The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. The name Alhambra, signifying in Arabic “the red”. Alhambra Palace was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls.
Alhambra Palace was rediscovered following the defeat of Napoleon, who had conducted retaliatory destruction of the site, the re-discoverers were first British intellectuals and then other North European 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 and the inspiration for many songs and stories.
History of Alhambra Palace
Constructed on a plateau that overlooks the city of Granada, the palace was built chiefly between 1238 and 1358, in the reigns of Ibn al-Aḥmar, founder of the Naṣrid dynasty, and his successors. The splendid decorations of the interior are ascribed to Yūsuf I (died 1354).
After the expulsion of the Moors in 1492, much of the interior was effaced and the furniture was ruined or removed. Charles V, who ruled in Spain as Charles I (1516–56), rebuilt portions in the Renaissance style and destroyed part of the Alhambra in order to build an Italianate palace designed by Pedro Machuca in 1526.
In 1812 some of the towers were blown up by the French during the War of Independence, and in 1821 an earthquake caused further damage to the structure. Restoration of the building was undertaken in 1828 and continued through the 20th century.
Travelers and romantic artists of all countries had railed against those who scorned the most beautiful of their monuments. Since that date and up to now, the Alhambra, protected, restored, cared for and even improved, has been preserved for the pleasure and admiration of all.The Alhambra became a UNESCO World Heritages site in 1984.