If you are travelling to Andalusia in Spain, make some time to stop in the stunning Granada to discover one of the most famous attractions of the city: the Alhambra, an incredible fortress complex built by the Moorish monarchs of Granada.

Alhambra means “The Red” and comes from the Arabic Qalʿat al-ḥamrāʾThe Red Fortress“: this is probably due to the reddish colour of the outer walls, even though it can be also referred to the red beard of its founder, Muhammad ibn Nasr. In the XIII century he established the original unit of the complex, which was developed under his son and then reached the peak of its magnificence in the XIV century.

In 1492 the city was reconquered by the Catholic monarchs: fortunately they didn’t destroy the Alhambra as they had done with many other Moorish monuments. On the contrary, they occupied it and set themselves up there, gradually embellishing and expanding it.

Thanks to that, we can still visit the stunning complex and enjoy such a great piece of Muslim art.

So how did the Alhambra work?

Well, it was a proper fortified city within Granada and it included all the necessary services for citizens, like shops, schools, mosques and many more.

Let’s see the most important buildings to visit!

Alcazaba. It was the oldest part, the citadel built since the XI century: its function was essential as from here it was possible to control the surroundings and defend the Alhambra.

Palacios Nazaries. It includes three main parts built for different purposes: the Mexuar, with business and administrative functions, the Palacio de Comares, official residence of the king made of 9 rooms surrounding a big court called Patio de los Arrayanes (Court of the Myrtiles), and the Palacio de los Leones, with its central patio surrounded by several galleries to access different magnificent halls.

Baths. Reproducing the Roman thermal baths, these amazing Baños have been restored many times throughout the centuries and nowadays show the decorations from the Christian period.

Generalife. Beautiful villa where the sultans used to spend the summer, ideal place to relax and enjoy the amazing gardens and fountains around it.

After that, don’t miss the amazing gardens of Alhabra, where you can enjoy the beautiful view of Granada.

Look at some lovely pictures on Pinterest!

What a unique place! Ready to explore it?