Granada is, not only one of Spain's most beautiful cities, but it is also home of the world-famous Alhambra.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984, The Alhambra is an expansive complex of regally decorated palaces, perfectly pruned gardens, residences and a once-mighty fortress. Here in The Alhambra, imperial history abounds and visitors quickly sense both the cultural importance of this monument and the presence of ancient spirits that mysteriously linger.
This sprawling grandiose complex is situated atop Sabika Hill, a plateau located to the west of Granada that served as a strategic vantage point offering panoramic views over Granada, as well as breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains. When illuminated by the glimmering Spanish sun, the towers and walls glimmer radiantly in vivid shades of red and gold. Perhaps this trait is what earned the complex its name “Alhambra”, an Arabic word for “red castle or fort”.
According to limited historical records, origins of The Alhambra date back to the 9th century, when the once-mighty Moorish fortress, known as the Alcazaba, was built.
Construction of The Alhambra, as we know it today, was not only the work of one ruler, but a succession of rulers in the Nasrid Dynasty during their reign over Granada and parts of the Iberian Peninsula between 1238 to 1492. The Nasrid Dynasty was the last of the Muslim dynasties in Spain and the special architectural influence of Moorish culture is apparent throughout The Alhambra, as well as the surrounding region.
In 1492, centuries of Islamic rule ended in defeat of the last Nasrid ruler (Muhammed XII, known as Boabdil to Spanish historians) by King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castille in their Christian conquest of Granada. The end of this crusade marked a major turning point in world history – it resulted in the defeat of the last remaining Islamic Kingdom in Western Europe, led to the expulsion of the Moors from Granada and unified Spain under a Catholic monarchy. Shortly thereafter, the royal couple set their sights on discovery, sending Christopher Columbus on his first expedition. Together, this series of events influenced the course of world history and further solidified Spain’s prominence as an influential European power.
In the years that followed, The Alhambra was partially destroyed and rebuilt by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1519-1556) and King of Spain (as Charles I; 1516-1556), thus giving The Alhambra a unique blend of Moorish and Renaissance architecture.
During a visit to The Alhambra, one can see a number of sections including the Generalife Gardens (a collection of courtyards, pools, fountains and land used for both cultivation and grazing); the Alcazaba (the remainders of the fortress); Charles V Palace and surrounding areas; the Towers and higher Alhambra.
Guarantee your entry to The Alhambra with this excursion!
In high season, it is nearly impossible to get tickets for entry to The Alhambra, however, with this excursion we can guarantee you will have an entry ticket to this impressive monument.