The Candle Tower

Where are you, habibi? Do you want poor kind Hamed to get locked up because of you? I have been waiting for quite a while here, at the top of the Candle Tower.

You almost made me forget that, in my day, we called this the Great Tower. Then the Christians called it the Sun Tower, and now the people of Granada call it the Candle Tower because it actually does look like a candle when you look at it from the town below. And if you look down, you can see the fallen stones of one of the turrets that used to stand alongside this tower.

I suspect that the day the Christians take Granada, they will put a bell up here and make it ring out to commemorate their conquest… Why are you looking at me like that? Well, of course I’m cheating! I know exactly what happened, and I also know that, every year, the bell rings in memory of the victory. This one here is new – it’s only 240 years old. It unites the city with its chimes, which announce both joyful and sad news, ceremonies and earthquakes. Sooner or later, anyone who lives in Granada comes up here to see it.

Now take a calm look around, habibi... One of those distant villages is Santa Fe, which grew up over the Christian military camp that had laid siege to Granada. Soldiers and officials, merchants and minstrels… Hundreds of people would wander round here, looking for grace and favour. In this year of 1492, - though we can’t see from where we are now – one of these people was a man from Genoa, who was looking for money to finance a unique voyage he had planned. His name was Christopher Columbus. Heard of him, have you?

But oh, dear… the Christians have managed to seize the Alhambra. Boabdil has signed the peace with Isabel and Ferdinand. It is the 2nd January, 1492. The end of the Nazrid dynasty. But hurry, it is time to enter the palaces! Take me with you through the Alhambra, habibi. And may your visit protect me.

And in case you are wondering, Habibi means that I feel friendship towards you – you and I are friends.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Carlos Madrid (2012)

Source: Own work
Author: Julián Hernández Martínez (2013)