrepair until it was "rediscovered" in the 19th century by scholars and travelers.

 A fountain and cool, pleasant walkways

Restoration began after the years of neglect. Refurbishing and rebuilding continues today for this major tourist attraction of Spain, especially Granada. The Alhambra is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It remains one of the country's most significant and well known examples of Islamic architecture, in concert with the Christian buildings and garden additions.

Huge, green hedges line the walkways

Generalife, the name of the garden area, is said to mean Garden of Paradise. The garden area has few replicas of living creatures such as statues of humans or animals but is filled with huge green hedges, verdant covered walkways, flowers, fountains, and flowing waterways throughout. Eight centuries of Muslim rule provided abundant religious calligraphy on the walls and pillars of the buildings and palaces . "Allah is great",  "There is no conqueror but Allah" is inscribed over 9,000 times along with other verses from the Q'uran.


 A beautiful waterfall in the Alhambra gardens

Opportunities to photograph are endless.  One has to concentrate on specific themes and leave others out to do justice, with the workshop in the amount of time we had.  Alhambra and Generalife have inspired almost countless works in music, art, books, and other genres over the centuries Two examples. In 1922 M.C. Escher's produced works after studying the Moorish use of symmetry in the Alhambra tiles. In astronomy there is a main belt asteroid named Alhambra.

1 comment:

  1. Jerry,
    Great insight into a beautiful and garden. The photographs are spectacular! One of the most discombobulating sights for me however was the sudden appearance of rococo statuary in the middle of the exquisite symmetry of the Muslim architecture. The waves of invasion and the forced change in culture is very apparent. Thanks for the blog!


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