thomas m wilson

Yet More Views of Granada

June 2nd, 2023

I was at the Carmen de los Martires the other day and it was a reminder of how it is usually individuals who create beauty, not government committees.  This was, long ago, a convent, but the gardens are mainly nineteenth century and since more than half a century this has been for the people of the city to enjoy, not private property.  But the materials – marble, stone, water, tiles, etc – are gorgeous, the arrangement of passageways and of fountains and avenues and wooden benches on which to recline – is lovely.  For a hot and arid climate it is a space of reflection and retreat and renewal.  If only Perth had more such spaces.  Europe can do this kind of thing so much better than Australia.  And yet it is not contemporary Europe that I thank for this kind of thing.  It is Europe of a hundred years ago to a thousand years ago… (The contemporaries generally build thing just as ugly and money-saving as they do in Australia.)

In Carmen de los Martires… Simple wooden benches with this shape are so relaxing to sit on and would be cheap and easy to introduce into public spaces in Australia – why don’t we do it?
Sacromonte Abbey, a steep walk up the valley behind the town, leads to this beautiful cloister where you can catch your breath.
El Monasterio de San Jerónimo – In this monastery I found a stone basin where the monks would wash themselves to purify themselves – Wash me entirely, says the Latin motto.
The third monastic cloister in the city, La Cartuja (the charterhouse) was a Carthusian monastery. Again its beautiful cloister is graced by orange trees and make the perfect place to sit and reflect.
Spain had its driest April in recorded history, but May brought some rain. Glistening cobbles on old European streets are still charming to me…
Relaxing in the patio of the Hospital Real – you can see the river stones used to create flooring in Granada’s courtyards.
Cat on a warm tiled roof…