The reddish walls are precisely those who gave it the name that was to become one of the most beautiful places on earth: Alhambra (Red Castle in Arabic). It is believed that even before the existence of the palace, in the same area it was located a walled whole, taking advantage of its strategic position that dominates the skyline.
To speak of the first data conserved about the Alhambra, we must go back to 889, in the 9th century, when Sawwar ben Hamdun took refuge first in the Alcazaba, repairing it from the damage suffered by the struggles and wars of the Cordoba Caliphate. Thanks to the works and arrangements, the site began to widen itself gradually. Two centuries later, it had grown so much that it joined the city, becoming its military strength. However, it was not until the 13th century when the Alhambra Palace became the official royal residence, a fact that led to the rise to its golden age. In the coming years, the 'Vela' Tower, some warehouses, depots and a Mosque were built up. Years Later, in the 14th century, they built all the most famous buildings, as the Comares Hall or the Court of the Lions.
Already at the time of the Catholic Kings, the Palace of Carlos V, adjacent to the rest of the set, with the rooms of the emperor and the Peinador de la Reina, was built. During the French domination in Spanish lands, parts of the complex were blown and there did not begin to be restored until the 19th century. At present, the Alhambra is one of the most visited places in the world.
A trip to Granada needs indispensably a visit to the spectacular Alhambra to be completed. The usual route is about 3.5km and 3 hours walk, and it consists of the following spaces:
It is the military area of the complex and one of its oldest parts, headed by the famous 'Vela' Tower, with its 27 meters high that offers spectacular views of the city with Sierra Nevada ('snowy range') as a backdrop. Other places included in the same visit are the Arms Square, the Adarve of the Wall or the Adarves Gardens, also with wonderful views.
The Nasrid Palaces
Probably the best known area for travelers who reach the Alhambra. It consists of three palaces of different times: Palace of the Mexuar, the oldest with the Oratory, the Golden Room and the Mexuar Patio; Comares Palace, where the throne room was located and where you can still visit the Barca Room and the Hall of Ambassadors, and the Lions Palace, the finest example of Nasrid art, with the Hall of Mocárabes, the famous Court of the Lions, the Boards of the Abencerrajes, Kings, Two Sisters and Ajimeces. Besides these three palaces within the same area one may also discover the Palace of the Emperor, built in the time of Charles V and the Partal, with the Palace of Yusuf III and the Towers Walk.
Generalife Garden is probably the most magical place around the architectural ensemble. Built to be the playground of Granada kings, it ia formed by the Lower Gardens, the Generalife Palace and the Upper Gardens and all of them are a true spectacle of beautiful fountains, herbs, colors and sensations.
How to get there:
- By bus: Line C3-C4 with public buses in Granada.
- Walk: Cuesta Gomérez / Cuesta del Realejo / Cuesta de los Chinos.
- Tourist Train GranadaCityTour
October 15 to March 14, Monday to Sunday from 8:30h to 18h / Friday and Saturday night visit from 20h to 21:30h
March 15 to October 14, Monday to Sunday from 8:30h to 20h / Friday and Saturday night visit from 22h to 23:30h
Tickets can be purchased through the website www.alhambra-tickets.es, by calling 902 888 001 or +34 958 92 60 31 or at the Shop of the Alhambra (Calle Reyes Catolicos N40, Granada).
The capacity of visit is limited (300 people every half hour), so it is very necessary to buy the ticket in advance and be at the entrance doors at least an hour before the start of the visit.
Visit the official website of the Patronato de la Alhambra.