Alhambra is a short form of the word “Calat Alhambra, the name given to a palace and fortress complex in Granada, Andalucia Spain. Your travel cannot be completed if you did not visit Alhambra in Granada Spain. It was designed as a military zone at the beginning, the Alhambra became the royal residence and court of Granada in the mid-13th century of the Moorish monarchs.
This place has 6,000 visitors per day so getting the ticket in advance is always a wise choice. You will notice your name printed out in the ticket too. Generally, people spend about 3-4 hours on the sites and you will have to walk for around 3 km or so in total. The best way to explore Alhambra is to have a local expert with in-depth knowledge of the fortress and garden.
2. Palace of Charles V/Palace of Carlos V
The first building you will see before you enter Alhambra is the Palace of Charles V, it has two museums inside. It is worth to pay a visit as your Alhambra ticket is also including this entrance.
King Carlos V wanted to have a Renaissance Palace near Alhambra Moorish fortress so he ordered Pedro Machuca, the architect from Toledo who has a strong love of the Renaissance style, also a student of Michelangelo in Rome.
The Palace is one of the first Renaissance building created outside of Italy, modeled on Florence’s equally massive Palazzo Pitti. The building is the cut-stone made, square shape and has a circular shaped courtyard in its interior.
The Construction took more than 110 years to build due to many reasons, earthquakes, and lack of fund. In fact, it was abandoned and became a ruin for sometimes during the 18th century. Finally, it gets restored and became a museum, hence no Spanish King ever live in this place before.
3. “Sierra Elvira” Stone Marble at the Palace of Carlos V
The central part of the two main facades is filled with stunning marble doorway. Marble from “Sierra Elvira” which was the most beautiful elements of Renaissance in Spain, widely used in the historical monument in the Andalucia region.
4. Who was Carlos V?
His full name is Carlos Quinto Charles the Fifth, grandson of Isabel and Ferdinand, who expelled the Moors, masterminded of the Inquisition, and financed Christopher Columbus voyages. He is the most powerful monarch in Europe. Married to Isabella of Portugal.
5. The view of Granada City
Alhambra is located on al-Sabika Hill which meaning giving view of the whole expansion of the city of Granada including the famous neighborhood -Albayzín! And that is where we had our flamenco show at night at the cave house.
6. Water System
One thing you will notice when you enter Alhambra is the water system. Fountains, pools and a lot of other water features can be found along the way.
Water seems to be part of Alhambra, the sound of the flowing stream and fountain do make the whole place so serene and music to the ears. It also cools down the whole palace.
The Generalife is located on the hill of Cerro del Sol, became a leisure place for the kings of Granada when they wanted to get away from the official affairs of the palace.
Generalife Palace and garden are separated from the rest of the Alhambra complex and it takes 20 mins walking through nice botanic gardens. Do search for the tall cypress trees in the garden.
8. Moorish Architecture
The best example of Morrish architecture can be seen in Alhambra.
9. Arabic inscriptions
Carved medieval walls with Arabic inscriptions that adorn them from floor to ceiling. So what do these words telling? “There is no victor but Allah” – is repeated hundreds of times on walls, arches and columns.
Orange Trees in Alhambra
10. Sunset at Alhambra
Alhambra is a must-visit when you come to Granada, the water system amazed you and create a calming effect and music to your ears. It also cools down the whole palace during the summertime.