Brief History of the Alhambra in Granada Spain

Granada is the capital city of the province of Granada, in Andalusia in southern Spain. The population of the city of Granada is over 250,000 and the population of the area is about 500,000. About 3.3% of the population does not hold Spanish citizenship. The biggest and best tourist attraction is the legendary Alhambra, a famous Moorish citadel and palace. It is a must see if you visit.According to the Alhambra website, the Alhambra was so called because of the reddish walls throughout the palace. In Arabic, Alhambra means “Red Castle”. The Alhambra is located on top of the hill “al-Sabika” overlooking Granada, on the left bank of the river Darro, to the west of the city of Granada and in front of the neighbourhoods of the Albaicin and of the Alcazaba.The Alhambra is located on a strategic point, with a great, picturesque view over the whole city and the meadow (la Vega), and this fact leads to beliefs that other buildings were already on that site before the Muslims arrived. The complex is surrounded by ramparts and has an irregular shape. Pictures of the Alhambra can be seen on the website.As appearant from the pictures on, the greatest concern of the architects of the Alhambra was to cover every single space with decoration, no matter the size of the space. The interior arches are mostly false arches for decoration only. Walls are covered with beautiful and extremely rich ceramics and plasterwork. Wooden frames that have been exquisitely carved abound.While Muslims of the time ban the artistic representation of figures, the decorating themes in the Alhambra are quite varied. Classical calligraphic decorations are used, including cursive and kufic inscriptions, which reproduce the words of Zawi ben Ziri (founder of the Nasrid dynasty): “Only God is Victor”, and poems written by different poets of the court.

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