Sunday, January 15, 2012

Alhambra (Granada)

The Alhambra is a monumental complex within the city of Granada (Spain) built up over more than six hundred years with both Muslim and Christian influences. It consists on palaces, gardens, balconies, patios, fountains and forest shadow areas. The importance of the Alhambra was recognised in 1984 when it was inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

Travel around Spain - Alhambra (Granada)


Gate of Justice (free pedestrian access from Granada city centre): has some of the most recognisable symbols of the Alhambra, the hand and the key in the facade arches (Islamic symbols), and the Gothic image of the Virgin and Child located by order of the Catholic Monarchs.

Alcazaba: is a small city with an urban structure similar to that of any neighbourhood of a Hispanic-Muslim population. The most prominent site is the Tower de la Vela, where you can enjoy a magnificent view over the city, Sierra Nevada, and surrounding areas.

Palace of Charles V: Roman-style palace built by Charles V, King of Spain and Emperor of Germany, between 1526 and 1619, although not fully completed until 1958.

Church of Santa Maria (1618): highlighting its baroque altarpiece. The image of Our Lady of Sorrows is conducted around Granada is the Holy Week processions.

Patio de Comares or Arrayanes: takes its name from the large clumps of this plant, also called myrtle, bordering the pool which reflects the structures. The courtyard is paved with large slabs of white marble.

Hall of Comares or of the Ambassadors: is the largest room in the palace. On its walls are opened nine small bedrooms, which walls are fully decorated.

Patio of the Lions: marks the climax of the Alhambra’s architecture. It’s cruised shaped, with a central fountain and arches around the perimeter. It has been recently restored.

Hall of the Abencerrajes: plaster decoration was restored in the sixteenth century, when it was added the tiled plinth. The most spectacular point of the hall is its impressive dome shaped as an eight-pointed star.

Hall of the Kings: entrance of over 30 m long, divided into three bedrooms topped with domes and broken up by large arches. The Kings Hall is named after the ten enigmatic characters painted in the vault of the central chamber.

Lindaraja Viewpoint: example of Moorish architecture design, framing a double arch window overlooking the Lindaraja courtyard, dominated by the fountain in its centre.

Palace of Partal: views of Albaicin and Sacromonte neighbourhoods, and gardens with a large central pool.

Generalife Palace and Gardens: built between the XII and XIV centuries, the palace was used by the Muslim kings as a place of rest. It includes the palace and upper and lower gardens. Highlighting the Patio of the Acequia, with crossed jets and views over the neighbourhood of the Albaicin.

Alhambra surroundings (free pedestrian access from the centre of Granada by the Cuesta de Gomérez Street): Gate of the Pomegranates, forests of the Alhambra, Pillar of Charles V (fountain). Tired of walking? Enjoy a coffee sitting on the terrace of the Hotel Alhambra Palace with gorgeous views over the city.

Opening hours:
The Alhambra is open from 8:30 to 18:00 in winter, and till 20:00 in summer. Night visits carried out from 20:00 to 21:30 in winter, and from 22:00 to 23:30 in summer.
  • Full visit (13€): access to the Nasrid Palaces should be done as in the schedule indicated on the ticket.
  • Only gardens (7€): includes visit to the Alcazaba, Partal palace and gardens, and Generalife palace and gardens.
  • Night visit (8 €): choose one between Nasrid Palaces visit and Generalife Gardens visit.
  • Combined visit (15 €): night visit to Nasrid Palaces & daily visit to Generalife Gardens the next morning.



On the 175th anniversary of the appearance of the first edition of Tales of the Alhambra (London, 1832), the Board of the Alhambra and the Generalife has promoted the publication of a special edition of the book of Washington Irving in seven languages. To commemorate this edition, one of the chapters of this book is offered free of charge to download:



Granada: visits, surroundings, accommodation…
What to do: flamenco shows, Arab baths…
How to dine: tapas routes, recipes…

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