Nestled in the mountains of southwestern Andalucia, Granada's magnificent Alhambra palace represents the last hurrah of Moorish architecture in Spain, but what a last hurrah! Delicate and intricate, the Alhambra feels like something from a dream.
This episode, I talk about Muhammad V, who survived a coup, exile, murderous intrigue and cruel allies to inspire and create the most splendid part of the Alhambra. Fun with assassinations!
And I'll talk about my favorite food on earth: jamón ibérico. And tortilla española for the vegetarians. The Alhambra is my favorite place on the list, and I hope my enthusiasm comes through.
Fernández-Puertas, Antonio. “The Three Great Sultans of Al-Dawla Al-Ismā'īliyya Al-Naṣriyya Who Built the Fourteenth-Century Alhambra: Ismā'īl I, Yūsuf I, Muḥammad V (713-793/1314-1391).” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 7, no. 1, 1997, pp. 1–25.
Irving, Washington. The Alhambra
Lowney, Chris. A Vanished World: Medieval Spain's Golden Age of Enlightenment
Menocal, Maria Rosa. The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created A Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
Noble, Isabella. Lonely Planet Andalucía
Photograph by Oscarmu90
It was the world's tallest building, 632 years after work started: an exercise in persistence. Cologne Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece.
Cologne itself is a good place to tell the story of the 13th century's great disaster: the Black Death, and the social upheaval it brought, including the pogroms that swept through the Rhineland.
Willem Fromm of the History of Cologne podcast brings a local perspective to his home city, its magnificent cathedral and its 2000 years of history. And beer! And potato soup!
Di Duca, Marc. Lonely Planet Germany
Kelly, John. The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time
Orent, Wendy. Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World's Most Dangerous Disease
Ozment, Steven E. A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People
Rick Steves Germany
Photo by Nikolai Karaneschev