The Alhambra (, ; ar, الْحَمْرَاء, Al-Ḥamrāʾ, , ) is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada,
Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in Peninsular Spain. It is the most populous and the second largest autonomous community in the country. The Andalusian autonomous communi ...
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...
. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 CE on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Arab Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the
Emirate of Granada
Emirate of Granada
, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. After the conclusion of the Christian
Reconquista The ' ( Spanish and Portuguese for "reconquest") was a period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula of about 780 years between the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711, the expansion of the Christendom, Christian kingdoms throughout Hispan ...
in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or Cristòfol) Colom * la, Christophorus Columbus (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was ...

Christopher Columbus
received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered in the Renaissance style. In 1526 Charles I & V commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary
Mannerist Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Ba ...
style influenced by humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but it was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada. Alhambra's last flowering of Islamic palaces was built for the final Muslim emirs in Spain during the decline of the Nasrid dynasty, who were increasingly subject to the Christian Kings of Kingdom of Castile, Castile. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the buildings occupied by squatters, Alhambra was rediscovered following the defeat of Peninsular War, Napoleon, who had conducted retaliatory destruction of the site. The rediscoverers were first British intellectuals and then other north European Romanticism, Romantic travelers. 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. Moors, Moorish poets described it as "a pearl set in emeralds", an allusion to the colour of its buildings and the woods around them. The palace complex was designed with the mountainous site in mind and many forms of technology were considered. The park (Alameda de la Alhambra), which is overgrown with wildflowers and grass in the spring, was planted by the Moors with roses, oranges, and Myrtus communis, myrtles; its most characteristic feature, however, is the dense wood of English Elm, English elms brought by the Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Duke of Wellington in 1812. The park has a multitude of nightingales and is usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades. These are supplied through a conduit long, which is connected with the Darro (river), Darro at the monastery of Jesus del Valle above Granada. Despite long neglect, willful vandalism, and some ill-judged restoration, the Alhambra endures as an atypical example of Muslim art in its final European stages, relatively uninfluenced by the direct Byzantine architecture, Byzantine influences found in the Cordoba Cathedral, Mezquita of Córdoba, Andalusia, Córdoba. Most of the palace buildings are quadrangular in plan, with all the rooms opening on to a central court, and the whole reached its present size simply by the gradual addition of new quadrangles, designed on the same principle, though varying in dimensions, and connected with each other by smaller rooms and passages. Alhambra was extended by the different Muslim rulers who lived in the complex. However, each new section that was added followed the consistent theme of "paradise on earth". Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional complexity. In every case, the exterior was left plain and austere. Sun and wind were freely admitted. Blue, red, and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colors chiefly employed. The name Alhambra means the red one or the red castle, which refers to the sun-dried bricks that the outer wall is made of. The decoration consists for the upper part of the walls, as a rule, of Arabic inscriptions—mostly poems by Ibn Zamrak and others praising the palace—that are manipulated into Islamic geometric patterns, geometrical patterns with vegetal background set onto an arabesque setting ("Ataurique"). Much of this ornament is carved stucco (plaster) rather than stone. Tile mosaics ("alicatado"), with complicated mathematical patterns ("tracería", most precisely "lacería"), are largely used as panelling for the lower part. Metal was also not present very mainly. Similar designs are displayed on wooden ceilings (Alfarje). Muqarnas are the main elements for vaulting with stucco, and some of the most accomplished dome examples of this kind are in the Court of the Lions halls. The palace complex is designed in the Nasrid style, the last blooming of Islamic Art in the Iberian Peninsula, that had a great influence on the Maghreb to the present day, and on contemporary Mudejar Art, which is characteristic of western elements reinterpreted into Islamic forms and widely popular during the
Reconquista The ' ( Spanish and Portuguese for "reconquest") was a period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula of about 780 years between the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711, the expansion of the Christendom, Christian kingdoms throughout Hispan ...
in Spain.


