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The Alhambra

Washington Irving

Book Overview: 

This is a collection of essays, verbal sketches, and stories by Washington Irving. Irving lived at the Alhambra Palace while writing some of the material for his book. In 1828, Washington Irving traveled from Madrid, where he had been staying, to Granada, Spain. At first sight, he described it as "a most picturesque and beautiful city, situated in one of the loveliest landscapes that I have ever seen." He immediately asked the then-governor of the historic Alhambra Palace as well as the archbishop of Granada for access to the palace, which was granted because of Irving's celebrity status. Aided by a 35-year old guide named Mateo Ximenes, Irving was inspired by his experience to write Tales of the Alhambra. Throughout his trip, he filled his notebooks and journals with descriptions and observations though he did not believe his writing would ever do it justice. He wrote, "How unworthy is my scribbling of the place." A commemorative plaque in Spanish at the Alhambra reads, "Washington Irving wrote his Tales of Alhambra in these rooms in 1829". The book was instrumental in reintroducing the Alhambra to Western audiences.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ite side of the ravine, we were equally dominated by rival towers on a rocky eminence. These, we were told, were the Torres Vermejos, or vermilion towers, so called from their ruddy hue. 57 No one knows their origin. They are of a date much anterior to the Alhambra: some suppose them to have been built by the Romans; others, by some wandering colony of Phœnicians. Ascending the steep and shady avenue, we arrived at the foot of a huge square Moorish tower, forming a kind of barbican, through which passed the main entrance to the fortress. Within the barbican was another group of veteran invalids, one mounting guard at the portal, while the rest, wrapped in their tattered cloaks, slept on the stone benches. This portal is called the Gate of Justice, from the tribunal held within its porch during the Moslem domination, for the immediate trial of petty causes: a custom common to the Oriental 58 nations, and occasionally alluded to in the sacred Scriptures. "Judges. . . Read More

Community Reviews

من أجمل وامتع الكتب التى قرأتها عن قصر الحمراء ومدينة غرناطة وبلادالاندلس كتاب مسلى يحمل اسم ( حكايات قصر الحمراء ) لكاتب امريكى اسمه واشنطن أيروفنج .

قرأت الكتاب للمرة الاولى فى العام 1999 عندما عثرت عليه صدفة على أحد أرفف المكتبة المركزية ضمن جولاتى الاستكشافية فى غابة الكتب الممتدة على مساحات كبي

I understand now why this Alhambra book is sold at every news stand and souvenir boutique in the city of Granada, translated in every major tourist language. Washington Irving account of his visit to the palatial complex around 1830 is almost single handedly responsible for reviving interest i

Partly written by Irving in 1829 while living in the Alhambra, after travelling to Grenada to rest after writing his biography of Christopher Columbus, and eventually finished when he was Secretary to the American Legation in London. It was published in 1832.

It is a hard book to shelve, being a comb

I picked up this beautiful volume on a lazy Sunday afternoon from The Strand - the old one in mid-town in Manhattan - when I was pretending to be a lawyer in that beguiling city of tall structures and sky scapes that appeared and disappeared through the clouds and the mist . Published in Granada and

Se trata de una serie de cuentos, ambientados generalmente en Granada, que contienen una enseñanza moral.

Washington Irving (1783-1859) vivió en la Alhambra -algo realmente excepcional- mientras escribía sus cuentos. Recopiló las leyendas que andaban de boca en boca entre los habitantes del lugar, y

Dos amigas me recomendaron este libro, y la verdad es que jamás pensé que lo leería.
Lo compré en mi visita a Granada y la Alhambra el año pasado (2017), una edición que incluía unas bonitas fotos del palacio y sus jardines, ¡y miren qué sorpresa me he llevado!
Es un libro absolutamente mágico, románt

A wonderful glimpse into a time and place that most of us were never aware of. I would have loved to have read this book while traveling in Spain.

To the traveler imbued with a feeling for the historical and poetical, so inseparably intertwined in the annals of romantic Spain, the Alhambra is as much an object of devotion as is the Caaba to all true Moslems.

The name “Washington Irving” has haunted me since I was a boy. I went to a school n

This was the book that cemented the Alhambra's romantic reputation in the minds of the Anglophone reading public. Based on Irving's three-month stay in the palace in 1829, Tales of the Alhambra is presented as a series of traveloguish essays and historical sketches, although they really have more to

In the spring of 1829 Washington Irving America's first great writer, with an unnamed low - ranking Russian diplomat, a new friend begins a leisurely expedition on horseback from Seville to Granada, a young guide takes them through the Andalusian mountains. He boasts the Spaniard nicknamed Sancho, a

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