The breathtaking Palace and gardens of Granada’s Alhambra and Generalife , the epitome of an Arabian dream located in the South of Spain.
From the Moorish era in Spain
500 years of Moorish rule have left a profound mark, particularly in the South of the peninsula.
The Alhambra is often referred to as the Crown Jewel or a pearl set in emeralds.
Originally built as a fortress in 889 on one of the seven hills surrounding Granada.
Converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.
It has served as the abode of the rulers of the Nasrid dynasty until the reconquest by Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand in 1492.
An UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, the Alhambra is the most significant example of Arab Islamic architecture in Europe.
Approach from the city either by foot or by car and enter the complex through La Puerta de Los Granadas.
Follow a steep climb to the Puerta de La Justica, a massive arch to enter the Alhambra proper.
Over the centuries many buildings have been added on to the original fortress, so there is no general ‘floor plan’.
However each addition was designed with a view of creating a paradise on earth, with all the rooms of the royal quarters opening on to a central courtyard.
Walls and ceilings are covered with tiles, arabesques and calligraphy often in red, blue and gold.
Intricate stone carvings alternate with mosaics and scriptures from the Koran.
The Alhambra rests on a platform and the entire complex is completely walled in interspersed by 13 towers.
Some are watch towers and some serve purely recreational purposes.
Courtyard of the Lion
The most famous features is no doubt the Court of the Lions.
A courtyard decorated with a huge fountain made of alabaster, supported by twelve lions carved from marble.
The lions symbolize the power and influence of the dynasty.