''Alhambra'' derives from the Arabic '' (f.)'', meaning "the red one", the complete form of which was ' "the red fortress (Qalat (fortress), qalat)". The "Al-" in "Alhambra" means "the" in Arabic, but this is ignored in general usage in both English and Spanish, where the name is normally given the definite article.


Around the year 889, forces loyal to Umar ibn Hafsun in revolt against Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Umawi and the Emirate of Córdoba besieged a small Islamic fortress in Granada held by Sawār Ben Hamdūn. The first reference to ' came in lines of poetry attached to an arrow shot over the ramparts, recorded by Ibn Hayyan: "Deserted and roofless are the houses of our enemies; Invaded by the autumnal rains, traversed by impetuous winds; Let them within the red castle (Kalat al hamra) hold their mischievous councils; Perdition and woe surround them on every side." Completed towards the end of Muslim rule of Spain by Yusuf I (1333–1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353–1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last centuries of the Muslim rule of Al Andalus, reduced to the Emirate of Granada, Nasrid Emirate of Granada. It is a place where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge as the Reconquista by Spanish Christians won victories over Al Andalus. The Alhambra integrates natural site qualities with constructed structures and gardens, and is a testament to Moorish culture in Spain and the skills of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian artisans, craftsmen, and builders of their era. The literal translation of Alhambra, "the red (female)," reflects the color of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made. The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; however, the buildings as seen today are reddish. Another possible origin of the name is the tribal designation of the Nasrid Dynasty, known as the Banu al-Ahmar ''Arabic: Sons of the Red (male)'', a Arab tribes, sub-tribe of the Arabs, Arab Qahtanite Banu Khazraj tribe. One of the early Nasrid ancestors was nicknamed ''Yusuf Al Ahmar'' (Yusuf the Red) and hence the (Nasrid) fraction of the Banu Khazraj took up the name of Banu al-Ahmar. File:Patio de los leones.jpg, upThe Court of the Lions in the Alhambra The first reference to the Qal‘at al-Ḥamra was during the battles between the Arabs and the Muladies (people of mixed Arab and European descent) during the rule of the ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad (r. 888–912). In one particularly fierce and bloody skirmish, the Muladies soundly defeated the Arabs, who were then forced to take shelter in a primitive red castle located in the province of Elvira, presently located in Granada. According to surviving documents from the era, the red castle was quite small, and its walls were not capable of deterring an army intent on conquering. The castle was then largely ignored until the eleventh century, when its ruins were renovated and rebuilt by Samuel ibn Naghrela, vizier to the emir Badis ben Habus of the Zirid Dynasty of Al Andalus, in an attempt to preserve the small Jewish settlement also located on the natural plateau, Sabikah Hill. Mohammed ibn Alhamar, Ibn Nasr, the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, was forced to flee to Jaén, Spain, Jaén to avoid persecution by King Ferdinand III of Castile and the Reconquista supporters working to end Spain's Moorish rule. After retreating to Granada, Ibn-Nasr took up residence at the Palace of Badis ben Habus in the Alhambra. A few months later, he embarked on the construction of a new Alhambra fit for the residence of a sultan. According to an Arabic manuscript since published as the ''Anónimo de Granada y Copenhague'', The design included plans for six palaces, five of which were grouped in the northeast quadrant forming a royal quarter, two circuit towers, and numerous bathhouses. During the reign of the Nasrid Dynasty, the Alhambra was transformed into a palatine city, complete with an irrigation system composed of acequias for the gardens of the Generalife located outside the fortress. Previously, the old Alhambra structure had been dependent upon rainwater collected from a cistern and from what could be brought up from the Albaicín. The creation of the Sultan's Canal solidified the identity of the Alhambra as a palace-city rather than a defensive and ascetic structure. The hydraulic system includes two long water channels and several sophisticated elevation devices to bring water onto the plateau. The last Nasrid sultan, Muhammad XII of Granada, surrendered the in 1492 without the Alhambra itself being attacked when the forces of the Reyes Católicos, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, took the surrounding territory with a force of overwhelming numbers. Muhammad XII moved the remains of his ancestors from the complex, as was verified by Leopoldo Torres Balbás in 1925, when he found seventy empty tombs. The remains are now likely to be located in Mondújar in the principality of Lecrín. The decoration within the palaces comes from the last great period of Andalusian art in Granada. With little of the Byzantine influence of contemporary Abassid architecture, 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 stylistic elements that had been created and developed during eight centuries of Muslim rule in the Peninsula, including the Caliphate horseshoe arch, the Almohad sebka (a grid of rhombuses), the Almoravid palm, and unique combinations of them, as well as innovations such as stilted arches and muqarnas (stalactite ceiling decorations). Structurally, the design is simple and does not evince significant innovation. While artistically pleasing it was until the reconquest structurally ad hoc and reliant on the skills of subject artisans and workers. Columns and muqarnas appear in several chambers, and the interiors of numerous palaces are decorated with arabesques and Islamic calligraphy, calligraphy. The arabesques of the interior are ascribed to, among other sultans, Yusuf I, Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada, Mohammed V, and Ismail I, Sultan of Granada. However, the muqarnas in the Lions' Courtyard at Alhambra have different configurations from their original designs, which might have been altered by repairs. 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, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles I (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 of Spain, 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. Restoration work was undertaken in 1828 by the architect José Contreras, endowed in 1830 by Ferdinand VII of Spain, Ferdinand VII. After the death of Contreras in 1847, it was continued by his son Rafael (died 1890) and his grandson. Especially notable was the intervention of Leopoldo Torres Balbás in the 1930s: the young architect "opened arcades that had been walled up, re-excavated filled-in pools, replaced missing tiles, completed inscriptions that lacked portions of their stuccoed lettering, and installed a ceiling in the still unfinished palace of Charles V".


