The Alhambra was the Moorish rulers' home and fortification in Granada. The name Alhambra, which means "the red" in Arabic, is most likely derived from the reddish tint of the tapia (rammed dirt) used to construct the outside walls. Tapia is the Spanish word for "earth" or "soil."
The Alhambra is made up of gardens, buildings, and parks. It includes a palace, a military fortress, and a community of small houses called aljibes (singular: aljebe). The original name of the city was Guadix. In 756, the Moors renamed it Granada after their kingdom.
The Alhambra is a World Heritage Site. It's considered the best preserved medieval European monument outside of Europe.
The Alhambra is important because it shows us how different cultures have lived together in peace and harmony. The Moors built the Alhambra and the Christians rebuilt it several times. They also incorporated many features from the Moors' building style into their own architecture. For example, they used square towers instead of round ones like the Muslims did.
The Alhambra is made of stone and has been considered a valuable resource since it was built over 700 years ago. The stones were taken from local mountains and can be seen in the palace garden today.
Alhambra de Granada/Province
The Alhambra is a historic palace, castle, and citadel in Granada, Spain. The location was called for the reddish walls and towers that ringed the citadel: al-qal'a al-hamra means "red fort or castle" in Arabic.
Originally intended as a military zone, the Alhambra became the royal seat and court of Granada in the mid-13th century, with the creation of the Nasrid Kingdom and the construction of the first palace by the founding monarch, Mohammed ibn Yusuf Ben Nasr, also known as Alhamar. The palace was expanded over time by subsequent rulers, including Muley-Abelard, who is regarded as one of the greatest builders in Spanish history.
The complex consisted of palaces, gardens, public squares, and other buildings designed to reflect the glory of Islam and include some of the most beautiful mosques and libraries in Europe. It was also home to many poets, writers, scientists, and artists during its golden age. The palace and city of Granada fell into disrepair after the expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Spain in 1492. In 1844, Charles III of Spain ordered that the entire site be destroyed; only two palaces were saved from destruction: the Palace of the Generalife and the Alcazaba. The present-day village of Grazalema near Granada has retained much of its medieval character and is now inhabited mainly by elderly people who live in traditional almudeva houses.
Granada has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its importance for cultural heritage. Today, the site remains an important museum area with several museums devoted to science, art, and archaeology.
The architecture of Alhambra is all-encompassing. Spain's Moorish architecture is notable for its complex plaster and stucco works, some of which were originally in marble. The honeycomb and stalactite patterns, non-classical columns, and open grandeur all create an indelible impact on each visitor.
Marble was the material of choice for Alhambra's architects because of its beauty and quality. But also because it was very resistant to heat and humidity, which made it ideal for building projects in the Granada area that could be exposed to weather changes throughout the year.
Alhambra's architects took advantage of this stone's qualities by creating intricate marbled designs that fill the walls and ceilings of the palaces and buildings. These designs were created using various techniques including needlepoint, marquetry (the art of cutting patterns into wood), and stenciling (using a template or hand-painted design).
Once completed, the marble would be painted using natural ingredients such as egg yolk, sand, clay, and so on. The colors used vary from palace to palace but generally include red, yellow, blue, white, and black. Some rooms may have additional colors added during restoration work done over time to refresh the look of the space.
Alhambra's architectural gem can be enjoyed today across its two parks: the central part of the city park and the southern part of the royal garden.
Alhambra Palace/Functional Use: Alhambra serves as a museum, hotel, and function center. It is most famous for its large palace complex that contains more than 100 rooms, including an auditorium that can fit up to 5,000 people.
Alhambra is located about 40 minutes by car from Madrid city center. It is easiest to reach by bus from central Madrid; there are regular services throughout the day from several locations, including Avenida de la Universidad 30, near Calle Princesa. Buses leave when full, so it's best to buy a ticket in advance if you plan to travel by bus.
The cost of a one-way trip on public transportation is approximately 3.50 euros. There are no discounts for students or children under 12 years old. Tickets must be validated at the end of the journey in the same place you bought them, but there are vending machines at some stops that will do this for you.
Alhambra is a popular destination with tourists who want to see a royal residence inside a historic palace compound. The largest inner courtyard can be found inside the main building of the complex.