Built originally for military purposes, the name Alhambra comes from an Arabic root which means "crimson castle", due to the colors of the towers and wall that surround the entire hill of La Sabica. Interestingly enough, by starlight, the walls and towers look silver, but by sunlight, they transform into gold. The Alhambra was created as an "alcazaba" (fortress), an "alcázar" (palace) and a small "medina" (city), all in one. Download the Alhambra Guide and Offline Map to help you understand the distinctive features of the monument when you visit.
1. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Alhambra is regarded one of the finest palaces from its era and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. It welcomes over two million in 2014 alone and was declared the most visited monument in Spain. That's reason enough to visit Alhambra considering Spain's other impressive sights. Although the palace was built in the 13th century, its magnificence and beauty remain remarkably intact. The buildings feature intricate designs, detailed mosaics, and hand-carved cedar wood.
2. It is Home to Magnificent Monuments and Incredible Art
Seven halls at Alhambra is dedicated to a variety of exhibitions where you can learn about the Alhambra's interesting history. It is also considered to hold the best collection of Nasrid and Mudejar in the art world, so the Museum of Alhambra shouldn't be missed. As you walk your way through a labyrinth of passageways, you'll come across impressive monuments. One of the notable monuments is the Fountain of the Lions. It's a stunning piece to behold with its 12 marble lions sitting at the center of the courtyard in the equally mesmerizing Palace of the Lions.
3. The Stunning View
Having been built as a stronghold by the Arabs, the Alhambra sits on the hilltop and occupies the entire hill of La Sabica overlooking Granada. Expect wondrous views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the rolling hills of the Andalusian countryside. Asides from the views and architecture, visitors can also enjoy a stroll through the Generalife Gardens. It's an oasis of peace and tranquility that dates back 750 years. Although it began as a military fortress, the construction of the palace was eventually commissioned by the Nasrid dynasty and was home to the royal family before the Catholic Monarchs took hold during the Reconquista of 1492.
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