According to the site's current architect, Pedro Salmeron Escobar, the Alhambra evolved organically over a period of several centuries from the ancient hilltop fortress defined by a narrow promontory carved by the river Darro and overlooking the ''Vega'' or Plain of Granada as it descends from the Sierra Nevada (Spain), Sierra Nevada. The red earth from which the fortress is constructed is a granular aggregate held together by a medium of red clay which gives the resulting layered brick- and stone- reinforced construction (''tapial calicastrado'') its characteristic hue and is at the root of the name of 'the Red Hill'. This crude earthiness is counterpointed by the startling fine alabaster white stucco work of the famous interiors. Alhambra is about in length by at its greatest width. It extends from west-northwest to east-southeast and covers an area of about or 35 acres. The Alhambra's most westerly feature is the Alcazaba (citadel), a strongly fortified position built to protect the original post-Roman districts of ''Iliberri'', now 'Centro', and ''Gárnata al-yahūd'' ('Granada of the Jews', now ''Realejo'', and the Moorish suburb of ''El Albayzín''. Due to touristic demand, modern access runs contrary to the original sequence which began from a principal access via the ''Puerta de la Justicia'' (Gate of Justice) onto a large souq or public market square facing the Alcazaba, now subdivided and obscured by later Christian-era development. From the ''Puerta del Vino'' (Wine Gate) ran the ''Calle Real'' (Royal Street) dividing the Alhambra along its axial spine into a southern residential quarter, with mosques, Turkish bath, hamams (bathhouses) and diverse functional establishments, and a greater northern portion, occupied by several palaces of the nobility with extensive landscaped gardens commanding views over the Albayzin. All of this was subservient to the great Tower of the Ambassadors in the ''Palacio Comares'', which acted as the royal audience chamber and throne room with its three arched windows dominating the city. The private, internalised universe of the ''Palacio de Los Leones'' (Palace of the Lions) adjoins the public spaces at right angles (see Plan illustration) but was originally connected only by the function of the Royal Baths, the Eye of Aixa's Room serving as the exquisitely decorated focus of meditation and authority overlooking the refined garden of ''Lindaraja/Daraxa'' toward the city. The rest of the plateau comprises a number of earlier and later Moorish palaces, enclosed by a Defensive wall, fortified wall, with thirteen defensive towers, some such as the ''Torres de la Infanta'' and ''Cattiva'' containing elaborate vertical palaces in miniature. The river Darro (river), Darro passes through a ravine on the north and divides the plateau from the Albaicín district of Granada. Similarly, the Assabica Valley, containing the Alhambra Park, lies on the west and south, and, beyond this valley, the almost parallel ridge of Monte Mauror separates it from the Antequeruela district. Another ravine separates it from the Generalife, the summer pleasure gardens of the emir. Escobar notes that the later planting of deciduous elms obscures the overall perception of the layout, so a better reading of the original landscape is given in winter when the trees are bare.

