Granada resident Steven Nightingale excavates the rich past of his adopted city and of Al-Andalus, finding a story of utopian ecstasy, political intrigue, religious exaltation, and scorching anguish. Granada witnessed a flourishing of poetry, and constructed the Alhambra, one of the most celebrated buildings in Europe. Al-Andalus brought to Europe the first modern translations of Greek philosophy, advanced mathematics, science, medicine and music, as well as transcendent mystical texts. Yet Ferdinand and Isabel’s conquest of Granada in 1492 meant the end of the culture whose achievements would empower and enrich the rest of Europe.
In the story of Granada, Nightingale finds our story, all its violence and possibility and beauty, its spiritual longing and artful dreams. It is a story that shows how we can work together, and what we can create together. And how our best work can be destroyed.