The Alhambra Palace

Architect: unknown
Location: Alhambra Palace overlooks the city of Granada in Spain, map.
Date: 1338 to 1390
Building Type: palace
Construction System: bearing masonry
Climate: mediterranean
Context: urban
Style: Moorish (Islamic)
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn.
Preferred Timing: 08.30 a.m. to 06.00 p.m.
Time Required to Visit: Around 3 hours.
Entry Fee: Euro 13 (Though rate may change from time to time)
Getting there:
By Foot:
If you are physically fit, this is best way to approach the palace, as it gives you the best opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty surrounding region. There are two popular paths to reach Alhambra Palace Spain from Granada city center. The most beautiful is the one that takes from Plaza Nueva into the street Cuesta de Gomérez. You can also reach there via the street Cuesta del Rey Chico.

By Public Transport:
There are two buses that will take you to Alhambra Places from Granada. Route 30 and 32 start from Plaza Nueva and drive up the Cuesta de Gomérez. You can also hire taxis in order to reach there.

By Car:
If you are going there by car, you need to take the ring road of the city, called Ronda Sur, and then follow the direction of Sierra Nevada. You can park your car at any one of the two car parking areas in Generalife.
Nearest airport: Granada Airport (GRX)
Nearest rail station: Avenida de Andaluces

About Alhambra Palace:

The Alhambra (Arabic: الْحَمْرَاء‎, Al-Ḥamrā' , literally "the red one"), the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra (الْقَلْعَةُ ٱلْحَمْرَاءُ, Al-Qal'at al-Ḥamrā' , "the red fortress"), is a palace and fortress complex constructed during the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus, occupying the top of the hill of the Assabica on the southeastern border of the city of Granada, now in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.

The Alhambra's Moorish palaces were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain and its court, of the Nasrid dynasty. After the Reconquista by the Los Reyes Católicos ("The Catholic Monarchs") in 1492 some portions were used by the Christian rulers. The Palace of Charles V, built by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1527, was inserted in the Alhambra within the Nasrid fortifications. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the Alhambra was "discovered" in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers, with restorations commencing. 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. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The decorations within the palaces typified the remains of Moorish dominion within Spain and ushered in the last great period of Andalusian art in Granada. With little influence from the Islamic mainland, artists endlessly reproduced the same forms and trends, creating a new style that developed over the course of the Nasrid Dynasty. The Nasrids used freely all the display of stylistical resorts that had been created and developed during eight centuries of Muslim rule in the Peninsula as the Calliphal horse-shoe arch, the Almohad sebka or the Almoravid palm, and unused combinations of them, beside novelties as the stilted arches and the capitals of muqarnas, among others. The isolation with the rest of the Islam, and the commercial and political relationship with the Christian kingdoms also influenced in the space concepts.

Columns, muqarnas and stalactite-like ceiling decorations, appear in several chambers, and the interiors of numerous palaces are decorated with arabesques and calligraphy. The arabesques of the interior are ascribed, among other kings, to Yusuf I, Mohammed V, and Ismail I.

After the Christian conquest of the city in 1492, the conquerors began to alter the Alhambra. The open work was filled up with whitewash, the painting and gilding effaced, and the furniture soiled, torn, or removed. Charles V (1516–1556) rebuilt portions in the Renaissance style of the period and destroyed the greater part of the winter palace to make room for a Renaissance-style structure which was never completed. Philip V (1700–1746) Italianised the rooms and completed his palace in the middle of what had been the Moorish building; he had partitions constructed which blocked up whole apartments.

Over subsequent centuries the Moorish art was further damaged, and, in 1812, some of the towers were destroyed by the French under Count Sebastiani. In 1821, an earthquake caused further damage. The restoration work undertaken in 1828 by the architect José Contreras was endowed in 1830 by Ferdinand VII. After the death of Contreras in 1847, it was continued with fair success by his son Rafael (d. 1890) and his grandson. Designed to reflect the very beauty of Paradise itself, the Alhambra is made up of gardens, fountains, streams, a palace, and a mosque, all within an imposing fortress wall, flanked by 13 massive towers.

Inside the Alhambra Palace:

Alhambra Palace in Granada can be divided into four groups, viz. Alcazaba (the Fortress), Palacios Nazaries (Nasrid Palaces), Generalife Gardens, and Medina (Town).

Alcazaba: Alcazaba, the fortress and the military headquarters for the Nasrid dynasty, was built on the highest point of the hill. Hence, it got the positional advantage to defend the royal family. Though originally, the construction had 24 towers, but currently only a few remain.

Palacios Nazaríes: Time spent at the Palacios Nazaríes or the Nasrid Palaces will be some of the memorable moments of your visit to Alhambra Palace. Exquisitely decorated function rooms and courtyards that were used by the Muslim rulers for different purposes are the highlights of Palacios Nazaríes.

The palaces can be divided into three distinct parts, namely the Mexuar, the Serallo and the Harem. Mexuar is the place where the Sultan used to meet his ministers. Next to it, there is the Cuarto Dorado or the Golden Room where Sultan took his most important decisions as military commander-in-chief. The entrance of Serallo is just opposite of Cuarto Dorado. Serallo was the official residence of the Sultan. The famous Patio de los Leones lies at the center of Harem, which was built for Sultan Muhammad V in 1378. Also visit Sala de los Abencerrajes, located at the south of it. On the north of Patio is the brilliant Sala de dos Hermanas. Sala de los Ajimeces, the dressing room of the favored lady, lies at the far end of Patio. Whereas, on the east end of Patio, lies the Sala de los Reyes or the Hall of the Kings.

Generalife Gardens: As the name suggests, this area consists of beautiful gardens and fountains.

Medina: Medina, occupies the largest area, was built to house craftsmen.

Alhambra Palace Spain Tickets:

For a visit to Alhambra Palace, there can be several types of tickets for the tourists, namely Morning Tickets, Afternoon Tickets, and Evening Tickets. The price of each ticket is Euro 13, though it may change from time to time.