Main structures

The Alhambra resembles many medieval Christian strongholds in its threefold arrangement as a castle, a palace and a residential annex for subordinates. The alcazaba or citadel, its oldest part, is built on the isolated and precipitous foreland which terminates the plateau on the northwest. All that remains are its massive outer walls, towers and ramparts. On its watchtower, the 25 m (85 ft) high ''Torre de la Vela'', the flag of Ferdinand II of Aragon, Ferdinand and Isabella I of Castile, Isabella was first raised as a symbol of the Spanish conquest of Granada on 2 January 1492. A turret containing a large bell was added in the 18th century and restored after being damaged by lightning in 1881. Beyond the Alcazaba is the palace of the Moorish rulers, The Nasrid Palaces or Alhambra proper, and beyond this is the Alhambra Alta (Upper Alhambra), originally occupied by officials and courtiers. Access from the city to the Alhambra Park is afforded by the ''Puerta de las Granadas'' (Gate of Pomegranates), a triumphal arch dating from the 15th century. A steep ascent leads past the Pillar of Charles V, a fountain erected in 1554, to the main entrance of the Alhambra. This is the ''Puerta de la Justicia'' (Gate of Justice), a massive horseshoe archway surmounted by a square tower and used by the Moors as an informal court of justice. The hand of Fatima, with fingers outstretched as a talisman against the evil eye, is carved above this gate on the exterior; a key, the symbol of authority, occupies the corresponding place on the interior. A narrow passage leads inward to the ''Plaza de los Aljibes'' (Place of the Cisterns), a broad open space which divides the Alcazaba from the Moorish palace. To the left of the passage rises the ''Torre del Vino'' (Wine Tower), built in 1345 and used in the 16th century as a cellar. On the right is the palace of Charles V, a smaller Renaissance building, to construct which part of the Alhambra, including the original main entrance, was torn down.

Royal complex

The Royal Complex (Plaza de Nazaríes) consists of three main parts: Mexuar, Serallo, and the Harem. The Mexuar is modest in decor and houses the functional areas for conducting business and administration. Strapwork is used to decorate the surfaces in Mexuar. The ceilings, floors, and trim are made of dark wood and are in sharp contrast to white, plaster walls. Serallo, built during the reign of Yusuf I in the 14th century, contains the Patio de los Arrayanes (Court of the Myrtles). Brightly colored interiors featured ''dado'' panels, ''yesería'', ''azulejo'', cedar, and ''artesonado''. Artesonado are highly decorative ceilings and other woodwork. Lastly, the Harem is also elaborately decorated and contains the living quarters for the wives and mistresses of the Arab monarchs. This area contains a bathroom with running water (cold and hot), baths, and pressurized water for showering. The bathrooms were open to the elements in order to allow in light and air.

Court of the Myrtles

The Court of the Myrtles was built under Muhammad V of Granada, and with 11 Qasida, ''qasā'id'' by Ibn Zamrak, 8 of which remain. The present entrance to the ''Palacio Árabe'' (Arab palace), or ''Casa Real'', is by a small door from which a corridor connects to the ''Patio de los Arrayanes'' (Court of the Myrtles), also called the ''Patio de la Alberca'' (Court of the Blessing or Court of the Pond), from the Arabic ''birka'', "pool". The birka helped to cool the palace and acted as a symbol of power. Because water was usually in short supply, the technology required to keep these pools full was expensive and difficult. This court is 42 m (140 ft) long by 22 m (74 ft) broad, and in the centre there is a large pond set in the marble pavement, full of goldfish, and with myrtles growing along its sides. There are galleries on the north and south sides; the southern gallery is 7 m (23 ft) high and supported by a marble colonnade. Underneath it, to the right, was the principal entrance, and over it are three windows with arches and miniature pillars. From this court, the walls of the ''Torre de Comares'' are seen rising over the roof to the north and reflected in the pond.

