Alhambra – Granada, Spain
Part fortress, part palace, part garden and part government city the medieval complex of Alhambra overlooking the city of Grenada is one of the top tourist attractions in Spain. The eighth century old site was named for the reddish walls and towers that surrounded the citadel: al-qal’a al-hamra in Arabic means red fort or castle. It’s the only surviving city of the Islamic Golden Age and a remnant of the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Islamic kingdom in Western Europe.
Alhambra offers up stunning ornamental architecture, lush gardens, cascading water features and breathtaking views of the city. The impressive complex is deservedly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are the 4 primary attractions (there are many more and all you have to is explore)
Alcazaba – This is the oldest part of Alhambra. The ruins of this massive fortress sit atop the crest of a hill and provides the finest views of the entire city and the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Palace of Charles V – The most recent addition, this 16th century building was commissioned following the Reconquista by Charles as a royal residence close to the Alhambra Palace. It has an impressive circular courtyard and 2 museums inside.
Palacios Nazaries – The Nasrid royal palace and the primary attraction of the complex. It is a breathtakingly beautiful work or architecture. Visitors see spectacular archways and windows, carved wooden ceilings, intricate plaster work and colorful ceramic tiles everywhere. Washington Irving (you know – Rip Van Winkle, Legend of Sleepy Hollow) stayed here when he wrote his Tales of Alhambra.
Generalife (did you say General Life? – try it in Spanish) – This is the lush and gorgeous gardens of the Nasrid Kings positioned on a hill at the rear of the complex overlooking the Alhambra palace.
Here’s a great video on YouTube of the inside of Alhambra
Our visit was in 2019 with our grandson Aiden – you can see more about that trip on a prior blog post.