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Explore The Alhambra, Spain
Ramparts of red stone guarding the quaint Moorish beauty define the grand Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Earlier known as Calat Alhamra, which means Red Castle, it was a mere fortress first erected in 889. It served military purposes, as it offered a complete view of the city. However, the Alhambra rose to fame in the 13th century, when it was adopted by the Emirs of Nasrid Dynasty, and transformed into a magnificent palace complex. After the decline of Nasrid Empire, the Alhambra was in the hands of the Catholic Monarchs. They made modifications and alterations to this entire property, and used it as their home. It was abandoned by them in 18th century, but in the 19th century, it was rediscovered and restored. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest specimens of Islamic art.
The Alhambra has been an inspiration to many celebrated poets and musicians. Its architecture and fine detailing are admirable and thought-provoking. Also, the use of mathematics while designing the interiors depicts the knowledge that Moors had about symmetry.
What To See
The Alcazaba: This citadel is the most ancient structure here, and offers spectacular views of the city. It used to be the residence of the royal guards, and represents the typical military district with barracks, homes and public facilities, including steam baths, common kitchens and cisterns.
Generalife: One of the highlights of the Alhambra, Generalife was the spring palace of the Nasrid Kings. Built in 14thcentury, it continues to preserve the splendour of Moorish designs. This estate also consists of gorgeous gardens and water features of the olden era.
Court Of Myrtles: Originally known as Patio de los Arrayanes, it consists of many myrtle bushes, marvelous chambers, porticos, and a large central pond. The birka (or the pool) was considered as the symbol of power.
Royal Complex: Featuring three major parts, Mexuar, Serallo and the Harem, the Royal Complex is a cluster of palaces. Mexuar has less elaborate interiors, and was used for business and administration. Serallo on the other hand, flaunts vibrant colours and ornamental architecture. And Harem, too, features baroque designs; it was occupied by the wives and mistresses of the monarchs.
Though these are most popular structures of the Alhambra, there is a lot more to learn and explore. The whole complex is a mystical land of the bygone era, the beauty of which remains immortal.
How To Get There
A flight can land you in Granada, which is located in Andalusia, the largest province of southern Spain. When in Granada, you can walk up to Alhambra; it’s a beautiful place to take a stroll. You also have the option to choose a minibus called Alhambra Bus C3, which carries tourists from Plaza Nueva to the Alhambra. It has a frequency of 10 minutes.
Best Time To Visit
Granada has a pleasant climate, and can be visited at any time of the year. Therefore, it invariably faces a lot of tourist activity. Between July and August (summer time), the temperature can rise up to 40C in the day, but it’s cooler by the night. The winter months are chilly but pleasant. The cold is enjoyable when the snow beautifully settles on the Sierra Nevada range. There are relatively lesser tourists during the months of September and November and the climate is favourable as well.
Visiting Hours For The Alhambra:
15th March to 14th October
Daytime: 8:30am – 8pm
Night visit: 10pm – 11:30pm (Tuesday to Saturday)
15th October to 14th March
Daytime: 8:30am – 6pm
Night visit: 8pm – 9:30pm (Friday & Saturday)
Explore Spain With Us
Still not convinced about visiting Spain? Read how The Alhambra provided a backdrop for the Kingdom of Drone in HBO’s hit series – Game Of Thrones…