Hall of the Ambassadors

The ''Salón de los Embajadores'' (Hall of the Ambassadors) is the largest room in the Alhambra and occupies all the ''Torre de Comares''. It is a square room, the sides being 12 m (37 ft) in length, while the centre of the dome is 23 m (75 ft) high. This was the grand reception room, and the throne of the sultan was placed opposite the entrance. The grand hall projects from the walls of the palace, providing views in three directions. In this sense, it was a "mirador" from which the palace's inhabitants could gaze outward to the surrounding landscape. The tiles are nearly 4 ft (1.2 m) high all round, and the colours vary at intervals. Over them is a series of oval medallions with inscriptions, interwoven with flowers and leaves. There are nine windows, three on each facade, and the ceiling is decorated with white, blue and gold inlays in the shape of circles, crowns and stars. The walls are covered with varied stucco works, surrounding many ancient escutcheons.

Court of the Lions and fountain

The Court of the Lions (''Patio de los Leones'') is an oblong courtyard, 116 ft (35 m) in length by 66 ft (20 m) in width, surrounded by a low gallery supported on 124 white marble columns. A pavilion projects into the court at each extremity, with filigree walls and a light domed roof. The square is paved with coloured tiles and the colonnade with white marble, while the walls are covered 5 ft (1.5 m) up from the ground with blue and yellow tiles, with a border above and below of enamelled blue and gold. The columns supporting the roof and gallery are irregularly placed. They are adorned by varieties of foliage, etc.; about each arch there is a large square of stucco arabesques; and over the pillars is another stucco square of filigree work.

Fountain of the Lions

In the centre of the court is the Fountain of the Lions, an alabaster basin supported by the figures of twelve lions in white marble, not designed with sculptural accuracy but as symbols of strength, power, and sovereignty. Each hour one lion would produce water from its mouth. At the edge of the great fountain there is a poem written by Ibn Zamrak. This praises the beauty of the fountain and the power of the lions, but it also describes their ingenious hydraulic systems and how they actually worked, which baffled all those who saw them.

Hall of the Abencerrajes

The ''Sala de los Abencerrajes'' (Hall of the Abencerrages) derives its name from a legend according to which the father of Boabdil, the last sultan of Granada, having invited the chiefs of that line to a banquet, massacred them here. This room is a perfect square, with a lofty dome and trellised windows at its base. The roof is decorated in blue, brown, red and gold, and the columns supporting it spring out into the arch form in a remarkably beautiful manner. Opposite to this hall is the ''Sala de las dos Hermanas'' (Hall of the two Sisters), so-called from two white marble slabs laid as part of the pavement. These slabs measure 500 by 220 cm (15 by 7½ ft). There is a fountain in the middle of this hall, and the roof – a dome honeycombed with tiny cells, all different, and said to number 5000 – is an example of the "stalactite vaulting" of the Moors.


Of the outlying buildings connected to the Alhambra, the foremost in interest is the Generalife, Palacio de Generalife or Gineralife (the Muslim ''Jennat al Arif'', "Garden of Arif," or "Garden of the Architect"). This villa dates from the beginning of the 14th century but has been restored several times. The ''Villa de los Martires'' (Martyrs' Villa), on the summit of Monte Mauror, commemorates by its name the Christian slaves who were forced to build the Alhambra and confined here in subterranean cells. The ''Torres Bermejas'' (Vermilion Towers), also on Monte Mauror, are a well-preserved Moorish fortification, with underground cisterns, stables, and accommodation for a garrison of 200 men. Several Roman tombs were discovered in 1829 and 1857 at the base of Monte Mauror.

