Asos Top (similar here, cropped version here) | London Rebel Espadrilles (sold at Asos) (similar here and here) | Vintage Skirt (similar options here, here, here and here) | Vintage Bag from Etsy (similar options here, here, and here, inspired by the famous Chloe Marcie Bag) | H&M Belt (similar here and here) | Bangle (similar)
Today’s post marks the first of a series of four (not posted in a consecutive manner though) in praise of the soul-crushing Moorish beauty of Granada’s Alhambra: three outfit posts for which I took advantage of its fairy tale backdrops, and one general photo diary. Keep an eye out in the coming days and weeks if you’re curious for what’s to come.
Today’s photos are taken in the Patio de los Leones (the Court of the Lions), the main courtyard of the Nasrid Palace situated in the heart of the Alhambra. It’s a rectangular court surrounded by delicate arches with slender marble columns, adorned with squares of stucco and designs of an almost other-worldly intricacy.
I owe the sweltering heat at the time of our visit my thanks since in its absence, goose bumps would no doubt have marred these outfit pictures! Luckily Washington Irving came to the rescue by eloquently putting into words the tangled thoughts in my dazed mind in his book Tales of the Alhambra (1932). He is understandably lyrical:
“The peculiar charm of this dreamy old palace is its power of calling up vague reveries and picturings of the past, and thus clothing naked realities with the illusions of the memory and the imagination. (…) all the fairy fretwork of these domes, apparently as unsubstantial as the crystal fabrics of a morning’s frost, exist after the lapse of centuries, almost as fresh as if from the hand of the Moslem artist. (…) Everything here appears calculated to inspire kind and happy feelings, for everything is delicate and beautiful. The very light falls tenderly from above, through the lantern of a dome tinted and wrought as if by fairy hands. Through the ample and fretted arch of the portal I behold the Court of Lions, with brilliant sunshine gleaming along its colonnades, and sparkling in its fountains. (…) It needs but a slight exertion of the fancy to picture some pensive beauty of the harem, loitering in these secluded haunts of Oriental luxury.”
I usually utter something about my outfit but please allow me an exception today, seeing how unbearably insignificant my description would sound after Irving’s depiction of the Lion’s Court. I’ll let the pictures talk for themselves!
I do hope my pictures will inspire you to go and discover this aesthetic tour de force for yourself. Beyond any doubt it’s one of the things to be visited at least once in a lifetime. Don’t be surprised however if you actually see some specimens of the tourist species. Please forgive me this lack of truthfulness in my photos – I strategically kept them out of my frame (and indeed out of my mind) in order to preserve the magic of the place. In this matter I admit my complete lack of consequence: being a tourist myself and urging my readers to go and visit this thing of beauty, this joy forever, I mercilessly banned the hordes of tourists armed with selfie sticks from my pictures. I fully agree with Keats that “beauty is truth, truth beauty”, but sometimes, when the essence of beauty is at stake, one simply has to lie – and do so with uncompromising conviction.
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