La Alhambra: Most Famous Andalusian Palace

The most famous Anadalusian Palace that belonged to the last Muslim state of Andalasia, La Alhambra is one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in Spain. The construction of the palace began in 1238 and from that point on it was the home of Nasrid kings for 250 years.

la alhambra

La Alhambra was a defensive fort at the beginning but it slowly turned into a palace in the decades following its foundation. Its location, a rock hill, provided security while the forest below made it a beautiful sight to look at. Moreover, the interior design of La Alhambra was quite beautiful as well. Handmade carvings, gardens, fountains, a huge courtyard, tile decorations gave La Alhambra an atmosphere that few buildings could ever match.

la alhambra exterior
Víctor Yepes

The name of the palace comes from an Arabic word which means red castle. This is a peculiar name choice since the exterior of the palace is not in fact red. Many people have speculated about the reason why this name was chosen. Some believe that it is because while during moonlight the palace looks silver during daylight it looks golden. On the other hand, some scholars reported that the palace was built under the light of torches and this was the reason.

la alhambra towers

In the 19th century, La Alhambra became a source of inspiration for authors of Romantic tradition. Many authors from Britain visited the palace and gave it a place in their writings.

la alhambra entrance

After the fall of Andalusian states, the palace went under control of the Spaniards. However, due to conflicts and wars, the palace soon fell into despair. During the war with Napoleon, the French army even destroyed some parts of the palace too. Some time after the war, British travelers rediscovered La Alhambra. In the 19th century, a renovation effort started to give the palace its former glory. The renovations succeeded as La Alhambra is one of the most popular places in Spain and also found itself a place in UNESCO Heritage List.

la alhambra and the trees below

the palace interior
the palace columns
the hand made carvings in the palace
Jesús Guerra

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