Other features

Among the other features of the Alhambra are the ''Sala de la Justicia'' (Hall of Justice), the ''Patio del Mexuar'' (Court of the Council Chamber), the ''Patio de Daraxa'' (Court of the Vestibule), and the ''Peinador de la Reina'' (Queen's Robing Room), in which there is similar architecture and decoration. The palace and the Upper Alhambra also contain baths, rows of bedrooms and summer-rooms, a whispering gallery and labyrinth, and vaulted sepulchres. The original furniture of the palace is represented by one of the famous Alhambra vases, very large Hispano-Moresque ware vases made in the Sultanate to stand in niches around the palace. These famous examples of Hispano-Moresque ware date from the 14th and 15th centuries. The one remaining in the palace, from about 1400, is 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) high; the background is white and the decoration is blue, white and gold.

Water supply system

Water was provided to both the Alhambra and the Generalife by the ''Acequia Real'' (also known as the ''Acequia del Rey'' or ''Acequia del Sultan''), which still exists in large part today. It draws water from the Darro River at an uphill location in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, about 6.1 kilometers east of the Alhambra. A smaller branch known as the ''Acequia del Tercio'' also splits off from it several kilometers upstream and proceeded along higher ground before arriving at the top point of the Generalife's palace and gardens. The main branch, proceeding along lower ground, also arrives at the Generalife palace and supplies water to its iconic ''Patio de la Acequia''. Both canals generally ran along the surface but some parts ran through tunnels cut directly into the bedrock. The ''Silla del Moro'' ('Seat of the Moor'), a ruined structure today on the hilltop overlooking the Generalife, was once a fort and monitoring post that protected the water supply infrastructure of this area. After arriving at the Generalife, the canals turn towards the southeast and run past the gardens. They then join together before turning back towards the Alhambra, where the water enters via an arched Aqueduct (water supply), aqueduct next to the ''Torre del Agua'' ('Water Tower') at the Alhambra's eastern tip. From here it is channeled through the citadel via a complex system of conduits (''acequias'') and water tanks (''albercones'') which create the celebrated interplay of light, sound and surface in the palaces.


The Alhambra features various styles of the Arabic calligraphy, Arabic epigraphy that developed under the Nasrid dynasty, and particularly under Yusuf I of Granada, Yusuf I and Muhammad V of Granada, Muhammad V. José Miguel Puerta Vílchez compares the walls of the Alhambra to the pages of a manuscript, drawing similarities between the Zellige, zilīj-covered Dado (architecture), dados and the geometric manuscript illuminations, and the epigraphical forms in the palace to calligraphic motifs in contemporary Arabic manuscripts. The texts of the Alhambra include "devout, regal, votive, and Quran, Quranic phrases and sentences," formed into arabesques, carved into wood and marble, and glazed onto tiles. Poets of the Narsid court, including Ibn al-Khatib, Ibn al-Khatīb and Ibn Zamrak, composed poems for the palace. Most of the poetry is inscribed in Nasrid cursive script, while foliate and floral Kufic inscriptions—often formed into arches, columns, enjambments, and "architectural calligrams"—are generally used as decorative elements. Kufic Calligram, calligrams, particularly of the words "blessing" ( ''baraka'') and "felicity" ( ''yumn''), are used as decorative motifs in arabesque throughout the palace.


In literature

Parts of the following works are set in the Alhambra: * Washington Irving's ''Tales of the Alhambra''. This is a collection of essays, verbal sketches, and stories. Irving lived in the palace while writing the book and was instrumental in introducing the site to Western audiences. * Radwa Ashour's * Salman Rushdie's ''The Moor's Last Sigh'' * Amin Maalouf's ''Leo Africanus (novel), Leo Africanus'', depicting the reconquest of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs. * Philippa Gregory's ''The Constant Princess'', depicting Catalina the Infanta of Spain as she lived in the Alhambra after her parents took Granada. * Federico García Lorca's play ''Doña Rosita the Spinster'', mentioned by title character Doña Rosita in her song/speech to the Manola sisters. * Paulo Coelho's novel ''The Alchemist (novel), The Alchemist'' * Ali Smith's ''The Accidental'' * George Bernard Shaw's play ''Man and Superman'' * László Krasznahorkai's ''Seiobo There Below'' * Hanya Yanagihara's ''A Little Life''

