9 feb. 2012

Alhambra Palace - Granada - Spain

The Alhambra was a palace, a citadel, a fortress and home of the Nasrid Sultans, high government officials, servants of the court and elite soldiers of the Nasrid Dynasty (1238-1492), the last Islamic sultanate in the lberian Peninsula. Together with the Mezquita (Great Mosque) of Cordoba, the Alhambra is one of the most widely known of all Islamic works of art.

The Nasrid Sultans chose as the site for their court the Sabika hill, one of the foothills of Sierra Nevada on the plain of Granada, which constituted an excellent site from which to keep watch over the capital of their kingdom and the surrounding area. From the beginning of the XIII century, the small older buildings, mainly watchtowers, some of which dated back to before the XI century, gradually grew into a huge walled site which clearly intended to be both palace and court.

Within this gradual change, different stages of development, grandeur and decadence can clearly be seen through the various works of art and buildings erected over the years. The Alhambra was not a single static construction, built at a specific date, but rather the result of an evolution, successive reforms and extensions.

Today, four groups of buildings can be identified on the Alhambra Palace hill: 

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5 Star Luxury in Granada

The luxurious Palacio de Santa Paula is housed in a historical building just a few minutes walk from Plaza Nueva

Cheap Rooms in Granada

Budget Accommodation Options in Family Run Hostals in the Centre of Granada Near the Alhambra Palace.

Alcazaba (Fortress)

This military fortress was built on the oldest site of the Alhambra and served a purely military purpose as it was situated on the highest part of the hill, watching over the surrounding area. Alcazaba Information

Palacios Nazaríes (Nasrid Palaces)

The highlight of your visit to the Alhambra Palace will be the time you spend in the these Royal Palaces which consist of a number of brilliantly designed and decorated function rooms and courtyards that were used by the Muslim rulers for different purposes. Nasrid Palaces Information

Generalife Gardens

Literally this means the garden of the architect. The area consists of beautiful gardens, fountains and patios where the Moorish leaders had their summer palace built. Generalife Gardens Information

Medina (town)

The Medina was created to house craftsmen and serve the needs of the court. It occupies the largest part of the walled area within the upper Alhambra and still conserves the ruins of several houses, baths and small workshops on its typical alleys and squares. Other Buildings 


More Information

A History of the Alhambra Palace
A History of Moorish Spain
Ticket Information for the Alhambra Palace
Visit the Mirador de San Nicolas for Great Views

Granada Hotels

We highly recommend the 5 Star AC Palacio de Santa Paula which is just a short stroll along the Gran Via from Plaza Nueva in the city centre. At the bottom of the the Alhambra Hill in Plaza Nueva is the very friendly 4 star Hotel Plaza Nueva which is ideally located. For a slightly cheaper option in the town try the 3 star Juan Miguel.