CASTLES OF THE WORLD - ALHAMBRAID92930051
€14.00 (Taxes not incl.)
The Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre presents a new series of collector coins dedicated to the "Castles of the World". It has been difficult to make the selection, taking into account that in Spain alone there are more than 10,000 castles registered, so we have had the collaboration of the Spanish Association of Friends of the Castles for an appropriate choice of castles to represent.
The collection is made up of sixteen coins, which can be purchased individually, as a complete collection and in sets of four coins each.
On the obverse is a coloured image of the Alhambra in Granada, so called because of its reddish-coloured walls ('qa'lat al-Hamra', 'Red Castle'). It is located on top of the hill of al-Sabika, on the left bank of the River Darro, to the east of the city, opposite the Albaicín and Alcazaba quarters.
On the reverse (common to all the coins), within a central circular area, the value of the coin 1.5 EURO appears; to its right, the mint mark; at the bottom, the legend CASTLES OF THE WORLD. An allegory of the structure of the castles surrounds the legends in the central area.
|Series||Castles Of The World|
|Face Value (Euro)||1.5|
|Maximum Mintage (units)||5,000|
The Alhambra of Granada
The mention of Granada calls to mind the Alhambra, or is it the other way around? This unique wonder of the world, nestled between two rivers and with the Sierra Nevada mountains as an imposing backdrop, was not built in a single architectural style. On the contrary, the Alhambra (the Spanish rendering of the Arabic Al-Qal’a al Amr, the Red Castle, owing to the colour of the clay used to build its walls) is the result of a superimposition of different buildings and outbuildings with successive contributions from the Umayyad Emirate and Caliphate, Zirids, Almoravids and Almohads, until in the 13th and 14th centuries, under the Nasrid dynasty that ruled Granada for 250 years. It underwent major alterations and extensions, such as the Alcazaba and the defensive wall with its 24 towers, which would configure the definitive layout of the most complete and best-preserved medieval Islamic fortified palace in Europe.
With the Treaty of Granada, signed in January 1492, and the surrender of the keys to the city, depicted by the Aragonese painter Francisco Pradilla in his famous painting The Surrender of Granada, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile brought eight centuries of Moorish rule in the Iberian Peninsula to an end. The importance and significance of this event gave the Alhambra great symbolic value, to the extent that it led to the incorporation of a pomegranate (granada in Spanish, and symbol of the city) into the royal coat of arms and Ferdinand and Isabella decided to build what would become their sepulchre in the city.
From the year of the conquest, Isabella and Ferdinand began to carry out works to redecorate and add new buildings into the Alhambra complex. This work was also continued by the Emperor Charles V (King Charles I of Spain), with the construction of the monumental New Palace within the precinct in 1526, overseen by the architect Machuca. Neither the earthquake of 1522 nor the accidental explosion of an ammunition store in 1590 would stop this intense building activity, which would partly deprive the Alhambra of its Moorish heritage.
With the rise of the Bourbons to the Spanish throne, the Alhambra fell into a state of neglect and decline, a situation that did not improve with the arrival of invading French troops in the early 19th century, who subjected it to their customary pillage and destruction. But it was in this state that, paradoxically, it came to enchant the great Romantic-era writers and travellers of the 19th century, such as Washington Irving, Alexandre Dumas and Theophilus Gautier. Through their memoirs and travel journals, they acquainted the world with the charms of this unique place, impelling the Spanish authorities to repair this monument that was so highly valued and appreciated in other countries.
Beginning in the reign of Queen Isabella II and throughout much of the 20th century, efforts were made to restore the Alhambra to its former splendour and magnificence, with all manner of reconstructions and repairs undertaken, sometimes with little success, given that some of the incorporated elements were unconnected with the original constructions of the first centuries of Moorish domination.
The Alhambra – the jewel of the Nasrid kingdom, symbol of Granada and Spain, and the most visited monument in this country – was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. “Tears came to my eyes, and they were not tears of sorrow or joy, they were tears of the fullness of silent and hidden life for being in Granada.” Miguel de Unamuno.