The Alhambra

The last stronghold of the Muslims in Spain

Granada is arguably one of the most worthwhile cities in Andalusia to be visited by tourists. It is a city rich in culture and history. This makes it not much different than other historical cities in Andalusia like Seville or Cordoba. But Granada stands out because of the Alhambra, without a doubt one of the top attractions for tourists in Spain.

For at least two thousand five hundred years Granada has been inhabited by humans all the times. Granada was established as the center of Al-Andalus in the year 711 after the conquest by the Moors. The Muslim introduced innovative agricultural and architectural technologies and the city quickly expanded. After the fall of Cordoba the construction of the Alhambra started. There are several museums in the city with interesting information about the Al-Andalus period.

Composed of many structures and overlooking the city of Granada the Alhambra is a huge medieval construction. It is split into four mayor attractions: the palace, the fortress (Alcazaba), the gardens (Generalife) and the Medina.

The Alhambra is considered the last stronghold of the Muslims in Spain, before they were expelled by the Catholic Kings. The ornamental architecture and the extraordinary design of gardens and palaces reflect the splendor of the Arab civilization which governed the area during more than 700 years. The vast complex of gardens, fortresses and palaces was the home of the Nashrid sultans during several centuries.

Without a doubt the Nashrid royal palace (Palacio Nazari) is the prime attraction of the monument. At nearly every turn tourist will get to see the unrivaled Muslim architecture and decoration.

The oldest part of the Alhambra is the Alcazaba. From this part of the fortress visitors enjoy panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada and the city of Granada.

The lush green gardens of the Generalife full of beautiful flowers are one of the finest examples of Moorish Gardens in the whole of Spain and a memorable way to finish a visit to the Alhambra.

Although the Alhambra offers a splendid view of the city of Granada, the best way to admire the Alhambra is visiting the Sacromonte or Albaicin, in particular the viewpoint called Mirador de San Nicolas. Set back against the Sierra Nevada mountain range from this viewpoint visitors can fully appreciate the spectacular location and the unique architecture of the Alhambra.

The number of visitors to the Alhambra is restricted and it is recommended to book in advance in order to avoid disappointments. There are different visiting periods, so make sure to check your ticket as access to the Alhambra is only possible within the assigned period so plan your visit accordingly.

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