Rooves in the Albayzin - The typical patio.

Spanish German

Rooves in the Albayzin - The typical patio.

This is a typical shot taken from the Alhambra of rooves in the Albayzin. As you can see in the photo many houses have a central coutryard with a water feature surrounded by the stairs which all overlook the central area. Larger houses would even have some lemon trees. The houses are inward-focused, which allowed for family privacy and protection from the hot summers. Even at the hottest time of day in July and August the patio would be several degrees lower than the temperature in the street. This design principle found its root in Islamic notions of privacy. The women could relax inside the house without having to be covered up. The exterior windows which look onto the street are fairly small and the doors are often large and grandeous.
Note the spelling of the word "rooves" rather than roofs. Some people say that rooves is not correct. I like this comment by someone in an online forum: "To my ear and eye the word rooves is correct. How can I accept, after a lifetime of usage, the term roofs? I will not give up on rooves, no matter the social consequences."

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