In music

The plot of the ''Ballet-héroïque'' entitled ''Zaïde, reine de Grenade'', by the French Baroque composer Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer (c. 1705–1755), takes place at the Alhambra. Alhambra has directly inspired musical compositions including Francisco Tárrega's famous tremolo study for guitar ''Recuerdos de la Alhambra'', as well as Claude Debussy's piece for two pianos composed in 1901, ''Lindaraja'', and the prelude, ''La Puerta del Vino'', from the second book of preludes composed from 1912 to 1913. Isaac Albéniz wrote a piano suite ''Recuerdos de viaje'', which included a piece called "En La Alhambra", while his suite ''Iberia'' contained a piece called "El Albacin". Albéniz also composed an uncompleted ''Suite Alhambra''. "En los Jardines del Generalife", the first movement (music), movement of Manuel de Falla's ''Noches en los Jardines de España'', and other pieces by composers such as Ruperto Chapí (''Los Gnomos de la Alhambra'', 1891), Tomás Bretón, and many others are included in a stream referred to by scholars as ''Alhambrismo''. In 1976, filmmaker Christopher Nupen filmed ''The Song of the Guitar'' at the Alhambra which was an hour-long program featuring the legendary Spanish guitarist, Andrés Segovia. British composer Peter Seabourne wrote an extended piano cycle ''Steps Volume 3: Arabesques'' (2008-2012) based on shared experiences of the Alhambra with his painter aunt Ann Seabourne, and a movement from his Steps Volume 1 is entitled "El Suspiro del Moro" inspired by the legend of the expulsion of the last Moorish King of Granada. In 2000, Julian Anderson wrote a piece for contemporary chamber ensemble, ''Alhambra Fantasy''. In pop and folk music, Alhambra is the subject of the Ghymes song of the same name. The rock band Grateful Dead released a song called "Terrapin Station" on the 1977 Terrapin Station, album of the same name. It consisted of a series of small compositions penned by Robert Hunter and put to music by Jerry Garcia; a lyrical section of this suite was called "Alhambra". In September 2006, Canadian singer/composer Loreena McKennitt performed live at the Alhambra. The resulting video recordings premiered on PBS and were later released as a 3-disc DVD/CD set called ''Nights from the Alhambra''. The Basques, Basque pop group Mocedades performed a song called "Juntos En La Alhambra". ''Alhambra (EP), Alhambra'' is the title of an extended play, EP recording by Canadians, Canadian rock band, The Tea Party, containing acoustic versions of a few of their songs. Alhambra and Albaicín are mentioned in the Mägo de Oz song named "El Paseo de los Tristes" from the album entitled ''Gaia II''. On California rapper Dom Kennedy's 2015 album ''By Dom Kennedy'', there is a song entitled "Alhambra".

In mathematics

The Alhambra tiles are remarkable in that they contain nearly all, if not all, of the seventeen mathematically possible wallpaper groups. This is a unique accomplishment in world architecture. M. C. Escher's visit in 1922 and study of the Moorish use of symmetries in the Alhambra tiles inspired his subsequent work on tessellation, which he called "regular divisions of the plane".

