The Alhambra as seen from the Albaicín
The Nasrid Palaces contain a wealth of Moorish architecture and design, and are an absolute highlight of the Alhambra. There is amazing detail in the carving, and you will find four materials used throughout - plaster, wood, ceramic and marble.
Incredibly detailed tiles with Islamic text
Water is a key element within Islamic landscape architecture in general, and the Alhambra is no exception. Water helps to cool the palace, but is also a symbol of power and prosperity. The Court of the Myrtles contains a large central pond, significantly reducing the temperature within the courtyard.
Court of the Myrtles
At the centre of the Court of the Lions is a white marble fountain with a central basin surrounded by 12 lions, all part of an elaborate water feature, with four channels that run to the colonnaded sides at the cardinal points.
The fountain is said to represent the heavenly garden of Islam, with the water channels symbolising the four rivers of paradise.
Court of the Lions
To the east of the Alhambra you’ll find Generalife, which has some stunning formal gardens that are a sight to behold when in full bloom in spring/summer.
Court of the Water Channel
View from Generalife to the Alhambra
350 year old Magnolia in Generalife
The Alcazaba, the oldest part of Alhambra, was a military fortress originally constructed in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications. It subsequently fell into ruin but was rebuilt in the mid-13th century. There are stunning views across Granada and beyond from the top of the Alcazaba, as seen below.
Various points other within the Alhambra also offer fantastic views of the surrounding land, with Sacromonte to the north, the Albaicín to the north-west, Sierra Nevada to the south-east.
View of Granada from Alcazaba
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