10 Things to Know about Alhambra Palace in Granada

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Source: Jiuguang Wang

Alhambra Palace is without a doubt the most popular attraction in Granada. The original castle was built in 899, but it was eventually abandoned and ruined. However, it was renovated in the 11th century and it became one of the most important fortresses in that part of Spain. Alhambra’s location is strategic and you can see the entire surrounding area from the hill. Nowadays, Alhambra attracts thousands of visitors every single year and it still looks absolutely beautiful.

1. Location

alhambra
Source: Charlie Jackson

Alhambra Palace is located in the south eastern part of Granada. It is situated on a hill called al-Sabika and it is reachable from all parts of the city, as well as from the surrounding places. You can choose to drive to Alhambra, but you can always take a bus as well.

2. Buy the tickets in advance

Since this is a very popular tourist attraction, our advice is that you buy the tickets in advance just to make sure you’ll have access to the castle. You can book a group tour led by a tour guide, as well as the individual tickets that can be used at any time of the day.

3. The name

alhambra
Source: Nic McPhee

The original name of Alhambra Castle is Qal’at al-Hambra which means The Red Fortress. The name seems really fitting right now because even though the walls of the castle used to be white, they turned red over time by the influence of strong sunshine and particular weather conditions in Andalusia.

4. The rulers

Alhambra Castle has seen a large number of different rulers. Nasrid dynasty did play an important role in building the Alhambra we know today, but Christian rulers that came afterwards did leave their mark on the general look of the castle. Overall it is a wonderful mix of these cultures that give Alhambra an unforgettable look.

5. Court of the Myrtles

alhambra
Source: SuperCar

A wonderful feature called Court of the Myrtles is a pool located in the middle of Alhambra Castle. It was used as the water source as well as for cooling off the entire castle. As a matter of fact, it was a status symbol used to show everyone how powerful the ruler was because delivering water to the pool was pretty difficult back then.

6. Ambassadors Hall

Located in one of the biggest towers on the grounds, Ambassadors Hall played a crucial part in the modern day history. This was the location of the meeting between Christopher Columbus, Queen Isabella, and King Ferdinando at which Columbus received help for his big sailing adventure that would eventually lead to the discovery of America.

7. The Palace of the Lions

When we think about Alhambra Castle, we usually recall an image of a white fountain in a middle of a square surrounded with lions. The Palace of the Lions is a symbol of Alhambra and also a perfect example of the blend of the architectural styles that can be seen all around this castle.

8. The garden

Alhambra Castle also has a breathtaking garden located right inside the castle walls. It is planted on multiple levels and has wonderful pathways decorated in various mosaics, as well as plants such as palms, cypresses, pomegranate, and numerous blooming flower bushes that create a wonderful atmosphere by bringing lots of colors to this place.

9. Alhambra as inspiration

alhambra
Source: Gregorio Puga Bailón

Alhambra castle was mentioned in many literature works and it especially inspired Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra. As a matter of fact, Irving stayed in the castle while writing this book. Alhambra is mentioned in many songs and it can be seen in a couple of films, as well as in video games.

10. Importance

Today Alhambra Castle represents the important part of Spanish history and it is the perfect example of the combination of Islamic architecture with the later Christian influences in this country. It was rediscovered by explorers in the nineteenth century and since then it is a popular destination.

Alhambra Castle played a really important role in the history of Andalusia and it still continues to awe every single visitor with the unique architecture and the overall beauty of the castle. It is one of the Twelve Treasures of Spain and you simply have to visit it at least once in your lifetime.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Andalucia Province, Europe, Granada, Spain