Built on the hill overlooking city of Grenada, the massive fortress Alhambra is the most visited tourist spot in Spain.
The name fortress is not very appropriate, the huge walls surround the splendour palaces of Moorish rulers of Grenada, the only existing Medieval palace of Islamic culture in the world.
The first works on the new residence of Nasir family started over thousand years ago. The palace has been continuously enlarged and rebuilt with new generations till 14th century, when Grenada became one of the largest European cities. The kingdom of Grenada fell to Spain in 1492. The following century brings the end of Muslim presence in the city, but Alhambra remains almost untouched admired by the Spanish rulers.
In 19th century the palaces were left to slowly deteriorate, until the book ‘Tales from Alhambra’ published by American Washington Irving helped to rise the funds necessary for renovation.
The tickets are covering three separate parts of Alhambra :
the magnificent gardens Generalife, the oldest part Alcazaba.
and the Nasir palaces with the Renaissance addition commissioned by Charles V, where today are the museum expositions.
The majestic Hall of Ambassadors where the throne was, features the ceiling made of 8 017 pieces of Lebanese cedar tree.
The walls of the palace are lavishly adorned with wooden or stucco geometric patterns as well as Arabic inscriptions.
Probably the most celebrated of Alhambra’s squares is Courtyard of Lions with twelve lion sculptures spitting the water into the middle of the fountain.
The Palace of Comares features the spectacular facade, which rises above the Golden Courtyard.
On the photo you can see the oldest part of Palace called the Partal.
Everyday there are between 7 to 10 thousand of visitors in Alhambra, and as the government limits daily number of guests it is advisable to make a reservation far in advance, or use the services of local guides.
Newertheless, the full complex requires over the half day to be seen properly.