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The Ghosts of the
Alhambra in Granada

Secrets and Legends of the Alhambra in Granada

It is the most important palace left to us by the Muslim world in the Iberian Peninsula, one of those places where energies meet. We are talking about the Alhambra de Granada, fortress and Andalusian Palace where the court of the Nasrid kingdom and the monarch lived.

He was a Muslim until Granada was finally conquered by the Catholic Kings in 1492. Its construction was not a matter of chance as it is not in just any place. It is dominating a whole view of the beautiful city in a place that is as magical as it is beautiful. In the times of Charles I, after the Christian Reconquest, it was planned to build a palace there in an area of ruined walls of the Alcazar, a winter palace whose work would be commissioned to Pedro Machuca, who was the architect of it.

The workers who participated in that work as guards from inside the Alhambra began to feel a presence. Once that work was completed, and with some aesthetic details still to be finished, they began to inhabit it, among them the innkeeper Juan Abenhun, of Moorish descent, together with his niece Isabel, a very attractive young woman of great beauty.

Everyone admired that woman, even the architect Pedro Machuca who began to have a hidden relationship creating a compromising situation. The girl spent many moments of the day walking around the palace gardens and visiting one area in particular: the underground area of the Comarex room. There, Isabel would stare at every corner, every nook and cranny of the Nazarene palace-fortress, as if there were something else that only she could see. And, perhaps, because of this, she was told about the rumours that pointed to the ghosts and strange presences in the Alhambra, as Washington Irving would once have told in a more literary and imaginative way.

That moment of fear was taken advantage of by architect Pedro Machuca to take her away from the place and live her relationship in a more discreet way. However, he had a frightening vision: some elves were showing him the place where they were guarding a treasure. Isabel and a young man in love immediately set up that wall from which two vases would emerge, inside which that treasure was hidden. They were filled with doubles of gold. It solved his life because with the reward they had a dowry to lead a common life and King Charles I the capital necessary to finish the works of remodelling of the Alhambra.

It will forever be a reference point for Muslim culture, never leaving Granada without the fervent desire to return. Thus, there is a legend of the existence of a group of elves belonging to an Arab tribe. Every 2nd of January, once every century, every 100 years, in the year ending in 92, these elves return, appear and check if the Alhambra has returned to Muslim hands.

Another one of those legendary stories tells us how one night of San Juan a young man who was travelling around Spain with his guitar observed a soldier of the time, dressed in Muslim clothes and with a sad look on his face. That vision was chimerical, it was about an Arab soldier who inhabits the place for all eternity and manifests himself once every 100 years.

The young man wanted to ease the soldier’s existence and in dialogue with him asked him to free him from the curse, in exchange he would give him half a treasure. For this he needed a fasting priest and a Christian girl. After locating the two, they went up to the Alhambra and the soldier manifested himself on the wall. Suddenly, it opened and a great treasure appeared; the hungry priest took out his pocket or a piece of bread and put it in his mouth, leaving the wall closed and the curse active. But the boy managed to put some coins in his pocket, just enough to start a relationship and marry that young woman who accompanied him to the palace and witnessed the impossible…

 If you wish to visit the Alhambra and learn about these and other legends you can visit www.discoveringandalucia.com
 

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