An opportunity for children to discover the Alhambra this summer

The Director of the Alhambra, Reynaldo Fernández Manzano, visits the schoolchildren taking part in the ‘Summer at the Alhambra’ educational programme, which comes to an end next Friday.

Over 260 children, from 6 to 17 years old have been taking part this year in the ‘Summer at the Alhambra’ educational programme. This activity has been held over successive weeks since 4th July and consists of tours around different parts of the Alhambra, some of which are normally closed to the public, and in educational workshops that allow the children and young people to get a closer view of the Monument from different perspectives.
This morning, the Director of the Council of the Alhambra and Generalife, Reynaldo Fernández Manzano, visited the children in the Tower of the Princesses (Torre de las Infantas) and joined them in an activity about Arabic calligraphy and painting: “Children are the future and it is very important to make them aware from a young age of just how important it is to protect and take care of our heritage. It is amazing how much they have learnt in one week!”
            The children taking part in these leisure and educational activities are mainly from Granada and the surrounding towns and villages, although there are some from other Andalusian provinces such as Cádiz and Almería; and more distant cities such as Ávila and Barcelona. Some children have even come from abroad, from places such as Edinburgh and the United States. These children are either temporarily resident in Granada or are spending their summer holidays visiting relatives in Spain. We are pleased that a high percentage of the children and young people are returning for another summer at the Alhambra.
            A new idea this year was to change the names of the groups, distributed according to the age of the children. The groups are now called Arrayanes (for 6 to 9 year olds); Atauriques (for 10 to 13 year olds) and Alarifes (for 14 to 17 year olds). According to Mari Luz Díaz, the person in charge of the programme, the idea of giving the groups Arabic names was to “enrich the children’s vocabulary and make them aware of the huge number of words in Spanish that were inherited from Arabic”.
The Alhambra also organized a workshop to encourage reading based on the famous Tales of the Alhambra by the American writer Washington Irving, in which the children visited the Puerta de los Siete Suelos and the different Towers of the Alhambra; a workshop to learn how to make rammed earth and another on gender entitled “He is crying like a man for what he was unable to defend like a woman”, which aroused “a lot of interest amongst the older kids”, said Mari Luz Díaz.
Another new part of this year’s ‘Summer at the Alhambra’ was a tour around the Forgotten Palaces, like the Dar-al-Arusa and the Silla del Moro. The activity lasted for one week from 8:45 to 15:15, during which the children are guided by Heritage Experts.

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