The Alhambra is an array of buildings on a strategic hill southeast of old Granada.
Alhambra means the Red One in Arabic
and refers to the color of the soil.
In the 13th century Ibn al-Ahmar
, the first emir of Granada had old fortifications on
the hill restored and turned into the royal palace for the Nasrid dynasty.
His 22 successors spent considerable amounts of
time and money to further improve and enlarge the complex.
Subsequent rulers made substantial changes to the complex but
luckily for us they kept some of the original Nasrid buildings, decorations and mosaic tiles intact.
After centuries of neglect
and slow decay, restorations began in the 19th century and continue into the 21st century.
Today the Alhambra
stands out as one of the finest examples of Moorish art, drawing millions of visitors per year.
We visited the Alhambra
in November 2013
the reflecting pool in the Court of the Myrtles
the entrance to the Mexuar room
the massive walls of the Alcazaba fortress dominate the Square of the Cisterns
here you can sit down to enjoy the view
the palace of Carlos V is square from the outside but circular inside
the church of de St Maria de Alhambra was built on the Alhambra mosque
the ceiling of the Hall of the Abencerrajes
the Hall of the Ambassadors was used for official receptions
there are 12 water spewing marble ions in the Court of the Lions
looking east to the Comares tower. At 45 meters this is the highest tower of the Alhambra
the Alhambra complex as viewed from the Albaicin San Nicolas viewpoint
the Calle Real (royal road) is perfectly maintained and trimmed and leads into the Alhambra complex
from the Alcazaba you have a good view of the Patio de Machuca and the Carlos V palace
Fachada de Comares was built in 1370 after the conquest of Algeciras
the gardens are said to house many hummingbirds but it was probably too cold for them
an elaborate recess in the Court of Myrtles