Paradise on Earth (Alhambra part 2)
As I delight to walk in these “vain shadows,” I am prone to seek those parts of the Alhambra which are most favorable to this phantasmagoria of the mind; and none are more so than the Court of Lions, and its surrounding halls.
The court yard of lions has been called “Paradise on Earth”.
The Patio de los Leones (Court of the Lions) is an oblong court, 116 ft (35 m) in length by 66 ft (20 m), located in the middle of the patio. The lions fountain sends water in fours directions, pools it in a small spring and then recycles it. It’s an endless cycle, and no matter how hot the temperature may rise, this paradise always remains cool.
Court of the Lions and the Fabulous Fountain are supported by 124 white marble columns. The Moorish craftsmen placed lead fittings between the precut sections of the columns to allow these parts to flex during an earthquake, which prevent destruction of these columns during shakes.
The fountain in Alhambra does not spray water upwards with force like the western fountains. They built the fountain with quiet water currents that cooled the air. In the 18th Century, the water splashes added.
The peculiar charm of this dreamy old palace is its power of calling up vague reveries and picturings of the past, and thus clothing naked realities with the illusions of the memory and the imagination. — The Alhambra, by Washington Irving
It Is Perfectly Incomplete ( Alhambra part 1)