In film

Marcel L'Herbier's 1921 film ''El Dorado (1921 film), El Dorado'' features many scenes shot in and around the Alhambra palace. This was the first time permission had been granted for a feature film company to shoot inside the Alhambra palace and L'Herbier gave prominent place to its gardens, fountains and geometric architectural patterns, which became some of the film's most memorable images. Animated films by Spanish director Juan Bautista Berasategui such as ''Ahmed, El Principe de la Alhambra'' and ''El Embrujo del Sur'' are based on stories in Washington Irving's ''Tales of the Alhambra''. The Alhambra stands in for Baghdad in the 1958 adventure film ''The 7th Voyage of Sinbad''. Interior palace scenes, including in the Tower of Comares, the Court of the Myrtles, and the Court of the Lions, were shot at night so as not to disturb tourists. The Patio de los Aljibes, backed by the Alcazaba—standing in for a prison yard—was filmed by day. Columbus interview with Queen Isabella in ''Conquest of Paradise'' representing Granada after the Reconquest were filmed at Alhambra. As well as the Palace Scenes of ''Kingdom of Heaven (film), Kingdom of Heaven'' representing Jerusalem during the Crusades. Both films were made by Ridley Scott. The Court of the Lions was depicted in ''Assassin's Creed (film), Assassin's Creed'' (2016) when Sultan Muhammad XII surrenders the 'Apple of Eden', a powerful artifact in the center of the movie plot, in exchange for his son's safe return. Both the Court of the Lions and Granada's Albaicin are featured on the animated film ''Tad Jones: The Hero Returns''. The fictional Broadway theatre (the interior actually Auckland, New Zealand's Auckland Civic Theatre, Civic Theatre), in which Kong is displayed as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' in 2005's ''King Kong (2005 film), King Kong'', is named "The Alhambra". 2018 Korean drama, South Korean television series ''Memories of the Alhambra'' is based in Granada, Spain with the Alhambra palace as the backdrop of an AR game within the series. Many features and stories of the palace were used as clues and characters for the game progression and AR Alhambra was depicted as ‘a place of magic’ and ‘Mecca for Gamers’ to establish the Gaming plot in the story.

In astronomy

There is a Asteroid belt, main belt asteroid named 3851 Alhambra, Alhambra.

In architecture

The Alhambra inspired: *the synagogue Isaac M. Wise Temple *Villa Alhambra *Villa Zorayda

See also

* 12 Treasures of Spain * Alhambra Decree * Islamic gardens * History of Medieval Arabic and Western European domes

Further reading

* * * * Grabar, Oleg. ''The Alhambra''. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1978. * * Lowney, Chris. ''A Vanished World: Medieval Spain's Golden Age of Enlightenment''. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2005. * Menocal, Maria, Rosa. ''The Ornament of the World''. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2002. * Read, Jan. ''The Moors in Spain and Portugal''. London: Faber and Faber, 1974. * Ruggles, D. Fairchild. "Alhambra," in ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'', third edition. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2008. * Ruggles, D. Fairchild. ''Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain'', Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000. * Ruggles, D. Fairchild. ''Islamic Gardens and Landscapes'', University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. * Steves, Rick (2004). ''Spain and Portugal 2004'', pp. 204–205. Avalon Travel Publishing. . * Stewart, Desmond. ''The Alhambra''. Newsweek Publishing, 1974. . * The World Heritage. ''Istanbul and Cordoba'', Vol. #15. Film Ideas, 2008. . *



* * * * * * *

External links

Alhambra official website

Alhambra in turgranada.es
Official site for tourism of the province of Granada.

Masterpieces of Islamic Architecture.
InFocus: La Alhambra & Generalife (Granada, Spain)
HitchHikers Handbook
* Paul F. Hoye, 1967

''Saudi Aramco World'' * James Cavanah Murphy, Murphy, James Cavanah, 1816
The Alhamra (Alhambra) at Granada
Al-Andalus: the art of Islamic Spain
an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Alhambra (see index) * High-resolution 360° Panoramas of&nbs
Alhambra , Art Atlas
{{Authority control Buildings and structures completed in 1333 Alhambra (Spain), Granada Buildings and structures in Granada Castles in Andalusia Gardens in Spain Palaces in Andalusia Royal residences in Spain Open-air museums in Spain Arabic architecture Islamic gardens Spanish gardens Landscape design history of Spain Nasrid dynasty Visionary environments Bien de Interés Cultural landmarks in the Province of Granada World Heritage Sites in Spain Articles containing video clips Islamic art of Spain Azulejos in buildings in Andalusia Nasrid architecture Moorish architecture in Spain