Look, there he is, beside the window. A man aged about forty, with a dark face and dressed in luxurious, silk and gold robes. We called him Mohammed XI, but he went down in history as Boabdil the Unhappy. The last Sultan of Granada.
How sad to see him there, in the beautiful Lindaraja Belvedere. The room takes its name from the Sultana Aixa, the mother of King Boabdil. In my time, you could see the orchards of Granada beyond the arched windows. The mouldings on these walls are covered with poetry and spiritual quotations.
Boabdil is remembering his last years here. In the last few decades of the 15th century, the civil war against his father, Muley Hacen, and his own brother, El Zagal, weakened the kingdom. After recovering Granada with the help of the Christians, Boabdil did not fulfil the secret treaty that obliged him to hand the city over to the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Ferdinand. This led to a war that he now deeply regrets. But it is too late.
I can almost hear the peal of the bells ringing out his surrender. They toll for Granada and for him, at the hour of his banishment. He has to leave.
He was to die in a land across the Straits of Gibraltar, you know. A foreign land, far away from the tomb of his wife Moraima, whose exact location is still a mystery. Boabdil the Unhappy was to die an old man, at the age of 78, far from the Alhambra, which was never again to be his.
Allow me to go over and kiss his hand in farewell. You may stay here for a while, there you in no rush. If you listen to the silence, and look at the way the light is reflected in the courtyard, you may well hear the echoes of the past. Perhaps, in the silence, you will understand why Boabdil left his heart here in the Alhambra.
Do not speak, unless what you have to say is more beautiful than silence.
(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Carlos Madrid (2012)
Source: Own work
Author: Julián Hernández Martínez (2013)
Picture: The Lindaraja Belvedere
Author: world of jan (2007)
Licence: This image, which was originally posted to Flickr.com, was uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot on 20:17, 29 September 2008 (UTC) by Petronas (talk). On that date it was licensed under the license below.
The MUSMon.com audio guide on the Alhambra in Granada is a new, independent production. It helps you to get to know all the secrets of this World Heritage Site, in a light-hearted, convenient way. There are 90 minutes of commentary, illustrated with over 50 pictures, so you won’t miss a single detail during your visit.
Wander through the grounds and buildings of the Alhambra and Generalife, guided by commentary that has been prepared for you by a team of experts. +info