Over the Pyrenees Into Spain

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R. Bentley, 1865 - France - 361 pages
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Page 299 - Certainly never was there an edifice accomplished in a superior style of barbaric magnificence; and the stranger who, even at the present day, wanders among its silent and deserted courts and ruined halls, gazes with astonishment at its gilded and fretted domes and luxurious decorations, still retaining their brilliancy and beauty, in defiance of the ravages of time.
Page 300 - The declivities and skirts of the two hills were covered with houses to the number of seventy thousand, separated by narrow streets and small squares, according to the custom of Moorish cities. The houses had interior courts and gardens, refreshed by fountains and running streams, and set out with oranges, citrons, and pomegranates ; so that, as the edifices of the city rose above each other on the sides of the hill, they presented a mingled appearance of city and grove delightful to the eye. The...
Page 301 - The vine clambered from tree to tree, the grapes hung in rich clusters about the peasants' cottages, and the groves were rejoiced by the perpetual song of the nightingale. In a word, so beautiful was the earth, so pure the air, and so serene...
Page 299 - The city of Granada lay in the centre of the kingdom, sheltered, as it were, in the lap of the Sierra Nevada, or chain of snowy mountains. It covered two lofty hills, and a deep valley that divides them, through which flows the river Darro. One of these hills was crowned by the royal palace and fortress of the Alhambra, capable of containing forty thousand men within its walls and towers. Never was there an edifice accomplished in a superior style of barbaric magnificence ; and the stranger who,...
Page 298 - ... verdant valleys, where the sterility of the surrounding heights was repaid by prodigal fertility. The city of Granada lay in the centre of the kingdom, sheltered as it were in the lap of the Sierra Nevada, or chain of snowy mountains.
Page 243 - Strabo (Hi. 219). The salt pinnacles shoot forth from a brownish earth, like a quarry of marble dislocated by gunpowder. The colours of these saline glaciers vary extremely, and are brilliant in proportion as the weather is clear. When the sun shines they look like stalactites turned upside down, and are quite prismatic, with rainbow tints of reds and blues. It seems a Sindbad valley of precious stones.
Page 300 - The houses had interior courts and gardens, refreshed by fountains and running streams, and set out with oranges, citrons, and pomegranates ; so that, as the edifices of the city rose above each other on the sides of the hill, they presented a mingled appearance of city and grove delightful to the eye. The whole was surrounded by high walls, three leagues in circuit, with twelve gates, and fortified by a thousand and thirty towers. The elevation of the city, and the neighbourhood of the Sierra Nevada,...
Page 244 - Visit the farad mico, the hole of the squirrel, said to be a mile in depth. The miners make little articles of this salt, as is done with the fluor-spars in Derbyshire, which never liquefy in the dry air of Spain.
Page 301 - It was a vast garden of delight, refreshed by numerous fountains, and by the silver windings of the Xenil. The labour and ingenuity of the Moors had diverted the waters of this river into thousands of rills and streams, and diffused them over the whole surface of the plain. Indeed they had wrought up this happy region to a degree of wonderful prosperity, and took a pride in decorating it, as if it had been a favourite mistress.
Page 248 - El aire de Madrid es tan sotil Que mata a un hombre, y no apaga a un candil."* All around, the countryis utterly barren and hideous.

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