In the city of Granada with the backdrop of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada lies Alhambra Palace and fortress, a wonder of significant Moorish architecture and gardens encapsulating Andalusian history.
Originally constructed as a fortress in 889 it was later converted to a royal palace in 1333.
The Alhambra’s Islamic palaces were built for the Nasrid Dynasty the last Muslim emirs of Spain. For centuries beyond 1530 the palaces lay in sad state of disrepair until they were rediscovered in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers.
What has emerged has become one of Spain’s major tourist attractions. Its popularity means that the 6,600 visitors per day are allocated a slot and tickets are sold accordingly. The order in which you visit the parts of the Alhambra will depend on what time you have been allocated for the Nasrid palaces which will be clearly indicated on your ticket.
Should you decide to take the option of a guided tour you will be in the safe hands of experts who have a rich knowledge of the monument and its history. Take great pleasure in walking the grounds and learning of its importance for Spain.
You will enter from the Generalife with its hillside position, its numerous viewpoints and the pavilions and patios which give way to glimpses of landscapes beyond and spectacular photographic opportunities, so be prepared.
Before arriving at the heart of the complex visitors will cross the bridge through Torre del Agua gate which brings you into the Alhambra proper with its fortified gateways, excavated residential districts and Arab bathhouse.
The three interconnecting palaces built for the Nasrid Kings in the 14th century lie beyond. The decoration of glazed tiles in black, red and deep greens with lines of the Koran in Arabic script that adorn the walls of creamy plaster reliefs with geometrical patterns seamlessly flow in one continuous line. The stillness beckons the millions of visitors a year to sit in wonder at its past.
The gardens full of wild flowers, oranges and roses decorate the many water fountains and features that sit in breathless harmony with the English Elms brought by the Duke of Wellington in 1812.
The Alhambra palace is a must when visiting Granada and will never disappoint. Take a good pair of walking shoes and get ready for a superb day.
Pre-booking tickets is advisable but not essential although if you don’t like queuing then visit alhambra-tickets.es for access to all the visitable spaces of the Monument: Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Generalife, Carlos V Palace, Public baths and the Mosque.