The Alhambra Palace, Granada

Within Andalucía, our neighbouring province is Granada, meaning that we only live about a 90 minute drive from Granada,  one of Spain’s most beautiful cities.  Granada offers great architecture, wonderful views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere.  The city is well worth of a few days of anyone´s time.

Snow on the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada - even in July

What I want to tell you about in this post, is the amazing Alhambra Palace, constructed during the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada in al-Andalus, and  occupying the top of the hill of the Assabica, on the south-eastern border of the city of Granada.

Alhambra from San Nicolas

After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the Alhambra was “re-discovered” in the 19th century by European scholars and travellers, when restorations commenced.  It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country’s most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions.  As you might expect, the Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Generalife Gardens, Alhambra Palace, Granada

During our visit last summer, we opted for early morning entry into the Alhambra, to escape the fierce heat of the coming day, so it made sense to start off outside in the beautiful Generalife Gardens (the name is pronounced heneraliffi, and definitely not general life!)

Generalife Gardens, Alhambra Palace

Within the Alhambra Palace, Granada

The decorations within the palaces typify the remains of Moorish dominion within Spain, which ushered in the last great period of Andalusian art in Granada.  Take a look at the stunning Islamic arches in the photos.

Islamic arches in the Alhambra Palace, Granada

Stunning arches in the Alhambra Palace, Granada

The Alhambra resembles many medieval Christian strongholds in its threefold arrangement as a castle, a palace and a residential annex for subordinates, with the  alcazaba being its oldest part.  Only the massive outer walls, towers and ramparts are left. We climbed the watchtower of the Alcazaba, the Torre de la Vela, 25 m (85 ft) high, for magnificent views over the city, including the old fortified walls of the city of Granada.

Old city walls, Granada

Granada city viewed from the Alhambra Palace

Whilst you´re here, why not have a look at:

Venturing further afield: A long weekend in Zaragoza

The Buddhist Stupa of the Eastern Costa del Sol

A Weekend Away: Santiago de Compostela

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31 thoughts on “The Alhambra Palace, Granada

  1. Pingback: Ski-ing in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada, Spain | East of Málaga

  2. Pingback: Málaga´s Botanical Gardens: Can you dig it? « East of Málaga

    • The Alhambra is a very special place to visit. I´ve been a couple of times (and will no doubt go again sometime) and it´s amazing how there is always something new to discover.

      No wonder it´s such a popular tourist attraction within Spain.

  3. Adore the Alhambra! I lived in Granada for one year and took advantage of the free Sunday visits to the palace (just for residents). Its so beautiful and its true what they say – its mood is different depending on the season, the time of day….
    Love the post! Long live Granada, and beautiful Andalucía 🙂

  4. Pingback: Sweet memories: San Joaquín sugar mill « East of Málaga

  5. Thanks Shantaya. It´s always nice to find new places or areas to visit – and sometimes, they are not always the ones that everyone talks about.

    Glad you enjoyed your visit. 🙂

  6. No wonder it’s one of Spain’s major tourist attractions. I hope to visit this cultural-rich place in the near future. Thank you for the beautiful photos!

  7. Thanks for saying that, Naomi – I appreciate it, very much.

    The Alhambra Palace is a magical place to visit, but you already know that, don´t you? 😉

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  9. You´ve got me thinking – I might just give it a try. Perhaps you were just the push I needed! I love taking photos too. Some come out very well whilst others are hopeless. Thank goodness they are digital these days rather than rolls of 24 on a film!

    Buen viaje (good travels) home, later today and thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  10. Lovely shots. I went here in the late 90’s and was in awe. Thanks for bringing back good memories 🙂
    Do you do any of the photo challenges? You should! You have some amazing pictures.
    Thanks for also stopping by my blog CTB 😀

  11. I guess the outskirts of many cities are not very appealing. I love the city centre of Granada with its rich multicultural history and great tapas bars. Did you manage to make it up to the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains? They are spectacular too, especially in winter, though there is usually a little remaining snow even at this time of year. There certain was three weeks ago when we were last there 🙂

  12. How can you not love the Alhambra? It’s staggeringly beautiful. But I didn’t feel a fondness for Granada itself. The tall, draughty streets and sprawling industrial surround were not at all what I expected. That little kernel at the heart, though, from the riverbanks on up. Quite magical.

  13. All is well here in sunny Spain. The weather has improved greatly during the past couple of weeks and we are now experiencing summer temperatures.

    Life is good!

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