Perched high on a strategic hill dominating Granada, the citadel of the Alhambra displays a collection of lush gardens and magical palaces, the only royal residences of an Islamic dynasty still standing since the Middle Ages. Courtyards, where water is omnipresent, and walls, covered by refined geometric and floral motifs, recreate in a codified manner the image of the Garden of Eden. You will discover the secrets and symbols contained in these palaces worthy of the Arabian Nights – the mathematical achievements, the philosophical concepts and the metaphors of the poems carved on the walls, a reflection of a whole civilization.
As a Spanish Exclusive Travel Agency, we offer you the keys to the Alhambra. This private experience will take you and your private guide across the monument when it is closed to the general public.
We also offer a visit to the monument with a photographer or you can have a brunch catering at “Carmen de los Mártires” with a flamenco guitarist. This beautiful park is located next to the Alhambra. It is a wonderful park to relax and enjoy the nature.
The Alhambra: an Islamic heritage, is the second most visited monument in Spain and it is a must-see. This heritage was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984. The name Alhambra origins from an Arabic word meaning “red castle”. The Alhambra of Granada was a royal residence in the mid 13th century. Mohammed I, the first Islamic monarch in Spain, settled in Granada. He suggested building a new Alhambra for the Nasrid monarchs and wanted to modify and expand the original ninth-century citadel to build Nasrid palaces. In 1238, a design was made to create the new Alhambra. That would consist of six palaces, two towers and various bathhouses. Under Mohammed I, the first palace in the Alhambra was built: the Alcazaba.
In 1492, the Spanish Catholics recaptured Granada and thus the Alhambra. Charles V had a palace built in 1526 in the Alhambra (the palace of Charles V), for which he had part of the existing Alhambra demolished.
The architecture of the several palaces in the Alhambra is showing the Andalusí art and Islamic art that has been used. The Moorish architecture of Spain is known for its intricate plaster and stucco works. “Palacio de Los Nazaries” is the jewel of Alhambra. Arabic inscriptions can be seen everywhere; in the tiles and in the precise carvings. Not only the walls are decorated, the ceilings have also been decorated beautifully. The Nasrid Palace, the main complex of the Alhambra, dates back to the 14th century. The layout, with a courtroom, public meeting rooms, the royal palace and women’s quarters, makes it a typical Islamic palace with outstanding use of Andalusí and Islamic art.
Palacio de Generalife was the summer palace and mansion of the Nasrid sultans of Granada. A collection of corridors, patios and ponds with beautiful hedges and plants. It was built under the reign of Mohammed III (1302-1309) and changed shortly afterwards by Abu I-Walid Isma’il (1313-1324). Since then it has been restored several times. The gardens gave the Sultan the opportunity to withdraw from everyday life and relax.
The palace of the Lions has the world famous “Lion Court” or “Patio de los Leones”. It is a reflection of paradise. In the center of the court you will find the fountain surrounded by 12 water-spitting lions that are located at the intersection of 4 channels. This represents the source and the 4 rivers in paradise.
Nowadays there are two museums in the palace, the museum of the Alhambra, with a large collection of buildings and paintings from the 15th to the 20th century and the museum of fine arts, with a collection of archaeological objects from the Nasrid era. The Alhambra museum consists of seven rooms where the “Hispanic-Muslim (Spanish / Moorish) culture and art is shown. The Moors (North Africans) ruled much of Spain for a long time, including Granada. The museum has arranged the different elements and art objects chronologically, so you really get an impression of the changes over the years. In the museum you can view a collection of ceramic tableware, various marble pillars, decorative panels and much more.