This famous architectural complex of the city of Granada constitutes a precious jewel of the Hispano-Arab legacy of the 13th and 14th centuries . This emblematic palace, the former residence of the Moorish kings, is located on the plateau of Mount Asabica, towards one end of the city.
The walls that surround the palace reach 10 meters in height, covering an area of approximately 800 meters in length by 500 in width. Like other walled cities, the Alhambra enjoyed autonomy from the city. It had all the necessary services to supply the population that resided there, such as workshops, mosques, schools, etc.
The exquisite decoration of this palatine city is a true delight for the senses. Its magnificent plasterwork, in which the Arabs were true masters, and its peculiar way of working with marble, make the Alhambra the culmination of Andalusian art.
Most emblematic buildings
The Alcazaba . Building for the defense and surveillance of the enclosure. It is one of the oldest buildings (11th century) and some of its most important elements include:
– Tower of tribute. Built on the highest part of the wall, about 22 meters high and 6 stories high inside. It could have been destined to be a defense operations center.
– Torre de la Vela. It is the largest defense tower in the entire complex.
Hall of the Ambassadors or Comares Hall . Built in the 14th century for the private audiences of the Sultan. It is the largest and highest room in the whole complex. All its walls are richly decorated with floral motifs, stars, shells and plaster writing. The windows were formerly closed by means of wooden lattices and stained glass windows ( cumarias ), hence the name of comares. The ceiling of the room, with a cubic shape, is a representation of the Universe according to Muslim culture. Made of cedar wood with star formations at different levels, it is one of the most attractive elements of the room.
Palace of the Lions . Its name is due to the muqarnas vault that covered it. Religious inscriptions in plasterwork cover the walls of this building. In the interior atrium, a gallery formed by 124 marble columns leads to the Patio de los Leones, famous for the fountain supported by four lions that contain different meanings or symbols.
Hall of the Abencerrajes . Former bedroom of the Sultan, without windows to the outside but exquisitely decorated. Preserves the stucco and original colors. Located in the center of the room, a small fountain served to reflect the cupola decorated with muqarnas.
Hall of the two Sisters . Its name comes from the two white marble slabs, located on both sides of the central fountain. They are the largest in the entire Alhambra complex and are the same in weight, size and color. The room has a viewpoint over the city and poems written on the walls.
Mirador de la Lindaraja. Overlooking the garden that bears the same name, it is one of the most richly decorated spaces in the entire complex.
Hall of the Kings . It is the longest room in the Harem, possibly used for family parties. In its central vault the first ten kings of Granada are represented since the founding of the kingdom, hence the name of the room.
Generalife . Landscaped villa, used by Muslim kings for rest. It was declared a World Heritage Site.
However, the elements described are just a small sample of the extreme beauty of one of the architectural jewels of our cultural legacy.