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2020-08-21 12:14:12

The Alhambra palace complex - the enchanting heritage of the Moorish emirs

The Alhambra palace complex - the enchanting heritage of the Moorish emirs

In the south of Spain there is an amazingly beautiful Alhambra palace and architectural complex - an invaluable heritage of the Moorish past. In the writings of the poets of the Middle Ages, it was described exclusively as an "emerald pearl." Today, the country's most famous and visited landmark was once the last resting place of the great Muslim Nasrid dynasty. The ancient palaces and gardens of the Alhambra are considered the highest achievement of Moorish architecture in Western Europe, attracting millions of travelers from all over the world!

General information

In the 13th century, the construction of a Moorish fortress, the Alhambra, began on the territory of the Granada Emirate. The construction of the palace took 150 years. Translated from Arabic, the name "Alhambra" sounds like "red castle".

From the outside, the palace-fortress looks like a formidable military bastion. However, one has only to look inside and see the beautiful palaces and gardens, and you will immediately find yourself in a wonderful Arabian fairy tale. A characteristic feature of the Alhambra is that it was built according to the principle of Muslim "hidden architecture": it is impossible to evaluate the castle from the outside, since all the most beautiful things are hidden inside and open only to residents and guests.

In 1492 the Grand fell and the Alhambra came under the rule of the Spanish crown. After that, to modernize the palace, part of the original buildings were demolished, and in the 18th century the fortress was completely abandoned and left to collapse.

The enchanting gardens of the Alhambra

In addition to the beautiful architecture, the Alhambra has amazing gardens. Some of them are part of one or another palace, but there are some, for example, Alarve. Located along the fortress walls, they amaze with their greenery and splendor, which is why they are often called the "forest of the Alhambra".

The picturesque gardens of the architectural and palace complex are harmoniously combined with courtyards, graceful arches, patterned carved windows, fountains and other decorative elements. Blooming flower beds, orange trees and cypress alleys, together with inland waterways and an amazing play of light, create a magical atmosphere!

Elements of the Moorish palace


The oldest part of the fortress, located on the top of the hill - it was here that the first rulers of the Nasrid dynasty lived. The Alcazaba has preserved the Observation Tower, which offers an amazing view of the city, the prison, the servants' houses and the water tank.

Nasrid Palace

The main place of residence of the Moorish dynasty. Most of it was built under Yusuf I: Komares, the Lion Palace and Meshuar were erected, which today delight tourists with their splendor.


350m. from the architectural and palace complex of the Alhambra was the official country residence of the emirs - the Generalife Palace. Unfortunately, the castle almost completely lost its original appearance, as in the Christian era it underwent frequent rebuilding, and later it was abandoned and lay in ruins for a long time.

Charles V palace

The palace of Charles V was built in the Italian Renaissance style and was considered the summer residence of the monarch. Its construction began in the 16th century after the Spanish took over power in Granada, as the old palaces did not meet the king's requirements. Today museums are located in this building.

Restoration of the palace complex

The first reconstruction of the Alhambra began in the 19th century. For 60 years, the Osorio dynasty of architects was engaged in the restoration of the architectural and palace complex. However, the first experience was unsuccessful: most of the elements of the palace were simply invented based on ideas about the Moorish architectural style. The second reconstruction, carried out by L. Balbas in the XX century, turned out to be more successful - the architect, using historical documents, corrected the mistakes of his predecessors.

Information for travelers

The architectural and palace complex of the Alhambra opens its doors to tourists according to the schedule:

  • Summer time: 08:30 - 20:00
  • Winter time: 08:30 - 18:00
  • Evening time: 20:00 - 21:30 or 22:00 - 23:30 depending on the season.

Ticket price:

  • Children under 12 years old - free
  • Children from 12 to 15 years old = 8 €
  • Adults = 14 €
  • Adults over 65 = 9 €
  • Persons with disabilities = 8 €
  • Evening visit = 8 €
  • Guided tour = 55 €.

Useful information when visiting the Alhambra:

  • The average duration of the route is approximately 3 hours
  • Tickets are valid only on the day of purchase, and their number is limited, so it is worth buying them in advance
  • The visit to the Alhambra is divided into 2 shifts: before 14:00 and after
  • The Nasrid Palace is open for visits only during the half-hour period indicated on the ticket
  • You can only take pictures without using a flash and a tripod
  • Smoking is prohibited on the territory of the palace complex, and you can drink and eat only in specially designated areas.

Interesting fact

On the fountain in the Lion's Courtyard of the Alhambra, the inscription has been preserved: "Look at the water and look at the reservoir, and you cannot decide whether the water is calm or marble flows". Most of all, the Moors appreciated water, therefore fountains, waterfalls and streams were an important part of their architecture.

Object type: palace complex.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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