Sunday Special – The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

In the Andalusian city of Granada you can see the stately Alhambra, a red-brick fortress and former residence of kings standing on the rocky hillside overlooking the River Darro.  It’s name in Arabic, qa’lat al-Hamra, translates as The Red Castle, reflecting the colour of the fortress.  Considered one of the finest examples of Muslim architecture in all of Spain it  is not a surprise that it is one of the most visited places in the country.  The history surrounding this complex spans centuries. Historical records indicate that it was built in the 9th century CE as a minor military fortress though its illustrious history truly began when it was rebuilt in the 13th century and a royal residence was constructed by the Nasrids. Reconstruction the oldest part of the complex (the Alcazaba) took place along with additions of towers and ramparts. Through the centuries it became a citadel with the adding of courts, royal palaces, a medina, army barracks, gardens, and more. It grew in size and splendour.  Later constructions were in the Renaissance style, during the time when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella held court there. In the early 1500s Charles V tore down and began building a new palace that bears his name.  Time went on and the fortress was eventually abandoned through the 1800s and even Napolean had a hand in the destruction of a portion of this incredible complex. Seemingly lost, Alhambra was found again in the 1900s. Extensive restoration of the complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1984 has given life once again to the is fine example of Moorish design. 

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Inside a Nasrid Palace in Alhambra – Photo credit: Ronny SiegelAlhambra in Granada 011CC BY-SA 4.0
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Alhambra at night – Granda, Spain – Photo credit: Javier rodriguez jimenez037 (2)fotofrafia nocturna del patio de los leonesCC BY-SA 4.0
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Alcazaba portion of Alhambra, Spain – Photo JebulonAlcazaba, Alhambra, Granada, SpainCC0 1.0

 

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