Spiritual Coaching – Spiritual Places #7 Alhambra http://www.dennymeyer.me
In a world where spiritual divisions seem so pronounced, it is nice to know there was a time when people of religious diversity seemed to live, work, and worship in such a way that they could be at peace. Such a thought is evoked by the Alhambra in Spain. I was fortunate enough to travel there with my son several years ago. The Alhambra’s Islamic palaces were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain and its court, of the Nasrid dynasty. After the Reconquista by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, some portions were used by the Christian royalty. The Palace of Charles V, built by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1527, was constructed within the Alhambra. After being allowed to fall into neglect for centuries, the Alhambra was “re-discovered” in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers. It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country’s most significant Islamic architecture.
Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds.” The park is overgrown with wildflowers and grass in the spring, was planted by the Moors with roses, oranges and myrtles. The park has a multitude of nightingales and is usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades. Not only is it beautiful but it has a spiritual significance in the sense that scholars, poets, religious leaders, scientists, and those who governed were able to peacefully coexist for many years. That is something to strive for and to admire in any cultural setting. Jesus never avoided “Gentiles,” instead he shared God’s love equally with everyone. There is a lesson in that for all of us.