First Congregational Church
40 S. Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, New Jersey 07042
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About this event

In the spring of 1829, the great American writer Washington Irving, visited Spain. His travels took him to the Alhambra. An unparalleled work of architecture from the glorious days of Islamic Al-Andalus, the Alhambra in the early 19th century was a derelict structure, virtually in ruins, home to thieves, beggars, vagabonds, and covered with the graffiti of travelers. Irving’s subsequent articles on the need to preserve the Alhambra, and his book, “Tales of The Alhambra,” filled with notes of his travels in Andalusia, as well as legends and folktales from the region, awakened the European conscience that this incredible piece of Spanish history must be recovered. It sparked the restoration and preservation of this magnificent palace. Thus was the Alhambra saved.

“Impressions of The Alhambra,” brings Washington Irving’s words to life. Through excerpts of selected passages and adaptations of legends from his book, this evening-length new work transports the audience to Spain, as experienced by Irving on his travels. The audience will relish his exquisite use of descriptive language through spoken word, while visually seeing his impressions, and legends of the Alhambra’s lore come alive through Middle Eastern and Spanish dance.  A bounty of projections of historical paintings set the scene and carry you to a different world – the world of the Alhambra!


Made possible by funds from the Essex County Division of Cultural Affairs, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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