How did a writer become famous in the world?

The Alhambra in Granada is now the most visited monument in all of Spain. However, 200 years ago, it was nothing more than a tiny ruin. Then the American writer Washington Irving visited the monument, and raised with his books what was likely the first great boom of tourism in the world.

If you visit the world-famous Moorish castle in the Spanish city of Granada, you will most likely notice the name Washington Irving. A quick search reveals that this is an American writer. A memorial plaque and a statue are dedicated to him here. but why? Answer: It was Irving who transformed the Alhambra from a dilapidated ruin into the most visited attraction in Spain today. But first things first.

When was the Alhambra Palace in Granada built?

The Alhambra was built in 889 on the ruins of a Roman fort. Then in the middle of the thirteenth century, Prince Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar rehabilitated the castle, which was turned into a royal palace in 1333 by order of Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. In the following centuries, the palace was repeatedly expanded, but was also often destroyed. As well as at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

A little later, in the spring of 1828, Washington Irving traveled to Granada with a friend from the Russian Embassy in Seville. According to Alhambra Info, Irving had been in Spain as an employee of the US Embassy since 1826, and visited Europe on study trips between 1804 and 1806. When he arrived in Granada he had made a name for himself as a journalist and author. But even he himself does not doubt that his trip to the ancient royal Moroccan city will change his life forever. So is the fate of the Alhambra.

The first tourism boom in the world

The magnificent gardens are just one of the treasures of the AlhambraPhoto: Getty Images

Fascinated by the beautiful but completely insignificant castle, Irving decided to take up residence in the Alhambra. He moves to a pension there, studies its history, wanders its walls and talks to the locals. He weaves his findings into a book that alternates between fact and fiction and also repeats the many intertwined myths about the world-famous castle today. “Tales of the Alhambra” (originally “Tales of the Alhambra”) appeared in 1832, when Irving had already moved to London. And so begins what may be the world’s first major tourism boom.

Also interesting: a German witch’s castle with a cruel past

Because Irving’s book was a worldwide hit. To date, it has been published millions of times and translated into countless languages. According to the Alhambra Patronato website, Irving’s drawings of the Alhambra create in the minds of his readers the image of a symbolic monument to ancient and romantic Spain. The castle thus becomes “a dreamlike and mysterious place that offers visitors an opportunity to evoke the past from the experiences of the present.”

Alhambra Palace
Since 2009, there has been a statue of author Washington Irving on the grounds of the Alhambra. Immortalized the castle in his booksPhoto: Getty Images

Thanks to his book, Irving became the first internationally acclaimed American writer. From 1842 to 1845 he returned to Spain as ambassador to the United States. A revised version of his masterpiece was published in 1851 under the title “Legends of the Alhambra”.

How many visitors to the Alhambra in Granada each year?

As a result, more and more people want to see the Alhambra in Irving with their own eyes. Today it is the most visited monument in Spain, according to the official website of the city of Granada. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.

Every year, several million people now visit the “Red Castle”, as the name means the Alhambra. Washington Irving also has some credit for the fact that it is so well preserved today, nearly 800 years after construction began. Because in his book he not only told the story of the place, but also warned of the importance of preserving it as a cultural heritage. So, in 2009, Irving’s statue was opened on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the author’s death. On its base is the inscription “Hijo de la Alhambra”. son of red

Also interesting: Huska Castle in the Czech Republicmeen: the entrance to the United Nationsground?

This is where you will find content from Maps4News

In order to interact with or view content from Maps4News, we need your consent.

Granada still pays homage to the man who, like everyone else, helped make the city one of Spain’s biggest tourist attractions. Among others, there is the “Aurea Washington Irving Hotel”. The path the author then took from Seville to Granada is now an official hiking route of about 250 kilometres. And so the circle closes beautifully. First Washington Irving immortalized the Alhambra – then their stories.

How much does it cost to enter the Alhambra in Granada?

Visitors can choose a day tour, garden tour, or evening tour. The cost of the day tour is 14 euros at the standard rate, the gardens can be seen for 7 euros at the standard rate, and the evening tour costs 8 euros at the standard rate. Here is the list of discounts.

Leave a Comment