Travel Thursday: Chilly Spain, part 4

(Subtitle: Beating a Dead Horse)

Feeling like something different today, I took an early right turn to tackle the Palacio San Carlos. At first I found it interesting that it didn’t have a thought-up name, just called after some guy, but once I saw it. . . it really doesn’t lend itself to a poetic name. Unlike you find “The Circle” poetic. {And some of you might. . .}
I stopped as I approached the building in question, wanting the overview before going in. I tried to get a shot of the whole building, and ended up lying down on the dusty floor to get it, much to the amusement of the workers. You’d think after doing that at the Seattle Space Needle as well as many other places, I’d get used to the dirt and chewing gum. . . and stares.

WITH ALL THE MASSIVE GRANDEUR AND
ARCHITECTURAL MERIT OF THE PALACE OF
CHARLES V, WE REGARDED IT AS AN
ARROGANT INTRUDER, AND PASSING BY IT
WITH A FEELING ALMOST OF SCORN, RANG
AT THE MOSLEM PORTAL.

It’s just so different! And I hate all the wasted space, the huge empty plaza in the center. . . though the two stories of Doric colonnades were interesting.
When in doubt, go to the books. “Although glaringly incongruous amidst all the Moorish splendor, experts seem to agree that the Palacio is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in Spain. Inside is a museum of Hispano-Arabic art, including the only original furnishing from the Alhambra, a spectacular fifteenth-century vase.”

Yeah, couldn’t wait to see the vase, having to wander through the cumbersomely named Museo Hispano-Muselman. . . and then my only thoughts about it were its huge size and the fact it was sporting Bruin colors.
As for the palace itself, it seemed like the designer–probably not Carlitos himself–set out to do everything opposite of the rest of the complex; I’m surprised they didn’t tear the whole Alhambra down. Rigid symmetry, restrained ornament, rusticated exterior. As famously said by one of my favorite poets, Lorca, “The stylistic clash between the two palaces is the fatal duel that throbs in the heart of each of Granada’s citizens.” Or as someone else said, “The conflict between Christian brutality and Islamic sensitivity.”
By now I was in the open circle in the middle. Compared to Versailles or Buckingham, it was a modest residence, but. . . I don’t know. I wanted to like the place, but I simply didn’t appreciate the reason it was built. And yet it did have some charm; the decorations were fun, and I liked that the rooms didn’t seem to follow a standard architectural pattern. One part that seemed similar to the rest of the complex was exiting a dark room to find myself in a secluded patio, listening to a soothing fountain, with no chance of a broken nose this time.
I sat to read up on the place a little more, and found an interesting quote from the architect: ‘The only way to compete with a work of Islamic genius is to produce a building more striking than any other Christian structure of the time.” And yet, the place feels unfinished, which to me screams “lost glory” just as much as the ruins around it.
{Wish I had a better way of finishing this part. . .}

;o)

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